Have We Already Seen Footage From Avengers 4?

Beware, the following article contains spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War and speculation regarding Avengers 4

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As Infinity War takes the first steps towards complete and utter box office dominance, you would be forgiven for forgetting that the as-of-yet untitled Avengers 4 is right around the bend in 2019.

Whilst we have Ant-Man and the Wasp and the much anticipated Captain Marvel to come in-between the two juggernaut Avengers films, I’m beginning to wonder whether Marvel have sneakily already shown us footage from Avengers 4.

There was one shot throughout the marketing stage for Infinity War that was pretty much everywhere. It was the go-home sell for the movie and is the image that has been used most frequently for articles, blogs, interviews etc. outside of the posters themselves. Yet it was never in the actual film itself…

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It’s not unusual for trailers to use footage that isn’t in the finished product, Rogue One for example had a large amount of footage that wasn’t anywhere to be seen in the final product. But most of that was a result of re-shoots, something that Infinity War hasn’t particularly suffered from. Besides that, there is one glaring entry in the above image that calls to question the reliability of what we’re seeing, and that’s the inclusion of The Hulk.

If you’ve seen Infinity War (And if you haven’t why the hell are you reading this article) then you’ll know that the Hulk only makes one appearance at the beginning of the film, and after being crushed by Thanos he suffers from some performance issues throughout the rest of the film.

It’s entirely possible that Marvel crafted this image for the sake of marketing and to give the trailers that one grand scene of the Avengers charging into battle together. But in that situation why include the Hulk? In other footage of the Wakandan Defence Force the trailers very openly acknowledge the HulkBuster armour, and quite clearly don’t include Hulk for the sake of it. So why include him here when it would have been simpler just to leave him out entirely?

My theory is that Marvel actually used footage from Avengers 4. Now, stay with me. It’s been long rumoured that Avengers 4 will be a time-travel movie, whereby the remaining cast go back in time to try and change the outcome of Thanos’ victory in Infinity War. So who’s to say that it doesn’t all lead to a similar version of the battle we saw at the conclusion of Infinity War? Where the Avengers take on Thanos at Wakanda, only this time things are different. Bruce Banner and Hulk could have by now worked out their differences, and the inclusion of the Hulk rather than the HulkBuster armour piloted by Bruce would no doubt be a much greater asset to the good guys. Furthermore, it explains why the entire army is pictured in the forest, a place where only the Avengers go during their fight with the Black Guard and Thanos. Perhaps this time they’re aware of when and where Thanos will appear and they all tackle the Titan together?

It also lends some weight to the speculation that Pepper Potts was seemingly pregnant in her running suit when photos were taken of the Infinity War set. If she was then it would seemingly confirm that we are going to be revisiting Infinity War scenes, but with major differences come Avengers 4.

This is all speculation though and it causes as many issues as it answers. But it’s fun to speculate and the revisiting of the Wakandan battle scene with a different outcome could be a lot of fun. Heck, The Edge of Tomorrow showed that repeating the same battle can be done really well.

What do you think? Is the inclusion of Hulk just a marketing ploy, or does it hint towards something else to come in the future.

 

Review: Avengers Infinity War

Director: Anthony and Joe Russo
Writers: Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely
Starring: Everybody

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10 years of ground-breaking cinema has built up to this moment. It’s the culmination of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to date and by God does it deliver.

I usually like to write my reviews immediately after having seen a film, but with this one I felt as though I needed more time to digest what I had seen. It’s such a large movie, both in terms of the scale within which the action takes place, and the sheer production size that it can at times feel overwhelming, and taking some time out to process the movie before finalizing your thoughts is probably the best bet.

As always this review will be spoiler free and I implore everyone to try and go into this movie knowing as little as possible. Even the smallest of spoilers might detract from what is a piece of cinema like no other.

