Weekly Ketchup

Weekly Ketchup: R.I.P. Robin Williams and Lauren Bacall

by | August 15, 2014 | Comments

This Week’s Ketchup covers seven days of movie development news that was punctuated right in the middle by the loss of two of Hollywood’s greatest stars. Movies that still made the news this week included Aquaman, Bad Boys 3, Ben-Hur, Betty Boop, Inhumans, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2.


This Week’s Top Story

R.I.P. ROBIN WILLIAMS AND LAUREN BACALL

This week, the whole world experienced a celebrity death that quickly inspired a social media sensation: Robin Williams died at his home in Marin County of what was later reported to be self-inflicted asphyxiation. Sadly coincidentally, the death of Robin Williams was one of the saddest celebrity deaths since Heath Ledger died in 2008 before the release of The Dark Knight, playing The Joker, a role which director Christopher Nolan had previously considered giving to his Insomnia star… Robin Williams. Robin Williams’ career started with the hit ABC comedy Mork and Mindy, which was followed by a movie career that included both comedies (Aladdin, Mrs. Doubtfire, The Birdcage), dramas (Dead Poets Society, Awakenings, Good Will Hunting), and films which were sort of inbetween (The World According to Garp, Good Morning, Vietnam, The Fisher King). Robin Williams left us with four films that are still on their way: Merry Friggin’ Christmas (11/7/14), Night at the Museum 3: Secret of the Tomb (12/19/14), the drama Boulevard, and Absolutely Anything, in which Williams provides the voice of Simon Pegg’s character’s dog. In what was probably the week’s most obvious movie news, Variety quickly announced that plans for Mrs. Doubtfire 2 are, pun possibly not intended, “in doubt.” The social networking juggernaut that resulted from the passing of Robin Williams was given even deeper resonance by the passing, soon after, of Lauren Bacall, who died on Tuesday at the age of 89, to decidedly fewer online memorials. Married first to Humphrey Bogart (until his death in 1957), and then to Jason Robards, Lauren Bacall’s career spanned some dozens of movies (like To Have and Have Not, The Big Sleep, Key Largo, and The Shootist), a Golden Globe, an Academy Award nomination, and an honorary Academy Award.

Fresh Developments This Week

#1 TOM HIDDLESTON: FROM MARVEL’S LOKI TO… BEN-HUR?

Every once in a while with movies with premises that seem fairly obviously “rotten,” this writer has to change everything when a move is made that runs counter to that. For example, MGM and Paramount have been developing, for a while now, a reboot of the classic Biblical epic Ben-Hur, from Russian director Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter). There have been multiple adaptations of Ben-Hur for both film and TV, all based upon the 1880 novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ, by Lew Wallace. The 1959 version featured Charlton Heston in the lead role, and won a then-record number (11!) of Academy Awards (which was later tied by Titanic and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King). The surprising news this week that is changing opinions about this reboot is that it is British actor Tom Hiddleston who is now in talks to take the starring role. With his appearances as Loki in not only Marvel’s movies, but also at San Diego Comic Con, in costume, as Loki, Tom Hiddleston has arguably become one of Marvel’s most reliable stars. MGM and Paramount have scheduled this latest version of Ben-Hur for February 26, 2016, making it currently the only movie scheduled for the last half of that month. Tom Hiddleston’s next films include Guillermo del Toro’s ghost movie Crimson Peak, and the 1970s-set period film High Rise.

#2 WILL MARVEL’S INHUMANS LEAVE VIN DIESEL SPEECHLESS?

Starting in 2017, it appears that Marvel Studios will be releasing three movies a year. We know that Guardians of the Galaxy 2 is scheduled for July 28, 2017, but we don’t know what films will be released on May 5, 2017 or November 3, 2017. Vin Diesel is helping get a pretty good idea what one of those films will be. It all started when Vin Diesel posted on his Facebook page, “I get the strange feeling that Marvel thinks I’m Inhuman… Haha.” The key letter there is the capital “I,” because one of Marvel’s family of superheroes (literally) are the Inhumans, who were first introduced in the 1960s. This was followed a few days later by a report that one of the other scripts to come out of the same Marvel writers program that started Guardians of the Galaxy was… Inhumans (by newcomer Joe Robert Cole). There are several threads that seem to suggest Inhumans is indeed on Marvel’s short list. First off, it helps to know that the “Inhumans” are a secret race of powered individuals who are descended from genetic experiments done on relatives of humans thousands of years ago by Kree scientists. Yes, that’s right, the Kree, as in the alien race seen in Guardians of the Galaxy. In fact, in the comics, the leader of the Inhumans, called Black Bolt, becomes the ruler of the Kree Empire, and his sister Crystal marries Ronan the Accuser (who is her second husband after Quicksilver, who will be in next year’s Avengers: Age of Ultron). Director James Gunn also came out this week and said that Peter Quill’s father won’t be the same person that it was in the comics, which has led people to start guessing, and one possibility is Black Bolt. Black Bolt is the king of the Inhumans, but his super power is that his voice is so powerful that he must live his life being almost entirely mute, and that… brings us back to Vin Diesel. Although Vin Diesel costarred in Guardians of the Galaxy as the voice of Groot, he hasn’t yet actually “appeared” in a Marvel movie, but if he played Black Bolt, he could do that, but without having to talk much (and when Black Bolt does open his mouth, there’s usually explosions and continents cracking). Because the Inhumans have connections to both the Kree Empire and the planet Earth, it’s possible they could be teased or introduced in Avengers: Age of Ultron or Guardians of the Galaxy 2 before eventually appearing in their own movie in 2017.

