Weekly Ketchup

Alicia Vikander Will Be Tomb Raider's New Lara Croft, and More Movie News

Sherlock Holmes 3 and a Shinobi adaptation are coming, but Marvel's Inhumans is not, plus new roles for Paul Rudd and Jamie Foxx, but not Will Ferrell.

by | April 29, 2016 | Comments

This week’s Ketchup brings you another ten headlines from the world of film development news (those stories about what movies Hollywood is working on for you next). Included in the mix this time around are stories about such titles as Dennis the Menace, Sherlock Holmes 3, and Shinobi; and new roles for Jamie Foxx and Paul Rudd.


This Week’s Top Story

ALICIA VIKANDER IS YOUR NEW LARA CROFT, TOMB RAIDER

Alicia-Vikander-Big

While superhero movies continue to dominate the box office, the lucrative video game industry (which now makes almost as much money each year as Hollywood does) remains another potential source for adaptations. In 2016 alone, we will soon have movies based on Angry Birds, Warcraft, and Assassin’s Creed. One of the franchises that has been attempting a reboot is Square Enix’s Tomb Raider, which was previously made into a pair of movies starring Angelina Jolie. Unfortunately, those movies both received Rotten Tomatometer scores: Lara Croft – Tomb Raider (19%) and Lara Croft – Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (24%). The challenge, then, is not only to deliver an entertaining adventure movie that audiences enjoy, but for the film also to win over critics this time around. Naturally, there’s also the question of who to cast as the British adventurer Lara Croft. There had been stories that Daisy Ridley (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) was in talks for the role, but this week, we learned the role will be going to another recent “It Girl” instead. Alicia Vikander, the Swedish star/costar of Ex Machina, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., and The Danish Girl, has been cast as the new Lara Croft in the reboot of Tomb Raider. The Jolie movies were produced by Paramount Pictures, but the rights now reside with MGM and GK Films (World War Z, Rango, Hugo). The production looks like it might be particularly Scandinavian-themed, as director Roar Uthaug (The Wave) is himself Norwegian. There are currently no details about what Lara Croft’s new adventure might be (or whether it will be adapting any specific video game), but what we do know is that after many, many other screenwriters worked on it, the Tomb Raider script is currently being redrafted by screenwriter Evan Daughtery (Divergent, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles). As for Daisy Ridley, she also made the news this week for signing on to the indie drama The Lost Wife, about a romance in Prague in 1939 torn apart by the threat of the invading Nazi’s.


Fresh Developments This Week

1. JAMIE FOXX TO BE THE HUMAN SURROUNDED BY PUPPETS IN THE HAPPYTIME MURDERS

Jamie-Foxx

Over the last several years, the Jim Henson Company has supervised something of a career comeback for The Muppets. Another puppet-themed project that JHC has been working on, however, will involve an entirely new group of puppets. That project is called The Happytime Murders, and it is frequently compared to Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Avenue Q, as it it set in a world where humans and puppets live side-by-side. This week, we finally learned what lucky actor will get to represent us humans in this crazy world. The answer is Jamie Foxx, who is now in early talks with STX and the Jim Henson Company to star in The Happytime Murders. Let’s quote Variety for their summary of the film’s premise: “The raucous comedy explores a world where puppets and humans live side by side, and the puppet stars of the iconic TV show ‘The Happytime Gang‘ are some of the biggest celebrities around. But off camera, the family-friendly cast leads the kinds of lives that would make a tabloid writer blush.” Jamie Foxx is in talks to play the human police detective working with a puppet partner to investigate a series of murders of puppets involved with the Happytime Gang TV show. The Happytime Murders will be directed by Brian Henson (Jim’s son), whose previous credits include The Muppet Christmas Carol and Muppet Treasure Island, and it’s expected to have a much darker tone (probably PG-13) than anything The Muppets have starred in, which is why it is very specifically not called a Muppets movie.


