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Guillermo del Toro added some star presence to Universal’s energetic CineEurope presentation on Tuesday, bringing three clips from his upcoming horror title Crimson Peak for the assembled exhibitors.
“It’s easily one of my favorite films that I have done,” he said, adding that he wanted to “reintroduce” the classic gothic horror/romance genre to audiences. “It’s almost a throwback to a period drama,” he said, delighting the crowd by quietly chuckling to himself in between two of the scarier clips.
At a special Crimson Peak-themed lunch following the presentation, del Toro was given CineEurope’s International Filmmaker of the Year award, handed to him by fellow countryman Miguel Mier, COO of Mexico-based international cinema chain Cinepolis. Mier described del Toro as the “man who scared the crap out of Stephen King,” adding that he had the “warmest heart, even though he lives in Canada.”
On accepting the award, del Toro joked that the “real master of horror is the guy who designed those f—ing steps,” referring to the small stage.
Elsewhere in the presentation, where Universal announced a record-breaking year for the studio, the audience was offered the exclusive first-look trailer of Steve Jobs, the biopic starring Michael Fassbender as the late Apple founder to be released in October.
“Why has there not been a great film about Steve Jobs,” asked Universal’s evp international marketing Simon Hewlett, offering a not-entirely-subtle dig at the 2013 biopic starring Ashton Kutcher.
There was also an exclusive trailer for Straight Outta Compton, releasing in August, which Universal’s evp distribution Niels Swinkels described as “bold, brutal and brilliant.”
Judd Apatow and Amy Schumer recorded a special message to accompany the trailer for Trainwreck, with Schumer joking that everyone at CineEurope was having sex.
“If this film is a success then we’re going to come to CineEurope next year and f— you,” she said.
The “First ladies of U.S. comedy,” Amy Poehler and Tina Fey gave a video shout out to the crowd to support Sisters, with Fey suggesting that she thought the comedy about two siblings returning to their parental home for one last party could “bring the whole E.U. together.”
Universal’s recently renewed collaboration with U.K. production house Working Title saw three films showcased, with an extended first look at Eddie Redmayne as transgender pioneer Lili Elbe in The Danish Girl.
Director Tom Hooper and newly minted Oscar winner Redmayne sent a video message, describing the film as “extraordinary love story” between his character and that of his co-star Alicia Vikander.
Hooper said that when he first read the script he “thought about Eddie for the role,” and gave him it to read while on the set of their last collaboration, Les Miserables.
Other Working Title films included “vintage Coen Brothers” dark comedy Hail, Caesar!, set in Hollywood’s Golden Age, of which there were a handful of snippets, and Everest, the all-star disaster epic that was given a full 3D Dolby Atmos screening immediately following the presentation.
Director Baltasar Kormakur and Working Title co-founder Tim Bevan were in attendance, with Bevan saying that he was “nervous” about the film being shown to an audience for the first time.
“I actually started working on this film 15 years ago,” he said, adding that he was grateful to Universal for their support as it wasn’t “the sort of movie that gets made these years.”
Kormakur, who claimed that he went to Nepal, to the “coldest and highest places you can take film crews,” said he wanted the film to feel “like an epic, but with the heart of an indie.”
For his upcoming Blumhouse Productions title The Visit, M. Night Shyamalan gave a video message in which he said he wanted the film, a horror about two children who discover their grandparents are not what they seem, to be a “visceral loud experience.”
Looking to 2016 and beyond, there were brief mentions of The Huntsman, sequel to Snow White and the Huntsman and currently filming the the U.K.’s Pinewood Studios, the Paul Greengrass/Matt Damon Bourne reunion, for which the “story is still under wraps,” and U.S./Chinese sci-fi actioner The Great Wall from Zhang Yimou.
And with Minions about to be unleashed, the studio confirmed that work was underway on Despicable Me 3, with a June 2017 launch planned.
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