If you’re on Twitter and keep up with anything related to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, then chances are you’ve seen Thor: Love and Thunder trend a few times over the last few weeks as fans kindly but firmly demand Marvel release a trailer. After all, the movie’s coming out in a little over two months, and thus far, we’ve only had a logo and some character art on the side of toy packaging; in a non-pandemic world, we would’ve had a cover story on Entertainment Weekly by now, plus about 13 character posters and 80 TV spots.
Let’s ignore the part where at least half of the Twitter users demanding a trailer are almost certainly bots trying to gas up hype for the film, along with the fact that VFX crews are being worked basically around the clock for these tentpole blockbusters, and ask if Marvel movies are at a point where they actually need marketing anymore. We’re on MCU film #29, and the third piece of MCU media for the year. Given that all of these are at a point where even Eternals fizzling out doesn’t truly mean much, the argument could be made that Marvel Studios can probably get away with not showing anything from their films and letting the fanbase do all the work for them. Avengers: Endgame even briefly played around with this idea, with several early promos and trailers employing footage from previous movies in lieu of divulging anything about the film’s time travel plot.
People love Thor, and they love Thor Ragnarok and Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie. Even if Disney has continually pissed away any goodwill they have with the queer portion of their fanbase, Taika Waititi recently having played a gay pirate has enough of his own built in fanbase that it basically overrides that corporate mess. These movies sell themselves from the moment casting announcements and logos hit, and Marvel could more than likely get away with just withholding footage or information on a film while still relying on word of mouth to rake in a ton of money. Does that sound bleak? A little bit, but let’s not act like it isn’t remotely possible!