ByPeter Flynn, writer at
An advocate for understanding the phenomenological wonder of the moving image. Also Tremors is the best.
Peter Flynn

The trailer for [X-Men: Apocalypse](tag:1194267) was the first trailer ever to make me sad. Not from any content within it, but just from the reason it has for existing. Nerd culture currently exists in a state where we will jump on any semblance of info regardless of quality or fidelity. The fact this is being treated as the official trailer is an indictment against al trailers in general. I've written much about X-Men: Apocalypse before, but this trailer is very nearly provoking me to stop.

The whole case of X-Men: Apocalypse is different from what we saw with a few months back. When that initial trailer was leaked in its low fi audience perspective form, DC jumped to rectify it as quick as possible, and soon enough, we had ourselves the official trailer to one of the most hotly anticipated movies of 2016! The situation is different with X-Men: Apocalypse, with the botched trailer simply floating there like a cup of water that's been left there for days. I'm gonna be a giant hypocrite for a moment and post the trailer, but if you don't want anything spoiled, scroll right by!

The Trailer (shot on a phone)

There are no doubt some cool moments in this trailer, like the revealing of younger iterations of characters like Jean Grey and Storm. There's an expansion on the immensely popular Quicksilver, and greater focus on Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique. Then of course there's Michael Fassbender doing a bizarre accent as his brotherhood faces off against Oscar Isaac as the titular Apocalypse. It all looks like great stuff, but it's all filtered through someone conspicuously holding their phone. Everything is reversed, and the entire screen is at a canted angle. What is this, Battlefield Earth?

I suppose the big question here is whether watching the trailer in this leaked form lessens the sense of excitement and anticipation when the genuine one is released. It's hard to be surprised by some of these moments and images when they're filtered through a phone in a crowded hall, and the person filming clearly doesn't want to be caught. It's hard to even make out the design of Apocalypse, and you're led to ask what's the point of even watching the leaked trailer?

Modern trailers are fluid

The Suicide Squad trailer.
The Suicide Squad trailer.

I'm inclined to believe the filmmakers behind X-Men Apocalypse don't even mind the trailer being leaked, for it's hardly even a statement of the film's artistic intent. By this I mean that trailers today aren't even trailers; they're sign-in sheets. Remember the days where a trailer would be a sign that the film was imminent? The feeling of a movie sneaking up on you was half the excitement, but it simply isn't like that now. Trailers serve seemingly as a reminder that the project exists, and is making progress. The filmmakers show what they have so far, like someone in an art class, while the fans just nod solemnly.

You can see this effect with other majorly anticipated movies. Just think of the Suicide Squad trailer that went up over Comic-Con. The production on that movie is FAR from wrapping, yet the trailer is presented as if it premieres next week. The movie is scraping together everything they have that seems finished, and presenting it as a cohesive whole. And what if the special effects aren't completed? Not to worry. Just do as Jurassic World did, and patch up the CGI in future promos. After all, the audience isn't expecting a taster of the finished film, but a mere reminder that it still exists.

The problem with leaks

This image is somehow profound.
This image is somehow profound.

So you might be asking just what the problem is with all these leaks? Why can't I just put my cynicism aside and start breaking down the trailer in its incomplete form like everyone else? Well, my problem isn't that the leak happened in the first place, but that we're all jumping on it regardless. I can't see the point where nerd culture will finally say "that's not good enough". We're all very good at trashing stuff once it's released out in the wild, but in the run up, we have absolutely no qualms about quality. Accepting leaks as the norm creates a moviegoing environment where all that matters is build up and anticipation. It all accumulates to give the impression that once a movie is actually out, it stops existing.

What are your thoughts on the trailer for X-Men: Apocalypse, or did you decide to not even watch it, opting to wait for the real deal? Let us know with a post here on MoviePilot, by voting in our poll, or by leaving a comment below!


Have you watched the leaked Trailer for X-Men Apocalypse?


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