Nowadays, it goes without saying that every Hollywood and superhero trailer is integrating songs to elevate or establish the mood of the movie. Sometimes it's a hit ("Bohemian Rhapsody" from Suicide Squad) and sometimes it's a miss ("I Am A God" from Assassin's Creed). The #MCU though, has been using music in its trailer since their Iron Man days.
As I am only considering songs, alternate or original, I won't be listing those which featured only music without lyrics. So, here's a ranking of MCU's trailers according to their choice in music.
Starting off the list is Ant-Man. Marvel's smallest hero surprised audiences, critics and YouTube reaction channels with its action-packed sequences and funny characters. Even though the movie lacked a touch of music, the trailer featured a track called "2020" by a Canadian rock band called Suuns. The song played during the mind-boggling shrinking sequences of Scott Lang and it supported that dazed and confused feeling that he experienced after realizing the powers of the suit.
The trailer featured a lot of Paul Rudd and it was fun to see how his brand of humor was incorporated into the movie. It had a lot of meta humor and the first origin story that name-dropped the Avengers.
13. 'Avengers: Age Of Ultron'
Following the success of Avengers, Age of Ultron came to the theaters with a lot on its shoulders. After its worldwide release, MCU fans all pretty much agreed that the dark and creepy rendition of "I've Got No Strings" from Pinocchio really set the tone of the trailer and the movie.
I think this is one of the darkest trailers in the MCU and had some surrealistic imagery that was further bolstered by that haunting Pinocchio song. Now, I don't blame the trailer editors for what Ultron turned out to be, but the choice of the music really elevated Ultron's sinister nature and his demented view of freedom and peace.
12. 'Spider-Man: Homecoming'
I think many will be surprised as to Spider-Man being so low in the list, even though it featured an amazing track, "Time To Pretend" by MGMT. The title of the song is very fitting because Peter always has to pretend that he is a normal and not a superhero. But, when I heard the lyrics go something like:
"I'm feelin' rough I'm feelin' raw I'm in the prime of my life
Let's make some music make some money find some models for wives
I'll move to Paris, shoot some heroin and fuck with the stars
You man the island and the cocaine and the elegant cars"
I immediately disagreed with the choice of the song. Even though it sounds cool, the lyrics are certainly not a reflection of Peter Parker/Spider-Man's character. As a trailer, it is a very fun and nostalgia-filled welcome to Spider-Man into the MCU and, I am excited to watch it in the theaters on July 5th, 2017
11. 'Jessica Jones'
Even though Marvel and Netflix are at tenterhooks regarding their inclusion in the MCU, as all the Netflix series have mentioned Thor, Hulk and Iron Man, I am considering them to be a part of the MCU.
Netflix's portion of the MCU brought in the mysterious and dark Jessica Jones, and its trailer featured a haunting track with Of Monsters and Men's "Thousand Eyes." Along with the trailer's purple and black colors, this moody track paints a very bleak and urban image of the world that Jessica Jones lives in. I think the trailer was pretty good and was better because of the song and that 's why this one takes the No. 11 spot on this list.
10. 'The Defenders'
Despite the dark undertones of the big-screen adaptations of our favorite superheroes, the PG-13 rating has always restricted the usage of violence and that's where the MCU's small-screen sibling triumphs. So, after providing action-packed solo entries for each of the heroes, Netflix has brought them all together against Sigourney Weaver with Nirvana's "Come As You Are".
As Kurt Cobain's contradictory lyrics begin to emerge through Stick's narration ("As a friend, as an old enemy. Take your time, hurry up"), it becomes more and more clear that this team-up will be as tumultuous as the Avengers'. But as the build-up to this event has been so exciting, it will be interesting to see whether these contrasting bunch of characters end up setting their differences aside for the greater good or fall victim to the entrapment of the Hand.
9. 'The Avengers'
When the culmination of four years of hard work hit the big-screen, the MCU broke all records and barriers in the history of cinema. It was the day when nerds, geeks and comic book fans proudly stood in the sun and said, "We made it." I know, I am exaggerating, but the feeling was close.
Even though critics and analysts later pointed out the flaws in MCU's use of music, anybody would be lying if they say that they didn't get goosebumps when Nine Inch Nails' "We're In This Together Now" accompanied the Avengers flipping and kicking some Chitauri ass. After a long line of trailers that gave away most of the plot, the Avengers trailer was the first that held back, excited the audience. The rest, as they say, is history.
8. 'Daredevil' Season 1
The one that started it all. Netflix's Daredevil is probably one of the best decisions that Marvel has made yet. This trailer featured Tamer's "Beautiful Crime" and the brooding music and the title of the song couldn't have been more perfect.
