The wait for the Avengers 4 trailer may be frustrating fans, but it's a very smart move on the part of Disney and Marvel Studios. Their epic culmination of the MCU is due to release on May 3, 2019, little more than five months away, yet there's still no trailer.
That hasn't stopped rampant speculation of when the Avengers 4 trailer will drop. Pretty much from the moment Thanos' victorious smile closed out Avengers: Infinity War, fans have been anticipating a proper look at its part 2, but with all to go on being Kevin Feige's promise the trailer would be before the end of the year, speculation has been the order of the day. This week alone, there's been strong claims it will be any day. Of course, the short of it is that nobody actually knows and is at best making educated guesses based on what little incidental information Marvel has left out there; anybody speaking with any higher authority is twisting base facts.
But in all the talk about when the Avengers 4 trailer will release (and what it will reveal), it's worth taking a step back to consider the silent puppeteer in all of this. Marvel is as active in not releasing as they are, and in getting all excited and exasperated about the teaser drop, we're playing perfectly into their hands.
Why Is The Avengers 4 Trailer Delayed?
Simply put, there is no delay on the Avengers 4 trailer. At the time of publication, we're just under one year on from Avengers: Infinity War's first teaser, a film that at the time had the same release weekend as Avengers 4. At most, the Avengers 4 trailer is a day late. Importantly, we're also still in the timeframe of trailer releases for other MCU May releases of recent years: Captain America: Civil War's teaser released on November 24; Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2's teaser (as opposed to the not-a-trailer tease a month before) was December 3. That gives a two-week stretch for the trailer to be released and it be "on plan".
However, all of that treats Avengers 4 like just another Marvel movie. This is their biggest movie yet, bigger than The Avengers or even Infinity War, and that may warrant a different marketing approach. Indeed, Avengers: Age of Ultron's teaser trailer released on October 22, an earlier date indicative of it being viewed as a bigger sequel (even though a more middling quality led to lower box office). Avengers 4 could be going for a comparable yet opposite marketing approach, having the release later than expected.
Why The Avengers 4 "Delay" Is A Good Thing
What we can say about the Avengers 4 trailer release date with some certainty is that, whenever it is, it's being viewed as "late" on purpose. Having it release after Avengers: Infinity War's date would inevitably raise eyebrows and, as we're now experiencing, it's getting people more engaged in a film still half-a-year away. And that's what this wait is really all about. Marvel has - quite literally - done nothing and there's been a major spike in interest for the movie regardless.
This isn't a situation like Solo: A Star Wars Story. There, a majorly delayed start to the marketing - the first TV spot aired on the Super Bowl, just under four months ahead of release - failed to offset massive audience skepticism, with the trailers so tepid they actively helped create Star Wars' first bomb. Here, the lack of trailer isn't cause for concern or the hint that something is awry, but a careful trick from a studio that knows it has the attention of those who are getting irritated and so can play around more.
It's worth noting that the trailer is hardly the only thing Marvel's hold back. Avengers 4 still doesn't have a title, long after the argument that it's an Infinity War spoiler has expired, and officially all that's known of the plot is a vague synopsis; anything pertaining to returning heroes or time travel comes from accidental drops in interviews and set photos. All of this amplifies the feelings around the trailer to encompass the entire movie, building it up as an elusive event of pure excitement.
But it's not just about riling up the fans (who, after all, make up a small fraction of the audience). This also helps with protecting spoilers, something the MCU's become increasingly adept at in; even for movies that don't have any big surprises, Marvel crafts an air that every detail is illicit and shouldn't be known before the theater. One of the biggest problems there is that modern blanket marketing requires as much of the movie teased for maximum sell potential (even Avengers: Infinity War showed most of its non-shocking plot beats in trailers). Holding the start of Avengers 4's campaign back allows more of the good stuff to be an unguessed mystery.
When the Avengers 4 trailer does release - and, as exemplified by the uncertainty, nobody actually knows that - it will be exactly when Marvel have decided to drop it. Until then, any speculation is all part of the plan.