The highlight of Sony’s opening night presentation at this year’s Cinemacon in Las Vegas was the surprise star guests from two of the studio’s most hotly anticipated movies due for release later this year.
Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams and Riz Ahmed showed up for their new twisted superhero film, Venom (due for release in October), plus The Crown‘s Claire Foy demonstrated that she can be far from genteel as she takes on Lisbeth Salander in The Girl in the Spider’s Web.
Sporting cropped brunette hair and spectacles, Foy took to the CinemaCon stage alongside her director Fede Alvarez. “Speaking from a personal point of view, I feel this character is really special and iconic and, for me, it was a great honour to play her. The thing that I think makes Lisbeth special and truly compelling is that you can’t really describe her. She’s a woman and she’s totally unique. She refuses to defined or made a victim and at her very core, she’s a survivor,” she said of the character previously brought to life on screen by Rooney Mara and Noomi Rapace.
From Elizabeth II to Lisbeth Salander, with Steven Soderbergh’s Unsane in between, it seems there is nothing Foy cannot do. In the Spider’s Web footage unveiled at CinemaCon, she brings a chilling sense of menace to the role.
Claire Foy in Unsane
Michelle Williams took to the stage next to talk about her role in the hotly anticipated Venom. The four-time Oscar-nominated actress revealed that she happens to love superhero movies. “I’ve always wanted to do one, believe it or not, and I’ve thought about it from time to time but always turned it down because I didn’t want to play a damsel in distress. I wanted to play a woman who was strong and empowered in her own right, and that’s who my character Ann is.”
Williams was then joined on stage by a shaven-headed, tattooed Tom Hardy, who said, “A big part of the reason why this is a dream come true for me is that I was really looking to do a movie which I wished that my son could watch. When this popped up it also appealed massively to me because he [Venom] is one of my favourite characters, so I chased after this extremely hard, both for me and also for my son.”
Before revealing a world exclusive sneak peek, shown at CinemaCon this evening for the first time ever, Venom director Ruben Fleischer added, “I’m so excited to direct this movie because there’s no character out there quite like Venom – he’s the most awesome character in Marvel history, and he deserves his own story because he’s such a badass.”
Saving the most exciting news for last, Quentin Tarantino took to the stage to announce he will begin filming Once Upon a Time in Hollywood with Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt, described by Sony’s chairman Tom Roth as “the most exciting star dynamic duo since Robert Redford and Paul Newman.” DiCaprio will also reteam with his beautiful Wolf of Wall Street leading lady, Margot Robbie, in the film, which is set in Hollywood circa 1969.
“It takes place at the height of the counter-culture explosion at the time of the hippy revolution in a new Hollywood,” says Tarantino, revealing his plans to transform the streets of Hollywood over the coming months, “little by little” and “street by street” into the “psychedelic era of Hollywood in 1969”.
Looking tanned and fit, DiCaprio told the audience, “Its hard to speak about a film that we haven’t done yet and haven’t shot a single frame of, but I’m incredibly excited, as I’m sure many of you are too, to see another Quentin Tarantino movie.
I’m a huge fan of this guy too. I’m really excited to work with Brad Pitt in this film and I think we will transport you into a different era. I’m a big fan of Singin’ in the Rain, for example. I enjoy movies about Hollywood and the backstory and the mechanics about how Hollywood works. And as a Los Angeles native, being immersed in this period of time – and the way he is going to do it with such incredible authenticity – and having read the script already, its one of the most amazing screenplays he’s ever written and that’s saying a lot because he’s done some massive work.”
“This film is probably the closest to Pulp Fiction that I’ve written,” says Tarantino. “It deals with a couple of main characters with a lot of wild supporting characters that make a blanket throughout the town.”
Leonardo DiCaprio in Tarantino’s Django Unchained