I think, a few hold outs aside, we can all agree that Charlize Theron is a very attractive woman. Just in case you’re one of those “I need empirical evidence”-people, I give you exhibit A.:
She is also an intelligent, talented and successful woman. (Um, hello, Oscar.) That said, you’d think any movie studio would be happy to have her in their film – thrilled even. In fact, the very sight of her is probably enough to make any marketing department erupt with screams of glee. So then why is she all but missing for the marketing for her new misanthropic superhero film Hancock?
She’s not on the poster. She’s barely in the official trailer. She’s only in a couple of the TV spots – and even then just for split seconds.
We see Will Smith. We see a lot of Will Smith. Will Smith flying while drunk, Will Smith breaking stuff, Will Smith being cranky. We also see Jason Bateman who we gather is the unhappy superhero’s publicist. But Charlize? It’s like she is the invisible woman.
(Possible spoilers ahead. Proceed with caution.)
What makes it all the more perplexing is that Charlize does not have a small part in the film. In fact, her character is involved in a significant twist toward the end of the movie. It seems for once, the marketers decided to hold back.
As Sony marketing executive Val Van Galder told the Los Angeles Times:
“There are so few surprises in summer movies that we made a strategic decision to keep Charlize out of sight. Trust me, there is a big surprise in the film and when it happens, you hear an audible gasp from the audience. It’s a fun secret and to keep it fun, we decided to leave it unexplored in the trailer. It’s a lot better to maintain the mystery of what Charlize is up to.”
Now I applaud not giving too much away (I hate it when the trailer shows all the funniest, flashiest, most fantastic parts), but there is also such a thing as holding too much back. Like, say, making it look like someone isn’t even in the film at all. And for a movie whose core audience looks to be teenage boys and young men, don’t you think showing Charlize would help draw an audience? Heck, she might have even expanded the audience. Just off the top of my head, she could bring in – oh, I don’t know – us lesbians. Just a thought.