The Thor: Ragnarok trailer dropped just before Easter followed that weekend by a trailer for another upcoming 2017 release. Unlike the Star Wars trailer, Thor: Ragnarok chose to feature a popular rock song for musical accompaniment in the form of Led Zeppelin’s Immigrant Song. This is not a new occurrence, The Rolling Stones Paint It Black has been doing the rounds for years featuring in trailers for Stir of Echoes (1999), video game Call of Duty: Black Ops (2010) and this year’s The Mummy remake starring Tom Cruise. Certain trends play out in trailers no different than they do in other forms of media. In the wake of Inception (2010), many films copied the distinct sound of that film’s marketing, for example, Skyfall (2012). Belgian all girls choir Scala and Kolacny Brothers’ cover of Radiohead’s Creep was so effective in the trailer for The Social Network (2010) that several trailers have featured similar choir sung or female sung covers of classic songs with a recent example being Confidential Music’s cover of The Bee Gees classic I Started A Joke with their version sporting the vocals of Becky Hanson for the teaser trailer for Suicide Squad.
Popular music has always been used in trailers for comedies and alternative music for trailers of indie hits. Yet more and more popular rock music is being used in all film trailers. Rock music perhaps started its current trend in 2012 with Joe Cocker’s Feelin’ Alright and The Rolling Stones Gimme Shelter being featured for the trailer for Flight and Aerosmith’s Dream On for Best Picture Winner Argo. Since then, more and more comic book films have taken up the trend. Warner Bros with the aforementioned Suicide Squad did follow up trailers using Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, a cover of Lesley Gore’s You Don’t Own Me featuring Grace and G-Eazy and Sweet’s The Ballroom Blitz. The two trailers for this year’s Justice League have had a cover of The Beatles Come Together by Gary Clark Jr. and the film’s composer Junkie XL, as well two classic tracks by The White Stripes with The Hardest Button to Button and Icky Thump.
Guardians of the Galaxy, of course, featured music for their trailers reflecting the importance popular music of a certain era holds for central character Star-Lord who left Earth as a boy during the era of this music. Thor: Ragnarok maybe the first time Marvel chose to do it with other films but it won’t be the last. Perhaps this was a choice to define the Thor sequel as more like the Guardians movies? Immigrant Song was written by Led Zeppelin during their tour of Iceland in 1970 and the lyrics reference Norse mythology and Viking conquests. Over four decades later it still sounds amazing and thanks to the God of Thunder has been given a new leash of life.
Thor: Ragnarok releases in Australian cinemas on October 26, 2017.