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Universal teases 'Fast & Furious 7,' Jolie film

By Lisa Richwine

LAS VEGAS (Reuters) - Cars falling from the sky in "Fast & Furious 7," clips from Angelina Jolie's directorial project "Unbroken," and the first look at erotic novel adaptation "Fifty Shades of Grey" provided a glimpse of Universal Pictures' upcoming movie slate on Tuesday.

In the footage shown to theater owners at the CinemaCon gathering in Las Vegas, a clip from the seventh installment of the "Fast and Furious" action franchise featured some of the final scenes filmed by actor Paul Walker before his sudden death in a California car crash in November last year.

Walker and other co-stars including Vin Diesel are seated in cars before the cargo door of a plane opens, and the vehicles drive out and plunge toward the ground, deploying parachutes for a safe landing.

The film will debut in April 2015. Its release was delayed by nine months after Walker died in the middle of filming.

Actor-director Jolie also appeared on stage to promote "Unbroken," a drama she directed about Louis Zamperini, a 1936 Olympian who became a prisoner of war when his plane was shot down over Japan during World War II.

Jolie said she was drawn to Zamperini's story, one of a hero who wasn't perfect and had started smoking, stealing and drinking by the age of nine.

"Its message is one we all need now more than ever," Jolie said. The film brings audiences "face to face with darkness, and tells us to never give up," Jolie added.

The movie stars Jack O'Connell and will be released on Christmas Day (December 25) this year.

CinemaCon is a four-day convention in Las Vegas where movie studios promote their upcoming films to theater owners with sneak peaks and appearances by actors and directors.

Universal, a unit of Comcast Corp, ended its presentation with clips from "Fifty Shades of Grey" starring Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan.

"Mr. Grey will see you now," Johnson's character, Anastasia Steele, is told before she is ushered in to a meeting that will take her into a tumultuous relationship. Other scenes showed the pair in the office and at a coffee shop, highlighting their chemistry. The studio didn't show any explicit sex scenes.

The trilogy of novels by British author E. L. James, about a young billionaire businessman who seduces a college student into a relationship involving bondage and dominance, has sold more than 90 million copies worldwide.

Universal Pictures Chairman Donna Langley said she is often asked "how do you make a movie out of '50 Shades of Grey'?"

"The answer is very carefully," she said, adding that the studio chose actors who "could turn this film into the next iconic film romance."

The movie will reach theaters on February 13, the day before Valentine's Day.

(Editing by Piya Sinha-Roy and Andrew Hay)

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