This Week’s Ketchup brings you more headlines from the world of film development news, covering such titles as Captain Marvel 2, Cyrano, John Wick 5, and Disney’s Pinocchio.
(Photo by David Lee/©Summit Entertainment)
Staging any major film production is a costly affair, so for decades, when a studio knows they’re going to make more than one movie anyway, they will sometimes produce movies back to back, which basically means two or more movies are produced at the same time, using the same cast, crew, etc. The most famous example of back-to-back production was probably Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, but other examples include Keanu Reeves’ two Matrix sequels, the two Back to the Future sequels, and Quentin Tarantino’s two Kill Bill films. Lionsgate obviously has something of a cash cow in their John Wick franchise, so it’s not surprising that this week, the studio announced the greenlighting of John Wick 5, which will be filmed back-to-back with John Wick 4. Lionsgate had originally scheduled John Wick 4 for release on May 21, 2021, but the COVID-19 pandemic pushed that film’s production back, so the release was pushed back a year to May 27, 2022. John Wick 5 does not yet have a release date. In related news, director Chad Stahelski (who will be directing the two John Wick sequels) and screenwriter Derek Kolstad (who has written or co-written all of the John Wick movies) are also now signed to adapt an English-language remake of the 2010 South Korean action thriller The Man from Nowhere, whose plot incidentally bears some resemblance to the first John Wick.
(Photo by Priscilla Grant/Everett Collection)
This story is best started with a little bit of recent history. In 2018, director Gina Prince-Bythewood was getting ready to direct the Marvel Comics movie Silver & Black (about Silver Sable and Black Cat) for Sony Pictures for what would have been their 2019 release after Venom, but then the studio flinched and pulled Silver & Black from their calendar, and Prince-Bythewood directed The Old Guard (Certified Fresh at 80%) for Netflix instead. Also in 2018, Selma director Ava DuVernay signed with Warner Bros. to direct the DC Comics property The New Gods, but two years later, we still don’t know when that project will start production. That means that before this week, neither Marvel nor DC had yet had a major superhero movie directed by an African American woman, but it may be Marvel Studios that gets there first. Nia DaCosta (Little Woods, Certified Fresh at 95%), who directed the upcoming Candyman reboot, has signed with Marvel Studios to direct their sequel Captain Marvel 2 (7/8/2022), starring Brie Larson. The premise of Captain Marvel 2 is not yet known, but one possible story could involve Monica Rambeau, who in the comics was the first woman to be called Captain Marvel. Monica Rambeau was depicted as a young girl in the 1990s in the first Captain Marvel movie, but the upcoming Disney+ series WandaVision will introduce Teyonah Parris as the adult version of the character. Other possibilities include the MCU introduction of the New Avengers, and also a continuation of the Kree/Skrull war from the first Captain Marvel. There are seven other Marvel Cinematic Universe movies scheduled before Captain Marvel 2: Black Widow (11/6/2020), The Eternals (2/12/2021), Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (5/7/2021), Tom Holland’s third Spider-Man (12/17/2021), Thor: Love and Thunder (2/11/2022), Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (3/25/2022), and Black Panther II (5/6/2022).
(Photo by ©Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
As studios and theater chains alike struggle with the financial realities of the COVID-19 pandemic, Walt Disney Pictures arguably made the biggest move of the year by announcing that their epic live-action remake of Mulan (originally scheduled for March 9th) will debut in the United States on September 4, 2020 on Disney+ for a price of $29.99. That price is more than some of this year’s other VOD debuts (like Trolls World Tour for a $19.99 rental), but the difference is that Mulan will not have a “rental window” of 24 or 48 hours, but will instead remain on Disney+ accounts as long as the subscription remains active. Marvel fans were quick to demand a similar release for Black Widow (11/6/2020), but Disney CEO Bob Chapek was quick to promise that the Mulan offer is a “one-off” that will not apply to Black Widow (though the pandemic has repeatedly had a way this year of changing plans and circumstances). Disney’s decision to effectively pull Mulan from theatrical release in most theaters in the US has also had a quick reaction from the theatrical distribution industry. The Mulan news also came in the same week that Disney+ announced that they had met their five year goal of over 60 million subscribers in just eight months. The other, other related news, Lionsgate announced this week that they will also be releasing the Janelle Monáe horror film Antebellum (originally scheduled for 4/24/2020) on PVOD streaming on September 18, 2020.
(Photo by John Baer/Rogue Pictures)
Many film directors are influenced throughout their career by the period in which they were born, and Paul Thomas Anderson (born in 1970) is no different. His first major success, Boogie Nights (Certified Fresh at 93%) was mostly set in the 1970s, Inherent Vice was entirely set then, and the films of the 1970s have had an influence over most of his work, starting with 1996’s Hard Eight. Anderson has also worked with some of Hollywood’s biggest stars, including Mark Wahlberg (Boogie Nights), Tom Cruise (Magnolia), Daniel Day Lewis (There Will Be Blood), and Joaquin Phoenix (Inherent Vice), and this week, he added another luminary to that list. Bradley Cooper is now in talks with MGM to star in Paul Thomas Anderson’s next untitled project, which is described as a coming-of-age drama about a child actor set in the San Fernando Valley (also the setting of Boogie Nights) in the 1970s, though it’s not yet known what role Cooper will be playing. Cooper’s other upcoming film is Guillermo del Toro’s remake of 1947’s Nightmare Alley (Fresh at 100%).
