In the same week when much of the online news buzz was about March Madness and missing Malaysians, movies mustered much attention as well. Included in this week’s Ketchup are news stories about upcoming sequels like Cars 3, The Fantastic Four 2, Ghostbusters 3, The Incredibles 2, Jurassic World, and The Wolverine 2.
This Week’s Top Story
PIXAR CONFIRMS PLANS FOR THE INCREDIBLES 2 AND CARS 3
This November marks the 10th anniversary of the release of the Pixar animated adventure The Incredibles (which was followed by Cars in 2006). This week, Disney CEO Robert Iger announced plans for new sequels to both. The news of The Incredibles 2 doesn’t immediately come with confirmation that writer/director Brad Bird will returning for the sequel (though previous reports have suggested he’s worked on a sequel script). Bird is currently working on his live action science fiction adventure Tomorrowland (with George Clooney), which Walt Disney Pictures has scheduled for release on May 22, 2015. As for Cars 3, it will actually be the fifth movie in a franchise that includes the spinoffs Planes and the upcoming Planes: Fire & Rescue (7/18/14).
Fresh Developments This Week
#1 WINTER IS COMING, SURE… BUT WHAT ABOUT A GAME OF THRONES MOVIE?
Every day, every week, and every month that goes by without George R.R. Martin finishing books 6 and 7 of the planned seven book series A Song of Fire and Ice means that the HBO series Game of Thrones is getting closer and closer to catching up with him. Well, you know what moves a lot slower than premium series production? Big screen movies, and that might end up being part of George R.R. Martin’s master plan, the author revealed this week. Specifically, Martin was quoted as saying, “Do we run for seven years? Do we run for eight? Do we run for 10? The books get bigger and bigger (in scope). It might need a feature to tie things up, something with a feature budget, like $100 million for two hours. Those dragons get real big, you know.” Martin also teased that his Westeros prequel novellas Tales of Dunk and Egg could also someday become movies. Of course, this is also a good point to note that nothing in the original story with Martin’s quotes actually says that anyone plans on making these hypothetical $100 million movies. In other related news, the Game of Thrones show runners re-upped with HBO this week for another two seasons.
#2 CHRISTIAN BALE REVEALED AS DAVID FINCHER’S MUST-HAVE STEVE JOBS
It should be obvious, but many times when an actor or director is described as being “in negotiations,” those talks involve something other than money or scheduling; sometimes it’s people that they’d like to work with on the project. This week, we first heard of a new report that the crucial element in David Fincher’s decision to direct Sony Pictures’ Steve Jobs biopic is the actor to play Jobs. That actor is Christian Bale, who has not previously worked with David Fincher, but is apparently one of Fincher’s dream leads, especially to play Steve Jobs in the movie scripted by Aaron Sorkin. Aaron Sorkin and David Fincher previously worked together on the Facebook movie The Social Network, while Christian Bale recently wrapped filming of Ridley Scott’s Exodus, in which he plays Moses.
#3 EVERYTHING IS AWESOME WHEN YOU’RE PART OF THE GHOSTBUSTERS TEAM
In the same week in which we learned that Ivan Reitman has dropped out of directing Ghostbusters 3 following the death of his friend Harold Ramis, we’ve already heard who Sony Pictures hopes will replace him as director. Or, we should say, as directorS, because the negotiations in question have begun with the team of Phil Lord and Chris Miller. Lord and Miller are on quite a roll, as their relatively short filmography includes such hit films as Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, 21 Jump Street, and The LEGO Movie, all of which have each grossed at least $200 million in worldwide box office. Filming of Ghostbusters 3 is expected to start in New York City in early 2015, and the premise involves a new generation of Ghostbusters aided by cameo or supporting roles for actors and characters from the first two movies. In other Sony “big movie” news this week, director Marc Webb has confirmed that he won’t be returning to direct The Amazing Spider-Man 4, which Sony has scheduled for May 4, 2018.
#4 SOFIA COPPOLA IN TALKS TO DIRECT LIVE ACTION THE LITTLE MERMAID
In our modern social networking era, there are certain movie news stories that sort of burst online, inspiring lots of jokes and such that reveal most people don’t actually know what they’re talking about. Of course, that’s what columns like this are for. So, the Internet heard this week that Sofia Coppola (Lost in Translation) is in talks to direct a live action version of The Little Mermaid, and the posts started flying fast about who might play Sebastian or Ursula or Scuttle. The thing is, that the answer is probably “no one,” because this is not a live action remake of Disney’s animated film, but a direct adaptation of the original story by Hans Christian Anderson. In addition to being live action, it also won’t be a musical. This movie is being produced by Working Title for Universal Pictures, and formerly had Joe Wright (Atonement) in talks to direct. Caroline Thompson (Edward Scissorhands) is currently rewriting the script for Sofia Coppola.
