Easily the most important aspect of pre-release movie marketing is releasing a trailer to sell the movie to audiences: it needs to let potential customers know who’s starring in it, what the story is, and crucially, convey the tone of the piece.
However, sometimes studios know that they’re working with something a little more challenging (or terrible) to sell to a mainstream audience, and so will flat-out lie in the trailer to give audiences a different impression about what the movie is. Everyone’s gone to see a movie only to leave two hours later bemused that it was nothing like the trailer, and though it can sometimes be pleasantly surprising, it’s often irritating because it reeks of false advertising that studios have lied in order to sell more tickets.
There’s certainly a question to be asked about the legality of such practices (and numerous lawsuits have sprung up over the years about the honesty of movie trailers), for though a vague trailer is sometimes necessary to disguise a clever plot twist, it’s not quite so noble when it’s blatantly shifting the goalposts to appeal to a more mainstream audience who would otherwise not be so interested in the film.
These 15 trailers rearranged plots, misrepresented the action content and simply didn’t prepare audiences for the movie they were about to watch.