Avengers 4 Title Announced – First Trailer Review

iron man in avengers endgame
Tony Stark, somewhere in the universe.

Oh dear Thor! I’m sitting here sobbing my heart out. I just watched the first (amazing!) trailer for Avengers 4, which finally has a title: Avengers: Endgame. It’s under three minutes long and I’m a mess. Just like I was at the end of Avengers: Infinity War. As soon as it flipped to the title card that dissolved into ASHES, the tears started, and I lost it.

As I’m sure the producers intended.

Damn them, DAMN THEM…okay, I also love them. So it’s complicated. If you’re a big fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, you’ll be leaking from the old tear ducts too.

SPOILERS HERE for Infinity War (has anyone not seen this yet?) and the Avengers 4: Endgame trailer. (Get caught up to Infinity War with only five films.)

Here’s the first Endgame trailer, with only a few spoilers (Ant Man‘s inclusion  should be no surprise, if you paid attention to the end of Ant Man and the Wasp).

But don’t blame me if you get something in your eye while watching this. (Full Trailer Review is below video.)

Alright — let’s get to my notes:

  • I knew Tony had a ship available to him, since the Guardians flew to Titan. But with Rocket and Nebula elsewhere, Tony has to figure out 1. how to fly Star Lord’s ship and 2. how the heck to find Earth. Now it seems he’s out of food and water. Also: oxygen. He gives a last message to — who else? — Pepper Potts, who he didn’t manage to marry before hitching a ride to Titan. I’m confident he’ll work this out — he’s a genius, right? And if he asphyxiates in space, the whole Iron Man arc will implode. He’s the brains, while Cap is the heart. An ignominious death won’t satisfy. And, trust me, fans would get ugly.
  • Nooooo! That dusting logo is killing me. Remember when they did that to the title card during the end credits to Infinity War? All the feels just came rushing back.
  • Thanos’ armor is hanging like a scarecrow, perhaps at Thanos’ farm. It’s a pretty world. I wonder if anyone else is on it. There’s a castle-looking building way up on a mountain in the background.
  • We see someone strolling through fields of thistle flowers (?), brushing them with a big gloved hand. Probably Thanos. I can’t tell if the glove is the Gauntlet. Wasn’t that broken by the Snap? Black Widow voice-overs about how Thanos did what he said he’d do.
  • Cut to a wide shot of the Avenger’s compound.
  • OMG how DARE they show a picture of Peter Parker (presumed dead). TEH FEELS, THEY HAS MEEEEEEE……
  • Anyone catch Shuri on the screen just before Peter? We  know she’s been confirmed alive by the MCU producers, so it seems these are people listed as Missing and not Presumed Dead. You have to catch the right second to see this. Also, we see that Scott Lang (Ant Man) is prominently displayed.
  • Where’s Bruce Banner? Oh, there he is!! I was distracted by the cheap shot with Peter Parker. Banner’s got his hand over his face as he watches the screen of the missing. Specifically when young Peter’s face comes up. I know, Bruce, it hurts.
  • So, next. Where did Thor go? (Maybe he’s in the escape pod with Rocket, searching for Tony Stark? This would work. Also, Thor now controls the Bifrost, so he might be checking on the status of the Nine Realms. Or looking for Valkyrie and Korg. My sense is since he was so prominent in Infinity War, Endgame might feature more of Cap.)
  • Where is Nebula? Why don’t I remember where Nebula is?
  • I assume the producers are withholding Captain Marvel from any of this. Patience! 😉
  • Back to the actual trailer. We’re in the Avengers hangar deck at sunrise/set.
  • And there’s our Thor. He’s looking lost in a hoodie — you can see the bleakness in his eyes. I want to hug everyone.
  • Nebula!!! I should finish this trailer before making some of these comments. She looks like she’s on a spaceship. Maybe with Tony. I still don’t remember where she was at the end of Infinity War. I even wrote an entire article about “those left behind”, but Nebula is not on the list, so they must have shown where she was.
  • Who is the hooded sword guy?? Is that Hawkeye?
  • YES, IT IS HAWKEYE! He’s somewhere in Asia and it looks like Natasha went to find him. Which makes me think his entire family must have been dusted. He looks like a man driven insane by grief. Notice the street in China (?) is completely empty. Maybe, post-Snap, people are afraid to leave their homes. It must be an incredibly dark time across the universe. How nice for Thanos to be so happy with himself at the end of Infinity War.
  • Cap looks at an old photo. I assume Peggy Carter. He’s lost everyone who mattered to him now.
  • Captain America and Black Widow talk about the post-Snap universe. It’s grim. Cap wants to be optimistic, because the alternative is unthinkable. Cap has always been the biggest believer in truth and honor prevailing over evil, so I buy it. Black Widow has more of a cynical view of reality… but you can see she’s trying, for Cap’s sake, to salvage the situation.
  • Cut to the A4 logo, looking like the ashes reforming…but the music swells in a mighty crescendo of minor keys. Not a happy track. It’s game time.
  • Because this is Marvel, we even get an extra scene in the trailer: Ant Man waving and shouting at a security camera in front of the Avengers compound. The old van (containing the Quantum Tunnel) is right behind him. Remember, the Avengers think he’s dead. We end on a fun note of him saying basically, “Hey guys, remember me from that big airport fight? Can I come in?”  Nice. I appreciate a little lightness in this otherwise harrowing trailer.
  • We end on the A from Avengers superimposed on April, when the movie is expected to come out.

