This week’s Ketchup brings you more headlines from the world of film development news, covering such titles as Blade, Furiosa, The Metal Men, and White Men Can’t Jump.
(Photo by Hemdale Film Corp. courtesy Everett Collection)
In next year’s The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent (4/22/2022), Nicolas Cage will reportedly play a version of himself who is paid $1 million to reenact some of his most famous and over-the-top performances. There are plenty of fun roles for the film to address, and one that seems quite likely is the 1989 horror comedy Vampire’s Kiss (Fresh at 61%), which has this memorable grossout scene. That, however, won’t be the last time Cage plays a vampire, as he has signed on to star in Universal Pictures’ Renfield as Count Dracula himself director Chris McKay (The LEGO Batman Movie, The Tomorrow War). Nicholas Hoult is already attached to star in Renfield as Dracula’s creepy human associate (who also shares a nasty habit with Cage’s Vampire’s Kiss character). Awkwafina also joined the cast of Renfield this week (in an unknown role), coming off the recent release of Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (Certified Fresh at 92%). Awkwafina will next be heard in the animated film The Bad Guys (4/22/2022, the same date as The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent) and as the voice of Scuttle in Disney’s live-action remake of The Little Mermaid (5/26/2023).
(Photo by Chuck Zlotnick/©Columbia Pictures)
One of the most anticipated films yet to be released in 2021 is the Marvel/Sony collaboration Spider-Man: No Way Home (12/17/2021), starring Tom Holland, Zendaya, Benedict Cumberbatch and several of Spidey’s former supervillains (from movies not starring Tom Holland). Holland was recently quoted as saying Spider-Man: No Way Home is like the “end of a franchise,” but this week, former Sony boss-turned-Spider-Man-producer Amy Pascal told Fandango that they are definitely still planning new Spider-Man movies starring Tom Holland, saying, “We are getting ready to make the next Spider-Man movie with Tom Holland and Marvel. We’re thinking of this as three films, and now we’re going to go onto the next three. This is not the last of our MCU movies.” (A source at Sony Pictures then clarified to The Hollywood Reporter that “there are no official plans for a trilogy at this phase.”)
(Photo by DC Comics)
One of the biggest differences between Marvel Comics and DC Comics in the movies is that Marvel has demonstrated a willingness to adapt dozens of their characters to the big screen (including some like Rocket Raccoon and Shang-Chi that were mostly unknown to the public). On the other side, Warner Bros. and DC have leaned heavily on a handful of their most famous superheroes, like Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and Aquaman. WB and DC have started to show a shift towards deeper dives with upcoming movies like Black Adam and Blue Beetle (on HBO Max), and this week, we have another such example. Classic Disney animators Ron Clements and John Musker (directing partners on The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, and Hercules) are partnering with the Warner Animation Group on an adaptation of the DC Comics title The Metal Men. First published in 1962, The Metal Men are a group of robots who are each made entirely of a unique metal, the properties of which their own bodies and personalities replicate (Iron is superstrong, Lead is very dense, Mercury is like a liquid, etc.). Ron Clements and John Musker are partnering on The Meal Men with screenwriter Celeste Ballard, who recently adapted the sequel Space Jam: A New Legacy (Rotten at 25%).
(Photo by Claudette Barius/©Warner Bros.)
Produced on a budget of just $7 million and inspired by star Channing Tatum’s own experiences in Tampa in the 1990s, the 2012 stripper drama Magic Mike (Certified Fresh at 79%) was a surprise hit, earning over $113 million domestically, which led to the sequel Magic Mike XXL (Fresh at 65%) being released three years later. Tatum and director Steven Soderbergh are reuniting for a third film for HBO Max called Magic Mike’s Last Dance, which, as the title suggests, will be the conclusion of what will effectively become a trilogy. It’s not yet known if any of Tatum’s co-stars, like Matt Bomer, Joe Manganiello, Alex Pettyfer, and Matthew McConaughey, will return for the third film. For his part, Channing Tatum also took to his Twitter account to post an image of the first page of the Magic Mike’s Last Dance screenplay by screenwriter Reid Carolin, who also wrote the two previous Magic Mike films, and cowrote Channing Tatum’s upcoming military drama drama Dog (2/18/2022). The next DC Comics adaptation from the Warner Animation Group will be next summer’s DC League of Super Pets (5/20/2022), featuring the voices of Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Kate McKinnon, and many others.