2. THE CATCHER WAS A SPY (AND ALSO PAUL RUDD!) 

PaulRudd

Paul Rudd may have to spend a lot of the next few years costarring as Ant-Man in various Marvel movies (including Ant-Man and the Wasp, dated for 7/6/18), but like some of his Marvel costars, he will still have time for other movies as well. One of those new projects will be a departure from the broad comedies and little indie dramas that Rudd used to star in before Ant-Man. That’s because he’s set to star as Chicago White Sox baseball star Moe Berg in the World War II drama The Catcher Was a Spy. The film will adapt the true story of Moe Berg‘s life, focusing on the years in the 1930s and 1940s when he operated as a spy for the O.S.S. (the precursor of the CIA). Specifically, the film will focus on Berg’s efforts to work against Germany’s plans to perfect atomic bombs before the Allies (spoiler: they didn’t). Berg also had the distinction of being a Jewish baseball player and a member of the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame and MuseumThe Catcher Was a Spy will be directed by Ben Lewin (The Sessions), working from a script by screenwriter Robert Rodat (Saving Private Ryan, The Patriot).


3. DISNEY NOW HAS BIG COMPETITION: COMCAST/NBCUNIVERSAL BUYS DREAMWORKS ANIMATION

Comcast-Dreamworks

This particular story may read a little bit like “inside baseball” to casual movie fans, but the implications are potentially seismic. This week, following years of speculation, DreamWorks Animation was purchased by Comcast, the corporate owners of NBCUniversal, and further down the line, Illumination Entertainment. The deal was made for a cash transaction of $3.8 billion, which is seen as a premium over the previous price of DreamWorks Animation stock. DreamWorks Animation will continue to be a separate brand, but it will now operate under the supervision of Illumination Entertainment head Chris Melelandri, while Jeffrey Katzenberg will leave DWA to focus on a new enterprise called DreamWorks New Media and projects like “AwesomenessTV.” For the average moviegoer, this won’t initially mean much, other than some shuffling of release dates, since DWA movies like Trolls, Boss Baby, Captain Underpants, The Croods 2, and How to Train Your Dragon 3 will no longer be competing against Illumination movies like The Secret Life of Pets, Sing, Despicable Me 3, and Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch. Box office-wise, the question now will be whether this puts Universal Pictures even closer to someday beating the juggernaut that Walt Disney Pictures has become with its ownership of Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm.


4. NINJA VIDEO GAME SHINOBI SNEAKS INTO THE HEADLINES

Shinobi

The Weekly Ketchup is compiled every Friday afternoon, and like any such column with a hard deadline, it’s always fun when someone in Hollywood decides to sneak out a big announcement at the very last moment. (This column doesn’t write itself!) This week, something particularly ironic happened because the movie that snuck into the online consciousness like a big surprise is a ninja movie. The video game company SEGA is teaming up with Hollywood producer Marc Platt to start development of a movie based on their long-running ninja video game franchise Shinobi. The first Shinobi game debuted in arcades in 1987, and it was followed by over a dozen other Shinobi games (or spinoffs) in the nearly 30 years since. Marc Platt is a diverse producer whose films have included comic book adaptations like Wanted and Scott Prilgrim vs the World, as well as films from acclaimed directors like Steven Spielberg (Bridge of Spies), Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive), and Jonathan Demme (Rachel Getting Married). The news of Shinobi someday becoming its own potential movie franchise is especially interesting since one of the next video adaptations will be the similarly-themed (though with very different settings) Assassin’s Creed (12/21/16).


