New footage from ‘Dune 2,’ ‘Barbie’ unveiled at CinemaCon

Apr 25, 2023, 1:00 PM

An attendee walks past an advertisement for the upcoming film "Barbie" on the opening day of Cinema...

An attendee walks past an advertisement for the upcoming film "Barbie" on the opening day of CinemaCon 2023, the official convention of the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) at Caesars Palace, Monday, April 24, 2023, in Las Vegas. The four-day convention runs through Thursday. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
Credit: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

(AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

LAS VEGAS (AP) — In a starry presentation that included Timothée Chalamet, Oprah Winfrey, Zendaya and a first look at “Dune: Part Two,” “Barbie” was no doubt the brightest star of Warner Bros.’ CinemaCon showcase. In fairness, the neon pink might have given her the advantage.

It was a splashy presentation for anxious theater owners in Las Vegas from a studio in transition, with new leadership teams in place to oversee films and create a 10-year plan for iconic DC Comics characters like Superman. Within the past year, Michael De Luca and Pam Abdy were selected to lead the studio’s film group while James Gunn and Peter Safran stepped in to head DC Studios.

Tuesday evening, CinemaCon attendees will be among the first to see “The Flash” (out June 16) — a film that has been the source of extra scrutiny because of star Ezra Miller’s series of arrests and reports of erratic behavior. Miller, who goes by they/them pronouns, said last year that they were pursuing treatment for “complex mental health issues.”

Miller did not appear on stage in Las Vegas alongside director Andy Muschietti, though Muschietti spoke about his lead.

“They are an incredible actor,” he said. “Probably one of the best actors I’ve ever worked with. … They wanted to do all the stunts and I let them.”

Safran also previewed the upcoming “Aquaman” and “Blue Beetle” movies, but did not have much to say about their plans beyond 2023.

The audience cheered for a pulsating first look at Denis Villeneuve’s “Dune: Part Two,” which hits theaters on Nov. 3.

“Part One was a more contemplative movie,” Villeneuve said. “Part Two is more action packed, an epic war movie.”

Not only is it “more dense” but it was also filmed entirely in IMAX, he said. The first movie was about “40% IMAX.”

“Dune: Part Two” picks up with Chalamet’s young hero Paul Atreides and Zendaya’s Chani right were he left them. Chani, Zendaya promised, is “not just in dreams this time.”

The two characters, she added, are trying to balance just being young people in the world with the weight of having to also be warriors for their people.

“Dune 2” adds actors like Austin Butler, Christopher Walken and Florence Pugh to the already big ensemble.

The pitch to Butler, Villeuneuve said, was to play an “Olympic sword master mixed with a psychotic serial killer.” The “Elvis” star said yes.

Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling and writer-director Greta Gerwig unveiled a new trailer for the candy-colored extravaganza. The promotional spot revealed more about the film’s mysterious plot, including the fact that Robbie’s Barbie experiences some “imperfect” things like burnt toast and flat feet and goes searching for the truth about the universe.

Robbie, who produced and stars, was the engine behind the project. She was the one who asked Greta Gerwig to help make the film.

Gerwig and her partner Noah Baumbach co-wrote the script and, Gerwig said, when they finished she got the sense that he liked it so much that he wanted to direct it.

“I said, ‘Step aside,’” Gerwig laughed. “I was so in love with it I couldn’t imagine anyone else doing it.”

While writing, she said she jotted down the name “Ryan Gosling” for Ken, though she had neither met him nor had any idea if he’d be interested.

Gosling, most know by now, was. On stage at Caesars Palace, Gosling wore a T-shirt with Gerwig’s name on it in the Barbie font.

“I have to be honest, up until this point I only knew Ken from afar,” Gosling said. “I didn’t know Ken from within.”

“I doubted my Kenergy,” Gosling continued. “Greta and Margot, I feel like they conjured this out of me. … I was living my life and then one day I was bleaching my hair, shaving my legs and wearing bespoke neon outfits and roller blading down Venice Beach.”

“Barbie,” which counts disco, “The Wizard of Oz” and Technicolor musicals as inspiration, opens in theaters on July 21.

Oprah Winfrey made her CinemaCon debut to talk about the big screen adaptation of “The Color Purple” stage musical. Winfrey, who produced the new film, starred in Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of the Alice Walker novel in 1985 and received an Oscar nomination for her performance.

“‘The Color Purple’ in 1985 was the biggest and most important thing that had ever happened to me,” Winfrey said. “This is a full circle moment for me.”

Director Blitz Bazawule said they “told the story in such a joyful way.” Both stressed that it’s the kind of film that should inspire groups and families to come out to the theater and the never-before-seen trailer promised that it is “not your mamma’s ‘Color Purple’.” The cast includes Taraji P. Henson, Danielle Brooks, Colman Domingo, Fantasia, H.E.R., and Jon Batiste.

