This week’s Ketchup includes sequel news about Iron Man 3 and, surprisingly, Pauly Shore’s In the Army Now, as well as new roles for Robert De Niro (twice), Anne Hathaway, Beyonce Knowles, Joaquin Phoenix, and Adam Sandler. And did we mention Pauly Shore? Really need to say it twice for it to sink in as a reality.
This Week’s Top Story
MORE VILLAIN NEWS FRESH FROM THE SET OF IRON MAN 3
If you want to see Iron Man 3 in theaters on May 3, 2013 with absolutely no knowledge of what may or may not be spoilers, you should stop reading now. Of course, it’s likely that most of what this article covers will be revealed in the trailers for Iron Man 3 anyway. First off, there was an online story this week at Latino Review that basically confirmed that Marvel Studios was sort of/kind of not being 100% truthful when Sir Ben Kingsley was announced as joining the cast of Iron Man 3; indeed, Kingsley is playing the Mandarin, who is traditionally Iron Man‘s biggest archenemy in the comics. That, however, wasn’t really the story that blew most fans’ minds this week. That honor would go to these photos, which show actor James Badge Dale in a costume that is not that of Coldblood, the code name of his character Eric Savin in the comics. Nope, that armor is that of… Iron Patriot, who in the comics is an alter ego of one Norman Osborn, who for obvious reasons (thanks to Sony Pictures and their rights to the Spider-Man movies) can’t be in any Iron Man movie. Interestingly, it appears that Sony’s rights to Norman Osborn don’t apply to the Iron Patriot armor itself, and so… there you go. What this will mean in the movie universe, it appears, is that the military will possibly be creating armor with Tony Stark’s technology that uses the colors and designs of the First Avenger, Captain Steve Rogers. And in other news, William Sadler is also rumored to now have a role in Iron Man 3 as well, but we don’t yet know who Sadler’s playing.
Fresh Developments This Week
#1 SPIKE JONZE’S NEXT JOURNEY INTO THE MIND TACKLES MODERN TECHNOLOGY
Once upon a time, Spike Jonze was considered something of a directing wunderkind, after the innovative critical successes of Being John Malkovich and Adaptation. However, in the years since 2002, Jonze has only directed one film, 2009’s adaptation of Where the Wild Things Are. Now, Jonze is ramping up to finally bring us his fourth feature film, and the currently untitled project (which Jonze wrote) has a premise that harkens back to his first two films. Joaquin Phoenix will play a man “who falls in love with a Siri-like computer voice.” Amy Adams (The Muppets), Rooney Mara (the remake of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), Samantha Morton (Minority Report) and Olivia Wilde (Tron: Legacy) will all have supporting roles (with one of them presumably providing the voice in question). Sony Pictures has acquired the distribution rights from Annapurna Pictures, the financing company run by Megan Ellison, daughter of Oracle founder Larry Ellison. The deal also included an upcoming project from director David O. Russell (Three Kings, The Fighter) formerly called American Bullsh** about the Abscam scandal in the 1970s that will feature both Christian Bale and Bradley Cooper.
#2 BEYONCE HEADLINES THE VOICE CAST OF BLUE SKY STUDIOS’ EPIC
Once upon a time (like back in 2008), the upcoming Disney/Pixar movie we now know as Brave was known as The Bear and the Bow. 20th Century Fox Animation and Blue Sky Studios have likewise revealed the new title of Epic for their May 24, 2013 project that was formerly entitled Leafmen. The real news this week for Epic, however, concerns the newly unveiled voice cast. Beyonce Knowles, Colin Farrell, Johnny Knoxville, Amanda Seyfried, Jason Sudeikis, Steven Tyler, Aziz Ansari (Funny People), rapper Pitbull, and Josh Hutcherson (Journey 2: The Mysterious Island), will all be portraying either bugs, spiders, the mystical creatures known as Leaf Men, or the teen girl who ends up in their magical forest environment. Epic is an adaptation of the 1996 children’s book The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs by William Joyce, whose books were also the inspiration for Meet the Robinsons, and the upcoming DreamWorks Animation film Rise of the Guardians. Epic will be the third CGI animation feature film for Blue Sky Studios directed by Chris Wedge (Ice Age, Robots).
