After the Universal part of the presentation ended, Focus also took to the stage. Much like Universal, Focus Features actually brought someone out to talk about their movies in person, which was a nice thing to see. It was another round talent introducing their movies instead of anyone being here, but that was pretty much what we all expected from this CinemaCon. The thing that was surprising was the lack of movies that were in attendance. Focus chose to, well, focus on four movies even though they have nine coming out between now and April 2022. The big ones that were missing were three movies from 2021, including The Card Counter, Blue Bayou, and Wolf. They weren't exactly given a ton of time, but leaving out 50% of your 2021 slate just seemed like an odd choice.
The first movie Focus decided to spotlight was Last Night in Soho which has been at the top of my personal most anticipated for a long time now. We know almost nothing about the movie, but the new trailer that Focus showed off a ton of new footage and gave us a look at the movie's actual plot. It is a bit spoiler-y, so if you are looking to stay completely free of anything about this movie, go ahead and skip to the paragraph beyond the image. Anyway, the trailer has a much different vibe from the first trailer. That one was much more horror movie, and now we're in something a little different. We find out in this trailer that Sandie, the girl that Ellie is going back to and seeing her life unfold, is actually dead. She was murdered by her lover, Jack, and Ellie is trying to solve the case in the present because Jack is still alive. It's a pretty bonkers idea, but there is a chance that there is even more going on here that hasn't been revealed in trailers. Put this movie directly in front of my eyes immediately, but we have to wait until October 29th.
Next, we have the new movie by Kenneth Branagh. During the opening talks about this movie, he said that this was the most personal movie that he has ever done, and that is always promising to hear. Focus dropped the movie's first trailer, and it is revealed that it is going to be in black and white, which is always awesome to see. The movie is a historical drama that tells the story of a young boy growing up in Belfast in 1960's Northern Ireland. Specifically, it's 1969 Northern Ireland when the riots are happening. Black and white is such an underutilized feature movie, and it truly takes a master to make them look good. This one has an excellent cast consisting of Judi Dench, Caitriona Balfe, Jamie Dornan, Ciarán Hinds, and Branagh specifically said the performance by the young Jude Hill, who plays the young boy, is something to see. This is an awards contender for sure, and we'll see more of it before its November 12th release date.
The thing that surprised the room was that Focus revealed some very early footage from The Northman, the new film from Robert Eggers, which isn't even opening until April 8th of next year. As Focus told us, the footage we got was unfinished footage since they are still actively shooting in Iceland. This movie features a bang-up cast including Alexander Skarsgård, Nicole Kidman, Anya Taylor-Joy, Björk, Ralph Ineson, Ethan Hawke, and Willem Dafoe. The footage looks brutal and exactly sharp and a little on the weird side because this is Eggers like, come on. I don't want to describe too much detail because the footage was apparently so unfinished, but if that was unfinished, this movie will be absolutely amazing.
Finally, Focus closed out the night with a very short teaser, and the title reveals for the next Downton Abbey movie, which is titled, Downton Abbey: A New Era. There appeared to be some sort of traveling going on? I have never seen a single episode of this show or the last movie, but if this is your thing, the release date is March 18, 2022.
If you've enjoyed our recaps of Universal or Focus, feel free to join us for the Paramount or Lionsgate presentations later today.