Trailers are people's first look at a film, and it's an important step in the process of a film.
Give too much away and you risk spoiling the film. With comedies, there's always the risk of front-loading the trailer with the best jokes. For horror, the biggest jump-scares can be readily identified when it comes time to watch. However, there are those trailers that totally miss the point of a film, or edit in such a way to present a completely view on the film.
After all, there's only a handful of directors who actually get a say in how the trailers are edited. More recently, some directors have been come out against the trailers produced by their own studio. Duncan Jones, for example, was critical of some of the trailers made for Warcraft.
With all this in mind, we've come up with ten of the most misleading trailers we've seen in quite a while.
10. WINTER'S BONE
What the trailer looked like: A sort of modern western, wherein Jennifer Lawrence and John Hawkes are loading up their guns to take on the law and anyone else who tries to stop them from taking their house.
What it actually was: The trailer got the story beats right, for sure, but a lot of the action was spaced out over the course of the film and it was more of a drama than a thriller. It's still a great film, but the trailer really did try to make it seem much more than what it was.
What the trailer looked like: An action-packed war movie with Jake Gyllenhaal and Jamie Foxx battling Iraqi forces at the height of the Gulf War, with an early Kanye West soundtrack blasting over it.
What it actually was: While there definitely were some moments of dramatic tension and action, Jarhead really captured and got the sheer boredom of what it's like being stationed in the middle of the desert. Not only that, Jarhead has a comedic streak running through it a mile wide and that's almost completely devoid from the trailer too.
What the trailer looked like: Amazing, to be honest. A tense, gripping story about the "arrogance of man", Bryan Cranston front and centre as a crazy scientist trying to warn everyone, incredible visuals, that terrifying music from 2001: A Space Odyssey, the sheer sense of scale. Easily one of the best trailers of the past ten years.
What it actually was: Well, not amazing. To be honest, the tone of the film was completely different from the trailer. The trailer made it look like it was a serious take on the monster genre and that Bryan Cranston was a much bigger part in the story, whilst Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen were supporting characters. Turns out it was the other way around completely, and Taylor-Johnson isn't that good an actor to hold a film up by himself. Also, Juliette Binoche deserved better. BETTER.
7. ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND
What the trailer looked like: Some sort of sparkling, quirky, romantic comedy with an odd twist that lets people erase bad memories.
What it actually was: This is one of those situations where it's probably a good thing that the film didn't get the game away, but it seems pretty clear that the marketing people watched the finished film, didn't understand a tap of it and just cut together a straightforward romantic comedy trailer. Instead, the film's a beautiful, elegiac masterpiece on the importance of emotions and memory that's got a few comedic moments here and there.
What the trailer looked like: A romantic drama that featured two of the most attractive people on the planet - Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt - stranded together on a colony ship and trying to keep the whole thing going.
What it actually was: Well, a mess. For one thing, Laurence Fishburne's character is never even mentioned and he plays a pretty big role in the thing. Not only that, the whole premise of the thing was downright creepy and that's not even mentioned either. Sure, that's giving away the plot, but it's still kind of ridiculous. Plus, the film makes it seem like a lot more happens in the film than it actually does.
What the trailer was: Fast and the Furious, but with Ryan Gosling and a better soundtrack
What it actually was: A dark, violent fairytale version of Los Angeles with Ryan Gosling saying all of five lines in the film. They used something like 90% of his dialogue in the trailer. OK, it's less - but the point is that the trailer makes it seem like some sort of generic heist thriller when the film is way slower, more nuanced than that. In fact, the trailer was so different from the film that a woman tried to bring a lawsuit against the producers for false advertisement.
4. MAN OF STEEL
What the trailer was: Kevin Costner and Russell Crowe giving young Clark Kent advice to haunting music from Howard Shore that made it seem like it was a Terence Malick film with superheroes.
What it actually was: All of the subtlety and grace that was in the trailers - both the two teasers with Costner and Crowe - and the full trailer itself was gone from the film. Instead, the whole allusion between Superman and Jesus were about as subtle as a fart in a bath-tub and Kevin Costner gets killed off in the first act of the film. The promise of the trailers didn't even come close to living up to what it should have been.
3. THE CABLE GUY
What the trailer was: Just another Jim Carrey screwball comedy, except this time he has a lisp.
What it actually was: Outside of The Number 23 or The Truman Show, it's probably Carrey's most daring film. Keep in mind, as well, that this was at the height of his popularity. Anyone who's seen The Cable Guy knows that it's a dark, messed-up film about a stalker - not a kooky, hyper-friendly guy - an actual stalker. Christ, there's a scene where he buys Matthew Broderick a prostitute for his birthday. The trailer made it out like it was Ace Ventura, when in fact it was like Single White Female, but, y'know, funny-ish.
What it was: A slasher movie with Drew Barrymore and Neve Campbell
What it actually was: It's probably one of the biggest fake-outs in modern film history and, to this day, still gets us. Drew Barrymore was in the posters, she was in the trailers, anyone and everyone would think she was a major part in the story - and she gets killed in the opening five minutes. It's insane, and there's no way that could possibly happen today.
1. THE GREY
What the trailer was: Liam Neeson's wife gets kidnapped by snow and wolves, Liam Neeson sets out to murder snow and wolves - with broken bottles for claws.
What it actually was: The Grey is up there with one of the best survival drama films ever made, and is arguably Liam Neeson's best performance post-Schindler's List. The story that unfolds, the character development from the cast, the cinematography, all of it - it's all pushed aside in the trailer to showcase Liam Neeson being an action star. To be fair, this was around the time that Taken was doing huge box-office numbers and they clearly wanted to capitalise on it. The Grey is so, so much better than that - but sadly, it came and went from cinemas and only gained a second life on word-of-mouth.
Did we miss any? What's your most misleading trailer? Let us know in the comments!