To cleanse the palate. Like Ace, I’m more impressed with the box-office strategy than with the trailer itself. Instead of following the usual blueprint of making a blockbuster and then wringing sequels/spin-offs out of it, they made the “sequels” first by giving each character his own movie with an eye to eventually combining them in one big superhero mega-blockbuster (which itself will have many sequels, of course). I can’t think of another Hollywood production, whether TV or film, that’s tried that — and no, I’m not counting “Star Wars” because of the long time lag and different actors cast for the same part. To do it the way they’re doing it here, you need a reservoir of material out of the gate so that you have a clear path from the characters’ individual films to the climactic joining-of-forces down the road. You also need some reason to believe the characters’ individual films will themselves be successful enough to keep the whole project afloat and building momentum towards the mega-blockbuster. Superhero flicks based on Marvel’s mythology are unusual insofar as they meet both requirements.

Even so, I’m surprised no one’s tried it before simply because of the dramatic possibilities. “Star Wars” had multiple heroes too, but you knew those heroes only via their group dynamic. You didn’t come to the film with any expectation of how they’d react to each other because you’d never seen them in isolation, as protagonists in their own little universe. In this case you have, so the interactions will have a depth that most other movies lack. It’s ironic that a dramatic experiment as exciting as that would require a concept as cartoonish as this, but there you go. Maybe it’ll start a trend — instead of remakes unto death (and I do mean death), why not crossovers unto death? There’s nowhere to go but up.