Today’s Ketchup brings you another 10 headlines from the world of film development news, covering titles like The Eternals, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, and Tomb Raider 2.
The DC Comics movie Shazam! has only been in theaters for a week, and a sequel is already in development. Shazam! opened much lower ($53 million domestically) than similar movies like Aquaman ($67.8 million) and Captain Marvel ($153 million), but its $100 million budget was also (presumably) lower than those films. Screenwriter Henry Gayden, who wrote Shazam!, will also return to write its sequel. We don’t know the premise of the sequel yet, but the mid-credits tease gave us a clue about the possible villain. One has to guess that the Shazam! sequel will probably also tie in to the long-planned Black Adam movie, and this week, that film’s star revealed via an Instagram video that Black Adam will likely start filming sometime in 2020.
After months of waiting, we finally learned the title of Star Wars Episode IX via the first teaser trailer, which revealed that the ninth episode’s title will be Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. That last word is a curious choice, given what we seemed to learn at the end of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, but it’s possible that “Skywalker” in the context of the final installment of the nine-film saga could mean something other than a family name. In the teaser trailer, we see the return of two familiar faces: Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian and the late Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia Organa. Although the teaser trailer appeared on various sources instantaneously, the official location of the reveal was at a panel at this weekend’s Star Wars Celebration in Chicago, which you can watch here. We also hear the voice of Mark Hamill narrating as Luke Skywalker, and at the end of the teaser, what appears to be this actor’s sinister laugh. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is scheduled for December 20, 2019. You can read our full trailer breakdown here.
As often happens nowadays, there were several stories this week related to Marvel movies, but in the interest of saving time, we’re going to bundle together into just two Weekly Ketchup entries. Let’s start with next year’s The Eternals, for which Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick, HBO’s Silicon Valley) is now in talks for a role. We don’t have any idea what character Nanjiani might play, except that he’s the second name attached to The Eternals, after Angelina Jolie from a few weeks back. The other movie that Marvel Studios is filming this year is Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow solo movie, and O-T Fagbenle (The Handmaid’s Tale) is now in talks for an unknown role. Fagbenle is the fourth new actor in talks for Black Widow after Florence Pugh, David Harbour (Hellboy), and Rachel Weisz (The Favourite). There was also news this week of a deal between Marvel Studios and the government of Australia for a subsidy for the filming of an upcoming movie, which people are speculating will be Shang-Chi (AKA Master of Kung-Fu).
We know that Black Widow and The Eternals are the next two films Marvel Studios is shooting, and that they are also developing films for Shang-Chi and Ms. Marvel, as well as the sequels Black Panther 2, Doctor Strange 2, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 (plus, presumably, Captain Marvel will probably get a sequel too). That, however, is only eight films, and this week we learned that Kevin Feige is saying that they have a five-year plan, which, given Marvel’s recent three-movies-a-year schedule, means they’re going to come up a bit short. It’s possible that Marvel Studios is including their recent acquisition of Deadpool, Fantastic Four, and X-Men from Fox, but Feige seems to be saying that the five-year plan comes first. We also probably won’t get official announcements of this plan until after this summer’s Spider-Man: Far from Home. In the meantime, we also learned this week of Jeremy Renner starring in a Hawkeye series for the Disney+ app, plus confirmation of the Disney+ shows WandaVision, Loki, Falcon and Winter Soldier, and the animated What If? You can read about all of the Disney+ updates in our roundup here.
Marvel’s Black Panther won three Academy Awards this year for Best Original Score, Best Production Design, and Best Costume Design. That last Oscar went to Ruth E. Carter, whose film work has also included Amistad, Selma, and several of Spike Lee’s joints, including Do the Right Thing and Malcolm X. On Black Panther, Carter adapted the comic book costumes of the royalty of Wakanda, the citizens of Wakanda, and the related tribal leaders, and now she’s going to give us the attire of another fictional African nation. Ruth E. Carter will be the costume designer of the long-awaited sequel to Eddie Murphy’s Coming to America, which is scheduled for August 7, 2020, the week after Sony/Marvel’s vampire movie Morbius, starring Jared Leto.
