Journey to The Marvels Trailer Plays Catch-up

In the leadup to its next film, Marvel hopes to catch you up on things you either don’t remember or never saw in the first place. A new trailer (of sorts) for The Marvels was released today, titled “Journey to The Marvels,” and it’s the advertising equivalent of a clip show. Plot points from Captain Marvel, WandaVision, and Ms. Marvel dominate the video, interspersed with scant footage from The Marvels, although some of it is new. Directed by Nia DaCosta, The Marvels stars Brie Larson, Teyonah Parris, and Iman Vellani as Captain Marvel, Monica Rambeau, and Ms. Marvel, who find themselves switching places with each other whenever they use their superpowers. The Marvels arrives in theaters on November 10, 2023, and you can see “Journey to The Marvels” below:

It’s a given at this point that Disney doesn’t have much faith in The Marvels, but if you were in doubt, a “previously on” trailer should sell you. This isn’t just a Disney+ special for those interested; this is something they’re using as an ad, trying to entice the wider audience, most of whom probably don’t have Disney+ subscriptions. That’s part of the problem: The Marvels is built on two TV shows most people haven’t seen, and Carol Danvers isn’t a big enough draw to balance them. It isn’t just The Marvels either; a friend asked me how Wanda Maximoff had gotten so powerful in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness because he hadn’t seen WandaVision, where she unlocks the ancient power of the Scarlet Witch. This is the hurdle a shared universe that stretches across platforms has to overcome because not everyone is going to consume every second of your output, and frankly, they shouldn’t have to. Watching all the movies is one thing, but telling people to subscribe to a streaming service they don’t want is a step too far. The Netflix shows were a much better model because while they existed in the MCU, they didn’t affect the films; rather, they were affected by the movies, so they functioned as a small pocket of the Marvel Universe that you could take or leave at your discretion. And it’s even worse if, like the Marvel shows on Disney+, few people who watch them even like them. But, like every other mistake Marvel and Disney have made in the past few years, they’re going to learn from it the hard way.

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