STX Films brought footage and star Chadwick Boseman to CinemaCon 2019 to debut the first footage for 21 Bridges. 21 Bridges is an impressive, high intensity action thriller from established TV director Brian Kirk, and produced by Anthony and Joe Russo (Avengers: Endgame) and star Chadwick Boseman.
Boseman made a special appearance to chat with chairman Adam Fogelson to explain what made him choose this project and STX Films in a time when he's getting offers from everywhere.
Fogelson started this part of the presentation bu explaining that “obviously we are not in the tentpole business” before talking about Chadwick Boseman’s star power and success with Black Panther to applause of the audience of film industry representatives, and explains that STX hopes to make commercial movies of a different sort. For Boseman, it was a combination of a script that read like a fast-paced, heavy action "ride" and one that features fast-paced dialogue that takes him back to his theater days, with a cast that he helped select. The collaboration and having the opportunity to produce and be involved in every stage of the production, really spoke to him. Fog
21 Bridges Footage Description from CinemaCon
The opening scene is at a funeral, with voiceover stating that "your father died protecting this city" as we see a young boy in mourning who grows up to be a detective himself (Boseman). "He taught you to follow you conscience, in an often cruel world," the voiceover continues, explaining how this detective came to be so good and unique at what he does.
Skip forward to present, and at night we see Keith David, a high-ranking office at a crime scene saying it's the worst thing he's seen in 18 years on the force. Eight officers were killed in a shootout against two extremely well-trained men (Taylor Kitsch and Stephan James) using suppressed automatic weapons while responding to a robbery. We see quick flashback scenes of the shootout.
We then see J.K. Simmons explaining to Boseman, "I asked for you for a reason," referring to how old he was when the police captain told him about his father's death. Boseman's character takes lead on the investigation and explains if they don't close down Manhattan in the next 3-4 hours, the two gunmen will vanish, so he wants to "close the island."
"We've got 21 bridges in and out of Manhattan. Shut 'em down. Three rivers. Close them. Four tunnels. Block them. Stop every train, and loop the subways. Then, we flood the island with blow."
We then see a rush of different scenes including cops find 300 keys of cocaine, when there should have been 30, business men worrying about the stock market, hinting at high-up corruption. We see Boseman seeking out Sienna Miller's to look for the truth as she describes what she's heard about him, as the fearless one who hunts cop killers and who sees his own dad in every dead cop. The last big scene of the footage sees Boseman get onto a subway car with Stephan James' (who had a breakout role in If Beale Street Could Talk last year) character as they confront each other.
Chadwick Boseman Makes Appearance at CinemaCon 2019
Boseman came on the stage, and first says "that was intense," in response to the footage. In answering questions about his career from Fogelson, Chadwick revealed how he worked with real-life LAPD and NYPD to prepare for the role, and saw saw some of the "horrific" things they see, how the job takes over their entire lives, and affects them personally – this helped put him in the mind set for the role and he describes it as "a life-changing experience." Boseman wanted to make sure that aspect of police lives was reflected in the film.
21 Bridges opens in theaters this summer.