How The Batman's Trailers Fix Hollywood's Spoiling Problem

In Hollywood, one of the biggest problems for decades has been studios spoiling key plot points in marketing. It's happened with previews for toys, movie posters and, especially in the age of social media, trailers. It led to fans being vocal in the comic book movie realm as the plethora of video clips sold out way too much, especially in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, Matt Reeves' The Batman has fixed this in an exemplary manner, with its trailers laying down a template more studios should follow.

Among the annoying missteps in trailers were Kingsman spoiling Harry's return; V/H/S selling out its final scene with the lead being killed; Carrie having the prom bloodbath in clips, and Terminator Genisys spoiling how John Connor was an evil robot -- all things directors and critics have spoken out against, hoping the studios and marketing agencies would be coyer. It's something Marvel Studios has finally worked hard to contain, keeping the Spider-Man: No Way Home reveal about the multiple Spider-Men relatively secret.

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Still, once the Sony villains were shown in clips, fans expected the other Peter Parkers to appear. But with Reeves' trailers, there's a dark mystique that gives nothing away apart from a crisis of morals and ethics in Gotham. The clips have kept the plot tight, hiding how The Riddler looks under the mask, the fracture between Bruce and Alfred, and why the Bat's so reclusive, leaving fans totally guessing, to the point conspiracies are arising Joker's involved in the anarchy.

Even the mystery behind Bruce and Selina Kyle/Catwoman has been kept under wraps, with each trailer leaving audiences guessing more and more. It makes sense as this confusion is The Riddler's ethos, and even when the marketing suggests Riddler knows Bruce is Batman, it's not that big a deal. It's a good hook for fans, plus the fact Bruce isn't sure about the Waynes' past and secrets turn it into a big puzzle that fans are piecing together along with the Dark Knight.

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Sharp edits, clever action teases and minimal dialogue have also protected the integrity of the supporting cast, such as Jim Gordon and Penguin. It's how trailers should be because if fans discover too much of their identities and direction, it will diminish that genuine sense of surprise.

This style recalls the debut trailers for Josh Trank's Fantastic Four and Bryan Singer's Superman Returns, holding out a lot while still offering enough in terms of mind games, leaving fans to play detective in a meta approach. To top it off, Warner Bros. has a micro-site where Riddler tests the audience, even taunting them when they use search engines while offering prizes for those who passed the cryptic bar.

It adds obscurity as to what's to come and leaves viewers wondering how intriguing it would have been had Marvel Studios done something similar to track those who got snapped or to help find Thanos across the galaxy in the Avengers movies. Ultimately, The Batman is playing on people's curiosity and being very inventive. And this kind of marketing will only continue to build hype and immerse fans while ensuring nothing's predictable.

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Renaldo Matadeen (7335 Articles Published)

I'm a former Chemical Engineer. It was boring so I decided to write about things I love. On the geek side of things, I write about comics, cartoons, video games, television, movies and basically, all things nerdy. I also write about music in terms of punk, indie, hardcore and emo because well, they rock! If you're bored by now, then you also don't want to hear that I write for ESPN on the PR side of things. And yes, I've written sports for them too! Not bad for someone from the Caribbean, eh? To top all this off, I've scribed short films and documentaries, conceptualizing stories and scripts from a human interest and social justice perspective. Business-wise, I make big cheddar (not really) as a copywriter and digital strategist working with some of the top brands in the Latin America region. In closing, let me remind you that the geek shall inherit the Earth. Oh, FYI, I'd love to write the Gargoyles movie for Disney. YOLO. That said, I'm on Twitter @RenaldoMatadeen. So holler.

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