Weekly Ketchup

In The Heights' Leslie Grace is Batgirl, and More Movie News

Batgirl gets its Barbara, title and poster revealed for Jordan Peele's Nope, and Dwayne Johnson is Fast & Furiously done.

by | July 23, 2021 | Comments

This Weekly Ketchup brings you another ten headlines from the world of film development news, covering such titles as Batgirl, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Blade, and Clerks III.



(Photo by Warner Bros.)

A common publicity strategy for really big projects is to slowly tease out a group of actors that is being considered for a role, before officially announcing who actually got the role in a following news cycler. This week, HBO Max sped the process up quite a bit for the announcement of who will be starring as Barbara Gordon, AKA Batgirl, in their upcoming solo movie. On Monday, the big news was that Warner Bros and DC Comics had “started testing” a small circle of actresses for the role that included Isabela Merced (Dora and the Lost City of Gold ), Zoey Deutch (Zombieland: Double Tap), and Haley Lu Richardson. That was on Monday. On Wednesday, the role was announced as going to Leslie Grace, one of the stars of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights. Batgirl will be directed by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah (Bad Boys for Life) as an expected 2023 HBO Max exclusive. Leslie Grace took to Twitter to exclaim, “I am BEYOND EXCITED to embody Barbara Gordon, your #Batgirl ! I cannot believeeee what I’m writing rn…”

Other Top Headlines


(Photo by Mark Johnson / ©E4/Channel 4 /Everett Collection)

We’ve known for a while that Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is scheduled for release next summer on July 8, 2022, but the actual premise of the sequel is still shrouded in mystery. We can now confirm that Winston Duke will be reprising his role as M’Baku in the sequel. And the latest casting news that sent Twitter all into a flurry is that Michaela Coel (creator and star of HBO’s I May Destroy You) has joined Black Panther: Wakanda Forever in an undisclosed key role. There are dozens of characters from the comics that Coel could possibly be playing, but speculation immediately jumped to her playing Storm, who in the comics was once married to T’Challa. Of course, one of the lingering rumors about the film is that Tenoch Huerta (Narcos: Mexico) is playing Namor the Sub-Mariner. Presuming the film does deal with the political intrigues between Wakanda and Atlantis, that also opens the door to Coel playing one of the Atlanteans, like perhaps Namor’s longtime romantic interest, Lady Dorma.


Bill Murray in The Grand Budapest Hotel

(Photo by Universal)

Jordan Peele’s first two films as director (Get Out, Us) had such an impact that any news about his third movie is noteworthy, even it’s just a title and an enigmatic poster. Speaking of which, the title of Jordan Peele’s next movie will be Nope. Whatever it’s about, we do know that the stars are Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out), Keke Palmer (Hustlers, Akeelah and the Bee), and Steven Yuen (Minari, The Walking Dead), and that it’s scheduled for July 22, 2022.


(Photo by ThinkFilm)

Emmett Louis Till was a 14-year-old boy who was lynched and murdered in Mississippi in 1955, leading to the controversial trial and a legacy of providing the burgeoning civil rights movement an example of injustice for African-Americans. The story of Till has been told many times in documentary form, including the 2003 Sundance Film Festival Special Jury Award winner The Murder of Emmett Till. The true story of the aftermath of Till’s murder will soon be told as a dramatic film in Till, with Whooopi Goldberg and Danielle Deadwyler (Paradise Lost, HBO’s Watchmen) attached to play Till’s grandmother and mother, respectively. Till will be directed by Chinonye Chukwu, who won the 2019 Sundance Film Festival Dramatic Grand Jury Prize for Clemency.


(Photo by Strand Releasing/Everett Collection)

Riz Ahmed, who received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor for Sound of Metal, followed that film up with a British rap drama called Mogul Mowgli. That film actually premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival in February of 2020, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, its release was delayed all the way until September 3rd, 2021.  Someone at Marvel Studios must’ve gotten their hands on Mogul Mowgli early because they have already started negotiating with director Bassam Tariq to direct the upcoming reboot of Blade, starring Mahershala Ali. No details have been revealed about what Marvel’s new version of Blade might be tackling first. Screenwriter Stacy Osei-Kuffour (story editor on HBO’s Watchmen and Amazon’s Hunters) was hired to adapt Blade in February, and is expected to start filming in sometime in 2022.


(Photo by Netflix/Everett Collection)

Zack Snyder started 2021 with Zack Snyder’s Justice League as one of HBO Max’s most ambitious exclusives in March. We’ve since received Snyder’s Army of the Dead on Netflix, and Snyder is currently filming the prequel spinoff series Army of the Dead: Lost Vegas, giving Snyder a new post-DC franchise.  This week, Snyder and his wife and producing partner Deborah Snyder signed a new two year deal with Netflix, and that news included the revelation that the Snyders are now officially developing an Army of the Dead sequel. That film will not, however, be produced for a while, as Snyder’s immediate priority is the science-fiction adventure Rebel Moon (also for Netflix), which is being compared to Star Wars in its scope and scale. The cast of Rebel Moon have not been announced yet.


