Weekly Ketchup

Weekly Ketchup: My Three Schwarzenegger Remakes

Plus, a boatload of toys to movies projects.

by | June 5, 2009 | Comments

This week’s Ketchup sees Hollywood continuing its love affair with remakes,
sequels, and movies based upon old toys and comic strip orange cats, as well as
yet another Hamlet movie.

#1
THE GOVERNATOR’S MOVIES CONTINUE ON (MOSTLY) WITHOUT HIM: TOTAL RECALL,
PREDATORS AND… COMMANDO

Arnold Schwarzenegger might not be making movies anymore, but his filmography
is quickly becoming one of the most mined resources for remakes and sequels.
First up, there is the news that Columbia has
chosen Total
Recall
remake writer: Kurt Wimmer, writer/director behind Equilibrium
and Ultraviolet, and scripter behind in-production projects Salt
(starring Angelina Jolie) and Law Abiding Citizen (Jamie Foxx and Gerard
Butler). Next up is

a Moviehole report
of Robert Rodriguez supposed interest for Schwarzenegger
reprising his Dutch Schaefer role for Predators cameo. (That’s the
Predator
sequel Rodriguez is producing, scheduled for a July 2010 release.)
And finally, there’s a rumor
from JoBlo
that 1985’s Commando is being eyed for the remake treatment.

#2 HEATHCLIFF’S MOVIE CAREER TO GO TO PURR-THERING HEIGHTS

The two Garfield movies have proven an audience exists for movies
about fat orange CGI cats, convincing rights holders of Heathcliff to
begin development
of multiple projects, which may include a live-action movie. First is a 2011
direct-to-DVD animated movie, which could also be expanded to a theatrical
release “if the material warrants” it. Heathcliff got his start as
a comic strip
in 1973 (5 years before Garfield), then starred in two different Saturday
morning cartoon shows during the 1980s. Although Heathcliff and Garfield look
very similar, Heathcliff is an alley cat, while Garfield is very definitely a
house cat. Means Heathcliff actually moves around and has adventures, whereas
Garfield traditionally just… sits there.

#3 99 YEARS AFTER HIS DEBUT, TOM SWIFT STILL WAITING FOR HIS MOVIE

These days, there’s no shortage of kids book franchises that extend into
dozens of entries, but once upon a time, most school libraries had only three:
The Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew and…
Tom Swift
, who made his
debut all the way back in 1910. Unlike his detective competitors, Edward
Stratemeyer’s (under the pen name Victor Appleton) Tom Swift was a globetrotting
adventurer and inventor, with many of his ideas eventually becoming realities,
with the most famous example being the Taser, which is an acronym that stands
for Thomas A. Swift’s Electric Rifle. Other examples include the electric
railroad, FAX machine and the house trailer. Tom Swift is also in general one of
the earliest examples of the “boy adventurer,” and so with Jonny Quest
set to get his own movie soon, it’s perhaps no surprise that Columbia Pictures
has acquired the
rights
for a Tom Swift movie as well. The idea of a Tom Swift movie is not
new, as in the 1960s, there were plans for a movie musical starring Gene Kelly,
and there was another attempt in the 1970s. Tom Swift is being coproduced and
will be directed by Barry Sonnenfeld, the visually creative director who gave us
movies like Men in Black, The Addams Family, Wild Wild West
(which despite outright sucking did indeed look great and featured a lot of
Swift-like steampunk inventions) and the day-glo Pushing Daisies TV
series.

#4 BETTER THIS THAN A REMAKE: THE REAL STORY BEHIND THE EXORCIST

As Hollywood’s reboot/remake fever continues to get really crazy, people are
right to worry whether true classics like The Godfather and Citizen
Kane
might be next. With horror, one movie that has achieved comparable
status is The Exorcist. Vertigo Entertainment, the company behind the
J-horror remakes like The Ring and The Grudge, probably could have
secured the rights to remake The Exorcist, but instead have opted a
slightly higher moral road and optioned the rights to
the original book,
The Real Story Behind the Exorcist: A Study of the Haunted Boy And Other
True-Life Horror Legends from Around the Nation’s Capital
. This book doesn’t
attempt to tell the story of the 1949 true story that inspired William Blatty to
write The Exorcist, but instead recounts a reporter’s attempt to find the
possessed boy, sixty years earlier. So, if anything, this is a sequel. Even if
it is trading on the fame of another movie, The Real Story Behind the
Exorcist
sounds like an attempt to take a somewhat original angle.

