Weekly Ketchup

Warner Bros. Will Debut All 2021 Theatrical Releases on HBO Max, and More Movie News

New roles for Gal Gadot, Oscar Isaac, Margot Robbie, Jason Statham, Peter Dinklage, and Cynthia Erivo, and Universal reboots Van Helsing.

by | December 4, 2020 | Comments

This Week’s Ketchup brings you more headlines from the world of film development news, covering such titles as Metal Gear Solid, The Toxic Avenger, and Van Helsing.



Timothee Chalamet and Rebecca Ferguson in Dune

(Photo by Chiabella James/©Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)

Just over a year ago, when Disney+ first launched on November 12, 2019, it may have seemed crazy that any streaming app could ever compete with Netflix, which has shows like The Crown, Stranger Things, and The Umbrella Company. That, of course, was before anyone had seen The Mandalorian, and before we knew much about Warner Bros.’ HBO Max app, the scope of which exploded with this week’s big news. Just two weeks after the revelation that Wonder Woman 1984 will debut on HBO Max on December 25, 2020 on the same day it premieres in theaters, Warner Bros. has announced that their entire theatrical slate for 2021 will also debut day-and-date simultaneously on the HBO Max app, at no additional cost (besides the monthly subscription rate), due to the continuing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on movie theaters. We’re talking here about 17 movies, both big and small, including Mortal Kombat (1/15/2021), Tom and Jerry (3/5/2021), the Sopranos prequel The Many Saints of Newark (3/12/2021), Godzilla vs Kong (5/21/2021), The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (6/4/2021), Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights (6/18/2021), Space Jam: A New Legacy (7/16/2021), James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad (8/6/2021), Dune (10/1/2021), Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis (11/5/2021), and The Matrix 4 (12/22/2021), among others. Super unsurprisingly, HBO Max also ended their free trial promotion yesterday. This surprise announcement also came just a week after the news last week that Netflix had offered Warner Bros. $200 million for the streaming rights to Godzilla vs Kong alone. Warner Bros.’ announcement also left an immediate impact on movie theater exhibition stocks yesterday, the leaders of many of which had the expected negative-to-mixed reactions (the most negative of which came from AMC). You can see new logos for many of these films here, and the official announcement trailer right here. As for what this means for the future of the movie theater business past 2021, no one really knows, but Variety explored some of those questions here.

Other Top Headlines


Margot Robbie in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

(Photo by Andrew Cooper/©Columbia Pictures)

After reuniting with his La La Land star Ryan Gosling for the moon landing drama First Man (Certified Fresh at 87%), director Damien Chazelle has been planning on also reuniting with the former’s other star, Emma Stone, for Babylon, about Hollywood’s transitional period between silent films and the “talkies” of the 1920 and 1930s. In a surprise move this week, however, Stone has dropped out due to scheduling conflicts (it’s unclear what film the conflict is with), with Margot Robbie now in talks for the role, which is believed to be the original “It Girl,” silent star Clara Bow. If Robbie does sign on for Babylon, the movie will effectively become a reunion project for another film set in Hollywood’s past, Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood (Certifed Fresh at 85%), as the Babylon male lead is Brad Pitt. In related news, actress Li Jun Li (TV’s Quantico, The Exorcist) has also been cast as early Chinese American movie star Anna May Wong. Paramount Pictures has scheduled Babylon for an awards-qualifying limited release on Christmas Day, 2021, followed by a wide release on January 7, 2022.


Oscar Isaac in Triple Frontier

(Photo by Melinda Sue Gordon/Netflix)

Although his run as Poe Dameron in the final three Star Wars chapters is over, Oscar Isaac continues to stack up new franchises, which before this week’s news already included The Addams Family (in which he voices Gomez), the Dune remake (10/21/2021), and the MCU with his Disney+ role as Moon Knight. We can add to that list the long-in-development video game adaptation Metal Gear Solid, in which Isaac will star as franchise star and super spy Solid Snake. With over a dozen main franchise games published since the 1990s, Metal Gear Solid has the potential of being a multi-film franchise on par with Resident Evil. Metal Gear Solid has long been a dream project for director Jordan Vogt-Roberts (Kong: Skull Island, The Kings of Summer), who will be working off a screenplay by Derek Connolly (Safety Not Guaranteed; co-writer of Jurassic World). Other projects Oscar Isaac has in the works include the Ex Machina comic book adaptation The Great Machine and the Hollywood true story Francis and the Godfather.


Gal Gadot

(Photo by RCF/Everett Collection)

As we get closer to the Christmas Day premiere of Wonder Woman 1984 on HBO Max and in theaters, Gal Gadot has found another lucrative genre to add to her filmography in addition to superheroes and (formerly) the racing action of the Fast & Furious movies. Gadot has finalized a deal for upwards of $10 million with Skydance Media to star in the spy thriller Heart of Stone,which is being described as a potential franchise-starter in the style of James Bond and Mission: Impossible. Tom Harper, who directed Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones in the hot air balloon adventure The Aeronauts (Certified Fresh at 72%) is currently in talks to direct Heart of Stone from a screenplay by comic book writer Greg Rucka (Netflix’s The Old Guard, Certified Fresh at 81%) and screenwriter Allison Schroeder (co-writer of Hidden Figures, Christpher Robin). Other projects Gal Gadot has in the works include her starring role in Cleopatra and the Netflix action movie Red Notice, along with Dwayne Johnson and Ryan Reynolds.


