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 Godzilla: King of Monsters, The Predator, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and the remake of Every Which Way But Loose.
James Cameron became famous for his second film, 1984’s The Terminator, and before the mega-blockbuster numbers of Titanic and Avatar (still the #2 and #1 top box office films of all time), Cameron’s biggest hit was the sequel, Terminator 2: Judgment Day. This past weekend we learned that after 25+ years, Cameron has now agreed to return to the time-traveling cyborg assassin that he created… sort of. Following the box office flop that was 2015’s Terminator: Genisys ($89 million from a budget of $155 million), the rights to the franchise are expected to revert back to Cameron in 2019, which sounds like a long ways off, but really that’s just two years from now. And it sounds like he fully intends on doing something with those rights, since he will be “godfathering” the sixth Terminator movie, which we now know will be directed by Tim Miller (Deadpool). Miller has also relatively recently signed on to direct the Sonic the Hedgehog movie, and both projects line right up with reports about Deadpool 2, which suggested that Miller departed because he wanted a “bigger” sequel, whereas Ryan Reynolds and 20th Century Fox wanted to keep the first film’s scale (much of which was on just three sets). With the sixth Terminator, Tim Miller can presumably shoot exactly the sort of “big” film to which he aspires. Unfortunately, we don’t know much else about it yet; it might be a total reboot (Bye, Arnold!), a direct sequel (Hi, Arnold?), or both.
Any Star Wars news is big news, even if it’s just the unveiling of a title. With that in mind, it was revealed this week that the movie previously referred to as Star Wars: Episode VIII will, in fact, be called Star Wars: The Last Jedi, leaving us all to speculate for the next 11 months about precisely who the “Last Jedi” is (Luke? Rey? Finn? Kylo? Leia?). It especially doesn’t help that Lucasfilm chose to use “Sith Red” for the iconic Star Wars logo in the new title art (see above). Star Wars: The Last Jedi is scheduled for release on December 15, 2017.
There have always been child stars whose films attracted Oscar heat, but 2015 and 2016 was 9-year-old Jacob Tremblay‘s time to shine. The young star of the Oscar-winning drama Room is 10 now, which means that he’s still a couple of years younger than the stars of Stranger Things, but this week, we learned he’ll be facing a monster of his own. It was announced that Tremblay joined the cast of franchise reboot The Predator, to be directed by Shane Black, who co-starred in the first film. We still don’t know much about the the film, except that it’s scheduled for release on February 9, 2018, and that the cast also includes Boyd Holbrook, Olivia Munn, Sterling K. Brown, Keegan Michael-Key, and Thomas Jane.
Although neither of his two films as director exactly set the box office on fire (indeed, his first film was barely even released theatrically), director Michael Dougherty is something of a fan favorite, if only for Trick ‘r Treat. After that, Dougherty addressed the mythology of Christmas with 2015’s Krampus. For his third film, however, Dougherty is setting holidays aside and following in Colin Treverrow’s footsteps by going big, Big, BIG. It might not even be possible to have, quite literally, a bigger star for his next film, because Michael Dougherty is now signed to direct the next Warner Bros Godzilla movie, which some sources list as Godzilla: King of Monsters. (That title is very similar to Godzilla, King of the Monsters!, which was the title of the 1956 English-language version of the very first 1954 film, Gojira.) We still don’t have many hard facts about this sequel to 2014’s Godzilla, but there has been a lot of speculation that new monsters like Mothra, Rodan, or King Ghidorah may be introduced (hence the “Monsters” in the title). The sequel is scheduled for release on March 22, 2019, and just over a year later on May 29, 2020, it’ll be followed by Godzilla vs Kong, which ties this rebooted franchise in with the big ape debuting this year in Kong: Skull Island (3/10/17). BREAKING: We’ve also just learned, thanks to Variety, that Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown has just closed a deal to star in Godzilla: King of Monsters. Again, we don’t know much beyond that, but it’s the first major casting announcement for the film.
Illumination Entertainment may have been snubbed in this year’s Academy Awards nominations, but both The Secret Life of Pets and Sing were in last year’s box office top 10 (#4 and #10, respectively). As such, it should surprise absolutely no one that Illumination and parent studio Universal Pictures have plans for sequels to both of them, and in anticipation of this summer’s Despicable Me 3, another Minions movie as well. The first of these three will be Secret Life of Pets 2 on July 3, 2019 (moved back a year from a previous date in 2018). Minions 2 is now scheduled for release on July 3, 2020, and Sing 2 is scheduled for Christmas Day, 2020.
