This week is the biggest in the Hollywood studio calendar as CinemaCon started Monday evening as the major studios promote their upcoming slate to get cinema owners excited to showcase their movies for the year ahead.
Sony, similar to last year, kicked the Con off and began with a victory lap for Spider-Man: No Way Home, and the studio made $3.3 billion at the box office during the time between Cons. The presentation’s biggest talking points were the excitement drawn from exclusive footage of Bullet Train and Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse.
The reactions to Bullet Train, coming out July 29, have excited me as those in attendance saw the first 10-15 minutes of the film. Everyone was raving about the action and humour with comparisons to Guy Ritchie.
Elsewhere, the reactions to Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse sequel were equally enthusiastic as writers/producers Phil Lord and Chris Miller wanted to show off the first 15 minutes of Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse, releasing June 2, 2023, mixing storyboards and animation.
Lord and Miller explained this is the largest crew for an animated movie ever, with 1,000 people working on it; the film has 240 characters (compared to the 40 characters in the first film) and crosses into six universes, each having individual styles.
They continued by revealing the title of the third movie and it’ll be called Spider-Man: Beyond The Spider-Verse, slated for a March 29, 2024 release.
As for the footage, it begins in Gwen Stacy’s (Hailee Steinfeld) universe with Gwen and her police chief dad getting a call as they go out to take down Vulture. She gets help from Oscar Isaac’s Miguel O’Hara, aka Spider-Man 2099, and a pregnant Jessica Drew/Spider-Man (voiced by Issa Rae). Afterwards, Spider-Gwen’s father arrives and tries to arrest her for the murder of Peter Parker until she removes her mask revealing her identity.
Meanwhile, in Miles Morales’ world (Shameik Moore), he’s looking older and in a parent-teacher meeting at his school as he wants to apply to Columbia University to study physics.
Honestly, I can’t wait to see this movie as I adored the original flick it’s my third favourite Spider-Man film and in my top 10 favourite comic book movies ever. The fact Lord and Miller are leading the charge of throwing everything at this adds to the anticipation.
The biggest surprise of Sony’s showcase is the anticipated TriStar Pictures movie The Woman King, as it’s being described as “a real-world Black Panther” about an “all-female badass warriors.”
The movie sounds epic as it tells the untold true story of the Kingdom of Dahomey in the 18th and 19th centuries. The cast includes Viola Davis, Thuso Mbedu, Lashana Lynch, Sheila Atim, Hero Fiennes-Tiffin and John Boyega. I won’t be surprised if Davis gets multiple nominations during awards season.
The other projects shown were Where the Crawdads Sing, based on a best-selling novel and produced by Reese Witherspoon, about an abandoned girl named Kya (played by Normal People’s Daisy Edger-Jones) who raises herself to adulthood in the dangerous marshlands of North Carolina.
The Sony presentation ends with footage of George Tillman’s upcoming George Foreman biopic titled Heart of a Lion starring Forest Whitaker (not as Foreman).
Other news announced – a Bad Bunny led El Muerto movie and the next instalments of the Ghostbusters and Venom franchise.