This week’s Ketchup brings you more headlines from the world of film development news, covering such titles as Frankenstein, the Gladiator sequel, and Twisters.
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Like many directors of his stature, Guillermo del Toro has almost as many dream projects that didn’t happen as those that did. This week, Netflix finally gave life to one of del Toro’s most talked about dream projects, following up on his big Academy Award win for Netflix for Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (Certified Fresh at 97%). Netflix and Guillermo del Toro have begun negotiations with three stars (Oscar Isaac, Andrew Garfield, and 2022’s scream queen Mia Goth) for his live-action adaptation of Mary Shelley’s genre-defining horror novel, Frankenstein. It’s unclear which roles any of the three are being considered for (and fans quickly began speculating about each). In the past, del Toro has also talked about doing Bride of Frankenstein, but it is unclear whether this Frankenstein project will also include that character. In somewhat related news, Andrew Garfield has also signed to co-star with Florence Pugh in a romantic drama called We Live in Time for director John Crowley (Brooklyn).
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Quentin Tarantino has long stated his intentions to stop directing films after his 10th feature, and Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood (Certified Fresh at 85%) was movie No. 9, so ostensibly, his next will be his last (if he actually does retire). This week, Tarantino announced that his next film will be called The Movie Critic, with additonal reports stating that the main character will be a woman and the setting will be Los Angeles in the late 1970s. This has led to specualtion that, like his Tate/Manson movie, The Movie Critic may again be based upon a real person, and that person is speculated to possibly be groundbreaking film critic Pauline Kael, whose personal biography matches what it known at this point about The Movie Critic.
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James Gunn obviously is going to be extremely busy as the new co-head of DC Studios, considering his ambitious slate (which is only part of what Gunn has planned, to boot). One of the recently announced projects was Superman: Legacy, which is expected to reboot the character (again) with a younger Clark Kent who has just arrived in Metropolis, and for which Gunn was adapting the screenplay. This led to much speculation about who might direct the film, but this week, DC Comics writer Tom King revealed in an interview that James Gunn himself will take the helm, and that led soon after to Warner Bros. confirming the news. No casting has been announced for Superman: Legacy yet, but the news will probably come pretty soon, as Warner Bros. has scheduled the film for July 11, 2025, which gives the undoubtedly FX-heavy production just 27 months of development, production, and post-production. In related news, Ben Affleck, who James Gunn had mentioned as a possible future DCU director, stated this week that he has no plans to direct a DCU movie anytime soon.
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Director Ridley Scott is finally ready to film the long-awaited sequel to his 2000 Academy Award Best Picture winner, Gladiator (Certified Fresh at 79%), which will make it one of the few Best Picture winners to ever receive a sequel. Scott appears to be stacking the cast with Academy Award nominees and winners, as the film’s already-announced star Paul Mescal (nominated this year for Aftersun) may soon be joined by two more acclaimed actors. The first announcement this week involved Irish actor Barry Keoghan (nominated for The Banshees of Inersherin), and the second was Ridley Scott’s American Gangster star Denzel Washington, who is a 10-time Academy Award nominee and two-time winner (for Glory and Training Day). Washington’s role isn’t yet known, but Paul Mescal is expected to play Lucius, the son of Connie Nielsen’s character, and Barry Keoghan would be playing the Emperor Geta, who in the real world had a very short reign as emperor.
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24-year-old British actress Daisy Edgar-Jones had her biggest American role to date as the star of Where the Crawdads Sing (Rotten at 34%), and this week, we learned she may join a sequel decades in the making. Edgar-Jones is in talks with Universal Pictures and Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment to star in Twisters, the long-in-development sequel to the 1996 tornado disaster movie Twister (Fresh at 63%), starring Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton. Twisters will be directed by Lee Isaac Chung, whose most recent film Minari (Certified Fresh at 98%) was nominated for six Academy Awards in 2020, winning Best Supporting Actress for Youn Yuh-Jung.
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Studios have become increasingly tight-lipped when it comes to certain movies (Jordan Peele’s Nope is one example of that), releasing details in small trickles prior to the release of any substantial promotion, like a trailer. This story is about one of those movies. What we can report is that Anne Hathaway will be starring in a project for Warner Bros and J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot, using IMAX cameras under the direction of David Robert Mitchell (It Follows). It’s unknown if the film will be a mysterious thriller like It Follows, but one can guess it might be, given the involvement of Bad Robot, and the use of IMAX cameras suggests it will be a “big” theatrical experience.
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The 1978 cult horror film Faces of Death (Rotten at 27%) purported to depict genuine scenes of “real death” (spoiler: it mostly did not). That conceit makes the notion of a remake using actors known to audiences (and known not to be, you know, dead) quite a challenge. Barbie Ferreira (HBO’s Euphoria) and Dacre Montgomery (Billy from Stranger Things) have signed with Legendary Entertainment to star in the reboot, though as stated above, it remains unclear exactly how they will approach the film.
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Peter Farrelly is a big time Academy Award winner now for Green Book (Certified Fresh at 77%), and Bobby Farrelly just made his directorial debut last week with Champions (Rotten at 58%) but all of that only happened after a very long period during which they mostly made comedies like 2001’s Shallow Hal (Rotten at 50%), starring Jack Black and Gwyneth Paltrow in a fat suit. More than 20 years later, Jack Black has signed with the Farrelly brothers to star in a holiday movie called Dear Santa, with Black to play the title character (sort of, or the opposite). Dear Santa will tell the story of a little boy who sends a letter to Santa Claus, but misspells his name, and sends his Christmas wishes to SATAN instead. Oops.
(Photo by ©20th Century Fox Film Corp.)
The exploitation action movie Machete (Certified Fresh at 71%) began as a joke trailer that played during the intermission of the Robert Rodriguez-Quentin Tarantino collaboration Grindhouse (Certified Fresh at 84%), and the joke seemed to continue when the sequel, Machete Kills (Rotten at 29%), promised a third movie called Machete in Space. As it turns out, Robert Rodriguez actually does intend to make Machete in Space a reality sometime in the future. Rodriguez said that while there are no concrete plans for the film at the moment, the fans deserve to see the trilogy finished, and he wants to make that happen.
(Photo by Kerry Hayes/©Open Road Films)
Although the 1990s and 2000s were sort of a harsh period for movies based on video games, that era was also when some of the games considered now to be classics were released. One example was the 2001 survival horror game Silent Hill 2, which has an 89% Metacritic score (not that we, you know, ever check that site or anything). Now, just as video game adaptations appear to be improving, Silent Hill 2 is finally being adapted as a horror movie to be titled Return to Silent Hill, also acting as a sequel to the 2006 Silent Hill (Rotten at 31%). Return to Silent Hill will star Jeremy Irvine (War Horse) as a man who is drawn to the spooky town of Silent Hill trying to reunite with his former love, played by Hannah Emily Anderson (Jigsaw).