Overall, I’m super pleased this upcoming movie seems to have the real stakes we’ve waited 10 — soon 11 — years to pay off. April can’t get here soon enough. I wonder how many times I’ll watch this trailer? RunPee will do an MCU rewatch before Avengers: Endgame, and keep you updated with newly posted rewatch commentary.

Related MCU posts with our predictions: 

10 Ways Ant Man Could Escape the Quantum Realm

Once More, with Ant Man. Why him, and why now?

The 5 Movies You Need To Watch Before Infinity War

Even more: Read every RunPee article about the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Any Endgame early predictions? Leave your comments below!

 

Jill Florio

Co-Creator of RunPee, Chief of Operations, Content Director, and Managing Editor. RunPee Jilly likes galaxy-spanning sci fi, superhero sagas, fantasy films, YA dystopians, action thrillers, chick flicks, and zany comedies, in that order…and possesses an inspiringly small bladder. In fact, that little bladder sparked the creation of RunPee. (Good thing she’s learned to hold it.)

What DC Can Learn from Marvel Movies

DC comics superheroes
Let’s bring some playfulness into DC, okay?

This awesome 10 minute video (below) by ScreenRant picks apart how and why the Marvel Cinematic Universe kills it over the DC Extended Universe. You may be a bigger DC fan over Marvel, but it’s hard to argue the MCU movies are  more inspiring, with strong character beats and good-natured humor…while DC limps along being largely morose. This might change with the Aquaman film (he was quite amusing in The Justice League, along with The Flash). And then there’s the really fun-looking trailers for the upcoming April 2019 release of Shazaam.

I think DC might be getting the picture: stop with the grim, and come in with the ability to transport fans to a place where they can let go of their worries and enjoy a couple of hours at the cinema.

Marvel used humor way back in the beginning  (ten years ago) with Iron Man 1, and upped the comic ante with time and expertise — just look at Guardians of the Galaxy or Thor: Ragnarok, and most of the latter film entries. Those are beautiful films, and also carry important messages. Did “We Are Groot” make you tear up? How about as Peter Parker cried under the rubble, then realized no grown-up was going to swoop in and save him? Did you enjoy when Ant-Man ecstatically learned he could join the ‘real’ heroes in Captain America: Civil War as a certified Avenger, or when Black Widow asked Hawkeye, mid-fight, if they were still buddies?

There’s a lot to deconstruct with Marvel, and that’s not EVEN getting into the masterpiece that was X-Men’s Logan. (Which I have seen only once, because extra curricular crying is not  on my list of daily fun stuff.)

In any case, I think DC might be getting the message. When James Gunn was unceremoniously fired from Disney’s Marvel world, DC eagerly snapped him up, to do for Suicide Squad what he did for Guardians of the Galaxy. I’m sure this wasn’t a good move for Marvel, but hey — we’ll get what I expect to be a fantastic treatment for Suicide Squad, on a premise mostly squandered before.

