CinemaCon '22 Final Thoughts On MARVEL, DC, JURASSIC WORLD, MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE, JOHN WICK, HALLOWEEN & More
After an extremely busy week at CinemaCon 2022, we're back home and took the time to write up some final thoughts on what proved to be an informative few days at the annual convention in Vegas.
We're back home after an extremely eventful few days at CinemaCon, and to recap this week's biggest moments and reveals, we've compiled a thorough recap of what we saw and heard at the convention and what it could mean for theaters across the globe these next two years.
From Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and Black Adam to Jurassic World: Dominion and The Flash to Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One and John Wick: Chapter 4, we saw it all, and you can read all about it below.
Also, please let us know your thoughts on this week's live blogs - if you were a fan, we can certainly try to run it back at some point in the future, possibly for San Diego Comic-Con, the next Disney Investor Day, DC FanDome, or something else.
To get our final thoughts on all of this week's presentations, click the NEXT or VIEW LIST (ONE PAGE) buttons:
Walt Disney Studios
- Disney rarely pulls out all the stops at CinemaCon and this year was no different as they opted not to bring any talent and only showed off five films: Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Lightyear, The Bob's Burgers Movie, Amsterdam, and Avatar: The Way of Water.
- Kevin Feige was thankfully in attendance to tease the future of Marvel Studios, albeit without revealing anything we didn't already know. Before he debuted the first twenty or so minutes from Multiverse of Madness, he let us know that he was about to head back to a Marvel Studios retreat where the team was hard at work mapping out the next decade of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
- The footage was unsurprisingly well-received, but it was what they didn't show that was more curious. While we were expecting them to tease their entire 2022 slate, or at least their summer slate, they curiously didn't show anything from Thor: Love and Thunder, which is out in July. We didn't even get a replay of the trailer, only fleeting shots in a lengthy Disney sizzle reel at the beginning. Regardless, it does look great.
- Black Panther: Wakanda Forever was also a no-show, which was also a bit curious since they had Avatar 2 footage to show off, but nothing from a sequel that arrives a month earlier? Marvel Studios, of course, doesn't need the extra publicity, but something we heard later in the day has us wondering whether this Ryan Coogler sequel will actually arrive this year...
- We want to stress that we're not in the scoop game, but CinemaCon is always good for getting some behind-the-scenes industry intel. This year, we may or may not have heard through the grapevine that the release dates for Thor: Love and Thunder and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever may not be as set in stone as previously believed. A source suggested to us that Love and Thunder could possibly be moved to November, with Wakanda Forever being pushed into next year as it may not be ready in time for its current date. This is all a bit speculative and we did hear it before Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania and The Marvels swapped dates, so it's seeming less likelier by the day, but we just wanted to put it out there as something to consider.
- Disney also screened the first thirty minutes of Lightyear, which is surprisingly more emotional than the trailers have suggested and a considerably darker Pixar offering than the Toy Story films. Chris Evans is perfect casting and we're certainly looking forward to seeing the rest.
- Avatar: The Way of Water was their big-ticket item and closed out the show with its first teaser trailer. The world has been waiting for this one for a long time, and based on the 3D footage, it doesn't look to disappoint, although the trailer didn't differentiate itself from the original as much as we'd hoped, especially for a film thirteen years in the making. The underwater sequences were stunning as were the new beasts, and James Cameron is among the best of the best, but we're going to need a lot more before we're completely sold on this one.
Warner Bros. Pictures
- Based on the numbers, Warner Bros.' presentation was the most popular of the week on this site, so we'll try to offer some extra insight.
- WB didn't waste any time getting right to the point and brought out director Matt Reeves to announce a sequel to their biggest film of the past three years, The Batman, with Robert Pattinson set to return. Reeves didn't stay for long, but did say hello and confirm he's already hard at work on the script.
- We wish they would've shared them online, but the first title cards for Furiosa, Dune Part Two, Blue Beetle, Barbie, and more were revealed during their opening sizzle reel. Nothing too substantial, but would've generated some extremely early hype.
