This week’s Ketchup brings you more headlines from the world of film development news, covering such titles as 28 Months Later, The Fall Guy, the next Godzilla, and Hercules.
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Married filmmakers and actors John Krasinski and Emily Blunt have made quite the horror franchise out of A Quiet Place (Certified Fresh at 96%) and its sequel A Quiet Place Part II (Certified Fresh at 91%), and we are expected to get Krasinski directing A Quiet Place Part III sometime in 2025. In addition to the three Krasinski-directed films, A Quiet Place will soon branch off with a spinoff prequel called A Quiet Place: Day One (3/8/2024), and we now know that the film’s star, effectively taking over for Emily Blunt (in a different setting besieged by sound sensitive creatures) will be Black Panther: Wakanda Forever co-star Lupita Nyong’o. A Quiet Place: Day One will be written and directed by rising star filmmaker Michael Sarnoski, who made his feature film debut last year with the culinary crime drama Pig (Certified Fresh at 97%), starring Nicolas Cage. Paramount Pictures has high hopes that A Quiet Place: Day One will set up a post-Krasinski/Blunt franchise for well into the future, past 2025.
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British actor Henry Cavill made his debut as Superman in 2013’s Man of Steel (Rotten at 56%), the first installment of what we now call the grim and gritty “Snyderverse,” as the film ended with Superman (sorry for the nine-year-old spoiler here) killing the film’s main villain. Superman didn’t do much murdering in his subsequent appearances (unless you count Darkseid’s parademons), but films like Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (Rotten at 29%), Justice League (Rotten at 39%), and its expansion Zack Snyder’s Justice League (Fresh at 71%) had a similarly gloomy perspective. Now confirmed to be returning in some future capacity in at least one film for James Gunn’s new DC Studios, Henry Cavill is promising a very different Superman. Cavill said, “There is such a bright future ahead for the character. I’m so excited to tell a story with an enormously joyful Superman.” In another interview this week, Cavill expounded that he wants the audience “to feel like they can fly, to feel like they can protect, and to feel like they want to give to everyone else. That would be my goal.” There is currently no release date for any future film featuring Henry Cavill as Superman, nor any indication exactly in which film (like, say, a Man of Steel 2) that might happen next. In related news, Cavill and Eiza Gonzalez (Baby Driver) are now attached to star in director Guy Ritchie’s World War II action spy movie The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare, based on the real espionage organization where future James Bond creator Ian Fleming first learned about spycraft. Filming of The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare is set to start on location in Turkey in January, 2023.
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As noted on Twitter this week, 2023 will mark 21 years after the setting of the 2002 (sort of) zombie thriller 28 Days Later (Certified Fresh at 87%), which was followed in 2007 by 28 Weeks Later (Fresh at 72%). Alex Garland (who wrote the first film and later went on to direct Certified Fresh thrillers Ex Machina and Annihilation) is looking to make the next chapter happen, announcing that he has finished a script titled 28 Months Later. This week, both 28 Days Later star Cillian Murphy and original director Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, Slumdog Millionaire) talked to press with high hopes and interest about reuniting for the third film. There are, however, currently no confirmed plans for Boyle’s crew to get back together for 28 Months Later. While we wait for that film, here’s a recent piece about why we haven’t seen the third film yet in the 15 years since 28 Weeks Later.
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After a fairly prolific – and not particularly well-reviewed – period in her career, the now 32-year-old Jennifer Lawrence has slowed down a bit recently, starring in just Don’t Look Up (Rotten at 56%) and Causeway (Certified Fresh at 87%) over the past few years. Lawrence appears to be approaching new projects with a bit more caution now, based on who she will be working with, as evidenced this week by her signing on to star in producer Martin Scorsese’s Die, My Love for director Lynne Ramsay (We Need to Talk About Kevin, You Were Never Really Here). Lawrence will star in Die, My Love as a woman suffering postpartum depression on location in France, if it’s a direct adaptation of the novel by author Ariana Harwicz. In related news, Jennifer Lawrence has dropped out of Bad Blood, a long planned drama about Theranos boss Elizabeth Holmes, following the success of the Hulu series The Dropout (Fresh at 89%), featuring Amanda Seyfried in the same role.
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The recent psychological thriller Don’t Worry Darling (Rotten at 38%) may have been a highly publicized disappointment, but star Florence Pugh appears to have emerged with her career unscathed, with high profile projects like Oppenheimer (7/21/2023), Dune: Part Two (11/3/2023), and Marvel’s Thunderbolts (7/26/2024) still on the horizon. Pugh is also now signed to star in a psychological thriller set in the wilds of Alaska called The Pack alongside The Northman (Certified Fresh at 89%) star Alexander Skarsgård, who will also make his feature film directorial debut. Pugh and Skarsgård will co-star in the thriller about a group of documentarians who travel to the remotes of Alaska to find a nearly extinct species of wolf, only to find that their experiences haunt them even after they return. Filming of The Pack begins in March, 2023.
