Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! premiered last night on Syfy, and while some fans absolutely loved it, others more than hated it, calling it one giant Comcast commercial that should be blown to smithereens like the great white at the end of Jaws. Syfy isn't listening to the detractors at all, though. Defying the critics, and as expected after last night's shocking finale, the network has officially announced Sharknado 4. And this time, there's a twist. Fans will be able to decide the fate of Tara Reid's April Shepard.
Yes, in what could be a TV first, Syfy is allowing viewers to determine the end of Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! The network has set up an online vote for anyone with an opinion, along with launching a Twitter campaign. To vote, fans need to visit Sharknado.syfy.com. Between the original Sharknado, which literally took the world by storm in 2013, and last year's Sharknado 2: The Second One, the franchise has overtaken social media with more than one billion tweets directly aimed at the movie franchise, making it one of the longest lasting trending topics of this decade.
Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! more than upped the ante for fans eager and willing to dive into these waters once again, parading a cavalcade of guest stars and gruesome kills. In true Sharknado fashion, the film (/star-wars-7-force-awakens-spoiler-death-rumor/SPOILER ALERT) ends with a piece of space shuttle wreckage hurtling towards April. What shocked audiences last night is that this scene abruptly went to black. Moments later, this message appeared on screen: You decide if #AprilLives or #AprilDies. The text was accompanied by an announcer who stated the following.
"Now's your chance to be part of Sharknado history! You decide if April lives or April dies by tweeting your choice now or by going to Sharknado.syfy.com to vote. Her fate will be revealed in Sharknado 4 ... because we're not done yet!"
Outside of this franchise, Tara Reid has grown a strong reputation as a Hollywood party girl. One some fans simply can't stomach. But others believe she's redeemed herself with this campy franchise. Will that be enough to save her? After all, killing off the character essentially means fans are firing the actress from her next job. THR spoke with the cast and crew about how this twist will effect future installments. The original ending had Fin saluting his dad on the beach as everything faded to black. Chris Regina, senior vp program strategy at Syfy and a Sharknado 3 associate producer felt that was too much a definitive ending, one that told the audience the franchise was over. He explained the following.
"I wanted to take a page out of some of the classic television stunts that have been done and contemporize them. We needed to do something that was going to keep the audience in jeopardy and want to come back for another Sharknado. That led to the idea that I came up with in having the audience vote. Sharknado, more than anything on television, is a social interaction with the viewers, so we wanted to make it interactive. I'm hoping that we're going to break the Internet this time with the "April lives, April dies" at the end. I think it's going to be precedent-setting. I can't think of an instance where another network has done something of that nature at the end of an event. Hopefully it's a TV first."
Apparently, there is no end in sight for the Sharknado franchise. Syfy wants to continue making one movie a year well into the foreseeable future, as it has become a summer tradition. Anthony C. Ferrante explained that the series will only survive if the network finds new ways to keep audiences socially engaged in the conversation. Tara Reid will be most affected by what viewers choose. What does she think about the possibility of April's death, and never getting to return to the franchise?
"That [vote ending] was a shocker! I didn't expect that! [Laughs.] I think that's going to be a big turning point for the franchise. It gives it some excitement, and it's giving the fans a chance to interact. Not only is it something to involve the fans in, but it's immediate, so it's exciting to see how they're going to react. No matter what happens, I'm proud to be a part of this phenomenon. If the fans and everyone decide that April's meant to survive, then that's what's meant to happen, and if it goes the other way, I'm a survivor, and I'll keep on doing great things. I've been working for 30 years, I've been a part of Sharknado and made history, and I'm planning to keep working for another 30 years. Hey, anything can happen. There are no rules in Sharknado!"
So, now it's up to you to go and vote. Does April live or die? What's interesting about this is, if you watched Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! last night, you know anything can and will happen in this series. Tara Reid is clearly loved by the cast and crew, and its unlikely, even if fans do vote to kill her off, that she won't have a presence in future movies. In fact, this opens up a great opportunity to bring a ghost into the mix. Because a ghost can help conquer sharks in a way no human can. It will almost be worth it to vote for Shepard's death just to see the innovative ways Syfy plans to keep Tara Reid around even in the afterlife. Then again, there are some of you out there who are voting for this entire franchise to just die, already. Well, guess what? It's not going anywhere anytime soon!