Weekly Ketchup

Jason Momoa Is Frosty the Snowman, and More Movie News

The Academy adds a slew of new members, Taika Waitit shepherds a trio of new films, Will Smith and Apple set a record, and new projects for Kate Winslet, Zachary Levi, and Pedro Almodóvar and Penelope Cruz.

by | July 2, 2020 | Comments

This Week’s Ketchup brings you more headlines from the world of film development news, covering such titles as Frosty the Snowman, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 2, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.



Jason Momoa in Justice League

(Photo by Warner Bros. Pictures)

The “studio system” of the Golden Age of Hollywood has obviously been dead and gone for decades, but that doesn’t mean certain actors don’t establish relationships with specific studios. One of the studios best known for that is Warner Bros., which is frequently the home for movies starring Ben Affleck, Bradley Cooper, Tom Cruise, Clint Eastwood, Michael B. Jordan, and of course, the various stars of their DC Comics superhero movies. That last group is important this week, because the star who gave Warner Bros. a massive box office success with Aquaman (Fresh at 65%) was Jason Momoa, who also co-starred in WB-sister-company HBO’s Game of Thrones. Momoa kept his relationship with Warner Bros. very, very cool this week by signing on to voice the classic Christmas character Frosty the Snowman in a new live-action/CGI hybrid movie (Frosty himself will be CGI with Momoa’s voice, of course). Momoa will also produce Frosty the Snowman along with DC Comics’ Geoff Johns. He’ll next be seen in the reboot of Frank Herbert’s Dune, which, likewise, will also be distributed by Warner Bros.

Other Top Headlines


Oscar statuettes

(Photo by Getty Images)

The Academy Awards are still recovering from the stigma reflected in the various #OscarsSoWhite hashtags of recent years, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is likewise continuing to implement changes designed to encourage diversity in the prestige films nominated and awarded each year. There were two different changes this week that both related to who precisely gets to vote each year on the nominees and winners. On Monday, the Board of Governors announced that they had reclassified the membership status of Artist’s Representatives (A.K.A. talent agents) from associates to members-at-large, which means that for the first time ever, 111 current agents will now have voting rights for the Oscars. The Academy has over 7,000 voting members, so those 111 votes are still a tiny minority, but the change is still significant and opens the door to other future changes, such as for critics or journalists. Then, on Tuesday, the Academy announced the names of the 819 artists who have been invited to join the Academy with full voting privileges. The list is made up of 45% women, 36% from minority backgrounds, and 49% are international artists from outside the United States. The newest Academy voters will include five of the stars of Parasite, Cynthia Erivo, Zazi Beetz, Constance Wu, Awkwafina, Florence Pugh, and Lakeith Stanfield, among many others.


Taika Waititi on the set of Thor: Ragnarok

(Photo by Jasin Boland/©Marvel)

Some directors are able to find a successful balance between big budget studio projects for “them” and then their own personal films for “me.” One such filmmaker is Taika Waititi, who directed Thor: Ragnarok (Certified Fresh at 93%) for Marvel Studios before moving on to his own pet project, Jojo Rabbit ( Certified Fresh at 80%). Waititi has lots of his own projects lined up (including the soccer movie Next Goal Wins, Thor: Love and Thunder, and a Star Wars movie), but this week, he also took on the role of producer in support of New Zealand. Waititi is producing three different projects from New Zealand writers of Maori heritage, with all three films looking at the effects of European colonization on the indigenous people of the country. The three projects will be The Imaginary Lives of James Poneke (about a Maori teenager who travels to 1840s London as part of a Maori museum exhibit), Down the Rabbit Hole (about a Maori woman who ends up in a British prison), and Better than Blood (about “an obsessive Maori detective as she hunts down an indigenous serial killer revenging the wrongs of New Zealand’s colonizers”).