5. THE GAME IS AFOOT! HERE COMES SHERLOCK HOLMES 3

Sherlock-Holmes

After Sherlock Holmes was a box office hit in 2009, it was (relatively) quickly followed by a sequel, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows in 2011. Those movies, however, are now nearly five years old, and one could argue that dust is starting to settle on the Downey Jr./Law/Ritchie franchise. That doesn’t mean, however, that we won’t see all of them return someday for a third movie.  We now know that because Warner Bros has hired screenwriter James Coyne to start work on a Sherlock Holmes 3 screenplay. Coyne’s previous films bypassed the traditional feature film circuit: 2013’s Vikingdom (43 percent Rotten) and 2014’s Puncture Wounds. It is expected that Jude Law, Robert Downey Jr. and director Guy Ritchie will all return for Sherlock Holmes 3. In related news, Benedict Cumberbatch recently started filming series 4 of his own Sherlock made-for-TV movies, almost immediately after wrapping up Marvel’s Doctor Strange (11/4/16). We’re keeping this one in the “Fresh Developments” category because of the Tomatometer scores of the first two movies (70 percent and 60 percent, both Fresh).


Rotten Ideas of The Week

4. THIS WEEK IN PROBLEM CHILDREN, PART 1: DENNIS THE MENACE TO MENACE AGAIN

Dennis-the-Menace

When it comes to “kids movies,” Hollywood sort of has a thing for trying to reboot franchises that are way, way, way past their expiration date, especially for little kids. Consider, for example, the live action reboots of titles like The Little Rascals, Annie, and The Peanuts Movie. Well, another such reboot is in the works, as Warner Bros has started development on a new adaptation of Dennis the Menace. In something of a “huh?” move, Warner Bros has decided to hire screenwriter Stacey Menear, whose one credit to date is the recent horror film The Boy, to adapt this new version of Dennis the Menace. Most of the Dennis the Menace movies of the last 30 years have gone direct to video, but there was one theatrical release, starring Walter Matthau, which earned a Rotten score of just 23 percent.


3. THIS WEEK IN PROBLEM CHILDREN PART 2: THE OMEN PREQUEL, THE FIRST OMEN

The-Omen

In the 1976 paranoia horror classic, The Omen, an American diplomat’s wife gives birth to a baby which, over the next few years, seems to cause people around him to do evil things (or have evil things done to them), and it turns out that little Damien is really the devil’s kid. This week, 21st Century Fox announced plans for a prequel to that film called The First Omen. The details of the premise haven’t been revealed yet, but the title seems to suggest that there was another kid before Damien Thorne, sometime before 1976. But since it’s a prequel, don’t we already know that the devil’s plan didn’t work out the first time? What’s the point of making a prequel movie about that “first” kid? Well, maybe that’s a question that screenwriter Ben Jacoby has already figured out.  Fox has also already hired director Antonio Campos to direct, coming off his recent Sundance hit Christine (not to be confused with the Stephen King book/movie about the demonic car), and David S. Goyer is producing it.


2. THIS WEEK IN MARVEL: INHUMANS PULLED FROM SCHEDULE, MORE WOLVERINE 3 CASTING NEWS

Inhumans

There had been rumbling in recent weeks that Marvel Studios might be changing their collective mind about the Inhumans movie, which had once been scheduled for November 2, 2018, and then for July 12, 2019. Well, we now know that Marvel Studios has removed Inhumans from their schedule entirely. It should be noted, of course, that this doesn’t mean that there will never be an Inhumans movie, as plenty of movies have eventually been made after being stuck in “development hell” for years (or even decades!). This change leaves lots of questions, including whether the Inhumans (such as Black Bolt, Medusa, Chrystal, Lockjaw, and Karnak) will still appear in other Marvel movies, without appearing their own movies. (After all, there are plenty of Marvel characters in Marvel’s movies who haven’t had their own movies yet, like Black Widow, Hawkeye, Nick Fury, Vision, Falcon, Scarlet Witch, etc.) We’re calling this a “Rotten Idea” because it seemed like Inhumans had the potential to be another “surprise” from Marvel, a la Guardians of the Galaxy. After all, who doesn’t want to see a bunch of freaky superhuman types (like a lady with crazy moving hair) being teleported around the world by a giant dog? In other Marvel news (albeit on the Fox side of things), there was more casting news this week for Wolverine 3 (3/3/17), and they’re both British gentlemen. Richard E. Grant  will play a “mad scientist” type, and frequent Ricky Gervais collaborator Stephen Merchant has also landed a role. Finally, in the very concrete “spoilers” category, we learned this week that Nathan Fillion will again be in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, but the role, and the setting for the role, are all very, very, very spoilery. You’ve been warned.


