This week’s Ketchup includes recaps of news stories in the movie development world that include new roles for Jim Carrey, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, Anne Hathaway, and Robert Redford, as well as new movies with ties to The Shining, Bonnie and Clyde, and Point Break.
This Week’s Top Story
ANNE HATHAWAY JOINS CHRISTOPHER NOLAN’S INTERSTELLAR
Christopher Nolan is definitely one of those directors that likes to work with actors on multiple films, while also, obviously, adding new actors to the mix with each new movie. Anne Hathaway first worked with Christopher Nolan on last year’s The Dark Knight Rises in the role of Catwoman, and she is now near a deal with Paramount and Warner Bros to costar in his next film called Interstellar. Anne Hathaway joins the previously announced Matthew McConaughey, who with Interstellar will be making his debut as a Nolan cast member. The details of Interstellar are not known, but it’s expected to possibly involve a voyage through outer space to a wormhole as an attempt to test theories relating to time travel. That, at least, was what we thought we knew about Interstellar back when it was one of the movies that Steven Spielberg had on his massive development slate. Paramount Pictures will be releasing Interstellar in the U.S. on November 7, 2014.
Fresh Developments This Week
#1 MORGAN FREEMAN JOINS SCI-FI PROJECT TRANSCENDENCE
A lot of other trends get more attention (remakes, fairy tale reboots, etc.), but it’s probably obvious that the science fiction genre is currently experiencing something of an uptick. Christopher Nolan is involved with at least two of the upcoming science fiction films. Nolan’s directing the previously mentioned Interstellar and executive producing for Warner Bros a project called Transcendence, which will mark the directorial debut of his frequent cinematographer, Wally Pfister (the Dark Knight trilogy, Inception, etc.). Johnny Depp will star in Transcendence as (we think) a man whose mind gets uploaded to a supercomputer. And there to probably give some sagely advice (since that’s pretty much what he does in most movies these days) will be Morgan Freeman. Freeman joins the previously announced Johnny Depp, Paul Bettany (who is probably the mind transference guy if Depp isn’t), Rebecca Hall, and Kate Mara. Warner Bros has scheduled Transcendence for a release date of April 25, 2014.
#2 ROBERT REDFORD WILL BE (THE FIRST HALF OF) THE OLD MAN AND THE GUN
Robert Redford recently made the news on all the various sites that concern themselves with superhero movies when he joined the cast of Captain America: The Winter Soldier as one of the leaders of S.H.I.E.L.D. For his next film after that, Redford will be helping out one of the filmmakers that recently emerged from his most famous pet project, the Sundance Film Festival. Redford will be starring in (and producing) The Old Man and the Gun, which will be adapted and directed by David Lowery, who made his debut with Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, which is expected to be in limited release starting this August. The Old Man and the Gun will be based on a true story as depicted in a 2003 article by David Grann in The New Yorker. The focus of the story is a bank robber named Forrest Tucker who spent most of his life either in jail, escaping from jail, or on the run from jail, with a total of 18 escapes on his record (from various prisons that included Alcatraz and San Quentin). Considering the title, it’s likely that the film will focus on Tucker’s last heist (and resulting high speed pursuit), which came in 2000 when Tucker was in his late 70s and living with his third wife in a Florida retirement community.
#3 LIAM NEESON AND WOODY HARRELSON MAY PURSUE BONNIE AND CLYDE IN HIGHWAYMEN
Universal Pictures and Media Rights Capital (Elysium, Riddick) are teaming up for a true crime story film called Highwaymen about the Texas Rangers that hunted down and executed the bank robbing team of Bonnie (Parker) and Clyde (Barrow) in 1934. Highwaymen will be directed by John Lee Hancock, whose next film to be released will be the making-of-Mary Poppins film Saving Mr. Banks, and whose past films include The Rookie and The Blind Side. Liam Neeson and Woody Harrelson are being courted (but aren’t yet signed) to star in Highwaymen, but it’s unclear which actor would be playing the central character of Frank Hamer who actually organized the posse in question. The Highwaymen script was adapted by screenwriter John Fusco (The Forbidden Kingdom, Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron).
#4 WALTER WHITE AND THE NEW HANNIBAL LECTER JOIN THE VOICE CAST OF KUNG FU PANDA 3
Normally, if one saw that a new movie was going to feature the talents of Bryan Cranston (TV’s Breaking Bad) and Mads Mikkelsen (TV’s Hannibal), you might think that the movie in question was going to be an intense drama that probably ends with a lot of blood, gore, and anguish. Or, we could be talking about Kung Fu Panda 3, to which Rebel Wilson (Bridesmaids) will be also contributing her voice talent. These three join the several other voice actors from the two previous films that are likely to be returning, such as Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, and Seth Rogen. DreamWorks Animation has also bumped up the release date of Kung Fu Panda 3 from March, 2016 to December 23, 2015.
