CinemaCon 2017 kicked off with a bang with Sony Pictures presentation. With a diverse lineup cemented in sci-fi, fantasy thriller, and action adventure, Sony is looking to have a strong box office year. The opening began with exclusive footage of the action thriller Baby Driver, the full first scene of the film. In the scene, Ansel, Elgort sits in a red car with three other bank robbers, (one played by Jon Hamm.) As the other robbers enter the bank, Ansel remains in the car and rocks out on his headphones while he waits. The robbery goes down and the real action kicks in as they make their getaway. A fast-paced, high-octane car chase ensues that left the audience on the edge of their seats. Edgar Wright, known for Shawn of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and Scott Pilgrim Versus the World, takes that helm of this high energy film that infuses music with the action in the form of the stolen iPods that the main character listens to while he drives. Sony Pictures made an exclusive announcement that Baby Driver’s release will be bumped up from August to June 28th, 2017. For more details on Baby Driver, check out our exclusive write up here. This comes one week prior to Sony’s other big tentpole film; Spider-Man: Homecoming.
Next up on Sony’s lineup was Dark Tower, with an exclusive new trailer to the dark fantasy. Based on the best-selling novels by Stephen King, the trailer takes us to a desolate land with a Man in Black across the desert. It then shows a young boy in a therapist’s office who tries to explain that his dreams are intricate and show a gunslinger and the Dark tower. The boy discovers a house that is just like the one he drew from his dreams and when he enters, he stumbles into an alternate world where his drawings have come to life. Idris Elba plays the Gunslinger, Roland Deschain, while Matthew McConaughey takes an unusual turn as the villain, the Man in Black. The trailer culminates into a brief scene where a scoundrel kidnaps the young boy and the Gunslinger pauses to listen in the midst of a battle and hones in one sound. He aims his pistol, his target far off in the distance. The sound quiets around him, all he hears is the man dragging the young boy hundreds of yards away. He takes aim and fires his gun, the bullet whizzes through a hanging blouse, a wooden wall, and through the back of the scoundrel’s skull. It is a perfect climax to this already epic trailer that left me wanting more.
Sony then switched gears and briefly presented their Sony Animation line-up for this year and Easter 2018. The first up Smurfs: The Lost Village which showed a new side of the Smurf universe that includes an all-female tribe. The next was a work in progress of the Emoji film, a tech savvy story about the inner life of Emojis on our phones. Next, they showed some early stage footage of The Star, a story that centers around the nativity story but through the eyes of the animals in the manger. The film has an all-star cast including Zachary Levi, Keegan Michael Key, Christopher Plummer, and Oprah Winfrey. Last on Sony Animations slate is a family film set to release next Easter that is based on the Beatrix Potter classic, Peter Rabbit. The footage shown was in early stages of development but it showed a suave Peter Rabbit, (played by James Cordon,) and his antics with the other animals in a quintessential English garden. The early concept art for the characters shows promise for their 2018 lineup.
The next major announcement came from Tom Rothman, the President of Sony who introduced to the stage Ryan Gosling who introduced an exclusive new trailer to Blade Runner 2049. Ryan Gosling stars as Officer K, a man on the hunt for answers in a cyberpunk futuristic world. A glimpse of a man creating a new life form reveals Jared Leto as a possible antagonist of the film and cameos from Robin Wright and the iconic Harrison Ford cemented this trailer as a must see for the fall of 2017.
Next up was the collaboration between Sony and Marvel as they presented Spider-Man: Homecoming. Tom Holland returned to the CinemaCon stage to briefly talk about his role as the iconic web-slinger followed by an extended trailer that shows Tony Stark more involved in Spiderman’s affairs. The trailer showed Michael Keaton as the vengeful Vulture and more action scenes that put Peter Parker in larger than life situations. Sony then gave us a glimpse into some of their other diverse line up with trailers for Cadaver, a psychology horror that centers around a woman working in an isolated morgue, an untitled project that stars Denzel Washington and Collin Farrell, Proud Mary, an assassin with an agenda, and the remake of Flatliners, the 1990 classic about a group of scientists that dabble with death. Also on their slate is Rough Night, a bachelorette comedy where things go completely wrong, starring Scarlet Johansen, and a cast of female comedy heavyweights.
Last for the Sony presentation was an extended look into Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle which premieres December 21st. Dwayne Johnson, Nick Jonas, Karen Gillian, and Jack Black were all in attendance to introduce the footage as well as talk about some behind the scenes antics. Jack Black and Karen Gillian serenaded the crowd with their hopeful but not actually wanted, Jumanji theme song, and Kevin Hart made an appearance on the screen, only to be muted by Dwayne Johnson. The trailer shows a group of kids who are sucked into the Jumanji video game after they receive detention and must clean out the school basement. Once in the game, they embody the characters they chose and must complete their quest in order to escape the harsh jungle terrain.The trailer was goofy and action packed and sure to strike a chord with a wide audience.