Weekly Ketchup

Weekly Ketchup: Pitt to be a Bastard, Riggs & Murtaugh returning?

Plus casting news for Natalie Portman and Julia Roberts

by | August 8, 2008 | Comments

Hey gang, welcome to another Weekly Ketchup. This week’s word is “obligatory.” How many times can you spot it?


This was a big week for the casting of Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Bastards (AKA Inglorious Basterds, which is how the script spells it), with nearly every day bringing a new name, but the biggest is Brad Pitt, who will be playing the goy soldier who brings the ragtag bunch of Jewish troops together for their special mission. So far, three names have surfaced to play those soldiers: Cabin Fever director Eli Roth, Numb3rs star David Krumholtz and from The Office, B.J. Novak. It appears that Tarantino’s initial plans of making this an all-star affair were scrapped, and further evidence of this was the revelation that QT is looking to cast a German actor to play the main Nazi baddie instead of the rumored Leonardo DiCaprio. Also in talks to star are Simon Pegg (Shaun of the Dead) as a British officer and 1980s hottie Natassja Kinski (Cat People) as one of Germany’s most famous actresses, who represents the obligatory “hey, remember them?” portion of a typical QT movie’s cast (see also: Darryl Hannah, Michael Parks, Pam Grier, Jeff Fahey, etc).


When Lethal Weapon 4 failed to do the same sort of blockbuster business that the first three movies did, producer Joel Silver and the two stars (Mel Gibson and Danny Glover) were quoted by various sources as saying that the franchise was pretty much done. No Lethal Weapon 5. Forget it, nuh-uh. Right, well, that was ten years ago, and Mel Gibson’s star is not as glittering as it once was, so… Lethal Weapon creator, screenwriter Shane Black (Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang) has taken two old scripts, merged them together to form one new Lethal Weapon script, and producer Joel Silver, Mel Gibson and Danny Glover are apparently all excited about doing it. The plot this time around would involve nearly-retired Riggs getting his old partner Murtaugh to come out of retirement for… just… one… more… case. The funny thing is that at the rate Hollywood is going remake crazy these days, yet another sequel to a tired, basically dead franchise actually feels refreshing (in comparison) somehow. Speaking of that…


We’re almost two thirds through another year, and we haven’t had any decent Goonies 2 rumor mongering going on. Gasp! Rumors of a Goonies sequel are to the Internet what swallows are to Capistrano. A year cannot pass without their return. And so, here’s your link to AICN . Warner Bros is interested, yada yada yada. In a sort of sick, evil way, I hope they end up going with a godawful CGI “Sloth” monster so that all the Generation X fanboys who have been clamoring for this will end up feeling cheated and betrayed. A theatrical Goonies sequel is just a bad, bad idea IMO.


The producers of TV’s 24 are currently making a DVD movie in South Africa called 24: Exile, and apparently the 20th Century Fox execs are impressed enough that their “enthusiasm” for making a feature film version of 24 is being stoked. Now, when such a movie would be made is up for debate: probably not until after the show wraps, but the scheduling of the series is such that perhaps it could happen next year. My hunch as to what else is making Fox “enthusiastic” about a 24 movie? That the X-Files feature film franchise appears to be pretty much dead (regardless of what Chris Carter hopes), and so Fox is looking for another TV show to take its feature film place. Again, just a hunch.


The concept of a remake of Suspiria, the creepy Dario Argento horror flick about a coven of witches living (and killing) in an European ballet school, has been known of for a while, but Bloody Disgusting got the news this week that Natalie Portman is apparently interested in producing and starring, with David Gordon Green (Undertow, Pineapple Express) the top choice to direct. Now, I normally DESPISE the current trend of remakes, but like Darren Aronofsky’s Robocop, this is sounding like a remake that might actually turn out to… you know, not be a travesty.


I don’t know if this will ever actually happen as a theatrical movie, but Kenneth Johnson, the creator of the 1980s sci-fi TV series, V: The Series, has taken the time to write up a script for a theatrical remake of the original two-part mini-series (which then inspired the TV series as a spin off), and Latino Review took the time to do a review. The concept of the show was actually pretty great: evil lizard people come to earth in disguise, conning the human race into thinking they’re our friends, so they can systematically take over the planet and start eating us. It would probably, however, be better served by getting the sort of treatment that Battlestar Galactica got, as a new TV series. As a two hour movie, might this not just feel like a remake of John Carpenter’s They Live? That reminds me, I’m out of gum.


Mimi Leder, a director who once directed such big budget extravaganzas as Deep Impact and The Peacemaker, has not been getting as high profile work as lately, as CHUD reminds us. To go with her new lower profile, she is lining up a project that seems like it might be rather intriguing, which is Remember Their Names, about the time that folk singer Woody Guthrie spent as a merchant marine during World War II.


Oh, Jackie Chan, must it come to this? You were Drunken Master. You were the star of more Police Story movies than I can count off hand. You were, basically, the “new Bruce Lee.” And now, you’re a little bit older, and you’re doing… The Spy Next Door, a kids movie about a babysitter who has to fight off secret agents when one of the kids downloads super secret software. Directed by Brian Levant (the two Flintstones movies), this movie will undoubtedly cement Chan’s descent into becoming a cartoon of his former ass-kicking self. Admittedly, this is a path he’s been on for a while, but that still doesn’t make it, you know… right.


Disney has picked up rights to Monster Attack Network, yet another graphic novel that I’ve never heard of, with plans to make it into a Men in Black type sci-fi action comedy, about the team that’s called in when the giant monsters living on an island (full of giant monsters) get out of hand. If Will Smith signs on, is it okay if I don’t report it?


Warner Bros has picked up rights to the book, Drink Play F**k, which is apparently the male answer (although officially unrelated) to a previous book, with more of a female angle, called Eat Pray Love, which Paramount has picked up the rights to, with Julia Roberts expected to star. I’ve got no interest in the Julia Roberts movie, but the Warner Bros movie, whatever it’s actually about, has sort of got me sold just on the title alone. Yes, I can be that immature.

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

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