(Photo by Amazon/Everett Collection)

Usually, when a prolific director delivers a mid-budget movie that earns over $400 million, leading to a $3 billion five-movie franchise, they become a household name. That’s not really how things have turned out for original Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke, although she certainly has stayed busy. Hardwicke’s next film will be a family drama called Prisoner’s Daughter, and her stars will be Brian Cox (Succession, X2) as the titular prisoner, and Kate Beckinsale (Underworld, this week’s Jolt) as the daughter. In related news, Beckinsale also made the news this week for talking about how she pitched Marvel on a BladeUnderworld vampire movie crossover.


(Photo by TWC/Everett Collection)

When director Kevin Smith got his Clerks crew back together in 2006 for the sequel Clerks II, it was the end of a 12-year wait. As it turns out, however, the delay between Clerks II and Clerks III will have been even longer, presuming it’s released sometime in either 2022 or 2023 (making the gap 16 or 17 years). The first two Clerks movies were distributed by Miramax (as were many of Smith’s early films). Recently, Lionsgate stepped in to acquire Clerks III and get the sequel going. With a new studio home, Smith is now set to start filming Clerks III on location in New Jersey, with most of his Clerks II cast returning, including Rosario Dawson, Jeff Anderson, Brian O’Halloran, and Jay Mewes and Kevin Smith reprising their Jay and Silent Bob characters. The premise will involve Randal (Anderson) suffering a massive heart attack, which inspires him to get his friends together to make a movie about his life as a convenience store clerk.


(Photo by ©Universal Pictures)

Universal Pictures announced release dates this week for two movies that we didn’t previously know much about. Anthony Ramos (In the Heights, Hamilton), Zachary Quinto (Star Trek, TV’s Heroes), and Naomi Scott (Aladdin, Power Rangers) will star in the 2022 sci-fi thriller Distant, about a spaceship in the future that is hit by an asteroid, putting the characters in a Gravity-style survival situation.  Comedian Jo Koy will star in the second Universal movie, Easter Sunday, as “a man returning home for an Easter celebration with his riotous, bickering, eating, drinking, laughing, loving family, in this love letter to his Filipino-American community.” Easter Sunday will be directed by Jay Chandrasekhar (Super Troopers, Beerfest).


(Photo by Universal)

Your Twitter feed may have been recently full of stories of the ongoing back-and-forth between Fast & Furious franchise stars Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson, but this week, it seemed to finally reach a point how the future movies will be developed. That’s because Dwayne Johnson was quoted this week as saying, “I wish them well on Fast 9. And I wish them the best of luck on Fast 10 and Fast 11 and the rest of the Fast & Furious movies they do that will be without me.” Dwayne Johnson last played his Hobbs character in Hobbs & Shaw in 2019, and there had been talk of a sequel, but in February, one of the producers suggested it might take longer than a while. And now, Johnson’s comment about “the rest of Fast & Furious movies they do without me” suggests he’s done, period.

