This week’s Ketchup brings you more headlines from the world of film development news, covering titles such as Scorsese’s Moon Flower Killers, Flash Gordon, and the Hunger games prequel.
TOP STORY OF THE WEEK
TAIKA WAITITI IS ANIMATED GORDON FLASH WILL BE LIVE ACTION INSTEAD
(Photo by Rodin Eckenroth / Getty Images)
In the summer of 2019, we learned for the first time that Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok, What we do in the shadows) had been hired to write and possibly direct an animated adaptation of the classic series sci-fi hero Flash Gordon. This week, producer John Davis was taking public relations tours to promote Jungle cruise, and he gave a surprising Flash Gordon update that could actually raise the reboot’s profile significantly: instead of being an animated feature as originally intended, Taika Waititi Flash Gordon will be live action. Although there have been three Flash Gordon soap operas from 1936 to 1940, the character only headlined one live-action feature film in the 80 years that followed, namely the 1980 Flash Gordon (83% Certified Fresh), starring Sam Jones with a Queen soundtrack. We can probably expect to wait a few years for the Waititi movie, as he also Thor: Love and Thunder (5/6/2022), the football movie Next goal wins, Werewolves (a mock werewolves documentary), and its untitled Star wars film all currently in the works.
Other flagship titles
1. BRENDAN FRASER JOINS MARTIN SCORSESE’S FLOWER MOON KILLERS
(Photo by Â© Lionsgate)
Brendan Fraser recently finished filming Darren Aronofsky The whale, in which he will play a 600-pound man looking to reconnect with his teenage daughter (played by Sadie Sink of Strange things). Now Fraser is quickly switching from working with one acclaimed director to another, as he has joined the cast of Moon Flower Killers, the next film by Martin Scorsese. Fraser will play lawyer WS Hamilton in the feature film Apple TV + and Paramount Pictures, which is based on the true story of the crime originally described in David Grann’s non-fiction book of the same title. Fraser joins a cast that includes Jesse Plemons (in a lead role) and frequent Scorsese collaborators (and Oscar winners) Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio. Brendan Fraser also joined the cast of Brothers, the next film by director Max Barbakow (Palm springs, Certified 95% fresh).
2. JEAN WICK DIRECTOR CHAD STAHELSKI TAKING THE ROMAN ASSASSIN SHIBUMI
(Photo by Isa Foltin / Getty Images)
Today’s writers just don’t have cool pen names as often as they used to. “Trevanian” was the pseudonym by an American writer specializing in “airport novels”, the most famous of which is probably The sanction of the Eiger, which was adapted as the eponymous 1975 assassin film (68% Fresh) starring Clint Eastwood. Chad Stahelski is the stuntman-turned-director behind the John wick franchise, which is also about a deadly assassin, so you can probably guess where this is going. Even as he’s about to start filming John wick 4, Stahelski began to develop an adaptation of the 1979 novel Trevanian Shibumi, about an assassin who is recruited to tackle a plot of “energy companies which secretly control much of the western world”. It should be noted that Stahelski accumulates an extensive list of development, of which Shibumi is only the latest, so it will have to wait its turn alongside projects such as Ghost of Tsushima, Classified, Kill or be killed, and the mountain dweller to restart.
3. HUNGER GAMES PREQUEL TO START SHOOTING SOON
(Photo by Murray Close / Lionsgate courtesy of Everett Collection)
The cinematic fad based on a Young Adult (YA) novel has unfolded so quickly that it may seem strange to realize that the very first installment of The hunger Games (84% Certified Fresh) was released just nine years ago, and the last film was only six years ago. This four-movie franchise was a huge financial boon for Lionsgate, which grossed nearly $ 3 billion worldwide, but when it ended in 2015, it also left them with a big hole the size of Lionsgate. ‘a blockbuster to fill their production schedule. Lucky for them, author Suzanne Collins released a prequel novel titled The ballad of songbirds and snakes Last year. In a quarterly earnings call this week, Lionsgate chairman Joe Drake confirmed that the filming of The ballad of songbirds and snakes is slated to begin in the first half of 2022, with the goal of a theatrical release in late 2023 or early 2024. The prequel will tell the story of 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow (future president), as he has the chance to ‘be a mentor during the Tenth Hunger Games. Presumably, whoever lands the lead will look like a very young Donald Sutherland.
