Many people have accused the Marvel Cinematic Universe of being formulaic. But this formula is arguably one of the MCU’s biggest strengths. If the process is successful, why change it? One of the most obvious examples is in the MCU’s posters. Ever since 2012’s The Avengers, any Marvel movie containing more than one hero was arranged like a giant collage, usually toned with the orange-and-blue color scheme that’s proven so popular.
But for once this hegemony has backfired, exposing a massive flaw in how we look at Marvel leaks. Here’s everything you need to know.
Over the weekend, a supposedly leaked poster for Thor: Love and Thunder made the rounds. It looked similar to the massive mash-up poster for Avengers: Endgame, featuring Thor, Jane Foster, Korg, and Valkyrie. The poster appeared on Twitter in a photo that looked like it was already for sale in stores; there’s even a logo on the bottom attributing it to Pyramid International, a UK-based poster company.
The poster circulated Twitter, Reddit, and Instagram because it seemed like it could be real. Sure, it was a little busy, but Taika Waititi’s Thor movies have always been offbeat. All the characters seemed to be in their new costumes, and there even was an appearance by Thor’s two pet goats, Toothgnasher and Toothgrinder, who were seen in set leaks earlier in the year.
But all this fan fervor was for naught. Director Taika Waititi took to Twitter, quote tweeting a now-deleted picture of the poster to say it wasn’t official, and even going so far as to call it “so bad.”
However, it’s still not clear if this poster is real or just a convincing Photoshop. Even if it isn’t the official poster for the film, it could be an officially licensed merchandise poster, which would explain why it first appeared in a store, not in theaters. Alternate versions of posters are common for the MCU, so this poster isn’t officially a fake just yet. At the very least, it could be a bootleg capable of kickstarting some conversations if you put it in your living room.
This entire ordeal underlines a huge problem in the Marvel fandom: an obsession with leaks, regardless of the veracity. Sketchy leaks are abundant, and no matter how often they’re reported with the customary grain of salt, fans seem more than willing to latch onto them. After all, a leak with a low possibility of being true is more exciting than no leak at all.
But the fault isn’t entirely with fans. The fact that this poster was accepted as real is partly due to the incredibly busy designs of the past few movies — especially the giant Avengers team-up movies like Endgame. With Taika Waititi behind the camera, the final poster is sure to be a lot of fun, but maybe with only a few wacly elements instead of everything being thrown at the wall. Regardless, we’ll have to wait a while before we see the official poster.
Thor: Love and Thunder premieres in theaters July 8, 2022.