#5 WE NOW KNOW THE IDENTITY OF THE ONLY ORIGINAL CAST MEMBER RETURNING FOR JURASSIC WORLD
Every time a new cast member is announced for Jurassic World, commenters invariably talk about various cast members from the earlier films that they hope will be returning for movie #4. The one cast member who actually is returning is someone who you almost never see mentioned in such fancasting. B.D. Wong (who is also recognizable from OZ and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit) will be returning to play genetic scientist Dr. Henry Wu, who was actually the genius who figured out how to bring dinosaurs back to life, but ended up spending “two decades living in Hammond’s shadow.” Wong joins a growing cast for Jurassic World that includes Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Idris Elba, Vincent D’Onofrio, Jake Johnson, Irrfan Khan, Ty Simpkins, Nick Robinson, and the recently announced Omar Sy (AKA “Bishop” from X-Men: Days of Future Past). Universal Pictures has scheduled Jurassic World for June 12, 2015.
#6 HEY GIRL, RYAN GOSLING LOVED YOUR GREAT GRANDMA WHEN SHE DANCED FOR BUSBY BERKELEY
They just don’t make movie musicals like they used to, but even fifty years ago that was true, because by the mid-1950s, the era of Busby Berkeley choreography was pretty much done. If you’re not familiar with the films that Busby Berkeley was involved with, well, that’s what Wikipedia and YouTube are for (here’s a good place to start). Someone who apparently shares a love of Busby Berkeley is Ryan Gosling, who is producing, and may direct and star in, a Busby Berkeley film newly put into development this week at Warner Bros. The studio has acquired the Jeffrey Spivak book Buzz: The Life and Art of Busby Berkeley. Warner Bros is currently looking for a screenwriter to start work on adapting the book.
#7 20TH CENTURY’S MARVEL PLANS FOR 2017 AND 2018: THE WOLVERINE 2, FANTASTIC FOUR 2, AND…
20th Century Fox announced several release dates this week, which usually wouldn’t make enough of a wave to make the cut for the Weekly Ketchup. However, three of these movies are part of Fox’s adaptations of Marvel properties. First up, there will be The Wolverine 2 (3/3/17), which we also learned this week is scheduled to start filming after Bryan Singer wraps filming of X-Men: Apocalypse. We still don’t know if Hugh Jackman will be playing Wolverine still at that point, but we can possibly read between the lines that The Wolverine 2 might have to wait until after X-Men: Apocalypse because some of the same actors will be in both movies. That leads us directly to this story about Bryan Singer possibly wanting to include Gambit and a younger version of Nightcrawler in X-Men: Apocalypse, which we know will be set in the 1980s just like X-Men: First Class was set mostly in the 1960s, and much of X-Men: Days of Future Past is set in the 1970s. That raises the question about the X-Men of the 1990s, which we will get to, very shortly, in this piece. Although their reboot of The Fantastic Four doesn’t come out until June 19, 2015, Fox has already announced The Fantastic Four 2 for July 14, 2017. Finally, there is a “Mystery Marvel” title for Fox on July 18, 2018. And that brings us to the question of the 1990s. There are three movies this could be, and all of them could potentially be set in the 1990s: Deadpool, X-Force, or… a total reboot of X-Men. When Bryan Singer’s first movie came out in 2000, it made drastic changes to continuity. Might 2018 be the year Fox’s mutants start over from scratch completely? Or if not that, perhaps that movie will be set in the 1990s as a direct prequel to X-Men.
Rotten Ideas of the Week
#2 ARE YOU READY FOR A REBOOT OF THE REMAKE OF THE GRUDGE?
This October marks the tenth anniversary of the release of the horror film The Grudge, which was a remake of the Japanese horror film Ju-On: The Grudge (directed by the same director). That remake also was the first production for Sam Raimi’s then-new horror production company Ghost House Pictures, which this week announced plans to reboot The Grudge as a new franchise. There’s a whole new generation that hasn’t seen a spooky little girl lurking in the background, all out of focus and spooky-like. Jeff Buhler, who wrote the 2008 horror film The Midngiht Meat Train, is currently working on the reboot script. This is one of the week’s Rotten Ideas because… really? Reboots of 2004 movies? But besides that, look at all the green splotches on this RT Tomatometer search results page.
#1 THE 1980S CARTOON NOSTALGIA BOOM FINALLY GETS AROUND TO… JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS
There’s only so many hours in the day, and in the mid 1980s, this writer just didn’t have enough of those to spend much time watching (or even being aware of) a cartoon series like Jem and the Holograms, so you’re not going to be seeing any nostalgia here. Not everyone, however, apparently agrees, because at least three people got together to announce that they’re working on a live action Jem and the Holograms movie. Those three would be director Jon M. Chu (Justin Bieber’s Believe, G.I. Joe: Retaliation) and his producing partners Scooter Braun (a record producer) and Jason Blum (of Blumhouse, the horror production company behind the Paranormal Activity franchise). The new movie about a pop singer aided by a “holographic computer” is looking for help from fans, and you can watch their video pitch at the newly launched website. Besides other, possibly more obvious reasons, this is one of the week’s Rotten Ideas, because Justin Bieber: Never Say Never is the only Fresh movie on Jon M. Chu’s resume.
For more Weekly Ketchup columns by Greg Dean Schmitz, check out the WK archive, and you can contact GDS via Facebook.