#5
THE HAUNTING IN CONNECTICUT INSPIRES A STATE-THEMED TRILOGY FOR NEW
YORK
AND GEORGIA

In March, The Haunting in Connecticut opened to a surprising $23
million, so it’s no surprise Lionsgate is
developing the concept
into a trilogy. Like Connecticut, Haunting in New York and
Haunting in Georgia
will be based on episodes from
A
Haunting
, the paranormal reenactment series that airs on the Discovery
Channel. New York will be about a single mother whose mentally handicapped
daughter appears able to communicate with spirits, while Georgia will
tell the tale of a four year-old girl with imaginary friends, whom the girl’s
parents suspect might be evil ghosts (and yes, this element was part of The
Amityville Horror
as well) when their daughter wakes with claw marks across
her face. In both stories, families turn to paranormal experts. Given
Lionsgate’s love for extending horror franchises for as long as possible (Saw),
this might just be the tip of the iceberg. Maybe in 2049, your kids will be
talking about plans for The Haunting in New Hampshire and The Haunting
in Nebraska
.

#6 UNIVERSAL AND OSCAR-WINNER BRIAN GRAZER SET A DATE FOR… STRETCH
ARMSTRONG
?

In a six-year Hasbro toy deal that included the rights to Ouija,
Monopoly
, Candyland and Battleship, the first movie to receive
a greenlight for Universal will be Stretch Armstrong, slated for an April
15th, 2011 release. Based upon the obscure 1970s toy that let kids pull on a
barechested man’s rubber arms and legs, Stretch Armstrong is being
produced by Brian Grazer, who commented that Stretch is “a character I have
wanted to see onscreen for a long time.” Afterwards, he probably asked for
agreement from the crowd and heard back only the sound of crickets. Steve
Oedenkerk (Patch Adams, Evan Almighty) is working on the
Stretch
screenplay, and there’s no word yet as to who will direct, although
with the release date less than two years away, Universal will have to decide
soon. In other Universal kid movie news, and because I didn’t know where else to
stick it, the studio this week has pulled the Where’s Waldo? project
out of turnaround
from Paramount and Nickelodeon. Maybe why it fits at universal is that, like
Stretch Armstrong
, it’s hard to see (get it?) how they will stretch (zing!)
the concept into a 90+ minute movie.

#7 BRYAN SINGER CONTINUES CAREER OF MUTANT AND NAZI MOVIES WITH X-MEN
ORIGINS: MAGNETO
?

Doing the publicity rounds for the DVD release of Valkyrie, director
Bryan Singer revealed
this week
that he is “possibly” interested in returning to the X-Men
movie franchise with X-Men Origins: Magneto. It’s looking more and more
likely that Singer won’t be returning for a second Superman movie after
the flawed Superman Returns, but the director is still fondly remembered
for the two X-Men movies he directed, which were very, very good. Singer
makes note, however, that the thematic quandary in directing Magneto will be
that he’s already done a couple of Nazi-themed movies (Apt Pupil and
Valkyrie
), as well as the Magneto flashback in X-Men. Says Singer:
“I’ve lived in that Nazi universe for quite a while. I just might need to take a
little break before I do something like that.”

