This week’s Ketchup brings you more headlines from the world of film development news, covering such titles as Alien, Escape from New York, and A Quiet Place: Day One.
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Back in March, it was announced that Steven Spielberg had started work on a project that would revive the character of Frank Bullitt that Steve McQueen portrayed in the action classic Bullitt (Certified Fresh at 98%). At the time, the lingering question was who Spielberg would recruit to take over the title role. The answer is Bradley Cooper, who has signed a deal with Warner Bros. to star as Frank Bullitt in the currently untitled project. Both Cooper and Spielberg will be among the film’s producers (which will include Steve McQueen’s son Chad McQueen and granddaughter Molly McQueen as executive producers). Whatever this new Bullitt will be about, it is currently being written by screenwriter Josh Singer, who co-wrote Spotlight (Certified Fresh at 97%) and Spielberg’s The Post (Certified Fresh at 88%). Steven Spielberg’s The Fabelmans (Certified Fresh at 94%) is currently in theaters, and Bradley Cooper recently wrapped filming of the Leonard Bernstein biopic Maestro, which he both starred in and directed.
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After a career as a stunt coordinator, David Leitch had a major success with John Wick (Certified Fresh at 86%), which he produced and co-directed (uncredited), and ever since, he has stayed super busy as a director. In just the last five years, Leitch has directed Atomic Blonde (Certified Fresh at 79%), Deadpool 2 (Certified Fresh at 84%), Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (Fresh at 68%), and this summer’s Bullet Train (Rotten at 53%), and he’s currently working on the 1980s TV show adaptation The Fall Guy, starring Ryan Gosling in the role originally played by Lee Majors. Leitch apparently won’t be slowing down anytime soon, because he’s now signed to direct Channing Tatum in an action spy movie described as “a new spin on James Bond” called Red Shirt. Tatum will next be seen in Magic Mike’s Last Dance (2/10/2023), the trailer for which debuted online this week.
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In addition to his prolific career as an actor, Jonah Hill also made his feature film debut as a director with 2018’s Mid90s (Certified Fresh at 80%), which he recently followed up with the Netflix documentary Stutz (Fresh at 100%). For his next film, Hill is now attached to direct a project (which he also co-wrote) with a secret premise called Outcome, with Keanu Reeves also attached to star. Outcome does not currently have a distributor, but Deadline is reporting that it’s expected to be the subject of a studio bidding war in the coming week, just before everyone leaves town for the Thanksgiving holiday. Keanu Reeves has been staying super busy lately, going from the filming of John Wick: Chapter 4 (3/24/2023) directly to also co-starring in the John Wick spinoff Ballerina, starring Ana de Armas.
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There are plenty of famous filmmaking duos (especially among siblings like the Coens, the Wachowskis, etc), but the rising star collective that goes by the name Radio Silence is actually composed of three filmmakers (Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett, and Chad Villella). Radio Silence had their first critical hit in 2019 with the action/horror/comedy Ready or Not (Certified Fresh at 88%), which quickly led to Radio Silence taking over the Scream franchise, with the series’ fifth film, Scream (Certified Fresh at 76%), released early this year and Scream 6 already filmed and scheduled for release on March 10, 2023. We can now add another franchise to Radio Silence’s growing filmography, as the trio has made a deal with 20th Century Studios to direct the reboot of John Carpenter’s 1981 sci-fi/action classic Escape from New York (Certified Fresh at 86%) that the studio has been developing since 2015. It is unclear if Kurt Russell will be reprising his role as Snake Plissken, or if the role will be recast with a younger actor. In the original film, Snake Plissken is a hardened criminal who is given the assignment of venturing into near-future Manhattan, which is now a city-wide prison island, to rescue the President of the United States.
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Besides the show’s obligatory plot twists, one of the biggest surprises in this year’s fourth season of Stranger Things was the breakout character Eddie Munson, played by British actor Joseph Quinn. Just two weeks ago, the big news was that Black Panther: Wakanda Forever star Lupita Nyong’o had landed the lead role in the monster movie A Quiet Place: Day One, spinning off from the Emily Blunt and John Krasinski movies A Quiet Place (Certified Fresh at 96%) and its sequel. Quinn is going from the scary monsters of Stranger Things to the scary monsters of A Quiet Place, because he is the second actor to join the prequel after Lupita Nyong’o. A Quiet Place: Day One will be directed by rising star director Michael Sarnoski, who first made his mark with the Nicolas Cage culinary thriller Pig (Certified Fresh at 97%). Paramount Pictures has already scheduled A Quiet Place: Day One for release on March 8, 2024.
