It has begun. It's finally time to kick off the marketing for The Matrix 4, officially known as The Matrix Resurrections. The first glimpse of footage from the sequel was revealed a few weeks ago at the industry event CinemaCon in Las Vegas, a teaser trailer showing what seemed to be lovers Neo & Trinity meeting but having no memory of anything in their past lives. At the moment, Warner Bros still has Lana Wachowski's The Matrix 4 scheduled to debut in theaters December 22nd, 2021 just before the end of this year. There are rumors it could be delayed (again), but nothing has been confirmed or announced yet. Many fans have been wondering why there is no marketing yet – absolutely nothing – not even an announcement about the title. But now it looks like they're finally firing up the marketing machine. Game creator / movie geek Hideo Kojima tweeted about a brand new website for The Matrix called "What is The Matrix?" And here we go…
"Haven't a clue? Let's play a game, just Me and You…" Its been quite a long time since anyone has hidden something in a movie trailer. But it's no surprise that there's a hidden message in the first teaser trailer for The Batman, directed by Matt Reeves. Especially considering one of the best viral marketing campaigns in Hollywood history was for The Dark Knight (run by the legendary 42 Entertainment). The teaser for The Batman introduces us to Robert Pattinson as Bruce Wayne, with one shot of Colin Farrell as Cobblepot. But there's one other villain teased - The Riddler, also known as Edward Nashton, being played by Paul Dano. There are a few scenes involving notes left "To The Batman", and of these clues at a crime scene is a card from "Your Secret Friend". And inside there's a riddle - along with a threatening message about the "LIAR". Does the code hidden in the card mean anything…? Yes it does! A game designer / puzzlecrafter on Twitter named Mike Selinker figured it out and explained how he solved it using brute force. Find out below.
Save the dinos! Over the weekend, we were treated to a brand new trailer for J.A. Bayona's dinosaur sequel Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, hitting theaters this June. Along with this debut, a new viral website has popped up online for something called the "Dinosaur Protection Group" - with a team lead by Bryce Dallas Howard's character Claire Dearing. The site explains that the DPG is "dedicated to establishing and protecting the rights of all living dinosaurs." It also states that "dinosaurs are not ours to experiment upon or exploit for entertainment or financial gain. Though we brought them back to existence, we do not thereby claim the right to assume control of them." Ain't that the truth. There's also a Volcano Watch page which ties right into the plot of the film where they go back to the island in hopes of saving some dinos before this volcano erupts. Though, based on the first footage, it erupts when they're there and then they must escape.
Join the Jaeger Uprising! Well, this is a cool way to introduce the new movie. Legendary + Universal have debuted a viral teaser trailer video for Pacific Rim 2, known as Pacific Rim: Uprising. The video is an advertisement explaining what exactly a Jaeger is (the giant fighting robots controlled by two people who interlink via brain technology) and ends with an upbeat message encouraging fans to sign-up to be a Jaeger pilot. "Now accepting pilot applications" at GoJaeger.com. The video also features our first look at John Boyega as Jake Pentecost, in his Jaeger helmet. The full cast of the sequel includes Scott Eastwood, Tian Jing, Adria Arjona, Charlie Day, Burn Gorman, Rinko Kikuchi, and Karan Brar. I hope we get to see an actual trailer with real footage soon, but for now this is a cool way to start the Jaegar hype yet again.
"You know who you are. And always remember… so do I." Well, that's a rather creepy slogan. Netflix has launched an impressive and interesting new viral campaign for the upcoming film Okja, made by Korean writer/director Bong Joon-ho. The film is set to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in one month, but leading up to then, they've launched this viral website for the "Mirando Corporation". Tilda Swinton plays the CEO, Lucy Mirando, described as an "image obsessed and self-promoting" person who's the antagonist in the film. Her memo sent our by Netflix PR is all about introducing us to the "Super Pig Project", which is their way of attempting to solve food shortage problems by genetically engineering giant pigs. Seriously.
