Weekly Ketchup

Ariana Grande and Cynthia Erivo to Star in Wicked, and More Movie News

Matt Damon and Robert Downey Jr. join Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer, Gal Gadot is Snow White's Evil Queen, and Chris Pratt is... Garfield?

by | November 5, 2021 | Comments

This week’s Ketchup brings you more headlines from the world of film development news, covering such titles as Garfield, Snow White, and Wicked.


This WEEK’S TOP STORY

ARIANA GRANDE AND CYNTHIA ERIVO TO STAR IN WICKED ADAPTATION

Ariana Grande and Cynthia Erivo

(Photo by Kristin Callahan, Lev Radin/Everett Collection)

A lot of movies take years to make their way through the development process, but every once in a while, we come across a project that has really taken a long time. Consider, for example, the hit stage musical Wicked, which debuted in 2003 and then began development as a theatrical film at Universal Pictures in 2004, some 17 years ago. That it took this long for the Wicked movie to get to the point of casting its two female leads also meant that an amazing prediction was able to happen. Back in 2011, Ariana Grande was still years away from becoming famous (her first album wasn’t until 2013, and her TV work mostly involved Nickelodeon’s Voctorious). Even so, it was then that Grande tweeted about seeing Wicked on stage, “Made me realize again how badly I want 2 play Glinda at some point in my life! #DreamRole.” Kids (and kids at heart), don’t give up on those dreams, because Ariana Grande has been cast as Glinda in the movie version of Wicked. Grande will star opposite Cynthia Erivo (HarrietBad Times at the El Royale), who landed the lead role as Elphaba, aka the Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz. Their casting announcement comes just one week after the production hit something of a speed bump as the start of filming had to be delayed (again) to June, 2022. Wicked will be directed by Jon M. Chu, who is coming to Wicked hot off another Broadway musical adaptation, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights (Certified Fresh at 94%).


Other Top Headlines

1. GAL GADOT TO STAR AS THE EVIL QUEEN IN DISNEY’S LIVE-ACTION SNOW WHITE

Gal Gadot

(Photo by RCF/Everett Collection)

Gal Gadot is probably always going to be associated in fans’ minds with DC Comics and Warner Bros.’ Wonder Woman, but this week, she signed on for one of Walt Disney Pictures’ most anticipated live-action adaptations of one of their classic animated films. The crazy thing is that Gadot’s new character doesn’t even have her own name, because she will be co-starring in Snow White as “The Evil Queen.” Gadot joins West Side Story star Rachel Zegler, who signed on to star as Snow White in June. It’s been 11 years since Disney’s current slate of live-action remakes began with Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland (Rotten at 51%), but Snow White is one of the last “big” classics that have yet to get the same treatment (The Little Mermaid, due on 5/26/2023, recently wrapped filming). Snow White is expected to start filming in the summer of 2022 under the direction of Mark Webb (The Amazing Spider-Man, (500) Days of Summer). Gal Gadot is also expected to return for Wonder Woman 3, which is reportedly currently being written.


2. TAIKA WAITITI TO TAKE ON ALEJANDRO JODOROWSKY’S THE INCAL  

Taika Waitit on the set of Thor: Ragnarok

(Photo by Jasin Boland/©Marvel)

In the last couple of weeks, as reviews and stories have been written about Denis Villeneuve’s Dune (Certified Fresh at 83%), the director who gets mentioned the most is David Lynch, because he directed the first theatrical adaptation of Dune (Rotten at 44%) in 1984. There is, however, another filmmaker whose connection to Dune are the subject of a documentary called Jodorowsky’s Dune (Certified Fresh at 98%). Chilean filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky is now 92 years old, and one of his non-film projects is being developed by one of Hollywood’s most celebrated directors (who’s neither Lynch nor Villeneuve). Taika Waititi (Jojo RabbitThor: Ragnarok), who recently wrapped filming of Thor: Love and Thunder (7/8/2022), has signed on to co-write and direct an adaptation of the space opera graphic novel The Incal by Alejandro Jodorowsky and acclaimed artist Moebius (aka Jean Giraud). The Incal tells a fantastic adventure story about a mysterious artifact found in the far future that is wanted by powerful factions from across the galaxy. It should be noted that Waititi also has a few other big movies in the works, including a reboot of Flash Gordon and a mystery Star Wars project, so his take on The Incal will probably take several years before it can be produced.


3. MATT DAMON AND ROBERT DOWNEY JR. JOIN CHRISTOPHER NOLAN’S OPPENHEIMER

Matt Damon and Robert Downey Jr.

(Photo by Kristin Callahan, Elizabeth Goodenough/Everett Collection)

One of the most surprising unintended results of the COVID-19 pandemic was Christopher Nolan’s decision to exit his career-long relationship with Warner Bros. over how Tenet was released in 2020. After talking to several possible studios (including Warner Bros.), Nolan eventually moved to Universal Pictures for his next project, a $100 million adaptation of the story of atomic bomb scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer (to be played by Cillian Murphy). Oppenheimer has been coming together relatively quickly in recent weeks, including getting a release date of July 21, 2023 (right around when Warner Bros. used to release many of Nolan’s films), and the casting two weeks ago of Emily Blunt as Oppenheimer’s wife. For two of the historical supporting characters, Christopher Nolan has drawn upon two A-listers, one of whom was one of Marvel’s absolute biggest stars (Robert Downey, Jr), while the other (Matt Damon) had a fun cameo appearance in Thor: Ragnerok. We can expect Oppenheimer to have a pretty large ensemble cast, so Murphy, Blunt, Downey, and Damon will likely have more new cast members announced soon.


