Is Theological Trailer Music Trending?

Paul Hair

Months ago, Twentieth Century Fox teased the first look at Logan with Johnny Cash’s cover of “Hurt,” and it set movie fans on fire by how different that music choice was from the choral music that normally accompanies blockbuster trailers. And if you watched the latest Logan and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales trailers, you’ll notice they feature two theological songs. Does this mean theological trailer music is trending?

You can read what I wrote at in October about Johnny Cash’s “Hurt” cover and the Logan teaser. People liked the teaser and they particularly liked how the song was a unique choice; how it emphasized that moviegoers should not expect Logan to be the typical X-Men movie.

Moviemakers apparently noticed this positive reaction, and so they gave us the new PotC: DMTNT trailer with Cash singing his cover of “Ain’t No Grave” (from his American VI: Ain’t No Grave album).

And while you might not know it from how it’s used in the PotC: DMTNT trailer, the full version of the Brother Claude Ely song makes it clear that it is an explicitly Christian hymn.

Meanwhile, the latest trailer for Logan uses one of the greatest songs ever written: “Amazing Grace.”

“Amazing Grace” used to be a universally recognized song. I’m not sure that’s the case any longer. Regardless, Darlene Zschech’s performance of it is an excellent version of this musical theology.

Using pensive songs instead of grand choral music in three separate blockbuster movie trailers is a nice change of pace. And featuring two theological songs in the latest two trailers is particularly unique. But does this make it a trend? Probably. Hollywood does, after all, tend to imitate what is successful.

Trend or not, it is interesting to note that none of these three, contemporary trailers are the first to use a pensive song as music for an action-based piece of entertainment.

Circa 2003, the makers of the video game Rainbow Six 3 debuted a trailer featuring the song “America.” Watch it. It gives off a similar vibe to the three trailers for the upcoming feature films.

Enjoy the latest looks at Logan and PotC: DMTNT. And enjoy how they use theological songs. Trending or not, it’s certainly something unique and the uniqueness is doing exactly what moviemakers want: grabbing people’s attention and making them want to go see the films.