Cinemacon 2016: Universal Pictures unveils peeks of Jason Bourne and more!

Last Updated on August 2, 2021

Universal Pictures brought some cool and interesting projects to their Cinemacon presentation, including peeks at upcoming flicks like JASON BOURNE, WARCRAFT, and THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN, as well as a heap of new announcements for their animated, wing Illumination. We also got some extended footage peeks for both THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS and SING, so plenty to dig into.


Director Duncan Jones took the stage to introduce his adaptation of Blizzard's WARCRAFT and showed off an extended trailer that was mostly stuff we've already seen, but did contain some more brutal action that's been missing from the marketing thus far, including some Orc blood being spattered and a sequence where an Orc is holding up a human by the neck and snapping it with one hand. They also beefed up the magic sequences and we saw more of Ben Foster doing his mage thing, which was pretty cool. It feels like we've been waiting a really long time to see this, so I hope it's able to deliver the goods. WARCRAFT hits theaters on June 10th, 2016.


Based on the hit novel by Paula Hawkins, THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN is being touted as this year's GONE GIRL and we were shown a trailer that gives a good idea why people would think that. Full of sex, betrayal, murder, mystery, and some seriously conflicted and flawed characters, the film looks like a solid thriller with a fantastic cast, led by Emily Blunt. I was actually surprised at how much sex was on display, making me think it may be more erotic thriller than just a standard murder/mystery one. I guess we can have both. The film also stars Luke Evans, Haley Bennett, Laura Prepon, Rebecca Ferguson, Edgar Ramirez, Justin Theroux, Allison Janney, Edgar Ramirez and Lisa Kudrow. THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN opens on October 7, 2016.


Easily one of my most-anticipated flicks of the year, JASON BOURNE was introduced by producer Frank Marshall, who talked about reuniting original Bourne star Matt Damon with director Paul Greengrass for a follow up ten years in the making. Marshall was adament that the magic was back in full force and that the Vegas strip chase scene in the film is the best chase of the entire series. We were than shown a new full trailer that has Julia Stiles character meeting up with Jason Bourne and helping him "It's not what you remember, it's what you know" on a new mission to uncover more about his past and what led him to even joining the Bourne program. The action is full-on Greengrass with the neck-breaking fights utilizing every instrument in arms reach as well as the mass vehicular carnage that tends to come up when Bourne is nearby (and on full display with the aforementioned Vegas Strip chase). Looks beyond badass. JASON BOURNE hits on July 29th, 2016.


We got an extended look at Kevin Hart's new comedy concert film, KEVIN HART: WHAT NOW? which had a scripted intro scene with Hart, Halle Berry, and Don Cheadle that highlights a gambling game gone wrong. From there, it launches into the live performance from Hart's What Now? tour (which I actually saw earlier this year in Alaska) and if Hart doesn't work for you as an actor, I think you may have a better time with his stand up. KEVIN HART: WHAT NOW? hits on October 14th, 2016.


Universal's animation wing has quite a few movies up their sleeves in the coming years an they kicked things off by showing us "Mower Minions" the latest short that will debut in front of THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS. It features our lovable pill-shaped Minions trying to earn money to buy a blender as landscapers. It's a simple formula; give the Minions yard tools and see what happens. I think you can guess how that goes.

We then got a peek at the first 10 minutes of THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS, which stars Louis CK, Kevin Hart, Ellie Kemper, Lake Bell, Albert Brooks, and more. I've been a fan of the marketing for the film so far and, as a dog owner, it's easy to get the appeal. Shit, it's hard NOT to get the appeal if you're a pet owner as I think we all sometimes wonder what our pets could get up to when we leave the house…and sometimes it's not fun to find out.

The 10-minute preview set up Louis CK's Max, who is adopted as a puppy and comes to love his owner as the sole purpose of his being. We are then treated to a series of vignettes of different pets settling into their roles after their owners take leave for the day, albeit with many more tossed in than we've seen in the trailers thus far. The animation is sharp, quirky, and fun and the voice work is solid (even with Kevin Hart as a particularly crass rabbit named Snowball). Again, it's hard to not want to see this one and I already plan on taking my brood to it. THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS hits on July 8th, 2016.

After that, we got the skinny on DESPICABLE ME 3, which will have Steve Carrell voicing both Gru and his long lost identical twin brother, Dru (with a full head of hair). Dru looks to be the more "fun" of the duo and I'm sure they will have some fun with that dynamic. The new villain will be a character called Balthazar Brat as voiced by Trey Parker of South Park, an '80's inspired bad guy. They gave a preview of some of his animatics and movements, which is purely guided by '80's music of all kinds. It's got potential and they can only go up after the last one.

We were then given the news that Illumination was developing an all-new animated retelling of THE GRINCH, which is set for release for Christmas 2017 and with Benedict Cumberbatch voicing the famed Dr. Seuss character. Some more animatics were shown, as well as a fully-rendered image of the style that they animators are taking with this iteration. I love the Jim Carrey GRINCH, but there's plenty of room for another take, especially with Cumberbatch voicing.

The last bit we were treated to was the first 20 plus minutes of the animated musical SING, which features the voice talents of Matthew McConnaughey, Scarlett Johansson, Reese Witherspoon, Taron Egerton, Nick Offerman, Seth MacFarlane, John C. Reilly, and Leslie Jones. Much of the footage shown was in very rough form, either in storyboard format or loose CGI, but there were fully-rendered sequences as well. McConaughey stars as Buster Moon, a Koala that was wowed by the performance stage at a very young age and has dedicated his life to the pursuit of providing that same entertainment to the masses. However, he's fallen on hard times and is deep in debt and without a show to bring back the crowds.

After sending out some flyers for singing tryouts, Buster attracts way more talented individuals than he ever imagined and we are treated to a series of sequences that show a varied group of talented creatures with a talent for song. In many ways, SING reminded me of a musical version of ZOOTOPIA, as both feature a world of anthropomorphic animals all living together (although for SING that's not the struggle, just part of the setting). The various groups of singers come to the tryout and we see them belt out a variety of modern (and classic) hit songs, giving an easy way in for anyone that may not be into animated films; at least the music is good in that case. Overall, the footage was charming, cute, and engaging and is sure to be a hit amongst the demographic they're appealing to, as well as those that are taking them to the theater to see it. SING hits theaters on December 21st, 2016.

And that's the rundown for Universal! Obviously JASON BOURNE is the biggest sell for me, but THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN, WARCRAFT, THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS, THE GRINCH, and SING all have some great appeal in their own right.

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