Weekly Ketchup

Donald Glover Will Be Han Solo's Young Lando Calrissian, and More News

Deadpool 2 looks for a new director, Jennifer Lawrence and Scarlett Johansson both sign to play Zelda Fitzgerald, the and Cloverfield franchise expands.

by | October 28, 2016 | Comments

This week’s Ketchup brings you another ten headlines from the world of film development news (those stories about what movies Hollywood is working on for you next).  Included in the mix this time around are stories about such titles as Deadpool 2, Oliver Twist, the Han Solo prequel, and the Gerard Butler sequel Angel Has Fallen.


This WEEK’S TOP STORY

HAN AND LANDO IN THE MORNING: DONALD GLOVER JOINS STAR WARS

Ever since 2010, it has seemed like Community star Donald Glover was this close to landing a key role in a pop culture icon reboot. Back then, it was Spider-Man, a dream which was ultimately realized when Glover was cast as the voice of Miles Morales in Ultimate Spider-Man, and he’s also going to be in next year’s Spider-Man: Homecoming (in an as-yet-unknown role). As it turns out, however, what might end up being the iconic role that could make Glover a true household name (ala Chris Pratt’s transition from Parks & Recreation) has nothing to do with Spider-Man at all. Instead, Glover’s biggest casting coup to date is as the young Lando Calrissian in the Han Solo prequel, reprising the role originated by Billy Dee Williams in The Empire Strikes Back. Whatever it ends up being called (Han Solo: A Star Wars Story, perhaps?), this prequel will be directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, the team who have already given us The LEGO Movie and the two 21 Jump Street movies. Alden Ehrenreich (Hail, Caesar!) will play the young Han Solo, and three of the actresses who have tested for the female lead are: Zoe Kravitz, Naomi Scott, and Tessa Thompson. Walt Disney Pictures has scheduled the untitled Han Solo movie for release on May 25, 2018, the week after How to Train Your Dragon 3 (5/18/18), and two weeks before Ocean’s Eight and the Transformers spinoff about Bumblebee (6/8/18). As for what Donald Glover’s mom, a longtime Billy Dee Williams fan, told him to do with the role, “Don’t mess it up!


Fresh Developments

1. THIS WEEK IN DIRECTOR NEWS FOR DEADPOOL 2 (TARANTINO, NO; JOHN WICK CODIRECTOR, MAYBE)

Some weeks, the same movie might make the news two times, and in rare cases, maybe even three times. This week, Deadpool 2 made the news four separate times, and it was all for the same reason: the director. Tim Miller made his feature film debut with Deadpool earlier this year, but on Saturday, the news broke that Deadpool 2 would not be his second film, with “creative differences” cited in the initial report. Within a few days, however, The Wrap broke the news that the real difference between what Tim Miller wanted, and what star Ryan Reynolds and the screenwriters (the Zombieland guys) wanted, had to do with budget and vision. Tim Miller’s idea reportedly was for a more “stylish” look for the sequel, which would have required a budget three times the first film’s, and Reynolds preferred staying with a “scrappy, raunchy, and inexpensive” take. Reynolds and the screenwriters apparently won that one. Around the same time, a fan petition started online to recruit Quentin Tarantino’s talents as the director of the Deadpool sequel (which would have been groundbreaking for several reasons, such as requiring Tarantino to break away from the Weinsteins and his own original screenplays). That petition has already attracted nearly 10,000 signers, but not even a week after all of this started, it appears to already be a moot point. That’s because John Wick codirector David Leitch has now emerged as the frontrunner for the Deadpool sequel directing gig. David Leitch had already been a frontrunner to direct the X-Force movie (which might spin out of Deadpool 2), so this is something of an extension of those plans. The sequel, which might be called Deadpool & Cable, is expected to be released sometime in 2018, with filming to start sometime in 2017.


2. ICE CUBE TO STAR IN DISNEY’S LIVE-ACTION OLIVER TWIST MUSICAL

Long before he became a movie star and comedian (Friday, 21 Jump Street, Ride Along), Ice Cube was also a musician, both as a solo artist and a member of N.W.A., the group whose story was told in last year’s Straight Outta Compton. However, Ice Cube’s film career has never really included a “musical” (at least not one with him in a lead role). That looks likely to change soon, because Ice Cube is now attached to star in Disney’s new live-action musical remake of Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist. The 47-year-old Cube will play the “elderly” character of Fagin, who leads a gang of pickpockets in modern-day America (updated from 19th century London). This new Oliver Twist musical will mark the feature film debut of director Thomas Kail, whose credits include Broadway’s Hannibal and the Grease Live! TV movie. This new Oliver Twist musical is not expected to have any connection to Disney’s 1988 animated feature Oliver and Company (which adapted Dickens with dogs and cats). However, if one wanted to scratch Oliver and Company off the list of possible animated Disney films that could become live-action remakes, this might be the closest thing to that ever happening.


3. JENNIFER LAWRENCE AND SCARLETT JOHANSSON ATTACHED TO DUELING ZELDA BIOPICS

Due to its collectively competitive nature (and the time it takes for movies to usually get produced), we may never seen the end of the concept of “dueling movies,” in which two or more similar projects attempt to race each other to be the first released. We can now add to the list the true story of the tragic, flawed life of Gilded Age icon Zelda Fitzgerald (ie, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s wife). That’s because two of Hollywood’s most popular current young actresses are both attached to star in their own takes on Zelda Fitzgerald. The project that made more news this week, called Zelda, has Jennifer Lawrence attached, with Ron Howard (A Beautiful Mind, Apollo 13) producing with an eye towards possibly also directing. The other project (which has actually been reported on for a while now) is called The Beautiful and Damned, and Scarlett Johansson is attached to star in that version.


4. THE INCREDIBLES 2 TO ARRIVE A YEAR EARLIER (AND TOY STORY 4 A YEAR LATER)

Depending upon your own perspective, this particular story might either great news, bad news, or more likely, a little bit of both. We’re siding on the “good news” side, however, because the world has already had two Toy Story sequels, and not one for The Incredibles yet. You may have heard in recent months that Disney and Pixar had scheduled The Incredibles 2 for release in 2019, but that changed this weekThe Incredibles 2 is now scheduled for release a year earlier, on June 15, 2018, and Toy Story 4 has been bumped back a year to June 21, 2019. In both cases, these Pixar sequels will be within one week of a Transformers movie (the Bumblebee spinoff is on 6/8/18, and Transformers 6 is set for June 28, 2019). The next Pixar sequel in theaters will be Cars 3, which is scheduled for June 16, 2017 (up against the spy sequel Kingsman: The Golden Circle and Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow’s The Book of Henry).


5. PETER JACKSON WRITING/PRODUCING SCI-FI EPIC MORTAL ENGINES

It has now been almost two years since the release of the last of Peter Jackson’s three films adapting J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, and we’re still no closer to knowing what his next film as director might be. Past possible projects that may indeed end up being his next film as director include the WWII remake The Dam Busters, the dragon fantasy Temeraire, and the Adventures of Tintin sequel. There is, however, another project that previously was thought to be a potential Peter Jackson directorial effort, which this week was confirmed to be merely produced and cowritten by Jackson (along with Fran Walsh). That film is an adaptation of the 2002 award-winning science-fiction novel Mortal Engines, about a distant post-apocalyptic future about a technologically advanced version of London that travels the Earth, salvaging other ruined cities for parts to keep the now mobile city running. Mortal Engines is now set up at Universal Pictures, where it will mark the directorial debut of Christian Rivers, who worked as a second director on such films as this year’s remake of Pete’s Dragon and Peter Jackson’s own Hobbit films.


