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Things You Might Have Missed In The Super Bowl 2020 Movie Trailers

No matter how sedate the Super Bowl party, the frenetic pace of the game and concurrent glitzy ads of the season mean you can miss a bunch in the time it takes to tip the pizza guy. At the 2020 Super Bowl on Sunday, February 2, the movie trailers and TV spots came fast and furious all evening — and we've assembled the most novel ones here for you to see. 

2020's already shaping up to be a banner year for all kinds of franchise films, so you'll definitely want to curb your three-a-day Starbucks habit and hang onto a few extra dollars for such a prolific slate. There's a little bit of spook, a little bit of espionage, and a whole bunch of action that will whet every appetite. Let's take a look at 2020's highest-profile blockbuster offerings that spent an absurd amount of money for a little slice of the Super Bowl action — and dig into the small details you may not have noticed within each one.

A Quiet Place Part II expands its world

The short Super Bowl spot for A Quiet Place Part II is notable for the fact that our erstwhile, lovable Office-alumni-turned-film-director John Krasinski is in the trailer. Krasinski's character from the original A Quiet Place, Lee Abbott, was hastily mentioned in the previously released full trailer for the sequel film, but this is the first footage of him we've seen. This signals that A Quiet Place Part II is meant to be at least partially an origin story since — spoiler alert! — Krasinski's Lee dies a pretty horrific death at the end of the first film.

It's interesting to note that between the two trailers that both feature the first day of the alien invasion, you can see that the Abbott family is split up. Lee is with his daughter Regan (Millicent Simmonds) when he approaches the cop in the Super Bowl spot. Meanwhile, his wife Evelyn (Emily Blunt) is elsewhere with her sons Marcus (Noah Jupe) and Beau, whom you may recall died in the opening scene of the original film. Perhaps A Quiet Place Part II seeks to operate on three narratives: two past, one present. If the two past narratives are meant to dovetail as the present-day story unfolds, that would be a very interesting framing device indeed. We're looking forward to seeing what twists and turns await us from the shadows when A Quiet Place II opens on March 20.

Mulan prepares for battle

The live-action Mulan remake received a final trailer treatment during the 2020 Super Bowl as well, and it came stacked with quite a bit of interesting new footage. One sneaky little moment in this trailer plays up the theme: it shows a bit of the training montage (sans the beloved "I'll Make a Man Out of You" from the 1998 animated original) in which Commander Tung (Donnie Yen) leads his recruits through a warrior oath. As he goes down the list of chanted words — loyal, brave, true — the footage cuts to Mulan, who visibly falters raising her sword and chanting the word "true." That's the good stuff right there.

The other big eyebrow-raiser comes from the witch character in the film, Xian Lang (Gong Li). In the Mulan Super Bowl trailer is some of the Xian Lang-related footage from previous trailers — like animals and smoke appearing and disappearing –  but the new clip features a full-on fight between the witch and Mulan. Xian says Mulan will die pretending to be something she isn't; Mulan rebukes her, saying she will prove there is a place "for people like us," meaning women. Xian appears moved by this statement, and a later shot has Xian correct Bori Khan (Jason Scott Lee) when he says "a girl" is interfering with their invasion; Xian says Mulan is "a warrior."

What's all that about? Are we going to get two female characters in opposition that will sympathize with each other's personal plights? Maybe even a soft redemption arc? Those answers will only come on March 27, when Mulan hits theaters.

Top Gun: Maverick is set to repeat history

The new spot for Top Gun: Maverick is mostly comprised of footage you can find in the longer trailer – but instead of the artful, teasing tone of its predecessor, the one shown during the 2020 Super Bowl does a great job of explaining more of the stakes attached to the story. Captain Pete "Maverick" Mitchell (Tom Cruise) is apparently in hot water, possibly for an accident similar to the one that killed his buddy Nick "Goose" Bradshaw (Anthony Edwards) occurring while he's the instructor in charge. A voiceover appears to threaten him with dishonorable discharge from the Air Force, but there's also a subplot with Maverick involving an incredibly dangerous test pilot mission. Is performing this task his last-ditch show of penitence?

