The Quorum

CinemaCon 2024: MICKEY 17 And Other Ruminations From The Warner Bros. Presentation

Five years ago, on the same stage, Warner’s presented the trailer for JOKER for the very first time. It remains one of the most electric CinemaCon moments in recent memory. You just knew this movie was going to be huge.

Director Todd Phillips returned to the stage to present the first look at JOKER: FOLIE A DEUX. Warner’s has not been super forthcoming about the fact that DEUX is a musical, despite the casting of Lady Gaga as “Harley Quinn.” The trailer is filled with music, though it doesn’t feature any “musical numbers .” At times, the trailer evokes the surreal theatricality of LA LA LAND. While not as thrilling as seeing the JOKER trailer five years ago, Joaquin Phoenix and Lady Gaga appear to have great chemistry. It may not top the box office of the first film, but it certainly looks like a winner.

Jeff Goldstein and Andrew Cripps kicked off the presentation in full BEETLEJUICE costumes before passing the MC baton to Mike De Luca and Pam Abdy. First up was FURIOSA. Director George Miller, Anya Taylor Joy, and Chris Hemsworth came on stage to introduce an extended clip. This was by far the most electrifying video of the WB presentation, which is good news given that the tracking for the film has been muted to date.

Next up was THE WATCHERS, a horror film directed by M. Night Shyamalan’s daughter Ishana Shyamalan. This looks like a rather conventional film, though Ishana has a great eye. The visuals are quite striking.

After that, James Gunn appeared on video to talk about the upcoming SUPERMAN along with a reveal of the new Superman logo, though, oddly, it wasn’t called out. The new logo distorts the “S” into a more abstract representation. Peter Saffron appeared in person to introduce SUPER MAN, the biodoc on Christopher Reeve, which is getting a full theatrical release later this year. Very moving. And synergistic.

This was followed by Kevin Costner arriving on stage to introduce new footage of HORIZON: AN AMERICAN SAGA. Costner imbued the proceedings with the most gravitas of all the stars making cameos during the presentation. He was genuinely moved when he received a standing ovation. And, quite frankly, it was well deserved. We got a big-screen collage highlighting Costner’s numerous landmark films. There are a lot of them. He is a giant.

Set in the American west around the time of the Civil War, HORIZON is cut from the same cloth as mega-hit YELLOWSTONE. Costner described the film as less plot-driven and more of a journey piece. The clips we saw seemed to confirm that. There were lots of scenes of people pointing guns. The plot was less clear. Part 1 arrives in June, and Part 2 will come in August; HORIZON presents a unique marketing challenge for WB.

The most unexpected moment of the night was the introduction of Bong Joon-ho, who was joined on stage by Robert Pattinson and Bong’s interpreter. The Oscar winning director gave us a first look at MICKEY 17. Set on a spacecraft, Pattinson plays an “expendable” who dies multiple times (17 to be precise) and is regenerated numerous times as part of his job. A glitch happens when a so-called duplicate “Mickey” is created, leaving the two to duke it out.

Several moments are wonderfully outlandish, including Pattenson’s voice, which seems to be a register higher than usual. The trailer makes the most of the cast, including Mark Ruffalo (in what looks like another bonkers role on the heels of POOR THINGS), Steven Yeun, Naomi Ackie, and Toni Collette. All are prominently featured.

What caught us off guard was the humor. The film looks very funny. The entire clip was set against Frank Sinatra’s “Ain’t That A Kick in The Head .” This one may not be for everyone, but we’ll be there opening night.

Like his daughter, M. Night Shyamalan also has a movie on the WB slate. TRAP tells the story of a doting father, played by Josh Hartnett (loving the JH Renaissance), who takes his teenage daughter to see a Lady Gaga-ish concert. It turns out that the entire concert is an elaborate trap set up by the police, who learned that an elusive serial killer was planning to be at the concert. Everyone is trapped inside. It’s a super sticky concept.

Finally, Tim Burton, Michel Keaton, Catherine O’Hara, Willem Dafoe, Monica Bellucci, and Justin Theroux came on stage to introduce BEETLEJUICE BEETLEJUICE. Burton gave us a BTS clip, followed by the trailer. Burton appears to have captured the magic of BEETLEJUICE once again. As we’ve noted here and here, this should be big. 

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