Ever since Warner Bros released The Roaring Twenties in 1939, every decade has experienced some form of cinematic revival. We’re still waiting for people to get all weepy and nostalgic about the 2000s (that will come soon enough, to be sure), but right now, the 1990s are a popular era for reflection (e.g. the current Sundance hit Landline). One filmmaker who is joining those looking back about 20 years is Jonah Hill, who will be making his directorial debut with a movie rather directly called Mid-90s. This week, we learned that Michelle Williams (coming off her Best Supporting Actress nomination for Manchester by the Sea) is now in talks to star in Mid-90s. If she signs, Williams (who herself first came to stardom in the late 1990s TV drama Dawson’s Creek), will play the mother of a Los Angeles teenage boy who finds solace from his troubles in skateboarding. Filming will start in Los Angeles in June, which might be just enough time for Mid-90s to debut at next January’s Sundance Film Festival.
Daisy Ridley has kept her agents quite busy since she made her debut in the Star Wars universe with The Force Awakens. In the last year or so, she has signed on for such films as Kenneth Branagh’s Murder on the Orient Express remake (11/22/17), the Hamlet reinterpretation Ophelia, voice work on Peter Rabbit, and a thriller called Kolma. The latest new project for Daisy Ridley is a biopic called A Woman of No Importance. The film will tell the true story of American heiress-turned-spy Sonia Purnell, who, in the years leading up to World War II, worked for the British intelligence unit called SOE. Sonia Purnell was challenged by her potential superiors not just because of her gender, but also because she had lost one of her legs in a hunting accident. So, if you see only one biopic about a one-legged female American World War II spy played by a British actress in the next couple of years… it will almost certainly be A Woman of No Importance.
Ever since Dope director Rick Famuyiwa departed Warner Bros’ The Flash (starring Ezra Miller, not fan favorite Grant Gustin), it seemed likely that Warner Bros would have to yank it from their 2018 slate. We still haven’t heard confirmation of that (yet), but this week’s news suggests that it is now “super” likely. That’s because Warner Bros has ordered a page one rewrite of The Flash, which means that the hunt for a director is most likely also held back, at least until the new screenplay is delivered in some form for potential directors to consider. The screenwriter that Warner Bros has hired for the job is Joby Harold, whose next two films are both reimaginations of medieval tales: Warner Bros’ King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (directed by Guy Ritchie and starring Charlie Hunnam), and Lionsgate’s Robin Hood (starring Taron Egerton).
In tackling this week’s story about an action movie called Little America, we want to stay out of the inherent politics behind the entire thing. Instead, we’ll just point you toward stories like this one and this one, both of which address what we won’t. Apparently, there are people in Hollywood who think right around now would be a good time to start making movies about a dystopian near future specifically set in America. One of those people is producer/director Michael Bay, whom we would love to be able to stop including perpetually in the Rotten Ideas (darn that Tomatometer). Bay will produce a film called Little America after winning the rights in an auction against other companies and producers. The film’s premise portrays the United States “[after the] president has destroyed America’s economic and moral standing in the world to the point that China calls in its loans, making the good old U.S.A. something of a protectorate under China. In this world, a former soldier is asked by a Chinese billionaire to go into one of America’s more dangerous areas to retrieve his missing daughter.”
The 1970s were a different time, when the idea of Clint Eastwood starring in a wacky comedy alongside an orangutan didn’t strike anyone as, you know, sort of weird. What’s more, the movie — Every Which Way but Loose — was actually a box office hit, earning nearly $100 million domestically to make it the #4 film of 1978, in between National Lampoon’s Animal House and Warren Beatty’s Heaven Can Wait. James Fargo, who directed Loose and whose debut was the third Dirty Harry movie The Enforcer, is now producing a remake of comedy. The director that Fargo has recruited to realize this dream is Anthony G. Cohen, whose latest film is called The Sex Trip. That movie doesn’t yet have a Tomatometer score, but it does feature the acting talent of Hanks and Stallone (Jim Hanks and Frank Stallone, that is — the brothers of the stars). It’s not yet known if Fargo and Cohen will be casting the brother of Manis the orangutan for this remake, as well.