#8 HALLE BERRY IN TALKS FOR PAUL VERHOEVEN’S NEXT THRILLER, THE SURROGATE

One movie that almost made last week’s Ketchup was The Surrogate, the
next thriller from director Paul Verhoeven (Basic Instinct, Total
Recall
). This week, the little detail that lands the movie on the list is
news that Halle Berry is
in talks with
20th Century Fox to star. Berry took a couple of years off after 2007’s
Things We Lost in the Fire
to have a baby, and recently filmed the multiple
personality drama Frankie and Alice as her comeback. The Surrogate
is about a couple who discover that the woman they hire to be their surrogate
mother is crazy, but it’s unclear whether Berry would be playing the title
character, or the woman whose fertilized egg she’s carrying. If Halle Berry is
indeed to play The Surrogate, this will complete a “crazy lady” trilogy
of sorts, following Gothika and the aforementioned Frankie and Alice.
The Surrogate was written by the father/son team of Rod and Bruce Taylor
(The Brave One) from a novel by Kathryn Mackel, and although there’s no
filming start date yet, the casting of Halle Berry suggests it might be sooner
rather than later.

#9
EMILE HIRSCH TO BE, DEFINITELY NOT BE, HAMLET

Hamlet is one of William Shakespeare’s most movie-adapted plays, with
previous actors playing the Danish prince including Laurence Olivier, Niccol
Williamson, Mel Gibson, Kenneth Branagh, and Ethan Hawke, who, at 29, at the
time currently holds the record as the youngest actor, notable since Hamlet is
supposed to be young. Emile Hirsch, 24 and star of Into the Wild and
Speed Racer
, wants to break that record. He’s
come up with an idea
for a modernized American Hamlet as a “suspense thriller” about “a young
man [who] must decide whether to kill his uncle to avenge the death of his
father.” This

new Hamlet
will be directed by Catherine Hardwicke (Twilight,
Lords of Dogtown, also starring Hirsch) from a script by Ron Nyswaner (Philadelphia,
The Painted Veil). Overture Films (Traitor, Righteous Kill)
hopes to start production soon after the script is finished.

#10 THIS WEEK IN MONSTER KID MOVIES: MONSTER SAFARI, UNTITLED MATTEL
MONSTER MUSICAL

This week saw the announcement of two thematically-tied movies: they’re both
for kids and features an ensemble of monsters. First up is the stop-motion
animation project

Monster Safari
, which will set off Interweb nerd bells because it
represents a collaboration between screenwriters Craig Zobel and Matt Chapman,
(creators of Homestarrunner), Screen Novelties (the company behind
Robot Chicken
and Moral Orel), and the Jim Henson Company (The
Muppets
, obviously). Monster Safari is the story of “what happens
when the Earth’s monsters come out of hiding and a pair of bumbling
crypto-zoologists spring into action to save them from a ruthless big-game
hunter.” Another Robot Chicken-related news story: show writer, Dan
Milano, has been
hired
to work on Short Circuit; Dimension Films hopes he’ll bring a
“subversive edge” to the remake. Dimension will be keeping the same look for the
new Number 5, with a producer noting that “we think of Wall-E as an
extended trailer for our film.” Going back to the monster angle, Universal has
made a “big bucks
deal” for an untitled upcoming Mattel toy property, which they will turn into a
musical written by Hairspray team Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman.
Although no details were revealed about this monster musical, the words “lore”
and “mythology” were used in the article, and it is important to remember that
Universal is the home of such classic monster franchises as Dracula,
Frankenstein
, The Mummy, The Invisible Man, The Wolfman,
Creature from the Black Lagoon, King Kong, and Dr. Jekyll and
Mr. Hyde
. The two possibilities I see are that Universal could see whatever
this new Mattel toy franchise is as being the latest addition to their monsters,
or it could in fact be a toy version OF those monsters.

