Weekly Ketchup

Ip Man Star Donnie Yen Joins John Wick: Chapter 4, and More Movie News

Issa Rae enters the Spider-Verse, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II teams up with Dwayne Johnson, and Damien Chazelle and David O. Russell both recruit big names.

by | June 4, 2021 | Comments

This week’s Ketchup brings you more headlines from the world of film development news, covering such titles as Creed III, Firestarter, and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 2.


This WEEK’S TOP STORY

IP MAN’S DONNIE YEN JOINS JOHN WICK CHAPTER 4

Donnie Yen

(Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/Getty Images)

John Wick (Certified Fresh at 86%) could have “just” been a very well-produced action revenge thriller, but the film’s star Keanu Reeves, director Chad Stahelski, and screenwriter Derek Kolstad figured out a winning formula has has led to sequels and even a spinoff series focused on its secret world of assassins. Production on John Wick: Chapter 4 has been held back a little bit by both the COVID-19 pandemic (and scheduling conflicts with Reeves’ other upcoming #4 sequel, The Matrix 4, scheduled for 12/22/2021), but the pieces are finally coming together for filming to happen at locations in France, Germany, and Japan this summer. Just last week, we learned that pop star Rina Sawayama will make her acting debut in a lead role in John Wick: Chapter 4, and now we know about another big addition to the cast. Hong Kong superstar Donnie Yen has recently increased his Hollywood profile with roles in films like Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (Certified Fresh at 84%) and Disney’s live-action Mulan (Certified Fresh at 72%), and next, he will co-star in John Wick: Chapter 4  as an old friend of Wick’s who shares many of his experiences… and enemies. John Wick: Chapter 4 is currently scheduled for May 27, 2022. Finally, in what is probably a coincidence, both Donnie Yen and Keanu Reeves have been rumored in recent years to be in consideration for the role of Marvel’s Namor the Sub-Mariner, with Yen even Tweeting this audition picture. Marvel Studios has made no official Namor announcements.


Other Top Headlines

1. ISSA RAE JOINS INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE SEQUEL AS SPIDER-WOMAN

Issa Rae

(Photo by Elizabeth Goodenough/Everett Collection)

Some weeks reveal certain trends in development news, and this week, the theme involves stars on the upswing landing big new projects with the potential of expanding their careers. Let’s start with Issa Rae, whose popular YouTube series Awkward Black Girl led to the acclaimed HBO series Insecure (Fresh at 96%), which likewise led to a supporting role in The Hate U Give (Certified Fresh at 97%) and lead roles in The Photograph (Fresh at 74%), and The Lovebirds (Fresh at 65%). Issa Rae will also provide the voice of Jessica Drew, AKA Spider-Woman, in the upcoming sequel to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (Certified Fresh at 97%) as the sequel’s first new cast member. It is not yet known if Rae might also be in the running to play the role also suspected to be Jessica Drew in the untitled female-centric Spider-Man spinoff that director Olivia Wilde is currently developing (though it’s also worth noting that there have been a few different Marvel heroes all called Spider-Woman). The Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse sequel is currently scheduled for release on October 7, 2022. Although Shameik Moore and Hailee Steinfeld are both confirmed to be returning, other stars like Nicolas Cage (as Spider-Man Noir) and John Mulaney (as Peter Porker/Spider-Ham) haven’t yet been announced.


2. DWAYNE JOHNSON AND YAHYA ABDUL-MATEEN II TEAM UP FOR EMERGENCY CONTACT

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Dwayne Johnson

(Photo by Priscilla Grant, Elizabeth Goodenough/Everett Collection)

