Last Thursday morning, it was all over the Nigerian media and online space that actress, Funke Akindele was going to star in the ‘Avengers: Infinity Wars’ movie, which resulted into something like a nationwide celebration. Twitter was ablaze with rejoicing, old parodies were revealed, edited pictures of the actress were created and promises to watch the movie as soon as it gets to Nigerian cinemas were made.
The hopes for Funke’s fans to see her break into Hollywood however came crashing down when her name was removed from the list. IMDb claimed their website had been hacked and Funke’s name added to the list the supposed hacker. Her fans are sad as their pride had taken a big blow – Funke was no longer expected to represent us in the movie. It did not matter that she would have had a small role in the first place, we were proud.
Then as though playing with our emotions, another top Nollywood actress, Genevieve Nnaji’s name was added to the list as replacement for Funke Akindele. The question ‘another hack?’ arose and just like Funke Akindele did not comment about being in the movie, Genevieve seems to have maintained the same silence.
Nigerians are waiting with bated breathes as though they’re waiting for ‘the other shoe’ to drop. The other shoe being if indeed Genevieve Nnaji played any role in the movie. There is general confusion and rather obvious hesitancy to celebrate this new change and just as this Twitter user assumes, are they using our heads?
I dunno if the Avengers people are using our head by replacing FUNKE AKINDELE with GENEVIEVE NNAJI 🤔🤔🤔 pic.twitter.com/mnj6z61Dut
— Socio-Relatable (@swagnito) January 14, 2018
It also seems that this person is not alone in the belief that something way fishy than a hack is going on here as another Twitter user seems to agree to.
So Funke Akindele’s role in The Avengers Infinity Wars movie was replaced by our own Genevieve Nnaji. Are you thinking what I’m thinking ??🙄 pic.twitter.com/k36CogV4E4
— Dabibi (@theDabibi) January 14, 2018
It is almost funny how easy it was to make the ‘Avengers: Infinity Wars’ movie trend on Nigerian Twitter just by saying Funke Akindele had been put on the cast list. It is no secret that Nigerians are always pro-Nigerians when it comes to the international front, so who is to say that the publicity team of the movie did not consider this.
Then as soon as people started going online to say how they were no longer interested in watching the movie, Genevieve Nnaji’s name pops up in the conversation. And once again, the ‘Avengers’ is trending again and everyone is talking about it. This would have been one carefully thought out publicity stunt if it indeed is.
More importantly though, this movie we keep going back and forth with concluded its shooting on July 14, 2017, and its sequel even finished shooting since January 11, 2018, so if at any point in time at all any Nigerian actress was cast in the movie, we would be more than sure about it.
This entire back and forth just screams “PUBLICITY STUNT!” It is unlike an American movie of the status of the Avengers not to know all of its cast even before it starts filming. Another thing is that with the amount of buzz the movie got from the Nigerian social media space, the public relations team of the movie must have gotten word about all the mix-ups. In any other situation, they would have released a notice about the actual cast list and commented on whether or not there are any Nollywood actresses or actors in the movie.
So this is why our conclusion is that it is indeed a publicity stunt. Let us hear your opinion on the issue too, comment and tag so we know.
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