- Dune: Part Two is in pre-production and will start filming later this year. Denis Villeneuve confirms this one will be screened exclusively in theaters and will also get an IMAX release.
- No mention of the future of the Fantastic Beasts franchise and things got awkward when only one attendee cheered at the mention of The Secrets of Dumbledore, which can't mean anything good for the Wizarding World.
- Greta Gerwig's Barbie movie shared a stunning first look at Margot Robbie in character and there's a good chance this one surprises with those two at the helm.
- They didn't want to say much else about it since Barbie, The Color Purple remake, The Meg 2, Blue Beetle, and The Lord of the Rings: War of the Rohirrim are all a part of their 2023 slate.
- Tom Hanks didn't come, but director Baz Luhrmann and Austin Butler were in attendance for a lengthy presentation of Elvis, which looked like the most Luhrmann of Luhrmann films. The music was phenomenal and the performances looked exceptionally strong and dramatic, but we'll have to wait and see whether the story holds up to the visuals.
- After that, an early look at Wonka was revealed, with Timothée Chalamet in the title role. Can't really judge the footage since it was fairly scattered, but it looked unlike any previous film in the Wonka-verse, so that's something.
- The Flash received an extended sizzle reel and was probably the highlight of their presentation for me. It had unfinished VFX, but we got a peek at Barry Allen going back in time, an alternate Barry with longer hair, a look at Bruce's seven batsuits, a wild action chase sequence with Barry and Batman (on a batcycle) in action, first looks at Zod and Supergirl, and finally, a shot of Michael Keaton as Batman again. He closes by repeating his classic line, "You want to get nuts? Let's get nuts!"
- The Flash should be the crown jewel of WB's DC lineup, but due to Miller's personal issues, it felt like they were trying to get through the segment as quickly as possible before moving on to the next film. It was the only DC film they didn't seem to make an extra effort for, nor did it present its footage with the other DC titles.
- Luckily, the next film was Olivia Wilde's Don't Worry Darling, which I was thoroughly impressed by. Wilde said it was inspired by Inception and The Truman Show, and it certainly looks like it as Florence Pugh finds herself in what could be the psychological thriller of the year. There were a lot of shots of Pugh and Harry Styles getting hot and heavy before it starts to get trippier and trippier.
- By now, everyone's likely seen the story of Olivia Wilde being served her custody papers in the middle of her presentation, and in hindsight, it was even crazier in person. I honestly thought it was a bit since Wilde barely broke her stride after taking a quick look inside the envelope, handling the trying situation like a consummate professional.
- Zachary Levi, Asher Angel, Jack Dylan Grazer, and Dame Helen Mirren then showed up to debut the first teaser trailer for Shazam! Fury of the Gods, which seems like it'll also be online shortly. It opens with Shazam on a date with Wonder Woman, but when she turns around, it's the Wizard Shazam (Djimon Hounsou), which makes him wake up. The daughters of Atlas (Helen Mirren, Lucy Liu) are the villains and we get to see the family of crime-fighters in action. There are two or three dragons throughout the trailer and a confrontation between Zachary Levi and Helen Mirren at an outdoor cafe. He keeps trying to call his family, makes a Fast & Furious joke, but they're late.
- Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom was next, but didn't show much nor bring Jason Momoa since he's busy filming Fast X. The film will feature more kingdoms and new characters as well as new roles for existing characters like Black Manta, who will now be commanding his own army. Orn is also back and we get a few shots of Momoa in the new stealth suit.
- Salem's Lot upped the creepy factor and should be one of the scarier titles to hit theaters this fall.
- The Rock rope-a-doped us by sending what appeared to be a video message from Hawaii, but he said, "[frick] that," and it was revealed to be a live feed. He then showed up on stage to massive applause and presented the first trailer for Black Adam and an extended look at DC League of Super-Pets. The latter looks fun, but it was Black Adam that thoroughly impressed. Noah Centineo and Quintessa Swindell joined him on stage to present the first look, which opens in the snowy mountains and we saw how Black Adam is found in present day. It spends some on his origin story as a slave before cutting back and forth between past and present action setpieces. Sarah Shahi is his first encounter and we meet the JSA, including Hawkman, Atom Smasher, and Cyclone. Black Adam stresses he's not a hero, but it seems like he'll be one soon. The footage looked considerably better than I was expecting and a step up from Jaume Collet-Serra's previous offerings, but whether the story will hold up is another question entirely.