So, enjoy this video about what Marvel does that DC needs to emulate:

Guardians of the Galaxy Ex-Director James Gunn to Direct Suicide Squad 2

Movie Review – Justice League (RunPee Jilly’s POV)

Movie Review – Justice League (RunPee Dan’s POV)

Jill Florio

Co-Creator of RunPee, Chief of Operations, Content Director, and Managing Editor. RunPee Jilly likes galaxy-spanning sci fi, superhero sagas, fantasy films, YA dystopians, action thrillers, chick flicks, and zany comedies, in that order…and possesses an inspiringly small bladder. In fact, that little bladder sparked the creation of RunPee. (Good thing she’s learned to hold it.)

What is a Day-Killer Article?

Sometimes at RunPee we get a little carried away. We’ll start out writing a simple movie article, and it ends up being so long, or so chock full of interesting video snippets, that the piece ends up taking more of your time up than a simple coffee break will do. We have to admit, we kind of love those posts: they’re a labor of love.

But we did decide to at least warn you when they’re coming up, so you can sit back, relax, and enjoy these entertaining posts. We’re calling them Day Killers…because, well, for obvious reasons. They are the written equivalent to movies we call Bladder Busters. But, hey, you can pause these articles and pee whenever you like!

Here’s a few of our favorite Day Killers, with links to help you find them. We hope you like viewing them as much as we did putting them together. I promise, these are curated to be fun: 

I’ll be adding to this list as we write more long posts, or ones with a ton of videos attached.  Let me know if you spot something I’ve left out. Consider this a sort of RunPee public service announcement!

Jill Florio

Co-Creator of RunPee, Chief of Operations, Content Director, and Managing Editor. RunPee Jilly likes galaxy-spanning sci fi, superhero sagas, fantasy films, YA dystopians, action thrillers, chick flicks, and zany comedies, in that order…and possesses an inspiringly small bladder. In fact, that little bladder sparked the creation of RunPee. (Good thing she’s learned to hold it.)

Hollywood Celebrities Mourn Stan Lee on Twitter

comic book covers of superheroes from Stan Lee
Seriously. How can one man be so creatively prolific?

You can’t read this article about the legendary Stan Lee (who died this Monday at the age of 95) and not be moved, and a little choked up, by the wonderful list of loving tribute Tweets. And not only does this post scroll through messages from the expected Marvel actors and their corner of the universe, but also from ‘rival’ DC Comics,  actors from other properties like Star Wars and Star Trek, NASA, politicians, producers, directors, scientists, inventors, the US Army, space explorers, billionaires, and production studios.

If there is a big name in creative entertainment, that person has a nice story to share, or words of gratitude for the grand palette of imagination Lee painted onto our universe.

Everyone was a Stan Lee fan, and clearly, still is. Think about how different the landscape of entertainment would be without his boundless decades of genius. (And also, without his adorably amusing movie cameos.) We don’t think RunPee would have made it this far without Lee’s magical movie influence, inspiring the kind of films that help people see the value of friendship, love, and sacrifice.

Read the collected Tweets here: Hollywood Mourns the Loss of Stan Lee.

This is where social media, and especially Twitter, comes into its own, as a force for loving and not for hate.

Excelsior, Mr. Lee! Thank you for being our Guardian of the Galaxy. RIP, somewhere in the universe.

RIP Stan Lee – you will be missed

Four of Stan Lee’s Favorite Characters

Quiz – Learn About Marvel Studio’s Great Stan Lee

Stan Lee – His Marvel Cameos are a Secret Character

 

Jill Florio

Co-Creator of RunPee, Chief of Operations, Content Director, and Managing Editor. RunPee Jilly likes galaxy-spanning sci fi, superhero sagas, fantasy films, YA dystopians, action thrillers, chick flicks, and zany comedies, in that order…and possesses an inspiringly small bladder. In fact, that little bladder sparked the creation of RunPee. (Good thing she’s learned to hold it.)

