Warner Bros. stunned the audience at CinemaCon with a slate of upcoming releases that included The Matrix 4, The Batman, and Dune.
On Tuesday night, Warner Brothers had a difficult task in attempting to satisfy an audience that had grown tired of them. Movie theater owners from all around the nation (and perhaps the globe) congregated at the Coloseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas for CinemaCon to receive a sneak peek at the next slate of WB pictures heading to their screens. Following the studio’s decision to release all of its 2023 films on HBO Max at the same time, there may be some resentment from theater owners who feel day-and-date releases are losing them money by keeping prospective viewers at home streaming. WB, on the other hand, sought to satisfy by presenting three of its most popular films: The Matrix 4, Dune, and Batman is a superhero who protects the city from (which releases exclusively in theaters in 2023). The intriguing, although short, preview should definitely pique interest, and it may just be enough to get some butts in the theater seats during the next seven months.
To be honest, attending CinemaCon was a spur-of-the-moment choice. As a consequence, several of the studios altered their plans, and the event lost part of its luster. Once the Spider-Man: No Way Home teaser was released online, it was simple to decide not to attend the Vegas event for the entire five days. Nonetheless, I couldn’t pass on the Warner Brothers panel since the studio’s schedule has some of the most intriguing films coming out in the next years. Other theatrical-only releases, like as the Aquaman and Shazam! sequels, Black Adam, Fantastic Beasts, and Olivia Wilde’s anticipated Don’t Worry Darling, were notably absent. Still, the Warner Bros. schedule is jam-packed with movies, and I couldn’t imagine losing out on exclusive new footage while my press pass remained unused. It was instantly worth the devastatingly delayed trip out when I got into the huge cinema just in time to watch the last 45 seconds of the first trailer for the new Matrix film.
That’s where we’ll begin, Sp. On Tuesday night, the first footage from Resurrections of the Matrix was shown at CinemaCon. The footage hasn’t been made public yet.
The Matrix Resurrections
(Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.)
Despite the fact that I arrived 60 seconds too late for the meaty opening of The Matrix 4, the narrative came through (and I caught some extra details from colleagues walking out of the Colosseum). Keanu Reeves is back as Neo, this time with long hair and a small beard. This Neo has no recollection of his previous existence, which we followed for two decades in the original Matrix trilogy. Instead, he has no idea when Trinity asks, “Have we met?” He hasn’t seen the lady he once loved in a long time.
The original Matrix movies’ creative spirit seems to have returned. Lana Wachowski has created an amazing mix of artistic use of filmmaking technology for distinctive action scenes in the original movie with new-age technology, at the very least. Neo and Carrie Anne Moss’ Trinity sprang into action in beautifully filmed beats, whether it was jumping off a motorbike, waving away an oncoming rocket, or leaping from the top of a building in a stunning, golden slow-motion picture. Reeves jumped immediately back into the role, stopping bullets with a single hand lift, and the audience’s nostalgia for the original trilogy returns.
Is it possible that they’ll be imprisoned in the Matrix once more? It’s uncertain, but the excitement for Neo to make the same choice he made before, choosing between the red and blue pills, is returning with a new guy in black (who isn’t Morpheus), and this might be the start of a new epic trilogy.
The Batman, a frontrunner to be the most eagerly awaited film of 2023, presented an extensive behind-the-scenes look to CinemaCon that was exclusively seen to the attendees. Director Matt Reeves spoke more about his personal approach to the DC Comics hero in the video, which was dark, dirty, and gorgeous.
The featurette began with Bruce Wayne strolling to the sound of Michael Giacchino’s menacing piano music. “Batman has always stood out as one of the great figures of the twentieth century,” Robert Pattinson, the film’s actor, says. We see him removing the cowl, and the film’s tones are mostly black and grey, staying gloomy and despondent.
Reeves says that this film will be “radically different” from previous Batman films. How? We haven’t seen anything that “grounds it the way Year One does,” says Reeves. The filmmaker claims that this is not an origin tale, but rather a depiction of Batman in his formative years, when he was filled with anger and learning his way about. Meanwhile, video shows Batman brutally beating up thugs in what seems to be a dark jail set illuminated only by a red light. The video is filled with explosions, police officers, and black mayhem.
Pattinson remarked, “He’s really working out this anger.” “It seems like all of the conflicts are extremely personal.” He beats down opponents with a variety of weapons, including pipes. For the short image, we get our first glimpse at Andy Serkis as Alfred, a sophisticated looking guy wearing a vest over his button down shirt and perhaps holding a drink. Other highlights include witnessing the Batmobile tear down a major street in thrilling manner while emitting flames from its exhaust.
