Warner Bros. opened its presentation Tuesday at CinemaCon with Chairman and CEO Kevin Tsujihara casually confirming plans for a standalone Batman movie directed by Ben Affleck as part of a DC Films strategy that will include “at least 10 more movies over the next five years.”
There were no other major announcements during the presentation, but the studio did premiere new footage from both “Wonder Woman” and “The LEGO Batman Movie.”
Tsujihara described the slate of DC movies as “diverse and filmmaker-driven,” featuring “films that will resonate with fanboys, fangirls and filmgoers around the world.”
Host Mario Lopez brought out Affleck and Amy Adams, who introduced a DC reel that began with footage from previously released “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” and the “Suicide Squad” trailers before seguing into new glimpses of director Patty Jenkins’ “Wonder Woman.” Star Gal Gadot was shown on horseback, on a World War I battlefield, in a ball gown at a party, and undercover with a sort of Clark Kent look, complete with glasses.
“We’re going to see her coming of age,” Gadot promised in a clip.
The rest of the reel featured looks at fellow Justice League members Aquaman, The Flash and Cyborg through their brief appearances in “Batman v Superman,” and some art (including Green Lantern) lifted from comic books. However, there was no new footage.
Continuing the DC presentation, writer-director David Ayer took the stage to talk about “Suicide Squad,” telling the audience, “You really need to prepare for an event.”
He brought out most of the cast, including Karen Fukuhara, Jay Hernandez, Jai Courtney, Adam Beach, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Joel Kinnaman, Cara Delevingne, Margot Robbie, Jared Leto and Will Smith.
“We have bonded and we’ve become friends,” Smith said of the ensemble. “We feel like we have created something that is absolutely spectacular.”
“Imagine spending a couple hours with the coolest kids in the school,” Ayer said, as he introduced the most recent “Suicide Squad” trailer.
Moving away from the DC films, Lopez highlighted the studio’s major summer releases, starting with the action-comedy “The Nice Guys” (opening May 20). He pointed out writer-director Shane Black and producer Joel Silver in the audience, but it was star Russell Crowe who made his way to the stage to introduce an extended trailer.
“This is not one of those movies that takes a series of jokes and says it’s a comedy,” the actor said, praising Black for the dense narrative. Crowe and Ryan Gosling star as a hired enforcer and a down-on-his luck private detective who team up in 1977 Los Angeles to solve the case of a missing girl and the seemingly unrelated death of a porn star.
“Game of Thrones” star Emilia Clarke the introduced an extended trailer for her romantic drama “Me Before You” (June 3), an adaptation of Jojo Moyes’ bestselling novel, co-starring Sam.
Director James Wan and stars Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson were up next up to discuss their horror film “The Conjuring 2” (June 10), which centers on another famous case by real-life paranormal investigators Lorraine and Ed Warren: an alleged haunting in Enfield that became known as “England’s Amityville.” “We explore one of their most intriguing and controversial cases,” Wan explained.
“This time they themselves come under attack,” Farmiga said before showing a trailer that included a demonic nun.
Continuing in the horror vein, writer-director David F. Sandberg and star Teresa Palmer introduced “Lights Out” (July 22), based on Sandberg’s online short that became a viral sensation. “I think no matter how old we are, we all remember what it’s like to be afraid of the dark,” Palmer said.
A video message from Dwayne Johnson introduced his “Central Intelligence” director Rawson Thurber and co-star Kevin Hart. “I trained every day,” Hart said of his preparation for the action-comedy. “I feel like I’m in a position where I could take Dwayne. He’s just not in his prime. I am.” He jokingly confirmed that Johnson wasn’t in Las Vegas for the presentation, and then introduced a trailer for the film that stars Johnson as a bullied teen turned CIA operative and Hart as a one-time high school jock who’s now a meek accountant. The movie June 17.
Margot Robbie returned to the stage, joining co-stars Alexander Skarsgard, Samuel L. Jackson and Christoph Waltz to introduce “The Legend of Tarzan” (July 1), a new take on Edgar Rice Burroughs’ pulp hero.
“This is a Tarzan and Jane unlike any you’ve ever seen before,” Jackson promised. Robbie, who plays Jane, agreed, adding, “Let me assure you, this Jane is no damsel in distress.”
In the footage that followed, Jane disavows being a damsel, and Tarzan commands a veritable animal army.
The final summer movie previewed was “War Dogs” (Aug. 19), a comedy-drama from director Todd Phillips, who was joined onstage by producer Bradley Cooper. The two introduced a trailer for the movie, which stars Jonah Hill and Miles Teller as a pair of real-life 20-something stoners who ended up becoming international arms dealers.
“It’s funny, it’s serious, and like all my movies, it’s about bad decisions,” Phillips said.
Filmmakers Chris Miller, Phil Lord and Nicholas Stoller were next up to talk about the studio’s new animation division, Warner Animation Group. The trio talked about how the blockbuster success of Lord and Miller’s “The LEGO Movie” inspired the creation of an animation division with the same sensibility.
The reel for WAG included brief looks at upcoming movies “Storks,” co-directed by Stoller; “The LEGO Batman Movie”; “Smallfoot,” about a Yeti who believes in humans; “S.C.O.O.B.,” a new take on Scooby-Doo that was billed as “our shot at unlocking the entire Hanna-Barbera universe”; and “The LEGO Ninjago Movie.”
Stoller was then joined by voice actors Andy Samberg and Katie Crown, plus co-director Doug Sweetland, to introduce a look at “Storks,” in which storks have given up delivering babies in favor of working for an Amazon-like online retailer.
Lord and Miller returned, along with star Will Arnett, to premiere new footage from “The LEGO Batman Movie.” The extended clip featured a first look at the film’s ridiculously exuberant and nerdy version of Dick Grayson (voiced by Michael Cera), who’s shown trying on many of Batman’s alternate costumes until he finds his trademark Robin outfit, which the Caped Crusader notes was previously his “Reggae Man” disguise.
The presentation ended with a look at “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” the “Harry Potter” spinoff set in 1926 New York City. Stars Eddie Redmayne, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol and Colin Farrell introduced a behind-the-scenes look, followed by the film’s new trailer.
“I’ve always said never say never,” author/screenwriter J.K. Rowling said in the clip. Redmayne praised her vision for the movie, saying, “It’s like imagination taken to the extreme.”
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