Marvel Studios seems to have mastered the art of crafting emotionally powerful trailers that also don’t reveal anything. Not only that, but the studio also goes the extra mile to include misleading shots. Think about the money shot in the Avengers: Infinity War trailer which had Hulk running alongside the rest of the Avengers to take down Thanos’ hench-aliens.
This proved to be nothing more than a clever misdirection as Hulk didn’t even make another appearance in Infinity War after getting his ass handed to him by Thanos in the opening sequence. Well, it looks like the Avengers: Endgame trailer has more of those too.
In a chat with Empire Online, one of the directors of Avengers: Endgame, Joe Russo discussed why he and his brother found it necessary to convince the Marvel Studios marketing team to mislead audiences:
“We talked about all scales of marketing. The thing that’s most important to us is that we preserve the surprise of the narrative. When I was a kid and saw The Empire Strikes Back at 11am on the day it opened…it so profoundly moved me because I didn’t know a damn thing about the story I was going to watch. We’re trying to replicate that experience.”
It’s great to hear directors getting involved with the creative process of the trailers. One of the biggest problems with trailers these days is that they tend to show too much in an effort to get butts in seats. Remember the Batman V Superman trailer from three years ago that comprised of every major plot point and reveal from the movie including the involvement of Wonder Woman and Doomsday.
However, this hasn’t been the case with Disney, especially when it comes to their tentpole movies under the Marvel banner (and Lucasfilm too). The Russo brothers who also helmed The Winter Soldier, Civil War and Infinity War, are especially passionate about it. In an interview with Josh Horowitz of the Happy Sad Confused podcast last year, The Russos had this to say:
“We look at the trailer as a very different experience than the movie, and I think audiences are so predictive now that you have to be very smart about how you craft a trailer because an audience can watch a trailer and basically tell you what’s gonna happen in the film.
We consume too much content. So at our disposal are lots of different shots that aren’t in the movie that we can manipulate through CG to tell a story that we want to tell specifically for the purpose of the trailer and not for the film.”