Sony Pictures Entertainment dazzled exhibitors at Showest today (Wednesday) with a lavish presentation of its movies in the year 2000 and a host of attending stars including Mel Gibson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Muhammad Ali and the Charlie's Angels themselves - Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz and Lucy Liu.
Introduced by SPE's worldwide distribution chief Jeff Blake, the showreel was greeted warmly by exhibitors in particular the teaser for Charlie's Angels, the trailers for Gibson-starrer The Patriot, Paul Verhoeven's The Hollow Man and a nail-biting trailer for mountaineering actioner The Vertical Limit. Scenes from Schwarzenegger's currently shooting cloning picture The Sixth Day were also met with applause.
SPE also previewed future product for 2001 including the Muhammad Ali biopic Ali to star Will Smith under Michael Mann's direction, Jumanji 2, Men In Black II, Memoirs Of A Geisha to be directed by Steven Spielberg, fully CGI-animated picture Final Fantasy: The Movie, John Boorman's The Tailor Of Panama to star Pierce Brosnan, Geoffrey Rush and Jamie Lee Curtis and Phoenix Pictures' Shanghai to be directed by Mike Newell. A teaser for Spider-Man was also rousingly received.
Following the previews, Columbia Pictures chairman Amy Pascal took stage first to announce that Stuart Little 2 would be in US theatres by Christmas, then to introduce the talent behind the 2000 lineup as well as Mann and Ali, who received a standing ovation.
The presentation was concluded by Bill Murray, who plays Bosley in Charlie's Angels, introducing the three stars who were first seen silhouetted in gun-toting pose to the side of the stage. Charlie's Angels still has nine weeks left to shoot and will be released in the US at Thanksgiving.
Other stars who had been flown in on nine jets throughout the morning for the event included Matt Damon, Henry Thomas and Penelope Cruz (All The Pretty Horses), Brooke Shields (Black And White), Sandra Bullock (28 Days), Kevin Bacon and Elisabeth Shue (The Hollow Man), Chris O'Donnell, Bill Paxton, Izabella Scorupco, Robin Tunney and Scott Glenn (The Vertical Limit), Jason Biggs and Mena Suvari (Loser), Kim Basinger, Eva Marie Saint, Vincent Perez and Liam Aiken (I Dreamed Of Africa) and Salma Hayek (Time Code: 2000).
Among directors in attendance were Paul Verhoeven (The Hollow Man), Roland Emmerich (The Patriot), Billy Bob Thornton (All The Pretty Horses), Martin Campbell (The Vertical Limit), Betty Thomas (28 Days), Hugh Hudson (I Dreamed Of Africa) and John Otman (Urban Legends: Final Cut).
Other actors flown in for the Sony lunch in the Paris Hotel's Champagne ballroom were Jennifer Morrison and Joseph Lawrence (the stars of Urban Legends: Final Cut), Wendy Crewson (Schwarzenegger's co-star in The Sixth Day) and Jason Isaacs and Heath Ledger (Gibson's co-stars in The Patriot).