Pedro Almodovar and Penelope Cruz at a screening of Volver

(Photo by Kristin Callahan/Everett Collection)

Although South Korea’s Parasite eventually won the Academy Award over it this year, Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar’s Pain and Glory (Certified Fresh at 96%) was still one of 2019’s most lauded films. For Pain and Glory, Almodóvar reunited with two of his most frequent (and most famous) co-stars: Antonio Banderas for the eighth time, and Penelope Cruz for the sixth time. We also now know that Almodóvar has once again cast Penelope Cruz for his next film, to be titled Madres Paralela (Parallel Mothers), which will reportedly tell the stories of two mothers (one of them being Cruz, who’s now 46) in Madrid who give birth to their babies on the same day, over the first two years of their new children’s lives. It’s not yet known if there is also a role in Madres Paralela for Anontio Banderas, or who might play the other mother. Madres Paralelas will start filming in Madrid in February, 2021, and it’s expected to be released in Spain by the end of that year (which suggests a release in the United States sometime in 2022).


Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

(Photo by ©Columbia Pictures)

The animation style used for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (Certified Fresh at 97%) was so innovative that the film was able to win the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature that year against two Disney films (Pixar’s Incredibles 2 and Ralph Breaks the Internet). As amazing as it was, producer Chris Miller this week took to Twitter to tease that “The development of new groundbreaking art techniques being done for the next Spider-Verse movie are already blowing me away. It’s going to make the first movie look quaint.” Of course, that statement doesn’t go on to explain in what ways the sequel will be innovative (they certainly don’t want to tip off their competition). The sequel to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (which hasn’t officially been titled yet) is currently scheduled for release over two years from now on October 7, 2022 (but that date could certainly be shifted as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to push release dates back).


Kate Winslet in Collateral Beauty

(Photo by ©Warner Bros.)

Back in 2015, Steven Spielberg made the news for developing a project called It’s What I Do, which would have starred Jennifer Lawrence as war photographer Lynsey Addario (that project appears to have stalled in the years since). This week, another biopic about a female war photographer is getting going, except that the setting for this one will be World War II. Kate Winslet is now attached to star in Lee, a biopic about Vogue model-turned-war-correspondent Lee Miller, who was on the scene for events like the London Blitz, the liberation of Paris from the Nazis, and the discoveries of the concentration camps at Buchenwald and Dachau. Lee will be the feature film directorial debut of cinematographer Ellen Kuras, whose work includes Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (starring Winslet) and episodes of shows like Catch-22, Ozark, and The Umbrella Academy.


Will Smith in Bright

(Photo by Scott Garfield/©Netflix)

Last year, Netflix ended up spending something north of $150 million on Martin Scorsese’s mob biopic The Irishman (Certified Fresh at 96%), and this week brought news of another expensive project being picked up by one of Netflix’s streaming competitors. The movie in question is the recently announced slavery-era epic Emancipation, in which Will Smith will star as the runaway slave “Peter” whose scarred back was photographed in 1863 to inspire the Northern public during the Civil War. Emancipation went up for sale at the Virtual Cannes market last week, leading to a sale to Apple for $120 million, which set an all-time record for the largest festival acquisition deal ever. Emancipation will be directed by Antoine Fuqua (Olympus Has Fallen, The Equalizer) and produced by Will Smith’s Westbrook Studios production company. Apple is expected to premiere Emancipation in theaters before it debuts on Apple TV+.


Zachary Levi in Shazam

(Photo by Warner Bros. Pictures)

One of the last movies to actually be released in theaters before the COVID-19 pandemic shut everything down for months (and delayed pretty much everything) was the faith-based romantic drama I Still Believe (Rotten at 51%), starring KJ Apa and Britt Robertson. This week, two different movies with direct connections to I Still Believe made the news. That film was directed by the sibling team of Andrew and Jon Erwin, and their next movie is going to be a football biopic called American Underdog: The Kurt Warner Story. The Erwin brothers were able to cast the star of one of 2019’s biggest superhero movies, as the title role of Kurt Warner will be played by  Zachary Levi, who played the superhero alter ego in Shazam! (Certified Fresh at 90%). Levi will star as NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner, who “went from stocking shelves at a supermarket to becoming a Super Bowl MVP.” Also making the news this week is a project called Jesus Revolution, which is also based on a true story, this time about a group of California teenage hippies in the early 1970s who form their own religious movement called the Harvest Christian Fellowship. Jesus Revolution is being produced by the same people behind I Still Believe, and the cast will include Jim Gaffigan and Joel Courtney.



