This past week saw Hollywood types descend on Las Vegas, not for a "The Hangover" reboot, but for the annual CinemaCon trade show, which sees all the studios showing off their upcoming wares for exhibitors and members of the press. And this year was a big one, with footage from "The Dark Knight Rises," "The Hobbit," "Les Miserables," "Prometheus," "The Great Gatsby" and many, many more among the headliners.
Indeed, there was so much going on that plenty of information may have slipped through the cracks. As Vegas empties out again, we've rounded up ten key revelations from CinemaCon that you might have missed over the past week, from a release date for the sequel to one of last summer's biggest hits, to Pixar movies you won't see until 2015. Check them out below.
1. The Sequel To "Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes" Aiming For A Summer 2014 Release
Despite low expectations, "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" turned out to be the best-received summer blockbuster of last year, and made a pretty penny on top of that. As a result, Fox have clearly made the sequel a priority, signing Wyatt and star Andy Serkis last year, and now we've got an indication of when it might get rolling. While Fox is gearing up Steven Spielberg's "Robopocalypse," X-Men spin-off "The Wolverine" and the Owen Wilson/Vince Vaughn comedy "The Internship" for 2013, 'Apes' will be a bit further down the pipeline. Studio boss Tom Rothman said that "the goal for us would be summer of 2014, if that's possible." Sounds like they're not rushing this, at least, which can only bode well. [Coming Soon/Collider]
2. "Prometheus" Won't Be Compromised & Fox Are Planning New Superhero Movies
After years as being seen as one of the more interference-happy of the studios, Fox have gradually begun to win back geek cred thanks to "Avatar," "Chronicle" and the upcoming "Prometheus," and studio boss Rothman is on a mission to keep that the case. He said at CinemaCon this week that whatever rating "Prometheus" gets, he won't ask Ridley Scott to cut it down for a PG-13: in his words, "it will not be compromised." And more comic book fare is on the way to join "The Wolverine" and the "X-Men First Class" sequel with Rothman confirming that "Chronicle" director Josh Trank is developing a reboot of "Fantastic Four" (while a sequel to the found-footage hit is in the works too) and hinted at other superhero movies on the way, including, possibly, a movie based on the New Mutants.
3. Are 'The Great Gatsby,' 'Life Of Pi' & 'Les Miserables' Heading For The Oscars?
It's not been a great few years for the major studios when it comes to the Oscars — indeed, you have to go back to "Million Dollar Baby" for a Best Picture winner developed, financed and released by one of the big six. And while it's ridiculous to read too much into buzz over these sizzle reels, all of Warner Bros' "The Great Gatsby," Fox's "Life of Pi" and Universal's "Les Miserables" got great notices from the footage shown at the conference, with the latter two picking up buzz for their 3D visuals, and Anne Hathaway getting some early tips from her performance in the 30 second teaser for Tom Hooper's musical. Obviously, a million things could change between then and now, but it's some kind of early hint, at least. [Movieline]
4. 'Fast Six' Is Called 'Fast & Furious 6,' And Will Shoot In London & Berlin
With "Fast Five," what started out as a B-franchise became an A-list one, thanks to the addition of Dwayne Johnson and some artful action sequences. Clearly, Universal weren't going to waste any time, and we've seen some casting movement on the film in recent weeks, with Gina Carano signing on, and Jason Statham turning it down. But one major question remained: what would it be called? The franchise has gone from "The Fast & The Furious" to "2 Fast 2 Furious" to "The Fast & The Furious: Tokyo Drift" to "Fast & Furious" to "Fast Five" (over our suggestion, "Five Fast Five Fiverious"). Could the next one get any more minimalist? "F&F?" "F6?" Well, judging from a logo in Universal's presentation, next summer's sixth film will be… "Fast & Furious 6." Come on guys, show some creativity… Also, Dwayne Johnson revealed in an interview that the film will be shooting in Berlin & London — pedestrians, you've been warned. [Collider]
5. "The Dictator" Preview Gets Positive Response
We can't be the only ones who've found the trailers for Sacha Baron Cohen and Larry Charles' latest, "The Dictator," a little painful — more "Ali G In Da House" than "Borat." But could it be a potential surprise? The film screened Monday night at CinemaCon, and advance word is good, with three people whose opinions we respect, if not always agree with — Anne Thompson of Thompson On Hollywood, Jeff Wells of Hollywood Elsewhere, and Drew McWeeney of HitFix — all weighing in with mostly positive word. McWeeney calls it "The single most degenerate Jerry Lewis film ever made" with "a pretty tremendous number of laughs." Wells says that "the film works — it's frequently funny and fast-moving and inventive" while Thompson adds "a much more hilarious and less uncomfortable politically incorrect comedy than 'Bruno,' returning Cohen to his transgressive-but-sweet comfort zone." Fingers crossed they're all right…
6. Peter Jackson Wants You To Have A Little Faith In 'The Hobbit' At 48FPS
Undoubtedly the biggest story of CinemaCon week was the debut of footage from "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" screened with the 48fps method that director Peter Jackson believes is the future of film. Things didn't quite go to plan, however, with many of the reactions suggesting that the technique looked more like a television soap opera rather than a movie, even if the actual content was well-received. Jackson's since gone on the defensive, saying that he thinks it's something you get used to over time: "At first it's unusual because you've never seen a movie like this before. It's literally a new experience, but you know, that doesn't last the entire experience of the film — not by any stretch, [just] 10 minutes or so. That's a different experience than if you see a fast-cutting montage at a technical presentation." We're certainly prepared to give it a try, but it sounds like Jackson & co have a lot of work to convince cinemagoers that 48fps are the future.
