The Moment Comic Book Movie Trailers Jumped the Shark

x-men-apocalypse-bald-xavier-closeup-header-162473

I’ve written about my disdain for comic book movie trailers in the past. Today I’m going to talk about one aspect of them in general: the post-title card reveal. It’s a commonly used trope: after the “meat” of the trailer, we cut to a title card which is sometimes followed by a quick scene revealing something the fans weren’t expecting, or were greatly looking forward to: the Suicide Squad trailer hinted at the Joker, the Captain America: Civil War trailer showed us Spiderman, the Dark Knight Rises teaser showed Bane, etc.

Which brings me to my favorite “reveal:” the first trailer for X-Men: Apocalypse. Check it out:

That’s right, X-Men fans. The big reveal in this one is that Professor Xavier is now…bald. You’ll finally get an origin story for the burning question you’ve been clamoring for an answer to: does male pattern baldness run in the Xavier family?

Seriously, who gives a shit? He’s bald. We don’t need further explanation. This would be like a Superman movie with a subplot about Clark’s curl. Actually, check that: based on Dawn of Justice, this would’ve been a welcome addition.

The best part of this is the presentation of it. It’s placed  at the same time in a trailer they usually give you the most enticing stuff. And the concerned, “this is important” look on McAvoy’s face makes it even better. Someone coached him to gaze confidently as if his eyes are saying, “Yes, I am bald now. You care about this. Seeing how this happened will surely get you to buy a ticket opening weekend.”

I’m not quite going bald, but my hairline’s slowly receding. I have friends who are bald, balding, or who were going bald and took the man’s way out by shaving their head. Each dude’s battle with their hairline is different and in its own way can be a sad or uplifting story about a man’s battle with fading masculinity and Father Time. You know where I don’t need to see that story play out? A fucking X-Men movie. These are mutants with awesome powers battling other mutants with awesome powers, not an episode of Men of a Certain Age. 

men of a certain age
Can’t wait for the post-credits scene where Scott Bakula shows up to loan Xavier some Propecia.

They released subsequent trailers for this, and one of them had another end of trailer reveal with a hand (presumably Wolverine) brandishing his claws. Two things about this: A) Wait, Wolverine’s going to be an X-Men movie? You don’t say! and B) This isn’t a surprise and it’s STILL more compelling than showing Xavier as a bald guy.

If Fox was paying me to cut their trailers, here how I would have ended it. Cut to a bald guy, standing (important later!) with his back to us. He then turns around to reveal…Hugh Jackman, as Wolverine, only bald. He smiles, pulls out a cigar, cuts off the end of it with his  claws and lights it. Big smile as he says in an Australian accent: “Now you don’t know what the fuck to think.”

Cut to: COMING SOON. Then watch the cash pile up as confused fans pile in by the dozens to see why Wolverine is now bald and Australian.

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