At Cine Expo Tuesday evening, Fox’s presentation included a big push for Rio, the new animated project from Ice Age veteran Carlos Saldanha of Blue Sky.
The voice cast includes Jesse Eisenberg, Leslie Mann, Rodrigo Santoro, Anne Hathaway, Jemaine Clement, George Lopez, and Tracy Morgan. Saldanha unveiled some plot points, character sketches, and early footage from the film, which is due out in about 10 months. (The Brazilian setting of the film also inspired Fox’s lavish Carnival-themed after party Tuesday night.)
Fox kicked off its presentation with an appearance by Jack Black presenting footage from Gulliver’s Travels. “I think it’s my best stuff,” the comedian said rather earnestly. The 3D tentpole will launch Dec 22.
Fox International, riding high on a banner box-office year boosted by Avatar, announced that it crossed $2bn for the fourth time in its history, reaching the milestone at least five months before any other distributor.
Director Chris Gorak and Emile Hirsch were on hand to discuss The Darkest Hour, which starts shooting in a few weeks. Timor Bekmambetov (Night Watch) is producing and his Moscow-based visual effects team are working on the film. Hirsch stars with Max Minghella, Olivia Thirlby and Rachael Taylor in a story of young entrepreneurs visiting Moscow when alien forces take over the world.
Also attracting exhibitor buzz were scenes of Anne Hathaway getting racy in Love and Other Drugs, a romantic comedy co-starring Jake Gyllenhaal directed by Ed Zwick (launching in the US Nov 24 and internationally in Jan 2011).
Paul Hanneman and Tomas Jegeus, co-presidents of 20th Century Fox International, were also able to reveal first footage, cut from dailies, for Water For Elephants, shooting now with Robert Pattinson, Reese Witherspoon, and Christoph Waltz.
Also as part of the lengthy presentation, Fox showed 15 minutes of footage from Adrien Brody-starring Predators, which producer Robert Rodriguez described as a “hard, gritty and graphic movie” (scenes shown certainly backed up those statements, drawing some gasps from exhibitors); a special trailer cut by Tony Scott of his “Speed on a train” film Unstoppable starring Denzel Washington and Chris Pine (out Nov 12); and the 3D trailer for Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader (out at Christmas 2010).
Footage was also shown from Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son (due Feb 18, 2011 and in Feb/March internationally); a trailer was shown of spoof Vampires Suck (launching late summer); and Owen Wilson and Steve Martin introduced The Big Year, now shooting in Vancouver (also starring Black).
Other projects highlighted without showing footage included James McAvoy starring in X-Men First Class directed by Matthew Vaughn (further cast will be announced in coming weeks), which is set for a June 3, 2011 launch; Anna Faris and Chris Evans-starring What’s Your Number, which started shooting two weeks ago; summer 2011 tentpole Rise of The Apes (which will use the same technology as Avatar to capture human movements for the apes); and the third Chipmunks movie in 3D (due Dec 16, 2011).
Fox Searchlight showed trailers of Cyrus and Never Let Me Go; clips of Miguel Arteta’s Cedar Rapids; behind the scenes footage of Darren Aronofsky’s ballet world thriller Black Swan starring Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis (now in post); footage of George Clooney in Alexander Payne’s The Descendents (in post); and behind the scenes footage of Danny Boyle’s 127 Days starring James Franco (also in post).
The company screened two full features here at Cine Expo: Knight and Day and Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.