Four of Stan Lee’s Favorite Characters

Stan-Lee-spider-man-with-fans
Stan Lee with fans dressed as their favorite supes…with his true love: Spider-Man

There’s no doubt Stan Lee, often together with frequent co-inventor/artist Jack Kirby, created some of the most beloved, enduring, and influential superhero characters.  Without Lee, there would be no Marvel Universe, at least not with the faces by which we know it. Lee was a man with a mission of hope for millions of kids, giving a heroic voice to the underdogs, the alienated, and the disenfranchised.

Here are a few of Lee’s apparent favorite superhero creations:

  1. Lee seemed to identify most with Spider-Man, an emotional, talkative, and sometimes naive teen. According to Quora: “Spider Man symbolizes the little guy and that appeals a great deal to Stan. I’m not saying that Stan doesn’t love any other creation because that isn’t true. He has love for all of his characters that he brought to life. I just think that Spider Man has a special place in his heart. If you look at some of the publications and advertisements you will see Stan with Spider Man quite often.”
    It doesn’t hurt that this character became the face of Marvel for many years.
  2. Dr. Banner/The Hulk Banner was a man tormented by an often violent inner volatility. His human form contained a man a science, characterized by rational  intellect — never knowing when he would lose his cool to become an overpowered child-like rage monster. He’s the personification of the ultimate battle between the Id and the Ego. AV Club reports: “There’s definitely an element of wish fulfillment in the Hulk for readers that wish they could let themselves fully give in to their anger—my appreciation for the character developed during my closeted teenage years—but Lee and Kirby were clear early on that this was a curse for Banner rather than a gift.”
  3. Black Panther – At the height of the Civil Rights movement, Lee created the first eponymous African superhero, starting with King T’Chaka, eventually  passing the role to his son King T’Challa. A previously under-served, large section of the world’s population could finally find superheroes who looked like them — an entire paradisaical high-tech country of them, in fact — in the secret cities and unspoiled countryside of Wakanda. The Rolling Stone reports: “An entire generation of children will now know that a black superhero, society, imagination and power can exist right alongside Peter Parker, Steve Rogers, and Bruce Wayne. An entire generation of children will not know what it feels like to not see themselves reflected back on costume racks, coloring books or movie screens. We’re at a pivotal time where these characters and stories are coming not out of permission or obligation, but necessity.”
  4. For The X-Men, as an ensemble, this might be cheating, but he loved these fleshed out characters, who tried to do the right thing in a world that didn’t want them. They were flawed but regular people at heart, caught up in circumstances where they were forced to make a choice: to look out for regular humans, or to look out for fellow Mutants. In theory, the choice should be easy (both sides could reap the rewards of working together), but in reality it was like forcing opposite poles of magnets to align. You can’t help but feel a sense of tragedy for both sides. As a child, I self-identified as a mutant, or perhaps as someone from another world, impersonating as a human. According to the AV Club the young mutants were “a bunch of awkward, uncertain outcasts, drawing strength from each other in order to get through life in a world that didn’t especially like them, who just happened to have superpowers to boot. For a pre-teen who often felt like the odd one out in school, it was a lightning bolt, a volcanic eruption that ripped open the pop culture I had been consuming and showed me the way to a different one, one that existed inside the pages of comics. The heroes were fascinatingly flawed, all of them given to social isolation in one form or another, and it spoke to me in a way few things have. The symbolism of the mutant heroes is powerful, which is why they’ve been used as an allegory for just about every marginalized group at this point (and were created by Lee with the express intent of functioning as such).”

This week, the galaxy lost a voice of vast imagination and fun, who held deeply felt humanitarian roots, shaping millions of young lives through the colorful comicbook medium. He also influenced modern adults, bringing all-too-human characters to the big screen, reshaping the superhero landscape indelibly from anything we’d seen before. If you’ve enjoyed the 20+ film saga of the MCU, or the X-Men movies, you can’t help but be touched by Stan Lee’s contribution to entertainment, and feel a deeper understanding of ourselves.

We at RunPee love superheroes, clearly identifying with the underdogs who decided to do something for the world, even if it’s as simple as helping everyday people in small ways, one bladder at a time.

