This week’s Ketchup brings you more headlines from the world of film development news, covering such titles as American Pie, Armor Wars, Deadpool 3, and Nosferatu.
(Photo by ©Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
At their big Disney+ event in December of 2020, Disney announced two Disney+ series that were essentially Iron Man spinoffs: Ironheart (which is still set to be a show in 2023) and Armor Wars, based on the classic 1980s comic book storyline and focused on Don Cheadle’s War Machine character. Marvel has decided, however, to change course entirely with Armor Wars and develop the adaptation as a feature film instead of a Disney+ series. When Armor Wars was still planned as a series, production was expected to start sometime in 2023, but this change reportedly also pushes it farther down Marvel’s production slate (i.e. a filming start after 2023) and to a release date probably sometime after 2024 at the earliest. If Armor Wars has a premise similar to the comic book storyline, it will involve War Machine attempting to defeat various villains who wear armored suits that are derived from Tony Stark’s inventions. The Armor Wars screenplay is being adapted by TV writer and showrunner Yassir Lester, whose credits include Black Monday.
(Photo by @VancityReynolds)
As fans await the full-fledged introduction of the mutants into the MCU, there has been quite a bit of speculation on social media about who might play the classic X-Men characters. That discussion has also apparently included actors like Taron Egerton, who in July said that he spoke to Marvel about possibly playing Wolverine. Given the timey-wimey-wibbly-wobbly nature of the Multiverse, it may yet come to pass that a new actor will play Wolverine, but for now, it appears that the next time he will appear in a big expensive action movie, he is once again going to be played by Hugh Jackman. Jackman will reprise the role in Deadpool 3 (9/6/2024) alongside Ryan Reynolds, who he joined on Twitter for an announcement video (the quiet parts of which have already been deciphered by a lip reader). The new Deadpool 3 logo was also revealed this week, which playfully uses Wolverine’s claws to form the III. As for how the new film might impact Hugh Jackman’s previous Wolverine film Logan, Jackman was quick to clarify that the events of Logan and those in Deadpool 3 are separate stories, and Logan director James Mangold likewise told fans, “Everybody chill… I’m all good!” In related news, upon hearing that Hugh Jackman is returning as Wolverine (in Deadpool 3 at least), Elizabeth Olsen expressed excitement about her Scarlet Witch character someday teaming up with the X-Men.
(Photo by ©Fox Searchlight Pictures)
The world is still waiting on the 2023 release of Poor Things, the latest film from Yorgos Lanthimos, the director of acclaimed films like The Lobster (Certified Fresh at 87%) and The Favourite
(Certified Fresh at 93%). Lanthimos, however, is already preparing for his next film, simply titled AND, which will be his third film with star Emma Stone, who starred in both The Favourite and the aforementioned Poor Things. Her Poor Things co-star Willem Dafoe has also been cast in AND, along with Jesse Plemons and Margaret Qualley. The premise of AND, which starts filming in New Orleans in October, has not been revealed.
(Photo by Everett Collection)
Back in 2016, not long after the release of his first film The Witch (Certified Fresh at 90%), director Robert Eggers announced his plans to remake the classic silent German vampire movie Nosferatu as his next feature film. That, however, obviously didn’t happen, because his next film was The Lighthouse (Certified Fresh at 90%), which was followed this year by The Northman (Certified Fresh at 89%). The Nosferatu remake delays were such that Eggers was quoted earlier this year as doubting whether it would ever happen at all. Focus Features, the company behind The Northman, is now moving forward with Robert Eggers’ Nosferatu, with Bill Skarsgård (Pennywise in the IT movies, and also the brother of The Northman star Alexander Skarsgård) attached to star as the title vampire and Lily-Rose Depp in talks to co-star as the “haunted young woman… in 19th century Germany” who he stalks.
(Photo by ©20th Century Fox Film Corp.)
