Weekly Ketchup

Paddington Director Paul King Signs on for Willy Wonka Prequel, and More Movie News

Peaky Blinders gets a movie, Mahalia Jackson gets a third biopic, and the makers of Fortnite get into animated movies.

by | January 22, 2021 | Comments

This week’s Ketchup brings you more headlines from the world of film development news, covering such titles as Gilgamesh, Peaky Blinders, Thor: Love and Thunder, and Wonka.



Gene Wilder in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

(Photo by Everett Collection)

Few movie characters may cause quite the generational dispute as Willy Wonka, with older movie fans possibly preferring Gene Wilder’s take in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (Certified Fresh at 90%), and younger fans being more familiar with Johnny Depp’s portrayal in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Certified Fresh at 83%). The latter is also now over 15 years old, so that may explain why Warner Bros. is preparing for a third movie for yet another generation to embrace. This time around, the film will be a prequel called Wonka, which will ostensibly delve deeper into the backstory of how the young Willy Wonka became a candy company impresario and met the Oompa-Loompas (though Depp’s movie did address some of that). Wonka is now scheduled for release on March 17, 2023, and the prequel will be directed by Paul King, who directed both Paddington (Certified Fresh at 97%) and its critically beloved sequel Paddington 2 (Certified Fresh at 100%). No official casting announcement has been made yet, but Warner Bros. is reportedly considering either Tom Holland (the MCU’s Spider-Man) or Timothée Chalamet (the star of Warner Bros.’ Dune reboot, due later this year). Several years ago, when the Wonka prequel first entered into development at Warner Bros., other actors who were reportedly being considered included Donald Glover, Ryan Gosling, and Ezra Miller (who will soon be busy starring in WB’s The Flash).

Other Top Headlines


Matt Damon in Thor: Ragnarok

(Photo by ©Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

Director Taika Waititi came to Thor: Ragnarok (Certified Fresh at 93%) from a career rooted in comedy (Eagle vs Shark, What We Do in the Shadows), and one of the funnier early bits in Thor: Ragnarok was the revelation that the Asgardian actor playing Loki in a stage production was none other than famous actor Matt Damon. It was something of an impressive “get” for Marvel Studios, because Damon remains one of the bigger movie stars who hasn’t yet appeared as a superhero (unlike his pal Ben Affleck, who’s played both Daredevil and Batman). This week, we learned that Damon and his family had arrived in Sydney, Australia so that he can participate in the filming of Thor: Love and Thunder (5/6/2022). It’s currently unclear whether Damon will be playing the same actor he played in Thor: Ragnarok or someone else, but he was reportedly quoted as saying he would be in Australia for “the next few months,” which suggests a role bigger than a mere cameo. Damon joins a cast that also includes Chris Hemsworth (of course), Natalie Portman, Tessa Thompson, Jaimie Alexander, and Chris Pratt, with Christian Bale as the film’s villain Gorr the God Butcher.


Cillian Murphy in Peaky Blinders

(Photo by Netflix)

Peaky Blinders is an award-winning crime drama BBC TV (and Netflix) series currently in its fifth season that is based upon a real street gang that operated in England from the 1890s to 1910. Earlier this week, the announcement was made that Peaky Blinders would end after its upcoming sixth season, but that news was followed the very next day by the story that applies here. Showrunner Steven Knight elaborated that Peaky Blinders will indeed continue past the TV series with “with a movie… That is what is going to happen.” Nothing else is known yet about what form a Peaky Blinders movie might take, and it’s also worth noting that both a ballet and a stage musical have been considered. Like many other long-running TV shows, Peaky Blinders has had a large ensemble cast that has included Cillian Murphy (as the gang’s leader), Paddy Considine, Aiden Gillen, Tom Hardy, Sam Neill, and Anya Taylor-Joy.


Mahalia Jackson in Jazz on a Summer's Day

(Photo by Everett Collection)

This August will mark the 58th anniversary of the the March on Washington and Martin Luther King Jr’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech. One of the performers that day was gospel singer Mahalia Jackson, and she was the one who called on King to “tell them about the dream” that he had told her about. The world is still waiting for a full Martin Luther King, Jr biopic (that Steven Spielberg may still have the rights to produce), but in the meantime, it appears that Mahalia Jackson may get one first, as she is now the subject of three separate biopics. The first project we heard about last August was a Lifetime TV movie produced by Robin Roberts; that one has already been produced, and it even has a trailer. Within 10 days, the news also broke that Queen Latifah is producing a feature film called Mahalia! with Jill Scott attached to star. That brings us, then, to this week’s news, which is that R&B and jazz singer Ledisi has signed on to star as Mahalia Jackson in a third biopic project to be titled Remember Me: The Mahalia Jackson Story and directed by actress Denise Dowse in her feature film debut. Remember Me: The Mahalia Jackson Story will focus on the key Civil Rights Movement years of 1956 to 1963, with Columbus Short co-starring as Martin Luther King, Jr. It’s also unclear when that film — or the Jill Scott movie that it’s now in direct competition with — will be produced, and specifically, which project might be produced first.


