Weekly Ketchup

Weekly Ketchup: Del Toro, Penn, & Carrey as Larry, Moe, & Curly

Plus casting news for Anne Hathaway, Amber Tamblyn, and Anthony Hopkins

by | March 27, 2009 | Comments

This Week’s Ketchup is chock full of casting news (over 15 actors and actresses), as well as the expected comic book adaptations, biopics and a remake.

#1 OSCAR WINNERS IN TALKS TO PLAY THE THREE STOOGES

Two time Academy Award winner Sean Penn, Golden Globe nominee Jim Carrey and Academy Award winner Benicio Del Toro are MGM’s choices to star as Larry, Curly and Moe in their Farrelly Brothers-directed relaunch of The Three Stooges. Yes, really. Sean Penn, who might have seemed the least likely of the three, is the first to be signed, and Carrey and Del Toro are in negotiations. Jim Carrey is also planning on gaining 40 pounds to acquire the physical look of Curly. These casting choices are remarkably inspired, with Penn in particular actually bearing a remarkable facial resemblance to Larry Fine. Benicio Del Toro’s gruff demeanor can also easily be seen as translating quite easily to the role of Moe Howard, the Stooges’ eye-poking and face-slapping leader. The Farrelly Brothers have been trying to get their dream project, The Three Stooges (which is not a biopic, but a modern relaunching of the characters in comedic misadventures) for a decade now, with the project formerly being at both WB and Columbia before landing at MGM. Production is expected to start this fall, 2009 in time for a release in 2010.

#2 THE COEN BROS TO REMAKE THE DUKE’S TRUE GRIT

The Coen Bros’ (No Country for Old Men) next project after the recently-wrapped A Serious Man will be a remake of the classic John Wayne western True Grit, for which The Duke won his Oscar. The twist that the Coen Bros. are striving to make a more faithful adaptation of the original novel by Charles Portis, focusing more on the girl who narrated the novel. Paramount Pictures, which distributed the 1969 movie, is also handling this remake. True Grit is the story of a 14-year-old girl in 1873 who teams up with two lawmen to find the man who murdered her father, a trail that takes them into dangerous Indian territory. Although No Country for Old Men could be described as a modern Western, True Grit will be the Coens’ first period piece Western.

#3 TOM HANKS TO PLAY OBSCURE TOY, MAJOR MATT MASON

Mattel is matching its competitor Hasbro’s very exhaustive adaptation of toy properties with Universal Pictures, with the announcement that Tom Hanks will star as Major Matt Mason, a live action adaptation of a relatively obscure toy line from the 1960s about a Moon explorer. Graham Yost (Speed; cowriter of Mission to Mars) is working on the script. Major Matt Mason stands out from the rest of the Mattel properties being developed (He-Man, Hot Wheels, etc.) as it is not a property that most people today remember. However, that is no doubt why Tom Hanks was cast as Mason, since the project can be propelled on his star power, nearly as if it is an entirely original property. Mattel likely has plans to relaunch Major Matt Mason as a new toy line in connection to the movie, which might be aided by NASA’s current plans to return to the Moon in the future.

#4 BRYAN SINGER TO DIRECT MECH RACING FREEDOM FORMULA

New Regency and 20th Century Fox have acquired the rights to the futuristic comic book series Freedom Formula: Ghost of the Wasteland as a directorial project for Bryan Singer (X-Men, Superman Returns). Freedom Formula is set in a future where fighter jets have been replaced by battle suits pilotted by genetically modified soldiers. So, basically, it sounds a bit like Iron Man as a futuristic war movie by way of titles like Robotech. The script is being worked on by Michael Finch, who recently made a large deal for his cowritten script Medieval, an action movie set in the Middle Ages.

#5 ANNE HATHAWAY TO GET HAPPY AS JUDY GARLAND

Although there is no writer or director for the project yet, The Weinstein Company has cast Anne Hathaway as singer-actress Judy Garland in a biopic called Get Happy, based on a 2001 biography by Gerald Clarke. Get Happy is also be a Broadway musical, although it is unclear which project will be produced first. Clarke’s biography was chosen as the source material because it draws heavily upon Garland’s own writings, giving the project a voice unique to previous adaptations of Garland’s life, such as like the 2001 TV movie Life with Judy Garland, starring Judy Davis. Anne Hathaway’s performance at this year’s Oscars with Hugh Jackman was given as an example of proof of her singing chops. One aspect of Hathaway’s casting that I can’t help but notice is that at 5′ 8″, she stands considerably taller than Judy Garland, who was a mere 4′ 11″. Perhaps they’ll be using really tall actors around her, or those fancy camera tricks used on the Hobbits in The Lord of the Rings?

