Weekly Ketchup

Taika Waititi to Direct Animated Flash Gordon Remake, And More Movie News

Paul Rudd joins Ghosbusters 2020, Henry Cavill takes on Sherlock Holmes, Netflix secures all-star cast for The Prom, and new roles for Constance Wu and Zachary Levi.

by | June 28, 2019 | Comments

This Week’s Ketchup brings you another eight headlines from the world of film development news (those stories about what movies Hollywood is working on for you next), covering up-and-coming titles like The Craft, Flash Gordon, Ghostbusters 2020, and Hello Kitty.


This WEEK’S TOP STORY

TAIKA WAITITI HEADING BACK TO SPACE WITH FLASH GORDON 

Jasin Boland/©Marvel
(Photo by Jasin Boland/©Marvel)

One concept that has been bouncing around Hollywood since the 1990s is a new version of the classic pulp sci-fi hero Flash Gordon. Besides the various Flash Gordon serials of the 1930s and 1940s, the last Flash Gordon movie was produced in 1980, as recently memorialized by Seth McFarlane in his comedy Ted. Now that 20th Century Fox is part of Disney’s properties, the studio is apparently working with one of their Marvel collaborators on reviving the Flash Gordon project. Taika Waititi, who had both a box office and critical hit with Thor: Ragnarok (Certified Fresh at 93%), is now attached to take a “crack” at adapting Flash Gordon not as a live action project, but as an animated film. It could be easily argued that animation might be the most exciting (and affordable) way to adapt an ambitious space opera like Flash Gordon, as his adventures take place on the fantastic planet Mongo, including such settings as the Ice Kingdom of Frigia, the underwater kingdom of the Shark Men, and the floating city of the Hawkmen. Taika Waititi will probably need a few years at least before Flash Gordon will be ready for release, especially since he is currently working on his next film, the World War II-set fantasy satire Jojo Rabbit (10/18/2019), in which Waititi will play a young boy’s imaginary friend, Adolf Hitler (yes, really).


Fresh Developments

1. SALMA HAYEK MAY JOIN ANGELINA JOLIE IN MARVEL’S THE ETERNALS

Dee Cercone/Everett Collection
(Photo by Dee Cercone/Everett Collection)

Marvel Studios hasn’t officially announced any films past next week’s Spider-Man: Far from Home (currently Certified Fresh at 91%), but we do know that they’re currently filming Black Widow, and the only other film currently casting up is The Eternals. (We can probably expect some official announcements at San Diego Comic-Con in a few weeks.) Like Guardians of the Galaxy in 2014, The Eternals is sort of a “deep cut,” and it has never been one of their more popular titles despite dating back to 1976. The latest name to be mentioned for The Eternals is Salma Hayek, who recently wrapped filming of the sequel The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard with Marvel stars Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool) and Samuel L. Jackson. Angelina Jolie and Richard Madden (Robb Stark from Game of Thrones) are expected to star as long-time Avengers member Sersi and Eternals leader Ikaris, respectively. As their name suggests, Marvel’s The Eternals are long-lived beings who inspired various mythological figures.


2. PAUL RUDD JOINS GHOSTBUSTERS 2020

Universal Pictures
(Photo by Universal Pictures)

For a while now, we’ve had to awkwardly refer to the next Ghostbusters (7/10/2020) as “Ghostbusters 3,” despite it being the fourth Ghostbusters (after the 2016 reboot), with the “3” being a reference to the fact that it’s a direct sequel to the first two movies. Ant-Man star Paul Rudd joined the sequel this week, which he himself confirmed through a Twitter video. In their story about Rudd’s casting, Variety also revealed that the film is now called Ghostbusters 2020. Rudd will reportedly be playing a teacher in Ghostbusters 2020, but the context for that role is still unknown, such as whether he’ll be the teacher of the new characters played by Finn Wolfhard (Stranger Things) or Mckenna Grace (Annabelle Comes Home), or perhaps is related to Carrie Coon’s mother character. These new characters are expected to be joined by original 1980s stars Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, Bill Murray, Annie Potts, and Sigourney Weaver.


3. HENRY CAVILL CAST AS SHERLOCK IN ENOLA HOLMES 

David James /©Paramount
(Photo by David James /©Paramount)

The Enola Holmes Mysteries were a series of six young adult novels published from 2006 to 2010 that followed the adventures of Sherlock Holmes’ younger sister. Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown signed on in early 2018 to star as Enola Holmes, but it wasn’t until this week that we found out who’s going to be joining her as her older brother. Henry Cavill, former Superman of the DCEU, will co-star as detective Sherlock Holmes in the upcoming film, with Helena Bonham Carter also co-starring as her mother. (It’s unclear if that means that Carter’s also playing Sherlock’s mom.) Henry Cavill will also soon appear in Netflix’s series adaptation of the popular video game franchise The Witcher.