Hugh Grant and Josh Hartnett

(Photo by Priscilla Grant, John Paul Melendez/Everett Collection)

British director Guy Ritchie is managing to continue working right through the COVID-19 pandemic at basically his normal rate, but there’s an argument to be made that his latest crime thriller, Wrath of Man, is one of those films currently left in a sort of pandemic-induced limbo. That film features long-time Guy Ritchie collaborator Jason Statham, who will also be the lead in his upcoming spy thriller (currently untitled after previously being called Five Eyes) opposite American actress Aubrey Plaza, and this week, we learned that the film will feature two others actors reuniting with Ritchie. Josh Hartnett, who is also one of the stars of Wrath of Man, will also co-star in the spy thriller in an unknown role, while Hugh Grant will also co-star in what will be his next film working with Guy Ritchie after last year’s The Gentlemen (Certified Fresh at 75%).


Epic Games Logo

(Photo by Epic Games)

Hollywood has obviously been adapting the tales of Greek mythology (Hercules, Jason and the Argonauts, Clash of the Titans) for decades, but many other cultural mythologies are adapted at varying levels. One such culture that is almost never adapted is ancient Babylonian mythology, but that’s about to change, and it’s coming from a surprising source. Hot off the continuing success of their online game Fortnite, the video game developer and publisher Epic Games is preparing to move into the realm of animated feature films using the same Unreal technology that is used both in their games and in current productions like The Mandalorian on Disney+. The first animated film to be produced as part of this new initiative will be Gilgamesh, based on the ancient Mesopotomanian Epic of Gilgamesh. Gilgamesh is being produced by animation companies in Argentina and elsewhere in Latin America, but the film will also be adapted with an English language cast yet to be announced.


Josh Duhamel

(Photo by Priscilla Grant/Everett Collection)

One of the most intriguing recent stories was revealed last week when we learned that Armie Hammer had dropped out of the romantic comedy Shotgun Wedding just a few weeks before filming was scheduled to start on location in the Dominican Republic. (We won’t get into the alleged details why.) Film productions frequently have “back-up plans” (mostly because of scheduling conflicts, such as the situation that WandaVision star Elizabeth Olsen explained in this piece), and we now have a good guess at who has also been in the running when producers were considering “an Armie Hammer type.” Las Vegas and Transforrmers franchise star Josh Duhamel is now in talks to replace Armie Hammer opposite Jennifer Lopez in the romantic comedy Shotgun Wedding. If the deal goes through, Duhamel and Lopez will play a couple who gather their friends and family for a destination wedding in the Caribbean that goes awry when the wedding party is held hostage. Lionsgate will distribute Shotgun Wedding, which will be directed by Jason Moore (Pitch Perfect, Sisters).

On an Apple device? Follow Rotten Tomatoes on Apple News.

