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CinemaCon 2022 Day 4 Recap: Paramount, Mission: Impossible 7, Top Gun, Lionsgate, John Wick

May 2, 2022 | Posted by Jeffrey Harris
TOP GUN: MAVERICK, CinemaCon Image Credit: Paramount Pictures, Skydance and Jerry Bruckheimer Films.

CinemaCon 2022 concluded this year’s convention with Day 4 on Thursday (Apr. 28). Paramount Pictures and Lionsgate held their keynote presentations, and their was still one last big screening for the week.

Paramount Pictures

With the recent runaway success for Sonic the Hedgehog 2 at the box office, the opening for the Paramount Pictures keynote paid tribute to the Blue Blur. There was a Sonic-themed live performance of “Super Sonic,” and Paramount executive Chris Aronson came out wearing a Dr. Robotnik mustache.

Overall, it was a good showing for Paramount, as they were able to laud the company’s recent box office success after releasing Scream, The Lost Kingdom, and Sonic the Hedgehog 2 this year. There were still some showcases for new and upcoming Paramount films ahead of the Top Gun: Maverick screening.

Paramount screened a sizzle reel for its upcoming releases. One of the upcoming films showcased was Damien Chazelle’s Babylon. This is a period film starring Brad Pitt as John Gilbert and Margot Robbie as Clara Bow. The film looks like it has an old Hollywood style and a bit of a comedic flair. It looked a bit reminiscent of the Coen Brothers’ Hail, Caesar!. Babylon arrives December 25.

The first footage of Transformers: Rise of the Beasts was also shown during the sizzle reel. There were only some brief snippets of footage. There was a bit of Optimus Prime and a bit of Bumblebee. It looks like the film is sticking with the design aesthetic from the 2018 Bumblebee movie.

For example, Arcee in her robot mode was shown, riding alongside a Volkswagen van (My understanding is that this is Wheeljack). Arcee’s robot mode looks closer to her G1 animated counterpart and her brief cameo appearance in Bumblebee than that monstrosity that appeared in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Rise of the Beasts is due out on June 9, 2023.

The animated kids’ movie, Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank got a slightly extended first look during the sizzle reel. Michael Cera leads the voice cast as a timid beagle named Hank who aspires to be a samurai, and he’s trained by Jimbo, voiced by Samuel L. Jackson. Cera’s definitely playing to type here, but I’m not sure he was the best choice for this role. Regardless, this film looks like it could be fun.

The sizzle reel also revealed completed footage for the upcoming Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves movie. The footage didn’t offer a great sense of the film’s plot, but it looks like it has a decent cast, good visual effects, and production values. Chris Pine’s character mentions needing a team. The CG on the creatures looked fairly decent. However, I will need to see more. The film arrives on March 3, 2023.

The sizzle reel also showed new logos for upcoming movies, such as a new spinoff for the A Quiet Place franchise called A Quiet Place: Day One. No other details were given. Also, the new logo for Seth Rogen’s upcoming animated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film was shown. There was also a sliver of footage for the animated movie version of The Tiger’s Apprentice.

Before the Top Gun: Maverick presentation, there was a fun pre-recorded video introduction revealing Tom Cruise standing atop a biplane while filming what I believe is the eighth Mission: Impossible movie. Filmmaker Christopher McQuarrie then appeared in another biplane flying alongside Cruise and told him it’s time to roll for the next shot. The two planes then did a huge dive in what looked to be a pretty spectacular shot.

The Top Gun: Maverick screening was preceded by a new teaser trailer for the newly titled Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part 1. The teaser shows that Eugene Kittridge (Henry Czerny) is back, and he appears to be the villain this time as he appears to want to bring down the current government.

The teaser featured a lot of action beats set to the M:I theme music, and there was a finished version of the amazing motorcycle over the cliff stunt that was showcased last year in a behind-the-scenes featurette at CinemaCon. Benji (Simon Pegg) now has a hairstyle that reminds me of Ethan Hunt in Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol and Mission: Impossible 2. It’s crazy when you realize that Tom Cruise is now 59 years old, and he’s still doing some pretty insane stunts and action sequences.

After multiple delays, M:I7 is finally hitting theaters on July 14, 2023. Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part Two arrives on July 24, 2024. Tom Cruise will be 61 when that film comes out.

Top Gun: Maverick was also screened during the presentation. I can’t offer too much details on the film just yet, but here are some of my initial social media reactions I was allowed to share after the film:

Top Gun: Maverick finally flies into theaters on May 27.

Lionsgate

Comedian Sebastian Maniscalco handled most of the hosting duties for Thursday’s Lionsgate presentation to promote his new film, About My Father. My favorite joke during his bits were about how huge the lanyards were.

The presentation featured a footage reveal for The Expendables 4, which is stylized as The Expand4bles. Megan Fox joins the cast for the new film, which looks like it’s much of the original cast members for the first film. Tony Jaa and Iko Uwais also join the cast.

Hopefully, this will go better than the last installment, and they will return to having an R-rating. The third film did not perform well at the domestic box office, but it still made $214 million worldwide, which I assume is the main reason a fourth movie was able to get made. The sequel is due out later this year. Maniscalco joked about The Expendables, “This franchise is more violent than Will Smith at a comedy club.”

Maniscalco’s own starring comedy, About My Father, was also previewed during the presentation. It looks to be an irreverent, slightly more adult family comedy, similar to Meet the Parents. The film also stars Robert DeNiro, Leslie Bibb, and Kim Cattrall.

Lionsgate offered a first look at footage for John Wick Chapter 4. Keanue Reeves and director Chad Stahelski
were both in attendance to introduce the film. The franchise continues with its next installment. We see John Wick training and striking a training dummy as he’s preparing for war. Wick has now allied with The Bowery King (Laurence Fishburne), and they both plan to take out management, and John is now fighting to obtain his freedom.

The Lionsgate presentation ended with a sizzle reel with some information about new, upcoming pictures. There will be a sequel, or perhaps “requel,” to Dirty Dancing. Jennifer Grey will return as Frances Houseman, who returns to Kellerman’s Resort in the film.

There was also a logo reveal teaser for a new installment of The Hunger Games film franchise, titled The Hunger Games: Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. It was announced for a November 2023 release. My understanding is that this will be a prequel to the first film.

Also announced by Lionsgate was a new spinoff for the John Wick universe titled The Ballerina, which will star Ana de Armas. The film is currently in production.

Of the upcoming Lionsgate releases, I’m easily most excited for John Wick Chapter 4. The film arrives on March 24, 2023.