It goes without saying this topic may seem a little trivial in light of what’s happening in the world, and even what’s happening in our own little corner of it, as the comic book Direct Market faces an uncertain future.
The flipside to that, however, is with the global shutdown of the sports world and production of most movies and TV shows along with the aforementioned comic book market, a lack of new entertainment choices will eventually catch up with us. Entertainment … distractions … things to look forward to … have a real role to play, and are by no means trivial matters in this brand new age of self-quarantines and social distancing.
The entertainment world will legitimately help us all keep sane if what we’ve experienced the last few weeks stretches into months … or even longer.
So we’re here today to ask Marvel Studios to release ‘on schedule’ the first trailer for Eternals, their (for now) Nov. 6, 2020 new franchise launch starring Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, Kit Harrington, a jacked Kumail Nanjiani and others and perhaps biggest MCU wildcard risk since 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy.
For the record, the presumption of an Eternals trailer even being in consideration for sometime very soon is based on Marvel Studios pretty reliable marketing calendar.
Case in point: Marvel’s last three first-weekend-in-May releases (which for the first two turned into last-weekend-in-April) dropped their first trailers within a 9-day window - Nov. 29, 2017 (Avengers: Infinity War), Dec. 7, 2018 (Endgame) and Dec. 3, 2019 (Black Widow), respectively.
In other words, Marvel has a timetable they believe in.
How do we arrive at our Eternals math? The last MCU November release was Nov. 3, 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok, which dropped its first trailer on Apr. 10, 2017.
So all things being standard operating procedure, an Eternals trailer would almost certainly be released in the next two weeks give or take a few days. But then, in March-April 2020, all things are nowhere near standard.
Why even speculate that a trailer won’t be forthcoming per their SOP? That’s straightforward - the current uncertainty of the entire 2020 and beyond MCU release schedule.
Now realistically, depending on how good a Hollywood citizen Disney wants or does not want to be, they could probably reschedule Black Widow for most any date on the 2020 calendar they choose once a light at the end of the Coronavirus tunnel emerges, if it even emerges in 2020 at all. Unlike Warner Bros. who perhaps somewhat optimistically chose to push Jun. 6’s Wonder Woman 1984 back two months to Aug. 14, Marvel Studios indefinitely postponed May 1’s Black Widow to an undetermined date. That puts Marvel’s entire slate in flux.
The year was a little light on blockbuster tentpoles to begin with and there aren’t many dates Disney couldn’t plant a flag on for Black Widow and force the other guys to move if they choose and keep Eternals where it is.
But as we say, that’s if any 2020 date becomes realistic. And in a case in which postponments drag on, with four dates already reserved in each quarter for 2021 through 2023, Disney-Marvel could simply push everything back in current order beginning with whenever the first viable date they already own presents itself.
How Marvel Studios juggles their crowded, probably somewhat inter-dependent schedule is a complicated topic for another day, because how the films relate to one another and now how they relate to Marvel’s upcoming Disney+ streaming series (that service is almost certainly champing at the bit for original programming from Marvel) only they know the secrets to.
The films have been getting more interconnected as they go, after all. We know, for instance that Disney+’s WandaVision, Loki, and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness are interconnected, and there’s some reason to believe July 2021’s Spider-Man sequel is related to Multiverse of Madness too.
Specifically in regards to Eternals, it seems it will have some ties to Endgame. But as a new franchise there’s enough there to speculate it could stand pretty well on its own and not be narratively dependent on following Black Widow or The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, which is currently scheduled for August, though production on the series has been shut down.
The point being, whether Nov. 6 is still a practical release date for Eternals at this stage or not, a trailer was almost certainly being cut before the shutdown began happening en masse and no doubt MCU fans, which at this stage is almost akin to saying ‘movie fans,’ would like to get their first real look at a completely new MCU vision.
And with most of the world stuck at home, the number of moviegoers who are just now getting sucked into the MCU may be still growing.
So far, all fans have seen is a smattering of Eternals concept art and a few paparazzi set photos. And given its rather obscure nature even in the comic book world of its origin, this might make it the most mysterious MCU film to date.
So whether Disney believes today Eternals has any shot at remaining a Nov. 6 release, we say let MCU fans have a taste of it in a first trailer either way.
While there is no doubt some math and science behind their marketing timelines and when Disney wants fans to see the first significant footage, these may be times to put the slide rule away.
This was already the deep cleansing breath MCU film year to begin with, with only two theatrical releases before the calendar moves to four for the next three years (at least). It’s been eight long months already since Spider-Man: Far From Home with only hints of the MCU future seen since and with Black Widow on indefinite hold who knows when our next true fix will be.
Sure, an Eternals trailer will only be two or so minutes - maybe even shorters - but it would be a very welcome break from the news cycles and something to feed the curiosity of fans while we all pine for some level of normalcy.
And how do we know our fellow comic book and movie fans need an MCU distraction right about now?
We just wrote and you just read over a thousand words on a first trailer that hasn’t come out yet for a film no one would have bet on ever being made every just five or so years ago.
Yeah … we need entertainment.