Warner Bros. shows first previews of chilling Johnny Depp film, 'Creed,' 'Point Break'

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LAS VEGAS — When "Fruitvale Station" director Ryan Coogler approached Sylvester Stallone about making another "Rocky" movie, Stallone thought he was insane. The creator of the "Rocky" saga told the CinemaCon audience on Tuesday that the Rocky journey had ended.

Stallone soon realized that Coogler's idea for "Creed" was something else entirely.

"It's the beginning of a new era, the beginning of a new journey," he said of the tale of Apollo Creed's son, Adonis, who is played by Michael B. Jordan.

The character of Apollo Creed (played by Carl Weathers) died in the ring in 1985's "Rocky IV."

Theater owners at the annual conference for exhibitors got a first look at a trailer for the film as a part of Warner Bros. massive presentation of their film slate through 2016. Paramount presented their lineup earlier in the day and the other major studios have demonstrations scheduled for later in the week.

In "Creed," Rocky Balboa (Stallone) comes out of retirement to train Adonis.

Coogler said the idea came from his relationship with his father, who was a massive Rocky fan.

Warner Bros. pummeled exhibitors at CinemaCon with trailer after trailer of its extensive slate, trotting out stars like Reese Witherspoon, Sofia Vergara, Channing Tatum, Matt Bomer and Henry Cavill to preview upcoming films like "Hot Pursuit," ''Magic Mike XXL," and "The Man From U.N.C.L.E."

While most of the presentation stayed highly scripted and fast-moving with trailers that audiences have seen before, Warner Bros. did have a few surprises in store.

One of the more notable previews showed a first look at a nearly unrecognizable Johnny Depp as the notorious gangster Whitey Bulger in the film "Black Mass."

With thinning blond hair slicked back meticulously, disarming grayish blue eyes, and speckled, pink skin, Depp is transformed into a menacing presence in the generation-spanning story about the alliance between Bulger and the FBI.

"This is a film about the abuse of power," said director Scott Cooper. "In the city of Boston at this time, criminals and lawmen were virtually indistinguishable."

Depp, he said, gives a "performance for the ages."

Warner Bros. also showed the first preview of "Point Break," a modern reimagining of Kathryn Bigelow's 1991 surfer criminals cult classic.

The update is a film for the X-Games generation. Starring Luke Bracey and Edgar Ramirez, the criminals aren't just surfers this time — they're into extreme sports of all kinds.

In one sequence, we see a group jump off a mountain wearing only wingsuits. They fly through narrow mountain crevices for minutes.

And yet, for as fake and videogame-like as it might look on the screen, the entire stunt was real, the audience learned.

One film that did not get any special treatment, though, was "Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice." The studio showed only the trailer, which was released online last week, and brought no one from the film out to talk about it, even though Henry Cavill had already appeared onstage to discuss "The Man From U.N.C.L.E."


Online: cinemacon.com


Follow AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr on Twitter:www.twitter.com/ldbahr

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