4. POST-DUNE, BRADLEY COOPER’S HYPERION SWITCHES TO THEATRICAL

Bradley Cooper in Limitless

(Photo by John Baer/Rogue Pictures)

After Warner Bros, announced last  year that their entire 2021 slate would also debut day-and-date on HBO Max, one of the biggest question marks revolved around Dune (Certified Fresh at 83%) and how its streaming availability would impact its domestic box office take (which ended up being $41 million, though it could have done better). Warner Bros. appears to be interpreting the relative success of Dune as a signal that there might be a theatrical audience for other science fiction epics, so the studio is partnering with Bradley Cooper and his new Weston Middleton production company on an adaptation of the 1989 science fiction novel Hyperion (and its three sequels) by author Dan Simmons. One interesting factor here is that Hyperion had originally been planned as a SYFY cable limited series, but with Cooper now involved, it’s being developed as a big, Dune-style sci-fi epic (with possible sequels) by Warner Bros. proper instead. It’s not yet known if Cooper will also take a starring role in Hyperion.


5. PAW PATROL TO RECEIVE THEATRICAL EXCLUSIVE SEQUEL WITH THE MIGHTY MOVIE

Paw Patrol: The Movie

(Photo by ©Paramount Pictures)

The rising popularity of all of the various streaming apps and services was always going to have made the years 2020 and 2021 periods of great change for the theatrical movie experience, but the impact was made exponentially greater by the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the (many) new players is Paramount Plus, which reportedly had one of its biggest hits with the animated kid’s program PAW Patrol and its first movie, PAW Patrol: The Movie (8/20/2021) (Fresh at 79%), which debuted day-and-date with theatrical ($40 million). Another recent development was the promotion of Nickelodeon boss Brian Robbins to become the head of Paramount, and this week, we saw one of Robbins’ first major new projects that bridges both of his worlds. Paramount is moving forward with the animated sequel PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie,. which has been scheduled for an exclusive theatrical release on October 13, 2023. The commitment to theatrical for the sequel to a popular recent streaming hit echoes Warner Bros.’ announcement of most of their post-2021 films (besides the HBO Max exclusives like Batgirl) also being theatrical exclusives. In PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie, a “magical meteor” will strike Adventure City, giving the canine cops superheroic abilities, transforming them into “The Mighty Pups.”


6. OVERLORD DIRECTOR ADAPTING GANTZ ANIME/MANGA

Julius Avery, director of Overlord

(Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

For the most part, Hollywood was very slow to start adapting Japanese manga and anime into live-action films, but the pace has been picking up for a few years, including 2019’s Alita: Battle Angel (Fresh at 61%), Netflix’s upcoming Cowboy Bebop series, and Sony’s recently announced adaptation of Knights of the Zodiac. Sony Pictures has been behind a fair amount of these adaptations, especially if we include Japanese books that weren’t originally manga, like the source material for Edge of Tomorrow and the upcoming Bullet Train. The studio’s latest project is an adaptation of Hiroya Oku’s Gantz, about alien-hunting assassins in a scenario that brings to mind (loosely) both Squid Game and Edge of Tomorrow. For Gantz, Sony Pictures has hired director Julius Avery, whose best known film so far is probably the World War II zombie movie Overlord (Certified Fresh at 81%). Avery’s next film before Gantz will be the recently wrapped superhero drama Samaritan (8/26/2022), starring Sylvester Stallone.


7. CHRIS PRATT TO REPLACE BILL MURRAY AS THE VOICE OF GARFIELD

Chris Pratt

(Photo by Walt Disney Studios)

As a film actor, Chris Pratt is probably best known as the star of two of the biggest current live action blockbuster franchises (Jurassic World and Guardians of the Galaxy), but he’s also been quite active as a voice actor as well. First, there was The LEGO Movie (Certified Fresh at 96%) and its sequel (Certified Fresh at 84%), followed by Pixar’s Onward (Certified Fresh at 88%), and he recently signed on to voice Nintendo’s Mario. Except for Super Mario Bros (12/21/2022), which was first adapted as a live-action film in 1993 (Rotten at 28%), most of these were relatively original, but for his next voice role, Pratt is taking over where Bill Murray left off. Chris Pratt is now signed to provide the voice of Garfield the lasagna-loving cat in a new computer-animated film from Sony Pictures and Alcon Entertainment. Unlike Garfield: The Movie (Rotten at 15%) and its sequel Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties (Rotten at 12%), the new film is expected to be entirely animated. Former Disney director Mark Dindal (Chicken Little,  The Emperor’s New Groove) will direct Garfield from a screenplay by screenwriter David Reynolds (co-writer of Finding Nemo, Fantasia 2000), who also worked with Dindal on The Emperor’s New Groove.


8. 19-YEAR-OLD TIKTOK STAR TO GET HIS OWN HALLOWEEN PARTY MOVIE

TikTok star Josh Richards

(Photo by @joshrichards)

Internet fame poses quite the challenge for Hollywood. On the one hand, the argument can be made that 40 million fans (including, in this case, 25 million followers on TikTok alone) represent a bigger fanbase than many other source materials (even Marvel barely sells a million comic books each month nowadays). On the other hand, those fans also don’t usually pay for the online content they’re following or enjoying. The next Internet celebrity to have his fanbase tested will be TikTok star Josh Richards, whose new production company CrossCheck has made a deal with STXfilms. The first project to be developed in their new collaboration will be a holiday comedy called Halloween Party, about “two friends on the fringes of Hollywood [who] go on a hunt for a crazy gamer’s fabled Halloween party. Their chase takes them through legendary ragers, haunted mansions, and the hidden depths of their own friendship as they try to get a taste of Hollywood glamor.” It’s not yet clear as to whether Richards will play one of the two friends, or the “crazy gamer” whose party they’re trying to find.


On an Apple device? Follow Rotten Tomatoes on Apple News.

Tag Cloud

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