Weekly Ketchup

A Wizard of Oz Remake Is In the Works, and More Movie News

Adam Wingard takes on a Face/Off reboot-quel, Captain Marvel 2 gets a villain, Blue Sky Studios shuts down, and new roles for Elisabeth Moss, JAck Black, Sandra Bullock, and Michelle Rodriguez.

by | February 12, 2021 | Comments

This week’s Ketchup brings you more headlines from the world of film development news, covering such titles as Blade the Vampire Slayer, Captain Marvel 2, and Face/Off.



The Wizard of Oz

(Photo by Everett Collection)

Although the Oz books by author L. Frank Baum are well known, one could argue that the 1939 movie The Wizard of Oz left such a strong legacy that it kept the number of later Oz movies to a relative minimum, including The Wiz (Rotten at 42%), Return to Oz (Rotten at 53%), and 2013’s Oz the Great and Powerful (Rotten at 57%). With this week’s news, however, there are now three major productions in development based on or inspired by those books. Just last week, the Wicked movie (based on the stage musical prequel) received a breath of fresh air in the form of Crazy Rich Asians director Jon M. Chu, who joined the project. And then, this week, the animated adaptation of the spin-off book Toto: The Dog-Gone Amazing Story of the Wizard of Oz made its next step toward production via a new deal between Warner Bros. and the animation studio Animal Logic. As big of a deal as both Wicked and Toto might potentially be, however, the third project announced this week has the potential to be the biggest, as New Line Cinema is now developing a new adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s original novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, which was the direct inspiration for the classic 1939 film The Wizard of Oz. New Line has hired director Nicole Kassell (The Woodsman, Certified Fresh at 88%) to start development on the film, which unlike other adaptations can use elements from the 1939 movie, like the ruby slippers. Kassell also recently directed three episodes of HBO’s Watchmen.

Other Top Headlines


Sandra Bullock in Our Brand Is Crisis

(Photo by ©Warner Bros.)

Sandra Bullock and Brad Pitt have been two of Hollywood’s biggest stars since the 1990s, but they’ve never appeard together in the same movie. As of this week, that’s about to change, as Bullock has joined the ensemble cast of the action movie Bullet Train, alongside Brad Pitt, Zazie Beetz (Deadpool 2), Aaron Taylor Johnson (Avengers: Age of Ultron), Michael Shannon, Brian Tyree Henry, Joey King, Logan Lerman, and Masi Oka. David Leitch (Atomic Blonde, Deadpool 2, Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw) is directing Bullet Train from a screenplay by Zak Olkewicz (in what may be his first released film) adapted from the novel Maria Beetle by Japanese author Kōtarō Isaka, which tells the story of five assassins aboard a bullet train in Japan who discover that their targets are all related. Although Pitt is expected to be one of the assassins, it’s not yet clear if Sandra Bullock is playing one, too.


Zawe Ashton in Dreams of a Life

(Photo by ©Strand Releasing courtesy Everett Collection)

The Marvel Cinematic Universe occasionally recruits its villains from relative comic book obscurity. In addition to major villains like Thanos, Dormammu, Hela, The Red Skull, and Ultron, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 gave us Ayesha, and the various Black Order villains in Avengers: Infinity War weren’t even introduced in the comics until as recently as 2013. So, when an MCU villain is cast, but Marvel doesn’t say who it is, we’re left wondering if it’s someone iconic or someone even diehard comics fans might need to look up on a wiki site. That leads us to the news today that Velvet Buzzsaw co-star Zawe Ashton has been cast as the main villain in Captain Marvel 2 (keeping in mind, of course, that Marvel movies frequently have more than one villain). Ashton is joining a cast that already includes Brie Larson (obviously), Teyonah Parris (Monica Rambeau from WandaVision), and Iman Vellani (Kamala Khan from the upcoming Disney+ series Ms. Marvel). Captain Marvel 2 will be directed by Nia DaCosta, whose highly anticipated sequel Candyman (8/27/2021) is due out this year after a delay prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Marvel Studios currently has scheduled Captain Marvel 2 for release on November 11, 2022.


Jack Black in Goosebumps

(Photo by Hopper Stone/©Columbia Pictures)

The Borderlands video game franchise is built around several characters who represent standard gaming tropes, but probably the most popular character in the games is the comedic robot NPC (non-player character) Claptrap. The first time we ever heard about casting for the Borderlands movie was in May of 2020, when Cate Blanchett started negotiations to play Lilith, the Siren, which established that the Borderlands movie is aiming for A-list stars. That was a trend we saw continue two weeks ago when Kevin Hart also joined the project as Roland, the Soldier. The third cast member to be announced was Jamie Lee Curtis (who also has two more Halloween movies coming in 2021 and 2022), who will play the scientist Dr. Tannis, another NPC in the games. That news was followed this week by the news that Jack Black will provide the voice of Claptrap, meaning that both characters cast this week aren’t any of the games’ playable characters. Like Blanchett, Jack Black previously worked with director Eli Roth on the kids movie The House with a Clock in its Walls (Fresh at  65%), and more recently, he co-starred alongside Hart in the sequel Jumanji: The Next Level.