1. THE REAGAN MOVIE (WHICH WILL NOT BE STARRING WILL FERRELL)

WillFerrell2

In film development news, we’re used to movies taking years and years to happen. What is far less common is news that changes within a few hours or days. But that’s what happened this week with a “Black List” screenplay called Reagan, about the President of the United States who was struggling with Alzheimer’s late in his life. This story starts on Wednesday morning, when Variety reported that Will Ferrell was “attached to star” as President Reagan in Reagan. Reportedly, the film (if it is still produced) would begin “at the start of the then-president’s second term when he falls into dementia and an ambitious intern is tasked with convincing the commander-in-chief that he is an actor playing the president in a movie.” President Reagan’s family was quick to respond, with his daughter Patti Davis taking the lead, penning an open letter directly to Will Ferrell on Thursday. That leads us to this morning, and the news that Will Ferrell is “not pursuing” the Reagan comedy project. As to who might replace Will Ferrell, the news also broke today that for a planned table read of the Reagan screenplay, both Lena Dunham (who was eyed to play Peggy Noonan) and Tony Goldwyn have now dropped out of doing the read.

Tag Cloud

vampires E3 San Diego Comic-Con Horror nfl 2018 popular 20th Century Fox directors Fall TV 2015 worst finale Sony Pictures Spike medical drama indiana jones adaptation cars witnail Epix 2017 Vudu strong female leads Amazon Prime Video children's TV trailers zombie docuseries sequel Nickelodeon comiccon foreign justice league YouTube Premium Britbox unscripted Comedy prank Food Network OWN Disney streaming service video Pop The CW Showtime indie TCA 2017 television Video Games golden globes women Set visit versus Shondaland spider-man ViacomCBS Emmys Heroines Disney Nominations laika Television Academy Pacific Islander james bond movie Election reviews spider-verse Endgame Comedy Central National Geographic BBC hispanic IMDb TV YA Pop TV dreamworks spain YouTube social media psycho live event die hard Super Bowl Martial Arts new star wars movies period drama scorecard sag awards 73rd Emmy Awards satire Trophy Talk Tarantino CW Seed Biopics canceled GIFs TruTV Film Apple royal family elevated horror screenings GoT USA 24 frames 72 Emmy Awards 2016 4/20 A&E screen actors guild new york ITV comic book movies BBC America new zealand Emmy Nominations Grammys PaleyFest crime drama Apple TV Plus Stephen King Cannes Marvel Studios binge hist twilight series Ellie Kemper monster movies rt labs Valentine's Day casting concert Premiere Dates Crunchyroll ESPN The Witch science fiction nature Amazon Studios joker ID psychological thriller deadpool NBA 2019 Lionsgate werewolf boxoffice Polls and Games zombies space Acorn TV BET Paramount Network stoner all-time cults TCA political drama Rock sitcom critic resources french dark olympics live action revenge History legend Fantasy video on demand Family Cartoon Network Holiday Instagram Live serial killer toronto FXX TBS Lifetime Christmas movies SundanceTV Neflix Awards Tour mutant robots young adult Turner MSNBC zero dark thirty quibi LGBT TIFF adventure scary movies TCA Winter 2020 reboot cooking natural history mcc pirates of the caribbean award winner Paramount rotten high school streaming movies Crackle romance Pirates SDCC war dogs Mystery TV Land Superheroes The Walt Disney Company aapi Superheroe LGBTQ jurassic park remakes Song of Ice and Fire adenture Writers Guild of America TLC Universal Pictures Columbia Pictures police drama Nat Geo stop motion DC Universe documentaries MTV rom-coms films Television Critics Association IFC Films biography Disney+ Disney Plus cancelled TV series CBS All Access DirecTV IFC Classic Film Esquire asian-american Rocketman breaking bad Exclusive