Weekly Ketchup

Weekly Ketchup: Films Formerly Starring Paul Walker Make Adjustments

Also, a Richard Pryor biopic and new roles for Javier Bardem, John Goodman, Rebel Wilson, and more.

by | January 10, 2014 | Comments

This Week’s Ketchup actually covers three full weeks since the weekend before Christmas (two editions of the Yearly Ketchup were published during that time — the Freshest stories of 2013 and the most Rotten). Most of Hollywood took (at least) those three weeks off, but there was still a fair amount of movie development news, although some of it was in the “rumor” or “ambiguous tweet” category. The ten stories we’re going with include a few true stories (Richard Pryor, Montezuma, and the Boston Strangler) and a few sequels (including Ice Age 5, Night at the Museum 3, and Paul Blart 2).

This Week’s Top Story


The automobile crash that killed Paul Walker happened on November 30, and it was such a shock that people in Hollywood understandably didn’t know right away how they were going to move on in their respective businesses afterwards. The most obvious enterprise that had to “deal” with it, somehow, was the production of Fast & Furious 7, which still had filming to do with Walker. Universal Pictures, the producers, the director, and the screenwriters all needed to take time to figure it all out. One result is that the release of the film has been moved from July 11, 2014 to April 10, 2015, with filming expected to continue again later this month. We also learned recently that the plan is not to “kill off” Walker’s character of Brian O’Conner, but rather, that the character will “retire” in Fast & Furious 7. Presumably, we might reasonably imagine a scene in which Walker discusses whether to continue a life of crime will be used to lead to another character acknowledging Brian’s retirement. Universal isn’t the only studio that needs to move on in 2014 without the help of Paul Walker, though. Over at 20th Century Fox, they have Agent 47, which was to have starred Paul Walker a reboot of their Hitman video game adaptation franchise. Now, the studio is in talks with Homeland star Rupert Friend to replace Walker in Agent 47, which is expected to start filming as scheduled sometime in 2014. Finally, there is the Nicholas Sparks adaptation The Best of Me at Relativity Media, which would have starred Walker as one of a pair of high school sweethearts who reunite 20 years later for the funeral of a friend. James Marsden, who played Cyclops in the first three X-Men movies, is now in talks to replace Walker in that romantic drama.

Fresh Developments This Week


The phrase “development hell” is used to describe the years (and sometimes, decades) that movie projects can spend in a state of limbo, always just one meeting away from being greenlit, without it ever actually happening. This story, however, takes the phrase to an all different level. Steven Spielberg, who directed his friend Stanley Kubrick’s long-in-development project A.I. – Artificial Intelligence for release in 2001, is now considering doing the same for an even older project. Spielberg is considering making his first post-Lincoln film an adaptation of the script called Montezuma, about the invasion of the Aztec Empire by the Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes in the 16th century. The “development hell” part comes from the fact that the original script was written by Dalton Trumbo (Spartacus, Exodus, Papillon) over 50 years ago. The script is now being rewritten by screenwriter Steven Zaillian, who won an Academy Award for Schindler’s List, and was also nominated for Awakenings, Gangs of New York, and Moneyball. Javier Bardem is also considering signing on to play Cortes, and the film’s title might be changed to Cortes, as that’s who Zaillian’s draft focuses on most. If Steven Spielberg does make this Aztec epic his next film, it will end a process that has previously included periods in which he was considering next directing the sci-fi movies Interstellar and Robopocalypse, and the true story American Sniper.



Last year, around the time that Lee Daniels’ The Butler was released, the director was saying that he was next expecting to direct the long-in-development Janis Joplin biopic. This week, we heard about Lee Daniels being in discussions to direct a celebrity biopic, but it’s not Janis Joplin; it’s comedian-actor Richard Pryor. That project has been bubbling up for a few years now, with the Weinstein Company producing. It was with the Weinsteins that Lee Daniels finally got The Butler produced after a similiar extended development period. The actors who are in the running to star as Richard Pryor include Eddie Murphy, Michael B. Jordan, and Marlon Wayans, who is possibly the most likely to land the role, partly because at 41, he is closest in age to the period of Richard Pryor’s life that the film will most focus on. The Weinsteins are also, however, very eager to work again with 26 year old Michael B. Jordan, who starred this year in their film Fruitvale Station.



