When director James Gunn tweeted this poster for his upcoming film The Suicide Squad, it showcased something very simple and useful that I don’t think had ever been done before — or at least it’s not done very much.
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) June 22, 2021
Mitch Gerads actually noticed it and pointed it out:
Thank you. 🙌 pic.twitter.com/NTCBMtMXq7
— Mitch Gerads (@MitchGerads) June 23, 2021
And Gunn responded:
I was so freaking happy to do that. Post-pandemic I want to support our movie theaters AND our local comics shops AND all the wonderful comic book publishers, writers & artists out there. @DCComics @Marvel @ImageComics @DarkHorseComics @fantagraphics @IDWPublishing @OniPress https://t.co/fzCa12ChHF
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) June 23, 2021
“I was so freaking happy to do that. Post-pandemic I want to support our movie theaters AND our local comics shops AND all the wonderful comic book publishers, writers & artists out there.
Over the years, even as comic book movies have made untold billions of dollars at the box office and made once obscure characters from Groot to Shazam household names, a little direct promotion for the comics themselves has been lacking.
It’s even odder when you remember that these kinds of plugs are common. At the end of almost every movie, if you stay for the credits (and we all do, thanks to Marvel) you’ll see a plug for the soundtrack on a record label.
In the past, when people read novelizations, you might see a plug for that.
But no plug for the comics. A few letters in seven-minute long credits is practically free, but no one has the time or permission to do it.
Just to be sure, I checked the end credits for Avengers Endgame:
And Wonder Woman 1984:
Nope, no plugs for the comics.
I don’t know if these soundtrack ads are a contractual thing, but it’s worth noting that Disney owns Hollywood Records. And Warner Bros. owns Watertower Music. So they are just promoting in-house brands.
Just like Marvel Comics and DC Comics are in-house brands.
Over the years many people have suggested that a little promotion for the comics at the end of the movie would be a good idea. I don’t have time to scroll through all 145 comics-based movies to see if it’s been done, but I’m pretty sure it’s not common.
I don’t know whose idea this was, or how Gunn approved it — maybe with all that talk of
“branding” at Warner Bros., someone finally realized it was a simple, easy idea.
However it happened, I like it. And we should see a lot more of it. It’s free and it’s BRANDING.