One of the most anticipated upcoming Marvel movies is Spider-Man: No Way Home, the third solo outing for Tom Holland's incarnation of the webbed wonder. With so many rumors, assumed plot lines and some teasing comments from former franchise stars, it's not surprising that everyone wants to see a trailer very soon. This has led to Spidey becoming the unsuspecting recipient of numerous fake Rickroll No Way Home trailers dominating YouTube in the last few days.
For those who have somehow never head of the internet bait and switch phenomenon, let me explain. The process of Rickrolling involves using a disguised hyperlink which appears to lead to a major news story or, let's say, a highly anticipated movie trailer. The victims then click on the link, but instead of the expected content, they are instead redirected the music video for Rick Astley's song Never Gonna Give You Up from 1987. The meme originally stemmed from a similar prank called "duckrolling" which was a popular trick on the 4chan website in 2006. Since its creation, Rickrolling has evolved, spurred on by YouTube using it as a 2008 April Fool's Day event.
This latest example has seen dozens of videos appearing on YouTube, claiming to be the official teaser trailer for the latest Spider-Man movie. From initial appearances, these appear to be a genuine video, containing coherent descriptions and thumbnail images. Many of the channels themselves even carry the Sony Pictures logo as their channel avatar, although something could seem amiss if you look closer and noticed small spelling errors in the channel names, such as Sony Pictures Entertainnment, or Sony Pictures Entertainments. However, such is the desire to see the trailer that people are willing to overlook these discrepancies and go along with clicking on the video.
In most cases, the first few seconds lead people into a false sense of security that they have discovered the genuine article, with Tom Holland's face appearing with a genuine voiceover from the franchise. Some of these even make it to the Sony and Marvel Logos, but then a familiar sound kicks in and boom! You've been Rickrolled and are subjected to the 80s classic in all its glory. A point has even been reached that some people have taken it upon themselves to play around with the music video, slowing it down or speeding it up, because there is nothing better than a little bit of variety when it comes to these things.
This latest example of Rickrolling is the product of a resurgence seen during the early part of the Covid19 pandemic, which saw students bringing the prank to their online Zoom classes. Additionally, the music video itself was recently released in a 4K remastered format, which went viral on its own merit earlier this year. While these things do come and go in waves, it seems like the Rickrolling phenomenon is a long way from done yet. With Jurassic World: Dominion having recently had an official announcement that a trailer is coming sooner than we think, the upcoming sixth instalment of the dino franchise has seen similar videos popping up like the one below. With Ghostbusters: Afterlife and numerous Marvel properties, promising trailers soon, you may want to take a little care where you click over the next few months, or you could find yourself well and truly Rickrolled.