Weekly Ketchup

Warner Bros. Wants Leonardo DiCaprio For Their Joker Origin Movie, and More News

Ed Srkein ditches Hellboy for noble reasons, Sam Rockwell will play Dubya, Ben and Casey Affleck bro down, and Lord of the Flies gets an all-female reboot.

by | September 1, 2017 | Comments

Today’s Ketchup brings you another ten headlines from the world of film development news, including stories about Ant-Man and the Wasp, Bumblebee, Cheney, Fantastic Voyage, Hellboy, and The Joker.


This WEEK’S TOP STORY

LEONARDO DICAPRIO WANTED FOR THE JOKER ORIGIN MOVIE

(Photo by Mary Cybulski/Paramount Pictures)

During the promotional tour for 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises, one of the most fascinating reveals was that, before they went with Bane as the villain, Warner Bros. had hoped to cast Leonardo DiCaprio as the Riddler. Nearly ten years later, DiCaprio is still on the studio’s wishlist, but this time the studio wants him to play The Joker. This reveal ties in with the biggest surprise of last week’s news, which was the involvement of frequent DiCaprio collaborator Martin Scorsese as one of the origin film’s producers. Of course, this doesn’t mean DiCaprio is a lock (as some are already speculating), but the concept is certainly fascinating, as he (along with Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise) remains one of the biggest stars who hasn’t yet jumped on the superhero bandwagon. All that said, Jared Leto remains attached to the Suicide Squad spinoff.


Fresh Developments

1. DEADPOOL CO-STAR DROPS OUT OF HELLBOY REBOOT TO AVOID WHITEWASHING & ASIAN ERASURE

(Photo by Bruno Calvo/EuropaCorp USA)

Just five months ago, the live action Ghost in the Shell attracted controversy over the decision to cast Scarlett Johansson as a cyborg of Japanese origin, proving that “whitewashing” and Asian erasure is still a thing, as John Oliver addressed last year (as did this listicle, and this one). Ed Skrein, who played the villain in Deadpool, took a stance this week on the issue, dropping out of the Hellboy reboot after discovering that his character, Major Ben Daimio, is a Japanese-American in the comics. Skrein quickly earned praise and respect from figures like Ava DuVernay, John Cho, Riz Ahmed, and David Harbour (Stranger Things), AKA the star of the Hellboy reboot.


2. SAM ROCKWELL JOINS DICK CHENEY BIOPIC AS PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH

(Photo by Fox Searchlight)

Oliver Stone’s 2008 George W. Bush biopic W. was perceived as one of the year’s box office flops. Richard Dreyfuss played Vice President Dick Cheney in that film, and soon, Christian Bale will do the same in Cheney (formerly titled Backseat), a biopic from director Adam McKay (The Big Short, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy). Other Cheney cast members will include Amy Adams (Lynne Cheney), Steve Carell (Donald Rumsfeld), and Bill Pullman (Nelson Rockefeller). The biggest political figure who remained uncast until this week was President George W. Bush himself, but we now know that the role is going to Sam Rockwell. This is the second politically charged new role for Sam Rockwell this year, as he is also co-starring as a KKK leader opposite Taraji P. Henson in a civil rights drama called The Best of Enemies.

3. MARVEL DEBUTS OUR FIRST LOOK AT THE WASP (AND MISTY KNIGHT’S CYBORG ARM)

(Photo by Evangeline Lilly)

Last week was a big one for DC Comics, with two separate announcements about movies centered on the Joker. This week, however, thee advantage goes to Marvel Studios, who unveiled long-awaited first glimpses of two female characters — one from a movie and one from Netflix. First, we did technically see a Wasp costume at the end of Ant-Man, but thanks to a tweet from Evangeline Lilly, we now know what she actually will look like in it when she appears in Ant-Man and the Wasp (7/6/18). Next, while the comics version of Misty Knight is best known for her awesome cyborg arm, the version Simone Missick portrays in Netflix’s Marvel series has never had one… until now, anyway. Marvel has revealed what Misty’s arm will look like in 2018’s Luke Cage Season 2.


