This week’s Ketchup brings you more headlines from the world of film development news, covering such titles as The Aristocats, Captain America: New World Order, and The Mole People.
(Photo by © Marvel Studios, © Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
It has now been over 5 years since Disney acquired the former Fox film and TV properties first signaled that the MCU would soon be adding fan favorite characters like the X-Men and Fantastic Four. We’re still waiting on X-Men news, but Fantastic Four has been in development for most of those five years, including a period when the attached director was Jon Watts, who directed the three Spider-Man movies starring Tom Holland. Last year, Matt Shakman (WandaVision) took over, and at the time, the writers tapped for the film were a younger duo mostly known for their comedy scripts. Now, with the Fantastic Four release date (2/14/2025) less than two years away, Marvel has hired a new screenwriter, Josh Friedman, who is more known for his big action movies, in particular for working on Avatar: The Way of Water. Marvel Studios has not yet announced any stars to play the Fantastic Four, or the film’s villains.
(Photo by Robert Smith/Getty Images)
Disney’s ongoing campaign to remake most of their classic animated films as either live-action or live-action/CGI hybrids is still moving right along, with the year 2023 set to bring us Peter Pan & Wendy (4/28/2023) and The Little Mermaid (5/26/2023), and other projects in the works like Hercules, Lilo & Stitch, and Snow White. We can also now add the 1970 movie The Aristocats (Fresh at 63%) to that list with the news that Disney has hired director Ahmir Thompson, aka Questlove, to direct a remake, which is expected to be a hybrid of live action and CGI characters in the style of movies like Sonic the Hedgehog and Disney’s Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers.
(Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images)
Directors Josh and Benny Safdie, aka the Safdie brothers, are preparing their next film for Netflix after their Academy Award-nominated film Uncut Gems (Certified Fresh at 91%), which starred Adam Sandler. Their next film doesn’t yet have a title, but Sandler, who is also reuniting with the Safdies on the film, has disclosed that the premise involves sports memorabilia. The first new cast member confirmed is rapper-turned-actor Megan Thee Stallion, who recently had a small role on Disney+’s She-Hulk: Attorney at Law (Fresh at 80%). (Some sites are also running the news of a former DCEU star joining this project, but that casting hasn’t been confirmed yet, so we will keep that actor unnamed for now.)
(Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/Getty Images)
Last year’s Strange World, officially the 61st feature film produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios, was basically a box office bomb, but the studio has higher hopes for movie No. 62, Wish (11/22/2023), starring Ariana DeBose and Alan Tudyk. This week, Disney also added Chris Pine to the voice cast, just before Pine has what is expected to be a big box office weekend with Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves (Certified Fresh at 90%). Ariana DeBose will play a girl whose life is changed when she “wishes upon a star,” a la Pinocchio, but Chris Pine’s role has not yet been disclosed.
(Photo by Priscilla Grant/Everett Collection)
Samara Weaving may not yet be a household name, but she has stayed quite busy since her breakout role in Ready or Not (Certified Fresh at 88%), appearing in films like Bill & Ted Face the Music, Babylon, and Scream VI. This week, Paramount Pictures recruited Weaving to star in a 1980s-set action thriller called Bella, which is being described as “hyperstylized,” as a cop’s daughter who goes on a rampage in New York City following a vicious assault on her father.
(Photo by Gregg DeGuire/Getty Images)
Even die hard fans of the MCU might be shocked to be reminded that Liv Tyler actually had the second lead role, after Edward Norton, in the franchise’s second film, The Incredible Hulk (Fresh at 67%), in which she played Bruce Banner’s long-time girlfriend in the comics, Betsy Ross. That character was the daughter of General “Thunderbolt” Ross, who is going to return in a more prominent role in next year’s Captain America: New World Order (5/3/2024), with the character now being played by Harrison Ford, following the death of William Hurt. With that in mind, Liv Tyler is indeed set to reprise her role as Betsy Ross in the film, which will return her to the MCU for the first time in over 15 years. In related news, a new screenwriter was also hired this week to work on Marvel’s Thunderbolts (7/26/2024).
(Photo by Rodin Eckenroth, Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)
We may indeed still have no idea when the X-Men proper will join the MCU, but we at least know that Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine will show up in Deadpool 3 (11/8/2024). Another confirmation that Deadpool 3 is actually happening came this week with the news that fan favorites Karan Soni and Leslie Uggams will be reprising their roles as Dopinder and Blind Al, respectively. Succession star Matthew Macfadyen has also joined the film in an undisclosed role.
(Photo by Dominique Charriau/Getty Images)
Actors Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander got married in 2017 and celebrated their fifth anniversary this past October, and they are now preparing to co-star together in a movie called Hope. The film will be a mystery thriller and the first film directed by South Korea’s Na Hong-Jin since the acclaimed 2016 thriller The Wailing (Certified Fresh at 99%). Vikander and Fassbender will also be joined in by Squid Game star Hoyeon.
(Photo by Keith Bernstein/Warner Bros.)
There is one very specific bit of trivia that sets Quentin Tarantino at the opposite end of a spectrum from Clint Eastwood. At the age of 60, Tarantino is talking about his next film, The Movie Critic, being his last project as director. Meanwhile, Eastwood, who is 32 years older, is only now announcing his final film. The film, which will be made for Warner Bros. like much of Eastwood’s catalog, is expected to be a legal drama called Juror #2, about a murder trial juror who discovers that he might actually be the killer in the case.
(Photo by Everett Collection)
Many movie fans and critics alike have written that they think the best candidates for remakes are movies that were flawed the first time around. Some of the very best candidates for remakes, then, might be the feature films that were satirized on the classic “riffing” TV show Mystery Science Theater 3000 (Fresh at 87%), and that’s exactly what Universal Pictures is now developing. Universal has hired screenwriter Chris Winterbauer to work on a modernized remake of the studio’s 1956 monster movie The Mole People (Rotten at 43%), which was featured in the third episode of season 8 of MST3K. The original film centered on a pair of archaeologists who discover a race of ancient Sumerians who migrated underground centuries ago.