STARS OUT IN FULL FORCE AT CINEMACON
LAS VEGAS: Some of Hollywood’s biggest movie studios took centre stage at CinemaCon on Tuesday, wheeling out a vast array of stars to promote their upcoming slates of blockbusters.
Historic “major” Paramount competed with new kid on the block STX for the loudest applause at the annual gathering here for the “exhibition community” of theatre operators and audio and visual tech innovators.
And while Disney traditionally keeps back most of its juiciest surprises for its own D23 Expo, the studio treated delegates to a world premiere of the latest Pirates of the Caribbean movie, Dead Men Tell No Tales.
Hollywood decamps to the Nevada desert for four days every year, taking over the iconic Caesar’s Palace hotel to show theatre operators what they can expect to be making their money from over the following 12 to 24 months.
STX, in business for just two years, was first up, putting forward legendary sci-fi director Luc Besson to present footage from his latest adventure, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.
The 58-year-old French auteur has made a string of hits, including The Fifth Element, Leon: The Professional, Lucy and Nikita.
But he said his upcoming movie had been a passion project since he began reading the serialised 1960s comics from Pierre Christin and Jean-Claude Mezieres on which it is based.
The US$180 million (RM795 million) Valerian — which comes out on July 21 — centres on a dark force threatening Alpha, a vast metropolis and home to species from a thousand planets.
Blacks ops agents Valerian (Dean DeHaan) and Laureline (Cara Delevingne) race to identify the marauding menace and safeguard the universe.
The audience was treated to a new trailer, a surreal but selfaware fever dream in vivid 3-D featuring a huge, drooling CGI dog-like monster that rips a bus apart, as well of plenty of large Zen-like aliens and desert vistas with echoes of Mad Max.
Numerous stars, including Jessica Chastain, Aaron Sorkin, Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis, took to the stage to discuss upcoming projects in various stages of development.
Wahlberg introduced action flick Mile 22, saying he hoped it would be “the thing that defines me” while Kunis chatted about motherhood and the sequel to smash-hit Bad Moms, due for release in November.
The studio launched its twohour extravaganza with Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron fronting the segment for Baywatch, the upcoming big-screen adaptation of the popular
1990s lifeguard show.
Surrounded by 20 scantily clad models in Baywatch beachwear, Johnson called up Efron, Jon Bass, Alexandria Daddario and Priyanka Chopra, and declared: “I give you the Avengers of the Beach, Team Baywatch.”
George Clooney, Matt Damon and Julianne Moore took to the stage to present footage from Suburbicon.
Clooney — who directed the noir thriller from a script by the Coen brothers — cheekily berated Paramount and Damon for its decision to release Suburbicon on Nov 3, the same day Thor: Ragnarok hits theatres.
Clooney, 55, wanted to know.
“I’m Thor, if I don’t use my thaddle.
The 46-year-old was back onstage later with director
Alexander Payne to introduce Downsizing, a comedic satire based on a world where people can be shrunk down to save on household bills.
AFP LAS VEGAS: Film convention CinemaCon here gives Hollywood studios the chance to show off some of their upcoming projects to cinema chains and journalists ahead of their release.
Sony Pictures took advantage of that opportunity to preview SpiderMan: Homecoming — the first Spider-Man film to be set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe occupied by characters such as Iron Man, The Hulk, Thor and Doctor Strange.
British actor Tom Holland returns as Peter Parker/Spider-Man after making a brief but effective appearance in Captain America: Civil War last year for a movie revolving around him trying to become an Avenger.
“This is something we haven’t seen before,” said Holland, on the film, the first in the series to fully take place while Spider-Man is in high school.
“We’ve seen the soldier, we’ve seen the billionaire, we’ve seen the god and now it’s time to see the kid.”
Spider-Man’s nemesis in this film is set to be Adrian Toomes, also known as The Vulture, played by Birdman and Batman star Michael Keaton.
As opposed to Spider-Man, The Vulture is “a regular guy”, according to Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige.
“It’s fun to see somebody that didn’t just have some sort of medical accident that led to superpowers. We get to see him literally with his own two hands build his future.”
Spider-Man: Homecoming is out on July 7. Reuters
A scene from ‘Spider-man: Homecoming Dwayne Johnson Alexandra Daddario (left) and Priyanka Chopra
Matt Damon (left) and George Clooney Cara Delevingne