Universal Pictures drops new looks at Migration, Kung Fu Panda 4, Trolls Band Together, and more at CinemaCon 2023 in Las Vegas.
It’s time for Universal Pictures to shine at CinemaCon 2023 in Las Vegas, where the studio teased many of its upcoming projects.
Now that The Super Mario Bros. Movie is breaking records, Chris Meledandri of Illumination was on hand for a victory lap. He said you have to keep making original products not based on existing characters. He showed us a sneak peek at Migration, written by The White Lotus’ Mike White. It’s a classic family road movie, except they’re ducks. He says this will feature the “subversive humour” people know from their movies.
Meledandri offered a sneak peek at Migration, which follows a family of ducks who try to convince their overprotective father to go on the vacation of a lifetime. Kumail Nanjiani and Elizabeth Banks voice the parents, with Awkwafina, Danny DeVito, Carol Kane, Keegan-Michael Key, and David Mitchell also starring.
In the new trailer, screened exclusively for the CinemaCon audience, Nanjiani’s character, the father, is happy in his pond, but his wife (Banks) and kids want to migrate. Danny Devito is their eccentric uncle. The footage includes a scene where the baby wants to defecate, and the mom encourages them to poop mid-flight because people expect to be sh*t on. The family gets lost and migrates to New York, winding up in a wacky adventure. Our own Chris Bumbray suspects that the movie will make a lot of money simply because these types of films always do.
Universal also previewed Ruby Gillman: Teenage Kraken at CinemaCon, which has the potential to be the girl-powered breakout of the summer. The cast features major players from multiple generations, including Toni Collette, Jane Fonda, Annie Murphy, Will Forte, Lana Condor, Sam Richardson, Colman Domingo, and more.
Chris called the animation impressive and that it gives Shrek and Puss in Boots vibes. People think Ruby is a monster, but all she wants is to be an average teenager. However, in this story, Krakens are heroes despite everyone being afraid of them, while mermaids are beloved yet evil.
Jack Black also showed up on stage, to the tune of Led Zepplin’s The Immigrant Song, to promote Kung Fu Panda 4. After joking that the first three movies form “the most successful and beloved trilogy of all time,” Black gave a dramatic reading of the synopsis of the new sequel. Kung Fu Panda 4 will find Po being promoted, meaning that he needs to find a new Dragon Warrior. He starts to train a female fox, but before he can finish training her, he had to face off against a new villain, The Chamelon, who summons all the other villains from the previous movies.
Justin Timberlake and Anna Kendrick arrived for Trolls Band Together, which is the third installment of the surprisingly successful Trolls franchise. The new film will pick up with Poppy and Branch now officially a couple, but as they grow closer, Poppy discovers that Branch was once a member of a boy band named Brozone. Kendrick joked, “I feel like that’s something you’re N’Sync with.” Timberlake responded, “I have no idea what you’re talking about.” A new trailer was screened, with Chris noting that there were a few Backstreet Boys songs included.
Will Ferrell took to the CinemaCon stage with Sophie, an adorable dog, for Strays. Sophie easily stole the spotlight, which led Ferrell to joke, “I won three Emmy’s and she shits on the sidewalk!” An extended trailer was screened, with new bits including the dogs eating mushrooms and ripping apart a bunny toy while high. It ended with an outstanding cameo from a certain beloved 80s and 90s character actor which brought the house down.
The studio also teased the upcoming musical adaptation Wicked. Cynthia Erivo plays the Wicked Witch, with Ariana Grande as Glinda the Good Witch. The tale is getting split into two movies, released a year apart. The film looks lavish and breathtaking. The sets are all practical. They even planted 9000 tulips for the Tulip Field. The CinemaCon crowd saw early footage. Erivo’s Wicked Witch has green skin. Michelle Yeoh plays her mentor. There are glimpses of Dorothy, Toto, and the rest of the Oz bunch (Scarecrow, Cowardly Lion, and the Tin Man). Jeff Goldblum is the Wizard of Oz. The story revolves around Erivo’s character and Grande’s Glinda.
Which Universal project teased at CinemaCon will you be watching?
Originally published at https://www.joblo.com/universal-cinemacon-migration-kung-fu-panda-4-trolls-band-together/