This week’s Ketchup brings you more headlines from the world of film development news, covering such titles as Dead by Daylight, Pokemon Detective Pikachu 2, and the next Alien.
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Actress Jenna Ortega had a pretty great year in 2022, starring in two successful horror films (Scream and X), and in Tim Burton’s The Addams Family spinoff series Wednesday (Fresh at 71%). Burton has been trying to get a sequel to his 1988 supernatural comedy Beetlejuice (Certified Fresh at 85%) for literally decades, including a period when the project would have been called Beetlejuice Goes Hawaiian. Now, Warner Bros. and director Burton finally appear ready to say Beetlejuice three times and make the sequel happen, with the news this week that Jenna Ortega is in talks to reunite with Burton on the sequel. Michael Keaton is also attached to reprise the ghostly title character. There’s no sign yet about whether Winona Ryder might reprise her role as Lydia, but it’s expected that Ortega will be playing Lydia’s daughter. Ortega can also be seen in theaters this week, reprising her franchise role in Scream VI (Fresh at 77%),
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Last weekend, Michael B. Jordan’s directorial debut, Creed III (Certified Fresh at 88%) set a box office record (not adjusted for inflation) for the best domestic opening ever for a sports movie. As it turns out, even before that huge opening, Amazon and MGM had been talking to Jordan for the past year about a series of Creed-related projects that would essentially create a “Creed-verse”, or a Creed cinematic universe (although the Creed movies themselves are already part of the “Rocky Cinematic Universe,” as it were). These projects reportedly include a Rocky anime series, another live action TV series, a Drago spinoff movie starring Dolph Lundgren, and Amara, a project centered on the deaf daughter of Michael B. Jordan’s Adonis Creed character.
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Jonathan Majors recently starred in two different No. 1 movies back to back, as the villain in both Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (Rotten at 47%) and Creed III ( Certified Fresh at 88%), Majors is also now attached to star in a drama called Da Understudy as “the understudy of a Broadway production [who] finds a role he’s willing to kill for.” Da Understudy is being produced by Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith’s Westbrook Studios for Amazon, with Spike Lee in talks to direct.
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Tom Cruise is currently in the midst of filming his next two Mission: Impossible movies — the seventh and eighth films in the franchise — back to back, Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One (7/14/2023) is mostly done filming now, with work now moving on to Part Two (6/28/2024). With all of that going on, franchise director Christopher McQuarrie took to his Instagram this week to post an image of Ted Lasso star Hannah Waddingham on location on the warship USS George H.W. Bush, with Paramount confirming her casting soon after.
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Although fans sometimes complain that Lucasfilm has in recent years made “too many” Star Wars movies, there is an argument to be made that there are actually more Star Wars movies that were announced and then cancelled. This week, it was confirmed that Taika Waititi’s project is still moving forward, with Waititi now expected to star in the film in addition to directing, writing, and producing. On the other hand, however, the project that had Patty Jenkins attached to direct (Rogue Squadron) and the film being produced by Marvel’s Kevin Feige are both “indefinitely shelved.” Although Taika Waititi’s project has not officially been scheduled yet, it is generally presumed to be the untitled Star Wars title scheduled for December 19, 2025.
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This May marks 14 years since the 2009 release of director Sam Raimi’s curse-themed horror film Drag Me to Hell (Certified Fresh at 92%), but Raimi apparently still hopes to make a sequel to that film someday. This week, while doing a Reddit AMA to promote the Adam Driver action movie 65 (which Raimi produced), he was asked specifically about a Drag Me to Hell sequel, to which he responded that “The team at Ghost House Pictures, Romel Adam and Jose Canas, are trying to come up with a story that would work, and I’m anxious to hear if they do!” It will be a while before Drag Me to Hell becomes a franchise, then, but another of Raimi’s franchises continues next month with Evil Dead Rise (4/21/2023).
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Depending on who you ask, British actor John Boyega’s big breakout film was either the sci-fi monster movie Attack the Block (Certified Fresh at 90%), or Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Certified Fresh at 93%). There has been talk lately of Boyega returning for an Attack the Block sequel, but Boyega’s next sci-fi movie may instead be a project called The Freshening for director Cathy Yan (Birds of Prey). The Freshening will be set in a future United States where people can only now see other people of their same race and gender.
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In the sheer economics of Hollywood decision-making, the allure of a genre like romantic comedies used to be that the films were made relatively on the cheap, with a potential huge return if they were hits. Inflation is impacting everything in 2023, and apparently, that also applies to romantic comedies, as a new project at Netflix has a budget in the range of $130-$ 150 million. Of course, for that amount, Netflix is also getting four major stars, Scarlett Johansson, Michael Fassbender, Penelope Cruz, and Owen Wilson, not to mention veteran rom-com director Nancy Meyers. The project, called Paris Paramount (which may be a working title subject to change), will be written, directed, and produced by Meyers and is reportedly very similar to events in Meyers’ own life, as it is about two Hollywood writers with an on-again-off-again history that mirrors her relationship with fellow writer/director/producer Charles Shyer.
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This year marks the 20th anniversary of the 2003 so-bad-its-still-really-bad-but-people-see-it-over-and-over movie The Room (Rotten at, 26%), the making of which was adapted into the Academy Award-nominated film The Disaster Artist (Certified Fresh at 91%) In a surprise announcement this week, Better Call Saul star Bob Odenkirk revealed this week that he has participated in a remake of The Room for charity, apparently in the same lead role played by Tommy Wiseau (based on an image from the production). The remake is being produced for the charity Acting for a Cause. Horror director Mike Flanagan also revealed that he has a role in the remake as “Peter.”