We know a funeral occurs in Top Gun: Maverick, but at this juncture, we can't tell for sure whose it's supposed to be. It could be Maverick's since Jennifer Connelly, his love interest (who as of yet has no revealed name), is there in the foreground — but then again, something tragic has to happen to necessitate threatening Maverick with dishonorable discharge. 

It seems a terrible history is set to repeat itself when Top Gun: Maverick opens on June 26, and every child of the '80s will have to white-knuckle it until then to find out if their pop culture hero will pull through.

Black Widow spins a more complex web

Disney released a full trailer for Black Widow just weeks ago, but for the 2020 Super Bowl, it appears Mr. Mickey Mouse wanted to sprinkle in an extra treat for the television spot. The treat? More Taskmaster, Master of Tasks, of course. 

In the Black Widow Super Bowl spot, we see a bit more of the coming antagonist in action, and with a stylistic flourish: in the shot where he's most prominent, he does a characteristic stomp on his mini vibranium shield to pick it up, just like Captain America does, to show off the whole conceit of how Taskmaster works — he has the ability to instantly copy anything he sees someone do. That single shot opens up a whole new realm of questions: just when and how did Taskmaster see Captain America do anything?

Another important facet of the Black Widow TV spot shown at the 2020 Super Bowl is that it also takes some time to more explicitly state the general theme of the film in a concise 30 seconds: family. We hear Natasha (Scarlett Johansson) talk about how the Avengers weren't her first family. Who is she talking to? We know Tony Stark will have something of a cameo in this film, since it's meant to tie back to Natasha's ollie-out during the events of Captain America: Civil War, so that could easily be it. How will Tony react to learning Natasha's got a secret, second familial unit? After all, he was already pretty irked about the whole switching-sides thing. 

Natasha's final (semi-posthumous) secrets will be laid bare when Black Widow hits theaters on May 1.

No Time To Die seems less metaphorical than ever

No Time To Die's Super Bowl spot seems on the surface to be mostly a concise rehashing of information, but like any good espionage story, the short trailer drops in some tantalizing nuggets to prompt new questions. 

We get to see Bond (Daniel Craig) and a new 00 agent (Lashana Lynch) hop in a surveillance glider and be dumped off an aerial transport at altitude to an unknown destination, which is slick as all get out. The biggest bit of all, however, comes from clever editing — Blofeld (Kristoph Walz) repeats the refrain we heard in the full trailer: when Bond learns the deep, dark secret his lover Dr. Madeleine Swann (Lea Seydoux) has been keeping for years, it will kill him. This dialogue is put over a short montage of Blofeld, the current M (Ralph Finnes), and most intriguingly, an oil portrait of the former M, played by Judi Dench. Her iteration of M perished at the end of Skyfall, and the loss was a terrible personal blow to Bond because he considered her as close to a mother as he ever had, what with his being an orphan. Invoking Dench's time as M is already a major plot twist in itself — what secret had she been keeping from Bond, and does that have anything to do with Dr. Swann's? 

It sounds like it will be personal betrayals abound for Craig's final jaunt as James Bond, and the chances grow slimmer by the second that all the intimations about death are simply metaphorical. No Time To Die will arrive in theaters April 10.

A Disney+ bonanza

The big twist of the night came from the House of Mouse's second offering during the Super Bowl: our first footage of not just one of the coming MCU expansion series, but all three. Though it's not much, clocking in at just 30 seconds, it's the best visual feast we've had yet of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, WandaVision, and Loki alike. 

Of the three, surprisingly WandaVision gets the richest visual explanation, and the promises we've been hearing from its actors about the series being weird and non-linear already appear to be paying off. The series has been previously pitched as a sitcom, but we can see now it's more than that: it invokes several sitcoms, spread over time between the '50s and the '00s — like I Love Lucy, Who's The Boss, Mork and Mindy, The Brady Bunch, and Full House, given the two cribs implying that Wanda and Vision's canonical children Thomas and William will enter the MCU.

After that, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier gets a juicy sneak peek, but mostly only principle characters we already know are coming: Sam (Anthony Mackie), Bucky (Sebastian Stan) and their new nemesis, Zemo (Daniel Bruhl). The only fun new information is a glitzy aerial battle between Sam and a bunch of suit-gliders with pistols. It's not plot, but it sure does look wicked cool.