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The Hollywood Insider Cinemacon 2024 Henry Cavill

For the twelfth year, CinemaCon was held inside Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas and provided a platform for studios like Warner Bros., Lionsgate, Universal Pictures and Walt Disney Studios to present exclusive first looks at upcoming projects. CinemaCon ran from April 8-11 and was sponsored by The National Association of Theatre Owners, according to the website it was the “biggest convention to date.” The footage revealed at CinemaCon is typically not released to the public, but the major announcements were all reported after they were announced. From ‘Sonic the Hedgehog 3’ to the newest Damien Chazelle film, here are the notable revelations made at CinemaCon 2024.

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Warner Bros.

During the Warner Bros. panel, CinemaCon attendees got to see exclusive footage from many of the studio’s upcoming releases, including the highly anticipated ‘Mad Max’ prequel ‘Furiosa,’ starring Anya Taylor-Joy and Chris Hemsworth. The three-part footage first showed Furiosa (Taylor-Joy) being kidnapped as a child by Dementis (Hemsworth) and taken to the wasteland, an older Furiosa experiencing flashbacks of her capture and planning to take revenge on Dementis. The film officially releases in theaters on May 24. 

CinemaCon guests were also treated with the first teaser trailer for ‘Joker: Folie á Deux,’ which has since been released to the public and racked up 32 million views on YouTube. The trailer introduces Lady Gaga’s Harley Quinn, who’s eyes immediately lock on Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker in what appears to be the Arkham Asylum. The Joker and Harley Quinn have been portrayed many times throughout the years, both in live action and animated projects, but this version that includes musical numbers should be a new and refreshing take. ‘Joker: Folie á Deux’ hits theaters on Oct. 4.

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36 years after the original film, Michael Keaton donned the green wig and white face paint once more in the ‘Beetlejuice Beetlejuice’ footage shown at CinemaCon. A minute-long teaser trailer of the film dropped about a month ago, showing Winona Rider and Catherine O’Hara stepping back into their roles as Lydia and Delia Deetz, alongside Jenna Ortega as Lydia’s daughter, Astrid. Beetlejuice’s return seems to be highly unwelcome in the teaser, but audiences will see for themselves when it releases on Sept. 6.

Famous horror director M. Night Shyamalan and his daughter, Ishana, both debuted first looks at their new films ‘Trap’ and ‘The Watchers’ at CinemaCon. ‘Trap’ follows a man taking his daughter to the concert of a pop singer where he learns the whole thing is a trap to catch a serial killer known as “The Butcher,” which turns out to be him. ‘The Watchers’ is more of a witch/monster/evil dark force horror film starring Dakota Fanning and Georgina Campbell. ‘The Watchers’ comes out on June 14 and ‘Trap’ on Aug. 2.

Finally, a coveted first look at the trailer for Bong Joon-Ho’s newest sci-fi flick ‘Mickey 17’ was shown at CinemaCon. Starring Robert Pattinson, the film has experienced delays due to repercussions of the strikes in Hollywood, but is set to release on Jan. 5, 2025.

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Lionsgate

At the Lionsgate panel, the studio confirmed multiple new projects including ‘Highlander’ directed by Chad Stahelski, a live-action adaptation of the Naruto anime, ‘Now You See Me 3,’ a remake of ‘The Blair Witch Project’ and a live-action film based on the Monopoly board game.

Footage from the remake of the 1994 action film ‘The Crow,’ starring Bill Skarsgård and FKA Twigs was shown, with an emphasis on the romantic relationship between Skarsgård and Twigs’s characters, Eric and Shelly. After Shelly is killed by a dangerous mob group, Eric sets out to save her from purgatory before her soul is lost. ‘The Crow’ comes to theaters on Aug. 23.

Staying on the action side of the announcements and footage, the live-action adaptation of the ‘Borderlands’ video game starring Jamie Lee Curtis, Cate Blanchett, Kevin Hart, Jack Black and more had an exclusive scene shown at CinemaCon, providing background information about what plotline the film would follow. Guy Ritchie’s newest action film ‘In the Grey’ was introduced to the convention, with Jake Gyllenhaal, Henry Cavill and Eiza González leading. The biggest news on the action front came with the first-ever footage for the John Wick spinoff, ‘Ballerina.’ Ana de Armas has proven she has what it takes to be an action star, and it appears that ‘Ballerina’ will confirm that further.

For horror films, Lionsgate presented ‘The Strangers: Chapter 1’ and ‘Never Let Go,’ which coincidentally both take place in a forest. ‘The Strangers’ follows a young couple played by Madeline Petch and Froy Gutierrez, whose vacation to a cabin in the woods is rudely interrupted by what seems to be an ax murderer. In the ‘Never Let Go’ footage, a mother (Halle Berry) tries to protect her sons from an evil force in the woods outside their home, trying strings to them whenever they go outside to ensure they come back safely. 

Finally, perhaps the biggest exclusive drop of the Lionsgate panel was a sneak peak at the Michael Jackson biopic, ‘Michael,’ starring Jackson’s nephew, Jaafar Jackson. The biopic will explore Jackson’s time in the Jackson 5, the ‘Thriller’ era and the later portions of his career. ‘Michael’ will likely be one of the most anticipated films of 2025, with an April 18 release date set currently.

