The Trailer Park: Expanding Universes

The common denominator in this week’s collection of movie trailers focuses on filmmakers expanding the worlds of their respective franchises. Or, in the case of this summer’s big-budgeted religious epic, expanding a particular character’s outlook on life.

‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’

Taking a page from Marvel, Disney is intent on expanding the ‘Star Wars’ universe, promising a new installment every year for the next four years. For longtime fans, this is technically not much of a challenge because that world has continuously grown in a variety of mediums since the first movie hit theaters.

Collectively referred to as the “Anthology Series,” these spinoffs are meant as standalone features taking place around the original trilogy. Things kick off with ‘Rogue One’, which looks very promising. Although it refuses to reveal too many plot details, this teaser is plenty to whet the appetites of devotees. My favorite part is what looks like an awesomely explosive battle against a platoon of AT-ATs. That’s enough to convince me to watch this in the theater!

‘Marvel’s Doctor Strange’

Marvel teases moviegoers with glimpses of one of its lesser-known comic book superheroes. What’ll be interesting is seeing how the filmmakers introduce Stephen Strange to audiences, since he exists more in the world of magic and the supernatural rather than science and technology (such as Iron Man and Spider-Man) or powerful gods and evolutionary freaks (such as Thor and X-Men).

Still, as fans of the comic series already know, the character and his world are ripe with awesome visuals and actions perfect for the big screen. From the very satisfying teaser, this looks like a fantastic feast for the senses while still giving us a serious dramatic origin story. I particularly enjoyed that we don’t see Strange’s costume except for a glimpse of his signature red cape.

‘Ben-Hur (2016)’

This historical epic adventure will mark the sixth time the Lee Wallace novel has been adapted for the screen, with the last one being a 2010 TV miniseries. Coming from Timur Bekmambetov, the director of ‘Wanted’ and ‘Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter’, the trailer promises an action-packed extravaganza full of thrills, violence, possibly gore and… lots and lots of CGI. That, in of itself, is not a bad thing, but the preview reveals that the CG work is not quite the caliber of like-minded epic blockbusters.

Still, the trailer catches my attention enough to think the film might be entertaining. However, it fails to intrigue me enough to purchase a ticket. I might catch it on Blu-ray just to find out how the filmmakers have re-imagined a familiar story into a sports drama with perhaps even a training montage.

‘Suicide Squad’

The latest trailer for this entry in the newly-expanding DC universe offers a better look at Batman’s involvement in the story. It’s enough to really get fans excited. I like the Harley Quinn we see here a lot more than in previous trailers.

For more of the latest movie trailers, check out our trailers page.


  1. Scott

    Both Rogue One and Suicide Squad get me excited, I’ll be there first showing!

    I’m getting bored with Marvel, so will pass on Doctor Strange. Although, good actors involved, so maybe on Blu.

    Ben Hur. Well, if I can’t even make it through the whole trailer then I will likely be skipping that one. It looks pretty awful!

    • I’m far from bored with Marvel. Got my Civil War tickets now, and I’m counting down the hours. 167 to go 🙂

      I’ve never read a single Dr. Strange comic, but I’m intrigued by the trailer, and I’ll probably catch the premiere of that as well.

      I agree with you on the rest. Rogue One and Suicide Squad looks great. Ben Hur, not so much.

  2. Csm101

    I’m most intrigued by the Dr. Strange trailer. I think this is another opportunity for Marvel to give us something a little different kind of like when Ant-Man came out last year. I hope they don’t hold back on the weird and mystical. I’m pretty sure I’ll see Suicide Squad in theaters and probably Rogue One as well. I know it’s not posted on here, but I gotta vent my excitement for the Japanese Godzilla Resurgence trailer although I’m not loving the skinny little arms. I’m always down for Godzilla!

  3. Thulsadoom

    Dr Strange doesn’t interest me, unfortunately. Cumberbatch can be interesting, but the character/story just looks like another forgettable comic adaptation.

    Suicide Squad could go either way. It’s not a cinema one for me, but possibly a blind buy on Blu.

    Ben Hur, I was actually quite interested in, till I saw who’s directing it. That’s really not a good sign… It’ll probably be a rental, I think.

    Rogue One… ehh, well… The trailer doesn’t look too bad, except for the blatant samurai character (Why? Darth Vader/the Jedi were already parallels… ), but after the shambles that was TFA, I think this is another rental. I’m not wasting cinema money on Star Wars again, much as I love everything (even with its flaws), pre-TFA.

  4. Bolo

    ‘Suicide Squad’ is the only one of these getting my money. Looks like lotsa fun. Hopefully it won’t spend too much of its running time setting up other movies that I have no plans on seeing.

    ‘Dr. Strange’ looks almost identical to that ‘The Shadow’ movie with Alec Baldwin. I would’ve thought it was a reboot of that if it didn’t have a different title. I don’t know the history of the comics, is one character a rip-off of the other? It looks okay, but I’ll likely only watch it on an airplane.

    I skipped the last ‘Star Wars’ movie, and this heist movie spin off looks even easier to skip. The lead actress just looks really miscast. They’re reading off her rap sheet to set her up as sort of an Aladdin type street kid, but she just comes across like some spoiled brat in a posh school who’s been sent to the headmaster’s office for being cheeky. “This is a rebellion; I rebel!” Groan.

    I love the 1959 version of ‘Ben-Hur’. This new take just doesn’t seem different enough to avoid unfavourable comparisons.

    • Thulsadoom

      Yeah, out of all of them, Suicide Squad does look like the only one worth bothering with. There’s even a chance we may go see it at the cinema, as my other half is quite enthused by it!

      I like the actress who’s in Rogue One, but I know what you mean about the way it comes over in the trailer. To be honest, apart from the imagery that was straight from the original, she was the best thing in the trailer.

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