Just a few observations, reposted from my entry on Neogaf… but here’s the trailer if you’ve not seen it already:

– There’s a strong visual focus on Team Cap in this trailer – perhaps Team Iron Man will be the visual focus for the next?

– As others have noted, Bucky is the emotional heart of the story, which makes perfect sense and rounds out the ‘Cap trilogy’ while being true to the comics (given his importance to Cap). Bucky has always been a symbol of Cap’s greatest failure, first through his death and then through his rebirth. This movie is about Cap redeeming himself for that failure and Bucky redeeming himself for crimes he committed under duress, something neither character could do in Winter Solider.

– Similarly, Bucky is the physical embodiment of the story’s moral conflict. He represents the single surviving strand of Cap’s past, in his present. He represents freedom of choice and new starts (thus, America’s core ideals). He represents power without control, and the question of what to do with it when it is eventually controlled. In short, Bucky is the accords. Which is far easier to represent in an opening trailer than trying to force a moral message into 2 minutes, in a movie about superheroes. People want punching and pyro in that short time, not a debate – and the debate will clearly come, because…

– …Steve and Tony’s friendship is going down the tubes. Rhodey’s lack of presence bar the brief snippets is curious (although not unexpected – given the short trailer time, there’s only so much you can fit in). Bar Happy and Pepper, Rhodey is Tony’s closest friend and the opposite number to Bucky. His fall (he’s blatantly not dead in that trailer – but it’s a nice nod to the events of comics) makes things personal. The ideological break between Stark and Rodgers has been playing for a while in the movies, and while Civil War was never going to be purely about ‘muh friends!’, the presence and importance of Rhodey and Bucky are great symbols and visual shortcuts to how different Stark and Rodgers are, and how there may well be little turning back by the movie’s end without someone from that four either biting it or being seriously injured.

– Spidey’s no show shouldn’t be too surprising. Save that for the big, close-to-release trailer. People are already excited to see the big names duking it out, so there’s no need for Marvel to blow its load all at once. Plus, let’s face it, Spidey will be among the more difficult to ‘get right’ in terms of CGI/technical aspects (even with the Russo’s penchant for practical effects), and his involvement in its production was later than most. If Marvel and Sony really want to distance themselves from the previous movies, they need to feel confident about what they show (people are already complaining about the CGI in this trailer, which shows the trailer makers have probably made the right choice).

– Black Panther’s presence and aggression towards Team Cap makes sense in this universe. Wakanda has already been fucked with due to Klaw, and they’ve seen what unchecked superheroics can do from Age of Ultron. T’Challa is all about the protection of Wakanda and his interests, and hasn’t any friendship with Cap (that we’ve seen), so purely from a political aspect he’d likely want to stay ‘lawful’ on foreign soil, given he’s a monarch. That said, if it’s Priest era T’Challa (best T’Challa) he’s always working about 5 moves ahead, so working with Tony just to hack/spy on the US government/get whatever he wants, works – either way, Based Panther wins. I suspect he’ll be in the movie far less than we expect anyway, acting more as a link for his own solo movie than anything else.

After seeing Marvel unleash the Ant-Man teaser trailer (which was slightly underwhelming), I thought it would be a good idea to look into why its teaser poster works so much better in capturing the public’s imagination, while using very little.

Hey, remember that movie poster with the heads staring out into a collage of elements from the story?

Of course you do, because I’ve just described a large majority of movie posters. There’s a certain style which works, because it’s expected and visually recognisable. That will come later.

This teaser poster works exceptionally well because:

– It uses negative space to its advantage (draws your eye to the main character title and date).

– It stands out due to that same use of negative space (as a comic book writer I have to think about how a book teaser looks and also how the actual book stands on the shelf, and thus spine design is important to stand out. With movie posters it’s similar; imagine a corridor of movies posters – usually you’ll get a similar colour palette for most: greys, browns, generally dark colours, unless it’s a kids movie). Put this one in a theatre and watch it pop out thanks to a stark use of white and red.

– It uses the central concept to create visual humour, which is important to the movie itself.

You’ll remember this teaser poster because it’s a concept driven poster. The main one will be much more standard, but by then more people will be familiar with the movie. For comic book fans, Ant Man is a known character. For 80 to 90% of people outside of us, this may as well be a totally new IP. You have to make people smile and remember, which is what this poster does.

I think it’s easy to underestimate the thought that goes into posters like these. Yes, sometimes they write and design themselves, but generally they take a lot of time to make sure they hit the right chords – deliver a message, concept and stand out. Sadly, the teaser trailer’s rather ‘by the numbers’ style kinda undoes this a tad (almost trying to recreate the humourous beats and style of the far more successful Guardians of the Galaxy teaser trailer, sans any distinguishing sense of directorial style) – but there’s hope that Ant-Man will be far better than it’s expected to be since Edgar Wright’s departure.

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