The Universal CinemaCon presentation offered looks at Despicable Me 3, The Fate of the Furious and lots more!
The Universal CinemaCon presentation launched the Las Vegas event's Wednesday festivities. First up in the studio's showcase was a look at what's to come from Illumination Entertainment. Following a 2016 that saw sizable hits with both The Secret Life of Pets and Sing, Illumination has plans to continue both original projects as animated franchises. First, though, they're continuing their most popular film series with this year's Despicable Me 3.
Following a Despicable Me 3 sizzle reel to remind the crowd where it all began, star Steve Carrell took the stage alongside Illumination founder and CEO Chris Meledandri. Together, they reminisced about the franchise, recalling Gru's origins. The voice, Carell explained, came about simply because it was a voice that made his kids laugh the hardest.
“Eight years later, though,” he laughed, “it's not that cool anymore.”
In Despicable Me 3, Carell also voices Dru, Gru's long-lost identical twin brother who, the star explains, has a similar imaginary eastern European accent, but who is much more excited about life. Carell would usually record Gru and then Dru, ultimately being made to perform opposite himself.
“I have the cynicism of Gru and the carefree ebullience of Dru,” he laughed when asked if he connects with the characters.
Despicable Me 3 will also introduce a new Minion character, Mel, named for Meledandri.
“[He's a] pain in the ass,” grinned Carell at Meledandri, who also lovingly compared the CEO to the follically challenged Gru. "A thorn in the side. Make the connection, Chris!"
The Universal CinemaCon presentation then turned to this summer’s The Mummy, launching with a sizzle reel of classic universal monster films and ending with with the famous line from James Whale’s Bride of Frankenstein, “Welcome to a new world of gods and monsters!”
“I think that there is always a monster in us,” said Boutella, who plays the title monster. “Whether or not we decide to use it [is up to us].”
“I think I was brought onto this movie to be scared to do stunts with Tom Cruise,” joked Jackson. “Tom really does it and he makes his cast do it, too. And I do use the term ‘makes.’”
A new trailer was also shown with a special video introduction from Cruise himself (who is currently in London prepping to begin filming on Mission: Impossible 6 next week). He described The Mummy as being a “bold, romantic, terrifying, epic monster film.”
“To be able to usher in a new age of gods and monsters,” he said, “is something that makes me very proud.”
Set to the music of The Rolling Stones’ “Paint it Black,” the new trailer offers a bit more story detail that the previous Mummy trailer. It begins with Jackson and Cruises’ characters getting into some kind of trouble in Egypt. They wind up getting chased across rooftops in a firefight that leads to a massive explosion. In the aftermath of the explosion, a tomb is uncovered that reveals the burial place of the film’s mummy, Ahmanet. Thousands of years ago, she was to be queen. She lusted too strongly for power, however, and was conspired against, turned into a mummy and buried prematurely.
As we saw in the first trailer, Cruise’s character is involved in a plane crash that actually kills him. In this trailer he’s told that he was brought back because he has been chosen to be used for ultimate evil.
“She will not stop until she has remade our world into her own,” says Russell Crowe’s Dr. Jekyll.
The footage ends with a final shot of Cruise and Wallis half submerged in water. Ahmanet rises from the deep and pulls Wallis under violently.
Moving into Girl Trip, the Universal CinemaCon presentation then played a sizzle reel that showcased a history of funny women in Universal films.
“Women really do let loose and have a good time and there's often more ruckus than you might think,” said Queen Latifah, who took the stage alongside co-stars Tiffany Haddish, Jada Pinkett-Smith and Regina Hall, as well as director Malcolm D. Lee.
“It's four best friends who go to New Orleans for Essence Fest,” said Lee. “There's a lot of trouble to get into.”
Shot during the Big Easy’s 2016 Essence Fest, the comedy follows four friends who haven’t been hanging out as much the past few years and who decide to rectify that by going on a group vacation. As you can see in the Girl Trip trailer, things don’t exactly go as planned.
Next up in the Universal CinemaCon presentation was a look at director David Leitch’s Atomic Blonde with Leitch and star Charlize Theron taking the stage. Theron, whose impressive fight choreography is evident in Atomic Blonde‘s first trailer, hurt her teeth while filming.
“I'm going in for my fourth root canal tomorrow,” she said. “Thanks, David.”
Despite some dental misgivings, Theron is thrilled with the result of all the work that went into making Atomic Blonde.
“It was a five-year journey,” she said. “We worked our balls off. I have no more balls. I'm full girl now.”
“Bold choices was our theme,” says Leitch. “…We wanted the film to be provocative… Everything you want is on the other side of fear. You'll see that in this movie.”
The new trailer was set to both New Order’s “Blue Monday” and Depeche Mode’s “Personal Jesus” and offered even more of the intense action that fans have come to expect from the John Wick helmer.
Look for Atomic Blonde to hit theaters July 28.
The Universal CinemaCon presentation then concluded with Vin Diesel taking the stage for The Fate of the Furious and showing off a franchise sizzle reel for what he called “the biggest saga in history” (It actually comes in 15th place, per Box Office Mojo).
“We've been so fortunate to have this saga continue for so long,” said Diesel. “With that fortune comes the challenge… One of the things we're so proud of with this chapter is that we really defied expectations.”
Following the tragic loss of Paul Walker during production on Furious 7, Diesel says that there was a question as to whether or not the Fast and the Furious franchise would continue at all.
“It was a hard decision to make,” he said somberly. “But part of Paul's legacy lives through every frame we shoot. Every time you see Dom Loretto on film — anytime you see any of the case — Roman or Tej or Letty or Mia — you're reminded to this angel, who was so integral to our concept of brotherhood this millennium… The irony is that, when I thought about going into this eighth chapter, it was Paul Walker who promised eight. It just played over and over in my brain, him saying 'eight is guaranteed.' I always felt he was looking down on us and I just don't want to let him down.”
Now nine and ten are also guaranteed as Diesel plans to keep the franchise rolling.
“As the world sees this movie,” he said, “they'll see how this is the beginning of new trilogy.”
Although the CinemaCon crowd was surprised with the first ever screening of The Fate of the Furious, we have been asked not to share any details from the film itself. Instead, perhaps you’d like to watch our FB Live Universal CinemaCon presentation recap video in the player below: