Warner Bros. doled out a Godzilla-sized serving of new footage in a marathon presentation to promote its upcoming slate of films including “The Joker,” ”It: Chapter Two” and “The Goldfinch” to an audience of movie theater owners at CinemaCon Tuesday.
The audience got some goosebumps after watching a scene from the “It” sequel where Beverly Marsh (Jessica Chastain) goes back to her father’s house and is surprised to find an older woman living there instead.
The young cast of “It” stood aside their grown “Losers’ Club” counterparts of “It: Chapter Two” on stage, including Chastain, Bill Hader, James McAvoy and Isaiah Mustafa.
Sophia Lillis, who played the young Beverly Marsh in the first film, laughed that she’d kind of predicted that Chastain would play the adult version of her. She’d worked with director Andy Muschietti, for one, and “we kind of look alike.”
Director Todd Phillips, no stranger to Las Vegas or Caesar’s Palace, having filmed “The Hangover” there, was on hand to introduce the first teaser trailer for “Joker,” starring Joaquin Phoenix.
The chilling teaser, to be released widely on Wednesday, shows a pre-Joker Arthur Fleck, working as a clown on the street, helping his mother take a bath, possibly attempting to date and generally veering toward madness.
Phillips said there’s been a lot written about the film and not much has been all that accurate.
“But that’s what happens when you set out to make an origin story about a character who doesn’t have an origin,” he said of Batman’s nemesis.
Plus, he’d rather it be a surprise for audiences when it hits theater in October. He’s even playing a little coy with his own studio, telling them he couldn’t describe it. When they asked for a genre, at least, he said, “It’s a tragedy.”
The studio also showed the first trailer for “The Goldfinch,” an adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Donna Tartt, about a boy mourning his mother’s death from director John Crowley.
“I hope that people find a piece of themselves in the story,” star Ansel Elgort said. “I hope that whatever drew people to that book draws them to the movie.” It hits theaters in September.
Tiffany Haddish and Melissa McCarthy came out to promote something unexpected for the two comediennes — a ’70s-set mob drama called “The Kitchen,” from “Straight Outta Compton” writer Andrea Berloff in her directorial debut, which comes out in August.
“Everyone knows very strong women in challenging positions but you don’t often get to see that in film,” McCarthy said.
Haddish added that she was excited to be in a film like this.
“For me this was a dream come true,” Haddish said. “I’m from South Central Los Angeles. I grew up around gangster-like stuff. I always tried to join the gangs but they wouldn’t let me, I was too goofy.”
There were glimpses of the star-studded “Motherless Brooklyn” adaptation from Edward Norton, a very brief look at “Wonder Woman 1984” and even the Harley Quinn spinoff “Birds of Prey,” starring Margot Robbie.
Also on hand to promote the Warner Bros. slate: A hologram Pikachu (with the voice of Ryan Reynolds), a very real Helen Mirren who had one choice expletive to describe her feelings about Netflix and McCarthy in a fire-breathing dragon costume doing a bit about thinking that she was at Comic-Con.
Despite coming off a record year at the box office last year, Warner Bros. has recently seen some dramatic changes to its leadership ranks. Just over two weeks ago, its chairman Kevin Tsujihara stepped down following allegations of sexual misconduct after leaked texts revealed a quid pro quo relationship with an aspiring actress, who herself has not made claims against Tsujihara.
The studio did not shy away from mentioning Tsujihara, however, and did so in glowing form.
Toby Emmerich, the chairman of the Warner Bros. pictures group said he, “Left his mark indelibly in Warner Bros. history. (He was) responsible for one of the greatest periods of financial growth … And he pushed to become more inclusive in our ranks and more importantly with our talent behind and in front of the camera.”
“A big thank you from all of us at Warner Bros. and a special wish from me for godspeed to Kevin Tsujihara,” he added.