(Photo by ©Warner Bros.)

It’s clear that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles remains a popular franchise for many fans, whether their love of the characters started with the 1980s-1990s animated TV show, the 1990s live-action movies, or the gritty 1980s black-and-white comics that started it all. After those original three live live-action films in the 1990s, the first attempt at rebooting the franchise came in 2007 with the computer animated TMNT, which was then followed in 2014 by a live-action reboot that received a sequel in 2016 called Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (Rotten at 37%). Now we can confirm that another attempt at reviving Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, specifically as a CGI-animated feature film, is in development, with Seth Rogen’s Point Grey Pictures teaming up with Nickelodeon and Paramount Pictures on the project. This seventh Ninja Turtles movie will be directed by Jeff Rowe (a writer on Disney’s Gravity Falls who is making his directorial debut with Connected) working from a screenplay by Brendan O’Brien (co-writer of Neighbors, Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising). It’s not yet known if Rogen himself plans on taking a role in the movie (Casey Jones, perhaps?).


Gerard Butler in London Has Fallen

(Photo by Susie Allnutt/©Focus Features)

If movie theaters do indeed open back up across the country by August, one of the first movies scheduled to be one of the first in wide release is Greenland, a Deep Impact-style disaster movie starring Gerard Butler. Although Greenland is an original story, Butler confirmed this week that that two of his upcoming projects will be sequels. One of them will be Den of Thieves 2: Pantera, a sequel to the 2018 heist action thriller Den of Thieves (Rotten at 42%) that earned $80 million worldwide. Butler describes the Den of Thieves sequel (about his character chasing O’Shea Jackson  Jr.’s character around the world) as a “fun ride, spreading across North America into Europe and the diamond district of Marseilles.” Butler also promised that a fourth movie in the franchise that started in 2013 with Olympus Has Fallen (Rotten at 49%) is also in the works, although he didn’t mention a title or a location that will presumably have “fallen.” The second movie in 2016 was London Has Fallen (Rotten at 27%) and the third last year was Angel Has Fallen (Rotten at 39% ).

