As we wait patiently for the premiere of the trailer for this summer's The Wolverine, which lurks in the shadows until it's unleashed on Wednesday, March 27, director James Mangold is keen on toying with us. Monday afternoon, the director posted a six-second, condensed version of the trailer on the popular video app Vine. For only lasting a few moments, the snippet of footage ends up being quite revealing. Well played, Mr. Mangold!
The tweaser. vine.co/v/bDExaiMjJ1F— James Mangold (@mang0ld) March 25, 2013
In The Wolverine, former X-Man Logan (Hugh Jackman) is on the run, desperate to live life as a loner. He finds himself in Japan, and quickly wrapped up in another role that requires his heroism. He's tasked with protecting the daughter of a gang ringleader, Mariko (Tao Okamoto), the target of a number of assassins. The story is based on a popular arc of X-Men comics known for its gritty and emotional take on the character. If anyone's up to the task of evolving Wolverine past where we last left him, the schizophrenic X-Men Origins: Wolverine, it's the Oscar-nominated Jackman.
Surprisingly, the footage maintains the aesthetic we saw in X-Men: Origins, albeit with Japanese scenery and costuming that feels surprisingly un-Hollywood. The footage is mostly of Jackman screaming his lungs out as he punches and slashes bad guys in every direction, but one particular moment stands out amongst the swift action editing. For a moment, we see a glimpse of Famke Janssen as Jean Grey. Mangold has mentioned in the past that The Wolverine works as a sequel to the original X-Men movies. This seems to confirm that, the dreamlike moment likely being a flashback to Wolverine and Jean's brief romance.
More interesting than the actual content of the footage is how it's getting in front of us. Scroll through the videos on Vine and you'll mostly find scenic vistas, jokey one-offs, rapidly-cut comedy shorts, and a plethora of cat videos. This may be the first time we've seen real, cinematic footage flying past us in 6-second increments. With Hollywood tapping into it for their promotion, Vine is officially a phenomenon.
The Wolverine preview footage arrives in the footsteps of other lower-res events. Distributor Oscilloscope previously unveiled an entire feature film over Vine. Filming bits of the Julia Styles/David Cross comedy It's a Disaster off a TV and posting them to Vine, the company turned a goof Twitter stunt into a fascinating shared experience.
Last week, Film District tried their own Vine promotion, asking people who caught Olympus Has Fallen to record their reactions. Yes, through the power of Vine, anybody could become their succinct broadcast film critic, rattling off phrases like "mind-blowing!" Vine made participation after the credits rolled imperative.
Could Vine be leveraged for bigger endeavors? More lucrative creative experiences stemming from Hollywood?The Wolverine teaser footage suggests there's a future in bite-size entertainment.
Follow Matt Patches on Twitter @misterpatches
[Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox]