Weekly Ketchup

Yearly Ketchup: The Freshest Movie Development News of 2018

A month-by-month round-up of the best news to come out of Hollywood this year.

by | December 28, 2018 | Comments

Few industries enjoy taking really, really long extended holiday vacations quite like Hollywood, and when we get to this time of the year, there’s rarely much in the realm of “movie development news” to discuss. So, this week and next, we’re going to review 12 of the year’s top stories, presented to you in monthly chronology. The year-in-review begins with the “Fresh Developments” which here also serve (mostly) as the “Top Stories” of the year.


JANUARY: BLACK WIDOW MOVIE FINALLY ANNOUNCED

Marvel Studios

(Photo by Marvel Studios)

Marvel Studios hasn’t had a big slate announcement since 2014, and we didn’t get one in 2018 either, but project-by-project, this may have been the biggest such year since. It started in January with confirmation that a solo Black Widow was now, finally, in development. Black Widow continued to receive a steady stream of news stories, as the director shortlist started at 60 in May, was narrowed in June to just three, and led up to Australian director Cate Shortland landing the job in July. We also learned in October that Scarlett Johansson will receive a $15 million pay equity with her male co-stars for Black Widow, in the same week that Black Panther 2 moved forward in development. Other Marvel Studios movies that made the news this year included Ms. Marvel (A.K.A. Kamala Khan), The Eternals, and earlier in December, both Doctor Strange 2, and Shang-Chi: Master of Kung-Fu.  


FEBRUARY: GAME OF THRONES SHOWRUNNERS GET THEIR OWN STAR WARS PROJECTS 

Steve Granitz/Getty Images

(Photo by Steve Granitz/Getty Images)

Just a few months after the November, 2017 news that Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson was developing a new Star Wars trilogy (after next year’s Star Wars: Episode IX), we learned about another set in February. David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, the showrunners of HBO’s popular Game of Thrones, are now writing and producing at least one film, a trilogy, or several films in the Star Wars universe, though the nature of their project has yet to be confirmed. Having said that, the popular rumor as of this writing suggests movies based on the popular Knights of the Old Republic setting, which is best known for inspiring a series of video games. Something that we didn’t know in February (and Lucasfilm and Disney probably didn’t know this either) was that Solo: A Star Wars Story would turn out to be a box office disappointment, prompting Disney to slow down or outright cancel most of their “prequel spinoff” Star Wars Story projects. That development presumably puts the new Rian Johnson and Benioff/Weiss projects even closer to production than they have otherwise been.


MARCH: AVA DUVERNAY INVOKES DC COMICS’ THE NEW GODS 

Atsushi Nishijima/Paramount Pictures

(Photo by Atsushi Nishijima/Paramount Pictures)

In late 2017, director Ava DuVernay (Selma, A Wrinkle in Time) revealed on Twitter that her favorite superhero was Big Barda of DC’s New Gods, a comic created by former Marvel artist and Stan Lee collaborator Jack Kirby. In March, we learned that she may have been teasing talks that she had either started or was considering having, because DuVernay is now developing a New Gods movie. Warner Bros. attempted to develop an animated New Gods movie back in the late 1990s, and though the project was never realized, it now looks like it’ll happen after all, and the studio has brought DuVernay on board to direct it. No screenwriter has been named yet, but Warner Bros. will obviously be making that next hiring a priority. This piece suggests why Ava Duvernay is potentially a great choice for The New Gods, and this one explains who some of these characters are, exactly.


APRIL: A BIG YEAR FOR STEVEN SPIELBERG: BLACKHAWK, INDIANA JONES 5, WEST SIDE STORY, THE COLOR PURPLE

Paramount Pictures courtesy Everett Collection

(Photo by Paramount Pictures courtesy Everett Collection)

Director Steven Spielberg had a huge year in announcements, partly buoyed by the Certified Fresh release of Ready Player One in March. It actually started off in January with confirmation of his (previously already talked about) plans for Indiana Jones 5 and his remake of West Side Story. The first big new project this year, though, came in April, when Spielberg started development at Warner Bros. of a Blackhawk movie, based on the long-running comic about a squad of World War II pilot-adventurers. West Side Story also had a few big casting announcements this year, including Ansel Elgort as Tony, and original West Side Story star Rita Moreno, not as Anita, but as a reimagined take on neighborhood shopkeeper “Doc.” We also found out last month that Steven Spielberg is partnering with Oprah Winfrey on a musical remake of The Color Purple.


