Weekly Ketchup

Annabelle: Creation and Happy Death Day Both Get Sequels, and More Movie News

Marvel searches for Black Widow director, and new roles for Jessica Chastain, Lupita Nyong'o, Jake Gyllenhaal, Ben Kingsley, and Benedict Cumberbatch.

by | May 4, 2018 | Comments

Today’s Ketchup brings you ten headlines from the world of film development news, covering titles such as Black Widow, Choose Your Own Adventure, and Dora the Explorer.



Ryan Fujitani

Superhero movies (like this week’s Avengers: Infinity War) are obviously crushing it right now at the box office, but they also tend to have pretty big budgets. Horror films, on the other hand, also continue to enjoy consistent box office results, but tend to have smaller budgets. One example is New Line Cinema’s The Conjuring franchise, which includes the “creepy doll” spinoff Annabelle and its prequel Annabelle: Creation (as well as upcoming spinoffs for The Nun, scheduled for 9/7/2018, and The Crooked Man). We haven’t yet seen The Conjuring 3, but it looks like Annabelle 3 could feasibly beat it to release, because a third Annabelle film entered development this week. Annabelle: Creation was an origin story for the doll, and the first Annabelle seemed to lead directly to The Conjuring, so Annabelle 3 might tell an in-between story. Annabelle 3 is being fast-tracked for release next summer on July 3, 2019, which currently puts it up against the sequel to last year’s Spider-Man: Homecoming (you read that right, Avengers: Infinity War fans). The Blumhouse horror production company is also quickly moving forward with plans for Happy Death Day 2, the sequel to last year’s $123 million Groundhog Day-like hit. Jessica Rothe and Israel Broussard are both returning, and they’ll be joined by franchise newcomers Suraj Sharma and Sarah Yarkin, both of whom are playing “science enthusiasts.”

Fresh Developments


(Photo by Marvel Studios)

Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow may be long overdue for her own solo movie, but that also means you can’t accuse Marvel Studios of blindly rushing in. Variety reporter Justin Kroll recently tweeted that Marvel has already met with over 65 directors for Black Widow, and thus far, the few who have actually been named are all female. The first three we heard about were Deniz Gamze Erguven (2015’s Mustang), Chloe Zhao (The Rider), and Amma Asante (A United Kingdom). They were then followed by Maggie Betts (Novitiate) and Angela Robinson (Professor Marston and the Wonder Woman). Those, however, are only five names, so who might the other 60 directors be? Who do you think should direct Black Widow? And do you think it should be a prequel featuring Winter Soldier, as rumored? Or would you prefer to see Black Widow in a new post-Infinity War adventure?


(Photo by Melinda Sue Gordon/Paramount Pictures)

In the years since the success of Mad Max: Fury Road (and also arguably The Hunger Games and Divergent before that), there has been increased interest in developing new female-led action movies, and the spy/assassin genre has been a natural target. The first notable film of this wave was last year’s Atomic Blonde (also starring Charlize Theron), and the next year or so will have 3 or more like it, including titles like Hummingbird (starring Milla Jovovich), Peppermint (starring Jennifer Garner, scheduled for 9/7/2018), and Rhythm Section (starring Blake Lively, for February of 2019). We can now add 355, a “large-scale espionage film,” in which Jessica Chastain will star, along with other “international agents” to be played by Marion Cotillard, Penelope Cruz, Fan Bingbing, and Lupita Nyong’o. 355 will be directed by Simon Kinberg, who is coming off a streak of producing and/or writing seveal of Fox’s X-Men projects, as well as actually directing next year’s X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2/14/2019). Jessica Chastain is also producing 355, which will center on five “spies from international agencies who come together and overcome suspicions and conflicts as they battle to stop a global organization from thrusting the world into chaos… as a new spy sisterhood, code-named 355, is formed.” In other Lupita Nyong’o news, she is also attached to star in director John Woo’s remake of his classic action film The Killer, originally starring Chow Yun-Fat.


(Photo by Anne Marie Fox/Copyright Fox Searchlight.)

Last week’s news featured a lot of big studio moves announced at CinemaCon, and the exact opposite happened this week, as producers prepared for the Cannes market next week. This year’s festival is dominated by a few ambitious biographical films, and one of them is called The American (not to be confused with the 2010 assassin movie starring George Clooney). This film will tell the story of composer Leonard Bernstein’s life in five “movements, like a symphony,” from the time Bernstein conducted the New York Philharmonic at just 25 years old to his “meteroric rise to fame.” Jake Gyllenhall will star in The American as Leonard Bernstein for director Cary Fukunaga (True Detective Season 1, Beasts of No Nation). Once upon a time, Fukunaga had been attached to direct The Flash for Warner Bros, which would have come out this year (it’s not).