The Russo Brothers have done a fantastic job with a movie that may have been one of the most difficult films to produce in cinematic history. Never before has a film not only had 10 years worth of build up via the format of 18 previous films but also had to integrate over 60 previously established and popular characters. It’s a challenge that would turn away many people in the film industry and some serious credit needs to be dropped at the feet of the Russos. They manage to perfectly balance the massive cast of heroes and side-characters, giving all the right people just the correct amount of screen time. Of course there are characters who stand out more than others, but that’s always been the case since way back at Avengers Assembled, so with the addition of the Guardians and about 10 new franchises it’s hard to criticize.

You could quite easily make a case to say that at least 9 or 10 of our main protagonists steal the show and that is no bad thing. But despite all these new faces, despite the multitude of interweaving storylines that play out over the course of the movie, in my own personal opinion it is the MCU’s big bad, Thanos, who comes out of this movie as the star.

As the Russos have stated before, Infinity War is essentially Thanos’ movie and after having seen it you cannot disagree. What that means is that we have perhaps our best ever Marvel villain, and one who could easily hold his own against some of the better villains in movie history. He is given depth, emotion, motivation and presence, all key ingredients in the superhero movie cocktail.

What surprised me was the level of emotion throughout the movie. From the opening scene the pace of this movie is frenetic, very rarely taking a moment to allow the audience to breath. So at first I was scared that the Russos had sacrificed character development and raw emotional moments for a film more akin to the final Harry Potter movie but on a bigger scale. Fortunately I was proved wrong many times over as the film continued to deliver emotional sucker-punches and some really nice character work, especially among some of the members of the Guardians of the Galaxy.

Unfortunately there were the odd moments of dodgy CGI, which was dissappointing but not distracting. But my biggest complaint came from the fact that during some of the action scenes, I felt the direction wasn’t as strong as in past Marvel movies. I often found myself losing track of what was happening due to the shakey cam and close up shots, which was a shame especially in the later battles.

The ending is perhaps the bravest I have seen in a movie and it will keep you thinking about it for days after having watched it last. I saw Infinity War at a midnight screening on the day of release, and I’m still going over the ending in my head. It sticks with you on a number of levels and it’s unlike anything Marvel have ever done before. Fortunately they earn the ending, the jokes are toned down throughout the movie compared to the likes of Thor: Ragnarok and you’re very much grounded in the idea that it’s not playtime anymore.

As Dr. Strange says “We’re in the end game now”.

Final Score: 8/10 Porgs

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Hollywood And The Trailer Conundrum

The final trailer for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom dropped yesterday, and I’m still angry about how much of the story it gave away.

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It’s not a new phenomena for feature film trailers to give away too much of the story, and in essence spoil their own plot threads. But yesterday the third and final trailer for Fallen Kingdom proved to be perhaps the most egregious example of a film studio giving away far too much since The Amazing Spider-Man 2 actually showed the final shot of the movie in a trailer.

There’s an obvious argument for why studios do this, at the end of the day they’re a business and their job and the role of the marketing department is to get people into the cinema. But that shouldn’t come at the cost of the cinematic experience you take part in once you’re there.

In part in can perhaps be associated with the Social media age we’re currently living in. People want information in small portions and they want it straight away in quick news cycles. So hiding away the main story thread and focusing on tone and themes isn’t perhaps the best way to approach a trailer aimed at a mainstream/general audience. Instead your trailer needs to focus on “moments”; key shots and plot points that grab the attention and make you want to see the film.

The final Fallen Kingdom is littered with said moments, some of which are highly infuriating spoilers, so I won’t go into detail here. But what I can do is note that there are at least 5 key moments, plot points or mysteries spoiled over the course of a 2 and a half minute long trailer.

So the question has to be asked, can marketing departments focus on themes and tone and still get those tickets sold? Quite frankly, the answer is a resounding yes and anyone from the film industry who argues otherwise is either complacent or incapable of producing a unique marketing campaign.

John Krasinski’s recent horror-hit A Quiet Place is testament to the wonders a good marketing campaign can do. It didn’t spoil key moments of the film, only ever alluding to them, and relied on the quality of the film premise itself to sell the tickets. That could have failed spectacularly, especially for a film that doesn’t have any prior name value, but to everyone’s surprise it opened up to similar numbers to that of Ready Player One.

