The last true entry of the Weekly Ketchup for 2013 covers a fairly slow news week (a fact we remind you of frequently down below). What did still make the news included a lot of comic book movies, like Ant-Man, Sandman, X-Men: Apocalypse, and the Man of Steel sequel. There’s also new potential roles for Brad Pitt and Hugh Jackman, and we might actually be getting… Gilligan’s Island: The Movie?
This Week’s Top Story
PAUL RUDD TO GET REALLY SMALL ON THE BIG SCREEN AS MARVEL’S ANT-MAN
First mentioned as being in contention for the role earlier this year (along with Joseph Gordon-Levitt), Paul Rudd was confirmed this week as starring in Marvel’s second 2015 superhero movie Ant-Man. Although there is some debate about which Ant-Man Paul Rudd will be playing, this report claims to have it confirmed that Rudd will be playing Doctor Hank Pym, the original Ant-Man, the one with the most controversial history as a character. (Spoiler alert: Sayid is wearing a visual clue to what we’re talking about in this picture). Regardless of which Ant-Man Rudd will be playing, it’s a pretty strong likelihood that he will be joining the Avengers in the movies at some point, like maybe the third movie in 2018. The next casting question for Ant-Man will be which actress will be cast as Janet Van Dyne, AKA Wasp, who is the other remaining founding member of the team who has not yet been represented in Marvel’s franchise. Ant-Man will be directed by Edgar Wright (Hot Fuzz, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World), and released by Marvel Studios on July 31, 2015.
Fresh Developments This Week
#1 JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT TO STAR IN AND DIRECT GOTH FAVORITE SANDMAN
The huge clue we got earlier in the week that Paul Rudd was going to be announced as Ant-Man actually came earlier, when the other actor who had been mentioned was confirmed for a movie over at Marvel’s Distinguished Competition. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is finalizing a deal with Warner Bros to both star in, and direct, the long-in-development adaptation of the Vertigo Comics/DC Comics character Sandman. The character of Morpheus of the Endless was created by British comic book writer Neil Gaiman, revitalizing a character name for DC Comics that had been one of their original Golden Age crimefighters back in the 1940s (Gaiman’s version was very, very different). Joseph Gordon-Levitt made his feature film directing debut in Don Jon earlier this year, which he also starred in. This deal keeps Gordon-Levitt’s comic book adaptation career at Warner Bros, for whom he worked recently in The Dark Knight Rises (directed by Christopher Nolan, for whom JGL also starred in Inception, another Warner Bros film). The next step will be to hire a new screenwriter. Previous writers to attempt an adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman have included Roger Avary (cowriter of Pulp Fiction), Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio (of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise), and Neil Gaiman himself.
#2 BRAD PITT AND TOM CRUISE MAY COSTAR AGAIN IN THE FORD/FERRARI MOVIE GO LIKE HELL
First off, it’s worth noting that nothing is official yet, but it’s also a slow news week, and if this happens, it will be a fairly big deal. Brad Pitt is now being “courted” to costar with Tom Cruise for the first time since Interview with the Vampire in 1994 (possibly in time to make the next film a 20th anniversary celebration). The movie in question is the 20th Century Fox adaptation of the non-fiction book Go Like Hell: Ford, Ferrari, and Their Battle for Speed and Glory at Le Mans, by A.J. Baime. Tom Cruise is already attached to play car designer Carroll Shelby, and if he signs, Brad Pitt might be playing the other major role, Italian sports car designer Enzo Ferrari. One reason that Pitt might be likely to sign on is that he actually was attached to star in the movie four years ago, before Cruise ever got involved. Go Like Hell will be directed by Joseph Kosinski (TRON: Legacy), who previously worked with Tom Cruise on this year’s Oblivion.
#3 JOAQUIN PHOENIX IN TALKS TO PLAY A (POSSIBLY FOLLICULARLY CHALLENGED) VILLAIN IN THE MAN OF STEEL SEQUEL
The same foreword should be applied to this story (not official yet, slow news week, etc) as with the last. Anyway, “sources” claim that Warner Bros is considering casting Joaquin Phoenix as the main villain in the Man of Steel sequel, who is probably Lex Luthor. Phoenix is currently appearing in the movie Her, which is looking like a very strong Oscar contender for Warner Bros. If he does take the role, and if the role is indeed Lex Luthor, it’s not known if Phoenix would be shaving off all his hair for the role. Joaquin Phoenix is, after all, better known in recent years for not only having hair, but a lot of it. Warner Bros also hired screenwriter Chris Terrio (Argo) to work on a rewrite for this sequel, which will also famously feature that film’s star and director Ben Affleck (as Batman, you may have heard).
