Today’s Ketchup brings you ten headlines from the world of film development news, covering titles such as Captain Marvel, Silver Surfer, Wonder Woman 2, and the new Men in Black spinoff.
Throughout his career, Quentin Tarantino has made “paying homage” not just the subtext, but frequently the actual text, so to speak, of his films. He is perhaps best known for loving exploitation films of the 1970s, but his admiration of westerns runs deep as well (see: Django Unchained and The Hateful Eight). This week, Tarantino revealed the title of his 9th film, and it’s a direct homage to Sergio Leone: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. This news also came with confirmation that Brad Pitt will be Leonardo DiCaprio’s co-star, as DiCaprio will be playing former western TV star Rick Dalton, while Pitt will play his stunt double best friend Cliff Booth. The highly publicized connection to the summer of 1969 Manson murders is that Dalton’s next door neighbor is future victim Sharon Tate. Meanwhile, it’s unclear if Tom Cruise is still in talks for a role. Sony Pictures will release Once Upon a Time in Hollywood on August 9th, 2019, the 50th anniversary of the murder of Sharon Tate and her friends.
Disney has made a habit of claiming release dates without naming specific titles. There are obvious advantages to that, both in preventing their competition from knowing their secrets and in allowing themselves development room to perhaps change plans midstream without a big fuss. Having said that, it’s still a little crazy to see how many times “UNTITLED” shows up on their release calendar. This week, Marvel added six new dates in 2021 and 2022 for UNTITLED MARVEL projects: 5/7/21, 7/30/21, 11/5/21, 2/18/22, 5/6/22, 7/29/22. Now, let’s try to figure out what some of these might actually be. First up, it’s worth noting that in 2020, Marvel is likely to deliver Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 (maybe on 5/1/20) and the Spider-Man Homecoming sequel (on either 7/31/20 or 11/6/20). Other likely titles, then, for 2021 include Doctor Strange 2 (unless that’s the 11/6/20 project), Ant-Man 3, Captain Marvel 2, Black Panther 2, Black Widow, and whatever version of Avengers will be the fifth Avengers movie (Tessa Thompson has talked about an all-female team). That still leaves us one short of the total six scheduled for 2021 and 2022. Could one of our other existing characters — Falcon? Scarlet Witch and Vision? Maybe Valkyrie or someone from Black Panther? — get a movie? Or could there be a character from the comics we haven’t seen on the big screen at all yet? Long-running Avengers not yet accounted for include Black Knight, Hercules, Spider-Woman, Namor the Sub-Mariner, and She-Hulk.
It was almost three years ago that Disney and Lucasfilm announced the Han Solo prequel (now known as Solo: A Star Wars Story) would be released on May 25th, 2018 (the 41st anniversary of the original Star Wars). However, it wasn’t until Super Bowl weekend that we saw the first trailer for it, possibly suggesting the movie is lagging behind schedule. Having said that, this news story is nominally about another Disney release, Avengers: Infinity War. Marvel Studios has announced that Avengers: Infinity War will be moved up a week from May 4th, 2018 to April 27th, 2018. To tie it all together, this piece points out the synergy involved between Solo: A Star Wars Story, Avengers: Infinity War, and another Marvel film, Deadpool 2.
The continuing critical backlash and disappointing box office for DC Comics movies that aren’t Wonder Woman seemed to suggest their future films might benefit from a lighter tone. The sequel Wonder Woman 2 will start filming soon (to meet its November 1st, 2019 release date), and we now have an idea who the villain will be. Saturday Night Live alum Kristen Wiig (Ghostbusters, Bridesmaids) is now in talks with Warner Bros. to star as the Wonder Woman 2 villain, believed to be Cheetah. Wonder Woman does not have as famous a rogues gallery as Batman, the Flash, or Superman, but Cheetah is definitely one of her biggest nemeses. What’s as yet unclear is which version of Cheetah Wiig would play, as there have been several, ranging from “ladies in cat outfits” to “actual werecheetahs.” Kristen Wiig doesn’t necessarily seem lithe enough for the latter version (unless they totally CGI her), but her casting does have its supporters.
