Weekly Ketchup

Disney's Live-Action The Little Mermaid Has Found Its Ariel, And More Movie News

Andy Muschietti tapped for DC's The Flash, Baz Luhrmann searches for his Elvis, and Disney cancels its Alien Nation remake.

by | July 3, 2019 | Comments

This Fourth of July week’s shortened Ketchup brings you another seven headlines from the world of film development news (those stories about what movies Hollywood is working on for you next), covering up-and-coming titles like The Flash, The Little Mermaid, and the Elvis Presley biopic.


This WEEK’S TOP STORY

DISNEY’S THE LITTLE MERMAID NETS ITS ARIEL, URSULA, AND MORE

Leon Bennett/Getty Images
(Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images)

Not counting The Rescuers Down Under in 1990 (since it was a sequel), The Little Mermaid started an era now called the “Disney Renaissance,” which also included Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and The Lion King, all three of which have now received remakes. We’ve known for a while that The Little Mermaid will be directed by Rob Marshall as his next Disney project after last year’s Mary Poppins Returns. We can now report that Ariel, The Little Mermaid herself, will be played by R&B singer Halle Bailey, who with her sister Chloe Bailey is one half of the singing group Chloe x Bailey. Before that, we learned last Friday that Melissa McCarthy is in early talks to play the evil sea witch Ursula, though rapper/singer Lizzo also put her name out this week as an Ursula candidate this week, and this piece suggests other possibilities. Disney didn’t stop there, however, as the studio also cast Awkwafina (Ocean’s Eight) and Jacob Tremblay (Room) as the voices of the animated animal characters Scuttle the seagull and Flounder (who’s not a flounder), respectively. Disney hasn’t scheduled The Little Mermaid yet, but it will come after Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (10/18/2019), Mulan (3/27/2020), and Jungle Cruise (7/24/2020).


Fresh Developments

1. THE FLASH MOVIE BACK IN THE RACE WITH IT CHAPTER TWO DIRECTOR

Warner Bros.
(Photo by Warner Bros.)

When Warner Bros announced their DC Comics movie plans in 2014, The Flash was originally scheduled for release last year in 2018. Of course, that plan also had Justice League Part Two coming out this year, and Cyborg and Green Lantern coming out in 2020, none of which is happening. This week, however, Warner Bros did get The Flash back on track with the news that director Andy Muschietti (Mama) is in talks after delivering the two IT movies for WB subsidiary New Line Cinema. (2017’s IT was Certified Fresh at 85%, and IT Chapter Two comes out on September 6, 2019.) Ezra Miller is still attached to reprise his role from Justice League, and the screenplay is being adapted by Christina Hodson, whose credits include Bumblebee and next year’s Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2/7/2020). The Flash had at one point been expected to be an adaptation of the Flashpoint storyline from the comics, but that may no longer be the source material. The Flash doesn’t currently have a release date, but it will be at some point after Joker (10/4/2019), Birds of Prey (2/7/2020), Wonder Woman 1984 (6/5/2020), and The Batman (6/25/2021).


2. IT’S NOW OR NEVER: WHO MIGHT STAR IN THE ELVIS PRESLEY BIOPIC?

Wilson Webb/TriStar
(Photo by Wilson Webb/TriStar)

Following the staggering success of Bohemian Rhapsody and the “pretty good” numbers for Elton John’s Rocketman, the musical biopic has come back in a big way. Jennifer Hudson is attached to star as Aretha Franklin in Respect, MGM recently started development on a Boy George movie, and Universal is also developing a “jukebox musical” based on the the songs of Prince. Director Baz Luhrmann (Moulin Rouge, The Great Gatsby) is currently developing an untitled Elvis Presley biopic, and we now know which five actors are in the running for the role. Namely, they include Ansel Elgort (Baby Driver, The Fault in Our Stars), Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Quicksilver in Avengers: Age of Ultron), Miles Teller (Whiplash, The Spectacular Now), Austin Butler (MTV’s The Shannara Chronicles), and One Direction’s Harry Styles. Teller is the oldest at 32, while Styles and Elgort are tied for youngest at 25. Harry Styles and Aaron Taylor-Johnson are English; the other three are from California (Butler), New York (Elgort), and Pennsylvania (Teller). Baz Luhrmann is expected to make his decision by the end of July.


