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Universal Pictures’ CinemaCon Presentation Includes Looks at Nosferatu, Twisters and Wolf Man

By George & Josh Bate

Universal Pictures and Focus Features’ 2024 CinemaCon presentation highlighted the diversity in the studios’ upcoming slate. Check out a full panel of the studios’ presentation below.

Twisters

Universal CinemaCon 2024

One of the highlights of the CinemaCon presentation was Twisters, a sequel to the 1996 hit Twister

Kicking things off was director Lee Isaac Chung, who discussed why he wanted to make Twisters after carving a career in indie films. “It felt like the scariest possible thing in my life,” Chung said. “I wanted to run directly into my fear and not away from it.”

Executive producing the movie are Steven Spielberg and Frank Marshall. Lee Isaac Chung said that Steven Spielberg is a massive fan of tornadoes. “If you’ve made a tornado movie and put it on YouTube, Steven Spielberg has seen it,” Chung remarked.

Next on stage were the three leads of Twisters – Daisy Edgar Jones, Glen Powell, and Anthony Ramos. The three discussed the brutal conditions filming the movie, which included filming on location in Oklahoma in 120 degree heat. The filmmakers even sent real storm chasers out to get actual footage of tornadoes to be included in the film.

In a fun gag, the CinemaCon crew brought out fans to blast at Glen Powell and Anthony Ramos, simulating their work on the film. Confetti and even a blow-up cow were thrown at the actors in what ended up being quite a funny moment for the presentation.

Finally, unfinished footage from Twisters was shown to the CinemaCon crowd. It all looked incredible, capturing a horrifying scale of the disastrous weather events. Tonally, the film feels very similar to the original film, but bigger.

Twisters is in theaters July 19, 2024

Five Nights at Freddy’s 2

Universal CinemaCon 2024

A sequel to the Blumhouse video game adaptation will arrive in Fall 2025. Not much else was revealed about the film, although Universal Studios are clearly proud of what ended up being one of the box office surprises of 2023.

Wolf Man

Coming soon from director Leigh Whannel (The Invisible Man) is Wolf Man. A reboot of the 1941 Lon Chaney Jr. classic, Wolf Man stars Christopher Abbott in the title role and also stars Julia Garner, who was recently cast as Silver Surfer in The Fantastic Four. 

Despite only recently beginning filming on March 17, 2024, a special look at the film was shown. The footage depicts Christopher Abbott’s Lawrence Talbot comforting his scared daughter at night. His worried daughter asks her father if they’re going to die, to which Talbot says, “No.” The daughter contests this statement, telling her father that everyone dies.

The footage continues with a lot of quick cuts surrounding the Talbot home, where it looks like a home invasion is happening. In fact, if it wasn’t for the title Wolf Man showing up at the end of the footage, you wouldn’t really know that this is a Wolf Man movie. The footage does not show the titular monster, although it certainly has the tension and suspense of Whannel’s earlier work.

Wolf Man hits theaters January 17, 2025.

Speak No Evil

Arriving from Blumhouse and Universal Studios is a remake of one of the more disturbing films in recent years – Speak No Evil. 

The Danish horror film made audiences’ shriek in terror and cringe in discomfort, instantly gripping Jason Blum – so much so that Blum reportedly couldn’t stop thinking about the film for weeks after watching it.

In turn, Blum spearheaded an English language remake of the film at Blumhouse. The movie is directed by James Watkins and filmed in Gloucestershire, England. 

An extended trailer for the film was shown, which essentially laid out the entire plot of the film. This wouldn’t be a big deal for those who have seen the Danish original, but those unfamiliar with it may have been spoiled as the footage outlined the narrative of the whole film. James McAvoy stars in the film and evokes the menace from his performance in Split in the trailer for the film.

Check out the trailer below:

Speak No Evil hits theaters Friday the 13th of September this year.