There are a lot of fresh themes in Marvel’s Black Panther, but one of the most groundbreaking is the emphasis on strong roles for women of color like those played by Danai Gurira, Letitia Wright, Angela Bassett, and Lupita Nyong’o. Now, the latter is aligning with Viola Davis for a movie based on a true story which one could draw direct comparisons to the Dora Milaje of Black Panther. TriStar Pictures has acquired the rights to The Woman King, a drama inspired by the real-life events in the Kingdom of Dahomey (modern-day Benin) in the 18th and 19th centuries. Davis and Nyong’o will be the film’s stars as a mother and daughter pair, with Davis playing “general of the all-female military unit known as the Amazons, and her daughter Nawi (Nyong’o), who together fought the French and neighboring tribes who violated their honor, enslaved their people, and threatened to destroy everything they’ve lived for.”
Social media platforms may frequently be annoying, but every once in a while, they can also be used as a force for good. This week, a fan on Twitter asked Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn about whether he could maybe cast Mark Hamill in the 3rd movie. That led to the revelation that they actually live near each other, and then Mark Hamill joined in, and it sounds like maybe this thing might actually happen when Marvel releases GotG Vol 3 sometime in 2020. In other GotG news (and also from Twitter), Gunn also confirmed this week that Groot actually did die in the first movie (sorry for the spoilers from four years ago), and that “Baby Groot,” a.k.a. “Teen Groot,” is actually the son of the first Groot.
If you were online in late 2014 or early 2015, when the science fiction series Humans was being promoted heavily, there’s a good chance you saw a lot of Gemma Chan’s face in that show’s advertising. Similar to Karen Gillan’s transition from Doctor Who to playing Marvel’s Nebula (and to a lesser degree, Pom Klementieff as Mantis), Chan has taken on a role in next year’s Captain Marvel, playing the Kree character Minn-Erva, a.k.a. Doctor Minerva in the comics, a “geneticist and spy” who has deep ties to how Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) becomes Captain Marvel. Marvel Studios has scheduled Captain Marvel for March 8, 2019, which is currently one week after How to Train Your Dragon 3 and one week before Jordan Peele’s untitled next film. As for what we can expect from Captain Marvel, screenwriter Geneva Robertson-Dworet said this week that she will be “so sassy, she’s such a smartass, she won’t take sh– from anyone.”
20th Century Fox has been considering producing a Silver Surfer movie since the 1990s, including a period when the studio was inspired by this Silver Surfer short film, and the years leading up to 2007’s Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (Rotten at 37%). Although he did start in the comics as a Fantastic Four supporting character (along with his world-eating boss Galactus), Silver Surfer went on to lead a few different solo series (including a long one in the 1990s) as one of the biggest stars of Marvel’s cosmic universe. We don’t know for sure yet how the Disney/Fox merger will impact these plans, but Fox is developing new Marvel films, including a newly-announced Silver Surfer, and previously announced movies for Doctor Doom, Kitty Pryde, X-Force (filming in October), and Gambit. The Silver Surfer movie is now being adapted by LOST and Runaways writer Brian K. Vaughn. Fox is also going to be doing reshoots for next year’s The New Mutants (2/22/19, previously scheduled for this spring), including the addition of a new character (speculated by some to be the alien creature Warlock).
As demonstrated in this recent RT feature, there have been some really horrible movie remakes (and a lot of them are relatively recent, too). And yet, these things keep coming. The latest target is the 1980 feminist comedy 9 to 5 (originally starring Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, and Dolly Parton), which 20th Century Fox is now developing within a post-#MeToo mindset. With that in mind, 20th Century Fox has hired Parks and Recreation star Rashida Jones to star work on the project, “to find a handle that can make the concept relevant to a young comedy audience.” Presuming this would mean that Jones would be one of the three female office workers (maybe the Jane Fonda?), who would you cast alongside her?