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II is not yet a “household name,” but his face is becoming more and more familiar following breakout roles in two DC Comics projects, first as the villain Black Manta in Aquaman (Fresh at 65%), and then as nope-we’re-not-spoiling-it in HBO’s Watchmen (Fresh at 96%). Roles in US and The Trial of the Chicago 7 will also soon be followed by performances in the Candyman reboot (8/27/2021), The Matrix 4 (12/22/2021), and Aquaman 2 (12/16/2022) (for which he is currently preparing). Abdul-Mateen II and Dwayne Johnson are teaming up to produce an action movie set in Austin, Texas for Warner Bros. called Emergency Contact, in which Abdul-Mateen II will also star (it’s not yet known if Johnson will have a supporting role, but it sounds like he’s not the film’s star). The premise of Emergency Contact is being kept secret for now, except that it’s a “high-concept, high-octane action film set in Austin,” and that the screenwriters also worked with Dwayne Johnson on his upcoming DC Comics movie Black Adam (7/29/2022).


3. SAMARA WEAVING LEADS NEW ADDITIONS TO CAST OF DAMIEN CHAZELLE’S BABYLON

Samara Weaving

(Photo by Priscilla Grant/Everett Collection)

Damien Chazelle, who won an Academy Award for directing La La Land (Certified Fresh at 91%), and who also directed Whiplash (Certified Fresh at 94%) and First Man (Certified Fresh at 87%), has been trying to get his movie Babylon about Hollywood in the 1920s going for a few years now (much of that delay was caused by COVID-19, obviously). Babylon is going to feature a large ensemble cast led by Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie, which will now also include Samara Weaving (Ready or Not), Max Mingella (The Social Network), Lukas Haas (Witness), Eric Roberts (The Pope of Greenwich Village), and rocker-turned-actor Flea of the band Red Hot Chili Peppers. Katherine Waterston, who co-starred with Joaquin Phoenix in Inherent Vice, also joined Babylon in a separate announcement. Paramount Pictures has scheduled Babylon for a limited release on December 25, 2022 which will then platform to a wide release on January 6, 2023.


4. ROBERT DE NIRO, ANYA TAYLOR-JOY, CHRIS ROCK, AND TAYLOR SWIFT AMONG NEW ADDITIONS TO DAVID O. RUSSELL’S LATEST ENSEMBLE

Taylor Swift

(Photo by JA/Everett Collection)

Another director who is assembling an ambitious ensemble for his next project is David O. Russell, whose last film six years ago was the 2015 “Miracle Mop” movie Joy, starring Jennifer Lawrence. We’ve known for a while now that the leads in his next film will be Christian Bale and Margot Robbie, supported by John David Washington, Rami Malek, and Zoe Saldana. This week, however, the cast list sort of ballooned to include Robert De Niro, Mike Myers, Alessandro Nivola, Timothy Olyphant, Andrea Riseborough, Chris Rock, Matthias Schoenaerts, Michael Shannon, Anya Taylor-Joy, and pop singer Taylor Swift, in a relatively rare acting performance (Swift’s first since Cats). Both the premise and the title of this film are currently being kept secret by 20th Century Studios. Having said that, past reports have described the lead characters as being “a doctor and a lawyer who form an unlikely partnership.”


5. JONATHAN MAJORS TO PLAY ADONIS’ NEXT OPPONENT IN CREED III

Jonathan Majors

(Photo by The Washington Post/Getty Images)

Even lifelong Rocky fans probably have to admit that the franchise was seriously struggling before it was revived in 2015 with the spinoff Creed (Certified Fresh at 95%), which turned the focus towards Adonis Creed, the son of Rocky’s friend Apollo, as played by Michael B. Jordan. That film was followed by Creed II (Certified Fresh at 83%), in which Creed squared off against another son of a famous boxer, Ivan Drago, who killed Apollo in Rocky IV (Rotten at 40%). We don’t yet know the premise for Creed III (with which Michael B. Jordan will make his feature film directorial debut), but we do now know that Adonis’ new boxing opponent will be played by Jonathan Majors of HBO’s Lovecraft Country. As expected, fans were quick to speculate about who Majors might play, with the most common guess being the son (or some other relative) of Clubber Lang, who was played in Rocky III (Fresh at 63%) by Mr. T, whose last major role was over 10 years ago in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (Certified Fresh at 86%). It is not yet known how the recent acquisition of MGM by Amazon might impact the theatrical release of Creed III.


