CAPTAIN MARVEL may or may not be a great movie–we won’t know until 2019–but the first trailer is great. Take a look, then we’ll chat about why it works.
Let’s talk about two reasons why this works before we get to the third reason, the biggest deal.
Good Move Number 1: A tight focus on introducing us to a new hero
I’m a pretty good Everyman when it comes to superhero movies. People know who Batman, Wonder Woman, Iron Man and Spiderman are. You don’t need to spend any time introducing them in a trailer.
Average people do NOT know who Captain Marvel is, and when you want to sell a billion dollars worth of movie tickets, you need to introduce people to that character.
This trailer does a great job of giving us a first look at Captain Marvel.
Not her powers. Not her entire life story. There’s still a lot of mystery and unanswered questions, which is great. But you get a feel for her.
Other trailers tend to focus on the villain, which I usually a good move. Villains are inherently more interesting. Villains rule, heroes drool.
In this case, they were smart to keep the camera on Captain Marvel.
Good Move Number 2: Nice little cameos, but no surplus of sidekicks and love interests
Sidekicks and love interests can crowd out a hero, especially in a trailer.
This is a particular problem in superhero movies, where the first movie almost always has the hero’s origin story PLUS the best villain, to make sure the movie doesn’t bomb and there’s a sequel. And yes, there’s always a love interest and a sidekick.
Then the second movie has TWO villains and a new sidekick or three, plus a different love interest.
The third movie has THREE villains, I kid you not, before the series collapses and the studio reboots the whole mess. This happened with the first Spiderman series, Batman, you name it. It’s an epidemic.
So putting sidekicks, love interests and the villain’s henchmen in a trailer is always an achy breaky big mistakey. Stick to the hero, or the villain–or the hero and the villain.
This trailer keeps the cameos nice and short. Samuel L. Jackson with hair and two eyes! Agent Coulson!
Good Move Number 3: This trailer is a proper tease
Bad movie trailers either (a) confuse you or (b) give away the entire plot of the movie.
Here, have a look:
Great trailers tease you the right way.
They ask narrative questions without answering them, making you curious. What happens?
And this trailer made me curious.
How did she get her powers, and what can she do with them? Why did she fall to Earth? Who are the bad guys, and what do they want?
Like 99 percent of the population, I knew absolutely nothing about the character of Captain Marvel, and this first movie trailer did the job of introducing her and making me curious. Nicely done.