This week’s Ketchup includes movie development news for a few sequels (for the Star Wars franchise, The Croods, and Pitch Perfect, a remake of Weird Science, and new movies for Jack Black, Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz, Will Ferrell, and Will Smith.
This Week’s Top Story
DISNEY CONFIRMS PLANS FOR A STAR WARS MOVIE EVERY SUMMER STARTING IN 2015
This story is partly information that fans either already knew, or could partly figure out based on speculation, but it’s still freakin’ Star Wars news, and is therefore the top story of the week. This was the week of the annual CinemaCon convention in Las Vegas for movie theater companies, where the studios show off their upcoming movies. At CinemaCon, Disney made the big announcement that not only is Star Wars: Episode VII still on track for a summer 2015 release, but that there will be a new Star Wars movie every summer after that as well. The trilogy movies will be released on odd years (2015, 2017 and 2019), and the character-focused “standalone” films will be released in the intervening even year summers (2016, 2018, and 2020). We don’t yet know for sure which characters will be getting their own movies, and when, but the current rumors suggest the first three might focus on Boba Fett, the young Han Solo, and Yoda.
Fresh Developments This Week
#1 TOM “LOKI” HIDDLESTON TO PLAY FAMOUS WAR PHOTOGRAPHER ROBERT CAPA
The original source for this story gets credit for its stunning use of the strikethrough key, as much of the story had to be excised to remove all references to Gemma Arterton. So, here’s what we’re left with. Tom Hiddleston, who most moviegoers know primarily as Loki in the Thor and Avengers movies (he was also in War Horse), has signed on to play famed war photographer Robert Capa in one of the two planned biopics based on his life. The movie that Hiddleston has signed on for is called just Capa, and it’s from screenwriter Menno Meyjes, whose previous credits include The Siege, The Color Purple, and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. The other project is called Waiting for Robert Capa, and it’s being developed by director Michael Mann (Miami Vice, Heat, The Insider).
#2 WILL JACK BLACK KICK WILL FERRELL’S DOG OFF A BRIDGE AGAIN IN TAG BROTHERS?
Jack Black and Will Ferrell previously worked together in one of the more memorable scenes in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. Now, they are attached to star together in a comedy in which they will spend much more screen time together, although possibly mostly chasing each other around comedic situations. The comedy in question is called Tag Brothers, and it’s a New Line Cinema project based on a true story as presented in a recent Wall Street Journal article. The original story involves a group of friends from Spokane, Washington who are now in their 40s and are still engaged in a very, very long running (23 years!) game of “Tag.”
#3 ARE YOU READY TO WATCH CAMERON DIAZ AND HER SEX TAPE?
The last we heard about the comedy Sex Tape (from director Jake Kasdan of Bad Teacher and Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story), Reese Witherspoon was expected to be the star (playing against type). A year or so later, it is now Cameron Diaz who is in talks to reteam with Jake Kasdan for Sex Tape, along with the already cast Jason Segel. The premise is pretty much what it sounds like: a married couple makes a sex tape, and then discovers that it’s missing, and so they have to figure out how to get it back.
#4 DREAMWORKS OFFICIALLY GREENLIGHTS MORE CAVEMAN HIGHJINX IN THE CROODS 2
The year is only 3 and a half months old, but with over $385 million worldwide, The Croods is currently the #2 movie of 2013 (a distinction that won’t last much longer, obviously, but still). That’s good enough for DreamWorks Animation to officially announce plans to develop a sequel to The Croods, involving the same basic creative team. There’s no release date yet, but one might imagine that the sequel will take the place on DreamWorks’ animation schedule that they previously thought was going to go to a sequel to the failed franchise starter Rise of the Guardians.
#5 ANNA KENDRICK AND REBEL WILSON TO SING AGAIN IN A SEQUEL TO PITCH PERFECT
It’s not on the same level as the previous story, but the math behind the 2012 musical Pitch Perfect ($112 million worldwide on a budget of $17 million) was apparently enough for a sequel as well. The announcement was made at CinemaCon in Las Vegas, although all that we really known right now is that the Pitch Perfect sequel is planned for 2015, and that screenwriter Kay Cannon is back on board to work on the sequel.