Here’s a couple of our recent Stan Lee articles, and one cool quiz: 

RIP Stan Lee – you will be missed

Quiz – Learn About Marvel Studio’s Great Stan Lee

Stan Lee – His Marvel Cameos are a Secret Character

Every Stan Lee Cameo in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

 

 

Jill Florio

Co-Creator of RunPee, Chief of Operations, Content Director, and Managing Editor. RunPee Jilly likes galaxy-spanning sci fi, superhero sagas, fantasy films, YA dystopians, action thrillers, chick flicks, and zany comedies, in that order…and possesses an inspiringly small bladder. In fact, that little bladder sparked the creation of RunPee. (Good thing she’s learned to hold it.)

Quiz – Learn About Marvel Studio’s Great Stan Lee

We just heard (11/12/18) about the sad passing of legendary Marvel Comics superhero creator/movie co-producer Stan Lee, at the impressive age of 95.

Mr. Lee had so many influential superhero characters to his name: it’s impossible for anyone not to have been touched in some way by Spider-Man, The Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, Black Panther, Dr. Strange, the X-Men, or any of the other flawed, fascinating characters he created for the Marvel Universe. Whereas DC penned impossible paragon superheroes like Superman and Wonder Woman, Lee’s Marvel creations had real-world problems, handling mature themes about friendship, love, family, alienation, and sacrifice.

Take this quiz to learn more about this outgoing, imaginative superhero genius and his achievements:

Stan Lee

RunPee sends loving wishes to Stan Lee’s family and hopes they can feel peace through this trying time. Mr.  Lee leaves behind a legacy previously unheard of in cinema — making a linked series of 20+ award-winning blockbuster movies — not to mention a  lifetime of extraordinary comic book creation.  Thank you for being our Guardian of the Galaxy. Rest In Peace, somewhere in the universe.

 

RunPee Mom is our emotional bedrock. Without her, RunPee never would have lasted a decade as an app (which is since the dawn of time in internet years). She’s our biggest cheerleader and an unending source of unconditional love. She works cheerfully and tirelessly, seeing any movie we ask of her, writing interesting reviews, and being our…well…MOM. Her genres of choice: kiddie flicks, animated movies, emotional dramas, historical features, war films, diverse biographies, and even dense, diabolically plotted thrillers. She knows more about famous and infamous figures in history than said figures probably knew about themselves. She’s the Quiz Manager for the RunPee.com blog, and Assistant Facebook Manager for our social media efforts. If you’ve interacted with someone on our Facebook page, you’ve most likely been given a virtual hug by RunPee Mom.

RIP Stan Lee – you will be missed

stan-lee-marvel-superhero
The Man. The Spider. And every other beloved Marvel superhero. Stan Lee, you will be missed.

We just heard today (11/12/18) about the passing of legendary Marvel Comics superhero creator and movie co-producer Stan Lee, at the age of 95.

Not only was he beloved for introducing the world to such enduring characters as as The Hulk, Thor, Black Panther, Dr. Strange, Spider-Man, Iron Man, and the X-Men (among many others), but he also appeared in some way in every Marvel movie, in vastly amusing cameos.

In a recent MCU massive movie rewatch this summer in New York to herald the coming of Ant Man & The Wasp, it’s reported the biggest laughs and moments of outrageous fan applause came during each Lee cameo. His ritual appearances were always highly anticipated by legions of fans, and it was exciting when Lee and Marvel Studios confirmed a fan theory that all his tiny scenes added up to an ongoing arc for his own character as a Watcher Informant. (See link below to our article about his own MCU character.)

At this point, it’s known that Lee hated to fly, and preferred to shoot his upcoming movie scenes in batches. So we will probably see at least two post-mortem cameos next Spring: one for Captain Marvel in March, and in Avengers 4 (still untitled) in May. It would be nice if at least one of those cameos had a little more meat to them, as a proper send-off to a beloved superhero creator.