7. Pixar Unveiled A New Movie, And Gave One More A Title
Between 2010 and 2013, Pixar will have released only one original movie, this summer's "Brave," with sequels "Toy Story 3," "Cars 2" and "Monsters University" making up the rest of their slate in that time period. But the good news is that there's plenty of original fare on the way from the animation giants. The company confirmed release dates for two already announced projects that will follow "Monsters University." The first, from "Up" co-director Bob Peterson, is set for May 30, 2014, and has a brand new title — "The Good Dinosaur," appropriate for a film set in a world where the asteroids never wiped out the dinosaurs, and the creatures live side-by-side with humans. Meanwhile, Peterson's colleague Pete Docter has his own film, currently known only as "The Untitled Pixar Movie That Takes You Inside The Mind," and that'll follow on a little over a year later, on June 19, 2015. Meanwhile, we discovered a whole new project, with "Toy Story 3" director Lee Unkrich currently beavering away on "The Untitled Pixar Movie About The Dia De Los Muertos," which focuses around the Mexican holiday. A movie equivalent to video-game classic "Grim Fandango?" We'll be there.
8. 2014 Will See New 'Spider-Man' & James Bond Movies.
We're still months from seeing Peter Parker reboot "The Amazing Spider-Man," and even further from the latest James Bond movie, "Skyfall," but that hasn't stopped Sony from planning for the next installments of their biggest franchises. "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" has long been set for release on May 2nd, 2014, but Sony demonstrated what a priority the film is by this week hiring Alex Kurtzman and Bob Orci, the writers of "Transformers" and "Star Trek," to take a pass at James Vanderbilt's sequel script. And they've got no intention of letting the four-year gap between "Quantum of Solace" and "Skyfall" pass — Sony's President of Worldwide Distribution, Rory Bruer, announced that the 24th Bond was aiming for a release in the holiday season of 2014, two years after "Skyfall."
9. If/When Robert Downey Jr. Leaves The Franchise, 'Iron Man' Movies Will Continue
Speaking of Bond, it seems that another massive franchise is looking to 007 as to how to keep it going indefinitely. With "The Avengers" hitting theaters, and "Iron Man 3" about to get before cameras, Robert Downey Jr's multi-film Marvel contract is starting to run down, and the studio are aware that the megastar is unlikely to want to stick around for long. And Marvel head Kevin Feige is prepared for the possibility, saying that "I think Bond is a good example. Let’s put it this way: I hope Downey makes a lot of movies for us as Stark. If and when he doesn’t, and I’m still here making these movies, we don’t take him to Afghanistan and have him wounded again. I think we James Bond it." Time to start placing your bets on the next Tony Stark, ladies and gentlemen…
10. The Disappointing Box-Office For 'The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo' Means The Sequels May Be Shot Back-To-Back
Ok, so technically not from CinemaCon, but from a presentation by an exec at a big studio, and newsworthy nonetheless: CEO of once-troubled, now firmly-in-recovery studio MGM, Roger Birnbaum, spoke at the University of Denver, letting slip some reports on some key properties, including the since confirmed news that Sam Raimi would produce a remake of "Poltergeist." He also suggested that Kimberley Peirce's remake of "Carrie" would contain some found-footage elements, via interviews with survivors of the prom disaster, possibly an incorporation of Stephen King's use of fake documents in the source material. But perhaps the most interesting was his update on the future installments in the 'Dragon Tattoo' movies which the studio co-financed with Sony. "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo," the first in the series, underwhelmed at the box-office, and Birnbaum acnowledged that that's changed their plans for the sequels, with the studio considering shooting "The Girl Who Played With Fire" and "The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest" back-to-back, to save on production costs. Steve Zaillian's scripts are seemingly complete, and Birnbaum does, it would seem, want to keep David Fincher around for future installments, but will the director's pricetag and meticulous methods turn out to make him financially unviable? We'll soon see. [Movies.com]