The marketing for the upcoming DC Comics film Suicide Squad has incorporated the use of classic pop songs in the trailers. A preview that debuted at San Diego Comic-Con 2015 was set to the Bee Gees tune “I Started a Joke”, while the most recent look at the movie plays over Queen’s iconic “Bohemian Rhapsody”. The musical choices have been well-received by fans, as they set a strong tone for director David Ayer’s foray into the DCEU.
WB’s promotional strategy is similar to Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, which relied on the sounds of Star Lord’s awesome mix tape to sell audiences on a rollicking space adventure set in the Marvel universe. Guardians, despite being based on an obscure comic series, went on to break box office records and became just as recognizable a brand as The Avengers. With a campaign that successful, it’s no wonder other studios are looking to replicate its basic design, hoping to reap the same benefits
YouTube user Robert Jones took the parallels between the two and created a Guardians/Suicide Squad hybrid trailer (watch it above), which primarily consists of footage from Guardians as “Bohemian Rhapsody” plays. There are moments where dialogue from the Suicide Squad preview is included (most notably with Ronan playing the Joker), but for the most part, Marvel’s film runs the show.
The mash-up follows the basic structure of the Suicide Squad trailer, with the first half depicting the group locked away in prison before they’re sent off on a mission to save the world. The now-famous “lineup” sequence in Guardians (where each character got their own introduction to the audience) takes the place of Rick Flag explaining the abilities of certain Squad members rather uncannily, further emphasizing how closely WB is following the Guardians playbook when it comes to selling their own version of the “Worst. Heroes. Ever.” Things descend into chaos during the “headbanger” portion of the song, before ending on a humorous note.
The timing of this video is interesting, considering recent comments made by Guardians director James Gunn. He expressed his concerns about Hollywood executives learning the “wrong” lessons from the massive box office performance of Deadpool, fearing that more suits will try to make their film “like Deadpool” and miss the point of what made Tim Miller’s film special. Part of Gunn’s social media post dealt with an apparent distaste in more and more tentpole trailers being set to pop music so they can appear to be “like Guardians.” Gunn did not name Suicide Squad directly, but some viewers perceived his statement as a subtle jab towards the villain team-up. We’ll never know for sure which trailers specifically Gunn was referring to, but Jones’ work here does indicate Guardians and Suicide Squad have more than one thing in common.
Comparisons aside, there’s no denying that the campaign for Suicide Squad has been favorable up to this point, as some moviegoers are anticipating the film more than Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. Time will tell if Ayer’s movie can replicate the critical and commercial response of Guardians, but it’s certainly gotten off on the right foot and has steadily been building buzz for a while. There’s a fair chance this film will be a hit for WB/DC when all said and done.
Captain America: Civil War will release on May 6, 2016, followed by Doctor Strange – November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man – July 7, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; Black Panther – February 16, 2018; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel – March 8, 2019; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 – May 3, 2019; Inhumans – July 12, 2019; and as-yet untitled Marvel movies on May 1, July 10 and November 6, 2020.
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice opens on March 25, 2016, which is followed by Suicide Squad on August 5, 2016; Wonder Woman on June 23, 2017; Justice League Part One on November 17, 2017; The Flash on March 16, 2018; Aquaman on July 27, 2018; Shazam on April 5, 2019; Justice League Part Two on June 14, 2019; Cyborg on April 3, 2020; and Green Lantern Corps. on June 19, 2020.
Source: Robert Jones