I want to enjoy the ride.
Look. I get it. Everyone who has attended D23 and SDCC this year were treated to an unbelievable treat if you are a Marvel Cinematic Universe fan. They showed off the first footage/trailer for the film that has been 10+ years in the making AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR.
I want to see it. Badly.
The reason I am glad I haven’t seen it yet is simple. I do not want my first experience of the footage to be from a leaked cell phone video. I have waited for this film for what seems like the longest time and I don’t want my first experience of the film to be that. Yeah you get to see the trailer, you get to join in on the conversation, and you no longer have to hear people say “MAN, IF ONLY YOU WERE THERE TO SEE THAT AMAZING TRAILER!”
So again… I get it.
I still remember when THE DARK KNIGHT was coming out and I couldn’t wait to see the footage for that film. They were promoting the first 6-8 minutes of footage (The opening scene from the film) in front of Will Smith’s zombie utopian thriller I AM LEGEND (that film should still thank Nolan and The Dark Knight for their B.O. numbers) to be played in IMAX showings. I knew I wasn’t going to see that film in IMAX and even though the official trailer was shown in regular screenings… it still wasn’t enough! I HAD TO SEE THAT FOOTAGE WITH THE JOKER!
So I searched online, and searched online until I finally found it. A leaked version taken on someone’s phone. I was disappointed. Massively so. Not because you couldn’t see the epic ness this film would be, not because the late Heath Ledger’s brilliant line “Whatever doesn’t kill us simply makes us…STRANGER.”, no. I was disappointed because I knew that I would never see that scene fresh for the first time ever again. That my FIRST impression of the opening scene would always be on that shaky cell phone footage.
This brings me to Marvel and the Infinity War Trailer. I have made no secret of letting everyone know that THIS is my most anticipated movie of all time. ALL-TIME! I have loved all of these films so much and love these characters and these stories. From seeing the evolution of Tony Stark/Iron Man through these 10 years. To watch Cap, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow, and Hawkeye grow as characters throughout this whole process has been amazing. This is unprecedented stuff here. This will never happen again. Marvel was the first company to start with the “shared universe” and they have intertwined all of these films over the past 10 years to build up to an incredible cinematic event. A conclusion to those “founding members” of the Avengers in a culmination that is going to be unlike anything we have ever experienced in a movie theater. From Phase 1 to now. Through films from Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Captain America all the way to Doctor Strange, Ant-Man, Spider-Man, Guardians of the Galaxy, all the way to the Avengers team up films… it has been an incredible journey as a fan of not only the MCU but as event films in general.
Think about it. How many EVENT films are truly left. The type of film that MUST be experienced in a movie theater. The type of film where the build up and promotion of the film is almost just as fun as the film itself. Films that they make theme park rides out of, that fast food restaurants sell toys of, where everyone from ages 5-95 know about the film. A film that will last throughout time and be talked about the same way the first Star Wars was talked about. A pop culture phenomenon featuring all the characters that have been introduced in the MCU at this point. Characters you have grown to love. Characters whose stories you are invested in. Actors, writers, directors, & producers who have brought these amazing stories and films to life. FOR THE PAST 10 years. When do films allow you to become this invested in characters for this long? This is like television seasons on the big screen. Spending this much time with these amazing characters. I am in awe of this. I am in awe of the work that has gone into the MCU and the dedication from everyone involved. For this to be the final chapter, the conclusion, the epic finale of some of these characters stories we must enjoy the hype. The build up. The promotion. The fun.
Part of that is trusting Marvel Studios to deliver the most epic film experience they can. Because once Infinity War and Avengers 4 (still untitled) come out… that’s it. The ride is over. The anticipation is gone. We would have seen the film and it becomes a memory. I trust Marvel, I trust when they say that they will release the first trailer to the public when it’s ready and want it to be perfect. I also understand the fans, trust me I am a massive MCU fan and get the frustration and impatience. I want to see it badly too. But I am also glad the people who attended got to experience it on the big screen.
No longer are movie trailers events. I used to go to the movies and was surprised when certain trailers were played and that was the only way to see a trailer for a film you were anticipating. Now everything is online. Everything is instant. Everything is streaming. Everything is now. So I may be in the minority on this, but I am enjoying the ride. I am enjoying the build up. I am enjoying the conversations. Just like I’ve enjoyed every MCU film up to this point.
I told myself when I watched the leaked The Dark Knight IMAX footage in 2008 that I wasn’t going to do that again. That I would at the very least experience the first trailer of a highly anticipated movie in full HD through my big screen tv at home. I’m going to stand by this. Everyone is different and I don’t fault you for watching the leaked trailer/footage. Me wanting to do it this way in no way is meant to imply that I am more of a pure movie fan. It simply means that I am going to enjoy this amazing journey that Marvel Studios has put us on, savoring every single moment of build up to these films, and watching the first trailer to INFINITY WAR the way the directors, cast, & crew designed it to be seen. It’s hard not to know everything about a film before it comes out in today’s digital age. With Netflix, YouTube, and other streaming services dominating the landscape right now its become easier and easier to consume movies on our phones and tablets. I want to cherish the true event films that are meant to be seen on the biggest screen possible. I want to see the trailer in the best resolution possible.
Whether Marvel should have released the footage online by now is completely up to discussion. As things stand right now, they haven’t, and the only way to see it if you weren’t there is to see a leaked version or read about someone telling you about it who has seen it. Those are our options. My choice is simple:
I am going to enjoy the ride. Are you?
Justin Burden