#GuardiansOfTheGalaxy2 is only a couple of weeks away and fans are extremely excited to see the unpredictable superhero team save the galaxy for a second time. Without any marketing, fans of the first film would still go out and see the movie, but the studio has released a few epic trailers that have only helped the movie's hype. For the most part, Marvel nails the marketing for their movies.
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However, there is a glaring issue with their promotional philosophy, one that continued with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: spoiling big moments before their films are even released. Let's take a look at the biggest WTF spoilers in Marvel trailers leading up to the recent, somewhat spoiler-y Guardians TV spot.
1. Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
- Plot point spoiled: Steve Rogers winds up in modern-day New York City
Captain America: The First Avenger may be one of the most underrated superhero movies, but did you know the ending of the movie was already spoiled for non-comic book fans before it was even released? Back in 2011, superhero movies were finally gaining more credibility, but most people were still very unfamiliar with Marvel heroes' backstories, including #CaptainAmerica.
A commercial for Captain America: The First Avenger that was released a few weeks before the movie hit theaters showed Steve standing in a modern-day Times Square and being flanked by S.H.I.E.L.D. agents (including Nick Fury). This was obviously a spoiler as the movie was supposed to have taken place during World War II. Even then, casual fans started to wonder how Captain America went from fighting in World War II in the 1940s to fighting alongside the Avengers in 2012.
2. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
- Plot points spoiled: Nick Fury's death, that Nick Fury actually survived, and the identity of the Winter Soldier
#TheWinterSoldier, the critically-acclaimed sequel to The First Avenger, probably has the greatest amount of surprising revelations than any other movie in the #MCU. The biggest being that that HYDRA had secretly been hiding in plain site within S.H.I.E.L.D. practically since its creation. While Marvel kept that twist away from the promotional campaign, it completely spoiled others in the trailers and TV spots:
The spot above revealed Nick Fury's car getting blown up, then him laying on his "death bed" and Natasha saying, "Fury's last words were to never trust anyone." Of course, this was a huge misdirection as Fury ended up being very much alive, but his fake death was still a big twist in the beginning of the movie. Even worse, there were still several scenes with Fury in the trailer from the third act that spoiled the spoiler and revealed he had survived.
Another big twist spoiled in the trailers was the identity reveal of the Winter Soldier. Of course, most #Marvel fans already knew Bucky Barnes was the man behind the mask, but casual fans not familiar with the Captain American lore couldn't have known it prior to watching the movie—unless they watched the trailers.
3. Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
- Plot points spoiled: The Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver become Avengers, Hawkeye's family reveal
#AgeOfUltron was the Marvel movie that really opened my eyes up to this tendency to overshare. In the last month leading up to the movie, the marketing revealed far too much, with the TV spots spoiling a number of critical plot points.
The TV spot above, for example, featured multiple scenes of Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver destroying Ultron bots. If that weren't obvious enough, we also saw the twins standing with the Avengers, Hawkeye's speech to Scarlet Witch telling her she was an Avenger, and Cap saying "She's with us." If you didn't know those two would suit up as Avengers, you did by the time you saw the movie.
The other big spoiler was revealed in a Japanese trailer for the blockbuster blatantly revealed the subplot about Hawkeye secretly having a family and children, easily one of the most unexpected twists of the entire movie. Hawkeye having a family wasn't going to increase ticket sales, so why put it in?
4. Ant-Man (2015)
- Plot point revealed: Falcon's cameo appearance
#AntMan was a big surprise for many Marvel fans, unique because it was set in the MCU but existed on a much smaller scale (no pun intended) and wasn't as interconnected to the rest of the universe. Given that, there is no way we would've expected an Avenger to show up in the movie, but Marvel decided to reveal it a few weeks before Ant-Man was released in theaters.
Two weeks before Ant-Man was released, fans caught a quick glance at Falcon in a TV spot and speculation rumbled. A week before the movie, Marvel released the clip featured above and confirmed it.
Granted, the inclusion of Falcon was deliberate. Like I said, Ant-Man was a weirder, unknown character with powers that, on the surface, seem dumb—he even made fun of it himself in the movie. So it made sense that they showed an Avenger so casual moviegoers would go, "Oh! It's an Avengers movie. Those are usually pretty good" and be more inclined to check it out. Still, what could have been a great surprise for fans was completely given away before the movie even hit theaters.
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5. Captain America: Civil War (2016)
- Plot points spoiled: War Machine's "death," Spider-Man's inclusion/reveal, Ant-Man turning into Giant-Man
#CivilWar is easily one of the best comic book movies ever and my personal favorite. So it only makes Marvel even more culpable for spoiling their best piece of work not once, not twice, but three times before the movie was even released.
The first time Marvel spoiled Captain America: Civil War was with the second trailer when it showed War Machine's brutal injury. This was one of the most emotional moments from the entire film and it was completely ruined in only the second trailer. Not only were we waiting for this moment to happen every time Rhodey appeared on screen, it lessened the emotional impact when it happened. This moment being included is the dictionary definition of unnecessary.
Marvel also completely blew the lid off #SpiderMan's inclusion and reveal in Civil War. While most fans knew the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man would appear, Marvel began to sprinkle him into other TV spots (this one is just the most memorable). Does this spoil the events of the film? No, but there was no reason to give away his reveal; people were already sold, they were never not going to see the movie.
The airport battle was the showpiece fight in Civil War, and while it was all over the promotional clips and trailers, Marvel gets credit for keeping the majority of the fight under wraps. However, pre-release TV spots spoiled the huge (heh) reveal of Ant-Man turning into Giant-Man during the battle. It was still a fantastic moment, but it would have been so much more impactful had it taken us by surprise.
6. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 (2017)
Last but certainly not least is this recently released TV spot for #GuardiansoftheGalaxyVol2, which is being released in theaters in three weeks. Up until now, the advertising has been very good in balancing what they put in the trailers and what is saved for the film. Now, however, it looks like that will quickly change in the time leading up to the movie's worldwide premiere as even director #JamesGunn has warned fans to stay away from the new trailers if they want to enter the movie without having anything spoiled for them.
In the TV spot featured above (appropriately titled "Earth"), we see a giant blue blob terrorizing the public streets on Earth. This is hard to tell what exactly it is as the blob's appearance is completely out of context and doesn't share any similarities with any known entities from the comics.
On top of this, we see a shot of Star-Lord and Rocket crashing onto a tree-like planet which we assumed was one of the new planets before, but this TV spot made us realize the Guardians are heading to Earth, which is a gigantic spoiler to be revealed three weeks before the film's release.
In the end, Marvel Studios is one of the best movie studios out there and consistently release great movies. It's understandable that they need to put some of the more epic scenes in their trailers (and we're okay with that to a certain extent as trailers have become a big event themselves), but when the trailers start to give away too much, fans get turned off.
How do you feel about Marvel spoiling their movies within the trailers?
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