CineEurope: Disney Rolls Out 'Star Wars' Icon R2D2, Debuts 'Avengers 2' Footage
The studio also treats foreign theater owners to scenes from "Cinderella," while J.J. Abrams sends a videotaped message from the set of "Star Wars: Episode VII" in Abu Dhabi.
BARCELONA — Star Wars robot R2D2 literally rolled onto the stage at CineEurope on Wednesday to help Disney promote its upcoming titles from a stable of brands, which now count Lucasfilm, Marvel Studios, Pixar, Walt Disney Animation and Disney live-action.
J.J. Abrams couldn't attend the annual gathering of foreign theater owners, but Disney and LucasFilm played a special videotaped message from the director from the set of Star Wars: Episode VII in Abu Dahbi. Abrams said he had just finished two weeks of shooting, and described it as a thrill to see the movie’s incoming cast act on set with the members of the original installments. “See you guys next year,” Abrams said before R2D2 trundled off stage.
Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige did turn up in Barcelona, armed with the first footage from Avengers: Age of Ultron, directed by Joss Whedon, who is half way through a 100-day shoot for the film in London. Feige also played sequences and an interview montage from Ant-Man, including contributions from Peyton Reed, who recently replaced Edgar Wright as director for the long-gestating movie.
International exhibitors then watched extensive footage from Marvel's August 2014 tentpole Guardians of the Galaxy, including the film’s opening sequence.
Disney's worldwide distribution chief Dave Hollis kick-started the CineEurope presentation with a heartfelt thanks to the European exhibitors for supporting the studio’s branded tentpole strategy.
Hollis and his team played the first 10 minutes of upcoming Disney musical Into The Woods, starring Meryl Streep with music from Stephen Sondheim. Later, Kenneth Branagh apologized via a taped message for not being in Barcelona as he is playing Macbeth on stage in New York. He then introduced sneak peak at his live-action Cinderella, which hits theaters next spring.