Mickey 17 CinemaCon Reaction: Amazing New Footage Delivers Wacky Sci-Fi Fun With Robert Pattinson Dying Over And Over Again

 Robert Pattinson in Mickey 17.
Robert Pattinson in Mickey 17.

Had everything gone as originally planned, audiences everywhere would be seeing director Bong Joon-ho's Mickey 17 right now. When the film dropped its first teaser all the way back in December 2022, it was announced that it would be arriving in theaters on March 29, 2024 – and if you check your calendar, you'll note that date was a little less than two weeks ago.

The reason why we haven't seen Mickey 17 yet is because Warner Bros. made the call back in February to push the release date until 2025... and while that was a tough pill to swallow at the time, we're now even more frustrated about the wait following the debut of a brand new and fantastic preview of the movie at CinemaCon 2024.

The annual convention for theaters owners is being held in Las Vegas this week, and this afternoon, Warner Bros. hosted a presentation showcasing their exciting lineup of new films (including dropping the first trailer for Joker: Folie à Deux). As cool as it was to see footage from upcoming 2024 movies, however, it was the fresh look at the studio's first release of 2025 that was the highlight of the showcase. Based on the novel Mickey7 by Ashton Edward, Mickey 17 stars Robert Pattinson, Mark Ruffalo, Toni Collette, Naomi Ackie, and Steven Yeun, and it looks like an excellent mix of cool, dark, and hilarious.

The footage didn't take long to establish its off-beat tone. It began with a sequence featuring Robert Pattinson's Mickey out in space on the side of a shuttle. After complaining over a radio that he is feeling a bit dizzy, a piece of debris comes rocketing out of nowhere and rips Mickey's arm straight from his body, and the appendage goes tumbling. Rather than experiencing any kind of panic, a voice exclaims, "Wow, did you see that?" Cue Dean Martin and Nelson Riddle's "Ain't That A Kick In The Head" – instantly establishing that audiences should prepare for a wacky cinematic experience.

Then taking a step back in the narrative, the Mickey 17 CinemaCon footage revealed that the titular Mickey is a simple man who, without doing the proper research, signs up for a program as an Expendable. It's a gig that sees his body and mind scanned for replication so that he can take on potentially fatal missions. If he dies, his corpse is thrown into a lava pit and a clone is generated to continue his existence. (In one particular funny moment, an attendant notices that Mickey is actually alive as his body is about to be destroyed, but Mickey tells him "it's fine" to just go ahead with the burning.)

It seems to be a terrible existence full of pain and horror, with incidents like falling through an ice sheet on an alien planet and encountering some giant, violent extraterrestrials... but then things actually manage to get even worse. When he drops into his bed one night, he is utterly shocked to discover that a new clone is already occupying the mattress. Mickey 17 (a.k.a. the seventeenth clone of the original Mickey) meets Mickey 18, and they both recognize their encounter as serious trouble.

Playing a character Bong Joon-ho describes as a "bad guy" and a "very funny dictator," Mark Ruffalo appears declaring that in the case of Multiples, all individuals must be destroyed – setting up the Mickeys to decide which of them should die or figure out how they can survive together.

In addition to comedy being a mostly fresh space for Robert Pattinson, Mickey 17 sees him take on the challenge of playing two distinct versions of the same person. Describing the film's eponymous character, Pattinson explained that because Mickey 17 has died so many times, he has been left with the lowest expectations for life... and yet the world keeps pushing those expectations down further. He's reached such a low point that even though his job is basically being tortured everyday, he is at least somewhat satisfied because he is part of a team.

Mickey 18, on the other hand, is a different story. Bong Joon-ho noted that Pattinson brought a lot personally to the character, and the actor explained that the eighteenth clone is a version of Mickey who suffers from a bit of frontal lobe damage. As a result, he is lacking in impulse control and also has an unrestricted libido.

In addition to the characters mentioned, Toni Collette plays the wife of Mark Ruffalo's dictator, Naomi Ackie stars as Mickey's girlfriend, and Steven Yeun is "another crazy guy" in the movie (per Bong Joon-ho) and Mickey's "strange buddy."

Given that this is the director's first film since the Best Picture-winning Parasite from 2019, there are a whole lot of expectations set up for Mickey 17, but the CinemaCon footage certainly suggests that he has another amazing winner in the works. It features a wholly different story, fresh themes, and sci-fi visuals compared to his last film, but the material had the crowd gathered in The Colosseum Theater at Caesars Palace delighted and laughing out loud.

It's a bummer that we're going to have to wait a while to actually see the film, but this early preview suggests that movie-goers have something special to anticipate. Mickey 17 will be in theaters everywhere on January 31, 2025 – so stay tuned here on CinemaBlend for more of our coverage of the film, and be sure to keep coming back to the site this week as we get more exciting updates about the cinematic landscape as we continue our on-the-ground coverage of CinemaCon 2024.