Movie studios now use new ways to get fans excited for upcoming movies, like having stars tweet and post behind-the-scenes photos on Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter. However, the one tried and true method to drum up excitement for an upcoming movie is the trailer. It’s arguably the best part of going to the movies these days. The trailer brings characters to life and fans get a first glimpse of the anticipated film.
After being bombarded this past decade with trailers debuting on Youtube, Apple Trailers and Yahoo! Movies (the official debut of the Transformers trailer put that site on the map), I decided to rank the top comic book movie trailers (since some previews are great, while others seem like they were edited right before deadline). Just to be clear, I’m ranking just the trailer itself, and not judging it by the movie it promotes. An OK movie can actually have a good trailer, as you will see. Also, I’ll have only one entry per franchise.
15) Ghost Rider
I loved this movie. As for the trailer, what makes this stand out is the fact that Ghost Rider looks like a horror movie instead of the usual comic book fair. This ain’t like Spider-Man or X-Men. This was a monster movie made by Marvel. Instead of just giving us a hint of the rider, we get a great look at the spirit of vengeance. Also, Sam Elliot’s voice-over makes any trailer great!
14) Superman Returns
There are a few things that make this so great. First, I love the use of Marlon Brando’s version of Jor-El as the voiceover for the trailer. The choice of dialogue just fits the images so well. Secondly, I love how they used “Planet Krypton” for the music and how they used the song to build up to the climax of the trailer. I remember seeing this when it was attached to Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. As soon as the Superman S and “Returns” appeared on screen, some kid behind me said, “Returns? That’s a dumb name for a movie.” Oh, the heart of a child.
13) Iron Man 2
AC/DC’s “Shoot to Thrill” was the perfect choice to pump up the audience for Iron Man’s big return to the screen. Mickey Rourke’s haunting dialogue as Whiplash (who, if you ask me, was also part Crimson Dynamo) showed us Tony Stark was up against a much more dangerous foe than Obidia Stane (Jeff Bridges).
12) The Avengers
“What? Characters from other movies appearing in one? Is this Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back?”
Nope, this was Marvel Studios changing the game with their 2012 mo-…no, it was more than a movie: it was an event! When I saw this trailer land on Apple Trailers back in 2011, I was amazed. It showcased every hero we knew so far and gave us a glimpse at the third iteration of the Hulk with Mark Ruffalo. Also, Loki’s creepy monologue showed us Loki had changed since the last time we saw him in Thor.
11) Green Lantern
This was attached to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 back in 2010. It was Warner Brothers’ other big movie of the year besides Inception, so it was the perfect time to make the world excited for the next big DC movie franchise. While you may know my feelings on the movie itself, what makes this a good trailer its effectiveness — it gets you pumped up for the movie. It is well edited, has great music (the song used at the end is “Lonely Dusk” by Methodic Doubt), and gives audiences an idea what the movie will be about. I was genuinely excited to see it after watching this trailer.
This just screams “early 2000s.” You’ve got Evanescance, Fuel, Drowning Pool and trip-hop music as the soundtrack. Granted it’s a little exposition heavy, the highlight is easily Colin Farrell as Bullseye. He is 100% off the rails as the Kingpin’s (the late Michael Clarke Duncan) hired assassin. It is fast-paced, and shows you Marvel’s third cinematic solo hero is completely different from Spider-Man. I love the camera work in the first shot revealing the Man Without Fear sitting on the rooftop between gargoyles, waiting to strike.
Ryan Reynolds’ redemption began with this movie, his personal passion project. After Fox greenlit the long “in development” film after test footage leaked online by the grace of Bea Arthur, fans were clamoring for a trailer and this didn’t disappoint. As soon as Salt N Peppa’s “Shoop” hit, followed by Wade Wilson’s crack about the suit being “green and animated,” fans knew they weren’t getting the merc from X-Men Origins: Wolverine. With no mouths sewn shut this time, Weapon X’s other top prospect was donning his trademark red leather suit and taking names!
Marvel Studios’ first movie of 2011 had a lot to live up to. The studio was an established brand at this point with both Iron Man movies and 2008’s The Incredible Hulk, and expectations were high. This trailer alone put any questions anyone had to the side. It started off with a great action sequence, gave us our first look at the mystical world of Asgard, and showed Agent Couslon in a not so friendly light. He is an agent of SHIELD after all. Also, this inspired a classic bit from Conan.
Those are my picks for the best trailers so far. Keep your eyes on the Source for my top 7, which are coming soon!