With universal ovations greeting the Prometheus trailer unveiled at this year's Wondercon, Fox's latest trailer highlights the current voracious demand for high-impact trailers by both studios and potential audiences. But in a market saturated with fast edit teasers that can make almost anything look great, it can be hard to tell what really is good - as opposed to what just looks good.
So, as a bumper summer of movies approaches, a look at the best of what's on offer seems timely. First, Ridley Scott's highly anticipated, existentialist space ride. The latest trailer didn't just arrive, it kicked the multiplex doors down. Knuckle-ride edits, a soundtrack that sounds like it was scored by Marilyn Manson's visionary but more twisted younger brother, and a mission statement that reads like a flare: "Big things have small beginnings" - all strongly suggests Scott will deliver yet another milestone in an Ã©lite club of great science-fiction cinema.
The trailer released on March 18 has touched off yet more earnest but deluded debate about whether the film is a true prequel to Scott's 1979 Alien or a stand alone film. Combined with the three 2012 teasers before it, and two additional virals - "David/Our Family is Growing" and the TED "Weyland Industries" - the resulting tsunami of hype for this movie is well deserved. Its name belongs to the spaceship the crew inhabit, but is also a working metaphor for the "Destination Origin" premise of the film. So what does this latest trailer reveal?
Well, there's lots of running around, shots of the space-jockey (strike one for Alien continuity), high-tech swag, and enough underwear shots of Noomi Rapace to keep male geeks happy - as well as the 'calm-before-the-storm' stuff Scott is so great at. But there are also signs of taut emotional interplays, glimpses of a magnificent alien landscape, and a truly scary foretaste of the mayhem that ensues when it becomes clear the crew's extraterrestrial "invitation" has some nasty small print. In short: Prometheus looks tremendous and the 3-D component will undoubtedly be a bonus. Also starring Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron (back with a bang this year), Idris Elba, Sean Harris, Rafe Spall and Logan Marshall-Green; lift-off is scheduled for June 8.
Moving on to Breaking Dawn - Part 2. Don't let the recent blink-and-you'll-miss-it teaser put you off. The full trailer comes online on March 26. This (for now) final installment in The Twilight Saga, marks the end of the line for its two main players, as it's unlikely Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart will be reprising their Edward and Bella Cullen roles. So what will Part 2 offer audiences? In a word: climax.
In BD2, the pieces of this intensely emotional saga will rapidly come together. Bella can now kick butt and will be able to hold her own when she and Edward, the rest of the Cullen clan, various other vamps, and Jacob - as Renesmee's protector - have to fight to protect the ones they love. Millions of fans will come out for this last installment and scenes at the multi-territory premieres will be something to behold in themselves - let alone the film. BD2 opens November 16.
And so, to The Dark Knight Rises. Trilogy regulars Christian Bale, Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman, will now be joined by Marion Cotillard, Tom Hardy as "Bane," Tom Conti and Anne Hathwaway, among others. Box-office success should be a no-brainer. The Nolan brothers more than proved themselves in the previous two installments, and on July 20 they will likely do so again.
Fairytales have long been a Hollywood favorite and this year is no exception. The face-off between Tarsem Singh's Mirror Mirror starring Lily Collins and Julia Roberts, and the infinitely more muscular Snow White and The Huntsman, with Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron and Chris Hemsworth - appears to be all but over. SWATH will see Theron - in terrifying form as Queen Ravenna - do battle with Stewart's Snow White in this dark realization of a pretty dark fairytale. Reaction to the latest trailer and behind the scenes reveals has been uniformly approving. SWATH opens June 1.
Kristen Stewart will also shortly be seen in On The Road. Decades of anticipation for this film adaptation of Jack Kerouac's beat generation masterpiece, now circle (among others), a September 21 UK release date, May 23 for France, and October 4 for Germany. Also starring Sam Riley, Steve Buscemi, Garrett Hedlund, Kirsten Dunst and Viggo Mortensen, industry and fan feedback to the recently released OTR trailer has been strong. And, of course, shots of a wildly dancing Stewart (Marylou), a moody looking Riley (Sal Paradise) and a swarthy Hedlund (Dean Moriarty) don't hurt.
On April 26 (UK) and May 4 (U.S), Joss Whedon's The Avengers Assemble kicks off the summer with big effects and big names. While the trailer suggests this film will do exactly what it says on the tin, with Whedon at the helm TAA could muster a few surprises.
Rounding out this run-down - that for sake of space can only include Tim Burton's Dark Shadows as a mention - one arrives at this summer's wildcard must-see.
Cosmopolis. Winner of MTV's Most Anticipated Movie of 2012 brawl, this David Cronenberg directed film based on Don DeLillo's novel, will take audiences into the world of multimillionaire Eric Packer as he descends into the badlands of Manhattan - while beset by various weird (and deadly) characters. Described by Matthew C. Funk at Criminal Complex as "a Big Apple Ulysses, soaked in sex, assassins, Oedipal complex and more sex," this cinematic enigma could - as Funk puts it - see Robert Pattinson "reborn bad-ass."
With Pattinson fans already on high alert for news of a trailer, and also eager for a Cannes showing for this film, it's a dead cert that all of them will be first in line when Cosmopolis makes its debut. Also starring Paul Giamatti, Samantha Morton and Juliet Binoche among others, an official release date of May 31 in Portugal should be bolded in diaries of self-respecting film-buffs as a red-flag for more forthcoming dates.
So buckle up and strap in. Because this summer, something epic this way comes.