20th Century Fox opened day four of CinemaCon on Thursday with stunning new footage from “Alien: Covenant,” some CGI apes and a singalong with Australian showman Hugh Jackman.
The studio has a deserved reputation for razzmatazz at the annual Las Vegas gathering, and opened this year with an illuminated dance troupe high kicking in the dark to a remix of “There’s No Business Like Show Business.”
The presentation was book-ended by big Broadway moments, with “Logan” star Jackman coming onstage to introduce footage from his P. T. Barnum biopic “The Greatest Showman” as a chorus of singers took to the stage at Caesar’s Palace and balloons fell from the ceiling.
Hollywood’s biggest studios decamp to Sin City for four days every spring, providing news and footage from their upcoming movies to the theater operators who will be showing them.
Despite the bells and whistles, Fox’s presentation was less star-studded than many of the studios’ shows, and there was no word on the progress of James Cameron’s now fabled “Avatar” sequels.
But there was a crowd-pleasing start to the show with an appearance from Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn, who star in kidnap comedy “Snatched.”
“Goldie Hawn is up here! She is such an inspiration to me. I love the way you live,” Schumer enthused, noting that her co-star used to be a dancer in Vegas.
There were presentations for comedy reboot “Diary Of A Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul” and survival drama “The Mountain Between Us,” starring Idris Elba and Kate Winslet.
Then it was onto the main event, with an extended look at “War For The Planet Of The Apes,” the third installment in the rebooted series.
The spectacular CGI-laden footage followed Caesar, mo-capped by Andy Serkis, and his heavily armed fellow apes as they chase a new character on horseback through a snowy forest.
Fox debuted footage from spy comedy sequel “Kingsman: The Golden Circle,” “Red Sparrow,” another spy movie starring Jennifer Lawrence and Kenneth Branagh’s “Murder On The Orient Express.”
And then came the moment much of the crowd had been waiting for, as Ridley Scott appeared on the giant screen to deliver a pre-recorded message introducing “Alien: Covenant.”
“What you’re about to see is a small window into the hell that awaits our characters as they arrive at a strange new world,” Scott said, expressing in strong language his hope that the footage would cause audience members to lose control of their bowel movements.
“Alien: Covenant,” due out on May 19, is the follow-up to “Prometheus” in the “Alien” prequel trilogy, and the sixth film overall in the series.
A trailer appeared to show Michael Fassbender’s android David having turned against humanity, and hinted that he may even have created the titular alien himself.
“The gods have rejected mankind as weak, cruel and filled with greed,” he says in a voiceover as we see him unleash a large swarm of lotus-like bombs on a civilization of humanoids — possibly the Engineers from “Prometheus.”
“They are a dying species, grasping for resurrection… But their power is an illusion. They don’t deserve to start again and I’m not going to let them.”
The human scientists are then seen screaming as they flee a spaceship drenched in blood and a variety of creatures, including the iconic xenomorph.
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