MAY: ANNABELLE: CREATION AND HAPPY DEATH DAY SEQUELS ANNOUNCED

New Line Cinema

(Photo by New Line Cinema)

Superhero movies (like Avengers: Infinity War and Aquaman) are obviously crushing it right now at the box office, but they also tend to have pretty big budgets. Horror films do well, too, and they’re a lot cheaper to produce. One such example is New Line Cinema’s The Conjuring franchise, which includes the “creepy doll” spinoff Annabelle and its prequel Annabelle: Creation. The Conjuring 3 doesn’t come out until 2020 (9/11/2020), but we learned in May that Annabelle 3 (7/3/2019) was likely to beat it to release. The Blumhouse horror production company also quickly moved forward with plans for Happy Death Day 2U, the sequel to last year’s $123 million Groundhog Day-like hit. We also learned in October that the Warrens (based on the real paranormal investigators) will be joining one of the non-Conjuring films in the franchise for the first time, as Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga will reprise their roles in the third Annabelle movie.


JUNE: THIS YEAR IN STEPHEN KING: DOCTOR SLEEP, FIRESTARTER, AND THE CASTING OF IT CHAPTER TWO

Priscilla Grant/Everett Collection, Warner Bros.

(Photo by Priscilla Grant/Everett Collection, Warner Bros.)

Although 2017 was obviously not a great year for The Dark Tower (Rotten at 16%), the success of the other major Stephen King movie last year drastically offset it. IT was both Certified Fresh at 85% and a tremendous box office hit, earning $700+ million worldwide from a budget of just $35 million. This made Stephen King- sourced projects hot properties again, especially if they’re remakes (like Pet Sematary, 4/5/2019), or otherwise related to a pre-existing horror classic. That “otherwise” leads us to Doctor Sleep, the 2013 novel by King that serves as a sequel to The Shining because it focuses on the adult Danny Torrance. That role went to Ewan McGregor, with King himself reportedly having given his blessing to the choice for the sequel, which will be directed by Mike Flanagan (Ouija: Origin of Evil, Gerald’s Game). Also in June, we learned that Universal Pictures is remaking Stephen King’s Firestarter, with the directing job going to Turkish-German director Fatih Akin (Goodbye Berlin, Soul Kitchen), with Blumhouse also co-producing. Finally, there’s IT: Chapter Two (9/6/19), and this week, we saw our first images from the set. 2018 was a big year for IT: Chapter Two (9/6/2019) casting news, including the confirmation of Jessica Chastain in February, and the news in April that James McAvoy (Split, X-Men: First Class) and Saturday Night Live alumnus Bill Hader had been cast in lead roles (as Bill and Richie, respectively).


JULY: STAR-STUDDED LITTLE WOMEN REMAKE TO BE GRETA GERWIG’S NEXT

Priscilla Grant/Everett Collection

(Photo by Priscilla Grant/Everett Collection)

One of the biggest stories coming out of last year’s awards season was the underdog success of actress-turned-director Greta Gerwig’s semi-autobiographical Lady Bird (Certified Fresh at 99%) starring Saoirse Ronan and Timothee Chalamet (whose Call Me By Your Name also did well). For her next film, Gerwig is turning to classic literature, in the form of Little Women. Gerwig also attracted some major star power for her version, including Ronan and Chalamet, as well as Meryl Streep. Emma Stone was initially cast as Meg, but dropped out to allow her time to promote The Favourite, so the role went to another Emma, Emma Watson. In August, Jurassic Park and Blue Velvet star Laura Dern also signed on. Little Women is now scheduled for release in just under a year, on Christmas Day, 2019 (up against Call of the Wild, the World War I drama 1917, and Melissa McCarthy’s Super Intelligence).


AUGUST: SHHH…. JOHN KRASINSKI IS NOW WRITING A QUIET PLACE 2 FOR 2020

Jonny Cournoyer/Paramount

(Photo by Jonny Cournoyer/Paramount)

In late August, Paramount Pictures announced A Quiet Place 2 (title pending) for release on May 15, 2020, which currently puts it up against Warner Bros’ Scooby reboot and a week before another monster movie, Godzilla vs Kong (also from Warner Bros). Almost immediately, it was clear that Paramount was going to want to return to the first film’s premise (about monsters that are super sensitive to sound), given that it made over $332 million from a $17 million budget. John Krasinski gave an update in October, stating that after initially telling Paramount to hire someone else, he is now actively working on writing the sequel. It’s not yet known if Krasinski and his wife Emily Blunt will also be returning to star in the sequel. Emily Blunt is following up Mary Poppins Returns with another film for Disney, their attraction adaptation Jungle Cruise, which is scheduled for release on July 24, 2020.


SEPTEMBER: HENRY CAVILL LIKELY OUT AS SUPERMAN, SIGNALING BIG DCEU CHANGES

Clay Enos/Warner Bros.

(Photo by Clay Enos/Warner Bros.)

