Today’s Ketchup brings you another 10 headlines from the world of film development news, covering titles such as Candyman, Pinocchio, Spider-Women, and Venom 2.
Long before Guillermo del Toro won the Best Picture Oscar this year for The Shape of Water, it was well known that he had a long list of shelved movies in his past. That little golden man on his mantle has changed a lot for GDT, including his new deal at Fox Searchlight that basically set him up with his own mini-studio for horror/genre films. This week, Guillermo del Toro took to Twitter to list over 15 unproduced screenplays that he has completely finished, which are basically “ready to go” projects for any studio that wants to work with him on them. The most common theme to the list is “remakes,” including The Count of Monte Cristo, Fantastic Voyage, The Haunted Mansion (which is Disney’s), Nightmare Alley, The Witches, and Beauty and the Beast (with Emma Watson, who eventually starred in Disney’s remake instead). There’s also the spooky DC Comics super team Justice League Dark (featuring Constantine and Swamp Thing), adaptations of the novels Drood and List of 7, and H.P. Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness (which infamously almost got made with Tom Cruise, at one point). Other intriguing titles include The Buried Giant, The Coffin, Mephisto’s Bridge, and Superstitious. One of them is just called “Secret Project (Untitled),” which might be especially interesting since, at one point, The Shape of Water was also basically known as “Secret Project (Untitled).” Probably the least likely of these projects to ever actually happen are Pacific Rim 2 (since it was replaced by Pacific Rim: Uprising) and a pilot episode for a once-planned Hulk TV show reboot. So, will any studios now step up to any of these?
Sony’s animated Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is still two weeks away from release, but it also already has a 100% Tomatometer from 49 reviews to date. That has to be part of the reason that Sony has announced early development has started on both a direct sequel to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, and a spinoff focusing on Spider-Women. That spinoff will focus on three generations of female superheroes with spider powers, with Spider-Gwen from the first movie likely to be one of the three. Other possibilities might include Jessica Drew (the original Spider-Woman), Madame Web, Arachne, Araña, and Spider-Girl. (To make things confusing, there have been three Spider-Women, two Madame Webs, and two Spider-Girls.) These two animated films join a growing slate of Marvel movies at Sony that also includes Venom 2, Morbius (AKA The Living Vampire), Black Cat, Silver Sable, Kraven the Hunter, Jackpot, Nightwatch, and Silk.
2019 is going to be a big year for Disney’s remakes of their animated features, with Dumbo (3/29/19), Aladdin (5/24/19), and The Lion King (7/19/19) all scheduled for release. Then, in 2020, we’re also going to get Mulan (3/27/20), Maleficent II (5/29/20), and possibly another (Disney has a few “untitled” movies on their 2020 schedule right now). The studio shows no signs of slowing down, and this week, we received our first casting news for their Pinocchio remake. Toy Story and Saving Mr. Banks star Tom Hanks is now in talks with Disney to play the toymaker Geppetto for director Paul King, whose Paddington 2 is still Certified Fresh at an impressive 100% on the Tomatometer. In related news, Tim Allen (AKA Buzz Lightyear) recently revealed another new detail about next year’s Toy Story 4 (6/21/19) while on The Tonight Show, disclosing that Keanu Reeves will be joining the Toy Story franchise as a character that “sounds too much like Buzz Lightyear.” The other major sequel that Keanu Reeves has coming out next year is John Wick: Chapter 3 (5/3/2019).
When filmmakers remake or sequelize classic films, they frequently cast one of the original stars (Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins Returns is a perfect example of that). For his remake of the 10-time Academy Award-winning 1961 musical West Side Story, Steven Spielberg is following suit. EGOT winner Rita Moreno played Anita in the original West Side Story, and she is now set to co-star in Spielberg’s remake of the film. Moreno’s character will be named “Valentina,” a reimagined version of the corner store owner named “Doc” (played in the original film by Ned Glass). Moreno is the second new cast member following the casting of Ansel Elgort (Baby Driver) last month as Tony. It is not yet known if Twin Peaks co-stars (and the original’s two male leads) Richard Beymer and Russ Tamblyn will also be cast in the West Side Story remake (Natalie Wood, who played Maria in the original, died in 1981).
