Weekly Ketchup

Weekly Ketchup: Kung Fu Panda 2, Wheel of Time and more

Plus: Billy Bob may take on Freddy

by | August 15, 2008 | Comments


DreamWorks has found success in the computer animated critter business, and they’re going to stick with what works. That is the gist I get from the news that Kung Fu Panda 2 and Madagascar 3 are in development. Meanwhile, one of their former CGI animal projects, which they dumped circa 2005, Tusker, about elephants trekking across India, which would have originally been voiced by Morgan Freeman and Jodie Foster, is now being picked by Imago, the CGI company behind TMNT and the upcoming Astro Boy movie. I joke about furry critters, but apparently the real marker for DreamWorks is around the $500 million worldwide mark. The movies above that number are getting sequels, and those below, even if they were still quite successful (Bee Movie, Over the Hedge, etc), will apparently be stand-alone features.


Perhaps I’m too lazy, but I’ve never cracked open one of those massive Wheel of Time books by recently late author Robert Jordan. The twelve-book fantasy series, which by my math will account for somewhere over eight thousand pages of fantasy adventures when the last book comes out next year, definitely has its fan base. And if I had invested enough time in my life to read 7,500 pages of something, I’d probably have gotten to the point where I had to have been pretty darn passionate to get through it all. Anyway, Universal Pictures has bought the rights to the whole series, which they will adapt, starting with the first novel in the series, The Eye of the World. I’m not going to pretend to know a wit about The Wheel of Time, but you can read about it on Wikipedia as well as I can.


Robert Englund was on the Loveline radio show this week, and revealed that the star that’s being eyed to replace him as Freddy Krueger in the new Nightmare on Elm Street series relaunch is… Billy Bob “Sling Blade” Thornton, which, if true, is actually sort of brilliant. Which is not me condoning the idea of that series being rebooted, but if you’re going to do it, Thornton is a top notch actor, and would probably bring something rather inspired to the role. So, this is sort of like that Robocop remake… an awful idea until we find out who’s involved, and then I get strangely hopeful. But you know what they say about polishing a turd. Another boogeyman who is apparently being eyed at for remake treatment is Candyman, over at Sony, and Brett Ratner is reportedly planning on applying his golden touch (as a producer) to a remake of Mother’s Day, yet another of those early 1980s horror movies that tried to copy the success of Halloween. I’m still waiting for Thanksgiving.


I’m not expert on the religion, but I’m guessing your E-meter levels aren’t too high in the week when your latest role is completely uncredited, and the movie you were considering doing next gets rewritten so much that they change the gender of your character. Considering Hairspray, I guess I could be talking about John Travolta, but nope, it’s Tom Cruise. Since he’s not the star he once was, for younger readers, he played the dad in War of the Worlds. Anyway, Angelina Jolie has replaced Cruise as the lead role in Edwin A. Salt, a spy thriller which will now be rewritten (and obviously, retitled) to match her. Meanwhile, Cruise is looking for other projects, including a comedy called Food Fight about a hoity-toity chef who has to work in a school cafeteria, and The Tourist, a remake of a French spy thriller. Here’s hoping for Cruise that’s he’s not eventually replaced in those movies, by say, Reese Witherspoon and Charlize Theron. All is not totally down in Cruise’s world, however, as Valkyrie, in which he plays an eye patch wearing Nazi, has had its release date moved (again), this time to December 26th, which makes it technically eligible for this year’s awards season.


Could this be a Weekly Ketchup during the summer of 2008 without at least one bit of Quentin Tarantino news? The casting onslaught let up a bit, but there was a bit of big news, in that Mike Myers has signed on for a small role as a brilliant British general. Comparing Myers’ post-Love Guru career status to Tom Cruise’s apparent problems in finding recent success, I can’t help but notice the possible similarity between this small role to Cruise’s in Tropic Thunder. Except one difference is that Cruise’s role was done on the hush hush tip. In other Bastards casting news, Numb3rs star David Krumholtz (whose availability had been in question anyway) is definitely out, but Freaks and Geeks costar Samm Levine is in.


