Weekly Ketchup

Weekly Ketchup: Will Smith's Pet Project and Evil Dead... With Music!

Also, more Marvel, an Inside Man sequel, and Soderbergh's Liberace.

by | September 12, 2008 | Comments

This was another extremely busy week for movie news, mostly because of the Toronto International Film Festival, at which movie makers are pressed to come up with lots of quotes about their future plans. So, I had to really narrow things down a bit to come up with just ten stories, and I’m sure if you’re following movie news, you’ll notice some of what I left out (Iron Man 2 and Ghostbusters 3, for example), but I wanted to make sure I didn’t miss covering some really big and/or cool movies that were newly announced this week. Oh, and Duke Nukem.


America’s best movie buddy, Will Smith, has a pet project lined up called The Last Pharaoh, in which he will play Taharqa, an Egyptian pharaoh who defended his land from Assyrian invaders in the 7th century BC. The Last Pharaoh is being written by Randall Wallace (Braveheart) for Columbia Pictures, based upon a story idea that Smith has reportedly wanted to see made into a movie for a very long time. This project is the blockbuster equivalent of a Reese’s cup, combining Will Smith’s (amazing) box office record with the (mostly) reliable genre of historical war epics (see: 300, Gladiator, Troy). In similar news that I can’t ignore because I’m such a huge fan of the 1970s BBC miniseries, Relativity Media has acquired the rights to the Robert Graves novel, I, Claudius, with Jim Sheridan (In America) to cowrite and direct. The scope of I, Claudius is extremely broad, covering the reigns of four Roman caesars (Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula and Claudius himself, who narrates it all), and would seem too ambitious for a single film (although it was attempted, and abandoned, back in the 1930s). Both The Last Pharaoh and I, Claudius hold a lot of promise for fans of historical epics.


Producers Don Carmody and Sam Raimi are in talks to bring the stage play, Evil Dead: The Musical, to the big screen in full 3-D glory. Take a minute to absorb that sentence, in all of its awesomeness. The musical version of Raimi’s classic horror/comedy masterpiece has a quirky feel that calls to mind titles like Little Shop of Horrors and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, but with, you know… a lot more gore and creepy zombie action, and looks to be an ingenious concept for a big screen version. Check out YouTube for clips from the play, and you’ll see what I mean, I think. The movie will feature “some” of the original cast, which leaves room for Bruce Campbell to star as Ash (one can only hope).


After a really dreadful summer, 20th Century Fox is looking to the Marvel Comics properties that it has the rights to in hopes of coming up with hits for future years, which include plans for another X-Men movie, a Deadpool movie (spinning off of the character’s inclusion in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, played by Ryan Reynolds) and a new Daredevil movie. No details were given in the piece, but based on things already known, the X-Men movie is likely to focus on young characters (possibly an origin story for the classic original five characters: Cyclops, Jean Grey, Beast, Angel and Iceman), and the Daredevil movie is likely to be a reboot, similar to what was recently done with The Incredible Hulk (ie, no Ben Affleck). What’s curiously missing from this story is any mention of X-Men Origins: Magneto, and what isn’t so surprisingly missing is any mention of another Fantastic Four movie, or its at-one-time-planned spin off, Silver Surfer. As for the Daredevil movie, I think this is a pretty good idea, because the character has no lack of great comic stories to draw upon, including several by Sin City/300 creator Frank Miller. If they could get Miller to come aboard to make a Daredevil movie, fans would DROOL.


Johnny Depp and Pirates of the Carribean director Gore Verbinski are reteaming on an animated CGI project called Rango for Nickelodeon and Paramount, about a pet (of a curiously unspecified species) who goes on an “adventure to discover its true self”, with Industrial Lights & Magic handling the CGI, which will be using motion-capture so that Depp will be providing the face and expressions of the creature… whatever it is. This will be ILM’s first venture into the field of full animated movies, but the company obviously has a huge history of CGI, so they should be very capable.


Universal is moving forward with plans for a sequel to Inside Man, the bank heist thriller that gave director Spike Lee his biggest hit ever, with the director and two of his stars, Denzel Washington and Clive Owen, in talks to return. The new movie, which is expected to be written by Terry George (cowriter of Hotel Rwanda), will feature those two characters in a new story that focuses on a new situation that continues the relationship between Washington’s hostage negotiator and Owen’s bank robber characters. I have to admit that I’ve never gotten around to actually seeing Inside Man, so please don’t spoil me as to why Jodie Foster isn’t mentioned in this story.


Hollywood’s decade long infatuation with the concept of a Liberace biopic, about the flamboyant pianist, appears to be coming to fruition with news that director Steven Soderbergh is working with Warner Bros on just such a project, with Richard LaGravenese (The Fisher King) working on the script. Although the trade notes that Liberace will not be Soderbergh’s next project (“or even the one after that”), casting is already underway, with Michael Douglas (who does actually bear a resemblance) to star, and one of Soderbergh’s frequent stars, Matt Damon, in talks to play Scott Thorson, Liberace’s longtime companion. Liberace has to wait in line a bit, as Soderbergh’s always busy slate currently includes his two Che Guevara movies coming out this fall, The Informant with Matt Damon in post-production, and his low-budget prostitute project, The Girlfriend Experience, which is set to be the next film to actually shoot.


George Clooney, in his producer role, is in negotiations with a few big names (Kevin Spacey, Ewan McGregor and Jeff Bridges) to costar with him in The Men Who Stare at Goats, based upon a non-fiction book the U.S. Army’s (reported) efforts in Iraq to utilize soldiers with paranormal ESP abilities. Filming starts early next month, with Clooney collaborator Grant Heslov making his directorial debut from a script by Peter Straughan (How to Lose Friends and Alienate People).