Rotten Ideas of the Week
#5 ROBERT DE NIRO SIGNS FOR HIS SECOND UPCOMING BOXING MOVIE WITH HANDS OF STONE
Robert De Niro (Raging Bull) recently teamed with Sylvester Stallone (Rocky) in an upcoming boxing movie called Grudge Match which seemed to be produced entirely around the gimmick that its two aging stars were both in famous boxing movies decades ago. Robert De Niro is not, however, entirely done with boxing movies just yet, as he has signed on to costar with Edgar Ramirez in the Roberto Duran boxing biopic Hands of Stone. De Niro and Ramirez are coming to this movie after two other actors that had previously been announced as being in talks for those roles (Al Pacino and Gael Garcia Bernal). Filming will start in Panama in September, 2013 under the direction of Jonathan Jakubowicz (Secuestro Express). This is a borderline Rotten Idea this week based on the “Rotten” score for Jakobowicz’s only previous film. Hopefully, audiences won’t be exclaiming “No mas!” when this movie comes out, probably in 2014.
#4 DJ DIPLO TO STAR IN AN EDM MOVIE
Oh, musical trends. The movies you inspire generally don’t end up being very good (on average, anyway). The latest such musical style to start getting attention from Hollywood is “electronic dance music,” which sounds pretty much like exactly what it is. Warner Bros last year started development on an EDM movie with director McG, and this week, 20th Century Fox also got into the mix, with the DJ who calls himself Diplo as executive producer. The untitled project about three teens trying to get Diplo’s Electronic Music Festival is being compared to “8 Mile meets Project X,” but the premise sounds closer to Detroit Rock City, if KISS produced electronic farts while standing around in the dark staring at record players.
#3 JIM CARREY REPLACES JAMES FRANCO AND JOAQUIN PHOENIX AS RICKY STANICKY
Jim Carrey has signed with Summit Entertainment to star in the comedy Ricky Stanicky, taking a role that, in the last three years, was almost played first by James Franco and then Joaquin Phoenix. The premise of Ricky Stanicky involves an out of work actor who is hired by a group of friends to play the imaginary character that they invented when they were teenagers as an alibi whenever they were in trouble (as in, “I didn’t do it, Ricky Stanicky did it”). Ricky Stanicky will be directed and rewritten by Steve Oedekerk, who has worked with Jim Carrey in the past on Bruce Almighty and Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls. This is one of the week’s Rotten Ideas because of the large number of “Rotten” scores on Steve Oedekerk’s RT Tomatometer page.
#2 NOW WE KNOW WHY KEANU’S SO SAD: THE POINT BREAK REMAKE IS STILL HAPPENING
Never say this column isn’t all about the super timely meme references. Anyway, it’s been a while since the world heard anything about the plans to remake the 1991 Keanu Reeves/Patrick Swayze crime thriller Point Break, so most people probably figured that it would thankfully never happen. Except that this week we found out that the Point Break remake will be directed by Ericson Core (2006’s football drama Invincible), and thus, might actually happen, possibly soon (by the end of 2013 is the plan). That the remake is happening 22 years later is particularly interesting considering this quote from the original, spoken by Gary Busey’s character, which you can interpret however you like: “Twenty two years, man. L.A. has changed a lot during that time. The air got dirty and the sex got clean.”
#1 WARNER BROS MOVES AHEAD WITH PLANS TO MOVE BACK TO THE OVERLOOK HOTEL
Sure, Stephen King wasn’t thrilled with Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, but a whole lot of people disagree with him (this writer personally considers The Shining to be the best horror film ever made). Thankfully, Warner Bros is not outright “remaking” or “rebooting” The Shining, but what they do have planned might seem just as unnecessary, considering how much time Kubrick’s film already spent exploring the back story. That’s right, Warner Bros has started development of a prequel to The Shining called The Overlook Hotel, which presumably will go back to cover one of the caretakers before Jack Torrance arrived in the late 1970s. The writer that Warner Bros has hired to work on The Overlook Hotel is famous for taking over another horror project that was established by someone else first: Glen Mazzara was, until recently, the showrunner of the AMC series The Walking Dead, which he took over after the departure of Frank Darabont. Meanwhile, Stephen King himself is revisiting The Shining (sort of) with the sequel novel Doctor Sleep, but The Overlook Hotel doesn’t really figure into that story’s premise (as far as we know).
For more Weekly Ketchup columns by Greg Dean Schmitz, check out the WK archive, and you can contact GDS via Facebook.