LAS VEGAS (Reuters)
— Cars falling from the sky in "Fast & Furious 7," clips from
Angelina Jolie's directorial project "Unbroken," and the first look
at erotic novel adaptation "Fifty Shades of Grey" provided a glimpse
of Universal Pictures' upcoming movie slate on Tuesday.
In the footage shown to theater owners at the CinemaCon
gathering in Las Vegas, a clip from the seventh installment of
the "Fast and Furious" action franchise featured some of the
final scenes filmed by actor Paul Walker before his sudden death
in a California car crash in November last year.
Walker and other co-stars including Vin Diesel are seated in
cars before the cargo door of a plane opens, and the vehicles
drive out and plunge toward the ground, deploying parachutes for
a safe landing.
The film will debut in April 2015. Its release was delayed by
nine months after Walker died in the middle of filming.
Actor-director Jolie also appeared on stage to promote
"Unbroken," a drama she directed about Louis Zamperini, a 1936
Olympian who became a prisoner of war when his plane was shot
down over Japan during World War II.
Jolie said she was drawn to Zamperini's story, one of a hero who
wasn't perfect and had started smoking, stealing and drinking by
the age of nine.
"Its message is one we all need now more than ever," Jolie said.
The film brings audiences "face to face with darkness, and tells
us to never give up," Jolie added.
The movie stars Jack O'Connell and will be released on Christmas
Day (December 25) this year.
CinemaCon is a four-day convention in Las Vegas where movie
studios promote their upcoming films to theater owners with
sneak peaks and appearances by actors and directors.
Universal, a unit of Comcast Corp, ended its presentation with clips
from "Fifty Shades of Grey" starring Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan.
"Mr. Grey will see you now," Johnson's character, Anastasia Steele,
is told before she is ushered in to a meeting that will take her
into a tumultuous relationship. Other scenes showed the pair in the
office and at a coffee shop, highlighting their chemistry. The
studio didn't show any explicit sex scenes.
The trilogy of novels by British author E.L. James, about a young
billionaire businessman who seduces a college student into a
relationship involving bondage and dominance, has sold more than 90
million copies worldwide.
Universal Pictures Chairman Donna Langley said she is often asked
"how do you make a movie out of '50 Shades of Grey'?"
"The answer is very carefully," she said, adding that the studio
chose actors who "could turn this film into the next iconic film
The movie will reach theaters on February 13, the day before