Peter Dinklage in Game of Thrones

(Photo by HBO)

For years now, whenever fans speculate about the casting of a possible Alpha Flight movie, one of the inevitable picks is Peter Dinklage as Puck (because of their similarity in height). Instead, when Dinklage did actually make his debut in a Marvel Studios movie, it was in X-Men: Days of Future Past (Certified Fresh at 90%) as the scientist Bolivar Trask, and that role was later followed by a turn as Eitri, King of the Dwarves, in Avengers: Infinity War (Certified Fresh at 85%). As it turns out, however, Dinklage’s first true superhero role will be one with indie filmmaking roots far outside the Marvel Cinematic Universe: in the remake of Troma’s The Toxic Avenger (Fresh at 70%). Troma’s Lloyd Kaufman is co-producing the reboot for Legendary Pictures, the same production company that gave us Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy and Warner Bros’ current Godzilla franchise. Dinklage’s reboot of The Toxic Avenger will reportedly “subvert” the superhero genre in the style of Marvel’s Deadpool, which makes sense when you find out that it will be directed by actor Macon Blair (Blue Ruin), who made his directorial debut with I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore (Certified Fresh at 89%).


Cynthia Erivo

(Photo by Eli Winston/Everett Collection)

Broadway star Cynthia Erivo was one of last year’s Best Actress nominees for her role as Harriet Tubman in Harriet (Fresh at 74%), and now she’s found another biopic set in the 19th century, as she is attached to produce and star in an untitled film about the life of African princess Omoba Aina (A.K.A. Sara Forbes Bonetta), who was enslaved and then eventually became the goddaughter of Queen Victoria of England. The film will be partly adapted from the biographical book At Her Majesty’s Request. Benedict Cumberbatch will also be one of the project’s producers, but it’s not yet known if he will also take on one of the film’s historical roles.


Ron Howard on the set of Rush

(Photo by Jaap Buitendijk/©Universal Pictures)

Just a couple of weeks after the Netflix premiere of his latest film as director, Hillbilly Elegy (Rotten at 25%), Ron Howard is already getting ready for his next film as director. That movie will be Thirteen Lives, about the cave rescue effort in Thailand in 2018, which will start filming in Australia in March, 2021. Howard’s Thirteen Lives now also stands out as the possible winner in a race to get a major movie about the incident produced after a surprising six different projects were confirmed to be in development within a few months of the disaster. Thirteen Lives will be a joint production between Howard and Brian Grazer’s Imagine Entertainment and MGM. No casting has been announced yet.


Hugh Jackman in Van Helsing

(Photo by (c)Universal courtesy Everett Collection)

Universal’s attempts to move on from the Dark Universe idea got rolling in style earlier this year with The Invisible Man (Certified Fresh at 91%), and they continue to develop films based on their classic monster lineup almost more intensely than they did before. The 2004 Hugh Jackman action movie Van Helsing (Rotten at 24%) was a famous misfire, but the vampire-hunting Dracula character himself appears to still have fans at Universal, because the studio is moving forward with plans for a Van Helsing reboot. Universal Pictures is teaming up with producer James Wan (Aquaman, The Conjuring) for a new Van Helsing film to be directed by Julius Avery, who in 2018 gave us the Nazi zombie movie Overlord (Certified Fresh at 81%). It’s not yet known what sort of tone the new Van Helsing will take, or whether it will directly connect to other Universal monster movies (either before or after Van Helsing). Julius Avery will also be rewriting a pre-existing Van Helsing reboot screenplay draft written by screenwriter Eric Pearson (Marvel’s Black Widow; co-writer of Thor: Ragnarok).


Jason Statham

(Photo by Universal Pictures courtesy Everett Collection)

Every once in a while, an actor will be lucky enough to have two new movies announced in the same week. This week, it’s Jason Statham, and neither movie is a sequel to any of his recent hits like The Meg or Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, but one of them was almost a sequel. Jason Statham is in advanced talks to star in the Russian crime thriller Small Dark Look, which was originally developed as a sequel to the Viggo Mortensen drama Eastern Promises (Certified Fresh at 89%). It sounds, however, like elements of the movie have been changed (notably, probably changing the character from the one played by Viggo Mortensen), so that it’s no longer a sequel. The other Jason Statham movie to make the news this week is an untitled thriller to be directed by Guy Ritchie, whose first two features, 1998’s Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (Certified Fresh at 75%) and 2001’s Snatch (Fresh at 73%), helped launch Statham’s movie career. The new project, which was previously titled Five Eyes, will team Statham up with Parks & Recreation star Aubrey Plaza as an international super spy who must work with a high-tech CIA expert on a “globe-trotting mission to infiltrate a billionaire arms broker.” This project appears to be one that Ritchie is taking on while others, including Disney’s live-action sequel to 2019’s Aladdin (Rotten at 57%), continue to be developed.

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

Tag Cloud

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