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One of the biggest surprise domestic US box office hits of 2022 (relatively, for a foreign language film, at $11 million) was the Indian film RRR (Certified Fresh at 93%), a fictionalized action epic based on two Indian revolutionary historical figures, Alluri Sitarama Raju and Komaram Bheem, in the 1920s. This week, director S.S. Rajamouli revealed that an RRR sequel is now in development, with his father V. Vijayendra Prasad currently working on the screenplay. Rajamouli has not revealed any details about what the sequel might involve, but he has made statements about wanting to work with stars N.T. Rama Rao Jr. and Ram Charan again, so it appears their characters will probably (or possibly) return for the sequel.
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Depending upon how you count them, there are currently either eight Alien movies (including the Alien vs Predator crossovers) or just six of them, but either way, there will soon be at least one more. It’s unclear when the next film will be set, but 20th Century Fox is now in pre-production on the next Alien movie, with the lead role going to young actress Cailee Spaeny, who has had key roles in movies like On the Basis of Sex (Fresh at 72%), Bad Times at the El Royale (Certified Fresh at 74%), and Pacific Rim: Uprising (Rotten at 42%), as well as the HBO mini-series Mare of Easttown (Fresh at 95%). The new Alien movie doesn’t have a title yet, but it will be directed by horror veteran Fede Alvarez, who has brought us Don’t Breathe (Certified Fresh at 88%) and the 2013 remake of Evil Dead (Fresh at 63%).
(Photo by Eli Winston/Everett Collection)
The hit Disney+ series The Mandalorian wrapped filming its third season earlier this year (and is scheduled to start streaming in February 2023), so its star Pedro Pascal now some time on his hands for feature film projects. His agents were apparently so focused that he was announced as being cast in two different projects in the same week, even. First, on Wednesday, Pascal was cast in a 1980s-set ensemble drama called Freaky Tales alongside Ben Mendelsohn (Captain Marvel) and Dominique Thorne (Black Panther: Wakanda Forever). The film will be directed by the directing duo behind Captain Marvel (Certified Fresh at 79%), Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden, inspired by Fleck’s experiences of growing up in the Oakland area in the late 1980s. The other new project this week for Pedro Pascal is an ensemble comedy called The Uninvited, in which Pascal will co-star with Walton Goggins and Lois Smith.
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Although most of them have been on Disney+ and not theatrical releases, Walt Disney Pictures has lately been reviving a number of their past hits for either sequels (like Hocus Pocus 2) or spinoff shows (like National Treasure: Edge of History). We can now add 2001’s The Princess Diaries (Rotten at 49%), starring Anne Hathaway and Julie Andrews. Screenwriter Aadrita Mukerji is now working on The Princess Diaries 3, but it’s unclear if Anne Hathaway (who has in the past expressed interest in a third film) will be reprising her role or not. It’s also unclear whether The Princess Diaries 3 will be released theatrically or be a Disney+ exclusive.
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In the summer of 2020, one of the biggest stories was that Margot Robbie was partnering with Walt Disney Pictures on a female-centric Pirates of the Caribbean spin-off (which may or may not have involved the “Redd” character who can be seen at Disney theme parks). This week, while talking to Vanity Fair, Robbie revealed that her Pirates of the Caribbean spin-off is apparently not moving forward. In her own words, Robbie said, “We had an idea and we were developing it for a while, ages ago, to have more of a female-led — not totally female-led, but just a different kind of story — which we thought would’ve been really cool, but I guess they don’t want to do it.” With this project now cancelled, there is no longer any Pirates of the Caribbean movie in current development at Walt Disney Pictures. Margot Robbie will next star in the Hollywood-set ensemble Babylon (12/23/2022), next summer’s Barbie (7/21/2023), and, sometime next year, Wes Anderson’s Asteroid City.