This special edition of the Weekly Ketchup covers all the big stories that came out of this past weekend’s San Diego Comic-Con and includes news about superhero movies like Ant-Man and the Wasp, Captain Marvel, Justice League, Shazam!, and Spawn.
In a Saturday at San Diego Comic Con bursting with trailers, Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of Ready Player One (3/30/18) may have been the one that set social media on fire the most. Fans of Ernest Cline’s novel probably weren’t surprised by the trailer’s many 1980s/1990s pop culture references. There was, however, glee to be found in spotting them all. We don’t want to spoil too many, but we spotted: The Iron Giant, Freddy Krueger, Christine, as well as vehicles from Akira, Back to the Future, and Mad Max, among others.
As if there wasn’t enough nostalgia in Ready Player One, Marvel Studios also announced one of their upcoming films would be set in the 1990s — and it’s one we already knew about. Captain Marvel (3/8/19), starring Brie Larson, will be set at least 18 years before 2008’s Iron Man, and will also introduce the shapeshifting alien race, the Skrulls (you can get a tease of them right here). Samuel L. Jackson will reprise his role as S.H.I.E.L.D. superspy Nick Fury, and he’ll still have both of his eyes, which opened up a world of new questions about the setting.
New Line Cinema has announced that Shazam! — also known as “Captain Marvel” but not to be confused with Marvel’s own Captain Marvel — will be the next DC Comics movie to start filming, in early 2018, after Warner Bros’ Aquaman (12/21/18), which suggests a possible release date in 2019 (the same year as Marvel’s Captain Marvel). Dwayne Johnson is attached to star in Shazam!, but we don’t yet know who will play young Billy Batson or his titular superhero alter ego, and the film will be directed by David F. Sandberg (Lights Out, next month’s Annabelle: Creation).
Ever since 2015’s Ant-Man, there have been rumors about who might play the first Wasp, Janet Van Dyne (Sharon Stone and Catherine Zeta-Jones, both of whom have obvious Michael Douglas ties, were mentioned). As it turns out, it’ll be former Catwoman Michelle Pfeiffer (Batman Returns) who will co-star in Ant-Man and the Wasp (7/6/18), and she will be joined by Laurence Fishburne (The Matrix) as Bill Foster, who in the comics was also the size-shifting superhero Black Goliath. Hannah John-Kamen (Ready Player One) has also been cast as a female version of the corporate espionage villain The Ghost.
By all reports, Joss Whedon is still working on reshoots of this November’s Justice League, after Zack Snyder’s departure due to a family tragedy. Even so, the new Justice League trailer already seems to showcase Whedon’s influence, including more focus on Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, and levity from Cyborg and the Flash. The ending does tease us with a question, though, which is: who is Jeremy Irons’ Alfred talking to? Superman would seem an obvious answer (since we know Henry Cavill is in the movie), but what if we’re in for a surprise?
We don’t have a release date for DC’s solo Flash movie yet, but DCEU guiding hand Geoff Johns revealed something big at SDCC. The Flash movie will be based on the popular “Flashpoint” storyline from the comics, which paved the way for a total continuity revamp. Fans of the CW TV series are also familiar with Flashpoint, because it was a key part of season 3. Flashpoint may give WB and DC a convenient way of solving inevitable casting problems, but it’s also great for retelling stories or revamping characters.
Although the blame isn’t necessarily on him, the two movies last year featuring Ben Affleck as Batman both received Rotten Tomatometer scores: 27 percent for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and 25 percent for Suicide Squad. That might be partly why there was a report this week that Warner Bros. is considering options to ease another actor into the role of Batman, post-Affleck. However, the reason we call this a “rumor” is that Affleck himself seemed to deny it.
One of the most dazzling trailers to debut at SDCC was for Marvel’s Thor: Ragnarok, which, among other things, showcased Mark Ruffalo’s return as Hulk (including actual dialogue from the Green Goliath). Enjoy that good news, because Ruffalo also burst many fans’ bubbles this week, saying, “I want to just make one thing perfectly clear today: A standalone ‘Hulk’ [AKA Hulk 3] movie will never happen… … Universal has the rights, and for some reason, they don’t know how to play well with Marvel. And they don’t want to make money.”
On August 1st, 2017, the world will “celebrate” the 20th anniversary of the Spawn movie, based on Todd McFarlane’s popular demonic anti-hero. That movie’s Rotten Tomatometer score of just 18 percent might also be why New Line Cinema never greenlit a Spawn 2. After over a decade spent trying to get a sequel made, McFarlane announced this week that horror production company Blumhouse put up a budget in the $10-$12 million range for a new Spawn movie. The new R-rated Spawn is going to be made for just a fraction of the $58 million Fox spent on last year’s Deadpool, which was hailed as a modestly budgeted success.
The world has now had three Fantastic Four movies with Marvel’s Doctor Doom as the villain, and all three were Rotten: 29 percent in 1994, 27 percent in 2005, and 9 percent in 2015. And yet, 20th Century Fox is now planning a fourth movie, this time focusing on just Doom himself. At a panel for his FX series Legion, creator Noah Hawley teased a movie for 20th Century Fox thusly: “Two words: Doctor. Doom.” There are also rumors that 20th Century Fox might reboot Fantastic Four with only half of the traditional team: The Thing, Human Torch, and Reed and Sue’s kids.