Sir Anthony Hopkins may always be best known for his chilling role as Hannibal Lecter in 1991’s The Silence of the Lambs (Certified Fresh at 95%) and its sequels, but over a decade earlier, he had also starred in another creepy movie called Magic (Fresh at 86%). In Magic, Hopkins played a washed-up stage magician whose career takes off when he becomes a ventriloquist with a dummy named Fats, which sparks a psychological war between the two halves of the ventriloquist’s personality. Magic may be nearly forgotten now, but director Sam Raimi is planning to revive the film with a new remake that he will produce and direct. Raimi’s producing partner will be Roy Lee, whose credits include Quarantine, The Strangers, The Boy, and Don’t Worry Darling.
(Photo by The Washington Post/Getty Images)
After his breakout starring role in HBO’s Lovecraft Country (Fresh at 88%), Jonathan Majors had a surprise role in last year’s Loki (Fresh at 92%) in what turned out to be one of Marvel’s biggest upcoming villains (Kang the Conqueror) in at least Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania and Avengers: The Kang Dynasty (May 2025). In addition to being one of Marvel’s big bads, Jonathan Majors may also soon be taking on another larger-than-life role, as he is now in talks to portray professional basketball star Dennis Rodman in a movie called 48 Hours in Vegas. The film will be based on reportedly true events in 1998 when Rodman asked his Chicago Bulls coach Phil Jackson if he could take a “48-hour trip to Las Vegas in the middle of the 1998 NBA Finals against the Utah Jazz.” 48 Hours in Vegas is being produced for Lionsgate by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, whose directing credits include The LEGO Movie and the recent Jump Street movies.
(Photo by ©Universal Pictures)
The raunchy 1999 teen movie American Pie (Fresh at 61%) helped revive the teen sex comedy for the 2000s and spawned a new franchise for Universal Pictures, including three direct sequels that received theatrical releases and a spin-off American Pie Presents franchise with five direct-to-video movies (and counting). The American Pie franchise is getting a new recipe in the form of a new film (not yet called a reboot, but it sounds like one) from actor and director Sujata Day (Insecure), who pitched and will write a “fresh take” on the concept. The premise of Sujata Day’s American Pie hasn’t been revealed yet, but one possibility is that her film might be more focused on a female perspective than the original was.
(Photo by Elizabeth Goodenough/Everett Collection)
Although Disney has produced and released several films based on their theme park attractions and continues to develop more of them (like Big Thunder Mountain, Space Mountain, and Tower of Terror), down in Florida, there is an entire Disney theme park that remains relatively untouched by such adaptations, EPCOT. Walt Disney’s “Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow” may soon get its turn at the big screen, as Seth Rogen is partnering with Disney to produce a film based upon Figment, the purple dragon who is the mascot for EPCOT’s Imagination Pavillion. Seth Rogen’s Point Grey production company has hired the Pokemon Detective Pikachu screenwriting team of Dan Hernandez and Benji Samit to adapt Figment into a feature film. Although this will be the first Figment solo film, the character did have two previous cameo appearances in Pixar’s Inside Out and Toy Story 4.
(Photo by Jim Spellman/Getty Images)
Forty-five years after his first appearance as the voice of Darth Vader in the first Star Wars (Certified Fresh at 93%) movie in 1977, James Earl Jones has officially stepped away from voicing the character Darth Vader at the age of 91. Although he will himself no longer be voicing the character, he has signed off on Lucasfilm’s plans to use archival voice recordings of him to allow future filmmakers to “utilize artificial intelligence synthetic speech technology to recreate Jones’ younger voice from his previous films.” As of this date, there are no confirmed Star Wars films in which Darth Vader is expected to make an appearance.
(Photo by ©Marvel Studios)
As of this writing, Disney and Marvel still have the vampire-fighting Blade, starring Mahershala Ali, scheduled for release just over a year from now on November 3, 2023. That may, however, soon have to change, as director Bassam Tariq has dropped out of directing Blade just weeks before its scheduled filming start date in November in Atlanta. Tariq, who had landed Blade on the strength of his 2020 film Mogul Mowgli (Certified Fresh at 93%), will still be credited on Blade as an executive producer. Marvel Studios is presumably scrambling to find a replacement for Tariq so that filming can begin in November as planned and Blade won’t have to reschedule its 11/3/2023 release date.