“Holy Sh@t!” “Nosferatu,” & “Twisters” Dazzle at Cinemacon 2024

by Rosa Parra

Before the Universal presentation began, Will McIntosh, leader of Fandango, discussed its impact at the domestic box office. 

Chris Meledandri, founder and CEO of Illumination, announced a new animated Mario movie set to be released on April 26, 2025, followed by “Despicable 4,” which is releasing on Fourth of July weekend, confirming the return of the old cast and announcing the addition of new voice actors. Pharrell returns as a songwriter. A clip showed Gru, two minions, a girl (voiced by Joey King) and Gru Jr. enter a castle to steal a honey badger. When they’re discovered, thanks to an alarm, an old lady relentlessly chases them away. It was a fun and entertaining couple of minutes that I’m sure will entertain the little ones. 

Lee Isaac Chung, director of “Twisters,” came out next! He opens by acknowledging what many wonder about his decision to take on this film since he’s been doing small indie films. He said the challenge of doing a summer blockbuster was like facing a tornado. He gives a shout-out to Spielberg for his support and wise advice, then he introduces Glenn Powell, Daisy Edgar Jones and Anthony Ramos to take the stage and discuss the movie.

They reminisce about their experience filming in Oklahoma. When they suddenly begin reenacting their experience with big fans, debris (papers) and water, even an inflatable flying cow makes a cameo. That was the funniest and most entertaining way to sell a summer blockbuster like “Twisters.” Get ready to be blown away (literally)! We watched a trailer that included more of the damage a tornado causes to the city, giving the consequences more high-stakes. It manages to capture the essence of the original disaster movie, while feeling modern. Twisters will hit theaters on July /19.

We then got updates from Blumhouse. They confirmed sequels to “Five Nights at Freddie” with a release in Fall 2025 and “M3GAN” will also get a sequel sometime next year. 

The upcoming Leigh Wannell’s “Wolfman,” releasing January /2025, is currently in production but they provided some short clips that look intriguing that I can’t wait to see a full trailer.

James Watkins, the director of “Speak No Evil” which stars James McAvoy, briefly shares his experience doing the movie and has nothing but admirable things to say about McAvoy. The trailer further confirms what Watkins was sharing as McAvoy looks menacing and unnerving. The film is set to release on Friday the 13th of September.  

For the Focus Features presentation, we were given trailers for the following four films. Although, for “Nosferatu,” these are the very first images. 

“Back to Black,” releasing May 17, is the Amy Winehouse biopic that follows the star’s journey of making the album of the same name.  

“The Bikeriders” releases on June /21 and follows a group of bike riders living in a rebellious time in America when the culture and people were changing.

Releasing on November 8 is “Conclave,” a movie following one of the most secretive events, selecting a new pope. The movie has a stellar cast including Ralph Fiennes, Stanley Tucci, John Lithgow and Isabella Rossellini. 

“Nosferatu” releases just in time for the Christmas holidays. As a big Robert Eggers fan, I’ve been anticipating this movie since it was first announced. And having seen the trailer, all I can say is Holy shit! The wait will be certainly worth it. This looks stunning and I can’t wait for Christmas this year!  

Dreamworks President Margie Cohn came out to announce their upcoming movie “The Wild Robot,” With Chris Sanders and Lupita Nyongo. It’s based on a well-known book, and the trailer looked incredibly adorable. I haven’t read the book, so I’m not sure what to expect, but it gave a feel good story vibe with a beautiful message of stepping outside of the comfort zone. This is another film with a star studded cast that will release on September 20. 

Donna Langley, chairman of NBC Universal Studios Group, introduced “Wicked” with such a visually beautiful presentation with tulips and lanyards that flashed various colors, giving the entire film a level of magic and beauty. Jeff Goldblum introduced director Jon M Chu and producer Mark Platt, who both announced that the film production had ended and how proud they are of this film. Then Jonathan Bailey and Michelle Yeoh came out to discuss more about the movie and we learned that Yeoh sings in this movie. And we can’t talk about this movie without its two protagonists, Ariana Grande and Cynthia Erivo, who was also in attendance! They were both introduced by Chu in an emotional manner. Both ladies talked about their experience with the musical and how they bonded while working on these movies. A trailer that followed the presentation left me in awe. It looks epic, beautiful, and overall stunning. It most definitely piqued my interest.  

By far this has been my favorite presentation of CinemaCon 2024. It felt inventive and engaging. Stay tuned for more coverage! 

Film Critic, Rosa Parra, also contributes to The Daily Chela and Rotten Tomatoes. You can also follow her on X.

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