THE ACOLYTE Showrunner Leslye Headland Says She Went In Fully Expecting The Show To Be Review-Bombed

THE ACOLYTE Showrunner Leslye Headland Says She Went In Fully Expecting The Show To Be Review-Bombed

Review-bombing has become common practice for movies and shows that provoke a strong negative reaction in certain fanbases, but The Acolyte showrunner Leslye Headland says she was fully prepared for it.

By MarkCassidy - Jul 04, 2024 10:07 AM EST
Filed Under: Star Wars

Over the past few years, the practice of "review-bombing" has increased among certain fanbases, with review aggregators such as Rotten Tomatoes flooded with negative reactions in at attempt to lower the movie or show's displayed public score.

Now, while it's obviously true that not everyone is going to like the project in question and some will decide to express their disapproval, you can usually tell when something has been review-bombed if a significant amount of verdicts are added before it's even been released, or if it's been generally well-received by critics and/or the average viewer.

Star Wars has been hit particularly hard of late (it picked up considerably after The Last Jedi), but The Acolyte showrunner Leslye Headland took the job knowing full well that the series would provoke the kind of reaction it has.

"Everybody knows what review bombing is like," she tells Collider. "Truly when the show first came out, my publicist was like, 'OK, with the review'… I was like, 'Does anybody take that seriously anymore?' Perhaps the average… I understand the point of it, which is that the average viewer would look at the site and say, 'Oh, the user review is really low.' But I think that, if you're in the Star Wars fandom, I think you already know what review bombing is. So I guess if you're totally new to the fandom and you're considering watching the show, it could affect you. But I also think that my work in the past has been very word-of-mouth anyway, so I don't know if it… I think that because behind the scenes, we all know what it is — it's not that it's not concerning — but I think it's pretty expected. I would say."

What do you make of Headland's comments? Let us know in the usual place.

In The Acolyte, an investigation into a shocking crime spree pits a respected Jedi Master (Lee Jung-jae) against a dangerous warrior from his past (Amandla Stenberg). As more clues emerge, they travel down a dark path where sinister forces reveal all is not what it seems.

 The series stars Amandla Stenberg, Lee Jung-jae, Manny Jacinto, Dafne Keen, Charlie Barnett, Jodie Turner-Smith, Rebecca Henderson, Dean-Charles Chapman, Joonas Suotamo, and Carrie-Anne Moss.

Leslye Headland created the series, based on Star Wars by George Lucas, and serves as an executive producer along with Kathleen Kennedy, Simon Emanuel, Jeff F. King and Jason Micallef. Charmaine DeGraté and Kor Adana are the co-executive producers. Rayne Roberts, Damian Anderson, Eileen Shim and Rob Bredow are the producers.

Headland also directed the premiere episodes (Eps. 101 & 102). Directors Kogonada (Eps. 103 & 107), Alex Garcia Lopez (Eps. 104 & 105) and Hanelle Culpepper (Eps. 106 & 108) round out the directing duties on the series.

"I really wanted to tell a story about the Sith," showrunner Headland told EW in a recent interview. "That was kind of my dream Star Wars idea. But it felt like the time period to do that in would be something pre-Phantom Menace. That seemed to be the most interesting trajectory for the Sith: How did the Sith go from the Rule of Two and being quote-unquote 'extinct' to Palpatine coming into power without the Jedi knowing about it?"

Award-winning composer Michael Abels, known for his work on Get Out and Us, scored The Acolyte.

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