Tag Cloud

Teen Warner Bros. thriller Disney Plus Peacock Ovation doctor who remakes festival DC Comics Quiz Schedule Food Network adventure revenge Pet Sematary japanese nfl Action YA 2019 National Geographic indie Mystery HBO spanish language DC Universe E! Emmy Nominations movie SundanceTV Star Trek cancelled TV series Marvel Television die hard 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards Emmys cancelled FX Masterpiece Arrowverse movies A&E VH1 politics El Rey Travel Channel harry potter YouTube zombies facebook south america OneApp American Society of Cinematographers USA Super Bowl Bravo YouTube Red Music YouTube Premium Elton John BET indiana jones Paramount jurassic park rt archives Awards Chernobyl Cannes science fiction ABC renewed TV shows richard e. Grant streaming Star Wars serial killer First Look based on movie Premiere Dates ABC Family TIFF Reality Competition TCA Awards quibi E3 batman CBS australia The Walking Dead GLAAD dramedy psycho The Walt Disney Company VICE rotten movies we love Black History Month Musicals Election screen actors guild BBC One Opinion AMC robots Thanksgiving Superheroe Dark Horse Comics space golden globes sports game show golden globe awards Tubi canceled LGBTQ Interview crime thriller Pirates Video Games travel 2017 historical drama PlayStation Lifetime 20th Century Fox 24 frames versus BAFTA Disney Channel 21st Century Fox black Year in Review biography Toys ESPN mockumentary sequels Awards Tour vampires boxoffice social media satire Character Guide boxing Rocketman Epix 2020 cats Grammys Stephen King The Purge Trophy Talk Writers Guild of America Syfy cancelled TV shows animated 007 cinemax Winners medical drama Family franchise elevated horror reboot The Arrangement spanish 2018 foreign Musical Christmas OWN Oscars emmy awards what to watch DGA Nat Geo Song of Ice and Fire BBC America rom-coms chucky Mary Tyler Moore Shudder adaptation Kids & Family ID period drama APB PaleyFest strong female leads IFC Films french Mary poppins Discovery Channel jamie lee curtis Freeform 2015 TCA Winter 2020 Countdown Drama Sundance Now crime festivals witnail television Funimation Women's History Month TruTV TLC Pop TV criterion Disney streaming service Binge Guide classics comiccon MCU Marvel Studios blaxploitation Academy Awards documentary CMT Paramount Network TCA 2017 christmas movies venice sequel dark comic books Mindy Kaling laika Film Crunchyroll hollywood Martial Arts spain Fox Searchlight Photos dceu crime drama Rocky Reality stoner Trivia Mudbound green book spy thriller parents Tumblr VOD war The CW casting pirates of the caribbean History Tarantino Fantasy Alien Netflix Christmas movies Pop Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Brie Larson New York Comic Con Spectrum Originals Endgame toy story BBC HBO Max composers Hallmark mutant cancelled television anthology reviews TBS SDCC Turner Country nature FX on Hulu RT History Ellie Kemper The Witch IFC HBO Go theme song zombie psychological thriller crossover comic Captain marvel CW Seed Sundance MSNBC finale political drama worst movies Black Mirror children's TV TV renewals hispanic binge romantic comedy fresh Mary Poppins Returns ratings Lucasfilm 2016 Watching Series free movies directors award winner stand-up comedy Shondaland dogs Nominations Lifetime Christmas movies Hear Us Out Marvel DC streaming service Lionsgate Columbia Pictures Superheroes all-time Anna Paquin independent concert Cartoon Network Sundance TV best LGBT Pride Month Winter TV Pixar hist SXSW aliens Ghostbusters zero dark thirty Calendar 45 police drama Cosplay Amazon Netflix Sony Pictures Hulu rotten X-Men Amazon Prime transformers book Valentine's Day technology ghosts dragons child's play Set visit critics Biopics TV Land diversity Avengers President San Diego Comic-Con BET Awards Rom-Com WGN TNT Amazon Studios Television Critics Association joker nbcuniversal trailers TV spinoff miniseries cults Creative Arts Emmys anime See It Skip It Comedy Central Vudu Apple TV+ football video series game of thrones First Reviews true crime teaser docudrama scary movies CBS All Access Comedy Podcast kids Infographic discovery spider-man unscripted dc cartoon Fall TV TCA Trailer Animation Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Comics on TV cooking talk show CNN comics Polls and Games WarnerMedia scorecard Best and Worst halloween tv james bond films 4/20 ITV romance news asian-american Summer The Academy Comic Book TV One tv talk Western Hallmark Christmas movies Disney archives natural history Baby Yoda justice league mission: impossible GoT 71st Emmy Awards Certified Fresh singing competition toronto sag awards FXX Spike ABC Signature cars Sci-Fi USA Network FOX slashers Adult Swim a nightmare on elm street A24 Apple Crackle Television Academy Disney+ Disney Plus deadpool Showtime Heroines stop motion disaster werewolf Spring TV RT21 DirecTV universal monsters GIFs Acorn TV comedies Classic Film MTV Britbox Nickelodeon twilight Fox News fast and furious TCM Starz Box Office 99% latino documentaries Tomatazos Film Festival screenings canceled TV shows PBS name the review Walt Disney Pictures blockbuster Universal Holidays sitcom cops Turner Classic Movies Logo Red Carpet Holiday 72 Emmy Awards video on demand italian Rock Horror breaking bad Amazon Prime Video Marathons Sneak Peek obituary worst Extras Apple TV Plus halloween Esquire NBC superhero supernatural NYCC