Twentieth Century Fox pulled out all the stops for its hour-long presentation at the annual CinemaCon convention in Las Vegas, kicking things off with DJ Enferno and dance team Academy of Villains introducing the new “Peanuts” movie produced by Paul Feig.
The “Peanuts” movie hails from Blue Sky Studios, which is also behind the “Ice Age” franchise. The film retains the spirit of Charles M. Schulz’s beloved comic strip, and introduced characters Charlie Brown, Lucy Van Pelt, Linus, Schroeder and Peppermint Patty via a school yearbook. The footage was enhanced by the use of The Who’s classic song “Teenage Wasteland,” which Fox also used a decade ago to sell its cult classic comedy “The Girl Next Door.” And yes, Lucy calls Charlie Brown a “blockhead.”
When the lights finally came up though, it was Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s “The Revenant,” which stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy, that left the strongest impression. Shot with only natural light by the Oscar-winning Emmanuel Lubezki (“Birdman”), the period picture looked absolutely gorgeous, not to mention incredibly violent and intense. Expect DiCaprio to garner awards buzz once again for this gritty revenge drama, which hits theaters on Christmas Day, where it will go head-to-head with another Fox movie in David O. Russell’s “Joy.”
Damon, who is currently filming, sent along a video message introducing Ridley Scott‘s sci-fi epic, which co-stars Jessica Chastain, Jeff Daniels, Kate Mara, Kristen Wiig and Chiwetel Ejiofor. The trailer showed Damon being struck by debris caused by a space storm, abandoned by his crew on Mars and presumed dead by NASA. Knowing it will take four years for a rescue mission to reach him, if he can even contact NASA to let them know he’s alive, he sets out to grow crops and use science to survive.
The “Joy” teaser didn’t feature any dialogue as Russell is still shooting, but it struck a somber note for a film titled “Joy.” Lawrence plays Joy Mangano, the founder of a billion-dollar empire, and seemed like a different role for the Oscar-winning actress. She’s joined by her “American Hustle” co-stars Robert De Niro and Bradley Cooper, as well as Edgar Ramirez and Virginia Madsen.
Fox also debuted the first trailers for Dylan O’Brien’s sequel “The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials,” as well as the James McAvoy-Daniel Radcliffe movie “Victor Frankenstein,” which hails from the mind of Max Landis.
Fox executives also seemed particularly excited about the adaptation of John Green’s “Paper Towns,” which stars Nat Wolff from “The Fault In Our Stars.” The high school movie will likely strike a chord with younger audiences and should offer solid returns given the minimal investment.
The studio offered up the latest trailers for “Fantastic Four” and “Poltergeist,” the latter of which could prove to be this year’s “The Conjuring.” Sam Raimi produced the remake, which stars Sam Rockwell and Rosemarie DeWitt. As for “Fantastic Four,” young stars Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan, Kate Mara and Jamie Bell took the stage to introduce Josh Trank’s reboot, which will no doubt improve upon the two previous films directed by Tim Story.
One movie that could wind up being a summer sleeper is the action movie “Agent 47,” starring “Homeland’s” Rupert Friend as a deadly assassin. The trailer features jaw-dropping action and will likely revive that franchise, which stalled after Timothy Olyphant’s first installment.
A 2016 movie preview featured a cute bit with Jack Black’s Po the Panda stumping for “Kung Fu Panda 3.” Unfortunately, Fox did not show any footage from Ryan Reynolds’ “Deadpool” or offer up any teases for Bryan Singer’s “X-Men: Apocalypse,” though both comic book movies are on the horizon along with Channing Tatum’s “Gambit,” Tim Burton’s adaptation of “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children,” the animated movies “Ice Age 5” and “Trolls” and a pair of Hugh Jackman movies in “Eddie the Eagle” and “The Greatest Showman on Earth.”