Excitement builds for Nolan’s ‘Oppenheimer’ at CinemaCon

Apr 26, 2023, 5:49 PM

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Universal started out its CinemaCon presentation with the big one: New footage from Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer.”

“I know of no more dramatic tale, with higher stakes, twists and turns, paradoxes,” Nolan told a room full of theater owners Wednesday in Las Vegas. “In learning about that story, I wanted to be in that room and see what that must have been like.”

“Oppenheimer,” due in cinemas on July 21, is about J. Robert Oppenheimer, the brilliant, charismatic physicist who, along with his peers at Los Alamos, developed the atomic bomb and changed the world. Cillian Murphy, a frequent Nolan collaborator going back to “Batman Begins,” plays the title role in a starry cast that includes Matt Damon, Emily Blunt and many more.

“Like it or not, he is the most important person who ever lived. He made the world we live in for better or worse. His story has to be seen to be believed,” Nolan said. “His story is both dream and nightmare.”

Nolan shot the movie on large format IMAX in both color and black and white, but “not too much black and white, don’t worry,” he said.

“Oppenheimer” marks the first time Nolan has partnered with Universal, after he parted ways with his longtime studio Warner Bros. amid the shop’s divisive pivot to streaming for its 2022 releases.

The filmmaker has always been a passionate defender and advocate for movie theaters, and “Oppenheimer” will be no different, with 70mm IMAX, 35mm, Dolby Vision and other premium large-format screen versions available around the world.

Nolan also said he could neither confirm nor deny that a full-length trailer will play in front of “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3,” which opens May 5.

The Universal team, including filmed entertainment group chairman Donna Langley, assembled in Las Vegas for the annual conference just days after news broke that Jeff Shell, the chief executive of NBCUniversal and one of the media industry’s renowned executives, was leaving the company after an investigation into inappropriate conduct.

Shell oversaw a vast portfolio of assets including the motion picture company. Previously he was chairman of NBCUniversal Film and Entertainment. As of Wednesday, parent company Comcast had not yet named a successor.

The film studio team has been basking in the recent box office success of Illumination’s “The Super Mario Bros. Movie,” which has already made over $900 million at the global box office. It will be the first movie to pass $1 billion in 2023, a landmark it will hit this coming week, Langley said.

“Mario” also came on the heels of hits like “Cocaine Bear” and “M3GAN,” which Universal’s domestic distribution chief Jim Orr noted also dominated cultural conversation from memes to late night fodder.

“We bet on audiences,” Orr said. “We believe the best days are in front of us not behind us.”

In their 2023 slate, Orr said, “The comedy is crazier, the horror more terrifying, the drama more powerful. And ‘Fast X’ is faster and more furious than anything you’ve seen before. “

Will Ferrell walked out on stage carrying a dog named Sophie to talk about his very R-rated comedy “Strays” (June 9), in which he and Jamie Foxx play foul mouth pups. Sophie, Ferrell said, plays his character Reggie in the film.

“She’s not that cute, you don’t have to keep cutting to her,” Ferrell said. “Hey camera operator, let’s try to keep it even. One shot of her, one shot of me.”

“I have three Emmys and a Mark Twain Prize and you regularly (expletive) on the sidewalk,” he added.

Ferrell later apologized to Sophie. The bit had the crowd in stitches.

Justin Timberlake and Anna Kendrick also brought energy to the room to talk about “Trolls Band Together,” which is coming on Nov. 17.

“Hey A-Ken. Ak-Attack,” Timberlake said. “I’m high.”

A moment later he clarified he wasn’t. Kendrick said in this film their characters have moved out of “the friend zone.”

“Get ready to rock and trooooollll,” Kendrick shouted, quipping to her straight-man counterpart that “joy is a choice.”

DreamWorks Animation teased “Ruby Gillman Teenage Kraken,” due on June 30, about a part Kraken trying to survive high school who is voiced by Lana Condor.

“We feel it has the potential to become the girl power movie of the summer,” said Margie Cohn, the president of DreamWorks Animation.

Jason Blum and David Gordon Green, who partnered on the “Halloween” revivals, also showed a first look at the new, modern day “Exorcist” movie, “The Exorcist Believer,” in which two children become possessed. It’s the first in a planned trilogy, that brings back Ellen Burstyn and opens in theaters on Oct. 13.

Universal closed with some big ones too. First up was “Fast X,” with Jordan Brewster, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese and Sung Kang there to, briefly, recap the first nine films before calling Vin Diesel to the stage and exiting stage left.

“I like this room better than the Oscars,” Diesel said to cheers. “And you know I really mean that.”

Then stunt performers from Eighty Seven North provided the opening act for Emily Blunt and Ryan Gosling to tease “Fall Guy” before they closed with a first look at “Wicked,” which Langley promised will “dazzle your screens.”

United States News

Associated Press

Philadelphia police officer shot by fleeing suspect is in critical condition

A Philadelphia police officer was shot in the neck and was in critical condition Saturday night, officials said. The 31-year-old officer was in critical condition and undergoing surgery at Temple University Hospital, Police Commissioner Kevin Bethel said during a news conference outside the hospital. The officer, a veteran of more than six years on the […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

A fourth victim has died a day after a shooting at an Arkansas grocery store, police say

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Police say a fourth victim has died a day after a shooting at an Arkansas grocery store. The person died Saturday evening, Arkansas state police said in a statement. A total of 14 people were wounded in Friday’s shooting, according to police: “11 civilians, two law enforcement officers and the […]

2 hours ago

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally, Saturda...

Associated Press

Trump endorses Ten Commandments in schools, implores evangelical Christians to vote in November

Trump endorsed displaying the Ten Commandments in schools while speaking to a group of politically influential evangelical Christians.

3 hours ago

Associated Press

2 people were taken to a hospital after lightning struck a tree near a PGA Tour event in Connecticut

CROMWELL, Conn. (AP) — Two people were taken to the hospital Saturday after lightning struck a tree near a home along a golf course that is hosting the PGA Tour’s Travelers Championship. The home is just north of the fifth green at TPC River Highlands, which is hosting the tournament one week after the U.S. […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

Jury awards more than $13 million to ultramarathon athlete injured in fall on a Seattle sidewalk

SEATTLE (AP) — A jury awarded $13.1 million to an ultramarathon athlete who was severely injured when she fell on a Seattle sidewalk in 2021. The award by a King County jury found that the city of Seattle and the owners of an apartment building are responsible for the amount, the Seattle Times reported. Lesley […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

Rains, cooler weather help firefighters gain ground on large wildfires in southern New Mexico

RUIDOSO, N.M. (AP) — Recent rains and cooler weather are helping more than 1,000 firefighters gain ground on two wildfires in southern New Mexico on Saturday that have killed two people, destroyed hundreds of homes and forced thousands to flee. Fire crews took advantage of temperatures in the 70s, scattered showers and light winds to […]

9 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s how to be worry-free when your A/C goes out in the middle of summer

PHOENIX -- As Arizona approaches another hot summer, Phoenix residents are likely to spend more time indoors.


Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Beat the heat, ensure your AC unit is summer-ready

With temperatures starting to rise across the Valley, now is a great time to be sure your AC unit is ready to withstand the sweltering summer heat.


DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

Excitement builds for Nolan’s ‘Oppenheimer’ at CinemaCon