#3 ANNE HATHAWAY’S NEXT MUSICAL WILL BE INDIE, STARTING OVER WITH SONG ONE
The trailer for Anne Hathaway’s next musical feature, the adaptation of the stage hit Les Miserables, debuted online this week, and will be in theaters before Snow White and the Huntsman. For her next musical film, however, Anne Hathaway is in talks for a project that is considerably more scaled back. The relatively low budget independent musical drama is called Song One, and it “tells the story of a woman who, after her brother is hurt, returns home and begins a relationship with the brother’s favorite musician.” Song One also marks the directorial debut of Kate Barker-Froyland, who has previously directed a few short films, and previously worked with Anne Hathaway as a production assistant on The Devil Wears Prada.
#4 MICHELLE PFEIFFER WILL BE MARRIED TO THE MOB AGAIN
It’s easy to forget this now, but two of Michelle Pfeiffer’s biggest movies of the 1980s had something very specific in common. Her first big movie after Grease 2 was Brian De Palma’s Scarface, in which she played Tony Montana’s coke addict wife. And then in 1988, she was Married to the Mob. Now, a couple of decades later, Michelle Pfeiffer is in negotiations to once again play a mobster’s wife. The movie is called Malavita, and Robert De Niro is already attached to star in the “darkly comedic actioner” as the head of the Manzoni crime family, who are collectively relocated to Normandy, France as part of the witness protection program. It’s worth mentioning that this premise of sending an American gangster to Europe is not unlike the made-for-Netflix series Lilyhammer, starring Steven Van Zandt (from The Sopranos). Malavita will be directed by Luc Besson (La Femme Nikita, Leon: The Professional) from his own adaptation of the book Badfellas by author Tonino Benacquista.
Rotten Idea of the Week
#5 ADAM SANDLER REPLACES MARK WAHLBERG IN FOOTBALL COMEDY THREE MISSISSIPPI
About a year or two from now, when the football comedy Three Mississippi opens in theaters as the first team up between two of Saturday Night Live’s most successful alumni, you will be able to either thank or blame Battleship. Originally, Three Mississippi was supposed to be a reunion project for Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg, after the relative success of The Other Guys. And then, Battleship happened; but let’s explain the connection. Universal Pictures, the studio behind Battleship, could see that the movie was probably going to be a bomb, and so for director Peter Berg’s next film, the Navy SEAL action film Lone Survivor, they wanted a star commitment. That star was Mark Wahlberg, and the commitment had to be for Lone Survivor to be Wahlberg’s next film, and that’s how he ended up not being able to star in Three Mississippi for Warner Bros. And so, Three Mississippi gets the distinction of being the first Ferrell/Sandler movie. Another reunion was also thwarted in that director Adam McKay, who originally thought up Three Mississippi, will have to focus on Anchorman: The Legend Continues (also with Ferrell, but still). Instead, Adam Sandler’s director on That’s My Boy, Sean Anders (who also directed Sex Drive) will get his own chance to work again with Sandler… really soon. Finally, another reunion that all of this will prevent was the originally planned banter-fest between Mark Wahlberg and Alec Baldwin, one of his costars from The Departed. Instead, we will probably get a cast padded out with Sandler regulars. Anyone want to watch Rob Schneider, Allen Covert and Chris Rock play football? Oh wait, we already did… it was called The Longest Yard.
#4 WHEN THE DOGS BEGIN TO SMELL EMILY BROWNING IN PLUSH, WILL SHE STAND ALONE?