#6 RICHIE CUNNINGHAM TO DESCEND INTO THE STRANGE WORLD OF H.P. LOVECRAFT?

Universal Pictures and Imagine Entertainment are teaming up to pick up the rights to the upcoming Image Comics graphic novel The Strange Adventures of H.P. Lovecraft, a fictionalized adventure inspired by the life of pulp-era horror writer, H.P. Lovecraft, best known for his bizarre Cthulhu mythos and stories, in which humans are confronted by evils beyond their comprehension and which often lead to them going insane. The Strange Adventures of H.P. Lovecraft depicts the author as finding a book that curses him, letting loose the monsters he creates upon the real world. John Carpenter’s In the Mouth of Madness, an homage to H.P. Lovecraft, actually told a similar story, except with the fictional author character being the film’s villain. Imagine is producing the project with an eye toward it possibly being a directorial project for Imagine partner Ron Howard, whose early films include Willow and Cocoon, and the more recent religious-themed thrillers The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons. The Strange Adventures of H.P. Lovecraft would be Howard’s first direct foray into straight-out horror, however. Universal is said to be excited about H.P. Lovecraft because of parallels to their classic monsters (The Mummy, Dracula, Frankenstein, etc), but Lovecraftian horror is actually quite different, in my opinion.

#7 ANTHONY HOPKINS TO PLAY PAPA AS HEMINGWAY

Sir Anthony Hopkins will star as author Ernest Hemingway in Hemingway & Fuentes, a biopic about his last ten years, focusing on his friendship with fishing boat captain Gregorio Fuentes, to be played by Andy Garcia, who is also writing, directing and producing the independent drama. Annette Bening is also in talks to costar as Hemingway’s fourth wife, Mary Welsh. This is not the first time Hopkins has been announced to play Hemingway, as there was also Papa, a project announced in 2004 that would have costarred Meg Ryan, but which was never actually filmed.

#8 KICK-ASS TEAM REUNITING FOR AMERICAN JESUS

Comics writer/creator Mark Millar (Wanted) is reuniting with Matthew Vaughn, the director working on the adaptation of Millar’s Kick-Ass, for a movie version of American Jesus, his comic trilogy about the return of Jesus as an American teenager. American Jesus got its start as a 2004 mini-series called Chosen, but with two more mini-series following that (the second, Resurrection, is due to start in the fall of 2009), the total package is now called American Jesus. Although the comic books are only one third published, production of American Jesus could begin as early as this summer, 2009, with the production being made outside the studio system to reduce interference, similar to what was done with Kick-Ass.

#9 PERCY JACKSON STARTS FINDING HIS PANTHEON

Percy Jackson, Fox 2000’s adaptation of The Lightning Thief, a children’s novel by Rick Riordan, is an adventure about a young boy who finds out he is the half-son of Poseidon, and gets involved in preventing a coming war of the Olympian Gods. Several of those gods or mythological figures were cast this week: Sean Bean (Zeus), Kevin McKidd (Poseidon), Melina Kanakarides (Athena), Uma Thurman (Medusa) and Pierce Brosnan (Chiron the Centaur). Casting of Hades, Aries and Persephone are still underway. Percy Jackson is being directed by Chris Columbus (the first two Home Alone and Harry Potter movies), aiming for a February, 2010 release date. It’s also worth noting that Percy Jackson will soon be joined in Greek god casting by the Clash of the Titans remake, which is also set for a 2010 release date.

#10 AMBER TAMBLYN, ORLANDO BLOOM HIT MAIN STREET

Academy Award winning screenwriter and playwright Horton Foote (To Kill a Mockingbird, Tender Mercies) died earlier this month, but production of his final script, Main Street, is proceeding right along. This week, Orlando Bloom, Amber Tamblyn, Colin Firth, Ellen Burstyn, Patricia Clarkson and Andrew McCarthy were all announced as being in various stages of negotiations to star or costar. Main Street is the story of the residents of a small, economically struggling North Carolina town whose lives are changed when a stranger comes to town. British Broadway director Tony Doyle is directing, and filming is scheduled to start in April in Durham, North Carolina. The source material will probably be strong, but will anyone believe Orlando Bloom is a small town cop with a Carolina accent?

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

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