(Photo by ©20th Century Studios)
One of the more disappointing stories in 2018 was the reporting that director Paul King, who directed both Paddington (Certified Fresh at 97%) and Paddington 2 (Certified Fresh at 100%) likely will not be returning for a third installment. Instead, King is preparing to direct a family comedy called Everyday Parenting Tips set during the “Great Monster Uprising,” based on a short story in The New Yorker, which you can read right here. Universal Pictures has put together a “package” for Everyday Parenting Tips that includes Ryan Reynolds attached to play one of the titular parents, with Paul King directing from a screenplay by the short story’s author, Simon Rich, who also wrote the short story that inspired this week’s Seth Rogen comedy An American Pickle. Bringing to mind Pixar’s Monsters Inc, the story is based on a father’s advice to his kid about what to do if a monster lurks under their bed, and then shows what happens when such Lovecraftian beasties as “Gorgog the Annihilator [and] Ctharga the Eater of Souls” actually do show up.
(Photo by HBO)
When George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” novels were adapted for HBO as the popular series Game of Thrones, one of the many details that were changed involves the face of Tyrion Lannister, as played by Peter Dinklage. Specifically, it’s Tyrion Lannister’s nose, which for much of the story in the novels doesn’t even exist, while Peter Dinklage’s version instead got away with n nothing but a nasty scar across his cheek, presumably so HBO viewers wouldn’t be disgusted by one of their favorite characters having a huge hole in the middle of his face. In this week’s news, Dinklage is fully going the opposite direction, as he is now attached to star in an MGM musical called Cyrano based on the classic 1897 play Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand, which has previously been adapted as a film a few different times, including one in 1950 starring Jose Ferrer and one in 1990 starring Gerard Depardieu. Peter Dinklage also starred as Cyrano de Bergerac in a 2018 stage production, and Hayley Bennett, who co-starred opposite Dinklage as Roxanne, will also reprise that role in this musical version. Cyrano will be directed by Joe Wright, who recently earned Gary Oldman a Best Actor Oscar for his performance as Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour, and whose next film is the upcoming The Woman in the Window (which will debut on Netflix), starring Amy Adams. Ben Mendelsohn and Brian Tyree Henry will also co-star in Cyrano.
(Photo by Everett Collection)
As Walt Disney Pictures proceeds to adapt the bulk of their classic animated canon as live action remakes, one of the biggies that still hasn’t happened yet is 1940’s Pinocchio (Certified Fresh at 100%), which was Disney’s second feature film after Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Disney has gotten close in the past few years, with a few different filmmakers attached, but it appears this week that they may have finally found the winning combination. Tom Hanks has remained in talks to co-star as Gepetto, and the new director now being eyed for the job is Robert Zemeckis, himself a frequent collaborator with Tom Hanks. The pair first worked together in Forrest Gump, which was followed a few films later by both Cast Away and The Polar Express. Zemeckis’ next film, still awaiting release during the COVID-19 pandemic, is his remake of Roald Dahl’s The Witches, featuring Anne Hathaway, Octavia Spencer, and Chris Rock.
(Photo by ©Universal TV courtesy Everett Collection)
In between directing and producing the first several Saw movies and directing The Conjuring 2 and Aquaman, James Wan also directed the 2014 car heist sequel Furious 7 (Certified Fresh at 82%). Wan is now looking to add another movie featuring, no doubt, some crazy automobile handling, as his Atomic Monster production company is on board bringing back the classic 1982-1986 NBC TV show Knight Rider. David Hasselhoff starred in Knight Rider as Michael Knight, an ex-cop recruited to pilot an A.I.-powered super car called K.I.T.T. as they travel across the United States solving various crimes. This is far from the first time that a Knight Rider movie has been put into development, which dates at least as far back as the 2000s. Former video game writer TJ Fixman is now adapting the Knight Rider screenplay, which will reportedly be set in the present day.
(Photo by Suzie Gibbons/Getty Images)
Following the 2018 box office success of the Queen movie Bohemian Rhapsody, Hollywood has been stepping up its various plans for musical biopics, with both Respect (about Aretha Franklin) and Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis Presley project now due out by late 2021 (thanks, pandemic). One of the projects we’ve been hearing the most about is I Wanna Dance With Somebody, chronicling the life of Whitney Houston. This week, Sony Pictures came on board the project, with director Stella Meghie (The Photograph) now attached. Sony reportedly hopes to start production in time for a release around Thanksgiving, 2022. In the meantime, of course, Meghie and Sony will have to find the singer and/or actress who will be able to reasonably approximate Houston’s singing talent.
(Photo by Vestron Pictures courtesy Everett Collection)
One of the stories in The Weekly Ketchup just a few weeks ago involved what at the time was just this side of a rumor. What was known was that Jennifer Grey, who probably remains best known for starring in Dirty Dancing (just above playing Ferris Bueller’s sister), was rumored to be producing and starring in a new Dirty Dancing movie, possibly set in the 1990s. The setting is not directly confirmed in this week’s news, but we can now report that Lionsgate has indeed confirmed that they are developing a new Dirty Dancing movie in which Jennifer Grey will star and executive produce. The major new element to be added to the story this week is that the film, whatever it actually is, will be directed by Jonathan Levine, a frequent Seth Rogen collaborator whose credits include 50/50 (Certified Fresh at 93%), Warm Bodies (Certified Fresh at 81%), and Long Shot (Certified Fresh at 81%). It’s not yet known if Levine’s involvement might suggest Rogen could join Jennifer Grey as one of the new Dirty Dancing stars. Is it okay to put Seth Rogen in the corner?