Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) shows up in final trailer for The Marvels


The Marvels, the latest movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, comes out in theaters this weekend, and the mood is…uncertain. Reviews still aren’t out, which might mean nothing or might be a sign that Marvel doesn’t want anyone to watch the movie ahead of time because they’re afraid of the reactions. Meanwhile, there’s a lot of talk about chaos behind the scenes at Marvel Studios in general and on the set of The Marvels in particular. People are concerned about reshoots, people are concerned it’s too short, people are concerned about depressed box office expectations, etc.

Into this tumult Marvel has dropped a final trailer, one that leans heavily on nostalgia. Remember Iron Man? Remember Captain America? Remember Thanos? If not, this trailer will remind you:

The trailer also features a brief appearance from Valkyrie, played by Tessa Thompson…or at least someone who looks like Valkyrie; with the multiverse at the center of the MCU these days, we can never be sure.

Valkyrie is an Asgardian warrior first introduced in Thor: Ragnarok, and has gone on to be the ruler of Asgard. In the trailer she gives a pep talk to Captain Marvel (Brie Larson). “You can stand tall without standing alone.” We don’t know how big a role she plays in the movie.

The Marvels director “really wanted it to be under two hours”

Reviews pending, I don’t personally think I’ll make the trip to the movie theater to see The Marvels, in part because it requires a lot of Marvel knowledge I haven’t kept complete track of. Obviously the movie a sequel to Captain Marvel. But it also has a lead role for Ms. Marvel (from the Disney+ show Ms. Marvel) and Monica Rambeau (from WandaVision). And now Valkyrie is in there? Watching a new Marvel movie can feel a bit like homework these days.

The Marvels director Nia DaCosta spoke to this balancing act while talking to GamesRadar. “They have a whole history before this,” she said. “We have Ms. Marvel, the TV show, Captain Marvel, WandaVision, and it was kind of a constant negotiation to figure out, ‘Okay, how much information do people need? It was a real trial and error.”

"We don’t want people to have to watch anything else but, of course, you also have to be honest and be like, ‘This is the [33rd] project in this universe. It’s sort of a sequel to five different things. So at a certain point, you have to just be like, ‘Okay, yeah, there are some things that we can’t get in here, but it’ll be fun.’"

Fans have also pointed out that at 105 minutes, The Marvels is the shortest MCU film to date. DaCosta addressed that, too. “I really wanted it to be under two hours,” she told Digital Spy. “I always think about the runtime actually, when I go into a film. I just feel like there’s no need to have it long if you don’t need to, because 1 hour 45 minutes is pretty average for a movie, so we were all really excited.”

"I just think you do what’s right for the movie. I didn’t even know about this runtime thing until I think it was reported on. You have to do what’s right for the movie."

I’m in full agreement on that one. I’ve never understood the idea that a movie being long is a virtue in and of itself. The Marvels could be great or could be sucky, but I doubt that will have anything to do with how long or short it is.

DaCosta, by the way, is out here promoting the movie herself, since the Hollywood actors strike is still going on and the stars aren’t allowed to talk it up. That’s hard job, cause there’s a lot of trepidation surrounding The Marvels, which means that “promoting the movie” often breaks down to “defending the movie.”

The Marvels is out in theaters this Friday, November 10. We’ll soon see whether these pre-release jitters are warranted or if this is another huge hit for Marvel.

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h/t The A.V. Club