What 'Avengers 4' Trailer Fever Should Teach Marvel

Fans are driving the promotional push for next year's superhero uber-slugfest.
Courtesy of Marvel Studios
'Avengers: Infinity War'

Such is the success of Marvel Studios that the release of the second trailer for Captain Marvel on Monday evening feels, somehow, as if it's a consolation prize for a fandom that has for months now been waiting for another trailer altogether: the first glimpse at next year's still-untitled follow-up to Avengers: Infinity War.

For those paying attention on social media, the release date of the trailer for what we've all agreed to call Avengers 4 for now has been a saga of rumors, anticipatory excitement and subsequent unmet deadlines to rival even the most fervent Rapture narrative. If all of the rumors are to be believed — they shouldn't be — then we have been edging ever closer for months now, despite numerous last-minute schedule changes for all kinds of reasons, nefarious and otherwise. It's enough to turn one into an Avengers 4 truther. Why won't they let us see the trailer? What are they trying to hide? (Well, besides the trailer, obviously.)

What's remarkable about this fevered anticipation is the degree to which it's fan-created, without noticeable direction from Marvel or the filmmakers involved, although the Russo brothers aren't above trolling fans with teases about both the movie's trailer, title and very existence, amusingly enough. Nonetheless, with little more than the most vague tease about … well, anything at all, fans will leap to the conclusion that the Avengers 4 trailer is imminent and leap into an advanced state of excitement.

With this in mind, I would like to submit a proposal to Marvel Studios: Don't release a trailer for the next Avengers movie.

There's literally no need to spend the time or money doing so, given the advanced level of enthusiasm that's already out there for the movie, and is only likely to build as it gets closer to the May release date. It's not as if anyone needs to be told that this project exists, or is forthcoming; people are already so aware of it that they're sharing secondhand rumors online about when the promotion for the movie might begin. That's a kind of brand awareness that most studios would kill for.

For that matter, any attempt to take Avengers 4's trailer from the Schrodinger's cat-esque position that it currently enjoys is almost guaranteed to disappoint fans, who have by this point built up their own personal trailers filled with whatever moments are essential to their enjoyment of a good teaser for such an anticipated cinematic event: The remaining heroes looking appropriately sad? Captain America crying? Captain Marvel teaming up with Rocket Raccoon, because why not? Spider-Man swooping in to save the day with a quip because they're all coming back, let's be honest about this? The possibilities are endless, which is part of the problem; no one trailer can make everyone happy. Why risk upsetting fans?

This isn't to say that Marvel should announce that there'll be no trailer. That would be counterproductive, because the expectation of one is what's driving the fever pitch of buzz currently surrounding the fourth movie — the chance that, at any moment, it could arrive and something new and exciting could be revealed.

Instead, Marvel needs to simply say nothing, and just let fandom continue to drive itself to distraction, while promoting its other movies, instead. After all, the Captain Marvel trailer is pretty exciting in its own right, but it also works to tease the arrival of Avengers 4: Infinity War 2 at the same time. "It's all connected," as the Marvel motto used to remind us.