Following a brilliant opening day of CinemaCon 2022 from Sony on Monday, Warner Bros had a big job on their hands on Tuesday evening with their presentation, but with a bit of help from Dwayne Johnson, Baz Luhrmann and Olivia Wilde, it seems like the studio did a decent job.
First of all, we got our first look at Margot Robbie as Barbie and WB revealed a release date of July 21, 2023 meaning it’ll go head-to-head with Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer showing the confidence they have in the Gerta Gerwig directed project.
The main thing before any footage was shown was that execs at the studio went with a cup in hand asking cinema owners for forgiveness for their 2021 day-and-date release schedule, which pissed everyone off.
Warner’s spent plenty of time on Elvis for their opening, and it’s clear with all the info coming out of the Con that this is WB’s big play for awards season next year. Lahrmann had a lovely chat to host Aisha Tyler, where he described how he wanted to tackle the American icon.
“I love biopic(s), this is not really a biopic,” he revealed. “It’s really about America in the ‘50s, ‘60s, ‘70s. At the centre of culture, for the good, the bad and the ugly, it was Elvis Presley.”
Whilst Austin Butler is playing the King of Rock ’n’ Roll, the film is told from the point of view of Tom Parker, played by Tom Hanks, which Lahrmann described as “the Rolls Royce of actors.”
He continued to talk about the film before showing extended footage getting a positive response from those in attendance.
Wonka was up next and starring Timothee Chalamet as the character created by Roald Dahl, and this is just me speculating, but it sounds like it could be a prequel of the classic Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory led by Gene Wilder.
The movie, coming out December 15, 2023, is directed by Paddington filmmaker Paul King. By the reactions, it looks like King is bringing the feelgood similar to everyone’s favourite bear, focusing on the relationship between Wonka and his mum, played by Sally Hawkins.
As someone who adores Paddington, I was heartbroken that King left the third film to helm Wonka, but if it has the same heart, I will go and see it, but I do hope to see a trailer soon.
Elsewhere, Gary Dauberman (writer of IT 1&2) came on stage to talk about the Stephen King movie he directed called Salem’s Lot, which could be one of the big horror films of the year, releasing in September 2022. The film centres on a writer who returns to a Maine town where he lived in his youth only to discover its residents are becoming vampires.
Lewis Pullman leads the movie as Ben Mears and is joined by Spencer Treat Clark, William Sadler, Pilou Asbaek, Alfre Woodard and Bill Camp.
Before we talk about DC, the final movie was Olivia Wilde’s psychological thriller Don’t Worry Darling, the follow-up to her directorial debut Booksmart. Judging by the reactions to the trailer, it seems like Wilde is on the verge of becoming the next prominent Hollywood director.
Wilde described her movie as a “love letter” to films like Stepford Wives, The Matrix and Inception and of her lead star Florence Pugh’s performance “you are seeing the birth of a full-fledged movie star”, and she’s joined by Harry Styles, Chris Pine, Gemma Chan, KiKi Layne and Nick Kroll.
This wouldn’t be something I’d normally be interested in seeing, but because I loved Booksmart and it has Pugh in the lead, I’m looking forward to seeing it.
Now let’s talk about all things DC. The Flash started things off with footage of Ezra Miller’s Barry Allan running back through time to see his mother Nora, looks at Sasha Calle’s Supergirl and Michael Shannon’s Zod. The main was on Michael Keaton, who ended the footage by saying the iconic line, “You want to get nuts? Let’s get nuts.”
Meanwhile, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom was up next. We got more idea of the story as Jason Momoa’s superhero has to join forces with his villainous half-brother Orm (Patrick Wilson) as they fight the menacing Black Manta, played by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II and his army.
What they showed cinema owners was described as a featurette as the likes of Yahya, Momoa and director James Wan talked about the movie and the technology used to bring it to life.
Zachary Levi and cast members from Shazam! Fury of the Gods, the sequel to the popular 2019’s Shazam!, introduced new footage where we see teenager Billy Batson (Asher Angel) and his foster family become the Shazam! family to take on Helen Mirren’s Hespera, a daughter of Atlantis, and Lucy Liu as Kalypso.
Finally, Johnson came out on stage to talk about DC League of Super-Pets (but who cares about that) and his long-awaited Black Adam and, alongside co-stars Noah Centineo and Quintessa Swindell, debuted an exclusive trailer and never-before-seen footage.
It showed the anti-hero/villain catching a rocket with his bare hand, threatening others with a fight and when a character states, “heroes don’t kill people”, Black Adam replies, “Well, I do.”
The fact we’ve got Keaton back as Batman is still mental to me, and I can’t wait to see how his Batman has changed since 1992’s Batman Returns, but out of all the characters, I can’t wait to see Supergirl on the big screen.
As for Aquaman and Shazam sequels, I love both first solo adventures and the idea of seeing Black Manta go on the warpath and the new ways Wan is making this is exciting. Finally, I won’t believe Black Adam is an actual movie until I’ve watched it and the credits are rolling.