#3 SANSA FROM GAME OF THRONES AS THE TITLE CHARACTER IN MARY SHELLEY’S MONSTER

Two weeks ago, Maisie Williams, who plays Arya Stark in Game of Thrones, appeared in the Weekly Ketchup because of reports that she might star in the movie version of The Last of Us. This week, the Stark daughter actress who made the news was Sophie Turner, the redhead English actress who plays the perpetually put-upon Sansa Stark on the show. Sophie Turner has been cast in the lead role in Mary Shelley’s Monster, playing the early 19th century Romantic author and wife to Percy Bysshe Shelley, who will be played by Jeremy Irvine (War Horse, The Railway Man). This film about the author of Frankenstein comes from writer Deborah Baxtrom, who wrote/directed/produced/edited the British comedy TV series Living with Frankenstein, about the Shelleys, Lord Byron, and Frankenstein’s Monster living together in modern Los Angeles, 180 years later. In Mary Shelley’s Monster, Sophie Turner will play the writer as someone who is ” drawn into a Faustian bargain with her own ?monster? of an alter ego, who offers literary fame at a desperate personal cost.” Meanwhile, there’s also 20th Century Fox’s Frankenstein, featuring James McAvoy and Frankenstein, and Daniel Radcliffe as his assistant Igor, which is scheduled for release on October 2, 2015.

#4 THIS WEEK IN RELEASE DATES: GODZILLA 2, THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E., POWER RANGERS, OTHERS

There’s new release dates announced every week of the year, but the last few weeks have seen dates for more high profile films than is usual. The “biggest” movie in this latest batch is Godzilla 2 (or whatever it’s eventually called), which Warner Bros has now set for release on June 8, 2018. Some of this release date news is due to changes in the calendar, such as move of titles away from October of 2014, like Kingsman: The Secret Service (now on 2/13/15) and the North Korea-set comedy The Interview (now on 12/25/14). One of the movies that is now scheduled for October instead is the Brad Pitt-starring World War II tank action movie Fury, which was moved up a month from 11/14/14 to October 17, 2014. Another war movie to get a 2014 release date this week was Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper, based on the true story of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, which is now scheduled for December 25, 2014. Another recent event that seems to be impacting release decisions is the success of Guardians of the Galaxy and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with dates in August (or in late summer, in general). The most obvious example of this is Warner Bros’ adaptation of the TV series The Man from U.N.C.L.E., which was bumped back several months from this coming January until August 14, 2015. Additions to late July (in two different years) came in the form of Sony’s video game comedy Pixels moving from May 15, 2015 to July 24, 2015, and Lionsgate scheduling the TV show adaptation Power Rangers for July 22, 2016.

Rotten Ideas of the Week

#5 SIMON COWELL PRODUCING BETTY BOOP MOVIE

Now that The X Factor has been cancelled by FOX, TV producer Simon Cowell appears to have more time on his hands, as possibly evidenced by this week’s news. Simon Cowell’s Syco Entertainment is uniting with animation studio Animal Logic Entertainment (Happy Feet, The LEGO Movie) for an adaptation of the classic cartoon character Betty Boop. First introduced by cartoonist Max Fleischer in 1930, it was in 1932 that Betty Boop first started starring in her own animated shorts, which continued throughout the 1930s. In addition to various attempts at repopularizing the character in other media, Betty Boop has also appeared in advertisements, including the United Football League, and Hypnose Star Mascara from the Lancome makeup company. This new Betty Boop movie produced by Simon Cowell is being described as a “a hybrid animated comedy feature that’s driven by music.” In addition to the American Idol and America’s Got Talent TV shows, Simon Cowell also has the musical movie One Chance (itself inspired by a true story from Britain’s Got Talent) coming soon.

