Today’s Ketchup brings you another ten headlines from the world of film development news (those stories about what movies Hollywood is working on for you next), including such titles as Barbie, James Bond 25, Mega Man, and Wonder Woman 2.
Even as superhero movies dominate the movie landscape, it still typically takes around three years to get a sequel made. And as Wonder Woman continues to break box office records and make headlines, it’s not surprising that a second movie is top priority for Warner Bros. Wasting no time, the studio has planted a Wonder Woman 2 release date flag on December 13, 2019, making it the second DC Comics movie that year after Shazam! (4/5/19), starring Dwayne Johnson as Egyptian antihero Black Adam. Warner Bros is also reportedly planning an “awards campaign” for the Certified Fresh Wonder Woman.
While several directors have been mentioned recently in conjunction with the 25th James Bond movie, it was Variety that reported the current frontrunner for the job is Yann Demange (‘71), who recently directed Matthew McConaughey in the upcoming crime drama White Boy Rick. Two days prior to learning that, however, we received confirmation that Daniel Craig will be returning for his 5th film as 007. We also learned this week that the (still untitled) spy movie will be released on November 8, 2019, the same day as an unknown Disney live action remake.
In addition to James Bond, another British literary franchise made headlines in rapid succession this week. Finland’s Dome Karukowski (Tom of Finland) will direct Tolkien, based on the early life of scholar-turned-fantasy author J.R.R. Tolkien (The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings). Nicholas Hoult (About a Boy, X-Men: First Class ) is in talks to star as the college-age Tolkien in a story that shows how World War I tore apart his “fellowship” of fellow students, inspiring both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.
It’s been a rough summer for movies hoping to kick off new “cinematic universes” (Tom Cruise’s The Mummy, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword), but Lionsgate may be on the right track. The studio won a bidding war against Universal and Warner Bros. for a female assassin screenplay called Ballerina, which they are considering weaving into the world of John Wick as a potential spinoff. Ballerina was written by screenwriter Shay Hatten, who also wrote the “2016 Black List” screenplay Maximum King!, about author Stephen King directing Maximum Overdrive.
Amy Schumer, who was previously attached to star in Sony’s first live action Barbie (6/29/18) movie, recently dropped out of the film, due to scheduling conflicts. Originally, she was to play an outcast who escapes the “Barbie doll” world for our more realistic one, and she also contributed to the script. Now, Sony is in early talks with Anne Hathaway to replace Schumer in the film, and with Hathaway in the lead, it’s unclear if the tone will remain the same. In related news, Hathaway also recently signed on to star in O2, a Gravity-style sci-fi thriller about a woman who wakes up trapped in a cryogenic chamber.
Last weekend’s critical and commercial hit may have been relatively slim on big-name stars, but at least one of them has already secured a new role following its success. Tom Hardy will produce and star in My War Gone By, I Miss It So, based on the non-fiction book of the same title by English journalist and war correspondent Anthony Loyd. The 1999 book recounts Loyd’s experiences covering the Bosnian War, where he “witnessed a lethal struggle among the Serbs, Croatians, and Bosnian Muslims… [before returning] home to age a personal battle against substance abuse.”
Contrary to what the popular “DC vs Marvel” narrative implies, there are actually lots of other superhero comics companies. Valiant Comics has been developing movies based on their characters for a few years now, and it looks like Bloodshot might actually be the first to get made. Jared Leto (Suicide Squad, Requiem for a Dream) is now in talks with Sony Pictures to star as the titular superhuman assassin anti-hero, and this has already inspired speculation about whether Leto will return as “The Joker” in Warner Bros’ future Suicide Squad sequel (or other movies).
They’re spread across the 61 years since 1956, but Warner Bros. has adapted the 1954 science fiction novel The Body Snatchers four times, twice under the title Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and now the studio is now developing a fifth. This comes just ten years after its most recent iteration, 2007’s The Invasion, which starred Daniel Craig and Nicole Kidman and earned a 19 percent Tomatometer score. For the new adaptation, Warner Bros. has hired screenwriter David Leslie Johnson, whose Rotten filmography makes this a risky venture.
Following the failure of would-be franchise starter The Mummy, Universal is now looking to other “classic monster” movies in its library. In addition to titles like Bride of Frankenstein and The Invisible Man (starring Johnny Depp), the studio is also considering a new Van Helsing, and the actor they hope they can attract to replace Hugh Jackman is Channing Tatum. It’s been 13 years since Universal released its last Van Helsing — to a 23 percent Rotten Tomatometer score.
It almost defies statistical probability, but the video game genre seems nigh incapable of earning a Fresh Tomatometer score, but it hasn’t stopped studios from trying. Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, whose 2010 film Catfish was Certified Fresh, are planning on giving it a shot next, as they’ve announced plans for a live action movie based on the popular Capcom video game franchise Mega Man (along with Heroes star Masi Oka). Good luck!