The Marvel Cinematic Universe turns 14 this May, yet the historic franchise is still experiencing firsts. 2021 marked Marvel Studios' evolution into serialized storytelling as the universe expanded onto Disney+. The House of Mouse's streaming service also debuted the first animated installment in MCU canon with What If...?, an anthology show set to play into Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The MCU firsts continue in 2022, as Marvel Studios prepares to release a fourth entry into a solo franchise with Thor: Love and Thunder.
As announced at 2019's San Diego Comic Con, Thor 4 will follow Chris Hemsworth's God of Thunder as he forms an unlikely alliance with Natalie Portman's Jane Foster, who is set to transform into Mighty Thor. The ensemble has since been filled out with A-List talent, including Academy Award winners Matt Damon, Russell Crowe, and Christian Bale as villain Gorr the God Butcher.
Filming on Thor: Love and Thunder wrapped this past May, with post-production expected to be completed sometime this month. With most of Thor 4's footage polished and that July 8 release date quickly approaching, when can fans expect their first official look at the summertime sequel?
Where is the Thor: Love and Thunder Trailer?
There's thunder in the forecast.
Thor: Love and Thunder toy sets were officially released this week, indicating that Marvel Studios is gearing up for the film's marketing campaign.
Before the pandemic, it was commonplace for Marvel to drop their teaser trailers upwards of eight months before a feature film hit theaters. Since March 2020, COVID-19 has made cinemas significantly more volatile. Studios have experimented with day-and-date hybrid releases to safety net their profits, while others have kept completed movies vaulted until they felt the theater scene was stable.
Marvel has consequently switched up their promotional schedules, electing to drop first teasers roughly four months before their films' release dates.
Considering the start-stop momentum of Black Widow's campaign, and its arguable consequence on the film's mediocre box office performance, Marvel's decision to run tighter promotional runs makes sense from a revenue standpoint.
The post-pandemic releases of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and Eternals dropped their first teasers 136 days and 165 days, respectively, before debuting in theaters. While Eternals got an extra month, both films had a comparable campaign in the six-week stretch leading up to release.
As of this writing, Thor: Love and Thunder is 137 days away.
Marvel's July History
The numbers indicate a Thor: Love and Thunder trailer is arriving any day now, but there's a Sorcerer Supreme-sized roadblock in its way.
Marvel's full theatrical attention is currently on Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, as Benedict Cumberbatch's solo sequel inches closer to that full-speed six-week marketing stretch from mid-March to May 6. On top of that, Disney+'s Moon Knight is quickly approaching its March 30 premiere.
That said, it's not uncommon for Marvel Studios to market multiple projects at once. Recently, both Loki and Black Widow as well as Hawkeye and Spider-Man: No Way Home overlapped, leading to the MCU doubling down on promotional material.
Beyond that, Marvel regularly occupies both opening weekends of May and July for their theatrical releases. This goes as far back as 2011, when Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger dropped within two months of each other. Duos like Avengers: Age of Ultron and Ant-Man, as well as Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Spider-Man: Homecoming have also followed this trend.
The shortest trailer gap among those duos belongs to Captain America: The First Avenger, which dropped its first teaser 121 days before its theatrical release on July 22, 2011.
When Will Thor: Love and Thunder's Trailer Release?
With all data considered, expect Thor: Love and Thunder to drop its first teaser on Monday, February 28.
Both Shang-Chi and Eternals debuted their first teasers on a Monday, which allowed both projects to dominate the news cycles for the rest of those weeks. Marvel will likely see February 28 as ideal not just because of where it falls during the week, but what comes that Friday.
Matt Reeves' The Batman makes its long-awaited debut on Friday, March 4, a whopping 559 days after its first teaser dropped at DC FanDome 2020. While Disney and Warner Bros. are two separate entities, both studios have fancied the occasional superhero synergy. Releasing Thor 4's teaser at the beginning of The Batman's premiere week allows it to play in front of Robert Pattinson's take on the Caped Crusader, which is an opportunity Marvel Studios won't want to pass up.
Just like all Marvel teasers, expect Thor 4 to go quiet once again shortly after its first footage is released. An official trailer will likely be saved for after Doctor Strange 2 hits theaters, and the marketing campaign won't ramp up until mid-May.
Even though the MCU is in the middle of a lengthy dry spell, the franchise roars back to screens next month, and it doesn't look like its slowing down ever again.
Thor: Love and Thunder hits theaters on July 8.
MCU Writer, Editor, Podcaster