On paper, the Star Trek franchise might seem (to the rest of us) like pretty a sweet deal. If you’re lucky enough to hitch your star to it, you’re looking at pretty steady work, as new installments come around every few years. On the other hand, movie stars have certain salary expectations, especially if they’re attached — or potentially attached — to more than one franchise. Star Trek 4 (the fourth film with the current cast) is still moving forward, despite the disappointing box office for 2016’s Star Trek Beyond, but this week, the casting hit a snag, as “the two Chrises” involved might not sign on. Chris Pine (Captain Kirk), and Chris Hemsworth (who plays his dad, George Kirk), have reportedly walked away from Star Trek 4 after salary negotiations fell through. The other cast members, like Zoe Saldana (Uhura), Zachary Quinto (Spock), Karl Urban (McCoy), Simon Pegg (Scotty), and John Cho (Sulu) had been expected to start negotiations next, but Pine and Hemsworth walking away leaves the project in limbo. It’s not yet known what Paramount will do with Star Trek 4 next, although recasting the two Kirks is definitely still a possibility. Which actor would you cast as the next Captain James T. Kirk?
Mike Moh is a YouTube personality who has posted tributes to 1970s martial arts star Bruce Lee. Quentin Tarantino is filling in the holes in his own tribute to Hollywood, next year’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. This week, those two things converged, as Moh has been cast by Tarantino to co-star in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood as Bruce Lee. The reason for including Lee in this movie, set in Los Angeles in the summer of 1969 before and after the Manson murders, is that Roman Polanski bizarrely once suspected Bruce Lee of murdering his wife, Sharon Tate (to be played by Margot Robbie). (We haven’t yet heard who will play Polanski, but a popular guess is frequent Tarantino star Christoph Waltz). Columbia Pictures has scheduled Once Upon a Time in Hollywood for July 26, 2019 (the week after Disney’s remake of The Lion King).
One of the most notable breakout directors of this most recent “awards season” was actress-turned-director Greta Gerwig, who made her feature film debut with Lady Bird, which received five Academy Award nominations. For her next film, Gerwig is writing and directing a new adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, the most recent major adaptation of which (Fresh at 91% and celebrating its 25th anniversary next year) featured Winona Ryder, Claire Danes, Kirsten Dunst, Susan Sarandon, and Christian Bale. Jurassic Park and Blue Velvet star Laura Dern is now in talks to join Greta Gerwig’s adaptation, and though her role hasn’t been revealed yet, it’s reported that she will have scenes with Meryl Streep. The other Little Women co-stars will include Saoirse Ronan, Timothee Chalamet (both from Lady Bird), Emma Stone, and Florence Pugh (Lady MacBeth).
Next year, Disney will be launching their big new (not yet named) streaming service, which will feature not just their existing television and film content, but also new features produced specifically for the new app. Many of the live-action projects that were previously expected to get theatrical releases are now being produced for streaming, including remakes of Father of the Bride, Honey I Shrunk the Kids, Three Men and a Baby, and The Sword in the Stone. One of the highest profile of these is Lady and the Tramp, a live-action remake that revisits the 1955 animated Disney classic. The title characters will be voiced by Tessa Thompson (Thor: Ragnarok, Westworld) and Justin Theroux (HBO’s The Leftovers). Supporting dog voices will also include Benedict Wong (Doctor Strange) as an English bulldog suitably named Bull and Kiersey Clemons (Dope) as a Scottish Terrier named Jackie (replacing “Jock” from the original film). The new Lady and the Tramp will be directed by Charlie Bean (The LEGO Ninjago Movie), and is expected to debut on Disney’s streaming service sometime in 2019.
In addition to sending some of their live-action remakes to streaming, Walt Disney Pictures is also still producing others that will indeed receive theatrical releases. The next four will be The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (from Fantasia) (11/2/18), Dumbo (3/29/19), Aladdin (5/24/19), and The Lion King (7/19/19), but the movie that made the biggest headlines this week is the fifth. Mulan is scheduled for March 27, 2020, and it’s now filming at locations in both China and New Zealand. This week, Disney revealed the first image of Liu Yifei in character as Mulan, as well as several new cast members. Rosalind Chao (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine), Cheng Pei-Pei (Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon), and Nelson Lee were revealed first, and they were then followed the next day by YouTube star Jimmy Wong and Doug Moua (Gran Torino). The other movie currently scheduled for March 27th, 2020 against Mulan is the reboot of G.I. Joe.
