×

Marvel Takes Page from Lucasfilm’s PR Playbook

Both companies aim to release news first on their websites for future films

When it announced that Robert Downey Jr. will return for two “Avengers” sequels, Marvel Studios made it clear that it has embraced Lucasfilm’s method for controlling how news gets revealed about its movies.

Lucasfilm has long used StarWars.com to officially announce directors, cast and other production elements related to its sci-fi franchise. While the news had already been reported by other news outlets, Lucasfilm had a strategy of not confirming the reports until it was ready. After its $4 billion purchase of Lucasfilm last year, Disney also took the same position with news surrounding the seventh “Star Wars” installment that J.J. Abrams will direct.

For weeks leading up to an announcement of Abrams’ involvement, Disney declined to confirm reports of his hire or that of writer Michael Arndt and producers Simon Kinberg and Lawrence Kasdan until a press release was posted on StarWars.com.

Now Marvel is taking a page from the same playbook.

“Be sure you stay glued to Marvel.com because in the coming days and weeks and months, Marvel.com will be FIRST in the world to reveal additional casting updates, new characters coming to Marvel movies and so much more — directly from the most secret meetings at Marvel!” the company posted on Marvel.com.

The move is sure to ruffle the feathers of news outlets and the blogosphere always eager to break news on Marvel Studios projects, running the latest rumors past Marvel or Disney’s PR department. Just like “Star Wars,” anything that has to do with Marvel movies drives traffic to websites. And being first is always better.

But Marvel and Lucasfilm also realize that when they eventually announce something that too will also get picked up everywhere. News, after all, is still news. While the Internet has made controlling the message harder than ever, Marvel and Lucasfilm prove it’s still possible.

Marvel Studios has always been more secretive than most, opting not to confirm a hire until well after they’ve already started working on film. For example, Jon Favreau already had been publicly discussing his work developing “Iron Man 2” long before Marvel officially confirmed his return to direct the film.

Marvel and Lucasfilm aren’t alone.

During the production of “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” Lionsgate also chose to only confirm casting news via Twitter. The studio dropped that strategy after Lionsgate and Summit merged.

But it wouldn’t be surprising if it chose to adopt a more proactive move to how it confirms business decisions on its films again.

As studios rely on well-established properties to fill their release schedules, attention levels will always be on high for anything involving their development through release. And with websites, Twitter feeds, Facebook posts, Instagram and other social media platforms, it’s becoming a little easier for studios to pick and choose what they want to distribute to their fanbase.

As Marvel put it on its website: “You wouldn’t want to miss out on that now, would you?!”

More Biz

  • The dark Manhatten skyline, seen from

    StubHub Refunds $500,000 to Customers Shut Out by New York Blackout

    Saturday’s blackout in New York had an outsized effect on the city’s nightlife, with Madison Square Garden and the entire Broadway district seeing multiple shows cancelled due to the the power outage. As a result, StubHub has refunded more than $500,000 worth of tickets for cancelled events. According to a statement from the company, the StubHub [...]

  • Weapons Cache

    D.A. Files 64 Charges in Bel-Air Weapons Stockpile Case

    The L.A. County District Attorney’s office has filed 64 counts against Girard Saenz, the man who allegedly kept a stockpile of more than 1,000 weapons at a Bel-Air home linked to the Getty family. Saenz is accused of illegal possession of assault weapons, transferring handguns without a dealer license, possession of short-barreled shotguns, and possession [...]

  • 9-1-1: Angela Bassett in the series

    Fox Sees Primetime, Sports Ad Gains As TV Upfront Wraps

    Fox Corporation is the latest to benefit from stronger-than-expected trends in TV ad spending, as the company notched strong gains in advertising commitments for its next cycle of programming – its first since selling off a large chunk of its media assets to Walt Disney. Ad demand was stronger than many executives anticipated, according to [...]

  • BMI Promotes David Levin to Senior

    BMI Promotes David Levin to Senior VP of Licensing

    BMI today announced that David Levin has been promoted to Senior Vice President of Licensing, effective immediately. In his newly expanded role, Levin is responsible for all of BMI’s domestic licensing and revenue generation, encompassing radio, television, digital media, cable, satellite and general licensing.  Levin, who will oversee teams in New York and Nashville, reports [...]

  • Warner Music Group Logo

    Warner Music Acquires Musical Theater Indie First Night Records

    Warner Music Group has acquired First Night Record, an independent record label for West End and Broadway musical theatre cast recordings. The company will be overseen by WMG’s Arts Music Division, led by President Kevin Gore. First Night co-founder John Craig will join the Arts Music team under a multi-year consulting agreement to identify and record musical theatre productions in [...]

  • Woodstock 50 to Hold Open House

    Woodstock 50 to Hold Open House for Local Residents Before Permit Review Tuesday

    If nothing else, the producers of Woodstock 50 are persistent. After two permit applications to hold the troubled festival at the Vernon Downs racetrack in Upstate New York were rejected by the town of Vernon codes office, the producers and venue owner Jeffrey Gural today invited the local community “to embrace the Festival’s spirit of [...]

  • ILM Star Wars The Force Awakens

    ILM to Open Latest Effects Facility in Sydney, Australia

    Sydney, Australia, is to be home to Industrial Light & Magic’s fifth production hub. The Disney-owned special effects company currently has facilities in San Francisco, Vancouver, London and Singapore. The decision to open the Sydney outpost was announced Monday local time by executive creative director and head of ILM Rob Bredow, ILM executive Luke Hetherington, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content