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

Tag Cloud

Britbox Ovation streaming movies adenture E! 2016 kong critics theme song sequels name the review DC Comics National Geographic olympics Cannes The Arrangement mutant game of thrones football universal monsters DC Universe Image Comics American Society of Cinematographers toy story CW Seed Infographic Pirates binge singing competition Adult Swim Year in Review japan Heroines parents Musical hist festivals travel Binge Guide based on movie Sundance Now scene in color superhero comics TCA Winter 2020 Wes Anderson supernatural Paramount Network obituary Mindy Kaling Nickelodeon FX Photos Comic-Con@Home 2021 The Walt Disney Company Family IFC Films mockumentary revenge Black History Month CBS All Access comic book movies cooking Extras Classic Film Polls and Games Acorn TV Starz hollywood dark boxoffice chucky aapi TBS Disney streaming service historical drama period drama APB Fall TV OWN award winner crime Lifetime Christmas movies 20th Century Fox sitcom movies child's play what to watch Amazon Prime Video news Disney+ Disney Plus doctor who Exclusive Video all-time Showtime breaking bad Horror VOD Nominations Tumblr Bravo Box Office TCA latino Disney Channel Esquire HBO Max TV Land new zealand telelvision Interview Podcast james bond TV One children's TV women Apple TV+ cancelled TV shows Mary Tyler Moore richard e. Grant wonder woman 1990s rt labs joker unscripted Holidays franchise reboot OneApp black Apple nfl live action canceled TV shows Film RT History Pop TV Shondaland Captain marvel deadpool Rocky DirecTV posters LGBTQ Rocketman The Academy legend See It Skip It Academy Awards dramedy international Sci-Fi Quiz Turner south america Sneak Peek PlayStation Awards space Kids & Family TruTV 2021 Spectrum Originals Spike NBC New York Comic Con anthology ESPN slasher Premiere Dates satire Watching Series Song of Ice and Fire WarnerMedia scary movies films saw marvel comics Animation crime drama indie halloween VH1 high school book razzies game show Dark Horse Comics ID BBC transformers Television Critics Association Ellie Kemper Rock documentaries 71st Emmy Awards ITV cartoon Marvel remakes Warner Bros. BAFTA PaleyFest cancelled TV series dragons Shudder critic resources FXX Trophy Talk Video Games GLAAD ABC Signature Hear Us Out Apple TV Plus Crunchyroll Rom-Com Comedy History spider-man TV movies MTV Musicals Travel Channel Superheroes casting cancelled golden globes boxing Food Network Mary Poppins Returns worst movies spy thriller docuseries scorecard AMC Schedule Elton John spanish language GIFs Disney nbcuniversal police drama Pet Sematary Countdown MSNBC natural history 2015 slashers Amazon Studios FX on Hulu Broadway Paramount Plus Women's History Month 90s discovery E3 Chernobyl know your critic spanish Netflix Christmas movies HBO heist movie Fox News SXSW Pride Month stand-up comedy cancelled television best 007 Spring TV Turner Classic Movies TCM Marvel Television blaxploitation quibi kids Reality trailers twilight TCA 2017 nature A&E 45 docudrama cats 24 frames disaster CNN canceled comic sag awards X-Men 73rd Emmy Awards VICE psychological thriller medical drama Lifetime movie lord of the rings book adaptation miniseries Sundance classics Superheroe First Look WGN Arrowverse Pacific Islander YouTube Premium Set visit Music Thanksgiving YouTube Funimation cars Syfy rt labs critics edition BBC America Walt Disney Pictures japanese Comics on TV war renewed TV shows comedies royal family A24 Hallmark Christmas movies comic book movie marvel cinematic universe Hallmark political drama DC streaming service harry potter Stephen King adventure screenings BET Awards TIFF Grammys ABC TCA Awards target fast and furious TLC screen actors guild king kong cults Winners Brie Larson First Reviews comiccon rotten Creative Arts Emmys rt archives Tubi animated versus MCU biopic strong female leads cinemax romance halloween tv Certified Fresh RT21 king arthur BET asian-american mcc die hard SundanceTV talk show Alien dogs Peacock politics teaser Black Mirror worst crime thriller adaptation australia 21st Century Fox true crime zombie foreign Discovery Channel hidden camera ghosts gangster Ghostbusters 2017 2020 technology El Rey Western Logo independent Christmas directors Martial Arts zero dark thirty stop motion facebook thriller concert Trivia Summer Mudbound Drama popular sequel ViacomCBS tv talk The CW batman 2018 Amazon Prime feel good Character Guide Holiday Paramount Sony Pictures ABC Family Cartoon Network fresh archives CMT Disney Plus serial killer Comic Book witnail Fox Searchlight criterion robots Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Crackle basketball Tarantino Toys justice league 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards PBS prank Universal Election werewolf streaming rom-coms mission: impossible superman YA blockbusters Vudu psycho monster movies 2019 BBC One stoner Fantasy emmy awards Mystery crossover anime romantic comedy golden globe awards Reality Competition Tomatazos italian Country blockbuster vampires USA IFC Nat Geo kaiju biography Super Bowl Red Carpet Film Festival The Purge Hulu TV Television Academy jamie lee curtis comic books Tokyo Olympics Baby Yoda christmas movies Teen 72 Emmy Awards new star wars movies Amazon new york Comedy Central HBO Go USA Network The Witch President Anna Paquin a nightmare on elm street laika Columbia Pictures The Walking Dead action-comedy free movies elevated horror Pop social media Star Wars Star Trek Writers Guild of America Marvel Studios rotten movies we love Trailer Action Mary poppins dexter 93rd Oscars festival Valentine's Day venice cops Lucasfilm TV renewals finale NBA GoT Cosplay Biopics television zombies YouTube Red Oscars series Emmy Nominations Netflix Pixar video on demand young adult Legendary video pirates of the caribbean Best and Worst jurassic park Sundance TV Marathons LGBT Freeform Endgame composers indiana jones DGA ratings spain Opinion reviews NYCC San Diego Comic-Con sports suspense 99% french Awards Tour science fiction Emmys Avengers CBS documentary godzilla green book diversity 4/20 Winter TV Masterpiece toronto aliens Chilling Adventures of Sabrina spinoff hispanic dc debate TNT Calendar Lionsgate FOX dceu Epix hispanic heritage month SDCC