CinemaCon 2023 is expected to kick off with a bang with the help of Sony Pictures. The official convention of the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO), CinemaCon has risen in great notoriety since it debuted in 2011. Every year studios, distributors, exhibitors, industry professionals, and more unite at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas to celebrate the communal moviegoing experience on the big screen and discuss the future.
This is where big names like Walt Disney Studios, Universal Pictures, and Warner Bros. present their upcoming slate of theatrical releases to actual theater owners. CinemaCon is not open to the public but fear not because DiscussingFilm is on the ground this year reporting the biggest announcements and reveals. Per usual, Sony Pictures is the first studio to give its presentation at CinemaCon and fans can expect a lot of exciting updates as the studio always delivers the goods.
News related to major upcoming Sony releases like Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, Kraven the Hunter, Madame Web, Gran Turismo, Insidious: The Red Door, The Equalizer 3 and the next Ghostbusters movie is to be expected. Last year, Sony Pictures Entertainment chairman Tom Rothman gave CinemaCon attendees more than 10 minutes of exclusive footage from both Bullet Train and Across the Spider-Verse.
It was also revealed last year at CinemaCon that the Spider-Man villain El Muerto was getting his own solo film with Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio, better known as modern music icon Bad Bunny, starring in the lead role. This would make him the first Latino actor to lead a Marvel live-action film. Sony has not given fans an update on that project ever since, which puts it on the table as well for CinemaCon 2023.
Exclusive footage and first-look reveals from CinemaCon are never released to the public, so that’s where we come in. Aside from listing huge updates, we’ll also be describing all exclusive footage shown to CinemaCon 2023 attendees. Stay tuned as we cover all the announcements and reveals from Sony Pictures’ CinemaCon 2023 presentation and make sure to follow along as we report the presentations from Warner Bros., Walt Disney Studios, Universal Pictures, and Paramount Pictures in the incoming days.
Sony Pictures Updates from CinemaCon 2023
Director: Craig Gillespie
Release Date: October 20, 2023
Exclusive Footage Description: Sony’s first film exhibited at CinemaCon 2023 was Dumb Money from I, Tonya and Cruella director Craig Gillespie. The biographical comedy is based on the book The Antisocial Network: The GameStop Short Squeeze and the Ragtag Group of Amateur Traders That Brought Wall Street to Its Knees by Ben Mezrich. Audiences follow the behind-the-scenes of the 2021 GameStop short squeeze in the stock market, wherein certain hedge funds suffered severe losses at the hand of a YouTuber and wannabe investor named Keith Gill, portrayed here by Paul Dano.
The first few opening minutes of Dumb Money were shown at CinemaCon 2023. We’re first introduced to Seth Rogen’s character, who’s one of the real-life hedge fund leaders who are about to lose millions of dollars in this short squeeze. He’s trying to move into his new beach-side mansion and is treating his movers like trash over the phone, but when he quickly finds out about the short squeeze from a friend, he runs across multiple backyards of his neighbors to use the computer at his other nearby mansion. Suddenly, notable names in the hedge fund business, one played by Vincent D’Onofrio and another played by Nick Offerman, are blasting his phone looking for answers. At the same time as this is happening, Cardi B’s WAP is playing in the background as we’re slowly introduced to Keith Gill, who’s this scrawny-looking nerd running laps at his local track field.
As Seth Rogen and Vincent D’Onofrio are finding out who’s responsible for all of this by searching the web, Keith is hyped up as this deadly force even though Paul Dano looks hilariously realistic to real-life online investor personality types, goofy glasses, long hair, and all. The best moment comes when they discover Gill’s YouTube page with his silly-looking photo, further highlighting how ridiculous the situation is. The film’s colorful ensemble cast is then introduced in a montage as we see their reactions to the stock market news on TV, from America Ferrera’s nurse character in a hospital to Pete Davidson’s average joe character hitting a bong in his dark room and comically coughing in total shock at the news.