6. TIFFANY HADDISH TO PORTRAY FLORENCE GRIFFITH JOYNER IN NEW BIOPIC

Tiffany Haddish in Girls Trip

(Photo by Michele K. Short/Universal Pictures)

The recent career of Tiffany Haddish has been so prolific and ubiquitous that it might be easy to forget that her breakout role in Girls Trip (Certified Fresh at 91%) came just four years ago in 2017. Haddish hasn’t had that much time to expand into other genres besides comedy, but she is indeed taking her shot at an ambitious dramatic role that will also require (ostensibly) a good amount of physical personal training, as she is producing and will star in a biopic about the life of three-time Olympic gold medalist Florence Griffith Joyner, popularly known as “Flo-Jo.” Florence Griffith Joyner (who died in 1998) was an American track and field athlete who in 1988 set still-standing world records in both the 100 meter and 200 meter dash, and then retired less than a year later. Tiffany Haddish will also be producing a documentary series about “Flo-Jo” as a companion to the narrative feature.


7. GLENN CLOSE JOINS TWINS-STYLE COMEDY BROTHERS

Glenn Close in The Wife

(Photo by Sony Pictures Classics)

A little over a year ago, The Weekly Ketchup reported Avengers: Infinity War co-stars Josh Brolin and Peter Dinklage were signed to co-star in a Twins-style comedy called Brothers for director Macon Blair (I Don’t Feel At Home in This World Anymore, Certified Fresh at 89%). Before we get to this week’s actual news, this is a good place to remind everyone that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is now so big that its list of illustrious alumni is massive. That being said, yes, Brothers is going to feature another MCU star, and that will be Glenn Close, who appeared in Guardians of the Galaxy (Certified Fresh at 92%) as the leader of the Nova Corps. Close’s role in Brothers isn’t yet known, but an obvious guess is that she could be playing the mother of the two siblings played by Brolin and Dinklage. (Collider also pointed out that Glenn Close did play the mother of Ed Helms and Owen Wilson in the similarly-titled Father Figures in 2017.)

8. IT: CHAPTER TWO ALUM JOINS REBOOT OF STEPHEN KING ADAPTATION FIRESTARTER

Ryan Kiera Armstrong

(Photo by Michael Tran/Getty Images)

One of the more memorable “kills” in IT: Chapter Two (Fresh at 62%) is the moment when a young girl is pulled under the bleachers by Pennywise the evil clown. That girl was played by 8-year-old Ryan Kiera Armstrong, who is now 11, and she has been cast as the lead in another Stephen King adaptation, the reboot of Firestarter, which was first adapted as a 1984 movie (Rotten at 37%) starring Drew Barrymore. The announcement of Armstrong’s casting came along with a set photo of Armstrong in character, wearing a jacket that looks like it might have been in or around, you know, a fire. Armstrong joins a cast that includes the already announced Zac Efron as her father (originally played by David Keith) and Michael Greyeyes as the Native American government agent assigned to befriend her (controversially played by George C. Scott in the original film). Former ER star Gloria Reuben also landed a Firestarter role this week.


9. ALICIA SILVERSTONE RETURNS TO HIGH SCHOOL IN REBEL WILSON COMEDY SCHOOL YEAR

Alicia Silverstone in Clueless

(Photo by ©Paramount Pictures courtesy Everett Collection)

It has been over 25 years since the now-classic teen comedy Clueless (Certified Fresh at 81%), and the career of its star Alicia Silverstone has taken her a lot of places, including Gotham City as Batgirl (Batman & Robin, Rotten at 12%). Silverstone, now 44, is signed to return to high school (sort of) in the Paramount Players high school comedy Senior Year. Rebel Wilson will star in Senior Year as a cheerleader who wakes up from a coma after 20 years to return to her high school “to regain her status and claim the prom queen crown that eluded her.”


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

Tag Cloud

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