This was originally published on Medium here.
I’ve been looking forward to the release of the trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron. I loved the first movie and am a fan of about 75% of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (the Iron Man movies are, for me, increasingly the weak links) and of course am a huge fan of director Joss Whedon.
So why was the trailer itself — released a week early to account for the fact that it had leaked — such a disappointment? Because for a change I wasn’t able to distance the trailer from everything I knew about the industry. I couldn’t watch the trailer, which I’ve done a half dozen times so far, with thinking about various things, including:
- The fact that this is another movie filled with white dudes. Samuel L. Jackson gets a second of screen time as Nick Fury and Scarlett Johannson gets a bit more attention and is allowed to speak, but the focus is on the Chrises, Roberts and so on. Where’s Anthony Mackie, who stole the show in Captain America 2?
- The statements made a while ago about how this movie would have more special effects than the first, which was supposed to tell us something about the effort put in but just told me that we’d be subjected to more mind-numbing violence, something that’s supposed to keep the world super hero movies safely in the world of “dudes” and not the increasingly large and powerful audience of women who enjoy comics.
- That Marvel still hasn’t scheduled a movie with either a female or a person of color in the lead.
- The whole thing last month about Robert Downey angling for more screen time in Captain America 3, which makes him seem like someone who’s just trying to make as much money as he can while hitched to this particular train.
- The conversation about Quicksilver, as fans and industry pundits argue about whether he belongs in the Avengers or X-Men universes and the backroom dealing that likely led to him being portrayed by two different actors in two different movies.
Usually I’m able to put these kinds of thoughts behind me and just enjoy the trailer or movie. But this time all this was too fresh and it has seriously impacted how much I’m able to enjoy it. Now I’m just one case, but Marvel Studios should be worried if these feelings are common in the larger audience. I don’t know if they are, but they keep circling around the back of my head.