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EMERGENCY NEWSLETTER: The Barbie teaser trailer has arrived.
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The turnaround time for this piece is unheard of. It would usually take me WEEKS to get back in the saddle of writing for this newsletter! I must be manic! Who knew it would take Greta Gerwig doing up 2001: A Space Odyssey to get me back on here so soon? 2001: A SLAYce Odyssey, more like!
All sorts of people were buying tickets to Avatar: The Way of the Water (which I saw the other night) to catch a glimpse at either the Oppenheimer trailer or the Barbie teaser. But we knew better, didn’t we? We knew someone would leak it, risking some sort of fine a cinema can uphold, and we knew it’d come online sooner rather than later.
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The girls (FilmUpdates and DiscussingFilm) both said the trailer was ‘imminent’, and this is as imminent as it gets! Greta will not take her foot off of Christopher Nolan’s neck! Yes, ma’am!
The Barbie trailer is exciting. I think it says a lot about the state of film today that a lot of viewers, myself included, get excited about seeing colours in a trailer. I hope we bring back colours! Bright ones! None of that washed-out, greyscale, corporate colour-grading jobs! Enough is enough!
Barbie also promotes slay. It does. Don’t question it. I really wanted to type that out and I typed it out with every ounce of truth I can muster up. I adore this shot of the Kens, and what a stellar reminder that not only is Ncuti Gatwa in this movie, but Kingsley Ben-Adir is as well. Gorgeous gorgeous! There is a jumpscare in the trailer that I will not address aside from the fact that Greta probably should’ve called Manny Jacinto’s agent. I’m just saying.
Another image I loved from the Barbie trailer was this shot of Margot’s legs, specifically because it spawned a lot of Elizabeth Debicki jokes. Debicki, whom we adore here at Hyperfixate, is famously 6’3”. When I saw this shot in the trailer, all I could think about was Elizabeth Debicki in TENET trying to reach the steering wheel of a car whilst she was tied up in the backseat. Cinema! And also, funny enough, Christopher Nolan!
Nolan’s Oppenheimer is also being released on July 21st of next year, the same opening day as Barbie. We should stop pitting the girlies against each other! This isn’t the Super Bowl! This isn’t Maddy vs. Cassie on euphoria! I will be seeing both on opening day, though not sure just yet which one I’ll see first. If there was an option to see both at the same time, I’d do it.
I’ve yet to see the Oppenheimer trailer. I’ve only seen the sneak peek, first-look images (another marketing art in itself, if you ask me), and these photos of Jack Quaid in the trailer. Jack Quaid (one of my many boyfriends, hallucinationships even) appears in the trailer wearing suspenders and I am struggling to form a sentence without getting distracted. He has a very special place in my heart. I would like to see the Oppenheimer trailer and subsequently Jack Quaid in the Oppenheimer trailer with my own two eyes.
This Oppenheimer poster looks like the reverse of that shot of Jeremy Allen White from The Bear where he’s waiting for the microwave. The best part about the marketing for Nolan’s nuclear epic (which he detonated a nuke for, what is NATO going to do about Christopher Nolan?), is that I know Harry Styles has to see it everywhere he goes. Worried yet, darling? He’s not gonna call ya back! No matter how many TENET shooting locations you make your music videos in!
Though it may not make the mark of a good trailer/teaser, I love that the Barbie one gave nothing away. It’s a teaser, emphasis on tease. That’s how you build interest! Gets the buzz going! I love a good trailer. A good trailer, obviously, is a marketing tool that does its job. When Cameron Diaz in The Holiday cuts trailers so well, it puts a strain on her personal life but ensures airtime and exposure for that film. It’s a lost art. A lot of people complain about trailers giving the gamut away, too much of the film is already packed into a two-minute spot before a YouTube video, and I guess that’s because it speaks to our desire to be interested. To have our attention captured and engaged instead of being talked at. I’d liken it to watching a good video essay versus one of those ending explained videos. Don’t explain things to me ever! I’m serious!
Of course, there are some great trailers that play the hand they’ve been dealt really well without much need for a poker face. Take Cocaine Bear, for example; a very real film and not at all a project out of an episode of 30 Rock that Jenna Maroney may or may not have been fired from.
The trailer for Cocaine Bear is pretty straightforward—here’s this bear that’s consumed a lot of coke, there’s a guy from TikTok in it that I don’t recognize, and the cast of The Americans are somehow having a reunion. I get the gist of the story, and there are some people I’m interested in seeing the film for. Successful trailer for such an absurd premise! Slay!
Film marketing today is so fascinating to me because it’s become a much more visible part of film culture. Not to say it wasn’t before, it’s just we have more access to it now. At least I do, anyway. We covet merchandising from distribution companies of the companies themselves, and I’d never seen that before in my lifetime (to be fair, I have not been alive for that long). Like you wouldn’t have caught my parents in 20th Century Fox merchandise. We’re dripped out in A24, Neon, or Annapurna, but not Fox Searchlight. I carry around my MUBI tote bag like the Bat-signal. MUBI has a really strong brand identity, and they’ve got their niche on lock much like those other companies I listed out. The internet has definitely played a part in democratizing film marketing—reactions and responses to a piece of work, even (more concerningly) criticism are now part of the bigger film marketing machine. Especially the crowdsourced guerilla stuff. It fascinates me deeply.
One of my favourite bits of film marketing I saw this year was at the M3GAN premiere. A dance troupe comprised of eight M3GANS was dancing to the version of It’s Nice to Have A Friend in the trailer. It’s ingenious to me. They’re committing to the bit in a way I’ve never seen before. And as much as that commitment to the bit really speaks to me, it also freaks me out. The way M3GAN and Chucky tweet, it’s hilarious but it’s that bizarre (and even embarrassing) way of brands try to relate to individuals. It’s like when Subway had a corpo-humanoid attend Greendale in Community, and Pierce and Shirley had Britta seduce him. I can’t help but hear that paranoid voice in the back of my head that’s like “hey, this is really saying a lot about late capitalism! we live in a society!” Well, of course, we do! That’s why you feel weird about it!
What Barbie and oddly that M3GAN flashmob have sparked in me is a little hope to make things more experiential. I think it’ll be fun to bring back that Malibu Barbie Airbnb ahead of the film’s release. It’s speaking to my nostalgia brain, the part of me that misses the Barbies I had growing up. It’s speaking to the sentimentality I have about Barbie and about going to the movies. What pisses me off about, say, MCU trailers is that they’re trying so hard to appeal to everybody that they appeal to nobody. Barbie wants to invite us in even if life is plastic and allegedly fantastic. I am so excited to see it. And I can’t believe a portion of the box office from Barbie will fund Noah Baumbach’s inevitable writing of Madagascar 4. These are wild times we’re living in. Can’t wait to see what that trailer’s going to be like.
I used to pray for times like this. I’ve said earlier this year that Josh Hutcherson should be next in line in the mid-2010s YA franchise white boy revival. Dylan O’Brien and Miles Teller have been in Taylor Swift music videos, Theo James is on The White Lotus, and Logan Lerman was (unfortunately for him) in Bullet Train.
Hutcherson is reportedly involved in the film adaptation of Five Nights at Freddy’s alongside Matthew Lillard. How excellent! The last time I saw Josh Hutcherson in anything was in videos from 2016 Bernie rallies, so it has been a while!
I was Team Peeta growing up (shocker) but my favourite Josh Hutcherson performance is in Little Manhattan, a film I watch every year on Valentine’s Day. I am very excited to see him out and about again. Bring on the Hutchersonaissance!
That’s all for now!
All my love,