Comic Strip: How do You Sell ‘Ant-Man’ and ‘Fantastic Four’?
ScreenCrush’s Comic Strip is a weekly roundup of the hottest superhero movie/TV news items. From Marvel to DC and points in between, if it pertains to costumed comic book heroes, we’re covering it here, bringing you our expert analysis. This week, watch new TV spots for Fantastic Four and Ant-Man, ponder the existence of a Spider-Gwen movie, and go behind the scenes of the latest X-Men movie via social media.
New TV Spots For Ant-Man and Fantastic Four Take Different Turns
The massive worldwide gross of Avengers: Age of Ultron is all the proof you need that superhero movies are still a big deal. Audiences take comfort in what they know and a superhero adventure guarantees a certain experience. That’s why Ant-Man and Fantastic Four don’t feel like sure things. So far, everything about them has been just a little different. They don’t feel like the same old thing, which may be exactly what we need, even if we don’t know it.
Watching 20th Century Fox and Marvel try to sell these movies has been an interesting experience. Fox began the marketing for Fantastic Four awfully late and the first teaser felt more like a hard science-fiction movie than a comic-book movie. Combined with online chatter about the film’s supposed lack of action and traditional hero costumes, this led to a fan panic that still hasn’t abated to this day. Never mind that the more traditional Fantastic Four movies from a decade ago were huge disasters. Anytime anyone tries to to approach a classic property from a unique angle, people are going to lose their minds.
That’s why the latest TV spot for Fantastic Four is so very interesting. This is the first piece of promotional material from the film that sells it as an actual superhero movie, highlighting everyone’s powers and calling its characters heroes and hitting all of the expected trailer beats. On one level, it feels nice to see this Fantastic Four movie look more like a Fantastic Four movie. On another level, we can’t help but wonder if the recent round of reshoots have stripped away director Josh Trank’s original intentions in favor of something with more mainstream appeal.
Meanwhile, the great difficulty with advertising Ant-Man is that most normal people have no idea who the hell this guy is. It’s very telling that, after an overly dramatic first trailer, the marketing has started leaning heavily on the comedy, selling Paul Rudd’s charming wisecracks just as much as the big (and by big, we mean tiny) action. Still, you can really see Marvel’s desperation. The movie is officially a month away and they’ve started releasing posters featuring Ant-Man alongside the Avengers, even though none of those characters will appear in the movie. Even the new TV spot name-drops Earth’s Mightiest Heroes as part of a pretty good joke that also screams “Hey! This movie is part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe! Get interested!”
Right now, Ant-Man feels like more of a sure thing than Fantastic Four, mainly because everyone is familiar with the Marvel name and their reliable house style. Fantastic Four is just this big wild card – no one knows a damn thing about it. Still, the fact that two big comic book moves are around the corner and we still don’t know what to expect is oddly exhilarating. We won’t know what these movies are all about until we sit down to watch them.
Could Spider-Gwen Get Her Own Movie?
In the past week, multiple sources have revealed that Butterfield is officially out of the running. Depending on whose scoop you read, Marvel and Sony are currently butting heads over the final decision or they’re just being extremely cautious with their casting. There are several very different lists of final contenders, with the only common name among them being Tom Holland. In other words, no one knows anything at all about the new Spider-Man and we should stop talking about it until they make up their minds.
Ha. Like that’s going to happen.
So instead of delving into Spider-Man rumors, let’s take a quick look at one of those rumors that sounds too weird to actually be true. Could Marvel and Sony be planning a Spider-Gwen movie?
For those who don’t know her, don’t worry. She’s a very new character based on an indelible concept. What if Gwen Stacy was bit by a radioactive spider instead of Peter Parker? And what if Peter Parker tragically died instead of vice versa? As this concept implies, Spider-Gwen takes place in an alternate universe, but you know how alternate universes work in comic books – it’s surprisingly easy for people from different universes to meet up and team up and so on.
A rumor over at Bleeding Cool suggests that certain higher-ups at Marvel are very keen on making a Spider-Gwen movie happen, but we’re not sure we believe it for two reasons. First, introducing an alternate dimension Spider-character is an uncharted level of cinematic nerdery and an awfully tough sell to an audience of norms. Secondly, this would require Marvel to care about making female-led movies and they haven’t showcased that desire quite yet.
Prove us wrong, Marvel. Make a Spider-Gwen movie. We dare you.
Brian Singer Teases X-Men: Apocalypse on Instagram
No one is better at utilizing social media to tease their films than director Bryan Singer. Using his Twitter feed to announce casting and his Instagram page to reveal behind-the-scenes photos and videos, he’s cut out the middle man when it comes to talking about his movies. He brings the news straight to the people and encourages you to get excited about his movies in a more personal way. And he’s very good at it. And he’s constantly doing it with X-Men: Apocalypse.
So here’s Singer teasing a new Quicksilver action scene, which will please anyone who thought that the speedster’s big scene was the best moment in X-Men: Days of Future Past (which means everyone):
And here he letting you know that he’s about to film a super-secret scene that he can’t tell you about. So he’s letting you know he can’t tell you about it. Aw, how nice of him.