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The Marvel Cinematic Universe is one of the biggest franchises in film history, with a shopping 21 movies dropped in the decade and change since Iron Man arrived on the scene. Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame are the cumulation of those blockbusters, as The Russo Brothers balanced the large ensemble cast for a set of movies with equal parts action and heart.
Aside from the scheduling and storytelling challenges that come with handling such a behemoth pair of movies, The Russo Brothers had to deal with another challenge: how do you market the films without giving away too much? Endgame has only released very brief clips, and once Infinity War hit theaters, there were some shots from the trailer that were noticeably missing from the final cut. Now the brothers have admitted to padding trailers with extra footage, with Joe Russo saying:
We talked about all scales of marketing. The thing that’s most important to us is that we preserve the surprise of the narrative. When I was a kid and saw The Empire Strikes Back at 11am on the day it opened…It so profoundly moved me because I didn’t know a damn thing about the story I was going to watch. We’re trying to replicate that experience.
Tricky move, Russos! In an attempt to keep the secrets of the third and fourth Avengers movies, their marketing material included some footage to throw the fandom off. As such, audiences can have the full experience in theaters, and the blockbusters can have the maximum emotional impact.
Joe Russo's comments to Empire Magazine confirm a long standing fan theory about Infinity War and Endgame. Specifically, the the trailers include footage that serve as red herrings to the film's true contents. Just look at Infinity War's massive trailer. One of the most iconic shots from the marketing shows the Avengers running toward their enemy in the Battle of Wakanda, including The Hulk. But the big green guy was almost completely absent from the final cut, as he refused to resurface after getting beaten by Thanos in the opening scene.
Eventually Bruce Banner donned the Hulkbuster armor to fight against Thanos' forces, and it was obvious that the Infinity War trailer was selling a false bill of goods. This allowed for the subplot surrounding Bruce Banner and The Hulk's dysfunctional relationship was one of the many surprises that the blockbuster brought to theaters.
It should be interesting to see how the Avengers: Endgame trailers ultimately relate to the film's final product. The marketing material for the blockbuster has been pretty sparse, as Marvel Studios was focusing on the release of Captain Marvel. The public still doesn't have an inkling regarding what the film's main plot will entail, as things have been kept purposefully vague in the trailers. Instead, the footage sets up the tone of the movie, and just how bleak things are in the wake of Thanos' finger snap of death.
All will be revealed when Avengers: Endgame arrives in theaters on April 26th. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.