Tag Cloud

casting archives social media Pop TV dramedy romantic comedy Calendar First Reviews anthology CBS All Access Rocketman biography TNT space Britbox Walt Disney Pictures Acorn TV 2017 cats PBS Holiday Comedy rotten Disney Plus Starz child's play cults Trophy Talk Film Festival true crime Ellie Kemper ESPN Black Mirror finale Country latino cancelled Premiere Dates facebook VOD Disney blockbuster Avengers Spectrum Originals Cosplay die hard scorecard Disney streaming service comic books USA Network Amazon Prime Video Chilling Adventures of Sabrina New York Comic Con Paramount 2015 Shudder Star Wars teaser parents mission: impossible USA sag awards crossover indie Hulu Netflix Crackle talk show NBC venice news dogs dark Disney+ Disney Plus HBO Max Classic Film discovery spain rotten movies we love Martial Arts psychological thriller Apple TV Plus sitcom supernatural Oscars Marvel Comedy Central CW Seed Women's History Month toy story remakes Netflix Christmas movies Superheroes tv talk spinoff theme song Adult Swim all-time Teen jamie lee curtis MTV book elevated horror animated Turner Classic Movies ID San Diego Comic-Con 71st Emmy Awards Peacock zombie blaxploitation rt archives The Witch stop motion worst Shondaland comics green book political drama witnail Mindy Kaling cancelled TV shows Drama based on movie Podcast doctor who video on demand BET Awards MSNBC laika 2020 serial killer GIFs Mary Poppins Returns Spring TV Sci-Fi scary movies chucky Universal richard e. Grant harry potter binge BBC Endgame directors Extras Writers Guild of America Cartoon Network Action Fox News Amazon History Binge Guide batman Sundance Now Funimation Winners 2016 The CW disaster Television Academy best hispanic Black History Month Marvel Television See It Skip It quibi Rocky Cannes reboot E3 CNN game show emmy awards cooking adaptation festivals Tubi Nickelodeon Toys Reality Showtime Food Network canceled Trivia Western Hallmark Christmas movies Nat Geo President Heroines 007 IFC Films cinemax ghosts Kids & Family politics American Society of Cinematographers Amazon Prime breaking bad Opinion documentary Pet Sematary crime thriller Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt obituary Music versus australia SundanceTV TV renewals satire The Purge ratings Pixar Set visit nature Watching Series Mary Tyler Moore diversity ITV Hallmark Super Bowl Spike RT21 cars Awards Family DGA aliens films strong female leads reviews Fantasy Polls and Games cancelled television Musicals slashers TCA Awards AMC Comic Book war nbcuniversal Emmy Nominations TV Land Awards Tour deadpool halloween TCA Winter 2020 Rock dceu name the review TCA Stephen King SXSW composers MCU SDCC nfl period drama A24 james bond Lionsgate franchise Disney Channel LGBTQ zombies Marathons YouTube Red DC streaming service halloween tv spanish language cancelled TV series Baby Yoda spy thriller Musical Marvel Studios Fall TV DC Universe revenge Columbia Pictures 72 Emmy Awards streaming technology Mudbound Tarantino DC Comics 2018 Biopics Winter TV Countdown Christmas justice league Quiz Best and Worst spanish hist stand-up comedy El Rey christmas movies Tomatazos Horror Schedule golden globes Film sports Holidays WGN Photos Academy Awards Fox Searchlight historical drama APB VH1 Arrowverse GLAAD RT History football adventure Sundance comedies cartoon movie french 21st Century Fox Tumblr PaleyFest Lucasfilm Ovation Captain marvel HBO Go spider-man transformers werewolf PlayStation FX LGBT worst movies ABC 45 sequels japanese Character Guide Grammys award winner Dark Horse Comics Emmys Mystery HBO YouTube Premium Ghostbusters National Geographic TBS screen actors guild game of thrones The Arrangement unscripted twilight Elton John CBS police drama The Walking Dead robots Bravo zero dark thirty OWN movies BAFTA Crunchyroll Epix Sundance TV Reality Competition Video Games Sony Pictures independent Syfy canceled TV shows WarnerMedia anime crime dc Box Office thriller X-Men FOX fast and furious BBC One Year in Review mockumentary Valentine's Day BET a nightmare on elm street toronto A&E criterion GoT Superheroe YA Red Carpet sequel The Academy Certified Fresh universal monsters Lifetime free movies Chernobyl TruTV DirecTV foreign Pirates comiccon VICE television dragons vampires Star Trek crime drama First Look Freeform docudrama Television Critics Association TIFF video comic Sneak Peek renewed TV shows Creative Arts Emmys children's TV 4/20 Animation cops indiana jones BBC America Logo TCM classics series science fiction 24 frames ABC Family singing competition italian miniseries south america Comics on TV concert Interview Amazon Studios Lifetime Christmas movies critics TV Election hollywood 2019 Song of Ice and Fire stoner natural history FXX romance Nominations mutant psycho TLC travel kids joker Paramount Network Anna Paquin Infographic YouTube Trailer Travel Channel black boxoffice CMT Apple Warner Bros. what to watch festival Esquire superhero E! screenings Mary poppins Pride Month documentaries medical drama asian-american IFC Discovery Channel Turner Masterpiece 20th Century Fox Vudu Pop TCA 2017 Thanksgiving Summer Brie Larson Hear Us Out FX on Hulu NYCC Apple TV+ Rom-Com OneApp