Weekly Ketchup: Jennifer Lawrence Cast in The Hunger Games

Plus, a Russ Meyer biopic, lots of new sci-fi, and Aronofsky leaves The Wolverine.

This Week's Ketchup includes casting news for The Hunger Games and Superman: Man of Steel, biopics about the Somali pirate hostage crisis and filmmaker Russ Meyer, the comic book adaptations Daredevil, Preacher and The Wolverine and half a dozen other science fiction projects.

This Week's Top Story

JENNIFER LAWRENCE WILL COMPETE IN THE HUNGER GAMES

After a casting search that included many other young actresses, the lead in the 2012 adaptation of the bestselling young adult novel The Hunger Games has been cast. Jennifer Lawrence (age 20), who was Oscar nominated this year for Winter's Bone, will star in the Lionsgate production as Katniss Everdeen, a 16-year-old girl living in a post-apocalyptic future who must compete in a fight to the death. Lawrence will also costar in X-Men: First Class as the younger version of Mystique (originally played by Rebecca Romijn). Abigail Breslin, Lyndsy Fonseca, Chloe Moretz, Emma Roberts, Saoirse Ronan and Hailee Steinfeld were all among those that Lionsgate considered for the role. The next role expected to be cast is Peeta Mellark, the boy from Katniss' home district who also must compete in the game. Josh Hutcherson (The Kids Are All Right), Hunter Parrish (Weeds) and Alex Pettyfer (I Am Number Four) are rumored to be in the running to play Peeta. The Hunger Games is planned by Lionsgate as the first of three movies based on Suzanne Collins' trilogy, with The Hunger Games to be followed by Catching Fire and Mockingjay. The film will be directed by Gary Ross (Seabiscuit, Pleasantville) from a script by Billy Ray (cowriter of Volcano, Flightplan). Lionsgate has set a release date for The Hunger Games of March 23, 2012.

Fresh Developments This Week

#1 WHAT PRETTY MUCH EVERYONE FIGURED ABOUT KEVIN COSTNER AND SUPERMAN IS TRUE

One problem with the way movie news trickles out is that sometimes when a rumor is confirmed, it's already considered a fact by the time the actual truth is officially confirmed. That has the tendency to make the story, as big as it might be, seem like non-news by that time. That's the situation this week with the news that, like most people predicted, Kevin Costner has indeed been cast in Superman: Man of Steel (still just the rumored title) as Jonathan Kent, adoptive father to Clark Kent. Kevin Costner joins the already announced Diane Lane as Martha Kent, and of course, British actor Henry Cavill as Superman himself. Of Costner's casting, the Warner Bros press release stated, "Kevin will be able to communicate the quiet strength of this rural American man who raised the greatest superhero of all time." Director Zack Snyder (Watchmen, Sucker Punch) also spoke this week about how his version will differ from previous Superman movies. Offering Batman Begins as an example, Snyder said, "there's that structure: there's the canon that we know about and respect, but on other hand there's this approach that pre-supposes that there haven't been any other movies. In every aspect of design and of story, the whole thing is very much from that perspective of 'Respect the canon but don't be a slave to the movies.'"


#2 TOM HANKS KNOWS A CAPTAIN'S DUTY

Sony Pictures has announced development of a movie based on Richard Phillips' memoir A Captain's Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALs, and Dangerous Days at Sea, with Tom Hanks already signed on to star as Captain Phillips. As the title suggests, the book tells Phillips' true story as the captain of MV Maersk Alabama, the U.S. cargo ship which was held hostage in 2009 by a group of Somali pirates. Phillips offered himself up as a hostage in exchange for the safety of his crew, until the stand off was ultimately ended by the sharpshooting of the Navy SEALs. The book was adapted by screenwriter Billy Ray (cowriter of Volcano, Flightplan), who also adapted The Hunger Games. This true story adaptation joins a few other projects that Tom Hanks is attached to star in, which include the ensemble drama Cloud Atlas, Kathryn Bigelow's South American drama Triple Frontier and the Disney theme park ride adaptation Jungle Cruise, with Toy Story costar Tim Allen.


