As a big fan of comic books films, I’m currently in my element. With films like The Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ant-Man and The Fantastic Four reboot to come over the next few months, plus a certain Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, expanding the DC movie universe, even as Marvel enters its Phase Three.
With all of these films in development, it’s no surprise that there are rumours, at an almost daily rate it seems, as to which actors might be playing which character. Of course, the rumour mill has always been a part of the Hollywood blockbuster machine, even more so when it involves such popular characters as Batman, Superman and Spiderman. However, one rumour that has caught my eye recently concerns Captain Marvel. Perhaps only really well known to comic book fans, she is in line for her Marvel Comics Universe debut on 6th July 2018, becoming the first of Marvel’s female characters to have her own solo outing.
However, it’s the rumour that we’ll be seeing her a lot sooner than 2018 that really interests me. This year, to be exact. For internet gossip suggests that Captain Marvel will make a cameo appearance in The Avengers: Age of Ultron, due out in the UK on 24th April. If all the internet chatter is to be believed (and that’s a big if, of course) then Age of Ultron will see the current Avengers roster disband, with the aftermath explored in next year’s Captain America: Civil War, and the next two Avengers sequels, Infinity War Parts I and II. Captain Marvel, so the rumours go, will form part of a new Avengers line-up, revealed in the now traditional Marvel post-credits sequence.
This means that, should this be true, Marvel/Disney have not only managed to find and cast the actress to play Carol Danvers, AKA Captain Marvel, they’ve also managed to shoot her scenes without a single image or even the name of the actress leaking out. Not that there haven’t been names mentioned as to who might be suiting up as Captain Marvel, with Jessica Chastain and Emily Blunt being two of the most frequently mentioned. Still, if this is true, it is quite an achievement, in this social media saturated age, to have done something so secret, and to (at least so far) have got away with it.
As someone just starting out as a filmmaker, I can appreciate how important it is to get your work noticed, and how promotion, such as trailers, Twitter, Facebook, posters, etc, can really help. However, there must always be a concern with any filmmaker to protect their work from being leaked, and therefore ruining any plot twists ahead of the release date.
As exciting as it is to see trailers, there is always a part of me that is disappointed to see major plot points or pivotal scenes revealed in a trailer, to the point that they lose their impact when you actually see the film. It feels a lot like sneaking a look at your presents before your birthday or Christmas. You still get the presents, but the surprise (which is at least part of the fun) is lost. Now I understand how much is a stake with these Hollywood films, not least financially. A good promotional campaign can generate interest in a film, or, in the case of a film like Age of Ultron, ramp it up to fever pitch. This will translate to ticket sales, and a healthy (at the very least) box office gross. I just wish that the big Hollywood studios would realise that less is often more, and hold back from stuffing their trailers with all the good stuff, and in the process spoiling the surprise for audiences.
This is why, if Disney/Marvel have pulled this off, I think they deserve some kind of an award. Yes, we all know that all the talk of the ‘magic’ of the film business is just that: talk. It’s all green screens, special effects and make believe. There is also the chance that it’s all a rumour, just stuff and nonsense. By the time you read this, it might have all been revealed as yet more idle words filling up the internet. There could be no Captain Marvel cameo. However, I really hope it’s true. I like the thought that a major film studio has realised how thrilling it will be for an audience to see a comic book character on screen, for the first time, with no pre-release stills or trailer spoilers. Without even a casting announcement. Now, (and if you’ll excuse the pun) that really would be a marvel.