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20th Century Fox on Tuesday put on on a nearly two-hour show to close the second day of the annual CineEurope trade show in Barcelona, the studio’s first public presentation since it was revealed last week that Stacey Snider would succeed chairman Jim Gianopulos in the chairman role.
Much of the time was spent on The Greatest Showman, the Hugh Jackman-fronted musical biopic of legendary U.S. circus owner and entertainment businessman P.T. Barnum. Although the project has yet to go into production, director Michael Gracey was onstage to walk the audience through his vision of a film he said would be a “return to the classic film musical.” He likened it to West Side Story, Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music.
Concept art and musical numbers were unveiled, as well as videos of Jackman and the team in rehearsals (one of which took place the day after the actor had an operation and defied the wishes of a doctor who said he shouldn’t sing).
Elsewhere, there was an exclusive preview of Assassin’s Creed, including a video message from actor Michael Fassbender who called director Justin Kurzel “Australia’s greatest export,” plus an exclusive trip to the sets of Alien: Covenant, due out in August 2017.
“I think this will scare the shit out of people,” Ridley Scott said, via video, of his Prometheus sequel, Alien: Covenant.
In a first-look exclusive, Matt Reeves introduced War for the Planet of the Apes, his follow-up to Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, which is now in postproduction. Andy Serkis, who plays ape leader Caesar, was shown in full motion-capture attire, alongside various pieces of concept art and behind-the-scenes shots.
Pharrell Williams, CineEurope’s first celebrity guest of 2016, was introduced on stage to discuss Hidden Figures, recounting the true story of the African-American mathematicians who worked at NASA to launch John Glenn into orbit at a time of racial segregation in the U.S. Williams, who is producing the drama being directed by Theodore Melfi, revealed he also was composing the soundtrack.
Following the unexpected global smash of Kingsman: The Secret Service last year, Fox gave the forthcoming sequel a big shout-out. The first-ever footage from Kingsman: The Golden Circle featured both returning actors Taron Egerton and Colin Firth and new additions Channing Tatum, Julianne Moore, Halle Berry and, in his first film appearance since a 2007 autobiography, Elton John. The Matthew Vaughn-directed spy film is due out next summer.
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