#4 AQUAMAN SOLO MOVIE IN THE WORKS (PROBABLY STARRING JASON MOMOA)

Another comic book royal that was in the news quite a bit this week is King Orin of Atlantis, AKA Aquaman. The week started on Friday (but the news broke after the Weekly Ketchup “went to press”, so to speak). While filming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice in Detroit, director Zack Snyder heard some local radio personalities joking about Aquaman. By now, we’re sort of used to any sort of humor being associated with DC superhero movies, but the memo apparently hadn’t been sent to Detroit morning zoo crews. So, to defend Aquaman, Zack Snyder called the radio station, and sort of went crazy with the comic book minutiae dropping. This included the revelation that Aquaman could “cut the flesh of Superman if they came in contact,” which we can probably interpret as meaning that there will totally be a scene where Aquaman cuts Superman in the movie. Hopefully, Superman won’t break Aquaman’s neck in response. One clue that he won’t be doing that is that Warner Bros this week hired two different screenwriters to work on Aquaman solo movies. It’s not particularly common, but “dual track” screenplays allow for studios to potentially develop a script faster. It’s also a practice that some professional writers find questionable. Anyway, the two writers who are competing with each other, all reality TV-style, are Will Beall (Gangster Squad) and Kurt Johnstad (Act of Valor), who was also one of Zach Snyder’s cowriters on 300 and the sequel 300: Rise of an Empire. Of those four movies, only 300 scored higher than 42% on the RT Tomatometer.

#3 JOURNEY FRANCHISE GETTING TWO SEQUELS FROM WRITERS OF HOUSE OF WAX AND WHITEOUT

New Line Cinema confirmed this week plans to continue making sequels to the franchise that started with Journey to the Center of the Earth and 2012’s Journey 2: The Mysterious Island. Although the second movie seemed to end with fairly concrete evidence that a third movie would be based upon From Earth to the Moon, it is now being said that the third and fourth movies might go to completely different settings. Journey to the Center of the Earth, The Mysterious Island, and From Earth to the Moon were all books by 19th century French science fiction author Jules Verne. New Line Cinema has hired screenwriting team of brothers Chad and Corey Hayes, whose filmography includes such “Rotten” titles as House of Wax (25%), The Reaping (8%), and Whiteout (7%), although their 2013 movie The Conjuring did get good reviews (86% “Fresh”). Instead of just a third movie, New Line Cinema appears to be considering greenlighting a fourth film as well, with #3 and #4 possibly being filmed back-to-back. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is signed to reprise his role from Journey 2: The Mysterious Island in both films.

#2 MARTIN LAWRENCE DISPLAYS HORRIBLE SENSE OF TIMING WITH BAD BOYS 3 ANNOUNCEMENT

While the rest of the country is in shock and dismay over the events in Ferguson, MO, Martin Lawrence decided it would be a great time to go on national television and talk about doing another Bad Boys movie. (20th Century Fox also released Let’s Be Cops on Wednesday, but they really couldn’t have pulled the movie from theaters two days before release.) Actually, that’s just a quibble about the timing of Martin Lawrence’s appearance on Conan (which was seen by people hoping to see Conan’s tribute to Robin Williams). This story would be “rotten” regardless, following the 23% “Rotten” scores that Bad Boys II earned back in 2003. The idea of a third Bad Boys movie has been floating around since 2003, but the last we heard much about it was in 2010. Martin Lawrence’s update went like this, “I just talked to Jerry Bruckheimer… yesterday and he said its real. They?re working on the script, they?re getting close and it all looks good.” It was Conan O’Brien who technically asked about Bad Boys III, but the questions on late night talk shows are usually discussed ahead of time.

#1 TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES GETS 2016 SEQUEL… WHICH MIGHT FEATURE KRANG

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles opened this past weekend to over $65 million (the 10th largest of 2014 so far). Not surprisingly, Paramount Pictures had already by Sunday afternoon announced plans to release a sequel to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on June 3, 2016. Michael Bay will also produce the sequel, but it’s not yet known if director Jonathan Liebesman, who also directed such “Rotten” films as Battle: Los Angeles, Darkness Falls, and Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning will be returning to help ensure Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 also gets horrible reviews. Having said that, it certainly sounds like Liebesman thinks he’s returning for the sequel, because he’s already talking about plans that might include expanding the movies to “Dimension X” for the first time, which is where cartoon villain Krang comes from. Speaking of big brained mutates who get around in metal forms, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 may end up playing catch up in 2016. The reason for this is that screenwriter Christopher Markus, who is currently working on Captain America 3, revealed this week that it’s his hope that they will be able to include M.O.D.O.K. in the sequel, and that movie, as is much publicisized already, will be released on May 6, 2016, less than a month before Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2. And as big as Krang’s head is, he’s no M.O.D.O.K. Krang was first introduced in 1987, and M.O.D.O.K. was first introduced in 1967, twenty years earlier. When he’s inside his robot body, Krang also resembles the comic book version of Arnim Zola, who also appeared in the first two Captain America movies. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles themselves also first started as spoofs of Marvel’s Daredevil (Stick and the Hand became Splinter and the Foot, and they all share radioactive goo-nealogy).

For more Weekly Ketchup columns by Greg Dean Schmitz, check out the WK archive, and you can contact GDS via Facebook.

Tag Cloud

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