- Universal screened The Black Phone early in the week and boy did it not disappoint. The Scott Derrickson-directed film is absolutely relentless and borderline torturous with the tension. Ethan Hawke is absolutely terrifying, Mason Thames is great, and Madeleine McGraw is superstar. If you're a horror fan, you can't miss this on June 24!
- Jordan Peele was next on stage with a new trailer of Nope, which should be a monster hit for the studio after the success of Get Out and Us. He's been enjoying reading all the theories and said some have been close, some have been wrong, and some have been so far off base he's not entirely sure how they even came to that conclusion based on the teaser.
- The first look at Halloween Ends was excellent, and Jamie Lee Curtis being there to bid farewell to Laurie Strode was a nice added touch. There wasn't much from the new film, but we did get to see Laurie and Michael Myers in a brutal showdown with the former gaining an advantage by stabbing him through the hand before pulling another knife on his head. Huge step up from the last one, so can't wait for October.
- M3GAN was next, and I can't really do this one justice. It looks completely wild, and features a life-size doll going to sadistic levels to protect a young child. It's gory and ultra-violent, and about what we've come to expect from producer James Wan.
- We then got a first look at Beast starring Idris Elba, which I actually dug since it features Elba punching a lion in the face. Now, that's worth more than the price of admission alone.
- The Last Voyage of the Demeter was scary stuff and a different kind of Dracula movie, while Jo Koy's Easter Sunday and Billy Eichner's BROS could both surprise. Not too sure about the George Clooney/Julia Roberts-starrer Ticket to Paradise, which looks geared to bring back much older audiences to the cinema.
- Steve Carell was on hand to present more fun footage from Minions: The Rise of Gru and was another welcome sight during their increasingly impressive presentation.
- Carey Mulligan and Zoe Kazan were also there to present She Said, a drama about the Harvey Weinstein takedown, which could land both actresses Oscar nominations next year.
- Focus only teased a few titles - Vengeance, Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies, and Champions - and shared the first trailer for James Gray's Armageddon Time as well as the first look at Todd Field's Tar starring Cate Blanchett.
- Downton Abbey 2 and Violent Night followed, with the latter looking like a fun time as David Harbour plays a killer Santa Claus, who arrives to protect a family from a home invasion on Christmas night. It's from the John Wick, Atomic Blonde, and Nobody guys, so expect a good time this holiday season.
- Puss in Boots: The Last Wish shared its first trailer and while I don't remember anything from the first one, this should be a good return to this corner of the Shrek universe.
- To close out their show, Bryce Dallas Howard and Jeff Goldblum took the stage to launch the new trailer for Jurassic World: Dominion, which has since been released online. The film looks like the franchise's most epic entry yet and should easily be one of this year's top three highest-grossing titles.
- Universal had arguably the strongest and most varied presentation of the week, and if it weren't for the next studio, attendees may have walked away talking only about Jurassic World: Dominion and Halloween Ends.
- Paramount kept their presentation short and sweet, mainly because they had the world premiere screening of Top Gun: Maverick to get to at the end.
- Their sizzle reel featured the first footage from Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves and Transformers: Rise of the Beasts. With the latter opening next summer, their presentation next year will likely focus on it, but was a little surprising not to get anything major from D&D, with it slated for March. Regardless, both films looked solid as far as we could tell, but we can only judge so much based on footage of people just walking around different locations. The Autobots and Decepticons do have the G1 designs, so get excited for that!
- The first look at Damien Chazelle's Babylon was outstanding, with both Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie in top form. It looks like a special film and if Chazelle delivers, expect it to be an Oscars frontrunner.
