Weekly Ketchup

Weekly Ketchup: Raimi and Maguire return for Spider-Man 4 and 5

Plus news and speculation about Ghostbusters 3

by | September 5, 2008 | Comments

After the slow news doldrums that were the last week of August, this week could have easily supplied me with two weeks worth of Ketchup, but alas, this is a 10 piece column, so news items about movies like Sherlock Holmes and Inglorious Bastards didn’t make the cut.. I think you’ll find that the top 10 this week though are all definitely big ticket type news items.


Following months of speculation, Nikki Finke has confirmed that Sony Pictures has lined up director Sam Raimi and star Tobey Maguire for both Spider-Man 4 and Spider-Man 5, which will be filmed concurrently, with the 4th movie working from a script by Jamie Vanderbilt (Zodiac; cowriter of The Rundown). Although the villain isn’t announced yet, Finke hears that once we hear who it is, we will know who will be playing him. Not counting returning villains, that seems to me suggest three possibilities: The Lizard (Dylan Baker, seen in the second and third movies), Man-Wolf (Mary Jane’s romantic interest in #3) and (this one Finke didn’t think of) the Spider Slayer(s), which were robots controlled by Daily Bugle publisher J. Jonah Jameson (J.K. Simmons). The Lizard is probably most likely, but in a way, the Spider Slayer story thread ties in most to the ongoing stories of the first three movies. Jameson’s hatred of Spider-Man is one of the character’s great arcs, and the Spider Slayer angle also allows for another classic Spidey villain, the Scorpion, who was also originally hired by Jameson to take out Spider-Man. Whoever Spidey takes on this time, let’s hope that the movie (and #5) work better than Spider-Man 3, which felt overburdened with having to carry the stories of three villains (Sandman, Venom and Harry Osborne).


Sony announced this week their firm plans (versus the long lingering development it’s suffered in for decades) for Ghostbusters 3, with a premise that promises a return of the original cast members, although none of them are as yet confirmed as actually being cast. Bill Murray, for example, has got to be a big question mark. Ernie Hudson, probably not as much. Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky, co-producers of The Office (and they also wrote the upcoming Jack Black-starring Biblical comedy, Year One) are working on the script. Although the sequel was not as great, the original Ghostbusters still stands as one of the best comedies of the 1980s and a fan favorite, and fans have been clamoring for a Ghostbusters 3 as long as I’ve been writing about upcoming movies (1997), and really before that, even. Original writers Harold Ramis and Dan Aykroyd had been working on their own Ghostbusters 3 script for years, but they appear to be out of the loop (for now) on writing duties, but that suggests for sure that they would return. Again, the one I wonder about is Bill Murray. As much as fans would love to see this movie happen, I’ve got a grain of reservation, as there seems a lot of possibility that a third movie could ultimately tarnish the franchise’s legacy if they don’t really hit this one out of the park. And hey, I got through this article without writing “Who ya gonna call?” Oops.


In one of the most ambitious schedule announcements I’ve ever heard about, Guillermo del Toro has laid out his directorial slate all the way… to 2017 (!). We all know about The Hobbit, and the “bridge film” between it and LOTR, but there have also been many other projects on his slate over the years. Now, we know which movies he plans to do after, all of which will be for Universal Pictures, for whom he made Hellboy II: The Golden Army (although a third Hellboy film is strangely *not* on the list). To keep things short, here’s the list: new versions of the studio’s classic monster movies, Frankenstein and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, a new adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five, Del Toro’s dream project of adapting At the Mountains of Madness by H.P. Lovecraft and Drood, a movie that speculates that author Charles Dickens might have gone crazy and become a murderer following surviving a horrible train accident. Of these, Drood is expected to be the first to follow the Tolkien movies. In addition to all of these, you’ve got to think that Del Toro will want to make another Spanish-language movie (ala Pan’s Labyrinth) at some point, and it’s hard to see him let Hellboy 3 go unmade for 10 years. And oh yeah, he’s got several movies that he is attached to produce. El Gordo is going to be muy, muy ocupado!