“It is our mission to put people in seats for this movie,” said Winfrey of the Christmas day release. She suggested buying tickets for friends and putting purple ribbons on them.

Chalamet also spoke about “Wonka,” a colorful origin story about the eccentric chocolatier directed by “Paddington” director Paul King that opens on Dec. 15. A new extended trailer showed a first look at Hugh Grant as a small, orange Oompa Loompa threatening to do a song and dance, which got laughs from the audience.

“That was the first time you all saw Hugh as the Oompa Loompa right?” Chalamet said. “It was a trip.”

David Zaslav, the CEO and President of Warner Bros. Discovery., reiterated his commitment to theaters — a 180 from former WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar who made the controversial decision to send all 10 Warner Bros. movies straight to HBO Max in 2022.

“We believe in full windowing of motion pictures,” Zaslav said. “We do not want to do direct to streaming movies. We’re in no rush to bring movies to Max (the new name for HBO Max).”

In 2023, Warner Bros. plans to release 16 movies in theaters and aspires to get to more than 20 a year.

“We’re all in on motion pictures,” Zaslav said.

National News

Associated Press

Victims plan to sue sheriff for failing to get red flag order against Colorado Springs club shooter

DENVER (AP) — Some victims of the mass shooting at a gay club in Colorado Springs last year plan to sue authorities for not trying to block the shooter from buying guns before the attack. According to legal notices obtained Anderson Aldrich, who is charged with killing five people and injuring 22 others at Club […]

18 hours ago

Associated Press

Oregon is invested in Fox Corp. and is investigating its board over bogus election fraud claims

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon’s attorney general announced Monday she has begun investigating the board of directors of Fox Corp. for breaching its fiduciary duties by allowing Fox News to broadcast false claims about the 2020 presidential election — claims that cost the broadcaster almost $800 million in a lawsuit. Also joining the investigation is […]

18 hours ago

FILE - Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., speaks to reporters outside the Capitol, as his top political ai...

Associated Press

Lawyer says Rep. George Santos would go to jail to keep identities of bond cosigners secret

NEW YORK (AP) — Rep. George Santos’ lawyer said Monday the indicted New York Republican would risk going to jail to protect the identities of the people who cosigned the $500,000 bond enabling his pretrial release. The lawyer, Joseph Murray, urged a judge to deny a request by news outlets to unseal the names of […]

18 hours ago

Associated Press

Ex-correctional officer at federal prison in California convicted of sexual misconduct

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — A former federal correctional officer was convicted Monday of sexually abusing two inmates at a women’s prison in California where the warden and other employees were charged with similar conduct. A jury found the officer, John Russell Bellhouse, guilty on five counts of sexual abuse for incidents involving the two women […]

18 hours ago

Associated Press

US House panel investigates ties between US Interior secretary, environmentalists

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Republican members of the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources are raising concerns about ties between Interior Secretary Deb Haaland and an Indigenous group from her home state that advocates for halting oil and gas production on public lands. The members on Monday sent a letter to Haaland requesting documents related […]

18 hours ago

FILE - Florida Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer sentences Parkland shooter Nikolas Cruz at the Browa...

Associated Press

Commission: Florida judge should be reprimanded for conduct during Parkland school shooting trial

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — The Florida judge who oversaw the penalty trial of Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz should be publicly reprimanded for showing bias toward the prosecution, failing to curtail “vitriolic statements” directed at Cruz’s attorneys by the victims’ families and sometimes allowing “her emotions to overcome her judgement,” a state commission concluded […]

18 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Men's Health Month...

Men’s Health Month: Why It’s Important to Speak About Your Health

June is Men’s Health Month, with the goal to raise awareness about men’s health and to encourage men to speak about their health.

Internet Washington...

Major Internet Upgrade and Expansion Planned This Year in Washington State

Comcast is investing $280 million this year to offer multi-gigabit Internet speeds to more than four million locations.

Compassion International...

Brock Huard and Friends Rally Around The Fight for First Campaign

Professional athletes are teaming up to prevent infant mortality and empower women at risk in communities facing severe poverty.

Emergency Preparedness...

Prepare for the next disaster at the Emergency Preparedness Conference

Being prepared before the next emergency arrives is key to preserving businesses and organizations of many kinds.

SHIBA volunteer...

Volunteer to help people understand their Medicare options!

If you’re retired or getting ready to retire and looking for new ways to stay active, becoming a SHIBA volunteer could be for you!

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.

New footage from ‘Dune 2,’ ‘Barbie’ unveiled at CinemaCon