ROTTEN IDEA OF THE WEEK: BARBARELLA REMAKE CONTINUES ON WITHOUT ROBERT
RODRIGUEZ

Recently, Robert Rodriguez confirmed that he would no longer be developing a
remake of Barbarella, the schlocky 1968 sci-fi movie starring Jane Fonda,
which would have starred his girlfriend Rose McGowan. This week, however,
Entertainment Weekly
broke the
news
that the remake project is being continued by Dino de Laurentiis
(outside Universal, where the Rodriguez project was), with a very different type
of director now attached: Robert Luketic (Legally Blonde,
Monster-in-Law
, 21). Where Robert Rodriguez could be seen as bringing
a frenetic visual energy to a Barbarella remake (see: Grindhouse,
Sin City, Spy Kids, etc), Robert Luketic’s first two movies were
just very vanilla comedies, and 21 was different from them, but nothing
about it suggested anything along the crazy lines of Barbarella.
Basically, this news gets the “Rotten Idea of the Week” tag because the idea of
a Barbarella remake only seemed “fresh” when a director like Robert
Rodriguez was attached. It’s not so much that Barbarella is such a
revered classic that it can’t be touched (in fact, the original was kind of
crappy), but just that Luketic seems like such a bland choice for a remake of a
movie that, despite being flawed, was a randy and sexy landmark of the 1960s.

For more Weekly Ketchup columns by Greg Dean Schmitz, check out the WK archive, and you can contact GDS through his MySpace page or via a RT forum message. Greg also blogs about the TV show Lost at TwoLosties.Blogspot.com.

