That’s right, folks, after Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! premiered last night (read our review right here), and at the end of the movie-ish mish-mash of moving imagery it was revealed that Sharknado 4 is indeed on the way. You’re not at all shocked, are you? I can feel it. I can feel your lack of shock radiating from my computer screen right now, long before this is fully written and any other human eyes read it. But hey, when one of these wacky, nonsensical carnival freak show productions Syfy and The Asylum are known for catches on as big as the Sharknado movies have, they’re going to make as many of them as they possibly can.
The announcement came with a bit of a twist, as well. At the end of Sharknado 3 (spoiler alert…I guess), some space shuttle wreckage is heading right for April Wexler (played by Tara Reid) before it cuts to black. This is where the fans come in, as they’ll use the hashtags #AprilLives or #AprilDies to decided whether the character will survive in Sharknado 4.
The cast and crew talked about the ending, including Reid and co-star Ian Ziering. You can see what they had to say below.
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Syfy’s senior VP of program strategy and Sharknado 3 associate producer Chris Regina said:
“The original ending for the film that director Anthony C. Ferrante was passionate about was having it all end on the beach in this wonderful family moment where they all hold hands, look up at the sky, Fin salutes his dad, and then we fade out. I said, “That’s great, but it sounds like the ending of a trilogy of a franchise that’s not going to continue. It’s a satisfying ending that doesn’t go on.” 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.”
While it may be the first time something like this has been done on TV, it’s not entirely unheard of. In the hit video game franchise Gears of War, each game had a member of the Carmine family dying until we got to Gears of War 3. For Gears 3, developer Epic Games let fans choose the fate of the Carmine brother character featured in the game.
Director Anthony C. Ferrante also spoke on the ending:
“Syfy has done a good job promoting and coming up with ways of sustaining the Twitter alliance, this is like a ‘Who killed J.R.?’ ending [from Dallas]. It’s perfectly in line with what we’ve been doing with Sharknado. In a way, Chris and I both get our endings. We still get the big family ending, you get satisfied with David Hasselhoff [Fin’s dad] on the moon, you get some closure “¦ and then we pull the rug out from under you. [Laughs.] Anything to sustain the life of Sharknado, right? [Laughs.] I know Syfy wants to continue making these movies, and to keep doing that, you’ve got to keep finding new and different ways to present the film. I think the social media ending accomplishes that. Will audiences like it? Well, they love tweeting about the movie, so why wouldn’t they want to tweet whether April lives or dies?”
Ziering on the ending and Reid’s reaction to it:
“Tara’s such a good sport. When she saw the ending, her first response was, ‘Gulp!’ But then she got it. This is a movie that’s been made popular by social marketing, and she’s a team player. Anything that can be done to increase awareness, to propel the brand, ultimately is going to lift her as well, so she took it in stride. I would have thought that it would have been a bit more of a hurdle emotionally for her. But she was cool with it. She took a breath, and then she was, like, ‘OK, let’s shoot the shit out of it! Let’s make it happen!’ And when it was done, she was, like, ‘All right: it is what it is.’ It’s not likely that she won’t return. I mean, c’mon: if she can give birth in space in a f””ing spacesuit, only to have the baby emerge from a shark “¦ [Laughs.] You really have to have a huge leash for creativity and imagination as a viewer to think that you’ve seen the end of April Shepard.”
And finally, Tara Reid shares her thoughts:
“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!”
Sooo…how did you vote? You voted for the character to eat it, didn’t you? You evil bastards.