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Are you ready to see some incredibly fun and crafty movie marketing? Well, then you should hit the play button below, because Fox Searchlight has actually put together an official fake trailer for Birdman Returns - a fake movie that exists within the world of Alejandro González Iñárritu's Birdman.
While it is a little too bad that Fox couldn't get Michael Keaton to film some footage for this trailer, making it a bit more than a collection of fuzzy stock footage, I still have to stand up and applaud this effort. Usually it is left to clever and inspired fans to put together cuts like this, and it's kind of amazing to see this get made by a studio marketing team. Really, it's all of the small details. For example, while the age-worn film look is a great touch, you have to love the use of the early 1990s version of the Green Band - approving the trailer for all audiences. Then there is also the proper-era version of the 20th Century Fox logo, and even a few costume closeups directly mocking the stupidity of Joel Schumacher's Batman and Robin.
My favorite little detail, however, is just the fact that Birdman Returnss is coming out in 1992 - a.k.a. the same year that saw the return of Batman Returns, starring Michael Keaton (which is a pretty easy reference to grasp). That being said, it's worth noting that in this universe Birdman Returns - with its May 22, 1992 release date - would have beaten Batman Returns (released June 19, 1992) to the theater by a few weeks. So what would it have gone up against? A quick look at Box Office Mojo tells us that it would have been going up against David Fincher's Alien 3 (another Fox movie) Ron Howard's Far and Away, and the Pauly Shore/Brendan Fraser comedy Encino Man.
Really, the only moment that I don't particularly care for is at the very end when we see footage that was clearly taken from Iñárritu's film - as it kind of takes you out of the trailer just by looking so different in its cinematography. But that's a very small complaint in the light of how awesome it really is. What's more, it only increases my enthusiasm to see Birdman, which is currently out in theaters.
As a special treat, head over to Page Two to watch the original theatrical trailer for Batman Returns: