Refresh for updates: Sony is kicking off the first night of CinemaCon and, boy, are we seeing a lot tonight. On deck are Sony Pictures Motion Group Chairman Tom Rothman, global marketing and distribution chief Josh Greenstein and worldwide distribution chief Rory Bruer. Tonight here in Las Vegas the Culver City, CA studio is showing off clips from Baby Driver, Blade Runner 2049 (Sony has foreign), Spider-Man: Homecoming, The Dark Tower and much more.
The mother of all clips shown off was from Marvel’s Spider-Man: Homecoming with a look at Michael Keaton’s Vulture. In bringing Marvel chief Kevin Feige to the stage, Rothman said, “I actually gave Kevin his first job on the first X-Men. If I knew a big shot he was going to be, I would have kissed his ass a little more.”
Former Sony chief Amy Pascal, who is a producer on Homecoming, got a shout out from Feige for being so intent on putting Spider-Man on the big screen as part of the entire Marvel universe. In introducing Tom Holland, Feige said, “He stole Captain America: Civil War right out from under all of our other superheros.”
Prior to Homecoming was Blade Runner 2049. “Where were you on June 25, 1982?” said Rothman introducing the trailer to the long-awaited sequel to the Ridley Scott film; with the studio chief recalling how the original movie was one of those “where were you movies?” of his generation. “It was as cool as shit.” Rothman then introduced La La Land Oscar nominee and Blade Runner 2049 Ryan Gosling to the stage.
“I wrote that introduction for him,” quipped Gosling. Rothman regaled the crowd with when he visited the set, Blade Runner 2049 director Denis Villeneuve was dumping water on Gosling. But even more impressive were the rich-detailed sets per Gosling and Rothman. “A bulk of it was created versus CGI,” added Rothman. “You were two when you first saw it, that’s really f***ing annoying,” said the Sony chief. “I saw everything that it copied from first,” said Gosling.
Rothman shared, along with Gosling, how the film takes place in Las Vegas 2049.
“It was so surreal to be walking around in the universe of Blade Runner. It was a fully functioning, living and breathing world,” said the actor. The clip is mindblowing with the same tones, colors, intensity and futuristic hologram production design of the original film. “You are special,” Ana de Armas tells Gosling’s Officer k. Is he an android? Gosling’s character meeting Ford’s cop says, “I got some questions to ask you.”
After the clip played, Rothman, the second-highest ranking Sony exec in the U.S. repeated that Blade Runner 2049 was “cool as shit.”
The session kicked off with the first six minutes of Sony’s SXSW critical fave Baby Driver with director Edgar Wright, and stars Jon Hamm and Ansel Elgort in tow; and it ended with Greenstein introducing Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle star Dwayne Johnson. The action star then introduced castmembers Nick Jonas, Jack Black and Karen Gillian. Black promptly sang his own satirical version of what the movie’s title anthem would be. Black exclaimed that Leonardo DiCaprio went through nothing on Revenant compared to the humidity and mosquitoes that the Jumanji cast dealt with in Hawaii. “We had centipedes nipping at the sack, deal with that DiCap!” quipped Black. “He came up with an ingenious way to say f**k in a PG movie,” added Johnson about working with Black. Star Kevin Hart was then beamed in prior to the Jumanji clip being shown.
Sony’s clip for Dark Tower with Idris Elba as the Gunslinger and Matthew McConaughey as the Man in Black was impressive, making up for the lack of stars being present on stage. It’s arguably the first time any footage has been shown from the movie which involves a young boy protagonist who senses the other world of Gunslinger and Man in Black’s battle. MRC is producing and co-financing both Baby Driver and Dark Tower with Sony.
Bruer then tossed the presentation to clips of this year’s animated pics: Smurfs: The Lost Village and The Emoji Movie, due out on Aug. 4, and concept drawings from Christmas movie The Star, Sony’s nativity told from the animals POV. There was also a Will Gluck featurette on making Peter Rabbit with some rough drawings and CGI clips shown — a very different vibe and tone from the Beatrix Potter kid’s book. Sony’s presentation had a few tech glitches with sound dropping out at the onset of Dark Tower during a pre-recorded introduction by Elba as well as black screen pauses.
Also shown tonight, the Diederik Van Rooijen horror title Cadaver about what goes wrong late at night in a morgue, Taraji P. Henson’s La Femme Nikita-like assassin film Proud Mary, and the Flatliners reboot starring Oscar nominee Ellen Page and Diego Luna.
Equalizer 2, Hotel Transylvannia 3, Spider-man: Homecoming and the animated Spider-man were from the Pascal regime. Flatliners 2, Jumanji and Baby Driver were overlaps between Pascal and Rothman. The Emoji Movie, Peter Rabbit and The Dark Tower were all put together under Rothman (as was Slender Man, which was not teased).