Tag Cloud

President vs. Sony Pictures Oscar SXSW Awards spy thriller scary movies criterion reviews adaptation Hear Us Out crime thriller debate Peacock franchise The CW interviews DirecTV Fargo true crime sopranos Tarantino LGBT South by Southwest Film Festival Sundance TV anime OWN Television Academy twilight Pop Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt E! crime drama Disney streaming service Chernobyl disaster WGN indiana jones indie worst casting scary leaderboard GoT children's TV Hallmark Legendary 007 trophy hist 72 Emmy Awards Logo Country Quiz rt archives discovery italian PaleyFest Chilling Adventures of Sabrina mission: impossible scene in color Amazon Wes Anderson ABC Family Martial Arts name the review slasher Walt Disney Pictures football First Look south america Mary Tyler Moore Amazon Prime Video feel good Paramount Pictures GIFs Brie Larson jurassic park BET binge Sundance Cosplay toronto Masterpiece zombie zombies screen actors guild classics political drama what to watch Holiday best batman Classic Film CBS space Funimation comic books NBC Paramount dramedy based on movie HBO Go MGM Year in Review Apple TCA Winter 2020 Grammys psycho movie diversity gangster christmas movies Heroines Film 94th Oscars kaiju A&E festival BAFTA 2020 Rock finale robots adenture Acorn TV Anna Paquin Animation Cannes Esquire PlayStation kong Marvel Studios romance prank Ghostbusters cops Tumblr live event DC Universe VOD Baby Yoda dc Lifetime Christmas movies Columbia Pictures streaming movies Nominations Character Guide richard e. Grant young adult free movies movies politics dragons Opinion Countdown video spain reboot wonder woman elevated horror mcc Thanksgiving japan independent blockbuster spinoff superman Marvel theme song ghosts concert king arthur broadcast FX NYCC Spike SXSW 2022 ITV BBC composers Shudder historical drama versus cancelled TV shows Drama documentaries Winners basketball Travel Channel comedies anthology biopic SundanceTV cars canceled TV shows 24 frames TNT comic book movies transformers NBA unscripted suspense dceu cinemax genre deadpool LGBTQ Netflix Turner Captain marvel ViacomCBS sequels Super Bowl Trivia Lucasfilm toy story 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards Broadway all-time Best and Worst Shondaland Song of Ice and Fire Warner Bros. universal monsters game show Disney animated documentary A24 Neflix TV movies Family Trailer TLC 79th Golden Globes Awards international Television Critics Association boxing halloween tv Elton John Extras stoner Nickelodeon rotten popular films FOX Exclusive Video DGA New York Comic Con Comics on TV Nat Geo television james bond Paramount Plus sag awards Star Trek kids Comedy docudrama FXX Pop TV Mudbound Binge Guide screenings BBC One cancelled Hallmark Christmas movies 2021 Superheroe Box Office Film Festival The Arrangement aapi Apple TV+ australia singing competition natural history E3 french biography nature Watching Series Fox News SDCC sitcom Vudu emmy awards die hard VICE 99% Emmy Nominations Cartoon Network Interview APB comic book movie The Witch critics Tags: Comedy saw Ovation VH1 high school crossover Alien archives foreign video on demand Toys royal family TCA Awards Fantasy OneApp Valentine's Day Podcast Polls and Games National Geographic hollywood witnail satire nfl First Reviews serial killer Horror 90s marvel cinematic universe miniseries Syfy festivals Oscars Election parents CNN green book sports blaxploitation period drama dexter Black History Month hidden camera BBC America Pirates DC streaming service mob 71st Emmy Awards Comedy Central DC Comics adventure legend jamie lee curtis series Musicals ABC Signature USA Network comics teaser vampires nbcuniversal The Purge posters Prime Video YouTube Premium joker Creative Arts Emmys BET Awards Best Director Pet Sematary Women's History Month police drama harry potter thriller Ellie Kemper stand-up comedy doctor who Image Comics Music dogs Pride Month cartoon supernatural women Turner Classic Movies halloween TBS TCM boxoffice AMC Plus ID a nightmare on elm street TV renewals Sundance Now worst movies award winner fresh CW Seed Epix Pixar game of thrones TV One Best Actress Adult Swim target The Walt Disney Company aliens TruTV japanese Stephen King Action comic quibi Writers Guild of America Emmys talk show 2019 HFPA TCA Focus Features technology Pacific Islander king kong IFC cats art house Arrowverse Freeform ESPN MCU summer TV preview facebook travel cancelled TV series slashers rt labs Disney Channel mutant hispanic scorecard Marathons Reality Avengers Tubi Lifetime Reality Competition Mary Poppins Returns renewed TV shows spider-man Netflix Christmas movies Summer Fall TV obi wan Disney Plus Bravo Western action-comedy Academy Awards RT21 telelvision IFC Films Apple TV Plus spanish TV Land TCA 2017 mockumentary lord of the rings Kids & Family Trophy Talk CBS All Access Holidays AMC 93rd Oscars 2015 Hollywood Foreign Press Association Dark Horse Comics TV Spectrum Originals Sci-Fi 45 Best Picture marvel comics sequel critic resources tv talk See It Skip It Certified Fresh live action Teen Mindy Kaling psychological thriller TIFF revenge Lionsgate Endgame crime directors WarnerMedia IMDb TV Crunchyroll black comedy Schedule dark 73rd Emmy Awards Mary poppins latino rt labs critics edition Musical Best Actor Star Wars Instagram Live golden globes PBS Spring TV asian-american breaking bad 1990s Discovery Channel CMT Amazon Prime 2017 summer preview Set visit YouTube Red San Diego Comic-Con ratings olympics monster movies Rom-Com razzies Paramount Network social media Disney+ Disney Plus dreamworks canceled Tomatazos Superheroes Video Games superhero History new zealand war strong female leads news pirates of the caribbean Awards Tour child's play rotten movies we love HBO FX on Hulu X-Men venice Photos spider-verse MTV comiccon 21st Century Fox Showtime science fiction Rocky blockbusters GLAAD summer TV trailers streamig rom-coms Black Mirror know your critic obituary The Walking Dead MSNBC American Society of Cinematographers Sneak Peek USA Britbox 2018 book adaptation Biopics Rocketman Calendar Comic-Con@Home 2021 Winter TV 2016 Starz RT History The Academy chucky cooking Crackle werewolf ABC godzilla romantic comedy zero dark thirty spanish language Comic Book Tokyo Olympics Food Network Hulu remakes black cancelled television heist movie Christmas Premiere Dates laika YouTube Fox Searchlight fast and furious stop motion 4/20 book YA Amazon Studios Mystery medical drama HBO Max streaming Universal docuseries Marvel Television new star wars movies El Rey 20th Century Fox golden globe awards Infographic hispanic heritage month cults Red Carpet Universal Pictures new york justice league