Film Trailers

Trying Not to Obsess Over the New Avengers: Age of Ultron Trailer

How much did you know about the first Avengers before you saw it, beyond the basics of it being the film where those superheroes who’d had their own movies (Iron Man, Hulk, Captain America, and Thor) teamed up others (Black Widow, Hawkeye, Nick Fury) to save the world?  Did you know that Loki was the villain, or that his power had been expanded to include instant brainwash via a magic scepter? Did you have any idea that Dr. Selvig (Stellan Skarsgård) from Thor would be a fairly important character while, oddly, Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) wouldn’t even get a cameo? Or that Iron Man’s Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) would cameo but War Machine (Don Cheadle) would not? Did you know that something called a “hellicarrier” would rise seemingly just so it could spectacularly fall? Did you know that someone died, and if so did you know who it was? Did knowing some, all, or none of that have any impact on your enjoyment of the film?

Personally, I knew surprisingly little about Avengers. At that point, I didn’t obsessively monitor sites like and to catch every single rumor about the film during production or read every shot-by-shot trailer analysis. Heck, I hadn’t started reading comic books yet. All I knew was that I needed to finally watch Captain America: The First Avenger beforehand, and that the reviews had been surprisingly positive, with much praise thrown the way of Mark Ruffalo and the special effects team for finally getting the Hulk right. I also knew that Thor didn’t pop up until around a quarter of the way into the story, and I’d heard there was a fun fight scene between Thor, Iron Man, and Captain America. Beyond that, every twist and turn the film had to offer came as a total surprise to me, and my viewing experience was all the more enjoyable because of it. I don’t know how well the film would have worked for me if I had gone in having already read every fan theory or insider rumor about what to expect.

It’s for that reason that I’m trying not to obsess over the latest Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer or teaser or whatever the hell you want to call it. It’s that 1 minute, 40 second thing that aired during the NCAA National Championship Game. Here it is:

Age of Ultron has been getting scooped ever since last June when (LR) posted its description over what will comprise the first 20 minutes or so of the movie, and Entertainment Weekly (EW) published a surprisingly spoilery Age of Ultron cover story the week before San Diego Comic-Con  Since then, has been continually dropping hints about how the film will end, and pretty much all the footage that has been released has at least partially confirmed everything LR and EW said, right down to there being a party scene in which everyone takes turns trying to lift Thor’s hammer. Some of this information has been media controlled by Marvel Studios, which first spilled the beans about a Hulk/Iron Man-in-Hulkbuster-armor -fight last March, and some of it hasn’t.

However, even after this new trailer I still have the sense we still don’t actually know what’s going to happen in this movie. It’s not even guaranteed that Tony Stark actually creates Ultron, at least not from scratch. It could be Hank Pym technology which he is re-purposing. This new trailer drops completely new information us (Who’s that female disrobing, and is it the same one seen later on when Thor is being attacked?) as well as an additional glimpse at the still-unknown (Who is Andy Serkis playing? A Black Panther villain?). But we’ve still seen precious little of Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, and not much more of Hawkeye either.

However, if you’re looking to this new trailer for more insight on the plot then you’re missing the point. The footage they’ve released thus far has been all about establishing tone and introducing the CGI achievement that is Ultron.   They want us to know that this is going to be a darker film with a more cinematic visual flair to it, and pretty much everything that goes wrong will be Tony Stark’s fault. They also want to creep us out by re-purposing Pinocchio’s “No Strings on Me” as the musical theme associated with Ultron, positioning him as a mischievous Pinnochio to Tony Stark’s Geppetto.

UltronI’ve never seen Disney’s Pinnochio meaning the usage of that music along with the image of Ultron shuffling forward like a demented marionette doll isn’t subverting some cherished childhood memory of mine. Instead, it simply reminds me of an old ‘N Sync music video, and I still don’t see exactly how it will even make sense when Ultron accuse all of the Avengers of being puppets wrapped up in string thus establishing him as the superior being since he has no strings on him.

Whatever. The film still looks good, and it sure seems like pretty much everyone is going to see it. Nothing in this new footage should change that.

Avengers: Age of Ultron is due out May 1, 2015.


  1. Subverting? Pinocchio is the stuff for nightmares! It is, imho, Disney’s scariest movie. It is above all the only one in which the villains not only get away, they get away with their money!

    1. Never seen it. Has no direct impact on me as it relates to Age of Ultron. The only reason I bring it up is because Pinocchio is supposed to be a classic family film, and the marketing for Age of Ultron is intentionally co-opting elements of that to establish a creepy tone with its central villain, even if the way people remember Pinocchio does not match the actual reality of the film (as you are getting at with it being the stuff of nightmares). I have already read multiple articles and heard people at Empire Magazine talk about how effective the juxtaposition has been, saying things like they’ll never be able to look at Pinocchio the same way again. Since I’ve seen Pinocchio, all I am getting out of this is that Ultron briefly walks like a mariontte doll, and Joss Whedon is going out of his way to make a pained metaphor involving strings. In the end, it doesn’t really matter because I am simply reacting to the way the film is being marketed. I doubt any of this will actually matter once we get to see everything in the context of the full film.

      1. Most likely not…but really, to me it is more like the song finally fits Pinocchio. For a movie which is really, really grim overall the songs are strangely upbeat. But then, that is kind of typical for early Disney, the movie went from really, really dark to very upbeat in seconds (and back again).
        The funny thing is, I think fans saw the parallel even before the first trailer was out. I am pretty sure that there was a fan trailor on the non-altered song.

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