Movie fans discover tragic reason why trailers don’t sound the same anymore

Movie fans discover tragic reason why trailers don’t sound the same anymore

Once upon a time, one extraordinary voice boomed out of Hollywood’s movie trailers — but times have changed, and movie fans have just realized why.

Movie trailers have changed a lot since the late 2000s. A great example is 2011’s Battle: Los Angeles, a naff sci-fi actioner that had one of the most breathtakingly somber trailers of the year, scored to Johann Johannson’s eerie composition and conveying a current of epic horror that couldn’t even be found in the movie.

Trends have evolved; instead of upbeat music, they use slow remixes of popular songs. With the rare exception of films like Longlegs, mysterious trailers like Cloverfield’s first teaser are a thing of the past. And then there’s the big absence: the voice, provided for decades by the inimitable Don LaFontaine.

He offered his iconic services to any movie, including Lethal Weapon, Madagascar, Bruce Almighty, Scream, Braveheart, and many more (over 5,000 credits). He died on September 1, 2008, and trailers have never been the same again.

On the r/movies subreddit, a user asked why there wasn’t an “ominous baritone” voice in trailers anymore. As answered in the comments, after LaFontaine’s death, the use of voice-over fell out of fashion. That said, some trailers have imitated it (like The Holdovers), and voice-overs haven’t vanished completely — but LaFontaine’s domination hasn’t been passed on to someone new.

“1. Don LaFontaine died. 2. It was parodied so much that it no longer felt earnest,” one user explained. “As a kid, as soon as I heard Don LaFontaine’s voice in a trailer I just knew I was going to have a good time watching that movie. It’s amazing how cozy and moviesque it was,” another commented.

“I miss those epic voiceovers! They were like the trailer’s hype man, setting the stage for all the drama and action. But hey, with the internet taking over, trailers are everywhere now. Plus, we’ve got trailers for trailers these days! Who needs a voice-over when you can just binge-watch trailers on YouTube? But hey, those classic ones will always have a special place in our nostalgic hearts,” a third wrote.

In addition to LaFontaine, Mark Elliott’s voice-over was attached to countless Disney adverts for decades. He died in 2021.

If you’re still trying to scratch that itch, you have option: Screen Junkies’ Honest Trailers use a similar voice in all of their videos, and if you want to revisit LaFontaine’s trailers, someone has created a playlist on YouTube. You can also check out new movies you should be streaming this month and which platforms currently have the best deals.

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