In September, we first heard that Get Out director Jordan Peele was producing a remake of the 1992 horror film Candyman. Just two months later, the Candyman remake already has a director, a studio, and a release date. MGM has kind of made remakes “their thing,” with recent films like Ben-Hur, The Magnificent Seven, Death Wish, Tomb Raider, Overboard, and A Star is Born. The Candyman remake will be directed by Nia DaCosta, who made her debut with the indie “modern Western” Little Woods (currently Fresh at 100%). MGM and Universal Pictures have scheduled Candyman for release on June 12, 2020, which puts it a week after Wonder Woman 1984 and the week before a secret Pixar/Disney film.
Since 1939, there have been three iterations of the DC Comics superhero called Blue Beetle, starting with this one, after which, for the longest run, there was Justice League member Ted Kord (best known, probably, for teaming up with Booster Gold). The first Blue Beetle was sort of like Shazam, and the second was similar in some ways to Batman, but starting in 2006, the third Blue Beetle had a symbiote that makes him sort of like Venom. That Blue Beetle is a young hero named Jaime Reyes, and this week, Warner Bros revealed their plans to make Blue Beetle “the first stand-alone title to feature a Latino lead.” (It should be noted that the star of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is Miles Morales, whose mom is Puerto Rican.) Blue Beetle will be written by Mexican-born screenwriter Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer, who also wrote the upcoming remake of Scarface.
Although Netflix is probably the most prolific streaming service, it was actually Amazon Studios that made history in 2017 when Manchester by the Sea made it the first streaming service to be nominated for a Best Picture Academy Award. Earlier this week, the news broke that Viola Davis’ JuVee Productions had set up a new deal at Amazon Studios, and just three days later, we learned what their first project will be. Confirming Amazon’s continued interest in producing the sorts of films that can compete for major awards, Davis has set up the political biopic The Fighting Shirley Chisholm. In 1972, U.S. Representative Shirley Chisholm made history twice as both the first African American (of either major party) and the first female Democrat to become an official candidate for President of the United States. The Fighting Shirley Chisholm will be directed by Maggie Betts (Novitiate), working from a screenplay by Adam Countee (of TV’s Community, Silicon Valley, and The Mindy Project).
This week, the first teaser trailer for next summer’s The Lion King remake broke records for Disney, but the movie’s star, Donald Glover, is also working on another movie for 2019 as well. Glover (a.k.a. Childish Gambino), Rihanna, and Letitia Wright (Shuri from Black Panther) reportedly went to Cuba this August to film a secret movie that was revealed this week to be called Guava Island. The first teaser trailer doesn’t really reveal anything else about the project, except that it’s a Childish Gambino movie directed by frequent Glover collaborator Hiro Murai, who also directed episodes of Atlanta and several Childish Gambino music videos, including This is America.
When Kingsman: The Secret Service was released in 2015, it was Certified Fresh at 75% on the Tomatometer. Last year’s sequel, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, however, did considerably poorer, scoring just 52%. With that in mind, we’re tempted to call this week’s news Rotten, except that it’s, well, kind of cool. First, it’s sounding like there will actually be two Kingsman movies filming in 2019: a prequel and a proper Kingsman 3. The prequel is the one that sparked the biggest headlines, as director Matthew Vaughn has reportedly cast (or is negotiating to cast) Daniel Brühl (Captain America: Civil War), Charles Dance (Tywin Lannister from Game of Thrones), Rhys Ifans (The Amazing Spider-Man), and Ralph Fiennes (Voldemort from the Harry Potter franchise). The Kingsman prequel will reportedly be a “period drama” about the actual tailor shop that serves as a front for the secret British spy agency.
Sony Pictures’ adaptation of Marvel’s Venom received a Rotten score of just 28%, but the box office results told a different story, with the film earning over $210 million domestically to date and over $823 million globally (enough to make it the #5 movie of 2018 so far). In other words, a lot of people liked the movie. In that light, it’s probably perfectly logical, then, that Sony appears to have slated Venom 2 for release on October 2, 2020. To be precise, Sony has scheduled an “untitled Sony-Marvel” sequel for that date, but there’s no other movie that it actually could be a sequel to, so that confirms it’s Venom 2 (since it’s from a pool of 1). Sony also scheduled a Sony/Marvel film for July 10, 2020, and that one is a little more of a guess, but most sources are guessing that it’s the Morbius movie starring Jared Leto.