Weekly Ketchup

Weekly Ketchup: Catherine Zeta-Jones sings in Cleo

Plus casting news for Jason Statham, Ashton Kutcher, and Anne Hathaway.

by | October 24, 2008 | Comments

This week’s Weekly Ketchup features new roles for Javier Bardem, Anne Hathaway, Ashton Kutcher, Naomi Watts and Catherine Zeta-Jones in a diverse batch that hits most of the obligatory marks. Videogame? Check. Comic book superhero? Check. Remake? Check. Ashton Kutcher? Sigh…

#1 CLEO: ANOTHER HISTORICAL EGYPTIAN MUSICAL SET IN THE 1920S? WHAT AN OVERDONE GENRE!

Director Steven Soderbergh has added yet another project to his cramped slate, which includes his two Che Guevara biopics, The Informant with Matt Damon, a Liberace biopic and a sexy low-budget movie called The Girlfriend Experience. And it’s a doozy. Cleo will be a 3-D rock and roll musical about Egyptian queen Cleopatra, transported to a 1920s setting, with Soderbergh hoping to recruit his Ocean’s 12 star Catherine Zeta-Jones and Hugh Jackman to star as Cleopatra and Marc Antony, respectively. Budgeted at $30 million, Cleo will have an original score of songs written by the indie rock group Guided by Voices, with James Greer, former bassist for that group writing the script. The idea of moving Antony & Cleopatra to the 1920s, and then putting a rock soundtrack over that decade (predating the birth of rock by at least 20 years), seems a bit odd, but Moulin Rouge sort of already did something similar. Catherine Zeta-Jones has already done the movie musical thing (Chicago) and Hugh Jackman is famous for his musical stage work in addition to playing a hirsute mutant.

#2 STATHAM, ROURKE, CENT TO STAR IN 13 TZAMETI REMAKE

Tough guys Jason Statham, Mickey Rourke and 50 Cent have signed to costar with British pretty-boy Sam Riley (star of the Joy Division biopic, Control) in an English language remake of the 2005 French thriller (and Sundance award winner), 13 Tzamati. The remake, which will be retitled as just 13, is not to be confused with the rebellious teen girl movie, Thirteen. The original movie’s Georgian director, Gela Babluani, will also be directing this remake, which tells the story of a man who steals a mysterious letter with instructions on how to carry out a dangerous job that promises to net him a fortune. That scheme turns out to be a game of Russian roulette between 13 men sitting at a table, hence the title. Filming of the remake starts on November 17th, 2008 in and around New York City.

#3 BY THE HOARY HOSTS OF HOGGOTH: DOCTOR STRANGE CASTS HIS SPELLS ON MARVEL

We’ve known for a while about Marvel Studios’ slate for 2010 and 2010 (Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain America, The Avengers), but now we have our first glimpse at what they are aiming to work on in the years after that (2012 or 2013): their Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Strange. Talking to MTV.com, Marvel president Kevin Feige is quick to deflate talk that Marvel heroes like Iron Man and Doctor Strange are “B Heroes”, a tag from the mainstream media that I’ve never really understood, but I guess it comes from people who didn’t grow up reading Marvel comics. It’s true that Dr. Strange’s colorful costume might need some tweaking for the big screen (it must take magic for his collar to stand up over a foot), but he has a great mythology and back story, and Doctor Strange is probably the Marvel movie I’d second most like to see get made (after The Avengers), with Thor being a close third. Dr. Strange has been in slow development for over a decade, with Billy Crudup (Dr. Manhattan in Watchmen) at one time rumored to be considered to star.

#4 PARAMOUNT STILL BELIEVES IN RIPLEY’S BELIEVE IT OR NOT!

