This is a subject that we've touched upon slightly in the past, but either the questions are based on old close reasons such as "General Reference" and "Too Localized", which are now gone - or they're a little more specific.
- Movie Trailer Based Questions
- How do we deal with questions about rumors and release dates?
- Should questions about the future of a franchise, series, or literary work (groupings) be permitted?
- Are questions on series which are answered by upcoming episodes "time localised"?
- What is the limit for questions about ongoing series?
It feels like lately, we've been getting more of these types of questions, and some of them are closed as "primarily opinion based" citing that they are speculation based. Is this the correct way to handle these?
Let's look at the actual close reason.
Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.
Now, let's look at a recent closed question: Is anyone in the Hulkbuster armor in the Age of Ultron Trailer?
In the trailer, it shows the Hulk battling what appear to be Iron man in his Hulkbuster armor. Is he actually in the armor (his own armor inside of the Hulkbuster) or is Ultron controlling the armor to battle the Hulk?
This question was closed as "primarily opinion based".
It's (probably) not. There are two possible answers. Yes, or No. In all likelihood, The identity of the person/entity inside, or controlling the Hulkbuster Armor will be revealed in the actual movie. Currently, all we can do is speculate - and offer our opinions on the matter. We can't provide a reliable answer right now, but that doesn't mean we can't ever provide a definitive answer.
Over the years, we've had a number of questions that received answers based on the information we had at the time, and which were updated long after with more recent - and more correct information.
A great example of this was Who was the first Avatar?. Gabe Willard provided an answer based on the information at the time, but was ultimately incorrect. Eventually, The Legend of Korra definitively answered this question, and Keen provided a new, more correct answer. (Side note: Pureferret, change your accepted answer!)
We can also look towards What is that alien in Marvel's Agents of SHIELD?. At time of posting, we had no definitive answer. We had some clues, so I wrote an answer explaining what we knew, and which might be more or less likely. It took almost 9 months, but we were finally able to provide a definitive answer to this.
The more recent Who is Peter Quill/Star-Lord's Father? is a similar question. The best answer we have right now is, "We don't know, but the director has said that it's not the same person as in the comics." This question has not been closed.
Now, let's look at another question: Why are Superman and Batman against each other? This one has been closed. (Note: Yes, I was one of the close-voters. I've changed my mind since then.)
I've heard lots about the upcoming Superman vs. Batman movie. But I don't understand why they're fighting against each other. They're both superheroes, trying to fight for the good of humankind, fighting to protect the civilian population. So why are they being pitted against each other? What reasons do they have to fight each other?
Here we have a question about a movie that was 2 years away, when it was asked. I'm not sure the script was even finalized at the time. There was no realistic way for anyone outside of the writing/production team to have a definitive answer. Even now, we can't reliably answer it. But eventually, we will be able to. Sure, it'll languish away, largely forgotten until then. But then the day will come, and we can definitively answer it. Then, the question may become a less-than-great question, since it's basically just asking for a recap of the maguffin, but we don't require users to have read/watched a work to be allowed to ask a question.
Some other questions to consider:
- X-men: Apocalypse - Taking on an invincible enemy? Like the Batman/Superman and Hulkbuster questions, we don't have an answer right now, but will eventually.
- Is there going to be an Iron Man 4 after all prototypes are finally destroyed for good? Either there will be a new Iron Man movie, or there won't be. Currently, there are no publicized plans. Where does opinion come into the picture?
- How is Magneto pulling Mystique in the Days of Future Past trailer? Prior to release, we had a few decent speculative answers. After it was released, we got a solid definitive answer.
- What is the plot of Star Wars 7 Yup, another one I initially VTC'ed. I voted for it before I voted against it. Go ahead and call me a waffler if you like.
- What character is Benedict Cumberbatch? This one is deleted, so you may not have access to see it, but it asked about the identity of a character in an upcoming movie. It was originally closed as "Too Localized" since we would get a definitive answer once the movie came out. "Too Localized" is no longer a valid close reason.
- Who is the eye patch woman? Another question where we didn't have a definitive answer until much later. This one is especially interesting as Gilles specifically edited the question to make it less time sensitive, extending the life of the value of the question.
Should we really be closing questions about future works just because we don't have the answer now?