This week’s Ketchup includes movies development news stories that include new roles for Anne Hathaway and Matthew McConaughey, and news about the sequels Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.
This Week’s Top Story
TOY ADAPTATION G.I. JOE TO GET A THIRD MOVIE, WHICH IS GOOD NEWS FOR TOY MOVIES (AND PROBABLY BAD NEWS FOR EVERYONE ELSE)
Just when it seemed like maybe the drive in Hollywood to produce a new wave of movies based on toys might have been prevented, G.I. Joe: Retaliation had a huge weekend, and it looks like those plans are probably right back on again. Retaliation opened to $132 million globally, and enough domestically to make it the second best Easter weekend opening ever. And so, Paramount has unsurprisingly started development on a third G.I. Joe movie. The spin that we can eventually expect from the studio or the involved producers is that this was all part of a plan for a G.I. Joe trilogy, but the lack of such talk when people expected G.I. Joe: Retaliation to be a huge bomb (like when it was bumped back from June, 2012) might suggest otherwise.
Fresh Developments This Week
#1 TWELVE YEARS LATER, FINDING NEMO GETS A SEQUEL IN FINDING DORY
Pixar Films and Walt Disney Pictures have officially announced that the Finding Nemo sequel will be called ( http://collider.com/finding-nemo-2-finding-dory-release-date/ ) Finding Dory, and will be released on November 25, 2015, over twelve years after the release of the original film (oh how, tempus fugit). Albert Brooks and Ellen DeGeneres (as the title character) are both confirmed to return in this new CGI animated adventure which is set one year after the events of the first film, which effectively makes it a period piece (though it’s unlikely we’ll be getting much circa-2004-nostalgia). Finding Dory will also be director Andrew Stanton’s next film after the experiment with live action that the world more commonly knows as last year’s John Carter.
#2 ZOE SALDANA’S FRANCHISE COLLECTION EXPANDS WITH GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY
It’s more common with elderly British actors (like Sirs Christopher Lee and Ian McKellen), but Zoe Saldana is another actor that is starting to pile up appearances in genre franchises that would be really handy if people still played Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. It all started with Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, and continued with major roles in Avatar and Star Trek. Now, Saldana is expanding her franchise domination by engaging in talks with Marvel Studios to play the green-skinned alien assassin Gamora in Guardians of the Galaxy. With Chris Pratt and Dave Bautista already cast as Star-Lord and Drax the Destroyer, the only remaining team members left to be announced are Rocket Raccoon and Groot, both of whom are likely to be mostly voice cast (since they are, respectively, a genetically manipulated animal and a talking tree). There was also an online story that (if true) lets us know that one of the villains in Guardians of the Galaxy might be frequent Iron Man enemy The Controller, acting as an agent of Thanos (who’s expected to be the main villain of The Avengers 2). Finally, ComingSoon.net scored this week a photo gallery of over a dozen concept art images from Marvel’s Phase 2 films, which includes our first glimpses at Falcon and the Winter Soldier from Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and a pretty good look at what Rocket Raccoon might look like.
#3 TIM BURTON RETEAMS WITH THE WRITERS OF ED WOOD FOR THE BIOPIC BIG EYES
Tim Burton has been making “big movies” for so long that it might be easy to forget that little biopic he directed back in 1994 about the life of filmmaker Ed Wood. Just in time for that movie’s 20th anniversary next year, Tim Burton has signed with The Weinstein Company to direct another biopic written by Ed Wood cowriters Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski. The movie in question is called Big Eyes, which will tell the true story of Margaret and Walter Keane, the married couple responsible for a distinct type of kitschy paintings easily recognized for the size of the eyes of the subjects. The couple’s story includes the twist that it was Walter Keane who took the credit at the time for the paintings, despite his wife Margaret being the one that actually painted them (sometimes locked in a room until she finished). Big Eyes has been in development for a while now, with the two roles previously being discussed as going first to Kate Hudson and Thomas Haden Church, and then to Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Reynolds. Well, if all negotiations go well, the final pairing will instead be Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz. Filming of Big Eyes will start this summer, after which, Tim Burton will probably move onto making a movie with Johnny Depp.
#4 JESSICA CHASTAIN AND BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH JOIN GUILLERMO DEL TORO’S GHOST STORY CRIMSON PEAK
This week, Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty) and Benedict Cumberbatch (Star Trek Into Darkness) joined already announced cast members Emma Stone (Easy A) and Charlie Hunnam (Pacific Rim) as the stars of Guillermo Del Toro’s next film, Crimson Peak. Although specifics aren’t yet known, Crimson Peak is described as a ghost story set during the turn of the 20th Century (from the 19th) which plays around a bit with some of the conventions of the subgenre. Filming is expected to start on Crimson Peak in January, 2014.