Something I think we can all feel pleased about is that just this last June, Mr. Lee (along with JK Rowling for Harry Potter and Joss Whedon for Buffy) was inducted into the Sci Fi & Fantasy Hall of Fame.  According to Screenrant, “previous inductees include the likes of Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Gene Roddenberry, Terry Pratchett, C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien.” It’s a pleasure to realize Lee was alive to receive this rare and sought-after award.

Here are a few articles we wrote on RunPee about Stan Lee this past summer that you won’t want to have missed, including a video roundup of every Marvel Cinematic Universe cameo:

Stan Lee – His Marvel Cameos are a Secret Character

Every Stan Lee Cameo in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Guardians of the Galaxy Song – Guardians Inferno

Deadpool MCU Crossover Moments

RIP Mjölnir: Who Can Lift Thor’s Hammer?

Avengers Infinity War – Characters Missing in Action, Whereabouts Unknown

And here’s a link to all the movies articles tagged with Marvel on RunPee.com.

We send loving wishes to Stan Lee’s family and hope they can feel peace through this trying time. Mr.  Lee leaves behind a legacy previously unheard of in cinema — making a linked series of 20+ award-winning blockbuster movies — not to mention a  lifetime of extraordinary comic book creation.  Thank you for being our Guardian of the Galaxy. Rest In Peace, somewhere in the universe. 

 

Jill Florio

Co-Creator of RunPee, Chief of Operations, Content Director, and Managing Editor. RunPee Jilly likes galaxy-spanning sci fi, superhero sagas, fantasy films, YA dystopians, action thrillers, chick flicks, and zany comedies, in that order…and possesses an inspiringly small bladder. In fact, that little bladder sparked the creation of RunPee. (Good thing she’s learned to hold it.)

Once More, with Ant Man. Why him, and why now?

ant man in the quantum realm
Wait. What? Where did everybody go?

With Ant Man & The Wasp now released on DVD and Blu-Ray, people are struck again with how this movie might tie in with the greater Marvel oeuvre, and wonder anew why the light-weight Ant Man 2 arrived so closely after the heavy ending of Infinity War.

— Spoilers ahead for Avengers Infinity War and Ant Man & The Wasp —

Here’s a roundup of some intriguing articles addressing Ant Man, the Quantum Realm, and some conjecture about how to undo The Snap:

Do you have any thoughts on how things could wrap up for Avengers 4, coming out next summer? At least we’ve got time to puzzle, conjecture, and, yes,  re-watch the 20 previous movies for scraps of clues. Feel free to comment below with your ideas. I promise to respond.

MCU Trailer News: 

First Captain Marvel Trailer Finally Drops

Avengers 4 Trailer Hints and Rumors

Jill Florio

Co-Creator of RunPee, Chief of Operations, Content Director, and Managing Editor. RunPee Jilly likes galaxy-spanning sci fi, superhero sagas, fantasy films, YA dystopians, action thrillers, chick flicks, and zany comedies, in that order…and possesses an inspiringly small bladder. In fact, that little bladder sparked the creation of RunPee. (Good thing she’s learned to hold it.)

Avengers 4 Trailer Hints and Rumors

avengers 4 movie trailer
Avengers 4 will soon have a name! (The Snap Undone?)

Several people online are reporting in with seeing the as-yet untitled Avengers 4 trailer, which is expected to drop by mid-November.

Here’s the link to the extended observations of the Avengers 4 trailer, possibly titled Avengers: Annihilation. The notes are detailed and sound authentic enough, given the final events of Avengers: Infinity War. Keep in mind some people believe the title will be Avengers: The Last Avenger, a name possibly “spoiled” by Mark Ruffalo, the Hulk himself. (Granted, that’s a somewhat clunky full title, but it makes a good bookend with Captain America: The First Avenger.)

Read that, then come back here for more news from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. (The leak is traced from Reddit user vfxgurudontmind, and reposted by Chris Smith on BGR.) 

What else do we know? Well, Frank Grillo who plays Crossbones in the MCU, also has news, confirming that some of Avengers 4 will be told in flashbacks. With The Hollywood Reporter, he announced his dead character goes on to reprise his role. Now that photos are out showing Captain America in his 2102 Avengers-era costume, it seems that at least some of the upcoming film will take place around the events of the Battle of New York.