4. NICHOLAS HOULT SHOULD BE SCARY DRACULA ACOLYTE RENFIELD
(Photo by Elizabeth Goodenough / Everett Collection)
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Bram Stoker’s Dracula has the distinction of being the most suitable literary character for cinema (Sherlock Holmes is the most suitable Human literary character). With so many film versions of Dracula, there have also been dozens of depictions of his insane human henchman and bug-eater Renfield, but generally as a supporting character. Still looking to continue their Universal Classic Monsters franchise, Universal Pictures is now developing a solo film for Renfield, with Nicolas Hoult (Mad Max: Fury Road, X-Men: First Class) attached to the star. Chris McKay (The LEGO Batman Movie, The war of tomorrow) will lead Renfield from a scenario of Rick and morty writer Ryan Ridley, from an original screenplay by Robert Kirkman (The walking dead, Invincible). While no specific premise details have yet been revealed, the setting is believed to be in the modern era, not the Victorian era in England of the original novel.
5. SNL COLIN JOST CO-SCRIPT A NEW TEEN MUTANT NINJA TURTLES TO RESTART
(Photo by Jason Smith / Everett Collection)
the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have a far more complicated history than the casual observer might expect (and this goes back to their early days as “dark and grainy” daredevil independent comic book parody). Along with the first three live-action films, there was also an animated film in 2007 and a pair of more recent live-action films in 2014 and 2016 with the turtles as CGI characters (and that is without going into all TMNT films that did not take place). Last year we first heard that Seth Rogen and his frequent collaborator Evan Goldberg were developing a CGI reboot feature film starring Nickelodeon, but it turns out that is now just one of the of them reboots under development in parallel. Saturday Night Live star Colin Jost and brother Casey Jost will also write a second Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles restart for Paramount Pictures. The divide between the two reboots appears to be that the Jost brothers are working on a version closer to the “gritty” comic book origins, while Seth Rogen’s is lighter like the 1980s animated television series. The version of the Jost brothers will also likely arrive later than Seth Rogen’s, which is currently scheduled for August 11, 2023.
6. THE CHRONICLE THE SUITE IS FINALLY ARRIVING … WITH A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT CAST
(Photo by Alan Markfield / Â© 20th Century Fox Film Corp.)
Above we touched on the YA novel adaptation fashion, which comes and goes, and another trend that has largely fallen into disuse is the genre of “found images” first popularized by The Blair Witch Project. For a time, the footage found was a lucrative format that gave Hollywood some surprise hits (like the Paranormal activity franchise) and the 2012 superhero drama the Chronicle (Certified 85% Fresh). We talked for years about a the Chronicle sequel, but the personal developments of some of the creatives involved seemed to reduce the chances of that happening, to the point where director Josh Trank said in 2020 that he was actively working to prevent it. It turns out, however, that Jungle cruise producer John Davis is indeed planning to move forward with a the Chronicle sequel, although it may be a very different film than originally planned. This sequel will take place approximately 10 years after the original the Chronicle (suggesting a shoot in 2022?) and will revolve around a group of college girls who find they are the next generation with superpowers. Davis also did not specify whether the “found images” technique would be used for the the Chronicle following.
7. POPULAR SQUISHMALLOWS PILLOWS TO EXTEND IN FILM, TELEVISION AND GAMES
(Photo by the Washington Post / Getty Images)
Some trends explode simply by being the right idea at the right time. Consider, for example, the case of Squishmallows, a huge line (over 1,000) of character-themed cuddly pillows that first launched in 2017 as a kind of cross between pillows, influences from anime and the Beanie Baby craze of the 1990s. Squishmallows may have finally become popular anyway, but their expansion may have been significantly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, with people looking for something to do with it. adorable to hug while being stuck at home for months. Jazwares, the company behind Squishmallows, is looking to build on its newfound success by partnering with the powerful Creative Artists Agency (CAA). CAA will work with Jazware to push the Squishmallows franchise into film, television, video games, publishing and live touring. So that doesn’t mean there is a Squishmallows movie project in development right now, but it sure looks like it’s only a matter of time.
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