(Photo by Simon Varsano/Millennium Films)

Many people first discovered Sir Ben Kingsley when he starred as Mohandas Gandhi in 1982’s Gandhi. Since then, Kingsley’s other biographical roles have included Bugsy (as Meyer Lansky), Schindler’s List (as Itzhak Stern), and Hugo (as Georges Melies). This week, we learned that Kingsley has joined another biopic of a 20th century icon, and it’s a role that could potentially rival Gandhi (at least in visual spectacle, maybe). Sir Ben Kingsley is now attached to star as famed surrealist painter Salvador Dali in Dali Land for director Mary Harron (American Psycho, The Notorious Bettie Page). Lesley Manville (Phantom Thread) will play Dali’s longtime wife Gala, and Tim Roth will play Dali’s “right hand man.” Dali Land will be set in 1973 in Spain and New York, and will be told from the perspective of a young gallery assistant to be played by Frank Dillane.


(Photo by Jack English/Weinstein Co.)

Benedict Cumberbatch has a great name that evokes Golden Age celebrities who were born with names like Issur Danielovitch (Kirk Douglas) or Archibald Leach (Cary Grant). It’s also sort of a great spy name. He co-starred in the 2011 spy novel adaptation Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and the espionage-adjacent biopic The Imitation Game, and now the MCU’s Doctor Strange is attached to star in Ironbark, which will tell the true story of British Cold War spy Greville Wynne, who is particularly remembered for his connections to Soviet spy Oleg Penkovsky. Presumably, the casting of Oleg Penkovsky will be one of the next moves for Ironbark.


(Photo by Claire Folger/Paramount Pictures)

This week, in the latest example of what we call “duelling movies,” we heard about two separate movies set during famous battles in the Pacific campaign of World War II. Mel Gibson (Braveheart, The Passion of the Christ) is now attached to direct Destroyer, about the Battle of Okinawa in 1945 (adapted from the book Hell from the Heavens: The Epic Story of the USS Laffey and World War II’s Greatest Kamikaze Attack). Gibson had been expected to direct the sequel The Passion of the Christ: Resurrection, but most reports are describing Destroyer as his next directorial effort (after Hacksaw Ridge, which was also based on a World War II true story). Gibson is also reportedly considering casting his Daddy’s Home 2 co-star Mark Wahlberg, and Gibson himself may also co-star in Wahlberg’s upcoming TV-show-adaptation The Six Billion Dollar Man. The other World War II Pacific campaign movie in the news this week was Midway, about the 1942 Battle of Midway, with Woody Harrelson and Mandy Moore both in talks to star.


(Photo by Mary Cybulski/Universal Pictures)

The popular Jason Bourne movies starring Matt Damon (and briefly, Jeremy Renner) were based on characters created by author Robert Ludlum. As the Bourne movies seem to be winding down (with the last two both earning Rotten Tomatometer scores), a few years ago, Dwayne Johnson’s name was thrown into consideration to fill the imminent void. That project is called The Janson Directive, based on a novel about an ex-Navy SEAL framed by the government for a crime he didn’t commit. Unfortunately, Johnson’s busy elsewhere (currently filming Disney’s Jungle Cruise movie), so he will instead produce The Janson Directive, and WWE wrestler-turned-actor John Cena is in talks to star instead. John Cena currently co-stars in Blockers, and also has the Transformers spinoff Bumblebee coming out December 21, 2018.



(Photo by Dee Cercone/Everett Collection)

When Nickelodeon’s popular animated character Dora the Explorer first debuted in 2000, she was a seven-year-old adventurer with a talking backpack and a monkey pal named Boots. Nine years later, Dora the Explorer was aged a few years to be a “tween” of around 10-12 years old, but she was still basically a kid. Paramount Players announced this week that they have cast 16-year-old Isabela Moner (Transformers: The Last Knight) to star as their live action Dora the Explorer. Moner’s Dora the Explorer director will be James Bobin, who previously directed The Muppets and its 2014 sequel Muppets Most Wanted. The live-action Dora the Explorer is scheduled for release on August 2nd, 2019, up against the X-Men spinoff The New Mutants, and a week before Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.


The history of cinema is littered with gimmicks, though some, like color, stereo, and widescreen did actually stick around to become standards. You might remember that a few years ago, there was some experimentation with 48 fps, and part of the reason Avatar was such a success was because of the quality of its 3D. Like the 1950s, when studios were challenged by television (leading to the first wave of 3D and movies like The Tingler), studios today see competition from streaming and high-end television as a reason to consider new ways to “put butts in seats.” 20th Century Fox revealed recently that they are partnering with a new company called Kino Industries to use their new “CtrlMovie” technology. The first movie to benefit will be an adaptation of the popular children’s book series Choose Your Own Adventure, as audiences will be able to use their smart phone apps to “choose what happens next and see the consequences of those choices play out on the big screen.” Of course, that also means that the movie is basically inviting moviegoers to sit there futzing with their annoying smart phones and devices, distracting from what’s actually happening on the screen, which is what makes Choose Your Own Adventure truly a Rotten Idea.

Tag Cloud

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