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

Apr 25, 2023, 1:00 PM | Updated: 2:06 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.

United States News

Sage Chelf poses for a photo at her home in Orlando, Fla., May 27, 2023. Recent Florida legislation...

Associated Press

Some trans people turn to crowdfunding to leave Florida after anti-LGBTQ+ laws

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Dozens of transgender people in Florida have turned to crowdfunding appeals to help them leave the state after the passage of new legislation that targets the LGBTQ+ community, including a law that curtails access to gender-affirming care for adults and bans it for minors. For Sage Chelf, the decision to leave […]

22 hours ago

Associated Press

US, Taiwan sign trade deal over China’s opposition

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States signed a trade agreement Thursday with Taiwan over opposition from China, which claims the self-ruled island democracy as part of its territory. The two governments say the U.S.-Taiwan Initiative on 21st Century Trade will strengthen commercial relations by improving customs, investment and other regulation. The measure was signed by […]

22 hours ago

FILE - The Border Patrol station stands July 11, 2014, in Harlingen, Texas. Border Patrol medical s...

Associated Press

Despite flags, Border Patrol staff didn’t review fragile 8-year-old girl’s file before she died

HARLINGEN, Texas (AP) — Border Patrol medical staff declined to review the file of an 8-year-old girl with a chronic heart condition and rare blood disorder before she appeared to have a seizure and died on her ninth day in custody, an internal investigation found. U.S. Customs and Border Protection has said the Panamanian child’s […]

22 hours ago

FILE - This booking photo provided by the Platte County Sheriff's Office shows Lorna Roxanne Green ...

Associated Press

College student accused of setting fire to Wyoming’s only abortion clinic to enter plea

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A college student who authorities say admitted setting fire to a building slated to become Wyoming’s only full-service abortion clinic was scheduled to appear in federal court Friday to enter a plea to an arson charge. Lorna Roxanne Green, 22, told investigators that she opposes abortion and was experiencing anxiety and […]

22 hours ago

Associated Press

Iowa officials expected to detail demolition plans for partially collapsed building

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Plans to demolish a partially collapsed six-story apartment building in Iowa could become clearer Friday, five days after much of the structure crumbled and left three tenants missing and feared dead. Davenport Mayor Mike Matson said Thursday he expected to announce a company “to do a very systematic approach to […]

22 hours ago

FILE - President Joe Biden talks with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy of Calif., on the House steps as...

Associated Press

Just days to spare, Senate gives final approval to debt ceiling deal, sending it to Biden

Fending off a U.S. default, the Senate gave final approval late Thursday to a debt ceiling and budget cuts package.

22 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


OCD & Anxiety Treatment Center

How to identify the symptoms of 3 common anxiety disorders

Living with an anxiety disorder can be debilitating and cause significant stress for those who suffer from the condition.

(Photo: OCD & Anxiety Treatment Center)...

OCD & Anxiety Treatment Center

Here’s what you need to know about OCD and where to find help

It's fair to say that most people know what obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders generally are, but there's a lot more information than meets the eye about a mental health diagnosis that affects about one in every 100 adults in the United States.

(Photo by Michael Matthey/picture alliance via Getty Images)...

Cox Communications

Valley Boys & Girls Club uses esports to help kids make healthy choices

KTAR’s Community Spotlight focuses on the Boys & Girls Club of the Valley and the work to incorporate esports into children's lives.

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