Disney is flexing every single one of its synergistic muscles in advance of the Thanksgiving holiday, using (Disney-owned) ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live to promote the mouse house’s biggest franchises. Last night’s Star Wars edition of the show kicked things off, and tonight a special all-Marvel show followed. Making the episode something of a must-watch was the appearance by Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans. Teased in advance as part of a “BIG” surprise related to Captain America: Civil War, the surprise turned out, unsurprisingly, to be the film’s first trailer. We’ve got it here for you to watch right now, and I’ll stop talking so you can watch.

Captain America Civil WarBased on the Marvel Comics crossover event from 2006 and 2007, the film sees Captain America and Iron Man on opposite sides of the law when world governments try to regulate superheroes. Cap rebels against the measures, while Iron Man becomes their champion, leading to a fracturing of Marvel universe as other superheroes pick sides. This means packing in nearly the entire lineup of heroes from previous Marvel films (minus Chris Hemsworth’s Thor and Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk). It also introduces Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther, and Tom Holland as Spider-Man, before either get their own movies.

The first thing that comes to mind while watching is that they’re really hiding the new-new stuff in this one – before you ask, nope, no Spider-Man, and no Ant-Man either. Rest assured they will at least be showing off Paul Rudd’s Ant-Man in the next trailer – at D23 earlier this year, the moment in the Civil War sizzle reel that got the biggest applause, actually a standing ovation in parts of the auditorium, featured Ant-Man. I’m half convinced that was the moment Disney/Marvel decided to greenlight a sequel.

But that glimpse of Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther was extremely cool, if brief. And I’m impressed that they managed to make his costume translate rather faithfully from the comics without it looking like cheesy bondage gear. Here’s a side by side comparison:


It’s tough to judge something sight unseen, and first trailers are all about creating good first impressions. But it’s interesting to see how intimate this felt. The flashbacks to scenes from Winter Soldier were part of that, but the small moments mattered more than the flashy one. Captain America’s personal reasons for going underground – in this case to protect his formerly brainwashed friend Bucky – felt real. Same for Falcon’s summation of his and Cap’s friendship. And that hurt expression on Tony Stark’s face was a really nice touch. all really smart things to emphasize, and they make this feel a lot less bloated than the initial trailer for Ultron did, at least to me anyway.

Disney was cagier than usual about tonight’s reveal, by the way; Evans and RDJ were only announced at the end of last night’s Kimmel (and again today on Twitter,) about as last-minute as it gets for shows like this. That was likely done to avoid what happened last year around this time, when plans to air a trailer for Avengers: Age Of  Ultron during an episode Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D were stymied after the trailer was leaked nearly a week early. Keeping something like this under wraps for as long as possible is a good way to keep history from repeating itself.

Which worked in Disney’s favor by the way – reaction online was a mixture of tense anticipation and outright hair-pulling frustration as fans waited through more than half the show for the trailer. It’ll be interesting to see what the ratings look like tomorrow.

As for the show itself, preceding the trailer was an interview with Downey Jr. and Evans. Evans good-naturedly complained about the weather in Atlanta during shooting – “I would have maybe not chosen Atlanta in July,” he said – while Downey Jr. said they all “made good money” and became best friends.

Kimmel then asked Downey about having brought his furniture to Atlanta during filming. “I didn’t do a thing; it was the movie company,” Downey insisted, then added, “lest I be thought of as self- involved…you’re away from home for a long time and we bring the cats and the kids and the cats like this chair….”

“That’s an Oprah move,” Kimmel said.

Downey also joked about having been inducted into the California Hall of Fame: “I think I might be first inductee who’s been in the correctional system.”

So what do you think about the trailer? Sound off in comments.