#5 CHLOE MORETZ AND NICHOLAS HOULT JOIN CHARLIZE THERON FOR DARK PLACES
Dark Places is the title of an adaptation of a mystery novel by Gillian Flynn about a woman who has to revisit the massacre of her family 20 years later when a group called the Kill Club questions whether the right person was convicted for the murders. Charlize Theron has already been cast as the main character (replacing the previously reported Amy Adams). This week, <Chloe Moretz (Kick-Ass) and Nicholas Hoult (Warm Bodies, About a Boy) were also cast as members of the Kill Club. Dark Places was adapted and will be directed by Gilles Paquet-Brenner (2011’s Sarah’s Key).
#6 WILLIAM H. MACY ATTRACTS AN ALL-STAR CAST FOR HIS DIRECTORIAL DEBUT RUDDERLESS
Actor William H. Macy will be making his directorial debut with a musical drama called Rudderless about a father who forms a band to perform the original music that he discovers was written by his dead son (in other words, the feel good movie of 2014). In addition to starring with his wife Felicity Huffman, Macy has recruited several established actors to join him in the cast. That list will include Billy Crudup, Laurence Fishburne, Selena Gomez (Spring Breakers), and Anton Yelchin (Star Trek Into Darkness). There’s a very solid chance that Rudderless will make its premiere at a festival like Sundance next year.
#7 LIAM HEMSWORTH TO STAR IN A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT MOVIE CALLED THE RAVEN
Liam Hemsworth inevitably still gets confused with his brother Chris (the one who is Thor), who is not the one who was in The Hunger Games. Well, now, he’s going to star in a movie that itself will be confused with a movie last year starring John Cusack. Liam Hemsworth is in advanced talks to star in The Raven, which has zero to do with Edgar Allen Poe, and is instead based upon a 2010 short film by director Ricardo de Montreuil. The Raven is described as a sci-fi conspiracy thriller set in a future version of Los Angeles. Universal Pictures is producing and distributing. Consider this a borderline Fresh/Rotten toss up, because we really don’t have much to go on besides what we can gather from watching the original short film on YouTube.
Rotten Ideas of the Week
#2 AFTER SERVING IN WORLD WAR Z, BRAD PITT ENLISTS FOR THE WORLD WAR II TANK MOVIE FURY
Nobody knows anything in Hollywood, so “everybody” could be wrong, but the common perception is that World War Z has a strong chance at being one of the summer’s biggest flops. As such, Brad Pitt is understandably looking to do something completely different next, even if it’s really easy to draw comparisons, just based on his next film’s title. Brad Pitt is in talks to star in Fury, a World War II drama about a five man tank team that finds itself facing a massive German army in the final days of the war in 1945. Fury will be directed by David Ayer (Harsh Times, Street Kings, End of Watch), and it’s the amount of green splotches on his RT Tomatometer page that make Fury a Rotten Idea this week. Filming of Fury is expected to start in September, 2013.
#1 HERCULES 3D CONFIRMS WHAT THE LATEST PAIR OF DUELING MOVIES WILL BE ABOUT
In the same way that a gas station on a corner means there will be another one across the street within a year, Hollywood loves the concept of “dueling movies,” in which two movies from competing studios have the same basic premise. Volcanos, manned missions to blow up asteroids, attacks on the White House, Snow White, and Steve Prefontaine biopics are among the subjects this has happened to in the past. To that list, you can now officially add 2014 movies about the Greek mythological hero Hercules. Director Renny Harlin expects to start filming in Bulgaria in May on a movie called Hercules 3D which will be directly competing with a movie called Hercules, which will be directed by Brett Ratner and star Dwayne Johnson. In Renny Harlin’s movie, the Greek hero will be played Kellan Lutz of The Twilight Saga. Harlin’s movie is budgeted at $70 million, and is expected to be released in March, 2014, several months before MGM and Paramount are releasing Ratner’s movie on August 8, 2014. While Ratner’s film is expected to be more “fantastic,” Renny Harlin’s film is being compared (by Harlin) to Gladiator, saying that, “It’s not a comic book, cartoony fantasy thing.” Renny Harlin apparently didn’t get the memo that many people don’t necessarily use “comic book” as an insult anymore.
For more Weekly Ketchup columns by Greg Dean Schmitz, check out the WK archive, and you can contact GDS via Facebook.