By Brent Lang
LOS ANGELES (TheWrap.com) – From James Bond to Spider-Man, Sony is making big, splashy bets on its most established franchises in 2012 in what it boldly predicts will be a record-breaking year.
The studio came to the exhibition trade show CinemaCon Wednesday armed with an arsenal of blockbuster hopefuls, most of them sequels or reboots.
“Sony’s 2012 slate will rival any slate I’ve seen in over 30 years at the studio,” Rory Bruer, president of Sony’s worldwide distribution, told the assembled exhibitors.
Instead of big movie stars or splashy showmanship, the studio let its films do the talking in an hour-long presentation.
The clips included several short scenes from “The Amazing Spider-Man,” the reboot to its wall-crawler franchise starring Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone. The footage included flirtatious high school banter between Peter Parker (Garfield) and Gwen Stacey (Stone), a scene of Spidey confronting a car robber and lots and lots of 3D enhanced footage of our fearless hero swinging and crawling his way through Manhattan.
By the looks of it, the new Spidey is a lot snarkier than the last one.
There was also a trailer for “Men in Black 3,” which will try to spice up a film series that has been dormant for a decade by having Will Smith head back to the 1960s. There’s “Mad Men” outfits, and Andy Warhol-is-not-an-alien jokes and bits about the size of portable phones that had the audience howling.
But perhaps the biggest bang of Sony’s presentation came with the world premiere of the trailer to the latest James Bond film, “Skyfall.” This one was presented in lowly 2D, but it didn’t need the extra dimensionality. The film finds Bond back to his globe-trotting, world-saving ways, but this time his mission is to protect his mentor M.
The preview ends with 007 saying “Some men are coming to kill us. We’re going to kill them first.” Probably safe to bet on Bond in that match-up.
Other films on Sony’s line-up include a reboot of “Total Recall” starring Colin Farrell instead of Arnold Schwarzenegger (a big step-up in the emotive category); “Hope Springs,” a December-December romantic comedy about a couple trying to reinvigorate their sex lives with Meryl Streep; and “Sparkle,” the final film from Whitney Houston. The presentation included quick glimpses of the singer, but no sign of whether she breaks into song.