Video PlayStation kaiju APB saw classics hidden camera politics Brie Larson blockbusters RT21 spy thriller tv talk genre Academy Awards franchise 21st Century Fox black Syfy slashers Adult Swim japanese Elton John Freeform gangster lord of the rings cancelled SXSW mission: impossible Sci-Fi Holidays GLAAD VOD Pride Month japan Extras VH1 93rd Oscars art house Pet Sematary halloween tv Calendar obituary biopic name the review jamie lee curtis Netflix 71st Emmy Awards Marathons diversity Avengers Reality Competition ghosts Pixar Travel Channel Wes Anderson Character Guide superman fast and furious Captain marvel Best and Worst parents MCU rt archives canceled TV shows marvel cinematic universe godzilla aliens miniseries Hallmark Christmas movies supernatural nbcuniversal child's play CMT Trivia Binge Guide Opinion action-comedy singing competition Fox News news TCA Awards teaser Christmas DC streaming service feel good Rom-Com Comic Book scary archives TNT Mudbound See It Skip It sports El Rey BET Awards Reality toy story Bravo Spectrum Originals basketball cancelled television Year in Review Oscars Certified Fresh DC Comics Warner Bros. 1990s historical drama mob HBO Max cops game show 2020 Drama Tokyo Olympics streaming Sneak Peek best Apple TV+ comic Mary poppins Awards WGN Logo know your critic transformers HBO Go Quiz festivals Interview Hulu CBS Film Festival Fox Searchlight renewed TV shows debate The Arrangement Toys Sundance international italian hollywood DGA Red Carpet The Academy anthology Baby Yoda Black Mirror FX Winter TV Thanksgiving disaster Turner Classic Movies Peacock Marvel Television Masterpiece talk show thriller green book First Reviews comic book movie USA Network marvel comics blaxploitation ABC venice Hallmark dc razzies New York Comic Con theme song Countdown dexter king arthur dragons 99% First Look romantic comedy criterion Mary Tyler Moore telelvision YouTube Red Trailer Animation animated comedies Tubi docudrama crossover Alien 45 crime Tomatazos movies discovery Starz Sundance TV Hear Us Out Country Musical cancelled TV shows Creative Arts Emmys spinoff AMC Plus fresh A24 Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Schedule crime thriller 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards halloween Ghostbusters chucky rotten movies we love emmy awards Walt Disney Pictures Music HBO FOX dceu comic books Cosplay Musicals Kids & Family travel Ovation 2021 Lucasfilm Watching Series doctor who wonder woman free movies Fargo Comics on TV technology documentary Star Trek dramedy spanish TV movies Funimation Box Office Rocky Amazon boxing superhero sequels 007 target posters slasher NBC true crime worst movies The Walking Dead kong blockbuster PBS Broadway TV One Photos south america The Purge Marvel book adaptation critics Anna Paquin Tumblr harry potter Discovery Channel book CNN kids cinemax WarnerMedia cats TV renewals cartoon black comedy Legendary Western ABC Signature TCM Black History Month Infographic australia king kong mockumentary Universal NYCC Action TV game of thrones Winners Disney Plus BAFTA suspense FX on Hulu Lifetime Comic-Con@Home 2021 what to watch richard e. Grant a nightmare on elm street scene in color universal monsters Mary Poppins Returns E! Paramount Plus Dark Horse Comics Mindy Kaling Chernobyl Women's History Month Netflix Christmas movies Disney Channel Arrowverse RT History Shudder based on movie Podcast American Society of Cinematographers sopranos latino BBC One Spring TV Image Comics spanish language Amazon Prime heist movie OneApp hispanic heritage month facebook football Star Wars vs. christmas movies Teen 90s AMC batman golden globe awards independent anime rt labs critics edition comics President VICE ABC Family Summer Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt stand-up comedy festival X-Men Sundance Now ratings composers