Weekly Ketchup

Weekly Ketchup: Wonder Woman Scores Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones Director

Plus, Star Wars rumors, James Bond rumors, Zoolander sequel news, and Channing Tatum's directorial debut.

by | November 26, 2014 | Comments

This week’s Ketchup comes to you on a pre-Thanksgiving Wednesday, allowing for coverage of a few stories that didn’t fit in last Friday. Included in the mix are ten movie development news stories covering such films as James Bond 24, Wonder Woman, X-Men: Apocalypse, Zoolander 2, and a Janis Joplin biopic.


 This Week’s Top Story

SAY HER NAME: BREAKING BAD DIRECTOR DEVELOPING WONDER WOMAN

As Hollywood publicists prepared for their obligatory collective extended Thanksgiving vacation, some of the “big stories” this week were actually retreads of stories we’ve already covered in previous Weekly Ketchups. This can pose something of an editorial conundrum, because if we don’t include them, it looks like we’re ignoring some of the biggest news stories of the week (which is sort of the opposite of what this column is about). The first such story is that Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones director Michelle MacLaren has indeed signed on to develop and direct the Wonder Woman movie for Warner Bros and DC Comics. (Here’s our first coverage of this story, from just twelve days ago). In addition to directing, Michelle MacLaren will also develop the script with the film’s writers, who haven’t been announced yet. Warner Bros will release the Wonder Woman solo movie on June 23, 2017, after the character makes live action debut in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice in March of 2016. Another story we’ve already talked about before which got a lot of new press this week is the buzz that Warner Bros wants Matthew McConaughey to play the villain Randall Flagg in their multi-film adaptation of Stephen King’s The Stand from director Josh Boone (The Fault in Our Stars). We first covered that story back in August.

Fresh Developments This Week

#1 DALLAS BUYERS CLUB DIRECTOR TO COVER JANIS JOPLIN

After directing one of last year’s most acclaimed films (Dallas Buyers Club), Canadian director Jean-Marc Vallée has another film (Wild, starring Reese Witherspoon) this year which is on many critics’ predicted “best of” lists for 2014. We already know what film will be next, and it’s Demolition, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Naomi Watts. Vallée’s next film after Demolition, however, might be another film based on a true story, like Dallas Buyers Club and Wild. That’s because the director has taken over development of the long-in-the-works Janis Joplin biopic in which Amy Adams is attached to star as the 1960s Texas blues-influenced pop star. Jean-Marc Vallée is taking on this Janis Joplin project after previous directors like Fernando Meirelles (City of God, Blindness) and Lee Daniels (The Butler, Precious) spent time working on it before eventually moving on. As part of his deal, Vallée has tasked his Dallas Buyers Club screenwriters Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack to work on the screenplay, which has to be creative in its scope, because the independent budget is expected to stay within the $15-$20 million range.

 

#2 OSCAR ISAAC AS X-MEN VILLAIN APOCALYPSE: HE’S NOT NEW, AND NEVER GETS OLD

For the last 30 years, one of Marvel’s biggest, baddest villains, in or out of the X-Men titles, has been Apocalypse, the mysterious, seemingly immortal Egyptian mutant. The blue-and-grey super mutant has been so popular and influential that not only has he led various villain groups (including the Four Horsemen) and been the Big Bad in various events, but there’s even a hugely popular timeline and alternate reality called Age of Apocalypse. So, as production readies for X-Men: Apocalypse (5/27/16), the casting of Apocalypse himself is sort of a big deal. There had been talk that Tom Hardy might get the role, but instead, Inside Llewyn Davis star Oscar Isaac will star as Apocalypse. We’re still a year away from the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which also features Isaac, so 20th Century Fox might be playing the long game here, anticipating the star he might become not this year (or next year) but by the time 2016 rolls around (much like what Marvel Studios has been doing with their casting since Chris Evans was cast as Captain America). Oscar Isaac’s profile will continue to rise next month with the release of A Most Violent Year.

 

#3 SPEAKING OF VILLAINS AND CATS… IS CHRISTOPH WALTZ BRINGING BACK ERNST BLOFELD?