#6 WILL SMITH KEEPS HIS SIGNING PEN BUSY WITH THREE POTENTIAL NEW PROJECTS THIS WEEK
The science fiction movie After Earth may have been moved up a week recently (to May 31), but it’s still over a month away. It’s pretty common for movie stars to make deals right before a movie comes out, but Will Smith instead made the news with three different (potential) deals this week. The story that most people heard about was for the conman project at Warner Bros called Focus, which Ben Affleck recently dropped out of. Affleck may have been the reason for its initial buzz, or it might have been that this movie used to have Kristen Stewart attached as the older lead’s romantic interest. The other two movies that Will Smith is considering are called American Can (at Sony) and The Accountant (at Warner Bros). American Can is a true story set during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, concerning a Gulf War veteran who went around with a small boat, saving over 200 people by taking them to the American Can Building for shelter. The Accountant is a thriller about a government CPA who leads a double life as an assassin.
#7 TOM CRUISE TO CONTINUE HIS SCIENCE FICTION SPREE WITH YUKIKAZE (TITLE LIKELY TO CHANGE)
Fans of science fiction should probably thank Tom Cruise for apparently being quite fond of the genre, because otherwise, well, there might be a lot fewer movies actually greenlit. Tom Cruise science fiction movies tend to get made more often than not (Guillermo Del Toro’s At the Mountains of Madness, for example, was actually horror, not sci fi). In addition to Minority Report, Vanilla Sky, War of the Worlds, and this weekend’s Oblivion, next year will also bring us the alien war movie All You Need is Kill, based on a Japanese novel. That source material leads us directly to this week’s story, which is that Tom Cruise is attached to star in an adaptation of the Japanese sci-fi novel series Yukikaze from author Chohei Kambayashi, which Warner Bros is developing. The premise of Yukikaze involves Earth’s military forces responding to an invading alien force that arrives through a dimensional wormhole that opens up over Antarctica. Yukikaze has also previously been adapted as an anime TV mini-series.
#8 THE WALKING DEAD‘S MICHAEL ROOKER JOINS GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY
Michael Rooker, who is probably most famous for playing the brother of a crossbow-wielding hillbilly in The Walking Dead, has signed on to play a longbow-wielding blue-skinned alien in Guardians of the Galaxy. The character is Yondu (who also sports a wild red fin on his head), who is from the planet Centauri IV, and was one of the original members of the team. That distinction is important, because this is the first we’ve heard that any members of the original team would appear in the film. Most of the other cast members that we’ve heard about were members of the team that was introduced in 2008 in the aftermath of the Annihilation: Conquest crossover event. So, the question now is, will Yondu just be integrated into the team like everyone else, or will he represent the “original” Guardians of the Galaxy more directly? In other Marvel movie news, this was also the week the world first saw those images of Jamie Foxx as Electro in The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
Rotten Idea of the Week
#1 THIS WEEK’S ROTTEN REMAKE: WEIRD SCIENCE
Another week, another remake. This time, it’s the 1985 John Hughes sci-fi comedy Weird Science, retooled for the 21st century as a (probably) R-rated sex comedy. Universal Pictures has hired screenwriter Michael Bacall to work on the remake, and they’re selling up his work on movies like 21 Jump Street and Project X in the publicity (and he also cowrote Scott Pilgrim vs the World with Edgar Wright). Which might be great and all, but we’re still talking about a remake of Weird Science. Admittedly, that wasn’t a perfect movie, but does it really need to be remade either? Does the world need a 2015-ish take on the story of two teenagers who use their home computer (or something) to create an artificial woman? It was a silly premise then, and it seems almost archaic now.
For more Weekly Ketchup columns by Greg Dean Schmitz, check out the WK archive, and you can contact GDS via Facebook.