Poster for 1998's Blade

(Photo by ©New Line Cinema courtesy Everett Collection)

One of the most surprising announcements at Marvel Studios’ San Diego Comic-Con presentation in 2019 was the news that the vampire hunter Blade would be rebooted for the MCU with two-time Academy Award winner Mahershala Ali attached to take over the role. This week, Blade took its next step forward by hiring screenwriter Stacy Osei-Kuffour, who previously worked on the HBO Max superhero show Watchmen. Blade does not yet have a director or a release date, but Kevin Feige confirmed in 2019 that it would be part of Marvel’s Phase 5 (we’re currently in Phase 4). According to The Hollywood Reporter, the title of the film will be Blade the Vampire Slayer (not to be confused with Buffy the Vampire Slayer). In somewhat related news, Hong Chau, who co-starred in Watchmen as the (borderline) antagonist Lady Trieu, has joined Brendan Fraser in The Whale, the next film from director Darren Aronofsky (The Wrestler, Black Swan), about a man who weighs over 600 pounds.


Elisabeth Moss in The Invisible Man

(Photo by Mark Rogers/©Universal Pictures)

One of the projects that Armie Hammer’s dropped out of following his recent downfall was the Paramount+ series The Offer, about the behind-the-scenes drama behind the making of The Godfather (Certified Fresh at 98%). The true story of the making of The Godfather was to be both a series and a feature film, and Oscar Isaac and Jake Gyllenhaal have both been attached to star in the untitled feature film for a while now, as director Francis Ford Coppola and Paramount executive Robert Evans, respectively. This week, the film gained its third cast member, as Elisabeth Moss has joined the untitled project as Francis Ford Coppola’s wife, Eleanor Coppola, who later went on to have her own directorial career. Whatever it ends up being titled, this making-of-The-Godfather feature film will be directed by Barry Levinson, whose recent films The Wizard of Lies, and Paterno were also based on true stories.


Michelle Rodriguez in Fast & Furious 6

(Photo by Giles Keyte/©Universal Pictures)

Last year marked the 20th anniversary of the first live-action Dungeons & Dragons (Rotten at 10%), and about the fifth anniversary of the start of development on a new reboot of the franchise (not counting the two direct-to-video sequels to the 2000 version). In 2017, Dungeons & Dragons moved from Warner Bros. to Paramount Pictures, where the latter’s Star Trek star Chris Pine signed on in December. This week, Dungeons & Dragons signed two more stars, both of whom have had their biggest box office successes with Universal Pictures franchises. Fast and the Furious star Michelle Rodriguez and Justice Smith (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Detective Pikachu) have both signed on to co-star in Paramount’s reboot of Dungeons & Dragons, based on the popular role-playing game franchise. As with Chris Pine, the specifics about what sorts of characters they will play hasn’t been announced yet. Dungeons & Dragons (5/27/2022) will be directed for Paramount Pictures by the team of John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, who previously directed the Vacation reboot (Rotten at 27%) in 2015 and the much better received 2018 comedy Game Night (Certified Fresh at 85%).


Nicolas Cage and John Travolta in Face/Off

(Photo by ©Paramount Pictures courtesy Everett Collection)

It feels like decades now that Hollywood has been obsessed with rebooting, remaking, and reimagining the movies of the 1980s, but slowly, gradually, the focus is turning to the much-maligned decade of the 1990s. If one movie is an iconic example of the 1990s action movie, there’s a strong argument to be made for director John Woo’s 1997 film Face/Off (Certified Fresh at 92%), starring Nicolas Cage and John Travolta as two men on opposite sides of the law who literally exchange faces. Director Adam Wingard (The Guest, Blair Witch, Death Note) most recently directed the upcoming monster movie Godzilla vs Kong (3/31/2021), so he’s currently looking towards future projects, and one of them will be a reboot of the Face/Off franchise that will take the form of a sequel to the original film with a new cast. Of course, if any movie lends itself to being both remade and sequelized at the same time, it’s Face/Off, since the premise basically negates any continuity issues.


Henry Cavill in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

(Photo by Clay Enos/©Warner Bros.)

After the DC Comics movie Shazam! (Certified Fresh at 90%) ended with a comedy beat featuring a body double as Superman, fans were probably not at all surprised by online speculation and rumors that Henry Cavill would be co-starring as the Man of Steel in the sequel Shazam! Fury of the Gods (6/2/2023). Well, Variety debunked that rumor this week, as the trade publication has confirmed that Henry Cavill will not be joining Zachary Levi and Asher Angel in Shazam! Fury of the Gods as Superman. Shazam! director David F. Sandberg also Tweeted recently that “halfway through shooting Shazam the plan was still for Cavill to be in it. Scoopers could have scooped that and been right at the time but wrong in the end.”


Ice Age Collision Course

(Photo by ©20th Century Fox Film Corp.)

Walt Disney Pictures was already a massive hive of competing subsidiaries (including both Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios) before the 2019 finalization of the acquisition of the various Fox TV and film properties. So, this week’s news is not particularly surprising, but it is still always sad to hear about the shutdown of a major employer, and for over 20 years, Blue Sky Studios was exactly that, with nearly 450 employees. Blue Sky released 13 animated feature films, including Ice Age and its four sequels, Rio (and Rio 2), Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who, The Peanuts Movie, and most recently and finally, Spies in Disguise. Specifically, the reason for Blue Sky shutting down is the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the Blue Sky library is still part of Disney, as are their intellectual properties, one project which will be canned is the animated adaptation of the Nimona webcomic by creator Noelle Stevenson, whose Lumberjanes was also at one point in development at 20th Century Fox as an animated feature. Nimona has previously been scheduled for release on January 14, 2022, and when it was cancelled, the film still had 10 months of production left.

On an Apple device? Follow Rotten Tomatoes on Apple News.

Tag Cloud

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