This week’s Ketchup includes movies development news stories that include new roles for Anne Hathaway and Matthew McConaughey, and news about the sequels Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.
Fresh Developments This Week
#1 MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY OFFERED LEAD ROLE IN CHRISTOPHER NOLAN’S INTERSTELLAR
With eight films now under director Christopher Nolan’s figurative belt, a movie fan might feel like they have a pretty good grasp for the sort of actors that Nolan might be considering for his next project, the sci-fi movie Interstellar. Nolan in the past has been pretty big on Aussies (Guy Pearce, Hugh Jackman) and Brits (Christian Bale, Tom Hardy). Right when such choices appear to be that predictable, that’s when the news hits that Christopher Nolan has offered the lead role in Interstellar to Matthew McConaughey. Which was the Internet’s cue to start breaking out the “lawbreaker” and “alright alright alright” jokes. Because those are things characters played by Matthew McConaughey have said in movies that people have seen the trailers for. Paramount Pictures has scheduled Interstellar for a release date in November, 2014.
#2 AFTER THE AVENGERS 2, MARVEL PHASE THREE IS ALL ABOUT… THE DEFENDERS?
The first movie of Marvel’s Phase 2 (Iron Man 3) is still not yet released, but already, we know about the six movies after it that Marvel has planned, taking us into Phase 3 already. Phase 1 and Phase 2 are both known to end, respectively, with The Avengers and its sequel The Avengers 2, but news came this week that Phase 3 might end quite differently. Let’s put the pieces together: Last week, the news broke that Robert Redford has been cast as an unspecified S.H.I.E.L.D. agent in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. There’s also been rumors of Gwendoline Christie (Brienne of Tarth from Game of Thrones) being cast in a cameo role in Thor: The Dark World as Brunnhilde the Valkyrie. And finally, we know that the second movie of Phase 3 is expected to be Doctor Strange (after Ant-Man in late 2015). Tying in with all that are the reports this week that the third Phase 3 movie will be Namor the Sub-Mariner, devoted to one of Marvel’s oldest characters (dating all the way back to 1939), who also, by the way, predates by two years the more famous DC Comics “Atlantis monarch” character Aquaman. We also know that Marvel plans on using the Hulk in more movies in the future, but not necessarily in another solo Hulk movie. Which brings us, finally, to what exactly ties Doctor Strange, Namor, Valkyrie, Robert Redford’s mysterious character (who might be “Kyle Richmond”), and the Incredible Hulk? That answer may come in the year 2017 with the release of the final movie of Marvel Phase 3… The Defenders, based upon Marvel’s other major superhero team which isn’t The Avengers, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, the Guardians of the Galaxy, the Inhumans, the Eternals, Alpha Flight, West Coast Avengers, Force Works, Midnight Sons, the Invaders, S.H.I.E.L.D., S.W.O.R.D., the Warriors Three, Heroes for Hire, X-Force, X-Statix, Excalibur, the New Mutants, The Initiative, Power Pack, the Runaways, Young Avengers, Pet Avengers, the Great Lakes Avengers, or the Champions. That’s right, The Defenders, that 1970s team of misfit superheroes that started around the trio of Doctor Strange, the Hulk, and Namor the Sub-Mariner, and grew to include… anyone that wasn’t already in a super team, because… why not. It sold comics… for a while. And then… APRIL FOOL’S! (admittedly, a few days early, but this column only gets published on Fridays, and April 1st is a Monday this year). We swear The Defenders is the only joke entry in the Weekly Ketchup.
#3 PEPE LE PEW, CHARLES BOYER AND THAT ONE GUY FROM THE ARTIST, MEET… BATROC THE LEAPER!
For all these many years since we first heard that Marvel might really someday make a Captain America movie, those who love all things cheesy about superhero comics have wished (perhaps secretly, perhaps in denial) that we could maybe someday have a movie that featured Batroc the Leaper. There are basically two types of comic book fans, and that division can come right down to what they think of Batroc; it’s basically a question of whether or not they like “fun” (and those on the anti-Batroc side of course deny that they despise fun). Batroc is French, has a ridiculous accent, speaks in puns, wears purple with a silly mask, kicks people in the head, and calls himself a “lea-PAR.” Well, anyway, that day has finally come, it appears, because current UFC Welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre has reportedly been cast in Captain America: The Winter Soldier as Batroc the Leaper. Keep in mind that we don’t know how big of a role Batroc actually plays in the film (it might be one scene or even just part of a montage or something), but it appears to be real. Georges St-Pierre isn’t technically French, but he does come from the French part of Canada (Quebec), which might make him even more “French” than actually being French would. Walt Disney Pictures has scheduled Captain America: The Winter Soldier for April 4, 2014.
