This week’s Ketchup brings you more headlines from the world of film development news, covering such titles as I Know What You Did Last Summer 4, and three Disney sequels.
(Photo by ©Universal Pictures courtesy Everett Collection)
Just hours after the first trailer for Fast X (5/19/2023) dropped, we got word that star Vin Diesel will be returning to another franchise, one whose last installment came out a decade ago. In a press release distributed late Friday afternoon, it was announced that Diesel will reunite with writer-director David Twohy for a fourth chapter in the Riddick franchise, Riddick: Furya. The sci-fi action series, which chronicles the adventures of Diesel’s antihero character Riddick, began in 2000 with the film Pitch Black and has included three feature films, video games, books, motion comics, and more. Twohy, who wrote or co-wrote all three previous entries, will also write the script for Furya in addition to directing the film, which will follow Riddick as he returns to his homeworld and unites with other Furyans to fight against a new enemy. No other details about Furya, including a release date or supporting cast, are currently available. Meanwhile, in addition to Fast X in May, Diesel will also reprise his role as the voice of Groot in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which is due in theaters on May 5, just two weeks before Fast X.
(Photo by ©Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
Just three months ago, long time Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger came back to the company in that role, and this week, Iger announced several moves as part of his new strategy. That included dropping the news in an earnings call that Disney is now actively developing sequels for three of their biggest animated franchises. Iger didn’t reveal any specific writers, directors, or cast for the three movies, which are Frozen III, Toy Story 5, and Zootopia 2. The sequels are being announced at a time when the last three Walt Disney Animation feature films have all been original stories (Raya and the Last Dragon, Encanto, and Strange World), but none have been major box office hits, partly due to all being released during the pandemic years. Frozen III has the highest box office forerunners, as Frozen and Frozen II brought in a total of over $2.73 billion worldwide. A sequel to 2016’s Zootopia (Certified Fresh at 98%) has long been speculated, potentially focusing on other neighborhoods and other animals not featured in the first film. Finally, there is Toy Story 5, the latest in the franchise that started with Pixar’s very first feature film, following up on 2019’s Toy Story 4 (Certified Fresh at 97%). Like the other sequels, nothing is known about its premise, but Tim Allen quickly took to Twitter to confirm his involvement, Tweeting, “See Ya Soon, Woody.”
(Photo by ©Columbia Pictures courtesy Everett Collection)
Screenwriter Kevin Williamson burst onto the scene in a big way in the late 1990s, with 1996 and 1997 alone featuring Williamson’s “slasher revival” style on Scream (Certified Fresh at 80%) Scream 2 (Certified Fresh at 82%), and the Lois Duncan novel adaptation I Know What You Did Last Summer (Rotten at 44%). Sony went on to turn the latter into a true franchise, producing a sequel the following year, a direct-to-video third film with a new cast in 2006, and even a TV show adaptation in 2021. Perhaps inspired by the success of last year’s Scream revival, Sony Pictures is moving forward with a new I Know What You Did Last Summer sequel, with original stars Jennifer Love-Hewitt and Freddie Prinze Jr. both in talks to return. Jennifer Kaytin Robinson, who directed and co-wrote the Netflix dark comedy Do Revenge (Certified Fresh at 83%) and co-wrote Thor: Love and Thunder (Rotten at 64%), is attached to direct this as-yet-untitled sequel, working from a screenplay by Leah McKendrick, who also wrote the upcoming Grease prequel Summer Lovin’.
(Photo by Craig Barritt, Michael Tullberg/Getty Images)
Director David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle) is currently coming off something of a disappointment with last year’s Amsterdam, which scored a career-low 33% on the Tomatometer and earned only $31 million worldwide from a budget of over twice that ($80 million). For his next film, Russell has written and will direct a 1970s comedy called Super Toys, about two “groovy ’70s toy sales reps on a life-and-death mission to save themselves, their marriage and their live-wire 12-year-old daughter while on the road in Middle America.” For his leads, Russell has cast Keke Palmer, who is coming off of Jordan Peele’s sci-fi thriller Nope (Certified Fresh at 83%), and Sacha Baron Cohen, whose most recent movies were both in 2020: Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (Certified Fresh at 85%) and The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Certified Fresh at 89%).
(Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez, Stuart C. Wilson, David Livingston/Getty Images)
Since the early 1960s, Bob Dylan has written and released dozens of now classic songs, but it was a track from his second album, “Girl from the North Country”, which in 2017 was adapted as a “jukebox musical” featuring his songs. Now, even as director James Mangold is still developing his Bob Dylan biopic Going Electric, starring Timothee Chalamet, an adaptation of Girl from the North Country might actually beat it to production. Girl from the North Country is being produced by Blueprint Pictures, the same company that in recent years has delivered two multi-Academy Award-nominated films, both from director Martin McDonagh: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (Certified Fresh at 90%) and The Banshees of Inisherin (Certified Fresh at 96%). Girl from the North Country, which will feature over 20 Bob Dylan songs, will be set in Duluth, Minnesota in 1934 and feature a hotel owner (Woody Harrelson) whose wife (Olivia Colman) is struggling with dementia and whose adopted daughter (Chloe Bailey) “has a closely guarded secret that no one can explain.”
(Photo by Chuck Zlotnick/©Universal Pictures)
Within the last six months, Marvel has given us the underwater kingdom of Talokan in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (Certified Fresh at 84%), and James Cameron has taken us underwater in Avatar: The Way of Water (Certified Fresh at 76%), and later this year, we will be getting both The Little Mermaid (5/26/2023) and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (12/25/2023). Underwater kingdoms are clearly in the zeitgeist right now, so it might be the best time for a new film called Atlantis about the famous mythological island nation. That’s exactly what director Colin Trevorrow (Jurassic World Dominion) has planned for his next big-budget adventure film, as he is teaming up with House of the Dragon (Fresh at 93%) writer and co-executive producer Charmaine DeGrate on Atlantis. The film is described as “a fantasy adventure based on the fabled advanced civilization that sank and then was lost due to either the elements, ancient gods, or man’s hubris,” and also as a “lost continent in the Indian Ocean… [with] a multicultural civilization having its own advanced technology.”
(Photo by David Crotty, Kevin Mazur/Getty Images)
Hollywood appears to be slowly inching back towards making more romantic comedies, with the recent release of films like Ticket to Paradise (Rotten at 57%), Bros (Certified Fresh at 89%), and Shotgun Wedding (Rotten at 45%), not to mention all of the rom-coms on the Hallmark Channel and elsewhere. Of course, some of them also include elements of fantasy, sci-fi, or even horror, and that’s the case with a new project called 42.6 Years, which falls pretty solidly in the “sci-fi romantic comedy” genre. Andy Samberg will star as a man who undergoes an experimental cryogenic freezing to save his life, only to wake up 42.6 years later and find that the only person he knows is his ex-girlfriend, who is now much older than him, and played by Jean Smart. 42.6 Years will be directed by Craig Gillespie, whose filmography includes both I, Tonya (Certified Fresh at 90%) and the 101 Dalmatians prequel Cruella (Certified Fresh at 75%).
(Photo by Michael Kovac, David Livingston/Getty Images)
Going into Top Gun: Maverick (Certified Fresh at 96%), audiences were probably mostly familiar with stars Tom Cruise, Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm, and Miles Teller, but Glen Powell as “Hangman” might have been more of a relatively fresh discovery. Powell appears to be benefitting from the success of Maverick, as he’s now starting to secure lead roles, including the thriller Locked, which will be an English-language remake of the Argentinian action thriller 4×4 (Fresh at 100%). Powell will play a thief who tries to steal valuables from an expensive car, only to find himself ensnared in a trap set by a character played by Sir Anthony Hopkins. Sam Raimi is one of the producers of Locked, which will reunite him with director David Yarovesky, whose Nightbooks (Fresh at 87%) was also produced by Raimi.
(Photo by Franziska Krug, Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
Two MCU stars are set to star in a new animated biblical epic called Legend of Destruction, as Oscar Isaac (Moon Knight) and Evangeline Lilly (Ant-Man and the Wasp) join Elliott Gould and Billy Zane. Nine years in the making (and counting), Legend of Destruction will be an adaptation of the historical events in the years 66 AD to 70 AD, when Judea was under Roman rule, ending with the destruction of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. Oscar Isaac will be voicing the main character, Billy Zane will voice a Robin Hood-like rebel leader, and Evangeline Lilly will voice Queen Berenice, the last Jewish queen.