Josh Greenstein, co-President, Sony Pictures Entertainment Motion Picture Group, let us know folks were happy about 88-day exhibition window for Spider-Man: No Way Home. Sanford Panitch, the other co-President, took over to make some announcement about the expansion of the Spider-Man universe. Bad Bunny was introduced as the Marvel character El Muerto, one that came after my time reading comics in the late ’70s and early ’80s. Kraven the Hunter is currently shooting, and Madame Web is on her way.
For Bullet Train, based on Kōtarō Isaka’s 2010 novel Maria Beetle, director David Leitch presented the first reel of this “action thriller with [a] comedic edge.” A criminal code-named “Ladybug” (Brad Pitt) is back in business to pick up a briefcase on a train. British brothers and assassins Lemon (Brian Tyree Henry) and Tangerine (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) are assigned to pick up a crime boss’s son (Logan Lerman). There’s a funny scene as they recount how many people they killed to retrieve the son. Brad has an ear piece and talks to a handler (Sandra Bullock) who guides him. The briefcase has the crime boss’s ransom money intended to get his son. As Ladybug is getting off the train, angry man (Bad Bunny) attacks him, claiming Ladybug killed his wife. This reel is frenetic; it’s action-packed and filled with dark humor. Definitely familiar feel to Leitch’s past work.
Based on the best-selling book of the same name, Where the Crawdads Sing is a mystery about a young girl who lives in the North Carolina marshes who is accused of killing a young man. Definitely feels like counter programming to Bullet Train.
Nicole Brown, President of TriStar Pictures, introduced The Woman King with director Gina Prince-Bythewood and Viola Davis, who is receiving CinemaCon’s Cinema Trailblazer award. Inspired by true events, if one imagines the female soldiers in Black Panther were real, this is their movie.
Chairman and CEO Tom Rothman came out to brag that over eight months Sony movies made $3.3B at the worldwide box office. He then brought out Phil Lord & Chris Miller to promote Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, which has over 1000 people working on it, 240 characters in it, and takes place across six universes. They presented 15 minutes of incomplete footage. On Gwen’s Earth, her police officer dad is chasing after superhero persona, Spider-Woman, unaware she is also his daughter. Turns out, she is being sought for the death of Peter Parker. A sepia-colored Vulture causes an issue at Guggenheim. Not only did the previous movie open up other dimensions for villains to crossover, other heroes do as well. Meanwhile, Miles is looking at college. This movie is set for July 2023 while Part 2, Beyond the Spider-Verse is set for Easter 2024.
Also coming out from Sony: Tom Hanks play an out of touch old man in A Man Called Otto; an adaptation of the children’s book Lyle, Lyle the Crocodile; biopics of boxer George Foreman and of singer Whitney Houston, the latter called I Wanna Dance with Somebody, and sequels to The Equalizer, Ghostbusters, and Venom.