Producer J.J. Abrams’ filmography includes the jet crash of Lost and the giant monster attack of Cloverfield, and he’s now setting his sights on a big earthquake movie for Universal Pictures, the studio behind the 1970s movie, Earthquake, except that this will not be a remake of that movie. Hopefully, this will not be a shakey-cam movie like Cloverfield. No details have been revealed about the project yet, but given that it’s coming just a few weeks after Los Angeles had some tremors, I have to wonder if that might not be the city to get Abrams’ disaster treatment next.


Director Chris Columbus is probably best known for extremely successful movies starring pre-teens (specifically, the first two Harry Potter and Home Alone movies), but lately, he’s been focusing on “smaller” movies, with his latest project as a director being The Last Campaign, adapted from a book about the hope-filled 1968 presidential campaign of Robert F. Kennedy. The campaign’s last day was already adapted a few years back as Bobby, but the scope of this movie will be much broader than just covering the events of his demise.


George Clooney has bought the movie rights to The Challenge, a fact-based book about the long legal road faced by an attorney attempting to secure a fair trial for Salim Hamdan, Osama bin Laden’s personal driver and bodyguard (who recently received his sentence) at a trial at Guantanamo. In addition to producing, Clooney may also write, direct or star (as Navy lawyer Charles Swift), but those details aren’t known yet. Variety describes The Challenge as a “thriller”, but I’m thinking that the movie will mostly be 100+ minutes of guys in suits and uniforms arguing passionately about constitutional rights and such.


Director Taylor Hackford (Ray, An Officer and a Gentleman), AKA Mr. Helen Mirren (AKA Mr. Lucky), has signed on to direct Tenn, an independent production from one of the producers of Capote. Tenn is a drama examining the Mississippi-based youth of playwright Tennessee Williams, who had to deal with an abusive father and the events leading up to his sister’s institutionalization and eventual lobotomy. The movie will draw parallels behind his youth and the themes of two of his most famous plays, A Streetcar Named Desire and The Glass Menagerie. Williams is one of my favorite 20th century playwrights, so this is a project that sounds really cool and right down my alley. If it’s not too, you know… schmaltzy.


Director Randall Wallace (We Were Soldiers; he also wrote Braveheart) has signed on with Disney to direct Secretariat, a drama about the 1973 Triple Crown-winning horse, and the events leading up to, and following his amazing streak (it’s been 30 years now since a horse took all three). Like Seabiscuit, Secretariat was just one of those horses who has been able to secure something of a legacy, helped in Secretariat’s case by a long post-racing career as a stud that produced a few champions. Unlike Seabiscuit, this movie looks to be focusing less on the horse’s impact on the country, and more on the personal drama of his owner’s family. Disney hopes to get Secretariat started in front of cameras in early 2009.

You can contact Greg Dean Schmitz via a message at the RT Forums, the thread there devoted to him, or his MySpace page.

