After four years, Universal returns to CinemaCon with A-listers in tow


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LAS VEGAS -- Universal Pictures hasn’t brought a slate of films to CinemaCon for four years, but this year the studio pulled out all the stops at the exhibitors convention, teasing 10 movies from its slate and putting on a star-studded presentation with more big names than any other studio, including Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron and John Travolta.

The footage included scenes from Oliver Stone’s ‘Savages’ and ‘The Bourne Legacy’ starring Jeremy Renner; a teaser of ‘Les Misérables’ with Anne Hathaway singing ‘I Dreamed a Dream’; and a glimpse of the recently delayed Keanu Reeves action flick ’47 Ronin.’


‘Snow White & The Huntsman’ received one of the more enthusiastic responses from the audience, who were visibly excited to see Stewart, Theron, director Rupert Sanders and producer Joe Roth emerge from backstage.

Studio chairman Adam Fogelson emphasized that choosing first-time feature director Sanders to helm the film was an unorthodox movie, saying it was ‘a pretty big risk to hand a movie of this size over to somewhat of a rookie.’

Sanders said he was intrigued by the project because the Snow White fairy tale has long been his favorite, describing it as ‘the least princessy, least pink one’ of the folklore tales.

Stewart, who seemed somewhat uncomfortable in front of the large audience, tapped her leg slightly as she called the film the ‘perfect choice for me. It was something to prove myself in,’ the ‘Twilight’ veteran said.

Theron, who plays the film’s evil queen, said that once the filmmaking team agreed with her vision to take the character ‘balls to the wall,’ she agreed to sign on.

‘I didn’t realize it’d be my balls,’ Sanders quipped.

The presentation only got more vulgar once ‘Family Guy’ creator Seth McFarlane came out to promote ‘Ted,’ the summer comedy starring Mark Wahlberg and a talking teddy bear. The film’s trailer has already created an immense amount of buzz in recent weeks, but McFarlane insisted the film has as much heart as it does raunch.


‘Despite the tonnage of the language, it actually has a fairy tale undertone that permeates it,’ he said.


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-- Amy Kaufman