4. MERYL STREEP, NICOLE KIDMAN, AWKWAFINA, AND ARIANA GRANDE WILL ATTEND NETFLIX’S THE PROM

Dee Cercone/Everett Collection
(Photo by Dee Cercone/Everett Collection)

Netflix scored really well at the Academy Awards this year with Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma, and the streaming service isn’t slowing down. Last year, Netflix began a five year deal with TV showrunner Ryan Murphy (American Horror Story, American Crime Story, Feud), and this week, his first major project at Netflix was revealed with an impressive cast attached. Murphy is going to adapt the Tony-nominated Broadway musical The Prom, which he will direct in addition to producing. Murphy’s cast for The Prom will include Awkwafina, James Corden, Ariana Grande, Keegan-Michael Key, Nicole Kidman, Meryl Streep, and Andrew Rannells, who received a Tony nomination for his lead role in The Book of Mormon. Ryan Murphy is expected to start filming this December, aiming for an awards season release in late 2020.


5. CONSTANCE WU SAYS GOODBYE, VITAMIN

Warner Bros.
(Photo by Warner Bros.)

Last month, Crazy Rich Asians star Constance Wu found herself at the center of a Twitter controversy after a Tweet interpreted by many as “apparent displeasure” about ABC renewing her sitcom Fresh Off the Boat for another season. In her apology, Constance Wu explained that her response was because the “renewal meant I had to give up another project that I was really passionate about.” We still don’t know what that mystery project was, but there is a possibility that might have been this week’s news, a novel adaptation called Goodbye, Vitamin. Wu is now attached to star in the “dramedy” for Universal Pictures as a daughter who fakes a class so that her history professor can continue to teach after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.


6. SHAZAM! STAR ZACHARY LEVI JOINS THE LONELY ISLAND’S SPY GUYS

Warner Bros. Pictures
(Photo by Warner Bros. Pictures)

Over a decade before starring in this year’s superhero comedy Shazam! (Certified Fresh at 91%), Zachary Levi first shot to fame as the star of NBC’s Chuck, in which he played a regular guy who becomes embroiled in the secret world of international espionage. This week’s news therefore finds him coming full circle, as he will play a spy who has to recruit the assistance of his “regular guy” friends from college in the action comedy Spy Guys. The New Line Cinema comedy is being produced by Andy Samberg and his Lonely Island collaborators Jorma Taccone and Akiva Schaffer, who all originally started work on Spy Guys with the intent of it being a starring vehicle for Samberg (with Zachary Levi apparently taking that role instead). Spy Guys will be the second feature film from director Jeff Tomsic, who made his debut last year with the thematically similar “old friends reunion” comedy, Tag (Rotten at 56%).


7. REMAKE OF THE CRAFT MOVES FORWARD WITH FIRST CASTING 

Fairuza Balk, Neve Campbell, Rachel True, and Robin Tunney starred in the 1996 supernatural thriller The Craft (Rotten at 57%) as four teen girls who start practicing witchcraft. Now, some 23 years later, Blumhouse is developing a reboot of The Craft that will tell a new, contemporary version of the same story. The first young actress to join the reboot of The Craft is 21-year-old Cailee Spaeny, who is still relatively unknown despite featured roles in Bad Times at the El Royale and the giant robot sequel Pacific Rim: Uprising. This new version of The Craft will be directed by Zoe Lister-Jones, who made her directorial debut in 2017 with the indie rock musical Band Aid (Certified Fresh at 85%).


8. TERENCE STAMP AND DIANA RIGG JOIN EDGAR WRIGHT’S THRILLER

©Outsider Pictures
(Photo by ©Outsider Pictures)

Director Edgar Wright (Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the Dead) reportedly still wants to direct a sequel to Baby Driver someday, but until that project gets going, his next film will instead be a psychological thriller called Last Night in Soho. The premise is still being kept secret, but we do know that the stars will include Anya Taylor-Joy (The Witch, Split), Matt Smith (TV’s Doctor Who), and Thomasin Harcourt-McKenzie (Leave No Trace). This week, Wright further filled out the cast with three veteran English actors: Terence Stamp (The Limey, General Zod in Superman II); Diana Rigg (Olenna Tyrell from Game of Thrones); and Rita Tushingham (Doctor Zhivago). The other thing we know about Last Night in Soho is that it reportedly is set in two different timelines, so it’s possible that some of the older actors might be playing the same roles as the younger ones (but that’s just speculation).


Rotten Idea

1. TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT SCREENWRITER TAPPED FOR HELLO KITTY MOVIE

Saban International courtesy Everett Collection
(Photo by Saban International courtesy Everett Collection)

Last month’s Pokémon Detective Pikachu isn’t quite a massive blockbuster ($425 million to date on a budget of $150 million), but as the first video game adaptation to maintain a Fresh Tomatometer rating in wide release (67% to date), it’s not an embarrassment, either. Much like The LEGO Movie did in 2014, Pokémon Detective Pikachu may have established a template for how similar concepts, especially from Japan, could be adapted in the near future. Sanrio’s Hello Kitty is not exactly a “video game” character, as it represents a brand in anime, games, manga, clothing, and accessories. New Line Cinema has the movie rights to Hello Kitty, and to get things going, the studio this week hired screenwriter Lindsey Beer, who doesn’t yet have a WGA feature film credit, but did work on Transformers: The Last Knight and the upcoming Masters of the Universe (3/5/2021).


Like this? Subscribe to our newsletter and get more features, news, and guides in your inbox every week.

Tag Cloud

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