Weekly Ketchup

Weekly Ketchup: Plans For Venom, Marvin The Martian, X-Files, And More

Plus: Guillermo del Toro's next move, and Prince of Persia's grand plans.

by | August 1, 2008 | Comments

In this week’s Weekly Ketchup, we’ve got the latest spin-offs, remakes and trilogies, and Disney’s lofty plan for a video game adaptation.


Following up on rumors from a few months back, Sony has announced that they are developing a Venom movie, spinning off from the villain’s appearance in last year’s Spider-Man 3. The project started with a script by Jacob Estes (Mean Creek) but the studio is now looking to go in a different direction, and is currently looking for a new screenwriter. They’re also looking for a new star, reportedly on the belief that Topher Grace is not a big enough star to carry Venom by himself. As for what is motivating Sony to pursue Venom, I’ve got to think that they are looking at the Joker in The Dark Knight, and thinking that in Venom, they have a charismatic villain (with a huge, grisly smile) that could be spun in a similar direction. Except he’s a huge black goo monster. For more insight, check out the CHUD piece on this story, which I thought was particularly inspired.


Warner Bros. has aligned with Alcon Pictures (My Dog Skip, Racing Stripes) to produce a live action / CGI feature film version of Marvin the Martian, the strange little alien with the roman-style helmet that was always trying to blow up Earth in classic Looney Tunes cartoons. There’s no script, or a director, but the pitch concept is that it will be a Christmas movie in which Marvin’s plans to destroy Earth are disrupted when he becomes trapped in a gift box. I can’t quite picture what that last part means, exactly, but I can see why WB would be looking to their Looney Tunes characters for future feature films, as there’s some great untapped quality there. Or it could be another Space Jam.


Talking to IGN, X-Files creator Chris Carter talked about where the series would go if they have the chance to make a third movie, this time focusing more on the alien plot. The X-Files: I Want to Believe opened to only $10 million, and was considered a critical failure as well (32% on the Tomatometer), but Carter downplays the importance of box office, it seems, arguing that they weren’t aiming for a blockbuster release, or they wouldn’t have been put in theaters so soon after The Dark Knight. I have a feeling there might indeed be more X-Files movies in the future, but they might not be getting theatrical releases, but that might be a good thing. I’m not sure The X-Files ultimately needs to, or even works, as a huge theatrical experience.


Guillermo del Toro (in his producer role) and Miramax are teaming up to develop a feature film version of the early 1970s TV horror movie, Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, which was about a family moving into a new house that is haunted by strange little furry demon things that live in the basement. This is actually a pretty awesome movie for del Toro to have under his wing, because it fits in very nicely with his theme of a world where magical creatures coexist in the shadows (Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy II: The Golden Army). Another horror movie announced this week that seems to have a somewhat similar premise is The Home, which marks the entry into the actual movie business of two of the writers for AICN (Quint, writing and Kraken, directing), with Peter Jackson‘s WETA doing the special effects. The Home is about a firefighter who is nearly killed in a fire, and is recuperating in a nursing home, where he discovers that the residents are being terrorized by something evil that resides in the home. This actually sounds a lot like Bubba Ho-Tep too.


New Line Cinema founders Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne have a new company, Unique Features, which has a deal with Warner Bros, and one of their first projects is going to be an attempt to do for Isaac Asimov‘s super brainy science fiction epic, The Foundation Trilogy, what they did (or helped do) for J.R.R. Tolkien‘s The Lord of the Rings, starting with a movie version of the first book, The Foundation, and from there, if it is a hit, adapt the other two books for a full trilogy. The project has been in movie development for decades, mostly at Fox, where Asimov’s I, Robot was produced, but they put it into turnaround a while ago (probably deciding to get out of the Asimov business after I, Robot). The Foundation is a challenging project, as it starts off with a mathematician who develops a way of predicting events on a massive scale, and uses his knowledge of impending galactic chaos to create two “Foundations” on opposite ends of the galaxy, where all the good things of culture can be preserved. As science fiction, it’s top notch. As popcorn munching eye candy… who knows. This is definitely, I think, a movie that you could tie to the success or failure of Watchmen, as that’s another movie that is similarly daring in its intellectualism (or it should be, at least).