“We can’t wait for you to see The Batman next year in cinemas,” Reeves says. This results in a somewhat modified version of the original video (available here) from 2023’s DC FanDome event, with a little more action featuring Catwoman, a red “2022,” slate at the conclusion, and a voice over from Riddler: “You’re a part of this, too.” “How am I a part of this?” Bruce asks over the black screen. “You’ll see,” says the narrator. It was fantastic.
The greatest surprise of the brief presentation may have been Dune. It’s a film that seems to be banking on either nostalgia for its original material (a novel that was turned into a film more than three decades ago) or star power, with director Denis Villenueve among the cast. While the ensemble includes Jason Momoa, Josh Brolin, Zendaya, Oscar Isaac, Timothee Chalamet, David Dastmalchian, Dave Bautista, Rebecca Ferguson, Javier Bardem, and others, Villenueve is the undisputed star of the film. Despite the fact that Dune will be accessible on HBO Max on the day of its debut later this year, the marketing (and Villenueve himself) promote it as a film that should be seen in cinemas. This seems to be true when a lengthy trailer for the film was aired.
The numerous large, realistic sets are seen in a behind-the-scenes documentary. Early in the footage, Zendaya says, “I was immediately engaged in the characters.” “This film is truly like a heroic trip,” Chalomet said. Isaac mentions how many tales have been influenced by the original Dune novel, citing Star Wars and Game of Thrones as examples. Footage demonstrates how scenes transitioned from concept drawings to actual sets, as well as amazing realistically constructed cars and immersive outfits. The sets made Dastmalchian’s jaw drop, with similar comments from Bautista and Bardem. Silhouettes are visible in action scenes, illuminated by different hues and frequently surrounded by actual flames, leading to Dastmalchian stating the settings made his mouth drop.
“It’s about planet Earth and cultural clashes,” Isaac said of the film’s plot. The actors and director brag about how much fun they’re going to have on the big screen. The documentary concludes with an action-packed, blazing sizzle reel. Jason Momoa said, “Trust me, you’re going to have a wonderful time.” All of this leads to a longer trailer for the film.
The video was really beautiful. A rescue expedition is undertaken by Paul Atreides (Chalamet), Duke Leto Atreides (Isaac), Gurney Halleck (Brolin), and Liet Kynes (Sharon Duncan-Brewster). In a huge, golden sand dune area, they find a column of smoke. It’s a Harvester spacecraft that’s broken down – a huge, rectangular vehicle that’s left a trail from its route to this location and can’t move. The issue is that a huge worm is on its way to consume this car, which is no easy task given that it might be the size of a small city block. Liet Kynes tells Duke Leto that upsetting the worm would drive it into a killing frenzy… and they only have enough room to rescue all but three of the soldiers on board. Duke Leto’s dragonfly-like ship stops hovering and comes closer to the ground, finally landing. Paul is engulfed by sand in the wind, golden sparkles encircling him and everything, ultimately being captivated by murmurs and falling to his knees in an attempt to reach the guys onboard the Harvester. The worm has come, so he must return to his father’s ship and fly away as soon as possible.
A camera mounted far above the scene catches the enormous worm emerging from the sand under the Harvester. Slowly, everything begins to descend into its mouth, exposing hundreds of needle-like fangs that devour everything in their path. It’s a beautiful picture that appears to encapsulate the film’s grandiose scale, which Villeneuve wanted to make as realistic as possible. All of this transitions to a sizzle reel that features a slew of new action beats, some of which include hand-to-hand fighting with futuristic armor and others that have flying craft colliding and causing havoc. Overall, the story’s quality is ambitious to say the least, but Villenueve is certain that everyone is wowed by the graphics at the very least.
Overall, this is a lengthier presentation. Please reach out to me on Twitter if you have any questions regarding CinemaCon or the Warner Bros. presentation.
That concludes our discussion.
(Photo courtesy of Brandon Davis / )
It’s a little surprising that Warner Brothers only released material for three games. Those titles, however, delivered in spades. While some members of the press were less than pleased to be shown a repeat of The Batman teaser, the behind-the-scenes peek was a welcome distraction. Meanwhile, The Matrix seems to have the potential to start a new franchise. The gorgeously filmed epic seems to be satisfying those who have yearned to return to that world with those people. Then there was Dune, which demonstrated why Villeneuve continues repeating he wants people to see it on the big screen.
To finish things off, an executive claimed that five more DC Comics films are in the works, as well as an Elvis film, a Toto film, and a Barbie film. Overall, a lengthier presentation would have provided more information and entertaining material about the future, but the three movies shown provided beautiful and thrilling glimpses into what is coming to cinemas in the near future (and, in two of their cases, HBO Max). Please reach out to me on Twitter if you have any questions regarding CinemaCon or the Warner Bros. presentation.