"What are you?" Paramount has debuted a series of mysterious 15-second teasers for the upcoming Ghost in the Shell live-action movie, starring Scarlett Johansson as The Major. Each teaser has a tiny snippet of footage and provides a very interesting introduction to this movie. Three of them feature Johansson, in iconic scenes that anime fans will likely recognize. One of them features Takeshi Kitano playing Daisuke Aramaki looking pissed as hell firing a revolver then dumping the shells. And one features a mysterious kimono woman with a mask, potentially the villain who wants to sabotage Hanka Robotic's AI technology. I have to admit - I really love these teasers, they're unique and the perfect way to introduce the world to this movie. The way they glitch in and out is awesome. I want more promos like this. "This is just the beginning."
"Sun Village is the true heart of the Vastlands." Focus Features has released a very cool interactive video on YouTube for the upcoming release of Laika's stop-motion animated film Kubo and the Two Strings. I still think this looks amazing and I can't wait to see it, plus it's refreshing to see completely original content made with such passionate attention-to-detail. They've created an interactive map which allows anyone to explore Kubo's realm and the different locations in the story. It's always a great challenge to sell an entirely original movie in a market of mostly remakes/reboots, but I'm more than happy to support this film and remind people that it will be in theaters in just a few weeks. We've featured a grand total of four trailers for this one so far, but if you want to learn more about the story and the world it takes place in, check this out.
"Remember your heroes!" 20th Century Fox has released a fun "viral" video for the sequel Independence Day: Resurgence, which arrives in theaters in another week. Those who remember the original ID4 may remember that Las Vegas was destroyed by the aliens at one point, and the video riffs on that. It's a tourist video inviting people to come visit what is now known as the "Ruins of Las Vegas", still with gambling and weddings and shooting (futuristic) guns and everything else. "On July 4th, 1996, aliens attacked our planet, destroying our cities. The Las Vegas Ruins Tourism Board welcomes you to come to Vegas and experience a vacation like no other." Not bad, not bad. While the CGI is a bit cheesy, this is a cool promo video. Check it.
"As you know, it has taken a huge effort to get a big military base on the moon…" 20th Century Fox has released a viral video for Independence Day: Resurgence that features some of the cast and lots of new footage. The video is designed like a news segment from the "United World News" channel, and first takes a look back at the devastating events of 1996, when the aliens first arrived. Then it jumps ahead to a segment with Jeff Goldblum playing David Levinson, now running "ESD" (Earth Space Defense), who discusses the technology they've borrowed to improve their defense systems. In addition, Jessie Usher as Dylan Hiller, Angelababy as Rain Lao, and Liam Hemsworth as Jake Morrison are also featured. This is pretty cool.
What if the world’s first mutant actually appeared thousands of years ago? Unlock the secrets of En Sabah Nur. 20th Century Fox has debuted a very short viral video made for Bryan Singer's upcoming X-Men: Apocalypse that looks at the origins of the big bad villain named Apocalypse. His real name is En Sabah Nur, played by Oscar Isaac in the movie, a mutant who was born 5000 years ago in Aqaba. He is possibly the very first living being on Earth to have the mutant gene. This video explains some of his backstory and how he became the evil supervillain that battles the X-Men in this upcoming movie. There is also a website that shows the destruction of Apocalypse over time - here. With one month left, they're trying to build buzz.
"How would a proton pack work?" This is cool! Following the debut of the first official trailer for Paul Feig's new Ghostbusters, a new featurette has been discovered along with a new viral website. Hidden in one of the frames in the various math equations written out on the whiteboard is a web address leading to paranormalstudieslab.com. The site just contains various data and info and documents, so far all about the proton packs. The new featurette is also specifically about the proton packs and the people from MIT they brought in to design them to be as realistic as possible. The perfect compliment to that impressive first trailer, since the new proton packs are featured prominently throughout. Can't wait to see more from this.
One year to go until the release of the Assassin's Creed movie, starring Michael Fassbender as Callum Lynch, who becomes a Master Assassin. 20th Century Fox has kicked off their marketing (via ComingSoon) and released one tweet with the text "12.21.16" (the release date of this movie next year) as well as a photo of a stack of business cards. The cards are for Alan Rikkin, the CEO of Abstergo Industries, well known in the Assassin's Creed universe as the primary front for the modern day activities of the Templar Order. If you call the number on the card, the voicemail says he's unreachable until March 25th - the same day as Batman v Superman's opening, meaning that's likely when we'll see the first trailer hit for this movie. More below.