3. JUMANJI: THE NEXT LEVEL TRAILER REVEALS THE SEQUEL’S NEW TWIST

Sony Pictures Entertainment
(Photo by Sony Pictures Entertainment)

This week, as Spider-Man: Far from Home hits theaters, Marvel’s partner on the film released the first trailer for one of their last big movies for 2019, the sequel Jumanji: The Next Level. Jack Black, Karen Gillan, Kevin Hart, Dwayne Johnson, and Nick Jonas will all be reprising their roles from 2017’s Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (Certified Fresh at 76%). We’ve known for a while that two of the bigger stars joining the franchise will be Danny DeVito (Dumbo, Batman Returns) and Danny Glover (Lethal Weapon, Saw), and the trailer reveals how they fit into the movie. The 2017 film focused on four teens who transformed into video game avatars, but this time around, Dwayne Johnson will represent Danny DeVito’s character, and Kevin Hart will represent Danny Glover’s. Sony Pictures will release Jumanji: The Next Level on December 13, 2019, up against the horror remake Black Christmas, and the week before Cats, Fair and Balanced, Super Intelligence, and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.


4. CRAZY RICH ASIANS STAR HENRY GOLDING BRACES FOR VIETNAM’S MONSOON

Sanja Bucko /Warner Bros. Pictures
(Photo by Sanja Bucko /Warner Bros. Pictures)

It’s not yet been even a year since English-Malaysian actor Henry Golding made his big screen debut with last year’s Crazy Rich Asians (Certified Fresh at 91%), but he’s already getting ready to star in his fifth film. Golding’s second film was A Simple Favor, number three will be this year’s Last Christmas, and his fourth film will be Guy Ritchie’s The Gentlemen, co-starring Colin Farrell, Hugh Grant, and Matthew McConaughey. The fifth will be called Monsoon, and it will be a drama set in modern Vietnam, with Golding playing a British man of Vietnamese descent who travels to the country with his parents’ ashes and meets an American woman with whom he begins a romantic relationship.


Rotten Idea

2. MARK WAHLBERG REPLACING CHRIS EVANS IN INFINITE

Patti Perret/Paramount Pictures
(Photo by Patti Perret/Paramount Pictures)

Although Chris Evans wasn’t the only Avengers star to leave the franchise with Avengers: Endgame, he was the first to announce his departure (twice, even). One of this week’s new trailers is for the ensemble-led mystery Knives Out, and Evans will also star in the Netflix drama The Red Sea Diving Resort. The most ambitious post-Marvel project that Evans has been attached to is probably the reincarnation thriller Infinite. This week, however, Evans was confirmed to be departing Infinite, with Mark Wahlberg now in talks with Paramount Pictures to star instead. Wahlberg, 48, will play “troubled young man haunted by memories of two past lives [who] stumbles upon the centuries-old society and decides to join their ranks.” Only five of Wahlberg’s last 15 feature films, have earned Fresh Tomatometer scores.


1. DISNEY CANCELING ALIEN NATION REMAKE FROM LOVING DIRECTOR

20th Century Fox Film Corp.
(Photo by 20th Century Fox Film Corp.)

It’s something of an easy target situation to unconditionally call remakes “Rotten,” but obviously, the director is also a big factor. Consider, for example, writer and director Jeff Nichols, whose films have never received a Tomatometer score lower than a Certified Fresh 83% (Midnight Special), and have reached as high as a Certified Fresh 97% (Mud). Nichols signed on with 20th Century Fox in 2016 to remake the 1988 science fiction police thriller Alien Nation, but this week, Disney officially pulled the plug on the remake as part of their consolidation of their recently acquired Fox properties. James Caan and Mandy Patinkin co-starred in the original Alien Nation as a human police detective and his alien partner, respectively. Disney has notably put Alien Nation on hold instead of putting it into turnaround, which prevents the project from being shopped around to other studios. It’s not yet known which film Jeff Nichols will direct next instead.


Like this? Subscribe to our newsletter and get more features, news, and guides in your inbox every week.