There’s a reason we haven’t seen the villain organization S.P.E.C.T.R.E. or characters like Ernst Blofeld in official James Bond movies since the 1970s (an uncredited Blofeld appeared in the beginning of the 1981 film For Your Eyes Only). Well, last year, the lawsuit preventing the use of Blofeld ended with a settlement, which leads us to this week’s rumor. Just two weeks ago, we first heard that Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds, Django Unchained) was in some stage of negotiation to play a character in the untitled movie we can only call “James Bond 24” right now. London’s The Daily Mail (which has a strong recent history of reporting James Bond stories that turn out to be true) is reporting that Christoph Waltz will be playing none other than Ernst Blofeld. Even if you have only a fleeting familiarity with Bond villains, you’d probably recognize the iconic image of Ernst Blofeld (even if only it’s because you’ve seen an Austin Powers movie): the bald head, the scarred eye, the neutral tone Mao suit, the obligatory white cat, and the booby-trap dispatching of underlings. In an age dominated by cinematic superheroes and supervillains, are we finally ready again for Ernst Blofeld? MGM and Columbia Pictures have scheduled “James Bond 24,” whatever it ends up being titled, for November 6, 2015. Director Sam Mendes and franchise stars Daniel Craig, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Rory Kinnear, and Ben Whishaw are returning, along with new cast members Dave Bautista and Léa Seydoux.

 

#4 THIS WEEK IN STAR WARS RUMORS: WILL THERE BE SOMETHING LIKE A BOBA’S SEVEN HEIST FILM?

Guardians of the Galaxy proved audiences still enjoy space opera adventures featuring bandits, loveable scoundrels, and all-around badass wiseguys, so it should surprise no one that other studios are looking to produce similar films. Of course, Lucasfilm has the inside track on that sort of thing, since Han Solo is the character that basically defined that appeal for an entire generation (or two). With all that in mind, a new rumor is circulating that claims the Star Wars movie that director Gareth Edwards (Godzilla, Monsters) is developing is a “heist” movie about a group of bounty hunters hired to steal the plans for the original Death Star (ie, set before Star Wars: A New Hope). This rumor also ties into past talk that one of the “prequel spinoffs” would involve Boba Fett (Han Solo and Yoda might be the stars of the other two). If this rumor pans out, however, Boba Fett won’t be the “star” of this movie (though he could certainly be one of the bounty hunters); it will instead be a new character to be introduced in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. There’s already speculation that it could be the character played by veteran actor Max Von Sydow (because of his age), but that’s not necessarily a given in a galaxy with so many aliens and robots. In other Star Wars news, the first 88-second teaser trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens (12/18/15) will debut at select theaters this weekend, and probably online soon after (either officially or otherwise).

 

#5 JURASSIC WORLD STAR BRYCE DALLAS HOWARD JOINS PETE’S DRAGON

Just yesterday we saw the release of the first trailer for next summer’s Jurassic World, in which Bryce Dallas Howard is shown doing what Kitty from Arrested Development advised her kid to do: “run.” Within the last seven days, it was reported that Bryce Dallas Howard is in talks to join a very different movie (presumably) that’s also about a very, very big lizard-type beast. In the remake of Pete’s Dragon (which is sounding like it’s quite an altered update), Howard’s character would be a forest ranger who doesn’t believe the titular little boy has really befriended a dragon in the nearby forest which is being cleared by loggers. Robert Redford is already signed to play a local old man who tells crazy stories about a dragon that lives in the aforementioned woods. The Pete’s Dragon remake is being directed for Walt Disney Pictures by David Lowery, who’s making his big budget studio debut after impressing with last year’s indie hit Ain’t Them Bodies Saints.

