Warner Bros., which is commemorating its 100th year, debuted a jam-packed slate of brand-new movies at CinemaCon on Tuesday, including a live-action “Barbie” comedy and Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey's adaptation of “The Color Purple.”
The legendary Hollywood company also teased a “10-year plan” to reboot its DC superhero flicks, which include popular characters like Batman and Superman, during its presentation at the annual Las Vegas convention.
David Zaslav, who was the driving force behind Warner and Discovery's corporate merger last year, appeared on stage in person to woo a crowd that was mostly theater owners.
“We don't want to do direct-to-streaming movies,” said Zaslav, whose predecessor received criticism for immediately making Warner films available on HBO Max, which was recently renamed as Max.
“We're not in a rush to bring the movies to Max.”
Zaslav and other Warner executives assembled A-list actors for a 2.5-hour presentation, including Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling, Timothee Chalamet, and Zendaya.
The film “Barbie,” starring Robbie and Gosling, will be released on July 21. It follows the omnipresent blonde doll as she lives in a world full of pink hues before beginning to doubt her too-perfect existence and visiting real-life Los Angeles.
Director Greta Gerwig, who took influence from “The Wizard of Oz” and disco music culture, said that “Everyone Knows Barbie” and that “she's never been on the big screen before.”
She said, “They made Barbie houses that were life-size… everything was extraordinary.”
It was “like a fever dream,” Gosling claimed, adding, “I was living my life, and then one day I was bleaching my hair, shaving my legs, wearing bespoke neon outfits, and rollerblading down Venice Beach.”
The new adaptation of “The Color Purple,” which will be released on Christmas Day, was introduced on stage by Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg.
Based on Alice Walker's book about Black women experiencing trauma, sexual assault, and prejudice in the early 20th century rural Deep South, the Broadway musical adaption served as the basis for the film.
It's not your mother's “Color Purple,” but your mother will still like it, according to Winfrey, because of how dynamic the music is and how well-done the magical realism is in this production.
Winfrey produced the remake version of the 1985 movie, for which she received an Oscar nod for best supporting actress.
Chalamet showed clips from two recent movies in which he appears.
He plays a youthful, idealistic version of Roald Dahl's famed chocolatier in the upcoming film “Wonka,” whose attempts to establish a magical candy empire are thwarted by an evil “chocolate cartel.”
The “bizarre” procedure of filming the genesis narrative, according to Chalamet, included “a lot of swimming in pools of actual chocolate.”
In November, Denis Villeneuve's Oscar-winning adaptation of Frank Herbert's epic sci-fi book will release “Dune: Part Two,” which features his return.
Villeneuve dubbed the sequel's ensemble, which includes Austin Butler, Lea Seydoux, Christopher Walken, and Florence Pugh, a “action-packed epic war movie.”
Superhero movies from Warner's “DC Universe” concluded the showcase.
Despite their popularity, the DC movies have recently seen a number of production setbacks and casting reversals, and they have mostly been eclipsed by the competing, record-breaking Marvel movies.
Peter Safran (“Aquaman”) and James Gunn (“Guardians of the Galaxy”) have just been appointed as the division's new leaders.
The Flash, Blue Beetle, and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom will all be released this year by the studio.
Despite the fact that these movies were produced by Warner under a prior administration, Gunn said that they would “lead perfectly into the DCU slate that we have coming up starting in 2024.”
Gunn will be directing “Superman: Legacy,” which will be released in July 2025.
Future DC films would be “vast, interconnected, and filled with promise and possibility,” according to Safran, who also assured that he and Gunn are “cracking into” the universe's “first chapter.”
Warner has a new “10-year plan” for the properties, Zaslav, a self-described “lover of DC,” said the crowd.
Hollywood studios may exhibit their forthcoming movies to movie theater owners at CinemaCon, which is taking place at Caesars Palace through Thursday. To generate enthusiasm, the event brings out the greatest personalities in the business.