Superhero movie fans seem to be asking a simple question: “Where’s the Aquaman trailer?” With the huge success of Black Panther and all the hype surrounding the Avengers: Infinity War trailer, it is obvious comic book movies are redder than red hot. So, why isn’t DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Pictures rushing out with the Aquaman trailer?
For one, besides Wonder Woman, the big recent comic book movie hits all came from Marvel Studios. DC Entertainment’s last big endeavor, Justice League, was a huge dud. Both DC and Warner Bros. surely want to avoid any more misfires. Taking time to properly produce and market Aquaman has become a must. If Aquaman disappoints, the DC Extended Universe will lose even more audience credibility.
Aquaman director James Wan took to social media to explain why an Aquaman teaser trailer hasn’t arrived on the internet landscape. Wan squarely put the blame on himself. Wan stated that special effects for a film such as Aquaman must look perfect. Rushing special effects work to get a teaser trailer into theaters or on YouTube isn’t something he’s willing to do. Rush jobs may lead to, in Wan’s words, something “subpar.”
Wan’s decision reflect wise and sober decision making. The purpose of a teaser or other preview material involves building anticipation for a film’s arrival. Audiences must be impressed with what they see. Good word of mouth may spread once a great trailer appears. Enthusiasm builds. At the very least, all this must lead to a strong opening weekend.
A careful and deliberate approach reflects the only truly wise path to releasing Aquaman in theaters. Aquaman isn’t an “A-level” hero. DC Entertainment wishes to expand beyond Wonder Woman, Batman, and Superman — the three most well-known heroes. Marvel Studios elevated many “B” and “C” tier heroes to huge box office success. 15 years ago, the notion Dr. Strange or Ant-Man could pull in more than $100 million at the domestic box office would be met with severe skepticism. Once Marvel films got hot, anything with the Marvel name was met with enthusiasm. Consistent quality contributed to such results.
Therein lies the problem with DC Entertainment. A series of poorly-received films undermined the potential to launch other heroes in the DC Comics library to immediate stardom. Aquaman’s presence in Justice League doesn’t help matters since the film was a flop. Regardless, the Aquaman solo project could end up being a massive hit and a great film.