By Nick Maylor
Movie trailers are an art form unto themselves. We all know the feeling of seeing one that gets us completely jazzed for a forthcoming film. Recently, I experienced that feeling when a certain 2019 film released its first teaser. That film is included on my list here. Over the years, many previews have blown me away with anticipation for a film. As a geek, I will admit that many of them are for superhero movies and the like. That just cannot be helped. Thus, several entries on here belong to those genres and franchises.
Here’s a list of ten trailers that left me completely blown away
10. Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
The day that it was announced Sony and Marvel Studios had come to an agreement that would allow Spider-Man to appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I was never so happy to have been so wrong. I swore it would never happen. The Andrew Garfield Spider-Man films were admirable attempts to make something worth while but they were done for all the wrong reasons and never felt like Spider-Man to me. Tom Holland’s incarnation made his sweeping debut in Captain America: Civil War (2016) and got everything about the character right. I couldn’t have been more excited to see his first solo film; that is until I saw this trailer. High school, Tony Stark, Michael Keaton: everything was perfect. This was the Spider-Man we had always wanted to see; a teenager with real growing pains. The movie delivered just as well.
9. X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)
Seeing Charles Xavier communicate with his younger self, was pretty moving. This film would bring together the casts of both the prequel and original series films in one epic picture. Once Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, and Ian McKellen were announced to return, I knew something special was coming. The film delivered too. It is my contention that DOFP is the best of all the X-Men films made (this does not include the solo Wolverine films or the Deadpool movies). It has the best of everything that makes the series cool, and James McAvoy delivered an amazing performance as the troubled young Xavier.
8. Lincoln (2012)
Steven Spielberg. Daniel Day-Lewis. Abraham Lincoln. ‘Nuff said. Epic trailer. Epic film.
7. Vice (2018)
Keeping with the politician biopic, here we have Vice, the first entry on the list for a film I’ve yet to see. I had already seen photos of Christian Bale as Cheney. I already knew how brilliant the actor was. It didn’t matter. This trailer left me speechless. Bale BECOMES Cheney. The way he pauses when he talks. The way he speaks out the side of his mouth, everything. Just chilling. I am convinced that the actor is Oscar-bound. Cannot wait to see it.
6. Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)
I was 100% pro-BatFleck from the moment I heard the announcement of his casting. I think Man of Steel (2013) is a great film, easily the best of any Superman movie. There exists an extended-cut of this film called the “Ultimate Edition” that is approximately 3 hours long. It’s the only version anyone should have seen; vastly superior to the theatrical cut. Regardless of all that, this trailer showed us Ben Affleck was tailor-made for the role of Bruce Wayne (just ask the one true Batman, Kevin Conroy). Affleck is the most physically intimidating actor to don the cape and cowl. Modeled after Frank Miller’s art from The Dark Knight Returns graphic novel, Affleck looked like he could take on the super-alien. Not only that, this Batman turned out to be an alcoholic, steroid abusing madman who was hellbent on murdering Superman by stabbing him in the heart with a kryptonite spear). The final shot of this trailer shows Superman ripping the doors of the Batmobile and staring down the Bat. The Dark Knight calmly rises to his feet, looks the Kryptonian dead in the eye. Fearless. Hard as nails.
Affleck’s future as the Bat is in question, to say the least. I’ve maintained hope that he will return to the role.
5. The Avengers (2012)
The Marvel Cinematic Universe broke new ground in so many ways. It became the highest grossing film franchise of all time in less than a decade. Bringing a team of heroes together like this was something every fanboy and fangirl had dreamed of. Here it was happening. We got a very small tease during the post-credits scenes of Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) but when the first full-length trailer was released, It made me feel like a 12-year-old again. Watching all the heroes bicker with each other made me feel gitty. Whedon nailed it.
4. The Departed (2006)
Assembling an ensemble cast that might be one of the most impressive of all time, Martin Scorsese delivered the film that got him his Oscar, the best film of 2006 and a true masterpiece. Jack Nicholson had never worked with Scorsese prior to this film and the character they created was legendary. Nicholson’s last brilliant performance to date; the ultimate incarnation of evil. I had never loved Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb” prior to it, but after seeing this trailer, it became a favourite song of mine. I’ve recorded a version of it that uses audio from this film. You just knew this movie was going to be amazing. It was
Scorsese’s upcoming film The Irishman (2019) will bring together an ensemble cast of a different sort. Joe Pesci, Robert De Niro, and Harvey Keitel will return to work with the director along with Al Pacino (his first collaboration with Scorsese). The lead actors are all in their 70s but will portray their characters at every age using CGI de-aging techniques (that have been used most prominently by Marvel Studios). The film is based on the book I Heard You Paint Houses about Frank Sheeran (De Niro), a mob hitman who confessed to killing his friend Jimmy Hoffa (played in the film by Al Pacino).
3. The Dark Knight (2008)
Batman Begins (2005) is the reason why we constantly hear the word “reboot”. The word has become so common that it’s now used to describe things that aren’t even reboots, but that’s a topic for another post. The tease at the end of Christopher Nolan’s flawless origin story showed us a playing card. A brilliant young actor named Heath Ledger would later be cast as the Joker. The decision was contentious (as these casting choices always are). Seeing the themes of escalation, Gotham City as a character, the Joker’s nihilistic chaos, floored me. The end? That game of chicken that Batman loses to the Joker summed up both of their characters perfrectly. Nolan would make a film that lived up to this trailer. The greatest comic-book movie yet made.
2. The Lion King (2019)
If anyone is looking for the best alarm ringtone, consider “The Circle of Life”. You’re welcome
Here we are; the trailer that inspired this list. We’ve all likely seen it by now. Jon Favreau’s teaser for this film is ridiculously faithful to the original film. That is fine with me. The Lion King (1994) is a personal favourite of mine. Responsible for my early love of Elton John’s music and a shining example of the best work of the Disney Renaissance. Along with Aladdin and Dumbo, The Lion King will be a 2019 live-action remake of a beloved animated film. Favreau already directed The Jungle Book (2016) which served as a perfect resume for this job. I am enthusiastic about the voice cast, especially the return of James Earl Jones. It looks like Favreau and Disney have done everything right here.
1. Star Wars – The Force Awakens (2015)
Yep. I still can’t think of one that got me more than this. I like Star Wars. You might say I love it. However, I like Batman, The Avengers and the like much more than I love Star Wars. I’m excited to see Episode IX. This trailer on the other hand, shot like a lightning bolt right to my feel zone. It’s playing on nostalgia and what the South Park creators refer to as member berries
Everything about it was what it needed to be. When Han says “Chewie, we’re home”, I lost it.
The best way I can express how I felt about this trailer would be to share the reactions of Kevin Smith and Ralph Garman on their podcast Hollywood Babble-On. Warning, that link is NSFW.
Nick is an actor/writer/comedian/musician from Hamilton, ON Canada. Having been a film nut since the early days of his life, Nick has had an obsession with cinema and popular entertainment. Nick has written for thecinemaholic.com and is the current Foote & Friends “expert” on all things geek/superhero/comic-book related. Nick is the host/producer of the official Foote & Friends On Film podcast. Nick met John when studying acting at the Toronto Film School, for which John H. Foote was director and Film History professor. The two have been arguing ever since.
Follow Nick on Twitter @NickMaylor