Every year, movie theater owners and studios gather at CinemaCon in Las Vegas to discuss the changing motion picture industry and release strategies. The convention usually includes studios and stars showcasing footage from highly anticipated films. First up at this year’s edition is Sony, who delivered the first looks at the Whitney Houston biopic I want to dance with someoneViola Davis action/drama The female king and a new clip from Spider-Man: Through the Spider-Verse.
The Woman King – September 16
Gina Prince-Bythewood directs the action/drama starring the Oscar-winning actress Viola DavisThuso Mbedu (The Underground Railroad) and John Boyega (star wars). It follows Dahomey General Nanisca (Davis) as she defends her kingdom alongside new recruit Nawi (Mbedu).
According to Deadline, Davis was on hand to praise the film and accept the CinemaCon Trailblazer of the Year award. “You know, the five words I don’t want to take to my grave would be, ‘I wasn’t brave enough.’ That I didn’t risk discomfort, failure, exposure,” she said.
The Oscar-winning actress also called the legendary Cecily Tyson her inspiration. She would later work with Tyson when she played Davis’ mother in How to get away with murder.
“I just knew that when I was 9 and I saw [her] for the first time, and I saw this vision come out of the screen, the radical power that made me believe in something bigger than my world, it landed and it landed in me and it landed in a generation of artists,” the Emmy-winner said of Tyson. “And I wanted to do that in my acting job. I wanted to play characters that had never been seen before in a body that looked like mine…and be a producer who championed those stories with people, with a story that felt like me.
The trailer features Davis “leading a tribe as white settlers come to the coast. Nanisca tells her tribe that the settlers “will not stop until all of Africa is theirs.”
John Boyega’s King Ghezo says, “You’re asking me to take them to war”, to which Nanisca replies, “Some things are worth fighting for.”
“I offer you the choice: fight or we die”, she shouts to her tribesmen, “We fight for our ancestors, we fight for the future.”
Well, that all sounds great. Viola Davis and Thuso Mbedu as African warriors defending their King John Boyega from colonizers is all we want in a movie.
I want to dance with someone – December 21
Naomie Ackie (Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker) stars in the Whitney Houston biopic which follows the late singer’s life and career. It is directed by Kasi Lemmons and co-stars Ashton Sanders as Bobby Brown, Nafessa Williams as Whitney’s longtime friend Robyn Crawford, Stanley Tucci as music producer Clive Davis and Tamara Tunie as Whitney’s mother, Cissy Houston.
By USA today, the footage shows Ackie as Houston in a “pastel-colored outfit” singing the film’s title song. Next, a short clip was shown of Ackie in the famous white tracksuit, delivering the singer’s legendary performance from the “Star-Spangled Banner” at the Super Bowl.
Davis, who is one of the film’s producers, said USA today about Ackie: “We were very impressed that the character of Whitney was captured.” He went on to confirm that the vocals in the film will be done by Whitney because they “just didn’t think anyone could capture her vocal genius, so it will be Whitney’s voice in the film.”
George Foreman – April 7, 2023
The studio closed the evening with images of the boxer’s biopic “showing him as an angry youngster transformed into a world-class fighter and the heavyweight champion of the world”, per Deadline.
“It took me a long time to be ready to tell my story on the big screen, but with George Tillman at the helm, I knew I was good. And when you get knocked down, you both get up in life and in the ring,” Foreman said via video.
Spider-Man: Through the Spider-Verse – June 2, 2023
Producers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller gave theater owners the first 15 minutes of Through the Spider-Verse. Shameik Moore returns as the voice of Miles Morales in the follow-up to the 2018 Oscar winner Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. He is joined by Hailee Steinfeld as Gwen Stacy/Spider-Woman, Oscar Isaac as Miguel O’Hara/Spider-Man 2099, and Issa Rae as Jessica Drew/Spider-Woman.
Variety reports, the story travels through six different universes and features 240 characters. And that’s all I’m going to tell you about the film. If you’re interested, there are plenty of descriptions of the images available, but I’m not going to spoil anything here.
We also found out that the third film in the franchise is officially titled Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse and is set to release on March 29, 2024.
Fun fact: I’m already online for The female king.