CinemaCon 2022 round-up: Avatar, Mission: Impossible 7, Top Gun and more

Tom Cruise as Pete 'Maverick' Mitchell in Top Gun: Maverick
(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

CinemaCon, the movie industry's annual preview of the films that will light up theater screens in the year ahead, has just finished. 

For the last four days, executives, journalists, producers, representatives from streaming services and all the big movie theater chains have gathered in Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas for a look at all the movies we can look forward to in the months to come. 

Unlike in 2021, where the issue most discussed was the fate of movie theaters as the Covid-19 pandemic continued to plague the world, the 2022 convention was a more traditional, starry affair. 

The roster of A-listers who turned up to show off their new projects was long. Over the course of four days, the likes of Keanu Reeves, Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson, and, in an appearance that has been remarkable for other reasons, Olivia Wilde, all came onstage to chat to attendees. 

A lot of news came out and we've rounded it all up for you below:

Mission: Impossible 7 has a title

Tom Cruise on the side of a helicopter in Mission: Impossible - Fallout

(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

And that title is Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part 1, which is one hell of a mouthful. 

Star Tom Cruise didn't make it to CinemaCon, on account of being in South America, where he is currently filming the eighth instalment of Mission: Impossible, which, presumably will be called Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part 2?

He did give a pre-recorded message to attendees before the film's trailer was shown, which sees Cruise's Ethan Hunt being given a dressing down by Henry Czerny's Eugene Kittridge, the former boss of the Impossible Missions Force, who hasn't appeared in the franchise since 1996. 

Reports of the trailer talked up its action and spectacle, with Cruise's taste for the biggest of stunts on show once again. 

Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part 1, which ended up with a Covid-19 bloated budget of a colossal $290 million, is due in theaters on July 14 in 2023, with the second part due in the summer of 2024. 

Top Gun: Maverick blew critics away

Top Gun: Maverick still image

(Image credit: Paramount Studios)

We've been waiting a long time for the sequel to iconic action blockbuster Top Gun. Never mind the many years it actually took for the sequel to the 1986 movie to come together, the film's first release date was actually to be in July of 2019, but first production delays, then the pandemic, have pushed it back and back and back. 

The film is finally out of the cutting room though and critics were blown away, as you'll be able to see from some of the reactions below:

A first taste of the Borderlands movie was unveiled

Borderlands movie

(Image credit: Arad Productions)

Another project with a long, long development history, with work on the big screen adaptation of Gearbox's hit video game  Borderlands started back in 2015, the movie industry got a first taste of what it can expect from Eli Roth's take on the franchise. 

Only a minute or so was shown, but the Hollywood Reporter called the footage "electric" and with star Cate Blanchett being shown in a way "she’s never been seen before, in a fire-engine-red wig, toting a gun and fighting her way through a vibrantly colored cityscape."

The footage showed Blanchett, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, Jamie Lee Curtis and man mountain Florian Munteanu in action as delegates got a look at very different kind of Pandora. 

Speaking of which...

At long last, the Avatar sequel approaches...


(Image credit: Disney)

James Cameron has taken his sweet time on his Avatar sequel, but the trailer and the film's title, Avatar: The Way Of The Water, were officially debuted ahead of a Christmas 2022 release. 

The audience were asked to don 3D glasses to view the footage, which Deadline described as even more "jaw-dropping in its deep-blue visuals than the 2009 film" and "truly a whole new world". 

We also learned that the trailer will debut in theaters alongside Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness when it hits theaters next week, with the online release following a week later. 

As well as that, Disney are planning to re-release the original Avatar on September 23 around the globe with remastered audio and sound. 

Don't Worry Darling proves controversial, on and off the stage

Dont Worry Darling

Harry Styles and Florence Pugh in Don't Worry Darling (Image credit: Warner Bros)

Don't Worry Darling, the new drama starring Harry Styles and Black Widow's Florence Pugh, has been billed as hot and heavy by those who saw the film's first footage. 

The drama stars Pugh as Alice, a 1950's housewife living with her husband Jack in a utopian experimental community. Initially happy, she begins to worry that his glamorous company, The Victory Project may be hiding disturbing secrets...

The trailer focused on the steamy onscreen antics between Pugh and Styles with a few hints about the film's more dystopian aspects. It's due to be in theaters in September. 

But what really proved controversial was what happened to director Olivia Wilde, who presented the film to delegates, while she talked. Wilde was handed a manilla envelope during her talk, which she held onto, but did not open during the presentation, leaving reporters to speculate on whether it was part of the presentation or not. 

As it subsequently turned out, the envelope contained legal documents from lawyers representing Wilde's former partner, Ted Lasso star Jason Sudeikis.

Variety have published a detailed report on the controversy, which has rather overshadowed Wilde's presentation and CinemaCon in general to a degree. Sudeikis has denied knowledge of the stunt and CinemaCon are now reviewing their security procedures. All very unsavory. 

The Hunger Games is back, but with who? 

Hunger Games

(Image credit: Lionsgate)

Lionsgate confirmed that the prequel to their billion dollar Hunger Games franchise The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is on the way, offering up a release date of November 17 in 2023. 

The prequel is set many years before the adventures of Jennifer Lawrence's Katniss Everdeen and centers on young Coriolanus Snow, who would go on to become the tyrannical president of Pan-Am. 

The film is in production now and Lionsgate offered up a clip, but did not show any footage from the movie or reveal the cast of the film, which remains a mystery...

John Wick 4 steps things up...

John Wick 3

(Image credit: Lionsgate)

Keanu Reeves and Chad Stahelski dropped into Las Vegas to tee up the fourth instalment of John Wick and showed delegates a first trailer. 

Reports are of another frenzied, balletic marvel and you should all be excited by a new presence – this time, Wick is bringing nunchucks...

Damien Chazelle returns to La La Land

La La Land

(Image credit: Lionsgate)

The director of La La Land and Whiplash offered up a first look at Babylon, his lavish 1920s-set drama, which looks at Hollywood's move from silent movies to talking pictures.

Delegates were treated to a first look at Brad Pitt as silent film star John Gilbert and Margot Robbie as 1920s icon Clara Bow. 

Comparisons to Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon A Time...In Hollywood and The Great Gatsby were offered up, which will no doubt please Chazelle greatly. 

It's out on Christmas Day. 

And in other news...

CinemaCon proved to be a busy time for Margot Robbie, who, as well as launching Babylon, also introduced David O'Russell's starry new drama Amsterdam and offered up a first look at Barbie, her team-up with Ladybird's Greta Gerwig for a new take on the ever-popular childrens' dolls. 

Marvel head honcho Kevin Feige debuted an extended preview of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and showcased some footage of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. He also revealed to delegates that he was about to head off on a retreat to plan the next decade of Marvel movies and TV shows. We hope it's somewhere nice. 

There were some sequels announced too, Warner Bros announced a return for Robert Pattinson's The Batman, Sony confirmed Venom 3 and Universal revealed its musical Wicked will be split into two parts.  

As well as that, Lionsgate showed off some explosive footage from the fourth Expendables movie, which is neatly now named Expend4bles. 

Finally, Paramount displayed a brief look at its much-vaunted Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves. Not a trailer as yet, but a hint at the production's size and scale. 

Tom Goodwyn
Freelance Entertainment Writer

Tom Goodwyn was formerly TechRadar's Senior Entertainment Editor. He's now a freelancer writing about TV shows, documentaries and movies across streaming services, theaters and beyond. Based in East London, he loves nothing more than spending all day in a movie theater, well, he did before he had two small children…