We’ll report here more as the news comes in.

In the meantime, here’s a bunch of related articles to read on RunPee.com, to get you excited about the next Marvel movies:

1st Captain Marvel Trailer Finally Drops

How The Avengers Get Off Titan After Infinity War

Avengers Infinity War – Characters Missing in Action, Whereabouts Unknown

The 5 Movies You Need To Watch Before Infinity War

Mark Ruffalo Spoils Avengers 4 Title – Or Does He?

Mark Ruffalo Sneaks in a Hulk Movie

Tom Holland is an Adorable Bigmouth

 

 

 

Jill Florio

Co-Creator of RunPee, Chief of Operations, Content Director, and Managing Editor. RunPee Jilly likes galaxy-spanning sci fi, superhero sagas, fantasy films, YA dystopians, action thrillers, chick flicks, and zany comedies, in that order…and possesses an inspiringly small bladder. In fact, that little bladder sparked the creation of RunPee. (Good thing she’s learned to hold it.)

Best Movie MacGuffins Explained

Star Wars is loaded with MacGuffins. Can you name them all?

A MacGuffin is any object that drives the plot and motivates the characters in a movie. You might have seen the name “MacGuffins” over bar bistros in the lobbies of many AMC theaters. That’s an industry in-joke. It sounds like the name of an Irish pub, but it’s really a nod to a long standing film tradition, coined by Alfred Hitchcock himself, for an object that’s an excuse to make characters do things, have a quest for, and usually fight over.

MacGuffins can be almost anything, but the point is, it is a “thing.” Sometimes a MacGuffin can be a person-as-thing, but that’s a bit more rare. Another crucial point about MacGuffins — they’re usually quite fungible. It really doesn’t matter what the thing is, so long as the characters spend their narrative trying to get it (or, in some cases, lose it). 

Here are some well-known movie MacGuffins that you probably never thought about: 