(Photo by Jason Smith/Everett Collection)
It’s been over a month now, so we can now “spoil” one of the closing credit scenes of Marvel’s Eternals (Rotten at 48%), in which we first hear the voice of Mahershala Ali as Marvel’s vampire hunter Blade, previously depicted on film by Wesley Snipes back in the 1990s and 2000s. Marvel Studios isn’t expected to start filming their Blade reboot until the summer of 2022, but Marvel did recently cast the first of Mahershala Ali’s co-stars, as prolific actor Delroy Lindo (Da 5 Bloods, Malcolm X) has joined Blade in an unknown role. We still don’t know what the new Blade will be about (besides the obvious vampire hunting), but we do know that it will be directed by Bassam Tariq (Mogul Mowgli, Certified Fresh at 93%) from a screenplay by Stacy Osei-Kuffour, a TV story editor whose credits include Watchmen and Hunters.
(Photo by Colin Hutton/©Cinemax)
It was a little over a year ago that we first heard confirmed casting for the Mad Max: Fury Road prequel Furiosa (5/27/2024), which at the time included Anya Taylor-Joy as the title character, Chris Hemsworth, and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Black Manta from Aquaman, HBO’s Watchmen). In the year since, the lingering COVID-19 pandemic has caused the filming of many projects to shift and be delayed. Citing a scheduling conflict (with a “secret passion project” that is not the sequel Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom), Warner Bros. and director George Miller have recast the role that would have been played by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II. The unspecified role will instead be played by English actor Tom Burke, whose highest profile role to date may have been as Orson Welles in last year’s Mank (Certified Fresh at 83%). George Miller’s next film before Furiosa is expected to be the mysterious epic Three Thousand Years of Longing, starring Tilda Swinton and Idris Elba.
(Photo by Priscilla Grant/Everett Collection)
After years of bubbling just under the surface, actor David Dastmalchian has had a pretty impressive 2021, the highlight of which was probably his memorable role as the Polka Dot Man in The Suicide Squad (Certified Fresh at 90%), and also included a key role in Dune (Certifed Fresh at 83%). Dastmalchian (and his agents) appear to be continuing his streak of supporting roles in hot projects, as he is the latest actor to join 20th Century Studios’ Boston Strangler, based on the true story of the investigations into the crimes of the notorious 1960s serial killer. Keira Knightley will have the lead role in the film as reporter Loretta McLaughlin. Other Boston Strangler cast members will include Carrie Coon (Ghostbusters: Afterlife), Alessandro Nivola (The Many Saints of Newark), and Chris Cooper (American Beauty).
(Photo by Elizabeth Goodenough/Everett Collection)
Saturn’s moon Titan is the focus of a newly announced science fiction drama called Slingshot, which will feature the talents of actors Casey Affleck, Emily Beecham, and Laurence Fishburne. Slingshot will be set in the future during a trip from Earth to Saturn’s moon Titan in which an astronaut (Affleck) struggles to maintain a grip on his own sanity. Slingshot is currently being directed by Sweden’s Mikael Håfström from a screenplay co-written by Nathan Parker, whose Moon (Certified Fresh at 90%) also revolved around an astronaut questioning his reality.
(Photo by 20th Century Fox Film Corp.)
Hollywood has spent much of the last 20 years remaking (or rebooting) big chunks of 1980s cinema, but the decade appears to be slowly giving way to the 1990s. New Line Cinema recently wrapped filming of the remake of the 1990 comedy House Party (Fresh at 93%), and now that film’s director is attached to another 1990s comedy remake. The mononymous director Calmatic has been signed by 20th Century Studios to direct their reboot of the 1992 basketball comedy White Men Can’t Jump (Certified Fresh at 77%). Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson starred in the original as two competing basketball street hustlers (which will likely the same premise in this reboot), and it’s not yet known if they will co-star (or in cameo roles) in the reboot.