The DCEU (DC Extended Universe) hit a major snag in September with the news that Henry Cavill is most likely done playing Superman. Instead, the focus in the “Superman Family” will be on his cousin, Supergirl, whom we learned in August  is getting her own movie. The talks with Cavill reportedly broke down over a Superman cameo in next year’s Shazam! (4/5/2019). Warner Bros.’ upcoming DC Comics projects also include Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker (10/4/2019), Margot Robbie’s Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of one Harley Quinn) (2/7/2020), and Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman 1984 (6/5/2020). Many pieces went online speculating about the future of DC Comics movies. Even without Superman on his slate anymore, Henry Cavill is expected to be keeping very busy anyway, as he also signed with Netflix this year to star in their video game adaptation series The Witcher.


OCTOBER: JAMES GUNN SWITCHES SIDES FOR DC COMICS’ SUICIDE SQUAD SEQUEL

Marvel Studios

(Photo by Marvel Studios)

One of the most shocking stories in recent memory came in July when Disney fired director James Gunn from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 over a number of questionable tweets from before his original hiring for 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy. In October, we learned that that Gunn is now signed to write, and possibly direct the sequel to DC Comics’ Suicide Squad. Gunn is supposedly working on a “completely new take,” which suggests it could even be a reboot instead of a true sequel to the first film. One reason to believe that is that, in the past, Gunn has tweeted negatively about Jared Leto, suggesting that he may not be in a hurry to recast Leto as Joker in James Gunn’s Suicide Squad.


NOVEMBER: GUILLERMO DEL TORO REVEALS OVER 15 BIG MOVIES READY TO GO

Elizabeth Goodenough/Everett Collection

(Photo by Elizabeth Goodenough/Everett Collection)

Long before Guillermo del Toro won the Academy Award for Best Picture this year for The Shape of Water, it was well known that he had a long list of shelved movies in his past. That little golden man on his mantle has changed a lot for GDT, including his new deal at Fox Searchlight that basically set him up with his own mini-studio for horror/genre films. In November, del Toro took to Twitter to list over 15 unproduced screenplays that he has completely finished, which are basically “ready to go” projects for any studio that wants to work with him to get them produced. (You can read a summary of that list in our coverage last month right here.) Del Toro also made the news in August for producing Scary Movies to Tell in the Dark, and in October for landing his Pinocchio at Netflix.


DECEMBER: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE SUCCESS INSPIRES SPINOFFS AND SEQUELS 

Sony Pictures Animation

(Photo by Sony Pictures Animation)

After just two weeks in release, Sony’s innovative animated film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (Certified Fresh at 97%) has already earned nearly $150 million globally. The film was always part of Sony’s ambitious plans for its Marvel properties, and last week, we leaned a lot more about possible future films. Development had already reportedly begun in November on both a sequel and a spinoff of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. The animated sequel will focus on the romance between Miles Morales and Gwen Stacy, which will then lead into the spinoff Spider-Women, featuring Gwen, Silk, and the original Spider-Woman (in the comics), Jessica Drew. These two animated films join a growing slate of Marvel movies at Sony that also includes Venom 2, Morbius (AKA The Living Vampire), Black Cat, Silver Sable, Kraven the Hunter, Jackpot, Nightwatch, and Silk.

