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 – Tag, Superfly and More


More from Future on the soundtrack he produced and curated, which was a big part of the marketing campaign, here. Director X has also been giving interviews like this now that the movie is out.

Also recommended is this compare/contrast of this album with that of the original.


Star Jeremy Renner’s broken arms are part of this interview with director Jeff Tomsic where he talks about all the challenges he had making the movie.

Solo: A Star Wars Story

Star Thandie Newton talked more here about the dress she wore to the premiere featuring the faces of the characters of color in the franchise to date.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

More on the Kellogg’s promotion for the movie here.

The movie is the next release to get the AR treatment from Moviebill, which is once again handing out periodicals to Regal Cinemas audiences that can be scanned using the Regal app to unlock exclusive content, including interviews (in print and AR format) with star Bryce Dallas Howard and director J.A. Bayona, a welcome message from star Chris Pratt, an interactive “dino-lab” and a sample of the dinosaurs available in the Jurassic World Alive, the location-based AR mobile game developed by Ludia.

That game is built on location and other data from Google Maps, which is helping to promote both the game and the services behind it.

Daniella Pineda has received a few profiles like this after being identified as the breakout newcomer – or at least largely unknown – in the movie. That makes the reports that a scene clearly identifying her as LGBTQ was cut, the latest instance of that happening in a major studio franchise film, somewhat awkward.

There’s also a bit of extra attention coming to co-star Justice Smith.

Director J.A. Bayona was never the focus of much of the press in advance of the movie’s release, but there was an interview with him here and another one here.

First Reformed

More from director Paul Schrader on the film’s disturbing characters and situations as well as his feelings and thoughts on God.


The campaign for this is one I let go by me because it seemed like a terrible mess and the post-release developments have only reinforced that decision. Here are some examples:

  • The studio, along with MoviePass (which invested in the film), published a really weird and insulting Tweet positioning critics giving it a negative review as enemies of the common folk.
  • That same message was conveyed in push notifications to MoviePass mobile users and is what the movie’s marketing team is selling as they float the idea Rotten Tomatoes is artificially keeping its score down.
  • There’s speculation that the disconnect between that score and a strangely high audience ranking could be because of a bot/fake account campaign being mounted, something the studio denies.

Wonder Woman

As the marketing for the sequel ramps up, Turner Ignite placed a paid article on Ad Age about how Turner networks and shows helped sell the first movie to audiences.

Lady Bird

Amazon promoted the movie’s availability on its streaming service with a Father’s Day clip featuring some of Tracy Letts’ wonderfully-delivered lines from the movie.

The Incredibles 2

More from costar Holly Hunter in this brief interview.

A Wrinkle In Time

It seems Disney used the tactic of pairing this movie, which is already on home video, with The Incredibles 2 at drive-in theaters around the country to help it eek past the $100m mark.

Avengers: Infinity War / Deadpool 2

Josh Brolin is interviewed about how popular he is right now and how that kind of bothers and worries him.


OK, I’ll grant you that co-star Peter Fonda’s Tweet about Bannon Trump was in poor taste, but right now the last person who should be asserting any sort of moral highground on literally any issue at all is Donald Trump Jr. Indiewire has the whole recap, including Sony Classics’ position on the matter.

Christopher Plummer’s character was based in part on the real life grandfather of director Shana Feste.

The Catcher Was a Spy

The New York Times delves into the real history of Moe Berg, played by Paul Rudd in the movie.

Black Panther

An exhibit of the movie’s costumes will be on display at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.


No, it wasn’t a real movie, but the campaign for Tourism Australia that sure looked like a movie’s marketing push just won multiple awards at the Cannes Social Lions.

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

The Catcher Was a Spy – Marketing Recap

catcher was a spy posterPaul Rudd looks to continue making his appeal to be seen as a more versatile actor in this week’s new limited release The Catcher Was a Spy. Based on a true story, Rudd plays Moe Berg, a catcher who played much of his career for the Chicago White Sox in the early part of the 20th century. Berg was more than a ballplayer, though, speaking 10 languages and accumulating a number of degrees.

All that made him attractive to the Office of Strategic Services, the U.S. military’s intelligence service during World War II. The OSS recruited Berg, who served in many fields during the war. The movie focuses on one particular assignment: A mission to Europe to determine whether or not German scientists including Werner Heisenberg were close to developing their own atomic bomb.

The Posters

There’s not a whole lot going on with the movie’s one poster. A massive image of Rudd’s head dominates the design, positioned above a dark alley where two men wearing hats and trenchcoats (which work to establish that this is a period piece about spy stuff) are engaged in some shady business. There’s copy explaining this is “The true story of Moe Berg” but what are the odds that’s going to create any sense of recognition in the audience?

The Trailers

Moe, as the trailer starts, is being recruited by the military for a vaguely defined job. Eventually it’s explained that because of his unique mix of physical aptitude, education and language proficiency, they want him to go into Germany and deduce whether the Nazis have developed an atomic bomb. Ultimately he’s asked to kill the scientist he’s sent to spy on if he learns that a bomb either exists or is imminent, a prospect Berg isn’t entirely comfortable with. There are some generic shots of WWII battle and lots of drama around him leaving his girl.

It’s not a bad trailer, but it very much sells the movie as a more or less conventional war spy drama. Berg’s is an intriguing story but the trailer dispenses with what makes it unique pretty quickly to get to fairly standard spy material. None of that is necessarily bad, it’s just what’s being shown here.

Online and Social

There’s not much happening on IFC Films’ page for the movie, where you’ll just find the trailer, poster, cast/crew list and a story synopsis. It’s also received limited support on the studio’s social channels, which have focused on some other buzzier titles to date.

Advertising and Cross-Promotions

Nothing I’ve come across here.

Media and Publicity

The movie was originally slated to screen at the Toronto Film Festival but was pulled by the filmmakers who didn’t feel it was ready for debut at that time. With an all-star cast and a great premise, it’s unsurprising the movie frequently made the lists of critics’ most-anticipated films of the Sundance Film Festival. Eventual reviews weren’t exactly in-line with those expectations. But while there Rudd talked about how his role in Ant-Man helped open the door to this film by giving him a chance to do something new in his career. It wasn’t until late April that IFC acquired the film


It’s not that surprising there hasn’t been a bigger push for the movie. Not only is it a niche release but any more substantial press activity would have necessitated Rudd’s involvement and he’s likely committed to promoting the upcoming Ant-Man sequel.

It’s an interesting story being sold, but there’s no real strong hook for the audience to latch onto. It’s not new or revelatory in any way, coming off as just a seemingly solid period drama without whole lot to offer.


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 New York Times delves into the real history of Moe Berg, played by Paul Rudd in the movie.