In an alternate reality where Zack Snyder’s Sucker Punch was a huge box office hit last year, Emily Browning would probably be one of the most in-demand young actresses right now. Browning is still finding work, but her name is not coming up for big movies quite as often as it might have otherwise. Emily Browning did however make the cut for the lead role in Plush, the next film from director Catherine Hardwicke (Twilight, Red Riding Hood). Browning will play a rising rock star whose band Plush is in turmoil after her brother (and band mate) dies in a drug overdose, and the band’s second album is a flop. Browning’s character begins a relationship with the new replacement guitarist, but soon begins to wonder if “she may have let a madman into her home and family and that her mistake may cost the lives of people closest to her.” Plush is one of the week’s Rotten Ideas mostly because all five of Catherine Hardwicke’s most recent films as director have been rated “Rotten” on the RT Tomatometer. Will Plush turn things around for her? Well, Hardwicke’s got time, time to wait for tomorrow, to find it, to find it.
#3 MALIN AKERMAN, ZAC EFRON AND GOLDIE HAWN AMONG THE ENSEMBLE CAST OF THIS IS WHERE I LEAVE YOU
This is Where I Leave You is the title of an upcoming Warner Bros ensemble comedy about a dysfunctional and non-religious family asked to fulfill their dead father’s request to sit Shivah for seven days. The actors currently in negotiations to make up the family include Malin Akerman (Watchmen), Jason Bateman, Zac Efron, Goldie Hawn, Leslie Mann and Jason Sudeikis. This is Where I Leave You will be the next film for director Adam Shankman after this summer’s Rock of Ages. Shankman’s past films include Bedtime Stories, The Pacifier, Cheaper by the Dozen 2, Bringing Down the House and Hairspray, which has the distinction of being his only film to earn a “Fresh” rating on the RT Tomatometer. If the deal goes through, this movie will also be noteworthy for being Goldie Hawn’s first movie in over 10 years, since 2002’s The Banger Sisters. Malin Akerman also made the news this week for signing on to play Blondie lead signer Debbie Harry in the CBGB movie, which will also feature Harry Potter star Rupert Grint as Cheetah Chrome of the Dead Boys.
#2 ROCKY VS RAGING BULL IN… GRUDGE MATCH?
This story is one that is not yet confirmed as of yet, but if it goes through, it’s a movie whose promotion pretty much writes itself. Robert De Niro and Sylvester Stallone are both reportedly in negotiations with Warner Bros to star in the boxing comedy Grudge Match about two aging pugilists who take on each other in one final match. Now, let that little piece of information sink in… yes, that’s right, we’re talking about the stars of Raging Bull and Rocky in a boxing comedy. If that premise gets you excited, well, now here’s the bad news. The director of Grudge Match, if it goes forward at this point, will be Peter Segal, whose filmography is comprised of several comedies that were box office hits, but not a single one ever scored higher than 53% on the RT Tomatometer. That list includes 50 First Dates, Anger Management, Get Smart, The Longest Yard, Tommy Boy and The Nutty Professor II: The Klumps. It sounds like the news of Grudge Match got leaked online before Warner Bros was ready to make an official announcement, but a representative for Sylvester Stallone did confirm that it is a movie that he is considering. There’s no word yet as to whether Talia Shire might be interested in costarring.
#1 ARE YOU READY FOR THE RETURN OF PAULY SHORE?
Last week, Pauly Shore, Andy Dick and a bunch of girls in bikinis got together for what was probably a wild and wacky live internet TV show on FilmOn.TV. Anyway, the two “comedians” got talking about their time costarring together in the 1994 comedy In the Army Now. To make a short story shorter, Andy Dick brought up the idea of a sequel called In the Army Again (along with a crack about rescuing Katy Perry from a USO show gone bad). Pauly Shore replied, “we just need a script and someone to back the project and I’m in,” and within minutes, they actually had their funding from FilmOn.TV founder and billionaire Alki David. Andy Dick has already written a treatment, and he and Pauly Shore will start writing a script soon. In the Army Again will presumably be about Shore and Dick’s characters nearly 20 years later, back in the military, and getting into all sorts of wacky high jinks. It all seems like a crazy joke, but In the Army Again has a press release and everything.
For more Weekly Ketchup columns by Greg Dean Schmitz, check out the WK archive, and you can contact GDS via Facebook.