Tag Cloud

CW Seed Rocky vampires Acorn TV Anna Paquin The Arrangement game show Spike binge finale sequel Apple TV+ MTV Sundance TV Election Mudbound 2018 CMT E3 Television Academy ESPN theme song Extras miniseries spy thriller Cosplay reboot psychological thriller game of thrones war Disney+ Disney Plus First Look Logo Animation PaleyFest Lucasfilm FOX Toys Syfy serial killer police drama streaming werewolf natural history sitcom Disney Disney Channel Marvel Studios President Captain marvel National Geographic Avengers San Diego Comic-Con Film award winner IFC Amazon Prime Trivia SXSW crime thriller Paramount Network Amazon 71st Emmy Awards casting Comedy crime Reality TCA 2017 Crunchyroll Ellie Kemper boxoffice PBS 24 frames Teen TCA Winter 2020 anime cooking Mystery GLAAD biography sports Masterpiece Netflix Christmas movies LGBT stand-up comedy Countdown slashers Classic Film Showtime BET Lionsgate ITV Heroines Star Wars Western Amazon Prime Video YouTube Premium Arrowverse cartoon Turner Classic Movies WGN NYCC Grammys Fox News FX travel free movies discovery composers USA Pride Month Ghostbusters DC streaming service directors BBC children's TV transformers Spectrum Originals YouTube Red talk show Netflix video Box Office ABC book Pixar strong female leads medical drama Awards Tour Comics on TV CBS All Access Valentine's Day 007 sag awards Fall TV breaking bad YouTube spinoff Endgame Stephen King crime drama Interview Podcast Nickelodeon Lifetime science fiction Sundance USA Network Infographic 2016 Spring TV Tumblr spanish language Nominations TV series Disney Plus Mary poppins mockumentary Sundance Now screenings Winners HBO Max Oscars animated Turner historical drama LGBTQ supernatural Fantasy based on movie cancelled TV shows Sony Pictures FXX Vudu cars Photos Thanksgiving Marvel Television Disney streaming service tv talk El Rey Academy Awards elevated horror cops TBS cancelled television Dark Horse Comics crossover space diversity teaser Britbox unscripted Universal Rocketman Walt Disney Pictures SundanceTV blaxploitation A&E independent TV renewals revenge Best and Worst Quiz Calendar disaster Character Guide Mary Tyler Moore Freeform hist harry potter IFC Films thriller TNT zero dark thirty comics batman Esquire Song of Ice and Fire 2019 cancelled TV series south america Warner Bros. comic blockbuster Rom-Com romantic comedy WarnerMedia Biopics golden globes Sci-Fi singing competition christmas movies Emmys Tarantino Shudder SDCC Super Bowl name the review 2020 Reality Competition Epix NBC nature Red Carpet Chilling Adventures of Sabrina CNN Starz rotten movies we love Brie Larson Binge Guide E! Comedy Central television zombie spider-man foreign TIFF Watching Series Pet Sematary 2017 Hallmark Christmas movies anthology adventure halloween true crime Opinion Set visit Bravo 2015 justice league Rock Creative Arts Emmys toy story Apple renewed TV shows green book The Witch American Society of Cinematographers kids Country mutant Hulu Lifetime Christmas movies Pop docudrama APB adaptation period drama VICE Action Black Mirror X-Men psycho joker ratings cults Baby Yoda OneApp Sneak Peek DC Universe indie HBO Musicals Schedule Hallmark Summer screen actors guild Mindy Kaling spain Women's History Month 20th Century Fox versus festivals Crackle Family DirecTV DC Comics Christmas Nat Geo Certified Fresh latino jamie lee curtis Marvel hispanic facebook GoT BBC America Columbia Pictures RT History Mary Poppins Returns Tomatazos AMC romance Comic Book Film Festival Kids & Family doctor who Superheroes Food Network TV Land OWN what to watch Paramount Tubi Holidays Winter TV dragons The CW ABC Family First Reviews Horror ghosts Video Games MSNBC Trailer canceled aliens YA History TCM Premiere Dates The Walking Dead Ovation CBS dc Pirates Year in Review Music TruTV technology Musical New York Comic Con MCU movies Awards Polls and Games Peacock Star Trek Drama political drama robots Apple TV Plus A24 21st Century Fox quibi The Purge Discovery Channel TCA canceled TV shows Martial Arts Superheroe DGA Shondaland Cartoon Network Marathons TLC cancelled comiccon richard e. Grant social media Writers Guild of America zombies See It Skip It cats politics Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Adult Swim documentary Elton John dramedy VH1 Holiday Cannes Emmy Nominations Trophy Talk GIFs witnail dceu cinemax RT21 45 Chernobyl