Daredevil is my favorite Marvel property, and I love how it was handled. When I first saw this trailer, I had to pinch myself to make sure that it was real. The trailer featured Charlie Cox's deep voice, narrating how he wants to take down Vincent D'onofrio's Kingpin. The highlight of the trailer was obviously the mind-blowing action that it promised and delivered.
7. 'Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2'
Taking the No. 7 spot in the list is MCU's music baby and part-time A-holes, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. I am a fan of the music syncing up with the action, which this trailer doesn't, earning it a spot on the middle of the list. Other than that, every bit of the trailer promises a more amazing Awesome Mix. Before we get our hands on the mix, we are introduced to Sweet's "Fox On The Run." As it plays, we see our favorite heroes fighting on land and space, and of course, Baby Groot completely stealing the show with those cute expressions.
Even though the trailers after this have given a significant hint of what the plot is going to be, the first trailer really managed to excite the audience, because it was the first time after three years of waiting that we got to see their ugly mugs. Just kidding, they are all beautiful and I can't stop grooving with them.
6. 'Iron Man 2'
Landing the No. 6 spot is the second outing of Robert Downey Jr. as the Iron Man. To be honest, this trailer tried its best to not give away the plot. But in retrospect, after seeing the movie, you can see that they practically gave away everything step by step. It featured everything from Rourke's Ivan Vanko to Stark's sickness and even the final battle alongside Cheadle's War-Machine.
The redemption? AC/DC's "Highway to Hell." This grungy rock song was the perfect combination to RDJ's Tony Stark. Even though the raw energy of the band is in complete contrast to the smooth and suave nature of Stark, something about these two just clicks.
5. 'Guardians Of The Galaxy'
Taking away the No. 5 spot is the first outing of our favorite A-holes, Guardians of the Galaxy. It featured Blue Swede's "Hooked On A Feeling," and it doesn't even begin 'til the later half of the trailer. But when it does, it is pretty epic.
As our heroes are being lined up and being taken to their respective cells, Quill notices one of the guards listening to his favorite mixtape. As he tries to intervene, the guard punches him the gut and the music takes over, sending us on a nostalgia-filled trip to the '70s. This movie might be the reason why '70s music is witnessing a return to mainstream media. After watching this movie, Awesome Mix Vol.1 is probably one of my favorite compilations of all time.
4. 'Thor: Ragnarok'
This high-octane, colorful trailer is supplemented by Led Zeppelin's "Immigrant Song" and it is very fitting. The chorus almost sounds like a battle-cry, while also making Hela look really cool. The slow-motion set pieces almost looked like a zany version of 300 and I hope this song makes its way into the movie too, because its lyrics are a nod to Nordic mythology.
Among all the movies that Marvel has promised, this is the one I am most excited for, because I think that Thor hasn't been utilized to his full potential. This, though, looks like will be packed with a lot of quirk and action, and as this is the second time that Thor will be taking on the Hulk, it'll be interesting to see what he has learned over the years. Why is November so far away?
3. 'Black Panther'
After making a jaw-dropping entry in Civil War, the King of Wakanda is here with his very own teaser which features an extremely talented cast and the mind-blowing city of Wakanda. As T'Challa steps up to the mantle of the king, the atmosphere is charged up with Run The Jewels' "Legend Has It".
Even though the teaser doesn't give away much, it bears the message that this is going to be a one-of-a-kind entry into the MCU. The song successfully mirrors the mix of tribal and futuristic tones that Wakanda stands for. In addition, the repetitive call to "Step into the spotlight" highlights the fact that the movie will heavily focus on how T'Challa handles the cosmic craziness of the MCU, along-with the political conflicts of his position as a king.
2. 'Luke Cage'
I think this is one of the most worthy entry because the music of Luke Cage played a very integral part of the entire series. To set the stage for the show, Netflix chose Ol' Dirty Bastard's "Shimmy Shimmy Ya" for its SDCC Teaser and it was perfect. The mix of the urban setup and R&B music provided the ideal comic to TV transition.
Even though the series isn't my favorite, this trailer had me elated. It had a vast range of tones and Mahershala Ali's Cottonmouth looked really dangerous. The teaser showcased a bullet-proof man shielding himself with a car door and making his way into a building, but the synced music gave that sequence the gravity that it required.
1. 'Iron Man'
I always go by the saying "Old is Gold," and that's why the man with the iron suit whizzes past the rest to take away the No. 1 spot on this music-filled list. Featuring AC/DC's "Back in Black," this trailer introduced us to the future of superhero movies. I don't think I should have to explain why I love it — have a look for yourself.
With that I end my list of MCU trailers that featured some foot-taping and soulful numbers. I think music is a integral part of movies and trailers because it is a universal language. Even before the international trailers drop, a good music-filled trailer will definitely unite fans worldwide. It's good to see more and more movies fusing their trailers with retro and modern music. As a music lover, it's great to know more and more about this practice.
Are there any other trailers with music that you loved? Comment below and let me know.