Tag Cloud

Holiday Chernobyl Action cooking See It Skip It Writers Guild of America FOX television TIFF binge Disney Plus HBO Go Star Trek richard e. Grant documentary zombie Nominations comics renewed TV shows Stephen King natural history Grammys Trivia Countdown cops war Superheroes police drama 2019 Film Festival supernatural SDCC Creative Arts Emmys Awards Tour foreign Certified Fresh DC Comics A&E toy story Superheroe Fall TV BBC America cars series Reality PlayStation anthology blockbuster Trophy Talk Spike Valentine's Day vampires Columbia Pictures elevated horror Disney+ Disney Plus free movies Crunchyroll Amazon Prime Video Podcast Lucasfilm Extras superhero Acorn TV transformers Interview LGBT parents die hard X-Men children's TV serial killer Tarantino 2018 disaster slashers hist 4/20 AMC ABC Family TCA Winter 2020 Toys video LGBTQ Mudbound Tumblr Emmys Pirates 72 Emmy Awards dc laika President ESPN fast and furious Election Premiere Dates YouTube Premium Sundance Now concert video on demand witnail canceled TV shows independent franchise Christmas The Walking Dead MTV CNN ratings adaptation YouTube historical drama Sci-Fi Apple TV Plus award winner ITV romance Warner Bros. thriller American Society of Cinematographers singing competition 2020 VH1 crime drama worst Drama HBO Apple TV+ Song of Ice and Fire golden globes TCA 2017 scary movies Adult Swim ghosts Lifetime Christmas movies psychological thriller werewolf DirecTV justice league directors FXX Holidays Women's History Month Pop NYCC Marvel Country game show Cannes IFC Films Anna Paquin Dark Horse Comics 2016 GoT Winter TV GIFs Lionsgate Best and Worst E3 Family quibi Quiz CBS All Access 45 Tubi sag awards crime Bravo Mary Poppins Returns Universal Amazon BET Awards Heroines true crime The Witch obituary Avengers Red Carpet Film Sony Pictures aliens adventure reboot Endgame SundanceTV 24 frames twilight Comic Book south america boxoffice Rocketman docudrama travel BAFTA psycho SXSW El Rey revenge Pride Month Marvel Studios Hear Us Out Captain marvel FX on Hulu reviews OWN screenings green book comiccon Trailer Masterpiece spain MSNBC ABC Hallmark Christmas movies rotten movies we love Rom-Com stoner Animation Mary Tyler Moore Pop TV festivals emmy awards Western cancelled space Classic Film Spring TV romantic comedy RT History zombies science fiction Travel Channel Esquire jamie lee curtis blaxploitation Arrowverse political drama cartoon Peacock crossover BBC One comic technology nature Comedy Central Binge Guide Crackle Super Bowl all-time TCA theme song Television Academy Logo FX christmas movies Mystery finale Showtime Pixar what to watch cancelled television hollywood E! documentaries San Diego Comic-Con PaleyFest Netflix Christmas movies TLC mission: impossible Musical Character Guide social media Paramount chucky cancelled TV series Calendar Apple MCU Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt APB Year in Review canceled cults talk show TruTV Mindy Kaling TNT dragons versus facebook HBO Max harry potter casting mutant Opinion latino hispanic Spectrum Originals Black History Month dceu spider-man Hulu Polls and Games 2017 Food Network films Hallmark Sundance Television Critics Association YouTube Red CW Seed New York Comic Con History Brie Larson indie RT21 DC Universe YA Nickelodeon Shondaland Box Office Britbox cats mockumentary dogs sequels BET Ghostbusters Lifetime The Purge Fantasy sports DGA news Comics on TV Kids & Family Video Games Academy Awards PBS sequel robots Disney Channel Star Wars Starz Nat Geo Pet Sematary Paramount Network Reality Competition joker classics A24 composers Emmy Nominations Epix movie USA satire Musicals TV renewals spanish language Summer zero dark thirty IFC Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Watching Series dramedy sitcom politics stand-up comedy dark medical drama based on movie Turner Freeform Biopics WGN Marathons game of thrones miniseries best Winners kids Rock criterion 71st Emmy Awards Comedy Music Sneak Peek The CW USA Network anime CMT Teen Martial Arts Walt Disney Pictures Marvel Television asian-american cancelled TV shows TCA Awards National Geographic Vudu First Look Mary poppins indiana jones Funimation Photos biography comedies nbcuniversal movies Elton John Shudder Black Mirror TCM discovery The Arrangement VOD TV period drama batman Ellie Kemper Schedule Cosplay Tomatazos crime thriller Discovery Channel VICE 21st Century Fox streaming BBC universal monsters Baby Yoda 20th Century Fox Horror book halloween 007 breaking bad TV Land cinemax NBC First Reviews TBS OneApp Infographic Disney streaming service WarnerMedia unscripted Cartoon Network Awards a nightmare on elm street Syfy rotten CBS stop motion Rocky spy thriller DC streaming service child's play teaser spinoff name the review Oscars Set visit diversity 2015 GLAAD Ovation screen actors guild Disney strong female leads Sundance TV Turner Classic Movies Thanksgiving doctor who Netflix Amazon Prime Fox News critics tv talk animated Amazon Studios