You’re excited. I get it. I’m excited, too. I’ve been waiting on pins and needles for almost a year since the credits rolled on Avengers:Infinity War and Nick Fury’s Interspace Pager dropped to the ground with the Captain Marvel logo blinking away. But with a month to go until Avengers: Endgame, I’m here to warn you not to give into temptation. Don’t overanalyze those Avengers: Endgame trailers. Don’t look to those clips to understand the plot.
To really drive home this point, we simply have to look back to the trailer for Avengers: Infinity War, released back in November 2017.
There’s that one shot, of course, but we’ll get to that.
There’s a bunch of stuff in the Infinity War trailer that either didn’t make the cut or was intentionally manipulative. I remember the first time I noticed a trailer didn’t match the movie. It was for this 1998 movie, The Negotiator. There was this super cool line in the trailer, where Kevin Spacey (yeah, I know) says, “Now you’re going to have to deal with the both of us.” At the time, it sounded badass. I saw the movie and walked out disappointed that I never got that cathartic moment. In that case, no one was building a cinematic universe, so it’s likely the bit was cut because it didn’t fit the movie.
But for Infinity War, there are moments where we were intentionally manipulated by Marvel Studios and the Russo Bros. In the movie, Thanos never says that line about how “fun isn’t something one considers when balancing the universe.” A clip of Cap expanding his Wakandan shield was cut, as was a shot of Thor powering up Stormbreaker.
On the more intentional side, there’s the shot at the very end of the trailer where Thor meets the Guardians of the Galaxy for the first time. The scene in the movie is unquestionably better, and it’s also completely different.
And then there’s the shot. Cap leading the charge with Bucky, Black Widow, Okoye, Black Panther, War Machine and Hulk behind him. That shot was made to intentionally mislead and distract us, to get us to analyze the trailer and make it work with scenes that simply don’t exist.
And so that brings us to the Avengers: Endgame trailer. I’m not going to go scene-by-scene here, because the movie isn’t out yet. We don’t know what’s going to be in the movie and what’s not. But we do know what happened in Infinity War. We know that some of the characters, like Tony Stark and Nebula, were left stranded billions of miles away on Thanos’ home planet.
Comparing a shot from the “big game” TV spot in early February, the line-up of heroes walking through the Avengers hanger seems different. The official trailer has Tony and Nebula in the group, while the Super Bowl spot has an emptier, lonelier-looking team at the very end.
Both trailers are also filled with images of the Avengers’ origins, so it’s hard to tell where the clips meant to play on our nostalgia for 10 years of movies ends and clips depicting time travel begin.
And then there are clips that have absolutely no context and could easily be thrown together, like the shot of Rocket Raccoon hanging off War Machine’s armor or that end shot of Thor and Captain Marvel. Both of those clips could be spliced out of the movie without affecting the overall story.
But we just don’t know.
Looking back at the original Infinity War trailer, though, we have to call every shot in the Endgame trailer into question. Is it actually in the movie? Could it have been cut for time? Is it even a real shot?
We just don’t know.
So, we have a month to go. A month of waiting. A month of temptation to analyze every shot of Endgame in microscopic detail. But as we analyze, we have to remember, we could be analyzing not the movie itself, but editing tricks and fake-out shots meant to misdirect us.
Avengers: Endgame will finally reveal itself on April 26.