Beat poet Allen Ginsberg is getting the anecdotal biopic treatment via an independent production called Howl (the name of his most famous poem), focusing on the 1956 obscenity trial following its publication. The movie has an impressive cast, which includes James Franco (starring as Ginsberg), frequent Apatowiverse costar Paul Rudd, Alan Alda as the judge overseeing the case, David Strathairn as the prosecutor and Mary Louise Parker as a witness. What’s missing from the cast are all the famous people and literary peers that Ginsberg knew, but given the limited scope of the story, perhaps they will just be name checked.


Blue Man Group, the long running theatrical trio who wear bright face paint and bang around on stuff and force music out from unusual sources, have firmed up plans to bring their entertaining stylings to 3-D IMAX screens in June, 2010. The movie is being produced by the same person behind the recent Journey to the Center of the Earth (also 3-D), and filming is expected to start in June, 2009.


One of the producers of next month’s Max Payne movie revealed that he has active plans to focus on Duke Nukem next. Popular in the 1990s for mixing first person shooter gameplay with a cocky macho character, Duke Nukem has become more notorious in this decade for the length of time that the latest game, Duke Nukem Forever has taken to be developed (since 1997!). In the same piece, the producer mentions high hopes for a Max Payne sequel if the first one does well.

For past installments of Weekly Ketchup move your mouse HERE and click!

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

Awards Tour Family Western Mary poppins GoT free movies Epix Cannes joker Lifetime ITV facebook rotten movies we love Brie Larson Comic Book Paramount Network Fox News Thanksgiving Star Wars Stephen King Christmas Comedy Central Calendar First Reviews The Walking Dead spinoff Year in Review mockumentary NBC war YouTube Red space cars cops 007 technology CNN hispanic Biopics Emmys Extras Martial Arts HBO Action teaser series Writers Guild of America TCA 2017 Toys GLAAD CW Seed Spring TV sequel Acorn TV TruTV Paramount Oscars witnail thriller DirecTV RT21 2015 dramedy Captain marvel Musical CMT RT History Winter TV cartoon police drama Rock Comics on TV Emmy Nominations Premiere Dates DC Comics YA DC Universe Set visit Superheroe cinemax Warner Bros. zombie X-Men Reality Competition San Diego Comic-Con Certified Fresh Hallmark Christmas movies Women's History Month Classic Film game show ABC diversity based on movie Vudu HBO Max binge Pirates indie ratings dragons crossover Holidays kids crime thriller Chilling Adventures of Sabrina CBS All Access Binge Guide TIFF YouTube Premium Trivia Opinion supernatural IFC Films dc spanish language casting Arrowverse FX Amazon sports travel Film PBS Columbia Pictures Holiday A24 Box Office Teen Freeform Apple TV Plus Nickelodeon Podcast mutant BET NYCC stand-up comedy revenge doctor who golden globes robots SXSW disaster 2019 Anna Paquin docudrama Spike nature werewolf jamie lee curtis video comiccon SundanceTV USA Watching Series Hulu Tomatazos Schedule political drama Amazon Prime Video elevated horror Trailer Disney Channel spain blaxploitation Awards cooking screenings south america Reality spider-man Marvel Disney psycho New York Comic Con VICE 45 psychological thriller Ellie Kemper batman MSNBC sitcom 2017 Summer cancelled television National Geographic cults Universal adventure E! Kids & Family LGBTQ History finale Sundance Now Cartoon Network Music Valentine's Day Hallmark festivals Walt Disney Pictures vampires WGN true crime FOX First Look Infographic Bravo Video Games Star Trek Crunchyroll medical drama Marvel Studios Lifetime Christmas movies YouTube Turner Classic Movies miniseries TV renewals TLC DC streaming service biography TCM ABC Family romantic comedy versus VH1 christmas movies cancelled TV series cats Turner Animation zombies ghosts President Elton John MCU Photos Amazon Prime talk show natural history crime drama canceled Song of Ice and Fire toy story Starz Apple Lucasfilm historical drama serial killer CBS Ovation TNT The Witch Disney Plus Red Carpet halloween Mudbound Mary Poppins Returns 71st Emmy Awards crime Fall TV singing competition BBC America animated movies Spectrum Originals USA Network Superheroes Rocky Crackle Creative Arts Emmys strong female leads Disney streaming service American Society of Cinematographers harry potter spy thriller anthology Grammys Mystery The Purge children's TV Film Festival Fantasy renewed TV shows justice league independent ESPN LGBT award winner Showtime richard e. Grant cancelled Tumblr Adult Swim television social media cancelled TV shows AMC 2018 Syfy game of thrones science fiction Polls and Games book Chernobyl composers Drama 2016 Quiz Nominations boxoffice PaleyFest Pixar E3 Heroines 20th Century Fox SDCC Sony Pictures Mindy Kaling comic zero dark thirty Rom-Com TV Land Rocketman canceled TV shows TV Nat Geo Election FXX Cosplay Mary Tyler Moore APB WarnerMedia discovery Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Tarantino Netflix Christmas movies Pride Month Black Mirror Apple TV+ Dark Horse Comics Lionsgate unscripted The Arrangement Disney+ Disney Plus El Rey Ghostbusters latino Winners adaptation Character Guide DGA Best and Worst romance foreign OWN breaking bad Trophy Talk blockbuster IFC hist See It Skip It Interview Shudder 21st Century Fox Marvel Television Television Academy Masterpiece A&E Super Bowl Logo Pet Sematary BBC tv talk Comedy Netflix period drama green book GIFs theme song politics The CW slashers Marathons aliens Country anime Sneak Peek TBS what to watch Sci-Fi dceu streaming Pop Esquire 24 frames Peacock Horror Britbox Countdown Musicals Sundance Food Network transformers TCA quibi MTV Shondaland