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

venice Endgame Animation disaster HBO Max Rom-Com See It Skip It History wonder woman television 2020 007 Avengers WGN Lifetime Hear Us Out Black Mirror cancelled TV series cancelled RT History The Arrangement Food Network Oscars Martial Arts PaleyFest Mystery ID IFC Films aapi Thanksgiving Tubi Trophy Talk spider-man Extras werewolf rt archives video police drama SundanceTV razzies Christmas The Walking Dead mockumentary DC Universe book fresh a nightmare on elm street Trivia The Witch godzilla batman japan slasher Amazon Prime Holidays Comedy Central breaking bad Academy Awards psycho RT21 Sundance TV technology MCU laika Character Guide USA Network scary movies Baby Yoda Superheroe Spring TV Schedule Super Bowl Horror Calendar Emmys TV Land Infographic Musical parents Amazon Prime Video Fantasy President Broadway APB monster movies Pirates crossover rotten children's TV king kong sitcom cults ABC A&E TLC Emmy Nominations VH1 slashers Universal elevated horror james bond Paramount Plus popular 2019 art house Starz political drama San Diego Comic-Con Writers Guild of America AMC Plus saw twilight films richard e. Grant BBC Rock true crime chucky remakes spy thriller Box Office Syfy Reality worst movies Universal Pictures casting Instagram Live travel sopranos AMC south america critic resources telelvision high school streaming movies BET Awards CBS Trailer genre crime drama Dark Horse Comics game show green book Cannes Amazon spinoff Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Video Games Lucasfilm First Reviews golden globe awards CMT joker OWN comic book movies Marvel Winners YA unscripted game of thrones Comic Book zero dark thirty Acorn TV Premiere Dates Captain marvel The Academy Nat Geo Netflix Christmas movies Marathons award winner serial killer canceled dc cops Kids & Family spider-verse Marvel Television Freeform animated MSNBC Television Critics Association king arthur TV movies zombie Year in Review Awards Tour Mary Tyler Moore Brie Larson Chernobyl DirecTV mission: impossible The CW Adult Swim DGA 21st Century Fox National Geographic spanish language TCA Awards pirates of the caribbean Funimation marvel cinematic universe Marvel Studios Spectrum Originals Lifetime Christmas movies Travel Channel Comic-Con@Home 2021 Comedy Cartoon Network boxing vs. comic book movie CW Seed social media hispanic Black History Month streaming lord of the rings football Disney streaming service Epix nature Film Festival scorecard halloween Hallmark Fox News CNN Heroines stand-up comedy discovery target sequel comedies comic books boxoffice harry potter Holiday Netflix fast and furious teaser The Walt Disney Company latino satire blaxploitation foreign Wes Anderson Shondaland Pacific Islander Apple TV+ reviews young adult Ellie Kemper Showtime Ghostbusters live action Mary Poppins Returns Spike Turner Film Binge Guide YouTube Premium Family live event hist reboot criterion transformers HBO stoner Britbox blockbuster Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Disney canceled TV shows psychological thriller Image Comics rt labs critics edition Tumblr hollywood independent Photos dexter worst robots spain Sneak Peek festivals Biopics documentary Stephen King Classic Film kids news Grammys mcc Interview diversity rom-coms romantic comedy olympics black emmy awards finale adenture Esquire asian-american Discovery Channel kaiju screenings ghosts crime strong female leads dragons series FXX VOD documentaries biography SXSW medical drama comics BBC One Reality Competition child's play cancelled television CBS All Access best ViacomCBS Hulu Pop TV The Purge Polls and Games Fox Searchlight biopic E3 X-Men 93rd Oscars docuseries supernatural 45 DC Comics debate Arrowverse PBS 99% royal family Sci-Fi 71st Emmy Awards doctor who Apple TCA Winter 2020 Crackle hispanic heritage month period drama TV One Pride Month Action legend toronto A24 mutant 72 Emmy Awards rt labs GIFs basketball Bravo anthology movies Exclusive Video historical drama dreamworks mob Musicals Pixar Song of Ice and Fire obituary halloween tv Podcast ABC Signature cooking Walt Disney Pictures 24 frames Best and Worst 2021 Winter TV Nickelodeon Hallmark Christmas movies Mindy Kaling IFC gangster ITV dogs Sundance 2018 concert sports christmas movies HBO Go dramedy Summer Red Carpet jamie lee curtis aliens Set visit GoT name the review 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards franchise Superheroes USA superman 20th Century Fox TV renewals TruTV new star wars movies feel good cinemax BBC America suspense heist movie based on movie composers Turner Classic Movies Rocky YouTube Warner Bros. japanese adventure Paramount Network Election critics italian toy story cancelled TV shows adaptation new york Western die hard Pet Sematary FX on Hulu TCA jurassic park thriller Rocketman witnail 2015 PlayStation Sundance Now NYCC politics posters natural history all-time stop motion TIFF GLAAD scary dark action-comedy festival Paramount cats Anna Paquin indiana jones NBC Elton John ESPN Columbia Pictures El Rey video on demand ratings Ovation Mary poppins TCM Pop rotten movies we love Tarantino blockbusters cartoon golden globes TBS 4/20 TNT indie Teen screen actors guild Countdown crime thriller FX Disney+ Disney Plus versus TCA 2017 Lionsgate Disney Plus Peacock Masterpiece Television Academy 2017 singing competition OneApp ABC Family directors renewed TV shows Fall TV 90s french E! archives comic revenge kong Country vampires Mudbound spanish Drama Quiz tv talk BAFTA Toys talk show black comedy First Look superhero MTV FOX NBA marvel comics know your critic facebook BET classics universal monsters sequels book adaptation IMDb TV American Society of Cinematographers war miniseries Watching Series australia women deadpool Amazon Studios Crunchyroll justice league Certified Fresh Women's History Month nfl Tokyo Olympics hidden camera New York Comic Con Star Wars sag awards 2016 1990s Shudder TV Comics on TV science fiction DC streaming service space Vudu Music Legendary Opinion docudrama Tomatazos prank international comiccon binge Nominations movie LGBT what to watch Disney Channel quibi anime Awards Alien Sony Pictures SDCC YouTube Red Neflix dceu nbcuniversal Cosplay trailers 73rd Emmy Awards scene in color LGBTQ Creative Arts Emmys Valentine's Day Star Trek romance WarnerMedia Apple TV Plus cars free movies theme song zombies new zealand VICE Logo