Paramount’s troubled Ripley’s Believe it or Not!, which looked sort of dead after Tim Burton dropped out, has new life in the form of negotiations with (extremely busy) director Chris Columbus, who also has Percy Jackson and The Lightning Thief in the works for a July, 2010 release. Paramount still has Jim Carrey signed to star as adventurer Robert Ripley who thrilled readers with his newspaper column/comic strips revealing some of the strangest bits of trivia and oddities, which now fill the many Ripley museums across the country. Paramount is looking to hire a new writer for the project, which they are now eyeing as a 2011 tentpole release. I had a lot of hope for this movie back when it was a Tim Burton project that might have starred Johnny Depp, but now I’m thinking this will probably end up feeling a bit like another high-profile Jim Carrey/Paramount movie sold on “weirdness”, the failed Lemony Snicket movie.

#5 ARMY OF TWO MOVIE: NOT A SEQUEL

Electronic Arts continues to sign deals for their video game titles, with the mercenary shooter Army of Two for Universal following recent deals for The Sims (with Fox) and Mass Effect (with producer Avi Arad). Army of Two is a best-selling game that tells the decade-long story of two former Army Rangers who work as military contractors, traveling around the world on various violent assignments. Universal is giving Army of Two a fast-track, hoping to start filming in 2009 from a script by Scott Z. Burns (the upcoming The Informant; cowriter of The Bourne Ultimatum). Army of Two feels like a gun-toting buddy movie, and will likely hinge upon the chemistry between the two action-friendly actors who end up starring in it. Since it’s also about ex-military mercenary buddies, this would be a good place to mention that Fox moved The A-Team movie back a year to June, 2010, this week, following the departure of director John Singleton.

#6 ASHTON KUTCHER TO PUNK ASSASSINS IN FIVE KILLERS

Mr. Demi Moore, AKA Ashton Kutcher, has signed with Lionsgate to star in Five Killers, an action comedy directed by Robert Luketic (Legally Blonde, Monster-in-Law, 21), about a former hit man who finds that someone has hired five assassins to kill him. Ashton Kutcher seems cast against type as any type of “hitman,” but that’s sort of what John Cusack was doing in Grosse Pointe Blank (which predated a lot of the darker stuff he’s done since), and that movie worked, but it’s quite possible I just insulted John Cusack by comparing Ashton Kutcher to him. Maybe The Whole Nine Yards would be a better comparison.

#7 DO YOU THINK JAVIER BARDEM IS BIUTIFUL?

Intense Spanish actor Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men) will be teaming up with intense Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu (Babel, Amores Perros) for an urban thriller called Biutiful, which starts filming in Barcelona next week. Bardem will be playing a man with “shady dealings who is confronted by a childhood friend.” This is 99% likely to be a Spanish language feature, but both men have very high artistic street cred, so I would pick Biutiful as being a likely high buzz project for Fall, 2009 or so.

#8 MY NAME IS OSCAR BAIT

Naomi Watts is in talks with Universal Pictures to star in My Name is Jody Williams, a biopic about a teacher turned social activist and 1997 Nobel Peace Prize winner for her work advocating for the ban of land mines. Audrey Wells (Guinevere, Under the Tuscan Sun) will be directing from her own script. She’s done other stuff (Mulholland Drive, for example), but Naomi Watts is best known for genre movies like Funny Games, King Kong and The Ring, and she’s got the remake of The Birds coming up (which a rumor this week suggests might costar George Clooney). My Name is Jody Williams seems like a project aimed to keep her in the Oscar-friendly actor category, and for Universal, feels like an attempt to return to their Erin Brockovich glory days.

#9 YOUR LIKELY VALENTINE’S DATE MOVIE, 2010: THE FIANCE

Anne Hathaway has signed on to star in The Fiancé, a romantic comedy for Warner Bros, in what looks like part of the deal to get her to return for Get Smart 2. The Fiancé, directed by Burr Steers (Igby Goes Down), from a script by Etan Cohen (cowriter of Idiocracy, Tropic Thunder), is scheduled to start filming in March, 2009, with Hathaway then expected to make a smooth transition to the filming of Get Smart 2. No release date is set for The Fiancé, but the timing seems to position it as Warner Bros’ likely Valentine’s Day-ish romantic comedy for 2010. The Fiancé is the tale of a woman (Hathaway) who breaks off her wedding plans, causing her parents to try to get things patched up between the two, preventing her from moving on with her life. Basically, it sounds like Meet the Parents, but in reverse.

