So, by now we’ve all seen the initial trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron. The amazing part about it isn’t that it is amazing- it’s decent for a trailer. Shows the highlights, leaves us in a sense of confusion about what’s really going on, and how each character fits in which stage of the story and whatnot. That’s it’s job.
What’s amazing is how we got the trailer. How it came to be released yesterday, and what happened next.
So, firstly, the Age of Ultron trailer was to have been a bonus feature on the Guardians of the Galaxy DVD/Blu-ray due out mid-November. A treat, to be sure. Most people would have been happy with some behind the scenes footage and a gag reel. But, throw in a peek at next year’s most highly anticipated superhero flick? Yeah, it’s on pre-order.
Then, last week- somebody at marketing thought: “Wouldn’t it be great boost to ratings if we put the trailer in an episode of Agents of SHIELD?” And lo, it was made so- next week would see the sneakiest of peeks during the perfect mode of transport- Marvel’s own TV show. Perfect, right?
See, somebody out there couldn’t wait. They got a hold of the trailer early, and loved it so much, thought that the rest of the world didn’t deserve to wait either. So they leaked it online. And all work in the US ground to a halt for about a half hour as movie and comic nerds alike raced to find a working link.
The quality wasn’t the best, but let’s face it, nobody cares. It was our first moving glimpse of the Avengers back in action, and more importantly- the first appearance of the menacing Ultron- an artificially intelligent robot whose sole purpose was the termination of mankind. Oh, and he’s voiced by James Spader. Oh, and he quotes Disney’s Pinocchio. Some scary stuff right there.
Classy, Marvel. Classy. Whatever you’re paying your social media guys, double it.
Their next move? While most studios would be pitching a fit and threatening lawsuits, Marvel just says “Screw it, put the HD version on YouTube.”
Which leads us to this question: who leaked the footage to begin with? Was it someone within Marvel? Somebody at ABC who just couldn’t wait? A hacker who brute forced their intarwebs and downloaded their ISPs?
We will probably never know. But nerds everywhere are singing his or her praises this week. And we’re all now counting down the days to April 30th, and the eventual midnight screenings at 10pm.