Weekly Ketchup

The Exorcist Returns With New Trilogy, and More Movie News

Predator prequel gets its title, Tom Hanks joins Wes Anderson's next film, and Scarlett Johansson sues Disney.

by | July 30, 2021 | Comments

This week’s Ketchup brings you another ten headlines from the world of film development news, covering such titles as Batgirl, The Exorcist, The Haunted Mansion, and The Saint.


This WEEK’S TOP STORY

GET OUT THE PEA SOUP – THE EXORCIST COMING BACK IN NEW TRILOGY

(Photo by Universal.)

A great deal has been written over the last 40+ years about what a gamechanger Jaws was in 1975, but that also basically overshadows the film from two years earlier which even more so redefined what a “horror film” could be: The Exorcist. Warner Bros kept trying to replicate the success of The Exorcist with sequels and prequels, but nothing came even close. Last December, there started to be talk about director David Gordon Green (Pineapple Express, Halloween Kills) developing a new Exorcist with Blumhouse. The original film’s director, William Friedkin, quickly came out against it. But The Exorcist sequel isn’t just happening, but it’s going to be a new trilogy of films that Universal Pictures is spending $400 million on, including possible plans for one or more of the new films to premiere on their Peacock streaming app. Ellen Burstyn, who starred in The Exorcist, will reprise her role as Chris MacNeil, and she will also be joined by Leslie Odom Jr (Aaron Burr from Hamilton, Sam Cooke in One Night in Miami). The first of the new Exorcist sequels will be released theatrically on October 13, 2023.


Other Top Headlines

1. TOM HANKS JOINS WES ANDERSON’S NEXT MOVIE

(Photo by Dreamworks/Everett Collection)

While we await the COVID-19 delayed release of The French Dispatch, Wes Anderson is currently preparing to film his untitled next film in Spain. Before today, the three announced cast members were all frequent Anderson stars (who are also in The French Dispatch): Adrien Brody, Bill Murray, and Tilda Swinton. The fourth announced star is indeed someone who’s never worked with Anderson before: Tom Hanks. The movie will be at least partially shot in Spain, and has been described as a romance set in the desert.


2. J.K. SIMMONS TO TIE BATGIRL INTO DCEU

(Photo by Warner Bros.)

Last week’s top story was that In the Heights star Leslie Grace had been cast as Barbara Gordon in the HBO Max solo movie Batgirl. That quickly led to speculation about who might play her father, James Gordon, with one possibility being Jeffrey Wright, who plays Gordon in next year’s The Batman. Perhaps wanting to resolve that mystery before fan theories got too wild, Warner Bros quickly came back this week to announce that J.K. Simmons will reprise his role as Commissioner James Gordon. This move effectively ties Batgirl directly into the DC Extended Universe, as Simmons previously played Gordon in Justice League. Batgirl will be directed for HBO Max by the Bad Boys for Life directing team of Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah.


3. DISNEY ATTEMPTING THE HAUNTED MANSION AGAIN WITH TIFFANY HADDISH

(Photo by Priscilla Grant/Everett Collection)

Walt Disney Pictures had such a great big success with the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise that it might be easy to forget that there have been a few attempts to turn Disney theme park attractions into movies that didn’t do as well, like The Country Bears, Tomorrowland, and The Haunted Mansion. Disney has tried revisiting The Haunted Mansion (including a time with Guillermo del Toro involved), but it sounds like they’re finally ready for the reboot, just as another ride adaptation, Jungle Cruise, hits theaters. Tiffany Haddish (Girls Trip, Bad Trip) and LaKeith Standfield (Get Out, Knives Out) have been cast in The Haunted Mansion reboot, which will be directed by Justin Simien, the writer/director of Bad Hair and Dear White People.


4. NICHOLAS HOULT AND ANYA TAYLOR-JOY TO PERUSE THE MENU

(Photo by Netflix/Everett Collection)

Nicholas Hoult (About a Boy, Warm Bodies) this week joined Anya Taylor-Joy (The Witch, The Queen’s Gambit) in a dark comedy-thriller called The Menu. Searchlight Pictures describes them as playing a young couple “who travel to a remote island to eat at an exclusive restaurant where the chef has prepared a lavish menu, with some shocking surprises.” At which point, it seems like it’s a pretty easy guess that the “shocking surprises” in a dark comedy called The Menu is that Hoult’s character comes out as actually likeing beets and artichokes. Just kidding, it’s probably cannibalism. The director and screenwriter of The Menu previously worked together on HBO’s Succession.