It was just four years ago that Disney released their live action remake of their classic animated film Cinderella. This week we learned that Sony Pictures is now developing their own take on the tale that is based on a story idea from late night host James Corden. The star of Sony’s Cinderella will be singer-songwriter Camila Cabello, who will also be involved with the film’s music (and the movie will be more of a musical than Disney’s 2015 version). Sony’s Cinderella musical will be written and directed by Kay Cannon, who made her feature film debut last year with Blockers (Certified Fresh at 84%).
Dwayne Johnson is still the busiest wrester-turned-actor right now, but Guardians of the Galaxy star Dave Bautista is getting close. In addition to his likely appearance in Avengers: Endgame, Bautista will also star in Stuber (7/12/2019), My Spy (TBA 2019), Escape Plan: The Extractors (TBA 2019/2020), and as Glossu Rabban in the Dune remake (11/20/2020). In addition to those five films, Bautista signed on to two more this week. The first one we heard about this week was Army of the Dead, the “zombie heist” movie that Zack Snyder will be directing for Netflix. Although Snyder did earn a Certified Fresh 75% for his previous zombie movie, Dawn of the Dead, his last four movies have all received Rotten Tomatometer scores. Meanwhile, Bautista is also attached to star in an action/thriller called Killer’s Game for STXfilms and D.J. Caruso, who is likewise coming off a five-film Rotten Tomatometer streak.
A few weeks ago, we learned that the beloved animated character Captain Caveman will be making his feature film debut next year in Scoob (5/15/2020). Tracy Morgan will be voicing Captain Caveman, and the main Mystery Inc. gang will be voiced by Zac Efron (Fred), Amanda Seyfried (Daphne), Gina Rodriguez (Velma), Will Forte (Shaggy), and Frank Welker (Scooby). This week, we learned that Captain Caveman won’t be the only classic 1970s character making his debut in Scoob, as Ken Jeong (The Hangover, Crazy Rich Asians) will be voicing Dynomutt, the co-star of The Scooby-Doo/Dynomutt Hour from 1976 to 1977. Kiersey Clemons (Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising) has also joined the voice cast as Dee Dee Skyes, one of Captain Caveman’s “Teen Angels,” who were basically a Saturday morning cartoon spoof of the popular Charlie’s Angels primetime series.
When the Tomb Raider reboot opened in second place last year under the box office juggernaut that was Black Panther, many pundits probably presumed that the would-be franchise for Tomb Raider would be a non-starter. And critically, like most video game adaptations, the Alicia Vikander version of Tomb Raider also received a Rotten Tomatometer score of 52%. As it turns out, neither of those details is holding back Lara Croft’s cinematic future, as MGM is now developing a sequel. Possibly hoping to increase the chances of a Fresh score, MGM has hired screenwriter Amy Jump, whose Tomatometer is mostly Certified Fresh, with her one Rotten score for High-Rise being just one point off at 59%. But considering the history of video game adaptations and the lackluster first film, the Tomb Raider sequel will have a pretty steep hill to climb.
By 1978 standards, Grease was a fun, nostalgic musical and a favorite for two different generations. By other standards, the lyrics of some of the songs (like, say, “Greased Lightning”) have not aged well at all. One such example is “Summer Nights,” the lyrics of which include what seem like references to attempted sexual assault (or at least a “tell me more” inquiry about one). So, obviously, a major movie studio would never consider developing a Grease prequel in 2019 called Summer Loving, right? Of course they would, and they are. Frequent Tim Burton collaborator John August has been hired by Paramount Pictures to work on the prequel, which will show how greaser Danny Zuko first met Australian exchange student Sandy Olsson on the beach during summer vacation. John August’s next film will be next month’s Aladdin (5/24/2019), and he also worked on Guillermo del Toro’s Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (8/9/2019).