DC's next film is quickly approaching. Patty Jenkins’s #WonderWoman opens in theaters everywhere on June 2. With the rocky rollout of the DCEU to this point, DC absolutely needs Wonder Woman to hit a home run with both fans and critics, especially with Justice League being released later this year.
Despite the lack of scale with the marketing (few commercials, no interviews, and little hype), there is one thing DC is doing right: keeping the film's lead villain, Ares, largely hidden. We don't even know who is playing him, nor his he even listed on the IMDb page. Some might argue that this is a bad idea to keep the villain so hidden. But I maintain it's a smart move on Warner Bros.' part, for a few reasons.
Too Many Comic Book Movie Trailers Have Given Away Key Plot Points
Comic book movies all too often have a tendency to spoil important plot points or character reveals through their trailers and TV spots. While there are ways to avoid trailers for fear of getting spoiled, it can be daunting to avoid every thirty-second commercial that airs and potentially ruins your future enjoyment of a film.
DC's biggest marketing blunder in this regard was when it revealed that Doomsday was the big bad in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Up until that point, the entire marketing campaign had kept Doomsday out of all the footage.
While seeing Doomsday before the release didn’t make the film worse, it would have made more sense to save him as a surprise for the fans. We would have been just fine knowing that Batman was fighting Superman all along, but Warner Bros. felt the need to address the villain. But with "Batman V Superman" being the literal title, there was no reason Warner Bros. shouldn’t have stuck to that formula for their marketing.
DC Has Given Us Minor Hints of Ares Through Merchandising
Though we may not have seen him in any trailers, Ares has recently been briefly shown in a TV spot. Check out the short clip below:
Ares has also made his way into your local toy store. Fans know that merchandising is a big part of a film's marketing campaign. However, there have been times when the tie-in toy lines have revealed too much, such a when a POP! figurine spoiled the reveal of Giant-Man before the release of #CaptainAmericaCivilWar.
So far, however, even the toy merchandising has managed to keep Ares fairly under wraps. Take a look at the Hot Wheels cars that were designed specifically for the movie. All we see of Ares is a shadowy figure in the background behind Diana.
Back in February, the same account did give us a better look when it tweeted out the image of the Ares' action figurine that gave us our first unofficial look at the God of War:
Whether these two items will be the final incarnation of Ares remains to be seen, it's far different to see him as a plastic toy versus spoiled in a television spot or trailer.
Why Keeping Ares Hidden Is Crucial For DC Moving Forward
As fans, we should applaud Warner Bros. for the marketing job that they have done for Wonder Woman. The trailers have given us enough to get us into theaters and that’s all we could ever ask for.
Keeping Ares a secret would be a smart move and could help set DC apart from Marvel by not falling prey to one thing that Marvel consistently gets raked over the coals for—giving it all away too soon. The marketing for Wonder Woman has proven that it doesn’t need to reveal everything to get fans excited for the film.
If Warner Bros. can shy away from showing us Ares until the film actually comes out, then I believe it’s a win-win for both sides. Fans should go into this film unfamiliar with the villain that's actually controlling it all. We can only hope that with just a few weeks leading up to the release that the marketing team can just hold out for a little longer.
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