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James McAvoy is terrifying in first look

April 12, 20243 Mins Read


LAS VEGAS – Get ready to be afraid of James McAvoy.

He’s been a heroic member of the X-Men and a multifaceted antagonist in M. Night Shyamalan’s “Split,” but the Scottish actor takes a definitely sinister yet still sort of charming turn in “Speak No Evil” (in theaters Sept. 13), a remake of a seriously disturbing 2022 Danish psychological thriller.

In the Universal film’s first trailer, shown Wednesday at CinemaCon, the conference for theaters owners and studios, seemingly sweet couple Paddy (McAvoy) and Ciara (Aisling Franciosi) befriend Louise (Mackenzie Davis), Ben (Scoot McNairy) and their kids on an Italian vacation. They hit it off so well, Paddy invites them to visit for a weekend getaway, which takes a bad turn and gets worse when Louise and Ben try to leave.

“Paddy is a charming and gregarious friend, host and father, and on the other hand, he’s not that. At all,” director James Watkins said, adding that making the movie “was like summer camp with a slight deviant edge.”

Universal was Hollywood’s original house of horrors, and it has plenty of scary movies on its upcoming plate. Director Leigh Whannell put a modern spin on a classic Universal monster with 2020’s “The Invisible Man” and does the same with “Wolf Man” (out Jan. 25), which stars Christopher Abbott as a dad who gets attacked by a creature when protecting his family and gets beastly himself. Theater owners saw the first footage of that and Robert Eggers’ gothic and cool “Nosferatu,” a remake of the 1922 silent-movie classic.

Universal also confirmed that a sequel to “M3GAN” will be released next year and a follow-up to last year’s horror hit “Five Nights at Freddy’s” will arrive in fall 2025, both from producer Jason Blum.

‘Twisters’ star Glen Powell tussles with a wind machine at CinemaCon

“A lot of you might be wondering why I made this movie?” director Lee Isaac Chung asked the CinemaCon crowd during a presentation for the upcoming “Twisters” (out July 19). The “Minari” filmmaker is known for making small indie movies, not sequels to popular 1990s blockbusters, but “it felt like the scariest possible thing to do in my life.”

There was also a personal reason: Chung grew up dealing with tornadoes in rural Arkansas, where learning how to hide and run from them is part of childhood. He says the original 1996 “Twister” fascinated him because “people were running at a tornado instead of running away.” (Bill Paxton and a flying cow were part of his “cinematic Mount Rushmore as a kid.”)

And to make “Twisters” feel as real as possible, Chung worked with scientists to create an immersive big-screen experience. “There’s a lot of pessimism about the environment,” Chung said, and he wants to “bring a sense of awe and wonder about the natural world” to audiences.

The filmmaker was joined by his stars Glen Powell, Daisy Edgar-Jones and Anthony Ramos. Powell talked about how a jet engine was used to create the gusts that would blow trash and debris at them during filming, which led to a comedy bit on stage involving wind machines and someone throwing a stuffed cow at Ramos.

“It’s not the size that matters, it’s the force,” Powell joked, before pausing and grinning about his double entendre. “That’s one way to sell a movie.”

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