Picking Up the Spare – Mission: Impossible – Fallout, Eighth Grade and More

Mission: Impossible – Fallout

There’s some good points made in this story about how the M:I franchise is the rare movie sold on its star and not an IP brand. I don’t, though, think it goes far enough to look at how the marketing relied on the combination of Tom Cruise’s name recognition and the promise of mind-blowing stunt work *is* a brand. If Cruise was actually still a market-driver on his own, Edge of Oblivion 2 would already be in production.

A new TV spot has been released emphasizing the incredibly high marks the movie has received from critics.

Teen Titans Go! To the Movies

The movie’s directors share which joke was almost too much for DC/WB to allow and it’s a doozy.

Eighth Grade

Another profile of breakout star Elsie Fisher here, where she talks about making the movie and how she got started in the business.

A24 has also released a bunch of clips like this to help show people what all the buzz is about.

The Catcher Was A Spy

The real-life Moe Berg, played by Paul Rudd in the movie, is getting an exhibit at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.

The Spy Who Dumped Me

I missed a couple press hits in my recap.

First, an interview with director Susanna Fogel where she talks about trying to craft a story that was funny and feminist but which also an “authentic” spy movie that adheres to that genre’s tropes.

Second, a feature piece that includes Fogel along with Kunis and McKinnon where they talk about bonding on set, how they wanted to sell the comedy, the importance of showing female friendships on-screen and more.

Christopher Robin

Ewan McGregor showed up on “Colbert” and “Late Night” to talk about the movie and working with an invisible character, something he does have previous experience with.

More interviews from the movie’s premiere, which happened on the Disney lot that was transformed into the Hundred Acre Wood for the occasion. This time it’s director Marc Forster sharing how he made the movie for his own daughter and kids like her that have grown up with Winnie the Pooh. And another interview with Hayley Atwell here.

The Miseducation of Cameron Post

A number of media outlets have been rerunning interviews they did from the movie’s festival appearances, while Chloe Grace-Moretz made a few additional media appearances like this stop at “Colbert.”

Director Desiree Akhavan has also gotten a bit of press, including this interview where she talks about her festival experiences and why it is she hasn’t yet had the same mainstream success some of her contemporaries have.

Chris Thilk is a freelance writer and content strategist who lives in the Chicago suburbs.

Picking Up the Spare: Ant-Man and The Wasp, Teen Titans Go! and More

Ant-Man and The Wasp

Marvel released a new video promoting the movie-themed sponsorship of Girls Who Code, the popular tech-based educational program. It shows director Peyton Reed and others speaking to groups about the science of the story and how important a STEM-based education is.

There was also a new interview with Hannah John-Kamen where she talks in particular about working with Michelle Pfeiffer.

Deadpool 2

One of the stunts pulled at Comic-Con was a Chuck E. Cheese-esque animatronic band with Deadpool and a bunch of animals playing “9 to 5” and you can see a promotional video for the group’s tour here. The panel with Ryan Reynolds and other members of the cast was as offensive as you’d expect.

Another round of Deadpool-themed alternate Blu-ray covers for other Fox movies is coming, some of which were also handed out at Comic-Con.

The Equalizer 2

More from costar Ashton Sanders on what it was like to work with Denzel Washington and learn from the veteran actor.

The IMAX poster is much cooler than what was used more generally, showing just Washington’s torso with a tie that takes the shape of Lady Justice.

Teen Titans Go! To the Movies

The Regal Cinemas exclusive poster continues the meta theatrical theme by showing the Titans as well as a few other heroes – and Slade – sitting in the theater watching a movie.


Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal appeared together on “The Daily Show” to talk about creating the movie and what the story meant to them. They’re also interviewed here about how there’s a slight surge in the number of movies, including their own, set in the Bay Area.

Another TV spot that plays up the critical acclaim the movie has accumulated.

Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot

Another substantive feature interview with director Gus Van Sant here about how the film fits into his overall body of work.

Eighth Grade

Both director Bo Burnham and star Elsie Fisher have showed up on more late night talk shows, with Burnham appearing on “Seth Myers” and Fisher appearing on “Kimmel.”

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again

Lily James talks here about how she got an American accent down and how she studied Meryl Streep’s line readings from the first movie to mimic her speaking patterns as much as possible.

Mission: Impossible – Fallout

Lots more official featurettes have been released, including an IMAX Q&A with director Christopher McQuarrie, and character-specific profiles of Simon Pegg, Henry Cavill and Angela Bassett.

Bassett also joined Tom Cruise on “The Late Late Show” while Cavill popped up on “Kimmel” to talk about stunts and other aspects of making the movie. Meanwhile costar Vanessa Kirby, who wasn’t a huge part of the main campaign, was interviewed about the stunts (of course) and her decision to join the franchise.


Star Michael Pena stopped by “Colbert” but only got a plug for the movie in briefly at the end of the interview.

Chris Thilk is a freelance writer and content strategist who lives in the Chicago suburbs.

Teen Titans Go! To The Movies – Marketing Recap

teen titans go poster 8Amidst all the other attempts being made at bringing the characters of DC Comics to the big screen, this week seems to bring the most likely contender. Teen Titans! Go To The Movies is a feature adaptation of the super-popular “Teen Titans Go!” show on Cartoon Network featuring versions of Robin, Starfire, Raven, Cyborg and Beast Boy that are heavily influenced by anime and offbeat, “Ren & Stimpy” style dialogue and humor.

