James Gunn wants to keep the marketing for GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL.2 mysterious

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Have you seen the first trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2? It’s pretty damn cool, if you ask me. But you know what it isn’t? Filled with spoilers. Much like Lucasfilm did with the brilliant Stars Wars: The Force Awakens trailers, GOTG2‘s first teaser had plenty of awesome looking things to make fans get hooked on a feeling over again, but it actually told you practically nothing about the story. Which is exactly the way writer/director James Gunn wanted it, as he explained to THR.

“We were talking about how much to give away — and we’re not going to give away very much.”

Earlier this week, the trailer dropped for the twisted-looking (in a good way) The Belko Experiment, an upcoming horror film that Gunn wrote and produced. However, that trailer was a complete opposite to GOTG2 as it showed quite a fair bit of story. But as Gunn elaborated, that was necessary as “with Belko, the premise is what people have to buy into”

Guardians is the harder one… With Guardians, people really go through every single little shot and try to figure out what the movie’s about. And there’s a lot of mysteries in Guardians 2.”

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That’s not to say that Belko doesn’t have mysteries of its own, it’s just that the way they get revealed in the trailer has a different effect than if the same approach had been applied to GOTG2.

“[In Belko‘s trailer] you can show all sorts of stuff happening and it doesn’t really give away who lives, who dies, what the outcome is, what the mystery is. With Guardians, it’s such an emotional and physical journey, going to all these different places. It’s like, ‘God, do I really want to show this planet we go to in the middle of the movie? … Those are always hard choices to make.”

And Gunn is completely used to making these hard trailer choices when it comes to his corner of the Marvel universe. The first trailer for the first GOTG, with it’s earwormy “Ooga chaka” soundtrack immediately identified the movie as something completely outside of the norm. As one of the lesser known comic book properties with non-hardcore fans at the time, it’s oddness actually counted in its favour as people sat up and took notice. Even if it was just to ask “WTF is that?”. But that now iconic trailer almost never happened.

“That trailer tested not very well. We had another trailer that was very cheesy that sold the movie as something different than what it was — that tested a little better.”

Luckily, somebody over at Marvel and Disney decided to instead take an approach that is seemingly considered controversial in many Hollywood studio circles: Don’t lie to the audience.

“…At the end of the day, the [marketing] guys were like, ‘This is what the movie is. We are selling what the movie is. Not something else’. You’ve got to sell the movie for what it is, and that’s what they did. They really bought my trust with that on the first movie.”

And they also bought a small mountain of money and critical acclaim as Guardians of the Galaxy went on to become record-breaking mega-success for Marvel. Will its sequel follow suit? We’ll have a better answer when the first full trailer releases soon, but if Gunn keeps things as mysterious as he promises, then we may only find out when it releases on May 5, 2017.

 

 

Last Updated: December 2, 2016

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