James Gunn is a pretty cool guy. The Guardians of the Galaxy and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 director has been one of the nicest, most accessible filmmakers on social media since before that was really a thing. I once wrote an article naming Gunn’s Twitter account as the best one to follow for superhero movie fans. He’s really gone above and beyond in terms of fan interaction and while his experience has been mostly positive, not even nice guys are spared from rude fans.
Earlier today, James Gunn took to Facebook to, as usual, express his appreciation for the fans, but also share his feelings about the complaints he’s received from some very impatient individuals.
It really is unfortunate when fans confuse desire with entitlement. Of course we all want to see a trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 as soon as we possibly can. That does not mean, however, that we are entitled to it right this second, or ever. James Gunn and the Marvel Studios/Disney marketing team are not doing something wrong by not giving it to us just as soon as we say we want it.
The marketing campaign for any wide release, especially a blockbuster like Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, is planned out months in advance. It is all put together with the intention of maximizing the mainstream (not just hardcore fan) impact of each marketing step so that the studio can sell the movie to as many people as possible. We might enjoy all the marketing, but frankly, it’s not just for us. It’s not even primarily for us since, let’s face it, we’ve already decided to go see the movie.
Also, if you’ve been following the Marvel Cinematic Universe for the last few years, you can identify a pattern that will tell you when to expect the first Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 trailer. You should not pester Gunn about it mainly because it’s rude, but also because there’s no need.
GotG Vol. 2 will be released on May 5, 2017. Marvel Studios has released seven films on the first weekend in May, beginning with Iron Man in 2008. I’m also going to add in an eighth film, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which Marvel Studios released in April 2014. Of those eight films, half of them have had their first teasers released in October for their May release the following year (Marvel’s The Avengers, Iron Man 3, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and Avengers: Age of Ultron).
As you might have noticed those are four of Marvel’s last five May or April releases. The only April/May release since The Avengers that did not get a teaser by October of the previous year was Captain America: Civil War, which got its first teaser in November 2015.
So is Marvel Studios changing its pattern and will we have to wait until November for the first GotG Vol. 2 teaser? Might we have to wait all the way until December like we did for two other Marvel releases in May, Iron Man 2 and Thor? Could it be here as early as September like the first teaser for Iron Man?
All of these outcomes are possible, but I think the smart money is on October 2016. Waiting until late November to release the first Captain America: Civil War teaser felt more like a decision to make sure that trailer was still relatively fresh when millions of mainstream moviegoers saw it with Star Wars: The Force Awakens, another Disney release, the following month. The same trick could be pulled with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story this year, but remember that Marvel has its own movie coming out in November.
My guess is that when we all sit down to watch Doctor Strange (out November 4), the movie will be preceded by a teaser for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 so that Marvel Studios can sell its next film to everyone who just bought a ticket to see its current release. Since Doctor Strange is being released in October in some international territories, there’s an excellent chance the GotG Vol. 2 teaser will be online at least a couple weeks prior to Doctor Strange‘s domestic release.
If, for whatever reason, October and Doctor Strange come and go without a Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 trailer, there is no need to worry or get upset. It just means the teaser isn’t ready because it wasn’t meant to be ready by then and will instead be ready in time for some other strategic placement on Marvel and Disney’s marketing calendar. We will get the teaser soon enough and no one, including James Gunn, owes it to us to release the teaser a moment before it’s intended to be released.
In the meantime (and after the trailer is out), it’s best to use this privilege of access to one of our favorite filmmakers to express our appreciation and enthusiasm for what he has already given us, not complain about what we’re yet to, but inevitably will receive.