#10 TERI POLO’S CAREER HEADED FOR THE HOLE

Teri Polo has signed on for a movie that doesn’t involve meeting someone’s parents. Not to be confused with the 2001 thriller starring Thora Birch, The Hole will be a supernatural horror film about a mother (Polo) who moves in with her three sons into a rural house that has a bottomless hole in its basement. Joe Dante (Gremlins, The Howling) will be directing The Hole (in 3-D!) from a script by Mark L. Smith (Vacancy), with filming starting on December 5th, 2008 in Vancouver. Haley Bennett, the star of The Haunting of Molly Hartley will be playing a local neighbor who has a thing for one of Polo’s sons. Dante’s career is pretty much dominated by high-concept family movies like Small Soldiers and Looney Tunes: Back in Action, but he’s kept up a reputation of having horror movie roots (Piranha was his debut), and The Hole marks his first horror feature film in 25 years.

For more Weekly Ketchup columns by Greg Dean Schmitz, check out the WK archive, and you can contact GDS through his MySpace page or via a RT forum message, and Greg also blogs about the TV show Lost, at TwoLosties.Blogspot.com.

Tag Cloud

PlayStation Paramount Pictures die hard Certified Fresh TV Rock critic resources AMC IFC Disney+ Disney Plus politics reviews Spring TV young adult archives HBO Sci-Fi dreamworks 2020 SDCC RT History Podcast Elton John Cartoon Network international south america razzies 1990s Family streaming movies stoner Animation 2017 Polls and Games Neflix trailers Comics on TV Classic Film Captain marvel political drama Watching Series art house Lifetime Christmas movies Sundance ITV target sequel science fiction Tumblr spanish language Pop TV Anna Paquin Columbia Pictures comiccon Pride Month Holiday directors Instagram Live nature scene in color Walt Disney Pictures Countdown halloween tv TCA Winter 2020 festivals adaptation kids elevated horror live action 2021 Summer 2015 History Mary Tyler Moore Oscar target scene in color reboot The Purge green book Hulu ABC Family Reality singing competition SXSW 2022 leaderboard NYCC cinemax Music 94th Oscars Indigenous E3 Kids & Family book adaptation Drama Geeked Week DC streaming service WarnerMedia batman cancelled television psychological thriller crime thriller true crime MCU Star Wars Celebration HFPA ID zombie cancelled TV shows Rocketman VH1 scary movies BBC One Discovery Channel Television Critics Association zombies toronto Box Office Red Carpet suspense Country Universal broadcast Emmy Nominations tv talk Broadway USA Network Warner Bros. free movies high school Song of Ice and Fire scorecard TLC Turner Classic Movies ghosts Pet Sematary Marvel Studios HBO Go Logo Toys YouTube The CW worst spain DGA OWN See It Skip It FXX Pixar comic book movie talk show renewed TV shows video on demand MTV universal monsters award winner Sundance Now Super Bowl BET FX on Hulu Baby Yoda TV renewals fast and furious Hear Us Out National Geographic NBC Women's History Month Film Festival TIFF docudrama slasher Disney Channel BET Awards police drama war Fall TV Mary Poppins Returns versus discovery action-comedy werewolf MGM dceu Vudu VOD Travel Channel independent Netflix screenings canceled TV shows golden globes SXSW diversity video CMT james bond medical drama Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Stephen King mutant gangster Tarantino Spike toy story documentary movies FX films obituary Amazon Studios 73rd Emmy Awards hist marvel comics IFC Films disaster ABC Awards WGN space Funimation posters Schedule godzilla Exclusive Video nbcuniversal trophy Ellie Kemper ratings Freeform aliens The Academy GIFs South by Southwest Film Festival anthology mission: impossible Image Comics Winners serial killer christmas movies Endgame Thanksgiving movie spy thriller Rocky The Arrangement dragons boxing Showtime YA Crackle 24 frames new star wars movies Chernobyl Cosplay TV One Best Director rt archives AMC Plus romance harry potter Western documentaries APB Premiere Dates Year in Review