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Television showrunner Bryan Fuller has had a series of successes since his early critical acclaim in 2007 with Pushing Daisies (Fresh at 96%). In addition to shows like American Gods and Star Trek: Discovery (and the recently announced Friday the 13th prequel Crystal Lake), one of Fuller’s most popular shows might be the Silence of the Lambs prequel series Hannibal (Fresh at 92%), in which Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen starred as the serial killer Dr. Hannibal Lecter. Hannibal ended in 2015 after three seasons, but now Fuller and Mikkelsen are set to reunite on another project, as the former will make his feature film directorial debut with Dust Bunny, with Mads Mikkelsen playing a neighbor who teams up with an eight-year-old girl trying to kill the monster who lurks underneath her bed at night.
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November 3 is affectionately known to fans as “Godzilla Day,” as it represents the release date of the original 1954 giant monster movie Gojira, and to celebrate it this year, Japanese production company TOHO announced that they will release their next Godzilla film on Godzilla Day next year. To clarify, there are two separate versions of the Godzilla franchise: the American “Monsterverse” films produced by Legendary Entertainment like last year’s Godzilla vs Kong (Certified Fresh at 75%) and the Japanese TOHO films like 2016’s Shin Godzilla (Certified Fresh at 86%), also titled Godzilla Resurgence. (There were actually three more animated films in 2017 and 2018 after Shin Godzilla, but those films did not receive much of an American release.) Although the current 11/3/2023 release date is just in Japan, there is definitely a possibility that an American distributor could step in to release the next TOHO Godzilla in the USA on the same date. Concurrently, Legendary Entertainment is also filming their own next film, Godzilla vs Kong 2 for a scheduled release of March 15, 2024.
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The Fall Guy was a fairly popular action-adventure show that aired on ABC from 1981 to 1986 that starred Lee Majors as a Hollywood stuntman who moonlighted as a bounty hunter with help from a supporting cast that included Heather Thomas and Markie Post (Night Court). In the actual 1980s, someone probably never could have guessed that The Fall Guy would someday be adapted as a feature film 40 years later, but that’s how deep Hollywood’s 1980s nostalgia machine is now digging. Coming into this week, Ryan Gosling was already attached to star in the Lee Majors role, along with Emily Blunt as a prosthetic makeup artist with a romantic past with Gosling’s character. This week, three more actors joined The Fall Guy, including two who have also starrred in the MCU. First up was Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Marvel’s Quicksilver), who will co-star as a movie star who goes missing while Gosling’s character is acting as his stunt double. The other Marvel star is Winston Duke, otherwise known as M’Baku in the Black Panther movies, who will appear as the best friend of Gosling’s character. Finally, there is Everything Everywhere All at Once breakout star Stephanie Hsu, who will play the assistant of Taylor-Johnson’s movie star character. Production of Universal Pictures’ The Fall Guy started this week in Australia under the direction of David Leitch (Atomic Blonde, Deadpool 2) as his next project after this summer’s Bullet Train (Rotten at 53%).
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Although studios obviously favor big franchises for their longevity (here’s an article about Warner Bros. and exactly that subject), even the most popular ones eventually must end. For example, Universal Pictures just saw the end (for now, presumably) of Jurassic World, and the Fast and Furious franchise has just two more movies planned (Fast X on May 19, 2023 and an 11th film likely to be released in 2025 or so) before it reaches the finish line. With that in mind, Universal is looking to develop new franchises for the future, and one of those projects is an adaptation of the YA fantasy book series Scholomance by author Naomi Novik. Universal has hired director Meera Menon (For All Mankind, Ms. Marvel) to direct the first film in the Scholomance series, A Deadly Education, based on the book of the same name. A Deadly Education will introduce a young sorceress named El Higgins who is sent to attend a magic school, only to discover that the students of the school are also trapped inside until they survive long enough to graduate. No casting has been announced for the film yet.
(Photo by ©Walt Disney Pictures courtesy Everett Collection)
The latest live-action remake of a classic Disney animated feature to gain traction is the adaptation of 1997’s Greek mythology-fueled musical Hercules (Certified Fresh at 84%). The remake will also be a musical, which isn’t much of a surprise, but what did surprise many fans this week came from producer Joe Russo (formerly of Marvel, along with his brother Anthony Russo). Talking about the project, Russo revealed that it will be “a little bit more experimental in execution,” specifically citing TikTok videos as an inspiration for the film, saying, “Audiences today have been trained by TikTok, right? What is their expectation of what that musical looks like and feels like? That can be a lot of fun and help us push the boundaries a little bit on how you execute a modern musical.” In related news, Joe and Anthony Russo were also busy this week filling out the cast of their next film for Netflix, the sci-fi adventure The Electric State, starring Millie Bobby Brown, Chris Pratt, Stanley Tucci, and Jason Alexander. In addition to those four, the film also added cast members like Giancarlo Espotito, Ke Huy Quan (Everything Everywhere All at Once), Anthony Mackie, and Billy Bob Thornton (who co-starred in the Russos’ previous film for Netflix, The Gray Man).