Stephen Sommers (Van Helsing, The Mummy) is in talks with Warner Bros to direct their new adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan, after negotiations a few years ago with Guillermo del Toro ultimately fell through. Sommers will cowrite with Stuart Beattie, who also worked on the director’s next movie, G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra. Sommers is obviously one of the top “go to” guys these days for huge blockbuster type extravaganzas, but after early promise with Deep Rising (overlooked at the time, but I loved it) and The Mummy, he extremely flubbed up Van Helsing, and I (and many others) don’t feel warm fuzzies for G.I. Joe either. So, his star is somewhat tarnished, and I have to wonder what exact tone this Tarzan movie will take. I have a feeling it’s going to feel like a huge, $150 million dollar version of Tarzan and the Lost City.


From the mean streets of Cleveland (well, that city’s Plain Dealer), comes news that the long-gestating adaptation of Brian Michael Bendis’ graphic novel, Torso, based upon the true story of what Elliot Ness did after taking down Al Capone, is going to start filming soon, possibly in Cleveland (if the money stuff between Paramount and Ohio can be figured out). And with that nugget comes two bigger bits of news, which is that David Fincher (Fight Club, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) is directing, and Matt Damon is playing Elliot Ness. Fincher has been attached to Torso for a couple of years, but considering his very busy slate, that he’s actually doing it is still actually kind of news. Torso is a grisly tale, telling the true story of the “Torso Murderer”, who from 1934 to 1938 haunted Cleveland, leaving just the torso of his victims as evidence, and it ties in directly to dramatic changes in Ness’s life, as he struggled to solve the mystery. Matt Damon seems like a good choice to play the no-nonsense, former G-Man.


Denzel Washington has signed on to star in The Book of Eli, as a lone hero in a post-apocalyptic America who is the only one who has the key to saving society from its current wasteland status. Oh cool, a Barack Obama biopic!? Nope, this “futuristic thriller” probably has a lot more in common with Kevin Costner’s The Postman or the upcoming Oscar contender, The Road. The Hughes Brothers directing duo (Allen and Albert) will return from their too-long post-From Hell hiatus of seven years to hopefully remind of how good their first two movies (Menace II Society and Dead Presidents) were. Filming starts in New Mexico in January, with Joel Silver producing for Warner Bros. Wikipedia tells me that Eli is a variant of the name of God in Hebrew and Aramaic, so perhaps there’s a connection there?


Doing the press tour thing for Bangkok Dangerous, Nicolas Cage revealed that he’s been in talks about starring in a sequel to Ghost Rider, an adaptation of a Marvel character made by Columbia Pictures (ie, not by Marvel Studios). Cage revealed that the plan might be to take the demonic biker to Europe, possibly tying the story into the Catholic Church, ala The Da Vinci Code. The first movie opened last year to $52 million, going on to make $115.8 million domestically, so it definitely was not a flop financially, but the RT meter tells a sadder tale – 28%. Ghost Rider took far too many liberties from its comic source for my taste, starting with the casting of Nicolas Cage, so I’ve got no expectations about a sequel.


Real life married couple Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connelly have signed on to play real life married couple Charles and Emma Darwin in Creation, a biopic about the life of the famed evolutionary theorist. Filming of Creation, directed by Jon Amiel (Sommersby, Entrapment) starts later this month in England. The producers are quoted in the article as saying that people tend to think of Darwin as an old man with a grey beard, but this movie will focus on him earlier in life, as he is struggling with his faith and yet still coming up with his revolutionary, evolutionary theory.


According to the New York Times (via IGN), Chris Columbus (the first two Harry Potter and Home Alone movies) will be directing an adaptation of The Lightning Thief, the first book in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series of novels by Rick Riordan, about the modern day children of the Greek gods. Specifically, The Lightning Thief is about the son of Poseidon who takes off on a trek across America, trying to catch the thief of Zeus’ lightning bolt. The Times says that filming is scheduled to start in time for a release in November, 2009, from a script by Joe Stillman (cowriter of the first two Shrek movies and Beavis and Butt-Head Do America).


Possibly because the buzz around the Hitler assassination movie, Valkyrie, is so hot (not), Jerry Bruckheimer has acquired the rights to Killing Rommel, a novel by Steven Pressfield (whose Gates of Fire, about the Battle of Thermopylae, is apparently still in development despite the success of 300). Killing Rommel, which will be adapted by Randall Wallace (Braveheart, Pearl Harbor) (and doesn’t have a director yet), will tell the (fictional) story of a British/Allied assassination plot against the life of Nazi Field Marshal Erwin “The Desert Fox” Rommel, in an attempt to stop his campaign in North Africa. The central characters are members of England’s Long Range Desert Group, which was real, but the part about killing Rommel is fictional (as far as I can tell).

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

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