Twentieth Century Fox, one of the second to last studios to present today, just went out with a bang, with James Cameron coming on stage to announce four Avatar sequels (vs. the previous three), confirmation of Deadpool 2 going forward and the fact that in 2017, Hugh Jackman’s Greatest Showman on Earth was a go for 2017. Mike Fleming broke news a couple of years ago about Jackman and Showman. We’ve been hearing that financing was still coming together, however, it was a title card in Fox’s final 2017 lineup.
This morning’s presentation didn’t start with opening remarks by domestic distribution president, Chris Aronson, rather Vanilla Ice, who rapped his hit single “Ice Baby” to an Ice Age sizzle reel with a femme dance crew behind him. Aronson then came on stage, decked in a big pompadour wig and a glitzy Vegas satin get-up that would be the envy of Elvis Presley.
“Now that’s what I call a cold open, word to ya mother!” said Aronson to great cheers. “My own wardrobe team — one of the perks working at Fox. Should have ordered my own hair stylist,” the distribution chief quipped before introducing the Ice Age: Collision Course trailer.
“We’re already taking bets on Chris’ outfit next year, let’s hope it’s not Deadpool‘s spandex,” joked Fox Film Entertainment CEO/chairman Jim Gianopulos who took the stage. 20th Century Fox co-chair Stacey Snider announced that Tim Miller and Ryan Reynolds are hard at work on Deadpool 2. In addition, per Aronson, Kingsman: The Golden Circle is in production too. The X-Men: Apocalypse trailer played to great cheers and fox whistles.
Adam Devine, Zac Efron and Anna Kendrick walked on stage to banter about their raunchy comedy Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates. “That’s really funny, you guys as brothers,” Kendrick told the duo. For Devine, it completely makes sense that he could be related to Efron. The film is about two rich kids, with a bad reputation, who try to clean their behavior up for a wedding. When news breaks out that they’re single, two gals played by Aubrey Plaza and Kendrick, make a beeline for them. This is hysterical, Kendrick’s character tips a masseuse (Kumail Nanjiani) to give her girlfriend who is getting married a “Hawaii Five-O” massage. He gets naked, oils up and proceeds to bounce around weirdly on her body. Fox is king with gross out comedies (they did There’s Something About Mary), and it looks like they have a winner here. After the clip, Kendrick joked, “That wasn’t normal.”
Jeff Goldblum led the Independence Day: Resurgence cast onstage. “I never knew if I should call you guys exhibitors or exhibitionists. Let’s have a hand for exhibitors…(small applause). OK, now exhibitionists…” And the crowd cheered louder. “That’s good because they said clothing is optional,” said Goldblum. He then introduced a snippet from the film “We have a Cobb Salad of some of the cast,” said Goldblum. Brent Spiner said, “I often thought I was the ham in this salad.”
Goldblum responded, “what does that make me?”
“An avocado,” joked Spiner. Vivica A. Fox was also there. Roland Emmerich presented a new never before seen trailer. It’s more bings, bombs, and booms. What’s clear here is that there’s more going on here VFX with this film than in the 1997 film.
Nobody has been uttering the words Screening Room on stage, rather they’ve been alluding to it. DreamWorks Animation chief Jeffrey Katzenberg said before his presentation of Trolls “The home viewing experience has become part of the entertainment landscape, but there’s nothing like sitting in a dark theater where movies command our attention. Life’s distractions are sealed off by those four walls as our vision is filled with the visions of filmmakers…At the end, we do something remarkable. We applaud. We don’t applaud at our TVs, we don’t applaud at our cell phones, and we don’t applaud at our iPads. That’s the power of the moviegoing experience. We live in era where we can own any movie. But in the theater, movies own us. That’s due to you exhibition, Thank you.”
In Trolls, Justin Timberlake is in charge of the soundtrack. Kendrick’s singing is marvelous with a cover of “The Sounds of Silence”. Before the presentation, DWA hosted a breakfast at the Palms with Kendrick, Katzenberg and Trolls directors Mike Mitchell and Walt Dohrn and DWA production co-presidents Bonnie Arnold and Mireille Soria. DWA has been in production for three years on Trolls, but it’s been development much longer. The film is based off the funky 1970s Troll dolls, that when you twirled them, their hair would go wild.
A biggie now is that Michael Fassbender is introducing Assassin’s Creed, directed by his Macbeth helmer Justin Kurzel. The trailer looks great, even if you’re not a fan of the game. It’s medieval chopsocky, but oy, it opens Dec. 21. a week after Disney’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
In a clip Bryan Cranston and James Franco talk about their comedy Why Him? They just made a crack about a Carmike exec smoking more than Seth Rogen. The crowd is going nuts. “Aronson says we’re not allowed back there after last year,” said Cranston. Funny clip. It one-ups Meet the Parents: It’s about a father’s (Cranston) worst nightmare when it comes to a daughter’s boyfriend: rich, cocky and a brazen idiot (Franco). A comedy, which is perfect for that holiday car jam at the end of the year with Rogue One.
Nancy Utley and Steve Gilula are now presenting Sundance Audience and Grand Jury Prize award winner The Birth of a Nation directed by Nate Parker. They’re showing us the first full trailer that won’t be released for next few months. A 90 second one hits theaters tomorrow. The trailer was a hit, earning a warm response. Parker takes stage. He shot the movie in 27 days and talked about how amazed he was when he first learned about Nat Turner in school.
Gianopulos introduced a Tim Burton reel coupled with exclusive footage from the director’s next movie Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. The kids have more quirks than the ones in Charlie in the Chocolate Factory. Eva Green gives a tour of the grounds of those kids with ‘special talents’. Emma has shoes made of left, a young boy has bees coming out of his mouth. James Cameron then took the stage with the big news.