Paramount Pictures launched CinemaCon 2016 today with a tease of their upcoming slate, including first looks at Rings, Baywatch and more
Paramount Pictures kicked off the first day of CinemaCon 2016 with a preview of their upcoming slate, including first looks at films like The Ring franchise sequel, Rings, the Denis Villeneuve sci-fi tale The Story of Your Life (Arrival), Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, and next summer’s Baywatch. Although quite a few other projects were previewed in one form or another, a focus on this summer’s Star Trek Beyond was strangely absent from the Paramount Pictures presentation. Instead, Star Trek Beyond star and writer Simon Pegg presented J.J. Abrams with a CinemaCon Showman of the Year award.
The Paramount Pictures presentation opened with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows stars Megan Fox and Will Arnett taking the stage, ultimately introducing an extended version of the recently-released trailer. The CinemaCon version featured a slightly-extended ending, showing off the turtles’ skydiving escapades in greater detail.
A pre-recorded Morgan Freeman voice then boomed across the stage, introducing Ben-Hur star Jack Huston, who thanked “the voice of God.” Freeman has a different role, however, in the Timur Bekmambetov film, which also received an extended trailer, offering a bit more from a chariot race sequence featured in the August 12 release. Ben-Hur is a co-production between Paramount Pictures and MGM.
Rob Moore, Vice Chairman of Paramount Pictures, introduced the first Rings trailer with the suggestion that, should the October 28 release prove a hit, Paramount Pictures is ready to turn the horror franchise into an annual October event. The trailer itself takes place entirely on an airplane. A man is talking to the woman sitting next to him as the plane experiences mild turbulence. He explains that he met another woman who was part of a group called “The Sevens.” From her, he received the franchise’s iconic video tape. The next day, he got the call that he was going to die seven days later. That was six days, 23 hours and 55 minutes ago. Suddenly, the turbulence gets worse. The radars in the cockpit begin to flicker with static. Black goo oozes up out of the airplane toilets. Suddenly, we see Samara’s well appear not just on the monitors in the cockpit but on the built-in monitors on the seats. She crawls straight out of the video and heads for the man as the title comes up.
Although he wasn’t in attendance, Tom Cruise filmed a special CinemaCon video introduction to this fall’s Jack Reacher: Never Go Back. He’s off filming The Mummy and preparing for the next Mission: Impossible, which has Christopher McQuarrie returning to direct and starts filming this fall. Jack Reacher, meanwhile, reteams Cruise with The Last Samurai‘s Edward Zwick, who also worked on the project’s screenplay. New to the cast for Never Go Back is Cobie Smulders, playing a woman with Reacher’s own old job as a Major in the United States Army Military Police Corps. Cruise also teased that Danika Yarosh has a “mysterious role.” In the trailer that was screened, we enter the scene through two cops investigating a diner parking lot where two men have been beaten to the ground. As the cops hear a witness explain what happened, they say that the man responsible never left. Through the glass at the front of the diner, we see Jack Reacher, sitting down at the counter. When the cops enter, he turned and we can see that he’s been in a fight by the wounds on his face. As the cops cuff him and explain that he’s facing prison time for assault, Reacher interjects, telling them that two things are about to happen. One is that the phone at the end of the diner is going to ring. Two is that the cops are about to be leaving wearing the cuffs.
“That sure is one magnificent prophecy,” one of the cops chuckles. Then the phone rings.
The trailer then jumps through a number of quick scenes, including a phone conversation that Reacher is having with a man who sneers, “You’re a dead man!”
“One of is,” Reacher shoots back, “That for sure.”
We also see a bit of Cobie Smulder’s character, including a scene with her in a car with Reacher.
“So now I’m a fugitive?” she asks him. “Why do I get the sense that you’re enjoying this?”
The Paramount Pictures presentation then offered a domestic trailer for Florence Foster Jenkins. Directed by Stephen Frears, the film stars Meryl Streep in the true story of a woman who followed her dream of being a singer despite having a terrible voice. There was also a teaser for Denzel Washington’s return to directing with Fences, adapting August Wilson’s play of the same name. No actual footage was revealed, but still photos showed off Washington alongside co-star Viola Davis.
A trailer was shown for Robert Zemeckis’ latest, now officially titled Allied. The World War II thriller is set for a November 23 release and stars Brad Pitt opposite Marion Cotillard. Although an official synopsis has not been released, the plot appears to follow Pitt and Cotillard as lovers against the backdrop of occupied France.
Next up in the Paramount Pictures presentation was a look at The Story of Your Life, a new science fiction project from Prisoners and Sicario director Denis Villeneuve. Based on an acclaimed short story by Ted Chiang, the film was introduced by stars Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner. The former plays the lead, a linguistics expert who is called in when strange alien vessels began to land all over the Earth. Renner, meanwhile, plays a theoretical physicist who, along with Adams, is working to find out what the aliens’ true intentions are. As one might expect from Villeneuve, The Story of Your Life features some impressive visuals. The alien ships, which look like enormous elongated black eggs, are hovering above the ground at different locations all over the world. The trailer even offers a look at the aliens themselves. Although they’re obscured a bit by a thick layer of fog, they are shown to have multiple appendages that on the end become star-shaped “fingers.” Forest Whitaker also stars in the project, which is currently without a release date.
Vin Diesel then joined some xXx: The Return of Xander Cage co-stars for a video message recorded on the set of the upcoming D.J. Caruso film. Apparently we’ll get our first look at the January 20, 2017 release with a trailer attached to Star Trek Beyond. Although the Justin Lin film did not show off even so much as the existing trailer, producer J.J. Abrams did offer some positive words for it.
“‘Star Trek Beyond’ is looking, I’m a little envious to say, like the best ‘Star Trek’ yet.”
Paramount Pictures closed out their CinemaCon presentation with a video message from Baywatch stars Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron, Alexandra Daddario and Kelly Rohrbach. Although they’re currently filming the May 19, 2017 release, they all promised to take the CinemaCon stage next year to promote the film in person. A quick teaser was also shown that played up the rivalry between Johnson and Efron’s characters.
Keep checking back throughout the week as we’ll be having lots more from CinemaCon 2016!
Which of these Paramount Pictures films are you most interested in? Let us know in the comments below!