Weekly Ketchup

Weekly Ketchup: J.J. Abrams' Star Trek plot revealed

Plus casting news for George Clooney, Robert Downey Jr, and Audrey Tautou

by | August 29, 2008 | Comments

The last week of Summer is traditionally where studios dump some of the movies that have some of the lowest expectations, and apparently, it’s also when they don’t release that many particularly huge news announcements, either. So this was a relatively slow week; nonetheless, here are the biggest stories in movie development.


This week, the writers of the new Star Trek reboot revealed on TV the movie’s premise, which is so cool that it is worthy of this week’s top story, even though I generally focus on movies that are fresher, farther from release, than one that’s already wrapped filming. The gist of the story is that it follows Spock, played by Leonard Nimoy, back in time from the franchise’s “current” setting, as Romulans attempt to go back in time to kill the young Captain James T. Kirk before he goes on to do all those things that messed up the Romulans’ many plans. So, J.J. Abrams has indeed come up with a clever way to bridge the “old” franchise to his new revamp, and since there is time travelling involved, there’s even the possibility that things can be changed, meaning everything we thought we knew could be completely different going forward. If the movie is AWESOME, this is great news. If not, it could be perceived as the nail in the Star Trek coffin. I, however, am optimistic, and think this could be the sign that the reboot is more clever and better structured than we’re used to as of late.


George Clooney is in talks with DreamWorks to star in Up in the Air, which is looking likely to be the directorial follow up of Jason Reitman (Juno). Based on a novel, Up in the Air is the story of a “corporate downsizer” (AKA a guy who fires other people) who spends his time obsessed with collecting one million frequent flyer miles. Reading Amazon’s premise for the book, it sounds like a quirky mid-life crisis dramedy in the vein of American Beauty, Sideways or Adaptation.


Robert Downey, Jr. is likely to have another super-powered role in his future, as he is in talks to play the lead character in Master Mind, a DreamWorks Animation CGI action/comedy about a super villain who accidentally kills his superheroic nemesis, forcing him to change his world view. Tina Fey is also in talks for a role in Master Mind. Another CGI movie that is continuing to round up its voice cast is Astro Boy, with Kristen Bell being the latest to join what has until now been a large, but 100% male, cast (Nicolas Cage, Donald Sutherland, Nathan Lane, etc). Finally, there is Toy Story 3, which will undoubtedly sport a huge cast once again, and will now include Michael Keaton (Mr. Mom, Batman) It was revealed this week that he will be providing the voice of Ken in this story of what happens to the dolls when their owner goes off to college. Jodi Benson (Ariel in The Little Mermaid) will reprise her role as Barbie from Toy Story 2.


A few years back, I heard about this cool new concept called a social networking site, and so I signed up, created my profile and added a bunch of friends. It was called Friendster. And then a year passed, and I heard that NOW the cool new site to join was MySpace. And so I repeated the process. By the time Facebook showed up a year after that, I was exhausted. That’s the site, however, that Hollywood is apparently enamored with this week, so they get a movie about their formation, with Aaron Sorkin (The West Wing, Studio 60) working on a script about how a Harvard sophomore created the site and went on to become a gazillionaire. I’m looking forward to the exciting scenes of the kid browsing MySpace and Friendster and thinking, “Hey, I can do that!” Web browsing and HTML coding makes for such great action sequences. Extremely successful producer Scott Rudin is developing the project for Columbia Pictures.


Director Todd Solondz made quite a mark in the 1990s with Welcome to the Dollhouse and Happiness, both of which were dire, depressing movies about American lives in complete, disturbing turmoil. Both were arthouse hits, but his next two films, Storytelling and Palindromes struggled. Now, he has firmed up a deal to start filming in Puerto Rico in October on an untitled project (sometimes referred to as Life During Wartime) that will be a semi-sequel to Happiness, which suggests that some character’s stories might be continued, or it might just be a thematic sequel. Casting is underway, but among those that have been rumored during its development are Paul Reubens, Emma Thompson, Demi Moore, Chi McBride and Dennis Franz. Solondz’s movies are the definition of “challenging”; I’m not so sure I can say I “enjoyed” Happiness, for example, but the film certainly had guts.


Nowhere Boy, an independent British production, will start filming in March, 2009, telling the biographical story of the young John Lennon, growing up in Liverpool in a fractured family, and how he eventually meets a kid named Paul McCartney, and the rest is history. The sad fact is that the Beatles really are history now, and some readers probably don’t know who I’m talking about. Well, us fogies will be able to curl up (very carefully) with our vinyl copies of Rubber Soul and anticipate the release of this biopic, probably sometime in 2010.


There are some careers that simply didn’t exist as we know them before the 20th century. Take for example, the concept of a fashion designer as an international brand. And one of the first designers to accomplish that was Coco Chanel, AKA Coco Avant Chanel, which is the name of the movie that Warner Bros will be making about her, starring Audrey Tautou (Amelie, The Da Vinci Code). Chanel introduced the concept of the pant suit for women in the 1920s, and is also credited with popularizing the “flapper” style associated with that decade. Biopics about unexpected subjects often attract my curiosity, and this definitely fits that bill.


Celebrities get interviewed a lot, and bored interviewers ask about the future. And so, they get quoted talking about movies, some of which are sometimes just the star talking. Or they might be talking about something that has a very tenous future. But, if the title is high profile, then it makes the web news. For example, director Brett Ratner, who already has enough movies on his plate to get him to 2015, talked about his love of Guitar Hero, and how cool a Guitar Hero movie might be. Except that by the time, such a movie got made, it would probably seem about as timely as say, a Speed Racer movie in 2008. And then there’s Vin Diesel, who is starring in one of the worst-reviewed movies of the year, and so he talks about that Chronicles of Riddick trilogy that the first movie was supposed to set up. The only way I can see those movies actually is if they are maybe direct-to-DVD, but does Vin really want to become known as the guy whose next two movies are Blockbuster Exclusives?


Woody Harrelson has signed on to star in Zombieland as one of two zombie fighters in a post-apocalyptic undead-ridden America, and hey, it’s a comedy! The director Ruben Fleischer, is making his debut after directing Jimmy Kimmel Live, and the writers are the creators of that fake reality show, The Joe Schmo Show. Basically, this sounds like an American version of Shaun of the Dead, except part of what made Shaun work was its inherent Britishness.


Okay, here’s the thing. There is no Batman 3 yet. At least, not really. There’s no script, so no movie. So, please, please, please ignore all the stupid casting rumors that will appear online in the next several months. Cher as Catwoman. Johnny Depp as the Riddler. Verne Troyer as the Penguin. Bruce Willis as Mr. Freeze. Mila Kunis as Harley Quinn. All that crap. Until Warner Bros actually hires a writer, there will be no villains to be cast, and hence, any rumors about said villains is just bored writers making things up. You know, like I just did with a few of those.

You can contact Greg Dean Schmitz via a message at the RT Forums, the thread there devoted to him, or his MySpace page.

Tag Cloud

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