In today's "spoiler alert" obsessed society, those who reveal plot points or key scenes from films or TV shows often find themselves ostracized from conversations and treated like pariahs for their behavior. That said, how long is long enough to start openly talking about surprises that took place in the latest blockbuster? If you ask Marvel Studios, the answer to that question is apparently less than one week, as the latest TV spots promoting Captain America: Civil War effectively spoil major aspects of the big Team Cap vs. Team Iron Man airport fight that was teased in most of the trailers for the film.
The first spot is arguably the more egregious of the two, revealing Ant-Man's transformation into Giant-Man, a moment described by many fans as one of the most satisfying in the entire film. Not hinted at in any of the marketing materials for Civil War, Giant-Man's appearance was a true rarity in today's connected culture, a genuine surprise in a big blockbuster summer movie that almost nobody saw coming. Well, until this TV spot that is.
The second spot not only reveals to audiences that Spider-Man ends up squarely on Iron Man's side -- a change from his more conflicted portrayal in the Civil War comics -- but that he engages in a one-on-one fight with Captain America, who he is seemingly a big fan of. Another widely praised aspect of the film, the MCU's revamp of Spider-Man ended up -- along with Ant-Man -- lending some much-needed levity to an understandably pretty serious chapter in The Avengers' saga. Also hinted at in the spot is the fact that Spider-Man doesn't just fight fellow NYC native Cap, but actually comes very close to beating him, something many fans likely wouldn't expect.
To be fair to Marvel, though, the box-office haul for Civil War has already bested that of The Winter Soldier in less than a week, making it likely that most of those who were planning to see the film have already done so. Also, Giant-Man's scene was such a hit that even those who haven't seen Civil War have likely already had it spoiled by social media raves. Still, one could argue that Marvel is jumping the gun a bit by putting out spoilery TV spots this soon after Civil War's release. It's a delicate question, and one without a clear answer.
Captain America: Civil War is in theaters now. Doctor Strange opens November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man: Homecoming – July 7, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; Black Panther – February 16, 2018; Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel– March 8, 2019; Avengers: Infinity War Part 2– May 3, 2019; and as-yet untitled Marvel movies on July 12, 2019, and on May 1, July 10, and November 6 in 2020.