For better or worse, the current generation of movie fans use the internet for both good, and evil. Don't like a casting announcement? Start an online petition to get it changed. Don't like the look of a movie? Trash it on message boards, down-vote it and leave terrible reviews before its even been released. As movie fans, especially tech-savvy ones, we have developed a weird sense of ownership and entitlement.
We're now at the stage where we expect certain things from certain movies, and actors aren't exempt from this rule either.
We expect Morgan Freeman to be a wise old sage that delivers exposition in his silky smooth tones. We expect Samuel L. Jackson to give an impassioned monologue that may or may not include the word 'motherf**ker'. We'd be more than a little disappointed if Owen Wilson didn't say 'wow' at least once. Could you imagine the outrage if there was a Tom Cruise movie where he didn't run???
Based upon nothing more than a two-minute trailer, an unconfirmed behind-the-scenes rumor or even a viral social media post, people frequently expect the worst instead of hoping for the best. Heath Ledger as The Joker? That's a disgrace. Jared Leto as The Joker? Well, maybe they've got a point.
If everyone expects something to be terrible and it actually turns out pretty good, does that make it even more of a success? There are plenty of actors that have taken a verbal battering over the course of their careers, but is one surprisingly good performance enough to change the audience's perception?