Insidious: The Red Door
Director: Patrick Wilson
Release Date: July 7, 2023
Exclusive Footage Description: CinemaCon attendees were treated to an extended trailer for Insidious: The Red Door. The new footage showed an adult Dalton (Ty Simpkins) being haunted by a wide variety of demons while now attending college. At the request of his wife Renai (Rose Byrne), father Josh (Patrick Wilson) accompanies him to help move into his college dorm where he realizes that Dalton’s connection to “the Further” is coming back in full force. The main conflict of Insidious: The Red Door is teased to be about Josh guiding his son on how to travel between the further and reality. “The man with the fire in his face” demon returns to haunt an adult Dalton and the footage ends with him dragging him across his room in chains like he did when he was a child in the first film.
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
Directors: Joaquim Dos Santos, Justin K. Thompson, & Kemp Powers
Release Date: June 2, 2023
Exclusive Footage Description: Fourteen minutes from Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse was shown at CinemaCon 2023 as the studio is still hard at work finishing the final picture. The scene kicked off with Gwen Stacey coming to visit Miles Morales for the first time since the events of the first film. He clearly still has a crush on her and she embarrasses him by going through things around his room, including his notebook which includes dozens of his colorful drawings of her. They both escape his room even though he’s not supposed to because he’s grounded. Spider-Gwen is visiting Miles to inform him of this secret society of multiversal Spider-people, and she’s been stopping threats across different dimensions with them for some time.
The goal of this multiversal Spider society is to ultimately stop more universes from colliding. The two begin to swing across the city and catch up – it’s obvious that there is now more of a romance between them. Miles is trying his best to be smooth and get closer to her, but she sees it coming and tells him that they can’t be tempted to be together since in every universe Gwen Stacey falls in love with Spide-Man… and in every universe that doesn’t end well, alluding to death. Miles responds with, “Well there’s a first time for everything right?” which further ignites their romantic tension. Gwen then meets Mile’s parents at a rooftop party and they can tell that the kids like each other.
After some awkward introductions, Gwen gets called back by the Spider society via this wrist device that lets them hop across universes. After she leaves, Mile’s mother comforts him and they share a sweet and sincere familial moment where he’s almost tempted to reveal to her that he is Spider-Man. However, he can’t do it out of the burden of his responsibility. The scene ends with Mile’s mom encouraging him to chase after Gwen because he’s growing up and needs to explore. She makes him promise to never lose sight of who he truly is. The footage included some snippets of new original music from famous record producer Metro Boomin.
Kraven the Hunter
Director: J.C. Chandor
Release Date: October 6, 2023
Exclusive Footage Description: Sony revealed the first-ever footage for Kraven the Hunter starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson in the form of a trailer. Things kick off with Kraven stopping a group of poachers in the wild who are trying to escape with their bounties of wild animal carcasses. Kraven the Hunter is confirmed to be Sony’s first rated R Marvel film and the footage really shows it, with Kraven killing everyone quite literally like an animal.
Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s Kraven the Hunter uses weapons, his hands, and even his own teeth as he bites a piece of a poacher’s face off and spits out the blood. He also jumps off walls and pounces on foes like an animal. The main conflict of the film is between his father, played by Russell Crowe, who was the one who actually raised him in the extreme ways of hunter vs prey. The action is filled with over-the-top gore – as comical as the Deadpool films – as we see Kraven use everything from huge spears to fully-sized bear traps to decapitate and chop up goons to pieces. A mysterious new character played by Ariana DeBose is briefly teased as well.
For those curious, the comic-accurate Kraven vest with the recognizable fur around the shoulders was briefly seen as Aaron Taylor Johnson pulls it out of an old chest. But for the most part, Kraven is not wearing the comic-accurate costume in the trailer. Surprisingly, he does meet up with another famous Spider-Man villain, the Rhino. A huge fight between the two begins as the latter injects himself with a serum that actually mutates him into a huge Rhino beast, as opposed to it being a mech suit. The footage only saw his arm morphing into a big gray rhino-like fist that did look somewhat comic-accurate. “You want to see why they call me the Rhino?” he says. It appears that Kraven the Hunter will play out mainly as a standalone entry with little connections to Sony’s Marvel universe for now.