In the movie the team is up against their greatest adversary: Irrelevance. As so many characters are getting movies of their own, Robin feels they need one of their own as well. Hollywood doesn’t agree, and neither do the older heroes. So they set out to get the kind of adversary everyone says they need, picking Slade Wilson (voiced by Will Arnett) to be the bad guy. When he puts all the other heroes under some form of mind control, it turns to the Titans to save the day.

The Posters

Shenanigans are being engaged in on the poster, which shows director’s chairs lined up with the names of each of the Titans on the back. Raven is sitting still reading the script while Starfire is turned around laughing at Beast Boy chasing Cyborg’s disembodied head – the rest of him is still in his chair – around, much to the frustration of Robin.

A couple efforts pivoted off the Justice League movie and its campaign. First was a one-sheet that put the Titans on the same black background as the teaser for JL, with the copy presented in the same manner as that poster. Except here it reads “They can’t save the world at all,” with various letters replaced by one of the symbols associated with the characters.

Second was a series of character posters had each one of the Titans on the red carpet of a movie premiere looking up at the live action cinematic incarnation of another DC hero. So Robin is looking up at Ben Affleck’s Batman, Raven at Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman and so on. Each one is making some sort of comment on the adult hero, expressing either dismay that they’re more famous or admiration.

The red carpet idea is continued on the theatrical poster, which shows Robin and the team standing triumphantly in front of a theater marquee, Slade wrapped up in the carpet. The same “The super hero movie to end all super hero movies. Hopefully” copy is used here as on the first teaser.

The Trailers

The first teaser made it clear that the movie wouldn’t be anything out of left field but retain the style and tone of the show. Robin introduces it despite the hijinks of the rest of the team, who share a great self-aware joke about how everyone really just wants more Wonder Woman. When we finally get footage from the film, it’s centered around a fight with a bad guy that ends with a fart joke. Before it’s over they get one more dig at the rest of DC’s cinematic schedule – this time calling out Aquaman – in, to great effect.

In the first full trailer we get a much better idea of what the movie’s story will be. Robin is feeling left out as movies are made about literally every other super hero – even Alfred – and wants the Titans to get their day in the spotlight as well. One of the problems is that they don’t do much and don’t have a nemesis. They decide Slade Wilson fits that bill, but he’s not interested. Eventually they do wind up facing off against him as he enslaves all the other heroes and they have to save them and the day.

So it’s a reverse Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back? Instead of trying to stop a movie from being made they’re determined *to* get one made. As with the first teaser this is funny along the same lines as the show. And the “I’m not Deadpool” gag is pretty great.

Online and Social

A version of the key art graces the front page of the movie’s official website, which has some positive quotes talking about how fun and entertaining it is up one corner and links to its Facebook, Twitter and Instagram in the other.

If you scroll down the site or navigate using the content menu on the left you can find sections like “Trailers,” “The Story,” “Videos,” “Pictures” and more. There are some casual games and information on the film’s promotional partners there as well.

Back to Twitter briefly, special attention needs to be paid to the many posts that tweaked not only DC’s nose but Marvel’s as well. There were jokes about GDRP, participation in memes and trending topics, continued jokes about confusing Deathstroke with Deadpool, nods in the direction of Ryan Reynolds given the appearance of a Green Lantern in this movie and lots more. I don’t know how they got half this stuff approved through legal, but it’s lots of fun.

Advertising and Cross-Promotions

The first TV spot came out in mid-March and featured the same fart joke as the trailer as well as the same meta humor about every super hero having a movie about them being made. We get a good look at Superman and other heroes as well as Green Lantern John Stewart, who makes a joke about the GL movie being one they don’t talk about.

The movie was among those Warner Bros. promoted at San Diego Comic-Con by placing the name and key art on the bags given out to convention attendees. Members of the cast also showed up around the convention. Prior to that there was also a screening at VidCon.

There were a few promotional partners for the movie, but those efforts don’t seem to have amounted to very much. Dippin’ Dots offered a sweepstakes and collectible spoons, Carl’s Jr. put movie toys in their kid’s meals and so on.

Media and Publicity

While I don’t usually include casting announcements in this section, the news revealing additional voice cast was notable enough since it included Nicolas Cage finally getting to play Superman, something he was unable to do around 20 years ago despite being cast in a pre-Superman Returns movie that (cough) never got off the ground. An interview with Arnett in EW’s summer movie preview issue had him talking about voicing Slade Wilson/Deathstroke.

L’il Yachty, who voices Green Lantern John Stewart in the movie, released a music video introducing all the characters.

As one of the biggest names in the cast, Arnett continued to be a focal point of the press tour, including an appearance on “Colbert” where he talked about the movie and lots of other stuff as well.

At the premiere the cast talked about how the movie was meant to be a brief bit of fun in an often depressing reality. And a clip showed how Batman really was prepared for anything.


It’s hard to deny just how fun this campaign has been. It really comes off as simply a big-screen version of one of the show’s regular episodes, just with more cameos from the bigger super heroes and a more meta storyline. It’s kept all the elements that have made the show so popular, though, adding to that instead of trying to replace anything. That’s why I think there’s a decent chance it will connect with audiences this week and provide a decent alternative to anyone not interested in the latest Mission: Impossible outing.


The Regal Cinemas exclusive poster continues the meta theatrical theme by showing the Titans as well as a few other heroes – and Slade – sitting in the theater watching a movie.
The movie’s directors share which joke was almost too much for DC/WB to allow and it’s a doozy.