Neon closed out the morning program at CinemaCon on Tuesday by presenting a pair of official trailers for upcoming releases Crimes of the Future and its Sundance hit Fire of Love while also offering a first look and release date for Brett Morgen’s genre-bending work about late legend David Bowie, Moonage Daydream.
Cronenberg took the stage to present the trailer alongside his Crimes producer Robert Lantos. The filmmaker said it was his first time in Vegas and he thanked Neon for introducing him to Caesars Palace as “it seems an appropriate place to launch our attack on the world with Crimes of the Future on June 3. He explained that he wrote the script more than 20 years ago. He put it away for years until Lantos asked him if he’d read it recently. “I’m sure it’s irrelevant now,” Cronenberg recalled telling the producer with whom he had worked on previous films like Crash. “He said it’s more relevant now than ever.”
Cronenberg said the film was shot in Athens, an ancient city that added to the text. “I really hope you like it,” he added in presenting the trailer, which featured more shocking images of body horror, with Mortensen’s character offering, “I don’t like what’s happening with my body so I keep cutting it up.”
The Crimes of the Future trailer is not yet available for the public as it will officially roll out next week ahead of its May world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival. Today’s footage followed an earlier teaser released last week that featured images of body horror that fans of the Canadian director of The Fly, Eastern Promises and Dead Ringers have come to expect.
Set in a near-future where humans are undergoing a series of transformations and mutations to adapt to the world’s new synthetic environment, it casts Mortensen as celebrity performance artist Saul Tenser who, together with his partner Caprice (Seydoux), publicly showcases the metamorphosis of his organs in avant-garde performances. Stewart plays Timlin, an investigator from the National Organ Registry. Scott Speedman, Welket Bungué, Don McKellar, Tanaya Beatty and Denise Capezza co-star.
As for Moonage Daydream, that footage was exclusive to CinemaCon. According to earlier reports, Morgen worked on Bowie film for more than five years. It blends thousands of hours of concert and performance footage of the icon who passed away from cancer in January 2016. Morgan is the filmmaker behind Jane, Cobain: Montage of Heck and the Oscar-nominated On the Ropes.
Neon president of distribution Elissa Federoff presented the footage and said that it’s the first film sanctioned by Bowie’s estate and it is a summation of more than five million assets that provide “unfiltered access” thanks to master recordings and concert footage that has never been seen before, “anchored by his own insights.” She called Bowie “our superhero.” The footage was a mixture of concerts, animation, interviews and, of course, electrifying music some of which featured Bowie as Ziggy Stardust.
Moonage Daydream producer Bill Gerber took the stage after Federoff. He praised Morgen for being the brains behind the film as “not only the conductor” but the sole editor of the massive undertaking. “Brett has handcrafted a sublime kaleidoscopic endeavor that only a true Bowie fan could conceive,” said the Star is Born producer. “It’s a film [Bowie] would have wanted to be made.”
Gerber introduced Morgen who praised Bowie as an inspirational figure who showed him, in his youth, that it was OK to be himself. “My differences were my strengths,” he said. “David Bowie is the perfect star for this moment.”
He said that he crafted the film to play more like an experience. “My hope with this film is that audiences find the same comfort and joy and hope that I experienced making this film. I hope audiences rock out,” he said. Though he admitted that Tuesday’s presentation was not an ideal experience for him as the exclusive footage featured the wrong color scape and was not the version with color correction he had intended. “It was every filmmaker’s worst nightmare,” he revealed. “Hopefully you will see it in September. Thank you. It is truly a great honor.”
Fire of Love, a film that debuted to rave reviews at the Sundance Film Festival, comes from documentarian Sara Dosa. It tells the story of committed scientists and partners Katia and Maurice Krafft who died in a volcanic explosion doing the thing that brought them together: unraveling the mysteries of volcanoes by capturing explosive imagery across the globe. Neon is partnered with National Geographic Documentary Films on the film.
Neon’s presentation closed out Tuesday’s “The State of the Industry” presentation that also featured speeches by NATO president and CEO John Fithian and MPAA chairman and CEO Charles Rivkin along with a NATO Marquee Award presentation to Ellis Jacob, president and CEO of Cineplex. Hollywood studios and cinema operators are gathered together this week in Las Vegas for CinemaCon, the annual convention hosted by the National Association of Theatre Owners. This year is especially crucial for exhibitors as they try to emerge from the ravages of the COVID-19 crisis and compete with streamers.
CinemaCon was canceled altogether in 2020, while last year’s event was a pared-down version held in late August, versus its traditional late spring slot.
This year, all five major Hollywood studios plus Lionsgate and Neon are touting upcoming slates during their time on stage inside the Colosseum at Caesars Palace.
CinemaCon 2022 runs April 25-28.
More to come.