This week’s Ketchup brings you more headlines from the world of film development news, covering such titles as Another Round, The Borrowers, Captain America 4, and Cleopatra Jones.
(Photo by ©Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
First off, we absolutely need to put a big, fat SPOILER WARNING here for the Disney+ series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. If you haven’t seen or finished that show yet, just stop here and enjoy wondering how Marvel will bring back Chris Evans as the title character. For those still reading, because obviously, that spoiler warning totally worked, you now know that the star of Captain America 4 will be Anthony Mackie, formerly known as The Falcon (or to some, Black Falcon), who took over as Captain America by the end of the show. Captain America 4 will very much be a creative continuation of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, as its showrunner (and head writer) Malcolm Spellman will be co-writing the film with Dalan Musson, one of the show’s staff writers. Technically, no casting has been done yet for Captain America 4, but Anthony Mackie is almost certainly a sure thing, and some of the other of the show’s characters, like Bucky (Sebastian Stan), Baron Zemo (Daniel Bruhl), Sharon Carter (Emily VanCamp), Joaquin Torres (Danny Ramirez), and U.S. Agent (Wyatt Russell) could also return. Captain America 4 also doesn’t have a director yet, but many people online are suggesting that the show’s director, Kari Skogland, should return to helm this feature as well. For more insight into where Captain America 4 might go next, check out this interview with Spellman. Marvel Studios has not yet announced a release date for Captain America 4, but it’s unlikely to be anytime before 2023.
(Photo by Everett Collection)
Once upon a time, when Legendary Pictures first struck a deal with Japan’s Godzilla home company Toho to make English-language films, it was for four movies, of which Godzilla vs. Kong (Certified Fresh at 75%) was the fourth. It was for that reason that many fans expected that the “Monsterverse” was probably going to end there (and also due to fears that COVID-19 would keep the box office down). The pandemic almost certainly did leave a pawprint on the box office, but $406 million and counting (globally) is still pretty great, and on HBO Max, Godzilla vs. Kong also beat the first week viewing numbers for the heavily promoted Zack Snyder’s Justice League. Given all those factors, Legendary has indeed begun talks with director Adam Wingard about a sequel that is rumored to be titled Son of Kong, which would be a direct reference to the 1933 sequel (Rotten at 42%) with a very different premise than we’re likely to see (since Kong: Skull Island did not feature the Carl Denham filmmaker character). Of course, the tease of Son of Kong also suggests the existence of a “Mrs. Kong.” Whatever it ends up being, this sequel is at least a few years away, as Wingard is expected to direct both his Face/Off sequel and the live action ThunderCats before it.
(Photo by ©Samuel Goldwyn Films)
As with pretty much every year of the Academy Awards, this week’s ceremony had both snubs and surprises, but people tend to talk less about about the winners that weren’t so surprising. For example, in the Best International Feature category, Thomas Vinterberg’s film about Danish day-drinking educators, Another Round (Certified Fresh at 92%), was expected by many to win, and it did. Within hours of that win, Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way production company swooped in and acquired the rights for an English-language remake. DiCaprio is not currently attached to star in the remake, but there’s definitely a good chance that he could (presumably as the lead character played by Mads Mikkelsen in the Danish version). He also was not the only Hollywood star who tried to land the Another Round remake, as both Jake Gyllenhaal and Elizabeth Banks also made bids on it. Another Round was actually called Druk in Denmark (Danish for “Drunk”), so it’s possible that the remake could follow suit and take the title Drunk as well.
(Photo by Everett Collection)
The early 1970s explosion of “Blaxploitation” movies featuring African American leads is often called a genre, but it was more of an industry umbrella under which films of many different genres were produced. Consider, for example, the 1973 film Cleopatra Jones (Fresh at 79%), which was basically a spy spoof (the villain was Shelley Winters as an international opium drug lord called Mommy, and Cleopatra Jones was a secret agent). The news first broke in 2017 that Warner Bros. had started development on a Cleopatra Jones remake, but it took three and a half years for the studio to make the next move by hiring a screenwriter. That job has gone to Ihuoma Ofordire, one of the writers of the series Lovecraft Country on HBO (also a corporate cousin of Warner Bros). Warner Bros. has not yet announced who might star as their new Cleopatra Jones, but it should be noted that Ofordire is also an actress.