Director: Neill Blomkamp
Release Date: August 11, 2023
Exclusive Footage Description: Sony Pictures unveiled a new full-length trailer for Gran Turismo for CinemaCon 2023 attendees. The next film from PlayStation Productions, based on the popular video game title of the same name, is going to take audiences by surprise. This is unlike most video game films in that it’s not an adaptation but a biographical retelling of how a real-life dedicated Gran Turismo gamer named Jann Mardenborough (Archie Madekwe) actually became a professional race car driver thanks to winning a series of Nissan-sponsored video game competitions with his ace skills.
The trailer starts by selling Jann Mardenborough’s underdog story as an average kid with an overbearing father, played by Djimon Hounsou, who just wants to get better at his favorite hobby: playing Gran Turismo. When his Gran Turismo talents rise in the gaming community, he gets the attention of the right people, mainly Danny Moore (Orlando Bloom) who’s looking to set up a competition where the best gamers get the chance of a lifetime to test their skills in the actual race track. David Harbour enters the story as Jack Salter, a professional race car trainer who is tasked by Moore to turn a group of teenage kids into fully-fledged drivers in an extreme boot camp, which he thinks is an absurd idea but is forced to take on the job. He continuously teases the gamers for being physically weak but learns to accept them for their adaptive merits.
District 9 and Elysium director Neill Blomkamp delivers the thrilling visuals of the race track while making sure the heart of this true aspiring story is felt in the trailer. The trailer seemed to be finished and ready for theatrical circulation so fans can expect to see this for themselves very soon. Gran Turismo feels like it can appeal to both general audiences and avid gamers with its “based on true events” approach that still features plenty of actual Gran Turismo gameplay, that is until the racing goes from virtual to reality. The growing and heartfelt relationship between David Harbour’s harsh yet comedic coach and Archie Madekwe’s resilient Jann is definitely going to be a huge selling point for this film.
Anyone But You
Director: Will Gluck
Exclusive Footage Description: As the film just wrapped filming earlier today, CinemaCon got a sneak peek at the new rated R romantic comedy Anyone But You starring Glen Powell and Sydney Sweeney. The film is a modernization of William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, following two former college enemies who pretend to be a couple at a destination wedding years later for their own personal gain, but actually fall in love. This version paints the two as obsessive and not being able to stand each other, yet they keep running back after every sexual encounter.
Anyone But You seems to be really raunchy, with plenty of partial nudity seen with its two attractive main stars. It’s got a mean sense of humor as well. The footage mainly consisted of the two main characters being romantic and cruel to each other as they go back and forth in their twisted romantic war. We see Glen push Sydney off a boat by accident after reenacting the iconic scene from Titanic and another moment of Sydney punching Glen in the privates. Anyone But You looks like it’s going to shock some viewers with its raunchiness while satisfying rom-com fans by playing into Glen Powell and Sydney Sweeney’s charm and comedic strengths.
Director: Ridley Scott
Release Date: November 22, 2023
Exclusive Footage Description: Sony Pictures closed out its CinemaCon 2023 presentation with an entire scene from Ridley Scott’s war biopic Napolean starring Joaquin Phoenix as the titular historical figure. The film, which is co-produced by Apple and will be streaming on AppleTV+ after an extensive theatrical window, boasts an epic scale that evokes the work of past Ridley Scott period-set films like Gladiator and The Last Duel.
The footage shown was a visceral battle sequence wherein Joaquin Phoenix’s Napolean is commanding his French forces and pulling the strings from afar on top of a hill. Napoleon lets the battle begin by giving the enemy army the upper hand, strategically sacrificing his first wave of troops on the frontline. Napoleon himself comes off as powerful and wise as he yells commands to his generals with confidence. He lets some of his own battalions die by drawing the enemy army into a snow-covered field, which is soon revealed to be a frozen lake.
Once on the frozen lake, Napoleon orders his army to fire upon the lake with their cannons. The ice begins to break and hordes of enemy soldiers begin to drown to their death. In true Ridley Scott fashion, the scene is both visually stunning and harrowing. He pulls no punches as soldiers are seen brutally dying in the freezing waters. Blood spreads across the ice as Napoleon basks in victory. Although it will be eventually streaming on AppleTV+, Ridley Scott’s Napoleon feels like it was meant to be seen on the biggest screen possible with its dark yet cinematic color palette and eye-opening scale.