Peacock revenge french 99% hollywood Starz crime IMDb TV new zealand PaleyFest olympics BBC America comic books CBS All Access australia NBA blockbusters comic Hallmark Christmas movies VICE Horror Infographic streamig best know your critic zero dark thirty E! Alien dramedy criterion richard e. Grant Star Trek Election Interview Legendary Creative Arts Emmys Writers Guild of America Apple 45 PBS Fox News Hollywood Foreign Press Association Britbox LGBT 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards Esquire quibi news rotten crossover children's TV transformers rotten movies we love breaking bad technology Lucasfilm Academy Awards mcc 2018 superhero Superheroe Chilling Adventures of Sabrina finale Arrowverse TruTV japanese sag awards El Rey football Amazon Prime Video Extras genre Photos San Diego Comic-Con Shondaland name the review cults scene in color series Tokyo Olympics HBO Max Paramount Plus Best Picture deadpool Opinion social media Comic Book TNT jurassic park vs. spider-man Apple TV+ Quiz Heroines Best and Worst Character Guide Wes Anderson Film Emmys Paramount Network MSNBC Calendar Netflix Christmas movies joker venice LGBTQ Christmas cops binge Reality Competition supernatural royal family Teen Oscars 90s Avengers chucky Brie Larson indiana jones Mudbound wonder woman The Witch Cannes cooking 71st Emmy Awards theme song screen actors guild cats laika Fargo all-time Turner Dark Horse Comics CW Seed TCM witnail Sony Sneak Peek travel live event FOX robots romantic comedy spinoff doctor who OneApp DC Comics aapi summer TV preview Action Epix based on movie spanish Amazon thriller adenture historical drama biopic Marvel Television period drama GoT Pacific Islander TBS Ghostbusters television dc cars satire scene in color film series 007 Syfy franchise Hallmark Pirates black pirates of the caribbean Television Academy Pop Spectrum Originals mob YouTube Red twilight spider-verse Disney Plus justice league psycho child's play Trailer casting fresh hispanic heritage month italian RT21 Valentine's Day Winter TV Adult Swim dark teaser 79th Golden Globes Awards Best Actress mockumentary GLAAD summer TV hidden camera debate sports Crunchyroll what to watch ABC Signature Apple TV Plus kong legend summer preview japan game of thrones latino facebook women sopranos Musicals Shudder animated X-Men YouTube Premium Nat Geo 2019 critics Nominations Acorn TV monster movies kaiju Rom-Com blockbuster Amazon Prime ESPN comics halloween 93rd Oscars Trivia unscripted docuseries A&E TCA saw Awards Tour composers interviews sequels remakes golden globe awards dexter boxoffice series prank TCA 2017 worst movies Star Wars Fantasy Video Games streaming comedies nfl Black Mirror Lifetime 2016 scary biography 4/20 cartoon anime SundanceTV Focus Features Holidays New York Comic Con superman Sundance TV book canceled Biopics Marvel DirecTV Native Mystery Food Network indie Lionsgate sitcom strong female leads Disney blaxploitation Mary poppins The Walking Dead new york emmy awards king kong feel good Nickelodeon Universal Pictures American Society of Cinematographers obi wan DC Universe USA President Comic-Con@Home 2021 natural history rom-coms TV Land A24 Bravo 72 Emmy Awards adventure heist movie asian-american Fox Searchlight foreign cancelled Masterpiece Set visit Binge Guide miniseries Sony Pictures hispanic First Look Grammys Ovation Tubi Mindy Kaling king arthur Black History Month popular First Reviews Paramount crime drama rt labs Comedy Disney streaming service slashers vampires Tomatazos game show Marathons TCA Awards CNN Trophy Talk lord of the rings basketball Tags: Comedy jamie lee curtis BBC comic book movies classics CBS ViacomCBS BAFTA black comedy 21st Century Fox Best Actor a nightmare on elm street parents Musical Superheroes dogs concert Prime Video The Walt Disney Company cancelled TV series rt labs critics edition Comedy Central TV movies Martial Arts stop motion marvel cinematic universe 20th Century Fox telelvision festival stand-up comedy