We have entered a brave new world of advertising, where the marketing material needs its own marketing. Late yesterday, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice director Zack Snyder tweeted this:
Yes, that’s a 15-second trailer for the trailer for the movie. In which we get to see empty costumes. Not only that, but they are having special IMAX theater screening events for the actual Batman v Superman commercial.
This bullshit has to stop. We, as nerds, have gotten so Pavlovian about every last morsel of content about a movie that we’re interested in that we’re simultaneously slobbering and frothing. We are letting Hollywood stoke the geek flames to such an extent that we actually give a shit about a teensy peek at a bigger teensy peek.
It’s hard to track when this nonsense started, but if I had to guess, I’d go back to the Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace trailer. When it debuted in theaters, playing in front of Wing Commander, an incredibly shitty video game adaptation, it lifted that box office bomb to a seventh place opening. People paid for Wing Commander just to see the Phantom Menace trailer, and then just walked out. Because, really… Wing Commander both sucked and blew at the same time.
Since then, movies like Amazing Spider-Man 2…
X-Men: Days of Future Past…
and Captain America: The Winter Soldier…
…have teased our teases with teasers.
At some point, these short national nightmares have to come to an end. It’s not as if we’re stuck in some pop-culture desert, where any drop of water is worth its weight in gold. You can practically drown in genre entertainment, if that’s your jam. We aren’t desperate. (For nerd shit, anyway.)
I am resolving not to care about cheap tricks like this. I can’t care anymore. But, by all means, if you want to crowd into an IMAX theater for 2:30 of superheroic rimming, go for it.
Marc Bernardin — formerly of The Hollywood Reporter and Entertainment Weekly — has written comics for Marvel, DC, IDW, and Top Cow. He was also a writer on SyFy’s superhero-esque series Alphas. He is now the deputy editor of Playboy.com, where he manages the site’s entertainment and pop culture news. Not the other stuff. He is thisclose to yelling at those punk kids to get off his lawn.