6. KEVIN HART TO PLAY SANTA CLAUS IN DASHING THROUGH THE SNOW

Along with Sherlock Holmes and Dracula, Santa Claus ranks near the top of the list of fictional characters who have appeared (this article claims he’s #2 between Jesus and the Devil). That being said, the rate at which Santa Claus appears in feature films seems to have slowed in the last several years, though he was indeed in Elf, the three Santa Clause movies, Arthur Christmas, and recently, the 2012 would-be franchise starter Rise of the Guardians. Well, Walt Disney Pictures appears to want to correct that oversight, because the studio is now developing a Santa Claus movie called Dashing Through the Snow. Kevin Hart is in talks to play Santa Claus in this story about a police detective who seeks the help of Santa to help his son believe in the magic of Christmas. It’s not yet known if frequent Kevin Hart costars Ice Cube (Ride Along) or Dwayne Johnson (Central Intelligence, next year’s Jumanji) might be cast as the detective. It’s also unclear if Kevin Hart might sport a “fat suit” to bulk up to the Jolly Old Elf’s traditional girth.


7. GOD PARTICLE CONFIRMED TO BE THE THIRD CLOVERFIELD MOVIE

A few years ago now (2012), we first heard about a movie called The Cellar, which went on to attract the acting talents of John Goodman and Mary Elizabeth Winstead. Of course we now know that movie was 10 Cloverfield Lane, after some elements of the screenplay were adapted to fit in with something best described as a “Cloverfield theme.” Likewise, we’ve known for a while now about a J.J. Abrams-produced science fiction movie called God Particle, scheduled for release on February 24, 2017. When it was first announced, that movie was reportedly was about the crew of a space station who witness the disappearance of the planet Earth following an experiment (possibly involving something like the Large Hadron Collider). What we think we know about this movie might now be totally out the window, though. We say that because the movie formerly known as God Particle has now been confirmed to the third Cloverfield movie. That might also mean a new title, but that hasn’t been confirmed yet. Whatever it ends up being called, this movie will feature more of an ensemble cast, including such actors and actresses as Daniel Bruhl (Captain America: Civil War), Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Beyond the Lights), Chris O’Dowd (Bridesmaids), David Oyelowo (Selma), and Zhang Ziyi (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon).


8. ED HELMS AND TRACY MORGAN TO PLAY DECADES-LONG GAME OF TAG

Following the 2014 collision with a Wal-Mart semi truck that had many people worried that he may never return as an entertainer, 30 Rock and SNL alum Tracy Morgan is indeed well on his way back. His first major feature film role (made after the accident) will be in February’s Food Fight (in a supporting role; Ice Cube and Charlie Day are the leads). As for Morgan’s post-accident return as a comedy leading man, we can now report that it will be a movie called TAG, with Ed Helms (The Hangover, Vacation) cast as the other lead. TAG is adapted from the true story of ten friends from a prep school in Spokane, WA, who went on to spend the next 23 years (30 years in the movie) playing an ongoing game of tag, which is spread across both the years and the nation. TAG will mark the theatrically-released feature film debut of Jeff Tomsic, who has previously worked mostly in television. One of the real people that this movie is based upon is named Brian Dennehy, but acclaimed actor Brian Dennehy (Cocoon, F/X, Tommy Boy) has not (yet) been cast in this movie.


ROTTEN IDEA OF THE WEEK

1. GERARD BUTLER’S FALLEN FRANCHISE TO CONTINUE WITH ANGEL HAS FALLEN

Although neither film earned a Fresh Tomatometer score, both Olympus Has Fallen and its 2016 sequel London Has Fallen apparently earned enough global box office (relative to their budgets) for the franchise’s producers to consider them a success. The true test in such film development is in whether the studio or producers start development on another sequel, and that’s exactly what happened this week. Millennium Films has signed Gerard Butler to reprise his Secret Service agent character in a third film to be called Angel Has Fallen, which returns to the original film’s “code name” title, with “Angel” being the film’s code name for Air Force One (Olympus was the White House in the first movie). In this third film, Butler’s character will himself be the target of the bad guys, although, “If his attackers can take down half of Washington, D.C. with it, all the better.” Filming is expected to start in mid-2017, with the release target likely being sometime in 2018 or 2019. This is the Rotten Idea of the Week based on the 48 percent and 26 percent Rotten scores of the first two films.

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