- With that, the presentation was nearly over, but not before we got logos for A Quiet Place: Day One and Seth Rogen's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot.
- Tom Cruise sadly couldn't attend, but did send an insane introduction with him sitting atop a biplane in the process of filming the latest installment in the Mission: Impossible franchise. He introduced the official trailer for Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One and continued filming.
- To briefly recap, it opens in the desert before teasing a wide variety of exotic locations. Cruise's Ethan Hunt is spotted on a motorcycle, on a train, and in a kickass hand-to-hand fight with multiple goons. The returning Kittridge tells Hunt to stop fighting before we get quick shots of the new supporting cast, Hayley Atwell and Pom Klementieff. Hunt is then told to pick a side and we see him and Atwell together in a car chase. Ilsa Faust is spotted with an eye patch, the whole team including Ving Rhames and Simon Pegg reunite, there is poison gas released, and even more footage of Cruise and Atwell on the run.
- They wrapped and we were then treated to the world premiere of Top Gun: Maverick, which blew the roof off CinemaCon. Tom Cruise has once again delivered the must-see cinematic experience of the summer and it's one film that absolutely cannot be missed on the biggest screen imaginable!
- It's an unenviable position to host the last presentation of the week, but Lionsgate managed to send everyone home happy by bringing some seriously big names to sell their upcoming slate.
- Comedian Sebastian Maniscalco hosted their presentation and did an admirable job, keeping things moving fairly smoothly. It also helped that his upcoming film About My Father, which co-stars Robert De Niro, Kim Cattrall, and Leslie Bibb, looked pretty good. De Niro, Cattrall, and Bibb joined him on stage to present the trailer and their cast chemistry was quite likable.
- Expend4bles started things off and it looks about as good as the first three. Jason Statham seems to be taking over the reins in this one, with him and Megan Fox getting a lot of screentime, but I'm sure Sylvester Stallone will still deliver the goods.
- The Devil's Light looked okay, and should be a good time for those into demonic possession and blonde nuns. White Bird: A Wonder Story also looked solid.
- Rachel McAdams and Abby Ryder Fortson were in attendance for Are You There God? It's Me Margaret, which seems like a fun coming-of-age tale. Both McAdams and Fortson shined in the trailer.
- Lionsgate ended their presentation with a big bang as Keanu Reeves and director Chad Stahelski took the stage to present the first look at John Wick: Chapter 4, which looks even more insane than you could've imagined.
- In the footage, The Bowery King (Laurence Fishburne) exclaims, "You are now in the presence of the mother[frick]ing King!" before we're reintroduced to an on the mend Wick and we get some quick shots of the many different locales. Wick eventually says, "I'm going to kill them all," and then we get an action sizzle as Wick wrecks a bunch of people and has a great sequence with nunchucks. The movie looks awesome.
- While that was it for their presentation, they did show an in-production look at Eli Roth's Borderlands, which looks like it was ripped straight from the video game. Red-haired Cate Blanchett and an amazing cast also featuring Kevin Hart and Jack Black as Claptrap should make this a fun ride whenever it opens in theaters next year.
- They also announced Ballerina will begin filming this summer, with Ana de Armas in the lead role.
- We also get a title treatment for The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes.
- Lionsgate brought all their stars back out for one final farewell and we got a great moment when someone in the crowd yelled, "Keanu, you're the man!" Without missing a beat, Keanu ran over to De Niro and responded, "No, this is the man!"
- ...and that's a wrap on CinemaCon!
- We weren't present for Sony's presentation on Monday night, but it doesn't seem like we missed much, although it would've been nice to see that new Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse footage, especially now that the sequel has been pushed to next year.
- We're also glad Phil Lord and Chris Miller changed the titles to Across the Spider-Verse and Beyond the Spider-Verse, giving each film its own unique feel even if they're directly connected.
- Confirmation on Venom 3 was nice, but that El Muerto announcement was as unexpected as they come.
- With Bullet Train arriving in late July, it should be able to surprise at the box office since it shouldn't have much competition heading into August.