#4 ANNE HATHAWAY AND CHLOE MORETZ TO PLAY PALS IN LAGGIES
Director Lynn Shelton (Humpday, Your Sister’s Sister) is still definitively “indie,” but the cast that she’s able to recruit for her films continues to work its way up the “A list” ladder. Anne Hathaway, Chloe Moretz, Sam Rockwell, and Mark Webber are now all in “deep” negotiations to star in Lynn Shelton’s next indie film, Laggies. If all goes through, Hathaway will play a late-20-something who is freaked out by her boyfriend’s (Webber) wedding proposal, and so she spends a week pretending to be a teenager hanging out with an actual 16 year old (Moretz). Laggies sounds like a movie that premieres at Sundance, and so it probably will the next time the festival occurs, which will be in January, 2014.
#5 CLINT EASTWOOD MAY ABANDON A STAR IS BORN FOR JERSEY BOYS
The continued stumbling blocks for two different musicals may combine to ensure that at least one of them actually gets produced sometime soon. And the winner is… the Jersey Boys movie, based on the hit Broadway musical, itself based upon the true story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. And likewise, the loser may be Warner Bros’ long-standing attempts at making another A Star is Born entry. The defining factor here may be whether Clint Eastwood really does sign on to direct Jersey Boys, rather than work on A Star is Born, which he’s been developing with Warner Bros for several years now (formerly with Beyonce Knowles, more recently with Esperanza Spalding). As for Jersey Boys, the last we heard, it was a project that Jon Favreau had been considering directing, but then he dropped out, which may be where Eastwood steps in (if he does).
#6 ANDY SERKIS GETS SIMIAN COMPANY FOR DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES
We’ve been hearing so much about the humans in the sequel Dawn of the Planet of the Apes that it might have been forgivable if someone guessed that Andy Serkis would remain the only “name actor” attached to play any of the apes. But, alas, nope, we finally have news of someone else playing an ape, and she’s even a lady type person. Judy Greer (Arrested Development) has been cast as Cornelia, the female chimp love interest for Caesar. This will presumably mean that Greer will soon have lots of little ping pong balls attached to her personage, if this sequel is filmed the same way the first movie was. Filming of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes starts in April, and 20th Century Fox is expecting to release the film on May 23, 2014.
#7 AFTER A ROUND OF DIRECTOR WHACK-A-MOLE, MATTHEW VAUGHN FINALLY DECIDES UPON THE SECRET SERVICE
Director Matthew Vaughn’s name has come up a few times after X-Men: First Class, most notably with either the sequel X-Men: Days of Future Past, or as one of the contenders to direct Star Wars Episode VII. We finally know now what he will be directing next. The answer keeps Matthew Vaughn at 20th Century Fox, for whom he will direct an adaptation of the Mark Millar comic book The Secret Service. As the title suggests (albeit deceptively), The Secret Service is about the world of spies and other espionage-type craft work. 20th Century Fox has scheduled The Secret Service for a release date of November 14, 2014.
Rotten Ideas of the Week
#8 HUGH GRANT TO STAR IN A COMEDY CURRENTLY TITLED UNTITLED HUGH GRANT COMEDY
This was a slow news week. How slow? Even with an April Fool’s Day joke, there was still enough space to cover a Hugh Grant comedy that reunites him with the director of Two Weeks Notice, which in most weeks probably would have not made the 10 story cut. Writer/director Marc Lawrence has also worked on movies like Miss Congeniality (and its sequel) (as screenwriter, not director), and Did You Hear About the Morgans? Lawrence’s RT Tomatometer has many more green splotches than “Fresh” tomatoes, which is why this untitled comedy is one of the week’s Rotten ideas. Marisa Tomei, J.K. Simmons, Alison Janney, and Chris Elliot will also costar in this story of an Academy Award winning English screenwriter who takes a job at a small college where, instead of picking up young students, he instead falls in love with an older single mother (Tomei). And love (and possibly other high jinks) ensues.
#9 ALL FOUR NINJA TURTLES ARE NOW CAST… EVEN IF THEY’RE NOT TEENAGE OR MUTANT
There are stories, hopefully every week, that remind this writer what a fun job he has, getting to cover the hottest movie development news. And then there’s Michael Bay’s reboot (as producer) of (not Teenage, not Mutant) Ninja Turtles, of which, yeah, this is the part where it feels more like a job. So, we now know the names of the four actors who have been cast as the four turtles. And sure, enough, they are indeed names. Alan Ritchson (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire), Pete Ploszek, Jeremy Howard, and Noel Fisher have been cast, respectively, as Raphael, Leonardo, Donatello, and Michaelangelo. Paramount Pictures has scheduled Ninja Turtles, which will also costar Megan Fox, for release on June 6, 2014.