‘Avatar’ Sequels Update & ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ In Fox Spotlight At CineEurope
The Fox presentation tonight at CineEurope included a King of the World, and Queen. But before that, it kicked off with a video of President of International Theatrical Distribution Andrew Cripps and President of International Marketing Kieran Breen packing for their trip to Barcelona. After several Deadpool references, an elbow at England’s chances in the World Cup and a gag about North Korea being the next emerging market, the execs reached into their suitcases with Breen pulling out a pair of Mickey Mouse ears, and Cripps a Comcast t-shirt.
Tonight’s presentation is expected to be the last that Fox does before it has a new owner, and when Fox Film Chairman and CEO Stacey Snider came out, she acknowledged this is an uncertain time for the studio. But she added, “We cannot lose sight of the ultimate goal which is the sustainability and vitality of going to the movies. We must continue to make movies to be seen out of the home.” And to the exhibitors in the audience, she said, “Thank you for being by our side for 80 years.”
Then, on with the show. Lightstorm Entertainment’s Jon Landau came to the stage to say they are in the middle of production on James Cameron’s Avatar sequels, and tossed to a video from Cameron on set who said he is on day 130 of performance capture. He was standing in front of a giant water tank and noted water “plays a huge part” in the new movies which will travel to “never before seen parts of Pandora.” He asided that Kate Winslet can hold her breath underwater for seven minutes and that Zoe Saldana wrapped her part last Friday. The early results on the movies “are beyond even our expectations,” Cameron concluded.
After that, Landau introduced several scenes from Robert Rodriguez’ upcoming Alita: Battle Angel, which Cameron wrote and produces with Landau. It’s set for a Christmas release this year.
Earlier, 12 Years A Slave Oscar winner Steve McQueen ascended the stage to reveal a scene from his upcoming female-fronted crime thriller Widows; and James Gray’s space drama Ad Astra was intro’d by the director and star Brad Pitt, via video, with an exclusive first look.
Other films in the spotlight included Shane Black’s The Predator; animated pic Spies In Disguise starring Will Smith; and Fox/Marvel’s next X-Men installment Dark Phoenix.
Fox Searchlight, coming off a banner box office and awards year, brought clips from Melissa McCarthy starrer Can You Ever Forgive Me?; Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Favourite; Keira Knightley-starrer The Aftermath, a period drama based on the book by Rhidian Brook; the Nicholas Hoult-fronted Tolkien from director Dome Karukoski; and Taika Waititi’s Jo Jo Rabbit which just started production three weeks ago. The Thor: Ragnarok helmer sent a video message he taped from atop a building in Prague at 5AM.
Last year, Fox closed out its show by essentially turning the auditorium into a big top and with Hugh Jackman talking up The Greatest Showman. There was more music this time around with an extended look at Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody which was introduced by producer Graham King and star Rami Malek. Queen members Brian May and Roger Taylor also came out to the stage — they had played a concert in Barcelona this past Sunday — followed by a traveling troupe of dancers moving through the audience to tunes from the classic band’s repertoire.