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Universal Pictures 

As far as upcoming projects to announce, the only major news was a ‘Five Nights at Freddy’s’ sequel that Universal Pictures plans to release next fall. Footage from two new animated films, ‘Despicable Me 4’ and ‘The Wild Robot’ was shown at CinemaCon, with ‘Despicable Me 4’ introducing Gru’s son, Gru Jr., and a young aspiring villain named Poppy (Joey King). ‘The Wild Robot’ is Dreamworks’ latest creation about a robot that becomes deserted on an island full of talking animals.

Footage from the highly-anticipated Glen Powell action flick ‘Twisters’ showed a team of storm chasers following an extremely dangerous tornado, trying to figure out how to destroy it. Jon M. Chu’s adaptation of the Broadway smash hit ‘Wicked’ was also represented at CinemaCon, showcasing Cynthia Erivo’s character, Elphaba, and how the people of Oz grow to fear her. ‘Wicked’ will likely be one of the biggest releases of the year, and is set to come out Nov. 27.

Focus Features also got a small presentation at CinemaCon, where footage for Robert Eggers’s new horror film ‘Nosferatu’ was played, featuring Lily-Rose Depp, Willem Dafoe, Nicholas Hoult, Anna Harding and Bill Skarsgård. The film is based on the classic horror tale and set in 19th century Germany.

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Paramount

Paramount Pictures brought the most new announcements to the convention this year, including a new installment in the ‘Scary Movie’ franchise, a live-action Rated-R ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ film, a new project from Damien Chazelle, ‘G.I Joe’ and ‘Transformers’ crossover, Bee Gees biopic from Ridley Scott, ‘The Running Man’ remake starring Glen Powell and more.

As far as footage goes, the CinemaCon attendees got a look at ‘A Quiet Place: Day One’ starring Lupita Nyong’o and Joseph Quinn, with a story by John Krasinksi. Krasinksi also directed the upcoming family film ‘IF,’ which had a final trailer debut at the convention. Footage from a new animated ‘Transformers’ film and ‘Sonic the Hedgehog 3’ also played during Paramount’s slot, and Ridley Scott’s ‘Gladiator 2’ also played a 5-minute reel giving a first look at Paul Mescal as Lucius, a renounced nobleman made to enter the arena.

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Walt Disney Studios

Last but certainly not least, Walt Disney Studios delivered first looks at many upcoming projects, including two from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The first film explored was ‘Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes,’ where the first 13 minutes were shown to audiences. The newest ‘Alien’ film, ‘Alien: Romulus,’ was also introduced with footage of Cailee Spaeny’s character, Rain, and a space crew exploring a wrecked ship. The iconic facehuggers also cause chaos for the crew. 

Disney’s latest sequels ‘Inside Out 2’ and ‘Moana 2’ were represented, and ‘Moana 2’ was a major shock for many people. A live action ‘Moana’ is also currently in development, where Dwayne Johnson is the only confirmed cast member at the moment. ‘Mufasa: The Lion King,’ a live-action prequel to ‘The Lion King,’ will show a young Mufasa’s journey to becoming the ruler of the pridelands. 

Marvel Studios didn’t have much to add to the panel, showing footage from the upcoming ‘Deadpool & Wolverine’ and ‘Captain America: Brave New World.’ 9 minutes of ‘Deadpool & Wolverine’ was shown to the CinemaCon crowd, and a scene between Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) and President Thunderbolt Ross (recast as Harrison Ford) was shown from ‘Captain America: Brave New World.’

By Kaitlyn Murphy

Click here to read The Hollywood Insider’s CEO Pritan Ambroase’s love letter to Cinema, TV and Media. An excerpt from the love letter: The Hollywood Insider’s CEO/editor-in-chief Pritan Ambroase affirms, We have the space and time for all your stories, no matter who/what/where you are. Media/Cinema/TV have a responsibility to better the world and The Hollywood Insider will continue to do so. Talent, diversity and authenticity matter in Cinema/TV, media and storytelling. In fact, I reckon that we should announce “talent-diversity-authenticity-storytelling-Cinema-Oscars-Academy-Awards” as synonyms of each other. We show respect to talent and stories regardless of their skin color, race, gender, sexuality, religion, nationality, etc., thus allowing authenticity into this system just by something as simple as accepting and showing respect to the human species’ factual diversity. We become greater just by respecting and appreciating talent in all its shapes, sizes, and forms. Award winners, which includes nominees, must be chosen on the greatness of their talent ALONE.

I am sure I am speaking for a multitude of Cinema lovers all over the world when I speak of the following sentiments that this medium of art has blessed me with. Cinema taught me about our world, at times in English and at times through the beautiful one-inch bar of subtitles. I learned from the stories in the global movies that we are all alike across all borders. Remember that one of the best symbols of many great civilizations and their prosperity has been the art they have left behind. This art can be in the form of paintings, sculptures, architecture, writings, inventions, etc. For our modern society, Cinema happens to be one of them. Cinema is more than just a form of entertainment, it is an integral part of society. I love the world uniting, be it for Cinema, TV, media, art, fashion, sport, etc. Please keep this going full speed.”

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