This Week’s Ketchup brings you another five headlines from the world of film development news, covering new projects like Gladiator 2, Paddington in Peru, The Pink Panther, and Superman: Legacy.
When James Gunn announced the various projects that will make up the first “Gods and Monsters” chapter of the new DC Universe, the gateway feature film project was confirmed to be Superman: Legacy (releasing July 11, 2025), which Gunn was later confirmed to also be directing. We’re now just 26 months away from the release date for Superman: Legacy, which might seem like a long time, but superhero movies on that scale require about a year of post-production, so Superman: Legacy cast should be announced soon. Deadline reported earlier this week that the audition process is underway and revealed a few names being considered for the Superman: Legacy lead characters Clark Kent and Lois Lane (Lex Luthor is also being cast, but no names have been mentioned for him yet). Clark Kent contenders include Nicholas Hoult (Mad Max: Fury Road) and relative newcomers David Corenswet (Pearl), Jacob Elordi (HBO’s Euphoria) and Andrew Richardson (A Call to Spy). Names on the Lois Lane shortlist include Rachel Brosnahan (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel), Samara Weaving (Scream VI), Phoebe Dynevor (Bridgerton), and Emma Mackey (Sex Education), with Brosnahan already speaking out about her excitement for the role.
Two years ago, the family-friendly Paddington 2 (then Certified Fresh at 100%) had a special social media moment when Citizen Kane’s Certified Fresh Tomatometer score dropped to 99% and raised the profile of the 2017 sequel. (Paddington 2’s score has since dropped to 99%.) The first Paddington (Certified Fresh at 97%) was released in the United States by The Weinstein Company, and the 2017 sequel was released by Warner Bros, but the rights to the third movie, Paddington in Peru, has been won by Sony Pictures at Cannes. Ben Whishaw is expected to return to voice Paddington the bear when filming starts in Peru in July under the direction of award-winning music video director Dougal Wilson in his feature film debut.
Earlier this year, in the run-up to the release of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3, Dave Bautista spoke out about his departure from Marvel, questioning, “I don’t know if I want Drax to be my destiny.” Bautista does have a busy post-Marvel slate that includes the sequels Dune: Part Two (releasing November 3, 2023), Netflix’s Army of the Dead: Lost Vegas, and My Spy: The Eternal City. This week, Bautista was also confirmed to be starring as an assassin in action-comedy The Killer’s Game. This project aims to start filming with summer, with Lionsgate’s acquisition on Monday quickly followed on Friday by the news that Bautista’s costars will include Ben Kingsley (Iron Man 3) and Sofia Boutella (Star Trek Beyond).
Like many movie stars of his stature, Eddie Murphy has accumulated a number of franchises that includes 48 HRS, Beverly Hills Cop, Coming to America, The Nutty Professor, Dr. Dolittle, and, of course, Shrek (and the upcoming Donkey spinoff). Eddie Murphy is now in the process of adding another to that impressive list, as he is now in talks with MGM to take over the classic comedy role of Inspector Clouseau in (another) reboot of The Pink Panther, which will be directed by Jeff Fowler (Sonic the Hedgehog). If Eddie Murphy does sign on, he will be taking over the clumsy shoes previously filled by Peter Sellers, Alan Arkin, Roger Moore, and Steve Martin (in the most recent reboot in 2006’s The Pink Panther, which is Rotten at 21%).
Very often, casting news is phrased as actors being “in talks” or “in negotiations.” Every once in a while, that inherit uncertainty does end up going the other direction, and the actor isn’t eventually in the movie at all, as people might have initially been led to expect. Something like that happened in March, when Barry Keoghan (The Banshees of Inisherin) was reported as being in talks to costar in director Ridley Scott’s sequel to 2000’s Gladiator. As it turned out, Keoghan had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts, so the role of Emperor Geta will instead go to Fred Hechinger (HBO’s The White Lotus). Other new Gladiator 2 cast members this week include May Calamawy (Marvel’s Moon Knight), Lior Raz (best known for acclaimed Israeli series Fauda), Peter Mensah (300: Rise of an Empire), Matt Lucas (Alice in Wonderland), and Derek Jacobi (reprising his role as Gracchus from the first film).