The #1 best selling novel of 2018 so far is A.J. Finn’s The Woman in the Window, about an agoraphobic child psychologist who witnesses her neighbors committing a crime. The scenario sounds a lot like Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window (and not at all like the 1944 Fritz Lang film noir starring Edward G. Robinson, also called The Woman in the Window). Fox 2000 has moved quickly this year towards getting their film adaptation of The Woman in the Window into theaters next year with a series of announcements that have included hiring director Joe Wright (Darkest Hour, Atonement), and stars Amy Adams, Julianne Moore, and Wright’s Darkest Hour star Gary Oldman. The latest new cast member is Anthony Mackie, who is probably best known as playing Falcon in Marvel’s various Avengers and Captain America movies. The Woman in the Window is scheduled for release on October 4, 2019 (up against the Will Smith sci-fi action movie Gemini Man, and DC Comics’ Joker, starring Joaquin Phoenix and Robert De Niro).
Generally, the Weekly Ketchup tries to avoid so-called “rumors,” but every once in a while, a story will bypass major sources (at least initially). It can also be tricky when a story comes from international press, if only because possible translation issues may emerge. This week, a French publication called Sud Ouest ran a story about director Wes Anderson (The Grand Budapest Hotel, Moonrise Kingdom), who is currently coming off his second stop-motion film, Isle of Dogs (Certified Fresh at 89%). Anderson is indeed reportedly returning to live action, and his next film will continue his international tour, which has already included India (The Darjeeling Limited), the Mediterranean Sea (The Life Aquatic), and a fictional nation in Eastern Europe (The Grand Budapest Hotel). Wes Anderson is reportedly scouting locations in Angoulême, France, aiming to start filming in February, 2019 for a 2020 release. The premise of the not-yet-titled film is also not yet known, but it’s rumored to be set in France in the years just after World War II.
This story starts with an Instagram video post from actor Tom Holland (Marvel’s Spider-Man) that featured his stuntman engaging in a stunt involving a lot of water. Now, there are many reasons why next year’s Spider-Man: Far From Home (July 5, 2019) might feature a scene in which Spider-Man is doused in water, but some fans immediately guessed that it might involve Hydro-Man, one of Spidey’s less famous villains, who first debuted in 1981. We already know that Jake Gyllenhaal has been cast as Mysterio in Spider-Man: Far From Home, but these movies frequently have more than just one villain, so it’s certainly reasonable to guess that Mysterio could be joined by Hydro-Man as well. We also recently learned that Samuel L. Jackson and Cobie Smulders will co-star (as Nick Fury and Maria Hill) in Spider-Man: Far From Home, but nothing in that story gave us any clues about Hydro-Man.
Last year, The Daily Beast ran a story called “When Prince Made a Chambermaid His Queen for a Day,” about the true story in 1986 when MTV ran a “Win a Day with Prince” contest. The winner was a motel chambermaid from a Wyoming town of Sheridan (population: 10,369), and as part of the contest, Prince (along with Martha Quinn and other MTV crew) traveled there at the height of his fame. You can read the rest of that original story and see footage of the coverage here, if you don’t mind being spoiled. And the reason you might not want to be spoiled is that this true story, Queen for a Day, is now in development at Paramount Players, with Elizabeth Banks producing and attached to star. (It’s unclear if Banks will be playing the contest winner, since, at 44, Banks is notably older than the 20-year-old who was at the heart of this story.) It’s also unknown whom might be cast as Prince.
Director Oliver Stone may have become famous for his impressive streak of 1980s films like Salvador, Platoon, Wall Street, Talk Radio, and Born on the Fourth of July, but the argument is there in his Tomatometer that he’s become infamous in the last two decades for films like W. (Rotten at 58%), South of the Border (50%), Savages (51%), and Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (54%). For his next film, Stone is eschewing fact-based dramas like W. and Snowden for a New York-set drama that takes place across three generations called White Lies. Benicio del Toro, who previously worked with Stone in 2012’s Savages, will star in White Lies as a “a child of divorce now repeating his parents’ mistakes in his own marriage and with his troubled son.” Will White Lies offset the recent tendency toward Rotten scores on Oliver Stone’s Tomatometer?