Nosferatu

Universal CinemaCon 2024

One of the highlights of the entire CinemaCon was Nosferatu – the latest film from director/writer Robert Eggers. A reimagining of the 1922 classic will hit theaters over 100 years since the original film, which is widely regarded as one of the most influential and striking horror films of all time.

An exclusive preview of Eggers’ Nosferatu was shown to the CinemaCon crowd. The footage begins with Lily Rose-Depp’s Ellen Hunter, who speaks of having horrible dreams of something terrible happening to her. Sweeping shots of a winter-set city feature prominently in the trailer and shows that the film has a similar aesthetic as Tim Burton’s Sweeney Todd. 

The vampire Count Orlok, played by Bill Skarsgård, is shown in two shots of the footage, although neither shot gave a full look at the character. The first showed Count Orlok from behind and slowly turning around, only briefly revealing a side profile. The final shot of the footage showed a silhouette of Count Orlok with a black dog at his feet.

Also featuring in the trailer were Nicholas Hoult as Thomas Hutter, Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Friedrich Harding, and Willem Dafoe as Professor Albin Eberhart Von Franz. Dafoe re-teams with director/writer Eggers after starring in the acclaimed horror film The Lighthouse for the director.

Nosferatu hits theaters December 25, 2024.

The Wild Robot

Universal CinemaCon 2024

DreamWorks Animation and Universal Pictures presented a special look at The Wild Robot. The upcoming animated film is based on the book series of the same name by Peter Brown and is written and directed by Chris Sanders.

Lupita Nyong’o stars as the voice of Roz, a shipwrecked robot who builds relationships with animals on an island and becomes the adoptive parent of an orphaned gosling.

A special trailer, featuring some unfinished animation, was shown to the CinemaCon crowd and highlighted the film’s theme of found family.

Pedro Pascal, Mark Hamill, and Bill Nye co-star in the film, which hits theaters September 20, 2024.

The Super Mario Bros. 2

Universal CinemaCon 2024

A sequel to the 2023 animated hit was revealed at CinemaCon.

The Super Mario Bros. 2 will hit theaters April 2026

Despicable Me 4

Universal CinemaCon 2024

Approximately 10-15 minutes of footage from Despicable Me 4 was shown to the CinemaCon crowd. The clip shows Steve Carell’s Gru and his son Gru Jr. join forces with the Minions to carry out a heist of a supervillain’s castle. The humor is in line with the first three films.

Back to Black

Universal CinemaCon 2024

The latest biopic about famous musicians centers on the late Amy Winehouse. A special look at the film was shown at CinemaCon. Check out a previous look at the film released to the public below.

Sam Taylor-Johnson (Fifty Shades of Grey) directs and Marisa Abela stars as Amy Winehouse.

Back to Black hits theaters April 12, 2024 in the U.K. and May 17, 2024 in the U.S.

Wicked

Universal CinemaCon 2024

Closing out Universal Pictures’ presentation was Wicked. The long-awaited, highly-anticipated film adaptation of the stage musical of the same name took CinemaCon by storm with an elaborate light show across the crowd. 

Introducing the film was Jeff Goldblum, who plays the Wonderful Wizard of Oz in the film. The ever-charming Goldblum said working on Wicked was “dreamy,” before introducing director Jon M. Chu and Michelle Yeoh on stage.

Michelle Yeoh joins up with Chu again after working together on Crazy Rich Asians. Yeoh jokingly said to Chu, “Why do you cast me in roles that are mean?”

Yeoh sings in the musical Wicked, an experience she excitedly called “terrifying.”

While discussing the film, director Chu teared up, remarking, “It’s been a long journey.”

That wasn’t all from Wicked at CinemaCon as stars Cynthia Erivo and Ariana Grande appeared on stage to discuss the film and introduce a special trailer for the crowd.

Wicked will hit theaters on November 27, 2024. Wicked Part Two will hit theaters November 26, 2025. Universal Pictures will return to CinemaCon next year to present footage from Wicked Part Two.

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