Marvel’s really pulling out all the stops these days. They’ve been bombarding theaters with a couple of films each year as they build up to The Avengers, a project that really is unlike any other — a series of films about individual heroes, with separate directors and casts, all intertwined and building up to a massive, consolidated project that really can be considered an event as much as it is a movie. It started off at a blistering pace with the spectacular Iron Man, though I must admit that the films seem to be losing steam as they progress. I actually rather enjoyed the engaging but flawed The Incredible Hulk, and Thor was a pretty good time. On the other hand, Iron Man 2 hasn’t really withstood the test of time (cut out a swath of the middle, and you have a far better film), and I was thoroughly unimpressed with the tepid and ultimately forgettable Captain America.
Yet one of the clever devices they’ve used is using little bits and pieces to tie the films together, whether it’s subtle references within the films, or the short post-credit snippets where they bring in cast members from other respective films. Now, they’re undertaking a new campaign, a series of short films entitled One-Shot, which will serve to bridge the gaps between the films. It’s a nifty concept, to be sure. The first of them, entitled The Consultant, will be found as an extra on the Thor Blu-Ray release, which is also a rather clever marketing technique to get folks to plunk down the cash for the disc. It even has a trailer, featuring Clark Gregg’s Agent Coulson, as well as Maximiliano Hernandez as Agent Sitwell. Watch:
As you can see, it’s meant to be the connective string between Thor, The Incredible Hulk, and Iron Man 2 (the consultant in question is doubtless one Tony Stark). There’s a second film coming as well, entitled A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Thor’s Hammer.
Producer Brad Winderbaum describes them thusly:
“A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Thor’s Hammer… picks up after Agent Coulson leaves Tony Stark’s lab in Malibu during Iron Man 2, and occurs before he arrives solo at the crater site in Thor. The Consultant takes place sometime after the plots of Iron Man 2, Thor and The Incredible Hulk, but before Marvel’s The Avengers.”
What say you, true believers? Marketing gimmick or brilliant idea? A little of both>