CinemaCon, the annual summit between distributors and exhibitors held in Las Vegas, is happening right now. It just occurred to me that this might be the last CinemaCon as we’ve known it for the past 30-ish years. Next year, studios will be able to buy theaters, and then what is the point of spending money to exhibit your wares to the middle-men you’re removing from the equation? It’s going to be SO interesting to see what CinemaCon 2022 and beyond look like. Anyway, even though Clark County, Nevada is a COVID hot spot, business in Vegas is attempting to carry on as usual, though the typical parade of stars that comes to CinemaCon to smile at exhibitors from Michigan and Utah are beaming in remotely, and registered attendance is down. But it’s business as usual! Everything is fine! Sony is reminding everyone that they are cinema’s best boy and love their cinema daddy the most, even though they just sold a family film, the kind of movie that plays well regardless of circumstance, to Amazon for a streaming release instead of theatrical! Never mind Kendall Roy over there, cinema is doing great! Business as usual, BUSINESS AS USUALLLLLLLL!
Yesterday, the big headlines coming from CinemaCon were from the Warner Brothers panel. In the new paradox of “business as usual”, the talent and studio brass remoted into a room full of exhibitors and everyone pretended like everything is fine and this isn’t a sign of a massive paradigm shift. Though the sizzle reel is not online, footage from Matt Reeves’ The Batman screened for
passengers on the Titanic exhibitors, as did the first trailer for The Matrix 4, officially titled The Matrix: Resurrections. Reportedly, the exhibitors were excited to see evidence that these movies do exist and will eventually be in theaters. The Batman is currently slated for March 2022, but The Matrix: Resurrections is part of the 2021 HBO Max simultaneous release scheme, so it is part of the reason Warners is so sweaty and threading promises of their commitment to cinema in their presentation package. Apparently, the vow renewal made attendees “restless”, which seems like a mild response to one of the bigger blows dealt to theatrical exclusivity over the last year.
I would like to see that footage from The Batman, though. Matt Reeves wants it to be the “most emotional Batman movie ever made”, and I know it won’t be, but that makes me hope it’s just two hours of Bruce Wayne in the Batsuit, crying and moping in the Batcave, comfort eating whatever Alfred brings him and despondently tinkering with gadgets while Gotham burns above him. Let Goth Batman live in his feelings!
I hope Batman weeps openly for at least 9 total minutes in THE BATMAN— Vinnie Mancuso (@VinnieMancuso1) July 23, 2021
The real icing on the cake comes from Robert Pattinson, of course, who is quite possibly the greatest troll in modern cinema. He’s so deadpan it’s hard to tell when he’s joking, so MAYBE this is just jokes, but his comments in the behind the scenes footage shown to the crowd made me cackle:
“For some reason, Batman has always stood out as one of the major characters of the 20th century, and so many people connect with it on such a deep level for so many different reasons. From the first conversation I had with Matt about it, I just knew that there was something radically different [here].”
FOR SOME REASON. The implication that Robert Pattinson: Latest Batman has done ZERO research and can’t even be bothered to parse why Batman has resonated over the last 70 years is DELIGHTFUL. Don’t ever change, RPattz, do not ever change.
Look, there is a place for Tom Hiddleston and his PhD level understanding of Loki and his place in the pop culture pantheon, but there is also a place for an actor who does not give two sh-ts about the circus surrounding their iconic character. Hiddleston can become a Loki expert because he’s the only Loki (for now), and he owns the character in popular consciousness. But Pattinson is the 49th Batman in the last 10 years alone, and he is arriving at a time when Ben Affleck is still Batman, and Michael Keaton is also still Batman, and we’re not even talking about the TV Batmen like Iain Glen. There’s no point in being precious about a character a million other people are currently playing and everyone is trying to talk about in unique ways despite it being the same f-cking guy just wearing different shades of black. Bless RBattz for not even trying.