Director John Boorman (Excalibur) has announced plans to revive his long planned movie about Hadrian, one of Rome’s “Good” emperors, who is famous for having spent time in England in the 2nd century AD, which included the construction of Hadrian’s Wall, separating England from Scotland. Possibly to be titled The Memoirs of Hadrian (after the novel that it is based upon), the project has a fairly decent budget of $50-60 million, and is scheduled to start filming in Morocco, Rome and Spain in early 2009. Boorman hasn’t had a success in recent years to match his early films like Deliverance and Hope and Glory, but I’ve always thought that this project seemed like one that might do it for him again. That’s it for the Romans this week, but the Greeks got some love as well. Sony has picked up a pitch for a movie about Anabasis, a historical work by the ancient Greek writer, Xenophon, about the journey home of a force of 10,000 Greek soldiers who were sent to assassinate the Persian emperor, failed, and then had to fight their way home across thousands of miles of enemy territory. Curiously, this was supposedly the inspiration for the plot of The Warriors. Although it sounds sort of 300-ish, I could see how this could be a pretty cool premise for a movie. And hey, it’s not a remake.


Surprising absolutely no one if it is true, AICN is reporting a rumor that Johnny Depp has signed to play the Mad Hatter in director Tim Burton‘s new Alice in Wonderland movie, which will start filming in 2009 for a release on March 5th, 2010. It is true that Burton has been doing casting for the movie recently (Mia Wasikowska was cast as Alice), and obviously, Depp and Burton work together a lot (this would be their 7th film together, and Depp is also reportedly likely to play Barnabas the vampire in Tim Burton’s movie version of Dark Shadows). It would be cool to see Johnny Depp apply his madness to the hatter, but I’m sure the challenge, each time he takes on a bizarre creature like the hatter, is that he has to find a way to do it so that this isn’t a repeat channeling of Willy Wonka, or Jack Sparrow, Ed Wood, etc.


Production is scheduled to start this fall on an independently produced musical biopic about The Runaways, the 1970s all-girl rock group that gave the world Joan Jett, who is executive producing. Also lurching closer to production is Howard Stern‘s remake of Rock n Roll High School, which co-starred the Ramones, and is now being written by Alex Winter, AKA Bill from the Bill & Ted movies. The remake was announced several years ago, at the same time as Stern’s plans to remake Porky’s, but this is really the first news about either project since then.


Famed horror/thriller director John Carpenter is scheduled to start filming in October of Scared Straight, about a teenager who is at a prison as part of the “Scared Straight” program, when a riot breaks out, and it is up to a convict played by Nicolas Cage to protect him. Carpenter hasn’t had a movie in theaters since 2001’s Ghosts of Mars, but there was a time in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s when he was not only prolific, but revered as one of the best damn horror directors ever. Halloween, The Thing, Prince of Darkness, Assault on Precinct 13, The Fog, Big Trouble in Little China, They Live, Escape from New York… all classics. I’m not alone, I’m sure, in wishing Carpenter was as prolific today, but I guess the movie budget money just isn’t there for him anymore, or something.


With filming already underway, Disney has decided to add another year to the wait to see the video game adaptation, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, starring Jake Gyllenhaal. Disney moved the movie from June 19th, 2009 where it would have gone up against the second Transformers movie, all the way to May 28th, 2010, boldly claiming the Memorial Day weekend, often the date where the biggest movie of the summer is released. Right now, only two other movies have claimed May, 2010 dates: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (5/7/10, also a Disney release) and Shrek Goes Fourth (5/21/10). So, the question is whether Disney is so impressed by the visuals that Mike Newell (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) and crew are coming up with, that they think it can hold onto that date and rake in tons of cash?

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

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