(Photo by PolyGram Filmed Entertainment courtesy Everett Collection)
Sometimes, film development news brings together rather disparate elements. Let’s start at the beginning, which was the 1952 children’s fantasy novel The Borrowers by English author Mary Norton, about a family of tiny people who secretly live underneath humans from whom they borrow small objects (which are big to them). That book was then adapted in 1997 as a live-action movie (Fresh at 73%) starring John Goodman and Jim Broadbent, and then adapted again by Studio Ghibli as the anime movie The Secret World of Arrietty (Certified Fresh at 95%). Universal Pictures and Working Title are now developing a third adaptation which will again be live-action and be called The Borrowers. The screenplay will be written by Patrick Burleigh (co-writer of Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway) and will be directed by Conrad Vernon (The Addams Family, Sausage Party). So, to loop back, the same project ties in English fantasy, Japanese anime, and an R-rated animated film. Like we said, “disparate.”
(Photo by Priscilla Grant, Jason Mendez/Everett Collection)
Canadian directgor David Cronenberg is well known among horror and science fiction fans for his films from the 1970s (Shivers, Rabid, The Brood) and 1980s (Scanners, Videodrome, The Dead Zone, The Fly, Dead Ringers), but the earliest of those aforementioned films (Shivers) was actually his third after Stereo in 1969 and Crimes of the Future in 1970, both of which are barely over an hour long. That second film seems quite relevant to this week’s news, because Cronenberg is making another film called Crimes of the Future, though it’s not yet clear if the two are otherwise related. The project is expected to start filming in Greece this summer, and Cronenberg has already found his three leads, who will be Viggo Mortensen, Léa Seydoux, and Kristen Stewart. Mortensen previously starred in both A History of Violence and Eastern Promises, making Crimes of the Future their third project together. Crimes of the Future is billed as Cronenberg’s first original science fiction project since 1999’s eXistenZ, which seems to suggest no direct connection between this upcoming film and the 1970 movie.
(Photo by RCF/Everett Collection)
In Wonder Woman and its recent sequel Wonder Woman 1984, Gal Gadot and Chris Pine played lovers who are brought back together through magic after decades apart (a separation that, for one of them, was also between life and death and then life again). Considering that, one might make the argument that this week’s news seems not entirely coincidental, because Gadot is going to produce and star in a film called Meet Me in Another Life. Gadot’s production company Pilot Wave snapped up the rights to the recent novel by Catriona Silvey extremely fast; the book was published this week on Tuesday, April 27th, and Gadot had the feature film rights to the book on the next day. Gal Gadot is a speed reader, apparently. As the title suggests, Meet Me in Another Life will tell the story of a romance between a man and a woman who continue to meet each other across time and reality, challenging them to figure out exactly why that keeps happening.
(Photo by A24)
In the last 10 years (or so), we’ve had several films whose titles included some variation of the word “wonder”: To the Wonder (2012), The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (2013), Professor Marston and the Wonder Women (2017), Wonder (2017), Wonder Wheel (2017), Wonder Woman (2017), Wonderstruck (2017), Wonder Park (2019), Wonder Woman: Bloodlines (2019), Wonder Woman 1984 (2020), and Willy’s Wonderland (2021). That’s an impressive list, but you might notice none of them was THE Wonder, and actress Florence Pugh is about to correct that oversight, as she will star in an adaptation of the novel The Wonder by author Emma Donoghue (who also wrote Room). The film, to be directed by Sebastian Lelio (A Fantastic Woman) will tell the story of an English nurse (Pugh) who is summoned to a tiny Irish village in the 1850s to observe what the locals believe to be a miracle. Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it?