Paramount president of domestic distribution Chris Aronson at the studio's CinemaCon 2024 presentation

Source: Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images for CinemaCon 2024

Paramount president of domestic distribution Chris Aronson at the studio’s CinemaCon 2024 presentation

A lively CinemaCon presentation closed out with spectacular first footage from Ridley Scott’s Gladiator II as studio top brass mostly put speculation of mergers and acquisitions behind them to focus on a rich upcoming slate.

Yet there was scarcely a mention of Mission: Impossible 8, the next instalment in the spy action franchise from Tom Cruise and Christopher McQuarrie due out on May 23, 2025. There was no recorded segment of Cruise dangling from the International Space Station announcing the new title, and no sneak peaks.

Paramount Pictures president and CEO Brian Robbins did however introduce a recorded piece from director Ridley Scott and stars Paul Mescal, Pedro Pascal, Joseph Quinn, Connie Nielsen and Denzel Washington. Ahead of the November 22 release later this year, the audience at the appropriately-named The Colosseum in Caesars Palace was treated to unfinished first footage.

A spectacular assembly showed Mescal as Lucius, son of Maximus portrayed by Russell Crowe in the 2020 original, and other gladiators fighting mandrills and an adversary atop a rhinoceros.

In other scenes, the audience saw Washington as a scheming former slave; a malign-looking Emperor Caracalla played by British rising star Joseph Quinn from Stranger Things; glimpses of vast set pieces and battles; and a climax in the gladiatorial arena as Lucius squares up to Pascal’s character, a mystery man who appears to have fallen from grace.

The Paramount pipeline includes Untitled Damien Chazelle under Chazelle’s first-look deal with the studio, Ridley Scott’s Bee Gees film, Edgar Wright’s Stephen King adaptation The Running Man to star Glen Powell, David Ayer’s Heart Of The Beast, and Untitled Star Trek Origin Story.

Also coming up are a Transformers and G.I. Joe mash-up, Untitled Trey Parker/Matt Stone/Kendrick Lamar/Dave Free comedy from the creators of South Park, Untitled Naked Gun starring Liam Neeson, and an R-rated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film – the live-action graphic novel adaptation Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin.

Robbins briefly addressed speculation over who will buy the company and joked that president of domestic theatrical distribution Chris Aronson had started a Kickstarter campaign to buy the studio.

That was all the executive would say after reports that Paramount’s long-time financing partner Skydance Media is in exclusive talks to acquire the studio.

Aronson took to the stage in typically flamboyant style, dressed as a Roman commander on a chariot surrounded by a legion of guards in a nod to Gladiator II.

“Since we met last year, much has changed and not enough has changed… We as an industry must do better,” said Aronson. “There’s an abundance of research [on dynamic pricing] that cannot be ignored any longer if we want to get back to the previous levels of movie-going… we’ve lost a significant percentage of frequent movie-goers and we must work together to get them back.”

In a recorded message from London where he is finishing his family film IF starring Cailey Fleming and Ryan Reynolds, John Krasinski showed the trailer to the film, which features Krasinski, Fiona Shaw, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, and the late Louis Gossett Jr. The film opens on May 17.

Transformers One stars Chris Hemsworth and Brian Tyree Henry introduced a new extended trailer and showed the first scene in 3D. The film also stars Scarlett Johansson and launches on September 13.

Robbins returned to reveal the entire cast for The Smurfs Movie from Chris Miller, opening February 14, 2025. Joining previously announced Rihanna as Smurfette are Nick Offerman, Natasha Lyonne, JP Karliak, Daniel Levy, Amy Sedaris, Octavia Spencer, Hannah Waddingham, Sandra Oh, among others, with Kurt Russell and John Goodman. Rihanna is composing original music.

The executive also confirmed the voice cast is returning for The SpongeBob Movie: Search For SquarePants opening December 19, 2025, and announced that Dave Bautista and Eric Nam will lead the voice cast for Aang: The Last Airbender (working title) from director Lauren Montgomery opening October 10, 2025.

Robbins welcomed Lupita Nyong’o and Joseph Quinn to the stage to introduce a new extended trailer for Michael Sarnoski’s A Quiet Place: Day One opening June 28 this year.

Aronson introduced a first- look at Sonic The Hedgehog 3, which just wrapped filming and opens December 20 this year; and introduced early footage from Parker Finn’s Smile 2 which opens on October 18 this year and is the sequel to the 2022 $217m global hit.

The executives said that Oscar winner Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar will return to theatres to celebrate its 10-year anniversary with 70mm prints on Imax and digital screens on September 27 this year.

Robbins opened with a shout-out to early post-strike hits Mean Girls and Bob Marley: One Love.

Paramount Pictures’ upcoming 2025 and 2026 titles:

Better Man
Michael Gracey (The Greatest Showman) directs.
Opens December 25 in limited release, expanding wide on January 17, 2025.

Untitled Damien Chazelle
Chazelle also produces with Olivia Hamilton through their Wild Chickens Productions as part of the first-look deal with the studio.

Heart Of The Beast
David Ayer directs and produces with Chris Long through their Cedar Park Entertainment.

Untitled Star Trek Origin Story
Toby Haynes directs the origins story set decades before the original 2009 Star Trek film. Seth Grahame-Smith wrote the screenplay and J.J. Abrams produces.

Untitled Transformers/G.I. Joe
Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Mark Vahradian, Michael Bay, Tom DeSanto & Don Murphy are producing the crossover film, with Steven Spielberg serving as EP.

The Running Man
Edgar Wright directs and Glen Powell (Paramount’s Top Gun: Maverick and Sony’s recent box office hit Anyone But You) stars in the novel by Stephen King published under the pseudonym Richard Bachman. Simon Kinberg, Nira Park, and Wright are producing.

Robert Olsen and Dan Berk co-direct Jack Quaid, Amber Midthunder, Ray Nicholson, Jacob Batalon, Betty Gabriel, and Matt Walsh.
Opens March 14, 2025.

Better Man
Michael Gracey (The Greatest Showman) directs.
Opens December 25 in limited release, expanding wide on January 17, 2025.

Bee Gees
Ridley Scott directs biopic, with Graham King, Stacey Snider, Scott, and Michael Pruss producing. Bee Gee Barry Gibb is EP.

Bryan Bertino directs Dakota Fanning, Kathryn Hunter, Mary McCormack, Rachel Blanchard, Devyn Nekoda, Klea Scott, and Emily Mitchell.
Opens August 8, 2025

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin
Paramount Pictures is in development on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin, a live-action film, based on the novel of the same name.
Walter Hamada produces through his 18hz production company, as part of his multi-year deal with the studio.

Untitled Naked Gun
Akiva Schaffer directs Liam Neeson in remake of classic comedy.
Opens July 18, 2025.

Scary Movie
Neal H. Moritz will produce, Miramax finances, and Paramount will distribute worldwide.

Untitled Trey Parker/Matt Stone/Kendrick Lamar/Dave Free
Original live-action comedy from the creators of South Park.
Opens July 4, 2025.

Mission: Impossible 8
Tom Cruise returns in Paramount and Skydance action thriller,
Opens May 23, 2025
Christopher McQuarrie directs and Cruise and McQuarrie produce.
Cast includes Hayley Atwell, Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Esai Morales, Pom Klementieff, Vanessa Kirby, Angela Bassett, Nick Offerman, and Hannah Waddingham.

Paw Patrol 3
Cal Brunker directs for Paramount, Nickelodeon Movies, and Spin Master Entertainment.
Opens July 31, 2026

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem 2
Jeff Rowe directs for Paramount and Nickelodeon Movies
Opens October 9, 2026.