What’s all the more frustrating is that Fallen Kingdom nearly had it nailed. Whilst the first trailer failed to capture the buzz that Universal likely wanted, and received pretty negative reactions, the second trailer was widely praised. Honing in on the horror tones of the film and providing only the most basic of story-points, the second trailer told us exactly what the film was going to be and teased enough moments to grab our attention, all the while maintaining the secrecy that hotly anticipated films should try and keep.

What’s more concerning on the Fallen Kingdom front is that apart from that second trailer the entire marketing campaign feels like a B-Movie you would find on the SyFy channel. Alongside the most recent trailer we were treated to the following poster and I can safely say that it’s one of the worst I’ve seen in a long time.

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So enjoy marketing campaigns the likes of which A Quiet Place managed to produce, applaud studios when they manage to scramble together a trailer that tells you everything you need to know and nothing more and criticise when they give you too much. Talk with your money if you have to. Because until movie-goers start to show that marketing still matters in this social media age the steep slope that trailers find themselves on is only going to get worse.

Spotlight: Avengers Infinity War

Welcome back to the Spotlight series, where we will take an in depth look at either an upcoming film, video game or novel. Detailing everything there is to know about the upcoming release and our own personal thoughts. Our second entry in the series is going to look at upcoming Marvel movie Avengers: Infinity War.

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Back in 2008 cinema goers witnessed the beginning of something that would transcend all film media that had come before it. The beginning of the “Marvel Cinema Universe” as Studio chief Kevin Feige (Later referred to as the Marvel Cinematic Universe, or MCU) phrased it. Iron Man, directed by Jon Favreau, saw the world introduced to Earth-199999 an on-screen continuity that would set out to combine Earth’s Mightiest Heroes in a series of feature films across a number of years. With the aim being to bring them all together in a future crossover event.

From there the rest is history, at some point prior to the release of The Avengers Marvel put together a 3-Phase plan that would culminate in the largest crossover story in cinematic history. We’re now 10 years on from the first Iron Man film and we’re at long last about to witness the first installment of that story.

Avengers: Infinity War marks the beginning of the end for Phase 3 in the MCU, and regardless of the history making series that has come before it, and shall undoubtedly carry on afterwards, the film itself is worthy of applause.

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Counts have varied, but as of right now it appears as though the film together over 70 characters from across the franchise. Rather than relying on series stalwarts such as Iron ManThor and Captain America this film will up the stakes like no film has done before, placing emphasis on the need for every hero available to be present in order to combat the villain of the piece, Thanos. The pressure that this feat will have placed not only on the directors, but also the writers and crew involved with the movie’s production would be astronomical. These aren’t just throw away characters or cameos, but instead fully fleshed out key pieces of an ensemble, who the audience will be expecting to see in balanced roles throughout the movie. Of course some will take more a center stage over others, and the roles may then be reversed when the final movie of Marvel’s initial 3 phases comes about, Avengers 4; but from the trailers alone we have already seen the likes of Iron Man, The Guardians of the Galaxy, Spider-Man, Dr. Strange, Vision and Thor being thrust into the spotlight. Combine this with the need for the Russo Brothers to tell an effective “origin story” for Thanos and the feature film starts to look like someone having to balance 70 plates at once, rather than the usual 1 to 10.

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The world premier for Infinity War will take place in Los Angeles on April 23rd 2018, with the theatrical release of the film then taking place sporadically over the next few days, with the final release date being the 11th May 2018 when the film will be released in China. You can find the release date for your country here.

In an uncommon move for a movie of this magnitude, Marvel won’t be running any press junkets prior to the movie’s premier on the 23rd. In fact the directors have gone as far as to post a Tweet which specifically stated that #ThanosDemandsYourSilence and begged for audiences not to spoil the film once they had seen it, stating that the film’s true plot had not yet been revealed.

Lastly, the Russo Brothers and Kevin Feige have been bridging questions about the still untitled Avengers 4, revealing that the title has been kept under wraps because it will spoil the events of Infinity War and that the title once revealed should scare fans of the franchise.

Let us know Marvel fans, how excited are you for the release of Infinity War? And don’t try and pretend like you’re not.