At the end of the day, a teaser trailer or a trailer to a movie is just a piece of advertising. It's marketing, and the studio wants a teaser or a trailer that is going to grab attention and bring in lots of people. In the age of the internet, where a trailer can be shared via youtube, they have become even more critical. People spend hours breaking them down frame by frame for hints about what's to come. There have been great trailers for bad movies, and there have been bad trailers for good films and everything in between. Sometimes, however, a teaser or a trailer is just so good it becomes art in of itself. Whether it's the way, the trailer is cut to the music to what kind of tone it sets. So here are some of the best teasers and trailers to come out recently, and please let us know if any particular ones come to mind.
Spider-Man (2002) Teaser Trailer
This one is not only freaking sweet but was also pulled after the events of 9/11. This was mostly before the internet, so when you walk into a theater, that is the first time you're going to see this teaser.
A bank robbery happens, doesn't seem all that special, maybe it's another crime movie or a cop movie, but then the helicopter stops and pulls back to reveal that's caught between the Twin Towers. We're getting a live-action Spider-Man movie, and it looks fantastic. While this teaser was pulled because of 9/11, it remains one of the best for playing your cards close to the chest when it comes to the final reveal, which is an ongoing theme for this list.
Batman Begins (2005) Teaser Trailer
Once again, we're in a mostly pre-youtube world, and this trailer comes up when you're going to see a movie in the early 2000s. When it comes to Batman, the only thing people are talking about is Batman & Robin and how that movie ruined comic book movies [for a year until Blade came out, but that's another article].
Now, these movies are starting to become a thing again with Spider-Man, X-Men, and Blade all doing very well, but no one thought we would see a Batman movie again for a long time. Then comes this teaser trailer, which is about as generic as it gets; we have an angry white dude angry white dude-ing it up about revenge. We've all seen this movie until, bam, there is the Batman and Christopher Nolan is about to change comic book movies.
Godzilla (1998) / Godzilla (2014) / Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) Teasers and Trailer
Oh yes, we're not just touching on one movie for this section. This time we have three because regardless of quality, all three of the recent Godzilla movies have had either teaser or trailers that frankly slap. Let's start off with Godzilla from 1998. Once again, we're in a pre-internet world, and no one thought they would be bringing a big-screen version of Godzilla alive again.
This movie is legendarily terrible, but this teaser is great. It gets the point across that we're dealing with a giant monster here with all the subtly of a 2×4 to the face. This is a monster movie with something so big it dwarfs the T-Rex. Audiences in the late 90s have every expectation that this movie would be awesome from that teaser. It wasn't, and unfortunately, the 2014 Godzilla very much follows in its footsteps.
Once again, it's a teaser that holds back precisely what it is teasing, which is excellent. This is also a teaser that is misleading about what the final product will be despite how good it is. With this teaser, audiences thought that Bryan Cranston was the star when, in reality, he wasn't. That final shot of Godzilla is pretty sweet, though. The first trailer for its sequel, Godzilla: King of the Monsters, was first shown in Hall H at San Diego Comic-Con and brought the hype.
This is the first official trailer on this list as well, but this one is just edited beautifully, and the music cues are just stellar. This trailer got someone like me who hated the 2014 movie and had zero expectations about the sequel extremely excited. The final product? Well, we're not here to talk about that.
Watchmen (2009) Teaser Trailer
Say hello to the first appearance of director Zack Snyder on this list. This teaser is so memorable I can tell you exactly where I was when I saw it; seeing The Dark Knight for the first time.
In 2008 this writer was a baby comic book fan who didn't know what Watchmen was or why a bunch of people in my theater proceeded to lose their shit when this teaser popped up. However, it made me go and see this movie on opening night because this teaser stuck with me. The editing is perfect, and the song by The Smashing Pumpkins, which made its debut on the soundtrack for Batman & Robin, which had to be intentional, is excellent. This teaser is great regardless of what you think about the movie as a whole.
Avengers (2012) / Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) / Avengers: Infinity War (2018) / Avengers: Endgame (2019)
Yes, we are once again looking at a pile of these for the Avengers movies. They all great teasers and trailers, and the first one for the first movie helped set the stage for a movie that would literally change the world overnight.