  • Raiders of the Lost Ark — this whole flick is about finding the Ark, protecting the Ark, using the Ark, and finding a safe place to store it. I’m not sure an FBI warehouse is the safest place, but it’s probably as good as keeping it under the sands of Tanis. Note that for all Indy’s efforts,  nothing he does actually helps the cause in the end. He’s just lucky he knew enough not to die from it. And as we saw in the subsequent Indiana Jones films, there’s always some kind of MacGuffin driving the plot, including the Holy Grail. This is a case-book example of MacGuffins in action. (And yes, the holy grail in Monty Python’s Holy Grail counts too.)
  • Titanic – The Heart of the Ocean. Awwww.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of The Black Pearl – the last coin of the cursed gold qualifies, and so does Will Turner himself. I think each film in this increasingly bizarre series centers in a MacGuffin of some sort.
  • Most of the Mission Impossible series has a MacGuffin driving the plot, which really is just an excuse to see Tom Cruise pulling off his own wild stunts.
  • The Necronomicon in Army of Darkness qualifies in a super fun way. Have you seen this movie? (Go find it. Bruce Campbell is the best B actor in the business.)
  • A Fish Called Wanda has the bag of money, and a whole lot of tomfoolery involved in getting it, including an actual fish named Wanda. (Haven’t seen this? It’s one of the world’s funniest movies and stands up to the test of time.)
  • The Project Genesis in Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan. But you knew this, right? Even the whales in The Voyage Home count.
  • Unobtainium is kind of a jokey name, but certainly qualifies as a MacGuffin in Avatar. The natives of Pandora need it to survive, and the invading humans want it. They also kind of get it. Bummer.  It all works out in the end, mostly.
  • The Marvel Cinematic Universe is all about MacGuffins. You could make a case for each of the current 20 films having some kind of MacGuffin. Most of them have to do with Infinity Stones, and who has them, and who tries to protect them from Thanos (or Ronan, or Loki, or the bad guy in Dr. Strange, or that dark Elf in Thor 2). Remember the stones go by all kinds of names, like the Orb, the Aether, the Tesseract, and so on. But it’s not always about the stones: Vulture just wanted alien technology. The Iron Man trilogy was about arc reactor tech. Killmonger wanted the power of Vibranium. Thor sought a replacement for his hammer, so Stormbreaker was the latest MacGuffin. Ant Man is about Quantum Tech and Pym Particles. Name me one MCU movie NOT about a MacGuffin, and you’ll win ten points to your Hogwarts House.
  • Speaking of Harry Potter, I don’t think a single entry in the 8 movie pantheon is MacGuffin-free. Look at the Sorcerer/Philosopher’s stone, the Tri-Wizard cup, the orb of prophecy, the Horcrux search, the quest for the Sword of Gryffindor, and the Deathly Hallows. Since Harry turned out to be a horcrux himself, he qualifies as a personified MacGuffin.
  • Like with the Sword of Gryffindor, swords are common themes to base a quest around. Look at the King Arthur movies: we even have two swords! The sword in the stone is one, and the one the Lady of the Lake tossed at Arthur. (“You can’t expect to wield supreme power just ’cause some watery tart threw a sword at you!” <— recognize this quote? If you’re a true cinephile, you should.)
  • The Lord of Rings is a great exception to the ideal of questing FOR an object. In this case, the fellowship is about destroying something: the One Ring of Power. It’s a self-proclaimed fool’s quest, but somehow, the good guys win. (Although not without great cost along the way.)
  • The Lord of the Rings does the sword thing too, with the shards of Narsil being forged as a great flaming weapon, to be reforged and wielded only by a descendant of Isildur. So we can check that box too.
  • In the Hobbit, it’s the Arkenstone.
  • The Wizard of Oz has the Ruby Slippers.
  • In the various incarnations of Dune, the Sandworms are an unusual MacGuffin, which, like Harry Potter, are also in the form of a living being. The spice itself is a HUGE MacGuffin — without it, space travel would simply cease. And this relates right back to the Sandworms. Lost yet? Ignore David Lunch and the SciFi versions; re-read the novel. I hear there will be yet another filmatic attempt at Dune soon…so we can hope it’s the definitive version.
  • In a less fantasy mode, we’ve got Pulp Fiction. What exactly was in the magically glowing briefcase? Was it Marcellus Wallus’ soul, as many fans speculated? We never find out, although it actually doesn’t matter in the end.
  • Fantastic Beasts also featured a magical suitcase that all characters sought. In this film, however, we definitely saw what was in there.
  • Star Wars is usually about MacGuffins, which are often force-users (ie – people). In Solo, look at how Coaxium drives the plot. The Millennium Falcon  qualifies too. In The Force Awakens, Luke himself is the MacGuffin (and so is his lightsaber). A New Hope and Rogue One have the stolen Death Star data tapes. Star Wars is loaded with MacGuffins, including R2D2 himself. Once you start noticing these, you can’t stop. (Kind of like eating Pringles.)
  • The Maltese Falcon – an obvious one, from a classic-era film. Hmmm, also Rosebud in Citizen Cane.
  • All heist, thriller, and caper movies are about finding a thing. Often a tech thing, and sometimes just money — as in Die Hard. I dare you to name a caper that isn’t about acquiring something. Look at the Ocean’s films for a start. Everyone’s after something, and the whole plot hinges around that thing.
  • Apollo 13 and even First Man are about similar MacGuffins, be they the moon itself, or just finding a way to get home from said moon.
  • Are you a Buffy fan? Remember her Axe of Power? MacGuffin. The entire series is loaded with MacGuffins, including Buffy herself.
  • In the X-Files, aliens from space qualify as MacGuffins. And I’m not sure this was ever resolved. At least Scully learned to believe. 😉

Clearly, this is an ongoing list. I can’t sit here all day naming every flick with a MacGuffin. But feel free, absolutely, to name your favorites in the comments. It’s good geeky fun!

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Jill Florio

Co-Creator of RunPee, Chief of Operations, Content Director, and Managing Editor. RunPee Jilly likes galaxy-spanning sci fi, superhero sagas, fantasy films, YA dystopians, action thrillers, chick flicks, and zany comedies, in that order…and possesses an inspiringly small bladder. In fact, that little bladder sparked the creation of RunPee. (Good thing she’s learned to hold it.)