Director Mark Romanek (One Hour Photo, Never Let Me Go) is now in talks with Warner Bros to direct their drama about the infamous 1960s serial killer known as the Boston Strangler. Casey Affleck will also be executive producing and starring as one of the detectives investigating the killings. The project is being compared in tone to both the ficitonal Seven and the true story film Zodiac, both directed by David Fincher.



This week, we learned the names of the new actors joining the cast for the sequel The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel 2, and their identities basically clue us into how the sequel will separate itself from the first film. American actors Richard Gere and David Strathairn will be joining such returning cast members as Dames Judi Dench and Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy, Penelope Wilton, and Dev Patel. The suggestion basically is that in the sequel the marketing of the Indian resort will be appealing more to American retirees than just Brits like in the first movie. And they probably fall in love.



After the success of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, there was a lot of high profile speculation about what director Rupert Wyatt would do next. The answer turned out to be its own surprise, because the project at Paramount Pictures is a remake of the 1974 James Caan drama The Gambler, with Mark Wahlberg in the lead instead. We recently learned that the supporting cast will include Jessica Lange as Wahlberg’s mother, and John Goodman as a Jewish loan shark.


Rotten Ideas of the Week


There are definitely some very talented people involved with the Night at the Museum kids movie franchise, but that doesn’t stop the movies from thus far being “Rotten” over on the RT Tomatometer. And so, regardless of what you might think of them in other stuff, when you hear about someone like Rebel Wilson joining the cast of Night at the Museum 3, it’s news that you have to take as something of a bitter pill. Australian Wilson, who plays an American on ABC’s Super Fun Night, but has played British in the past, will play a British guard in Night at the Museum 3, which gives us a hint about the setting of this third movie, after the second film moved the action to the Smithsonian.


The development process for animated movies is much longer than for live action films, so sometimes, it can seem like news stories involving them is talking about the far flung future. For example, this story includes a release date in March of 2018. Let’s start with the lead, however, which is that Fox Animation and Blue Sky Studios are now at work on the fifth Ice Age movie, which has been scheduled for a release date of July 15, 2016. This, however, moves the previously announced animated adventure Anubis, about the Egyptian underworld, to a release date of March 23, 2018. Presuming, of course, that people go to “the movies” in 2018 when they’re not driving around in flying cars and falling in love with their operating systems.


The biggest question surrounding the Point Break remake ever since the concept was first broached online was who exactly could the producers recruit to play the role first created by the late Patrick Swayze. That answer came yesterday with the news that it will be Gerard Butler who will play “Bodhi,” the leader of a group of criminals and extreme sports enthusiasts who are infiltrated by a young FBI agent who may (or may not) resemble a young Keanu Reeves. This will be Gerard Butler’s second film to heavily feature surfing, after the 2012 film Chasing Mavericks.



Admittedly, this story might actually be a “Fresh Development” if it did indeed involve a zombie apocalypse, but it will probably just be more of the same. “The same” being whatever it was that attracted the hordes of moviegoers that invaded cineplexes in 2009 to see the Kevin James comedy Paul Blart: Mall Cop. James and Adam Sandler (via Happy Madison) are once again teaming up to produce the sequel to Paul Blart: Mall Cop, which Kevin James will also cowrite, as well as star in. Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 will be directed by Andy Fickman, whose streak of green splotches on RT has included She’s the Man, Game Plan, Race to Witch Mountain, You Again, and Parental Guidance. And it’s a streak that’s unlikely to be changed by Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2. Hence… it’s the Most Rotten Idea of the Week.

For more Weekly Ketchup columns by Greg Dean Schmitz, check out the WK archive, and you can contact GDS via Facebook.

Tag Cloud

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