We have a great voiceover by Loki to kick things off, and then Nick Fury gives us a lowdown of what exactly the Avengers are with shots of the entire team together. The song choice is delightful and very 90s, which is fun and on-brand considering where director Joss Whedon made his mark with Buffy. However, it really comes full circle with the release of the first trailer for Avengers: Infinity War, where we hear the team repeat the same mantra with a slow and dark version of theme playing in the background, and we know that stuff is about to go down.
Considering that teaser trailer, we really should have seen the super dark ending of that movie coming a mile away. Also, the reveal at the end with the Guardians of the Galaxy is very well done, and for a more casual fan, it would have blown their mind. However, the other two Avengers movies have also had fantastic teasers or trailers. Avengers Age of Ultron has a fantastic song to go along with the introduction of Ultron and showing that this is going to be different from the first movie tone-wise.
Finally, this trailer for Avengers: Endgame really brings everything full circle with the black and white footage from previous movies. It's showing us the beginning, and now we're coming to an end. Again, it sets the tone for the movie that we're going into. Also, the scene where we see that Captain Marvel is going to be in this one? Awesome.
Sucker Punch (2011) Teaser Trailer
Once again, we say hello to another Zack Snyder project, and this time the final product is not nearly as good as Watchmen (don't @ me).
Sucker Punch is one hell of a messy movie, and honestly looking at this teaser with the benefit of hindsight, it's obvious why. However, as a giant nerd, this trailer also made this movie look completely awesome, and that Lords of Acid song is pretty freaking great. The final product didn't exactly work out, but this teaser is fantastic shows us what could have been with the benefit of a coherent story. And the soundtrack for this movie is still excellent.
Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) / Thor: Ragnarok (2017) Teaser Trailers
I tried to pick one of these teasers over the other, but they are both so awesome that I can't, so here we are. First, let's go with Guardians because it's another example of showing the tone of the movie with the help of a perfect musical cue.
No one knew what to expect from Guardians of the Galaxy before this teaser, and it does a great job of establishing not only our tone but also our main characters through the line-up. Thor: Ragnarok also takes advantage of a great musical cue to help show us that this version of Thor is going to be something we've never seen before.
That final reveal of the Hulk is excellent, and let's us know exactly what we're getting in this movie.
Suicide Squad (2016) Leaked Teaser Trailer
While the teasers for Wonder Woman and Wonder Woman 1984 are both fantastic but it's the leaked trailer for Suicide Squad that stands out in my mind mostly because it ended up being completely unlike the final film that ended up in theaters. The first look, which wasn't supposed to be released online that year, leaked online and ended up forcing Warner Bros. hand. They maybe shouldn't have released it because this teaser is not the tone of the movie we ended up getting.
Once again, this teaser is elevated by a fantastic song choice. In this case, it's "I Started A Joke ft. Becky Hanson" by ConfidentialMX and it's not only a great cover, but it really helps set the tine for this teaser. However, the movie we ended up getting is nothing like this teaser. Director David Ayer has started petitioning to see if he could get this version released much like Zack Snyder's Justice League, so who knows. Maybe we'll see this version of Suicide Squad someday.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) Teaser Trailer
This one is unique in that it came out a year in advance and really helped show what this movie is going to look like, and it looks amazing. We all knew that Sony Animation was making a Spider-Man movie, but we didn't know what it was going to look like. Sony Animation has really hit or miss with their films, and it wasn't until this teaser that we realized we were getting pure art on the big screen.
The funny thing is not a single frame of that teaser is in the movie; it's basically an alpha that the team put together. The positive reaction to this teaser actually let the animation team push the visuals a step further to turn Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse into one of the best superhero movies of all time.
These are obviously not all of the great teasers or trailers out there, but just some that I think are examples of teasers that almost stand up on their own. Some of the final projects here didn't turn out so great in the end, but at least we got an awesome teaser or trailer out of it. What are some memorable teasers or trailers that stand out in your mind? Let us know in the comments.