5. BREAKOUT BRIDGERTON STAR TAKES OVER GENTLEMAN THIEF ROLE THE SAINT

(Photo by Netflix/Everett Collection)

Sometimes, certain long-running TV shows do not hold onto the same sort of cultural legacy as others. For example, pretty much everyone is familiar with Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock, even though the original series only ran for three seasons. On the other hand, there’s a show like The Saint, based on the novels by author Leslie Charteris, which ran for twice as long, and even featured a future James Bond (Sir Roger Moore) in the lead role, and yet the show is now a TV history footnote. Val Kilmer did star in a 1997 movie, but it was a box office disappointment ($61 million domestic from a budget in the same range). Yet, Paramount Pictures is preparing to give gentleman thief Simon Templar another try, and the studio has chosen Bridgerton breakout star Regé-Jean Page, now in negotiations with Paramount. The screenplay is also being rewritten by actor Kwame Kwei-Armah, who is currently working with Spike Lee on an untitled musical project.


6. AWKWAFINA AND SAM ROCKWELL VOICING ANIMAL CROOKS IN THE BAD GUYS

(Photo by RCF/Everett Collection)

DreamWorks Animation has been working for a while on a comedy called The Bad Guys (based on the Scholastic Kids book series) about a group of animal criminals that was originally supposed to come out this November, but was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic until next year on April 15, 2022. The movie is less than a year away from release, but it was only this week that we found out the voice cast will include Awkwafina, Anthony Ramos (In the Heights), Sam Rockwell, Zazie Beetz, Marc Maron, Craig Robinson. In related news, Searchlight Pictures announced this week that their previously-untitled murder mystery starring Sam Rockwell and Saoirse Ronan will be called See How They Run, and it will be release sometime in 2022.


7. MYSTERIOUS PREDATOR PREQUEL SKULL COMPARED TO SURVIVAL THRILLER THE REVENANT

(Photo by Fox/Everett Collection)

10 Cloverfield Lane director Dan Trachtenberg is currently about 75% finished filming his next project, which was confirmed this week to be titled Skull. What that title doesn’t tell you is that the film is actually a prequel to a fan favorite sci-fi action franchise: It will tell the story of the the alien hunters from the Predator series in a survival thriller set some time in the past that’s being compared to the The Revenant. The only known Skull cast member right now is Amber Midthunder (Legion, The Ice Road), who was reportedly cast as a “Comanche warrior woman” who is forced to fight a Predator.


8. THE CHI STAR JOINS HOUSE PARTY REMAKE AFTER CAST SHAKEUP

(Photo by Showtime)

Hollywood’s remake fever has nearly run out of ideal properties from the 1980s, so the trend is starting to move more and more towards revisiting the 1990s (and by the end of the 2020s, we’ll probably start seeing lots of remakes from the 2000s). After several years of development, New Line Cinema is ready to start filming their remake of the 1990 Kid ‘n Play comedy hit House Party. Tosin Cole (Ryan Sinclair from Doctor Who) and Jorge Lendeborg Jr (Bumblebee) had been cast in April, but Lendeborg reportedly recently dropped out “to focus on his mental well-being.” His role will instead go to Jacob Latimore of the Showtime series The Chi. The original House Party was an ensemble comedy, so this remake probably will be as well, but none of those roles have been announced yet.


9. SCARLETT JOHANSSON SUES DISNEY OVER BLACK WIDOW STREAMING STRATEGY

(Photo by Marvel Studios)

Walt Disney Pictures received criticism for their decision to stream Black Widow day-and-date with the theatrical release, which has resulted in s its international box office looking like it will to end up about where Scarlett Johansson’s Lucy ($463 million) did — far below most MCU films. Johansson took on the issue directly this week by filing a lawsuit against Disney, accusing the studio over a breach of contract. Key to Johansson’s suit is that her contract was based on bonuses from the box office performance of Black Widow, which the lawsuit alleges were significantly reduced because of the decision to stream Black Widow on Disney+.  Disney responded by calling the lawsuit “sad and distressing in its callous disregard for the horrific and prolonged global effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.” Johansson’s agent replied to that as being a “direct attack on her character.” More reactions can be read here. What is unclear is how this lawsuit will impact  Johansson’s future dealings with both Marvel Studios and Walt Disney Pictures, where for example, she had just recently developing a movie project based on the Walt Disney Theme Parks attraction Tower of Terror.


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

Tag Cloud

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