#4 BRYAN SINGER REUNITES WITH THE WRITERS OF X2 FOR X-MEN: APOCALYPSE
Screenwriter news doesn’t always equal huge news, but you know, slow news week, yada yada yada. There’s also the little detail that few screenwriter-related stories inspire the sort of comic book movie fan nostalgia like this one might. Director Bryan Singer posted on Twitter this week that he recently had a “late night X-Men Apocalypse story session with a photograph that included not only X-Men: Days of Future Past writer Simon Kinberg, but also screenwriters Mike Dougherty and Dan Harris. And the reason that could elicit excitement is that they last worked on an X-Men movie for X2, which is still a favorite among fans (arguably equaled only by X-Men: First Class). Anyway, Bryan Singer also posted “It’s snowing in Egypt!”, which was almost certainly a reference to a story idea involving Apocalypse, the evil mutant who himself started as one of the first mutants, back in ancient Egypt (he is very, very old)… and nothing to do with the fact that it actually snowed in Egypt. 20th Century Fox has scheduled X-Men: Apocalypse for May 27, 2016. X-Men: Days of Future Past opens on May 24, 2014.
#5 HUGH JACKMAN IN TALKS TO PLAY PIRATE VILLAIN BLACKBEARD IN THE (PETER) PAN ORIGIN STORY
Speaking of X-Men, Hugh Jackman is now in talks to play someone without an adamantium skeleton or claws. The movie is the Peter Pan origin story Pan, the studio is Warner Bros, and the role is the “villainous pirate Blackbeard.” Obviously, we all know that Peter Pan’s pirate villain is more famously Captain Hook, but this movie might predate Hook, or maybe Blackbeard becomes Hook, who knows. Anyway, Pan will be directed by Joe Wright (Hanna, Atonement), and Warner Bros has scheduled the film for June 26, 2015, the same release date as the Seth McFarlane sequel Ted 2.
#6 DISNEY’S ANIMATED MOVIE FOR 2018 REVEALED TO BE ANCIENT HAWAIIAN ADVENTURE MOANA
As a look at the film release calendar for any point a few years out can give you a hint, animated movies take a long time. That is why this story involves a movie scheduled for 2018. The movie is called Moana, and it is one of the films that Walt Disney Animation Studios is currently developing. As you might guess from the title, the film will be an adventure set 2,000 years ago and will involve the Pacific Ocean and polynesian myths and culture (the lead character’s name is “Moana Waialiki”). Other movies that Disney has in development for the few years include Marvel’s Japanese superhero adaptation Big Hero 6 (11/7/14) and the comedy Zootopia (3/4/16). One other promising rumor about Moana is that it may be animated in the style used on the short film Paperman.
Rotten Idea of the Week
#3 DIVERGENT DIRECTOR NOT RETURNING FOR THE SEQUELS INSURGENT AND ALLEGIANT
One of the few remaining entries in the recent wave of Young Adult novel franchise adaptations that still has a strong chance of replicating the success of Twilight and The Hunger Games starts with the March 21, 2014 release of Divergent. That movie was directed by Neil Burger (The Illusionist, Limitless), and this week we found out that Neil Burger will not be returning for the two planned sequel adaptations. Lionsgate has already scheduled release dates for both films: Insurgent (3/20/15) and Allegiant (3/18/16), and you can see a sort of obvious trend with all three release dates. Shailene Woodley is expected to star in all three films based on the books by author Veronica Roth.
#2 THE WEINSTEINS REUNITE WITH MIRAMAX, FINALLY, WITH LOTS OF SEQUEL PLANS (SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE 2, ANYONE?)
When Harvey and Bob Weinstein ran Miramax Films, it seemed almost impossible that the two mogul brothers could ever be separated from their creation. And then, in 2005, it actually happened, and Miramax continued for a few years as a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, and then in 2009, even that started to dwindle down to a mere shadow of Miramax’s former self. Bob and Harvey, meanwhile, pretty much continued doing what they had always done with The Weinstein Company. This week, we learned that a deal has been reached that will bring the Weinsteins and Miramax back together… sort of. Mostly, what the Weinsteins are getting (from “Qatar Holding”) are the rights to make sequels to movies like Rounders and Shakespeare in Love, and TV shows based on properties like Flirting with Disaster and Good Will Hunting. Good things might come out of this; who knows? This is still, however, a Rotten Idea, because we already knows what happens when you make Good Will Hunting 2.
#1 JOSH GAD TO WRITE AND STAR IN THE LONG-IN-DEVELOPMENT GILLIGAN’S ISLAND MOVIE
This has been a difficult year for Warner Bros, which lost this year their very productive deal with Legendary Pictures, when that company moved shop over to Universal Pictures. That is why you see a lot of new movie development deals for Warner Bros this fall, because the studio has to keep making movies somehow, right? They’re not all going to be winners, however. One such project that really seems to this writer like scraping the bottom of the barrel is the notion of reviving a TV series adaptation that seemed stale back in the 1990s. Book of Mormon star Josh Gad has signed a deal with Warner Bros to write and star in the long-in-development Gilligan’s Island movie. The curious thing about the story is that we don’t actually know what role Josh Gad would be playing. There’s four male roles, and he could potentially be playing any of them. Well, the least likely is probably Thurston Howell III, but Gad could certainly play The Professor (the whole “nerdy scientist” thing), The Skipper (hint: they’re both “pleasantly plump”), and obviously, the movie is called Gilligan’s Island. Anyway, so yeah, Gilligan’s Island: The Movie. Like we said above, tough year at Warner Bros.
For more Weekly Ketchup columns by Greg Dean Schmitz, check out the WK archive, and you can contact GDS via Facebook.