China just got its own version of the Iron Man 3 trailer and... hold on a second... it's, like, COMPLETELY DIFFERENT! In fact it’s pretty common for a studio to change the content of film trailers so they appeal to foreign moviegoers. Since we at The MindHut devote so much time broadening our cultural appreciation via the repeated viewing of international film previews, we thought we’d share this acquired knowledge by showcasing 5 movie trailers that were changed for other countries.
1) The Avengers Polish commercial
In the movie The Avengers, we learn that, as great as they all are on their own, the whole is, indeed, greater than the sum of its mighty parts. However, the country of Poland strongly believed that one of the heroes was worthy of more recognition than the others, chiefly Black Widow. Why? It might have something to do with Scarlett Johansson being—among other nationalities—of Polish descent. But overzealous nationalism is merely a wild guess on our part.
For those born in the United States, it’s nearly impossible to not at least have a rudimentary understanding of Abraham Lincoln’s storied legacy as the president who abolished the institution of slavery in America. As such, there really wasn’t any reason to make the trailer for Lincoln so straightforward for domestic audiences. For those across the sea, on the other hand, they may only recognize our 16th president as the really tall guy with the funky beard and affinity for stovetop hats. Watching Lincoln’s international trailer, you can see that it was tweaked to be a bit more transparent, providing some much needed backstory.
3) Wreck-It Ralph
Right from the get-go you can see where the international Wreck-It Ralph trailer deviates entirely from the original U.S. version: We got cheated of a spiffy 8-bit version of the iconic Cinderella Castle logo! What the heck, Disney?! Digressing from this minor issue—still doesn’t mean we’re not seething with nerd rage over here—the foreign trailer’s tone is completely different, pegging Wreck-It Ralph as more of an action-packed romp than a heartfelt feature, omitting much of the Bad-Anon clips. A strange move, especially when it was the villain support group that got us scrambling to see the movie in the first place.
The question on everyone’s mind when the teaser trailer for Prometheus premiered was whether or not it was a prequel to the groundbreaking Alien film saga. It took a few more trailers, but we finally received closure when one close to the movie’s release depicted a snakelike facehugger going to town on a hapless Millburn. Did 20th Century Fox—Prometheus’ distributor—build up this suspense for foreign audiences with the international trailer? Nope! Hey, everybody who isn't in America... SPOILER ALERT!
5) Godzilla: King of the Monsters
Hey, even movie trailers hailing from other countries need to undergo revisions before reaching the United States, with the trailer for Godzilla’s 1954 American debut being a prime example of this. The original Japanese trailer for Godzilla: King of the Monsters—or Gojira as it was known in Japan—is, aside from being a lengthy three minutes (our attention spans can hold out for only so long), puts plenty of emphasis on scenes featuring the movie’s actors, as a means of showing the human element of the giant monster flick. But since the U.S. was going through its B-movie creature feature phase, Godzilla was promoted with that trademark "run, don't walk" fanfare as a rampaging anger machine, with the only actual people to appear on screen fleeing in sheer terror. Also, they say the title of the movie roughly 2,450,368 times.
Do you think some of these changes were necessary?