IMAGE EXPO: New Projects Revealed From Rucka, Simone, Aaron and More
Unlike his counterparts at CinemaCon 2012 in Las Vegas, Sony’s President of Worldwide Distribution Rory Bruer didn’t bring any fancy props, celebrities or even filmmakers Wednesday to present his studio’s upcoming slate. After a brief introduction touting a few far-off releases, including the 2014 sequel to The Amazing Spider-Man, the 24th James Bond film, and reboots of RoboCop and The Evil Dead, Bruer got out of the way for a 45-minute reel highlighting Sony’s 2012 movies. Most of the clips were from previously released trailers, but there were extended looks from a few of the biggest features.
The first to get an in-depth look was Len Wiseman’s Total Recall remake, which opens Aug. 3. In addition to footage from the trailer, the clips showed Colin Farrell and Kate Beckinsale in a knock-down, drag-out fight; Beckinsale clearly has a much larger role in this version than Sharon Stone did in the 1990 original. There was also a fast-paced hovercar chase (with some unfinished special effects) and another among anti-gravity elevators. Most importantly, the famous three-breasted woman, one of the key characters from the original movie, made a brief but memorable appearance.
Next was a slightly extended look at the Adam Sandler/Andy Samberg comedy That’s My Boy, opening June 15, with quite a bit of nudity (of the two-breasted kind) and a surprisingly substantial role for Vanilla Ice. Short trailers followed for the thriller Premium Rush (Aug. 24), starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a bike messenger targeted by a criminal played by Michael Shannon, and featuring lots of bike-riding; Hope Springs (Aug. 10), a romantic dramedy starring Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones as an aging couple looking to put the spark back in their marriage thanks to relationship guru Steve Carell; Rian Johnson’s Looper (Sept. 28), once again starring Gordon-Levitt, this time as an assassin assigned to kill the older version of himself from the future (played by Bruce Willis); and Sparkle (Aug. 17), a remake of the 1976 musical, starring Jordin Sparks and Whitney Houston in her final role, with a trailer that featured no dialogue to judge whether American Idol winner Sparks can actually act.
After those short teasers arrived a longer look at the inspirational dramedy Here Comes the Boom (Oct. 12), starring Kevin James as a teacher who decides to raise money to save endangered extracurricular programs at his high school by becoming a mixed martial arts fighter. The footage was a combination of James’ typical fatty-fall-down humor and uplifting dramatic moments, with supporting performances from Henry Winkler and Salma Hayek.
Another short teaser followed, but it made quite an impact: The world premiere of the trailer for the new James Bond movie Skyfall, which opens Nov. 9, featured mostly just quick glimpses of moments — a train crash, a row of coffins draped in British flags, Bond in Macau — but it conveyed the movie’s intensity. The beginning featured Bond engaged in word association in what looked like an interrogation room, and the trailer ended with the spy vowing to come after his enemies: “We’re going to kill them first.”
That closed the 2D portion of the presentation, and the 3D section started with an extended look at Men in Black 3, opening May 25. The first clip showed Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones as Agents J and K fighting off aliens in a Chinese restaurant, and then led into the main plot, with K disappeared and J forced to travel back to 1969, team up with a young K (Josh Brolin) and save the world. The look at the swingin’ 1960s version of the Men in Black agency included Andy Warhol as an undercover MIB agent, jet packs and lots of psychedelia.
Two other short trailers came next: first a very brief look at the fifth movie in the Resident Evil series, Resident Evil: Retribution (Sept. 14), once again directed by Paul W.S. Anderson and starring Milla Jovovich. In addition to Jovovich’s requisite slow-motion ass-kicking, the trailer featured a flashback to the pre-apocalypse life of her character. Next was a look at the animated Hotel Transylvania (Sept. 28), featuring a human backpacker crashing a hotel for supernatural creatures.
Sony saved the biggest for last, with an extended look at The Amazing Spider-Man, coming July 3. The preview began with Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) narrating the search for the truth about his parents. There were character moments, including an awkward exchange between Peter and Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) and a lot of wisecracking as Spider-Man takes down a car thief. The big action scenes included a sequence featuring the Lizard (Rhys Ifans) attacking a crowded bridge, with Spider-Man using his webbing to keep cars from plunging into the water, and Capt. Stacy (Denis Leary) unmasking Peter, who has to conceal his face as he escapes from the police. As the Spider-Man footage ended, the lights went up and the presentation closed with no fanfare, just an emphasis on what was onscreen.