Tag Cloud

classics TV Land The Walt Disney Company RT21 TIFF green book SDCC crime genre twilight toy story cancelled TV shows transformers deadpool monster movies Comedy Central Baby Yoda james bond 21st Century Fox Disney Plus Reality kong Red Carpet royal family Marvel 4/20 Apple TV Plus 2019 The Purge 1990s Kids & Family BBC Schedule Pixar New York Comic Con Rocketman feel good Comic Book Thanksgiving crime thriller Infographic Prime Video know your critic Extras comiccon name the review debate women all-time Writers Guild of America venice MCU Freeform asian-american cars Toys The Arrangement HBO Max ITV Image Comics directors CNN live action concert batman romantic comedy Disney Channel 99% quibi singing competition Legendary Biopics travel Trophy Talk Instagram Live comic book movies Disney streaming service Brie Larson binge natural history Women's History Month IMDb TV sopranos Mary Tyler Moore Sci-Fi Dark Horse Comics rt labs stoner Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt CW Seed ABC Signature PlayStation indie spy thriller YouTube revenge strong female leads Columbia Pictures First Look Film Festival Mystery 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards cartoon telelvision video on demand Teen adaptation dc BBC One italian king arthur Lifetime Netflix cinemax mission: impossible spider-man TCA 2017 Year in Review NYCC Captain marvel OWN breaking bad psycho dramedy witnail scary movies Pet Sematary hispanic heritage month remakes spider-verse Apple franchise Pirates dreamworks ratings Interview TCM jamie lee curtis Esquire San Diego Comic-Con Lucasfilm Logo series Exclusive Video Starz TruTV Hulu Marathons OneApp screenings Winners space hispanic mutant 2015 Rock 20th Century Fox facebook Winter TV Apple TV+ Musicals diversity australia Horror Summer obituary Turner Classic Movies documentaries 72 Emmy Awards 2021 festival hollywood Star Trek Vudu National Geographic doctor who adenture Christmas Song of Ice and Fire Best and Worst finale VICE Warner Bros. science fiction Tokyo Olympics Calendar Tubi TLC medical drama BBC America foreign true crime high school hidden camera black comedy Amazon Studios best rotten Acorn TV trophy FX on Hulu french Avengers critic resources festivals crossover Television Critics Association vampires satire unscripted award winner Ellie Kemper latino golden globe awards cats Trivia police drama 90s leaderboard The Academy Arrowverse Country Neflix GLAAD films ABC Family Sundance lord of the rings 79th Golden Globes Awards reboot Heroines USA TV One Fall TV APB AMC Plus Spectrum Originals scorecard game of thrones video movie Adult Swim Nickelodeon Nat Geo Netflix Christmas movies Animation FX miniseries Universal Pictures Reality Competition archives Nominations Tarantino Broadway BET President Fox News art house nbcuniversal Syfy theme song comic book movie critics superman PBS action-comedy 007 Podcast free movies MTV Travel Channel children's TV rt archives TNT mob Fox Searchlight Cartoon Network game show politics streaming indiana jones Paramount Bravo Awards spanish DC Universe IFC a nightmare on elm street movies stand-up comedy LGBTQ crime drama anthology based on movie Cannes streaming movies screen actors guild Superheroes Hollywood Foreign Press Association sag awards what to watch boxing young adult Shondaland See It Skip It VOD Star Wars richard e. Grant Premiere Dates olympics HFPA jurassic park cancelled television The Witch Sneak Peek cancelled Spike ID blockbusters FOX psychological thriller blaxploitation cancelled TV series Black History Month Universal Musical superhero 2020 Drama Sony Pictures 24 frames Music scene in color Mudbound documentary Western Marvel Studios Lifetime Christmas movies stop motion adventure sports fast and furious slasher gangster E3 razzies worst movies Emmys football social media El Rey Cosplay talk show animated Tags: Comedy TV movies halloween Showtime universal monsters versus Quiz AMC Countdown Pacific Islander Hallmark Christmas movies American Society of Cinematographers 71st Emmy Awards Mary poppins TCA Winter 2020 popular pirates of the caribbean Disney+ Disney Plus Awards Tour Hear Us Out dexter TV renewals DC streaming service thriller japan sequel biography new york VH1 Creative Arts Emmys The Walking Dead elevated horror DC Comics die hard ghosts comedies saw WarnerMedia Comic-Con@Home 2021 Comics on TV international Mary Poppins Returns WGN hist CBS Walt Disney Pictures independent casting harry potter joker Amazon anime Mindy Kaling First Reviews christmas movies Spring TV Paramount Network Masterpiece television Stephen King discovery aliens Polls and Games zombies Crunchyroll Video Games legend golden globes comic 93rd Oscars new zealand Valentine's Day Hallmark basketball Photos book adaptation IFC Films CMT Holiday YouTube Red romance 73rd Emmy Awards 45 cults rt labs critics edition worst DirecTV period drama Action BAFTA sitcom spain Black Mirror Amazon Prime mcc Superheroe PaleyFest docudrama Peacock Pride Month spinoff Grammys GoT USA Network king kong Classic Film zero dark thirty boxoffice Pop disaster aapi robots comics black Film Fargo Crackle halloween tv TV Ghostbusters LGBT Funimation Character Guide Academy Awards Super Bowl war Discovery Channel live event supernatural rotten movies we love target justice league NBC dogs canceled TV shows prank TCA Awards Set visit Opinion dceu cooking Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Turner YA parents blockbuster HBO Go rom-coms south america A&E wonder woman kids TBS Chernobyl CBS All Access Disney Endgame composers YouTube Premium GIFs A24 Lionsgate Family posters Marvel Television Election RT History Wes Anderson Television Academy canceled Watching Series dark Food Network 2016 Ovation dragons Alien Trailer marvel comics Martial Arts laika Tomatazos criterion Emmy Nominations reviews nfl emmy awards Binge Guide technology 2017 toronto Amazon Prime Video nature Rom-Com HBO mockumentary spanish language SXSW ESPN historical drama Holidays political drama Box Office slashers trailers Oscars comic books werewolf Sundance TV Elton John SundanceTV marvel cinematic universe suspense Rocky ViacomCBS TCA 2018 DGA new star wars movies Sundance Now news MSNBC heist movie Tumblr FXX X-Men japanese renewed TV shows vs. E! Paramount Plus book Fantasy cops sequels History Shudder Anna Paquin child's play tv talk biopic teaser zombie BET Awards Comedy fresh serial killer docuseries Epix kaiju Britbox The CW godzilla ABC chucky Certified Fresh NBA Pop TV scary