 

#6 PENELOPE CRUZ JOINS ZOOLANDER 2, WITH RIDICULOUS SEQUELS BACK IN VOGUE

It doesn’t take much to revive an old classic, even if the results aren’t always favorable. Take, for example, the “ridiculous comedy sequel.” We don’t really see that many of them anymore, but there was a time in the 1980s and 1990s when the release schedule was packed with movies like Weekend at Bernie’s II, Police Academy 5, or Austin Powers in Goldmember. All of this is pretense to the recent success of Dumb and Dumber To, and the impact it has reportedly had on other studios. Specifically, the long-in-development Ben Stiller sequel Zoolander 2 is finally getting close to production, with the news a week ago that Penelope Cruz has signed on to costar in the fashion industry spoof. Zoolander will always be a historical exception, because its $60 million box office total might have been much higher if its release date had not been September 28, 2001 (Hollywood just doesn’t move fast enough to cancel a release date 16 days away). Ben Stiller will once again direct Zoolander 2, hopefully to better effect than his last film as director, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. It’s not yet known which other Zoolander stars might return, such as Will Ferrell, Owen Wilson, Christine Taylor, Milla Jovovich, or David Duchovny.

 

#7 DJIMON HOUNSOU TO REPLACE IDRIS ELBA IN KNIGHTS OF THE ROUND TABLE

Earlier this year, Idris Elba was mentioned as being in talks with Warner Bros to play a “Merlin-esque” character in their planned six-movie adaptation of the legends of King Arthur. Well, in the last seven days, we learned that the first movie is now called Knights of the Round Table, and that Djimon Hounsou is now in talks to play that character. Guy Ritchie, who successfully directed two Sherlock Holmes movies for Warner Bros, will direct this first film (and possibly the rest). Charlie Hunnam is attached to play King Arthur, Astrid Berges-Frisbey will play Guinevere, and Jude Law will play the first film’s villain (though we don’t know who that character is, yet). Warner Bros has scheduled Knights of the Round Table for July 22, 2016.

 

#8 CHANNING TATUM TO MAKE DIRECTORIAL DEBUT WITH FORGIVE ME, LEONARD PEACOCK

Now that critics and prognosticators are speculating that Channing Tatum might receive an Academy Award nomination for his role in Foxcatcher, it might have been inevitable that the star known for the two Jump Street films would ultimately want to direct. Well, co-direct, actually, but it still gets him a WGA card, so it counts. Channing Tatum and Magic Mike writer/producer Reid Carolin have signed a deal with the Weinstein Company to produce and co-direct an adaptation of a YA book called Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock. The book was written by Matthew Quick, who is a favorite at TWC following the success of the adaptation of his book Silver Linings Playbook. Channing Tatum will also costar as a high school teacher who intervenes in the plans of a troubled teenager who has plans to kill his best friend, and then himself. Yeah, Step Up, this is not. Tatum is also expected to make his big screen debut as Gambit in the aforementioned X-Men: Apocalypse in 2016 before going on to star in a Gambit solo movie.

Rotten Ideas of the Week

#1 RIDLEY SCOTT NOT DIRECTING BLADE RUNNER 2 AFTER ALL

We should start this article by acknowledging that when he turns 77 this Friday, Sir Ridley Scott is, like us all, going to be a few days closer to shuffling off this mortal coil. There’s only so many more films he’s ever going to direct, and that’s especially significant when we’re talking about a director who is sort of known for having multiple films in development at any given point. This all might indeed be a valid justification for this week’s news, but that’s not really the “Rotten Idea” part, which we’ll get to very shortly. Talking to Variety about Exodus: Gods and Kings, Ridley Scott revealed that he will no longer be directing the planned sequel to Blade Runner, which is still expected to start filming next year. Scott did not finish that de facto announcement by stating specifically who will be directing the sequel (which may or may not have saved this from being the week’s Rotten Idea), but he did give us an important plot detail, which is that the sequel is actually about finding Deckard, as played by Harrison Ford, who doesn’t really enter the movie until the third act. Instead of directing the Blade Runner sequel, Scott’s immediate future will be dedicated to directing The Martian (with Matt Damon) and the sequel to Prometheus. As for why all of this is a “Rotten Idea,” it’s because now, without Ridley Scott’s involvement, and with Harrison Ford only in one third of the movie, it leaves us wondering why we are getting a Blade Runner sequel at all.

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

Tag Cloud

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