‘Dark Knight Rises’ News and More: 7 Things We Learned from CinemaCon

651x113_Back_Batweek.jpgDark Knight RisesSo much news has emerged from this week’s CinemaCon gathering in Las Vegas, it might as well be Comic-Con! The latest development from the convention formerly known as ShoWest involves The Dark Knight Rises.

Director Christopher Nolan promised the theater owners in attendance that the upcoming conclusion to his Batman trilogy would be “thrilling” and proceeded to unveil to previously unseen clips from Dark Knight Rises that are said to include more interplay between the Caped Crusader himself and his foe (or is she? dun-dun-dun!) Catwoman. Most promising, though, are reports that Bane’s voice — which caused a stir on the blogosphere when the trailer was released, because of its relative lack of clarity — is much clearer in the new clips. 

And with that, here is a recap of the news that has trickled out thus far (there are still almost two days left!) from Sin City.

The Hobbit Footage Causes a Stir: Around the same time that Nolan showed off some footage from TDKR, director Peter Jackson made a video appearance to introduce a brand-new 10-minute clip from his December film The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey — only it wasn’t quite met with the same enthusiasm. Jackson shot the film at 48 frames per second, twice the long-standard frame rate of 24, and the early word is that those in attendance thought the video looked amazing some of the time and off-putting elsewhere, essentially for the same reason: It is “hyper-real.” Will the new technology backfire? It has been the talk of CinemaCon thus far, and you can bet James Cameron will be listening closely to the chatter, because he’s shooting his Avatar sequel at a mind-blowing 60fps!

Pixar’s Promising Promises: While we were treated to a new, exciting trailer for the studio’s upcoming female-led movie Brave on Tuesday, Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich was in Vegas giving scant info about his secretive 2015 project, Dia de los Muertos, said to be a “spooky” film based on the Mexican holiday that honors the dead. Virtually no details were given about that film, but Disney animation chief John Lasseter did unveil a trailer for the sequel Monsters Universitydue out June 21, 2013 — and promised that a teaser would hit the Web soon. Plus: “We previously announced a film that was titled The Untitled Pixar Movie About Dinosaurs. Now, I think this title rocks, but I am absolutely the only one at the studio. Sooooo, today we’d like to announce an even better title we’ve come up with for it — this is now going to be titled The Good Dinosaur.” The film, about a modern world in which dinosaurs were never extinct (personal aside: How has Pixar not made a movie like that yet?!?!), will be directed by Up‘s Bob Peterson and released May 30, 2014.

Jack White’s Next Side Project Is The Lone Ranger: Jerry Bruckheimer, producer of next summer’s The Lone Ranger (and pretty much everything else) announced on Tuesday that the movie would “have a little rock ‘n’ roll score,” courtesy of White Stripes/Raconteurs/Dead Weather mastermind Jack White; it’s his first such involvement in a movie — and hopefully not his last. “I can’t wait to hear his rendition of the William Tell Overture,” said Bruckheimer. Neither can we, Jer!

Speaking of The Lone Ranger…: Its star, Johnny Depp, took the stage with director Tim Burton to discuss their latest collaboration, Dark Shadows, and muttered all of two words the entire time: “Have fun.” (In his defense, he’s Johnny Depp.) Burton, meanwhile, summed up their relationship when he urged Depp to join him on stage with “Come on, Sweetsie.” Cute! The clips they presented are said to have included more action than is featured in the trailer, as well as a glimpse at Alice Cooper’s cameo. Luckily, moviegoers are a mere two and a half weeks away from seeing it all for themselves.

Dictator Publicity Tour Rolls Into Town: This convention is for theater owners, which is to say, it’s not the most excitement-filled affair, even when big news (see above, below) breaks. Sacha Baron Cohen attempted to lighten — or tighten? — the mood when he made an unexpected appearance as General Aladeen to promote May 16’s The Dictator. His publicity tour prior to CinemaCon has been full of physical stunts, but the shenanigans this time around were more verbal: “Hello, and death to the West!” was his opening. What followed wasn’t exactly tame, either (but was pretty fantastic); a couple of the zings, er, zeengs [Aladeen-speak]: “It is a pleasure to be here to address Cinnabon. I love movies. In fact, I have starred in every single film made in my country — blockbusters such as When Harry Kidnapped Sally, Beheading Private Ryan, The 14-Year-Old Virgin, and the family comedy Planet of the Rapes. … I thought I would be the only dictator here tonight, so imagine my surprise when I found out Jeffrey Katzenberg was speaking!”

Finally, the Trailer for G.I. Joe: Retaliation: We hadn’t heard from the G.I. Joe sequel, video-wise, since Super Bowl time, which is an eon nowadays, but Paramount finally served up the movie’s long-awaited trailer at its CinemaCon gig and then online — and it didn’t disappoint (unless you were hoping for a lot of Channing Tatum). Plus, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson received a new nickname from Retaliation director Jon Chu: franchise Viagra.

It’s Safe to Get Excited for The Great Gatsby: Director Baz Luhrmann‘s decision to shoot his adaptation of the Great American Novel in 3D struck some as curious (to put it nicely). But the raw footage he (very reluctantly) showed off was reportedly quite a site to behold, immediately drawing comparisons to Martin Scorsese‘s recent Best Picture nominee Hugo — whose 3D conception, it’s worth noting, was initially met with similar head-scratching. And it makes sense: Luhrmann has always had a knack for visuals and design, and Gatsby, full of 1920s set pieces and shows of affluence, will likely look amazing with the extra dimension.


‘The Dark Knight Rises’: Over an Hour of Bane vs. Batman in IMAX

First Trailer for ‘The Hobbit’ Unveiled

Seacrest on ‘The Dictator’ Spill: E! Host Was Genuinely Surprised

‘The Lone Ranger’ First Photo: Johnny depp and Armie Hammer Are American Heroes

[THR, L.A. Times, EW, Variety, HuffPost]