4. BEN AFFLECK TO DIRECT BROTHER CASEY IN WAR MOVIE RED PLATOON

(Photo by Priscilla Grant/Everett Collection)

Ben Affleck has mostly worked with Warner Bros since his 2007 directorial debut, Gone Baby Gone, both as a director (The Town, Argo, Live by Night) and, obviously, as their current Batman. A look at Affleck’s Tomatometer as of late reveals he should maybe consider a change, so this week, he started talking to Sony. Specifically, Affleck is in early talks to direct Red Platoon, based on a memoir by Clinton Romesha, about the Battle of Kamdesh in Afghanistan in 2009. Sony is hoping that Ben’s brother and Gone Baby Gone star Casey Affleck will sign on to star in Red Platoon.


5. GUILLERMO DEL TORO DELAYS FANTASTIC VOYAGE REMAKE

(Photo by Kerry Hayes/Universal Pictures)

 This week, director Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy, Pacific Rim) announced that he is delaying filming his next movie, a remake of the 1966 science fiction classic Fantastic Voyage, about a team of scientists and physicians who are shrunk so that they can travel through a patient’s body. Instead, del Toro is going to take the extra time to focus on promoting this fall’s The Shape of Water, which just premiered at the Venice Film Festival and is already drawing rave reviews. 20th Century Fox was hoping to release Fantastic Voyage in late 2019, but now it might be 2020 or 2021.

6. GAME OF THRONES’ “LITTLEFINGER” JOINS JAMES JOYCE BIOPIC

(Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images)

HBO’s global hit series Game of Thrones just aired its season 7 finale, which leaves just one more season before it all comes to an end. Aiden Gillen, a.k.a. Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish, is accordingly already planning his post-GoT schedule, signing on to star in the biopic James and Lucia. Gillen, who as Littlefinger was a master of acidic retorts (and very “mature” material), will get to do more of the same as controversial Irish writer James Joyce, the author of Ulysses. That novel became a key factor in how the United States handles censorship.

7. KEANU REEVES AND WINONA RYDER TO REUNITE FOR A DESTINATION WEDDING

(Photo by Warner Independent)

Hollywood isn’t as interested in making romantic comedies as it once was, and fans of the genre have had to revisit the golden era of the modern rom-com, arguably the 1980s and 1990s, for a fix. Two major figures from that era are Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder, who co-starred together in Bram Stoker’s Dracula and A Scanner Darkly. Though they never did a romantic comedy together, that’s set to change soon, as they recently wrapped filming of Destination Wedding, about two miserable wedding guests who fall in love over the course of a weekend together.


ROTTEN IDEAS OF THE WEEK

2. HASBRO IS SUING DC COMICS OVER THE NAME OF THEIR TRANSFORMER BUMBLEBEE

(Photo by Paramount Pictures courtesy Everett Collection)

The funny thing about copyrights and trademarks is how long companies will sometimes let them slide. For example, DC Comics introduced the Teen Titans character “Bumblebee” in 1976 (six years before the first Transformers toys came out), and that character peacefully coexisted with the popular yellow Transformers character of the same name (who’s getting a spinoff movie on 12/21/18) for over thirty years. Then, in 2015, DC Comics announced a new DC Super Hero Girls comics and toy franchise, and that’s when things started to heat up. This week, Hasbro filed paperwork against Warner Bros and DC Comics over the name “Bumblebee,” mostly over toy rights, which is obviously a big deal for Hasbro. We’re calling this a Rotten Idea because it’s sort of silly to think people will confuse this toy with this toy.


1. WONDER WOMAN HAD AN AMAZON ISLAND, SO… WE GET A FEMALE REBOOT OF LORD OF THE FLIES?

Hollywood really does think along pretty simplistic lines, it seems. Earlier this year, Warner Bros had a huge $800 million success with Wonder Woman, which was about 1/3 set on Themyscira, the fictional island home of the Amazons. Their takeaway from that was apparently “People love movies about girls on islands!” To that end, Warner Bros is completely changing a celebrated YA classic, inking a deal with the male screenwriters of 2005’s The Bee Season (43 percent on the Tomatometer) to write an alternate adaptation of William Golding’s novel Lord of the Flies as a movie about a group of stranded girls instead of boys. The online backlash to this news has been strong (and sometimes quite NSFW).

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