Paramount Pictures looks to kick off its second century with a bang. ComingSoon.net today attended a special presentation of the studio’s upcoming productions, which included a few first looks at highly anticipated films that suggest Paramount could power through the next few years with promising material.
The presentation kicked off with a montage of footage from past films including Star Trek,True Grit, The Fighter and many more. After running through some of the studio’s biggest and best, the piece concluded by honoring Paramount’s 100 years of excellence and announcing, “the next 100 are just taking flight.” Quite appropriately, the reel then rolled into the trailer for Paramount’s November 2nd release, Flight, followed by the trailers for Paranormal Activity 4, The Guilt Trip, Not Fade Away and then a brand new trailer for Jack Reacher, starring Tom Cruise and opening December 21, 2012.
Unlike the first trailer for Jack Reacher, which functioned more as a character introduction, this one delves into the story, offering up footage of Robert Duvall as Cash, a former US Marine, and Rosamund Pike as Helen Rodin, the lawyer hired to defend the military sniper who gunned down five victims. The rest of the material is an extension of what debuted back in July, consisting of longer chases in that hot red Chevrolet Chevelle SS and more combat in the vein of the “Mission: Impossible” films. The trailer’s standout moment comes at the end when Reacher (Cruise) evades the cops by casually stepping into a crowd and receiving a hat from a helpful bystander. When the coast is clear, he turns to the man and playfully shrugs.
Next up was the trailer for the delayed G.I. Joe: Retaliation. We got quite a bit of promotional items in anticipation of the film’s original June 29, 2012 release, so nothing in this piece stood out as new material. More should surface as we approach the film’s March 29, 2013 debut.
However, then Paramount busted out the trailer for the April 26, 2013 release, Pain & Gain, the Michael Bay film that shows what happens when a group of bodybuilders dabble in some kidnapping, extortion and murder. The trailer opens with Mark Wahlberg doing a sit-up exercise on a wall with his legs wrapped around the rung of a ladder. We get dialogue including, “I’m hot, I’m big,” over the footage until the Miami Dade Police roll in, ruining his workout. Wahlberg makes a run for it, sometimes in slow motion, while the cops burst out of their vehicle and chase him on foot. We also get a number of close-ups of Wahlberg’s face mid-action, as though he has a camera strapped to his chest while doing his sit-ups and evading the cops. In voiceover, Wahlberg announces, “My name is Daniel Lugo and I believe in fitness,” before the trailer launches into a few short snippets of Dwayne Johnson and a quick shot of Rebel Wilson amongst other supporting players. The trailer primarily highlights the action, but the vibrant colors and eccentric nature of Wahlberg’s behavior put Pain & Gain‘s humorous tone in the forefront, too.
Then came the big one, Star Trek Into Darkness. Paramount played the clip from “Conan.” You know, the one where J.J. Abrams announces he’s ready to show a piece of Star Trek Into Darkness only to reveal a mere three frames? Sure the clip would launch into a longer version, I sat pen in hand, ready to scribble down the details only for the segment to cut to black and move right into the next portion of the reel. And so the anticipation continues. May 17, 2013 can’t come soon enough.
Nothing new to report on the Anchorman: The Legend Continues front. The film made its mark in Paramounts 2013 presentation in the form of the teaser trailer released back in May. The same goes for Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, which was represented by the trailer unveiled in September.
After that, in came our first look at Chris Pine in action as Jack Ryan. The December 25, 2013 release has roots in the Tom Clancy novels, but puts the CIA analyst in an original scenario. Per the usual action thriller, the trailer features quite a bit of running around while offering glimpses of Pine’s co-stars including Keira Knightley and Kevin Costner. Apparently the story’s got a little something to do with Knightley’s character, Cathy Ryan, getting in some hot water, because she’s being dragged away in one scene of the piece.
The next two items in the rotation were simply music and text. At that point we’d yet to move into the 2014 portion of the presentation, so perhaps Paramount has a 2013 debut planned for Jason Reitman’s Labor Day. That one will feature Kate Winslet as a single mother who opts to give a wounded man a ride who turns out to be a convict. Alexander Payne’s drama Nebraska, about an alcoholic taking a road trip with his estranged son from Montana to Nebraska to claim his Publisher’s Clearing House winnings, got a similar treatment, showing off the film’s title with a country tune playing in the background.
The 2014 section kicked off with the next entry of the Transformers franchise. Obviously there was no footage to show, but the title does reveal a clever logo, the right half of the standard transformers symbol acting as the stem of the number four.
SpongeBob SquarePants fans are in for a nice surprise. Your favorite pineapple-dwelling sea sponge is getting his own 3D feature film. The quick teaser announced that SpongeBob is due to travel from his world to ours, revealed a quick shot of SpongeBob, Patrick and Squidward with muscled up bodies rendered with a CGI-like animation, and then returned to the classic SpongeBob style so we can watch him eat a container of corn, explode and wind up with a bin full of popcorn.
Darren Aronoskfy’s Noah was up next, the footage showing off a hairy and dirty Russell Crowe as well as a number of other prime characters. We also got a look at the ark and, contrary to more idealistic versions of what was necessary to survive the epic flood, this one doesnt look much like a ship, rather a gigantic wooden box. Stealing the spotlight from the structure and the film’s stars is the country of Iceland. The piece is packed with scenic shots including some of the lushest environments and stunning skies.
Next up was another spot for Michael Bay, a quick title for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
The presentation ended on a profoundly high note with a trailer for the adaptation of Max Brooks’ zombie novel, World War Z. It begins with Brad Pitt’s character sitting in traffic with his family. They’re busy playing a game when a cop bashes on their window in a panic. Standing near the driver side window, the cop begs Pitt to stay in his vehicle and, soon thereafter, is pummeled by a bus careening out of control. An explosion erupts and a mass of people race down the city streets. Pitt and his family hop into an abandoned RV and we get a glimpse of the world in madness. Beyond an unusual pair of eyes, we don’t get a good look at World War Z‘s zombies, but the measures the uninfected take to reach safety might further confirm what last year’s set footage revealed – that these zombies can run. In the trailer, gigantic hordes of people are scrambling for dear life. They’re not just pushing and shoving each other out of the way, rather climbing on top of each other and manically hanging onto a hovering helicopter. In one of the trailer’s final shots, there’s a mountain of people trying to climb over a wall that must be hundreds of wriggling bodies high. The material is dark and downright horrifying, not only showing what could happen should the undead invade on a physical level, but also reflecting the societal meltdown that would ensue, and the pure chaos we’d be left with. World War Z was certainly the crown jewel of the presentation and, based on the footage, looks to be well worth the wait. Excuse me while I pass the time until June 21, 2013 by reading the novel.