CineEurope: Universal Teases 'Doctor Dolittle,' 'Secret Life of Pets 2,' 'The Grinch'

A video message from 'Mortal Engines' producer Peter Jackson, an extended scene from 'Johnny English Strikes Again' and the first look at the teaser trailer for Robert Zemeckis' 'Welcome to Marwen' were also unveiled.

Talking animals played a major part of Universal's CineEurope presentation, which opened the second day of the Barcelona trade show. 

Via an extended video message from the set of The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle, Robert Downey Jr. gave the latest big-screen adaptation of Hugh Lofting's children's books a major boost. The film — which boasts an extensive A-list voice cast including Emma Thompson, Octavia Spencer, Rami Malek, Tom Holland and Selena Gomez — is due for release on April 12, 2019, with Downey saying he expected it to be a future franchise.

From Universal's Illumination Entertainment animation studio, Chris Meledandri introduced footage and concept art from the sequel to the 2016 hit The Secret Life of Pets. Set for release June 7, 2019, The Secret Life of Pets 2 reunites the original cast — with the exception of Louis C.K., who has been replaced by Patton Oswalt — with additions including Harrison Ford and Tiffany Haddish. 

Also from Illumination, the latest incarnation of The Grinch was previewed, with the CineEurope audience shown an exclusive clip of the upcoming animated film, in which Benedict Cumberbatch voices Dr. Seuss' famed green anti-Christmas grump, alongside the 3D trailer. 

Diving into its Focus Features banner, Universal touted Spike Lee's Cannes-bowing BlacKkKlansman; Joel Edgerton's adaptation of Boy Erased, starring Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe; and the historical epic Mary Queen of Scots, from Working Title and starring Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie. In a video message, Ronan said the project was especially close to her heart as she'd been involved with it for five years. 

Attendees were also treated to an extended clip from Rowan Atkinson's spy caper Johnny English Strikes Again, plus footage from The House With a Clock in its Walls from Amblin, and the return of Michael Myers in David Gordon Green's Halloween, picking up 40 years after the original and this time coming from Blumhouse.

In a specially recorded message, Damian Chazelle, Ryan Gosling and Claire Foy showcased their moon landing biopic First Man, in which Gosling plays Neil Armstrong, introducing the first look of the film, due for release on Oct. 14. 

Among the most ambitious titles on the slate was the post-apocalyptic adventure Mortal Engines, directed by Christian Rivers and produced by Peter Jackson, who gave a video message to introduce the new trailer. The pic — starring Hugo Weaving and set in a world where entire cities have been mounted on wheels and motorized — is set to launch Dec. 14. Universal's executive vice president of international distribution Niels Swinkels said Mortal Engines would "rival The Lord of the Rings on scale and ambition."

The very first look for the teaser trailer of Robert Zemeckis' Welcome to Marwen — starring Steve Carell as a man who constructs a miniature World War II village in his yard to aid his recovery from a brutal assault — was also shown, alongside the new trailer for How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World; the new trailer for the action comedy Night School, starring Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish; and footage from the big-budget actioner Skyscraper, which was introduced with a message from CineEurope regular Dwayne Johnson.