#3 THE KING OF THE NUDIES GETS HIS OWN BIOPIC

Fox Searchlight is negotiating to acquire the rights to a biopic based upon the life of early exploitation filmmaker Russ Meyer, who had such a reputation for leading ladies with large bosoms that his tombstone proclaims him "The King of the Nudies." Russ Meyer's filmography includes such "classics" as Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!, Vixen!, Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, Supervixens and Beneath the Valley of the Ultra-Vixens. The package includes Oscar nominated director David O. Russell (The Fighter, Three Kings) and screenwriter Merritt Johnson, who is Russell's former assistant (on Three Kings) and the cowriter of the HBO movie Temple Grandin and the upcoming Linda Lovelace biopic Lovelace. As this blog entry points out, David O. Russell has already in the last year been either attached to, or rumored to be associated with, eight other movie projects, including the adaptation of the Uncharted: Drake's Fortune video game, an adaptation of the Cocaine Cowboys documentary and a modern adaption of the Biblical story of Job starring Will Smith. In addition to filmmakers like Quentin Tarantino (in particular) who are known fans of Russ Meyer's films, this biopic may be of particular interest to another major player in the film community. Before becoming much more famous as a film critic, Roger Ebert cowrote (sometimes under a pseudonym) on the Russ Meyer movies Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, Up! and Beneath the Valley of the Ultra-Vixens. It would be very surprising if Ebert doesn't show up as a character in this biopic.


#4 THIS WAS A WEEK FULL OF SCIENCE FICTION MOVIES

This final spot in the "Fresh Developments" column is going to be dedicated to very briefly covering the half a dozen science fiction projects that were announced this week. The possible reason for most of these new projects may be the healthy box office opening of Battle: Los Angeles (or they might just be belated reactions to Avatar). Not all of them are necessarily "fresh," but as a group, I had to put them somewhere. Director Joseph Kosinski (TRON: Legacy) is attached to another Disney science fiction project called Horizons (formerly Oblivion) about "a soldier assigned to patrol a desolate planet who meets a mysterious traveler." This project was actually first announced last summer, but this is the first time it made the Weekly Ketchup. Director Shane Abbess (2007's direct to video Gabriel) will direct 7th Day, based upon a screenplay by Ben Ripley (Source Code), and to be produced by the Dino De Laurentiis Company. 7th Day is about "a voyage to establish a new colony in outer space" and is being described as being like "The Shining on a spaceship." Sony Pictures and producer Neal Moritz (The Fast and the Furious, xXx, I Am Legend) are teaming up for Agent OX, about "a human spy living on an alien planet who must stop an invasion of Earth." 20th Century Fox has acquired an untitled "large scale science fiction adventure film" that has McG (Charlie's Angels, Terminator: Salvation) attached to produce, and possibly direct. No details are known yet about the story, except that it was written by screenwriter David Callaham (cowriter of Doom, The Expendables). 20th Century Fox has also picked up an untitled spec pitch from screenwriter Peter Buchman (Eragon; cowriter of Jurassic Park III) which may have a sci-fi element, which John Moore (who directed the remakes of The Omen and Flight of the Phoenix) is attached to direct. Finally, Paramount Pictures has acquired an untitled science fiction thriller pitch from screenwriter Brian Miller, who won a contest to write the upcoming movie Apollo 18.

Rotten Ideas of the Week

#5 SCREAM 5: THE FRANCHISE SAYS "I'LL BE RIGHT BACK" YET AGAIN

Scream 4 is still almost a month away from release (April 15, 2011), but Dimension Films is already looking for screenwriters for Scream 5. This news confirms the notion that Scream 4 is seen by the studio as the first of a new trilogy of movies in the Scream franchise. There's not much other news about Scream 5 than just the existence of plans to make another movie. This is a borderline Rotten Idea mostly because it's possible that Scream 4 could be a return to horror comedy gold (Scream and Scream 2 had RT Tomatometer scores of 82% and 81%, respectively). Or maybe it isn't (the RT score for Scream 3 was 38%).





#4 AFTER MARS NEEDS MOMS, DISNEY ABANDONS SHIP ON YELLOW SUBMARINE

After the disastrous opening weekend of the Robert Zemeckis-produced motion capture movie Mars Needs Moms, Walt Disney Pictures has jumped ship from Zemeckis' planned remake of The Beatles' Yellow Submarine. The remake was to have been another motion capture animated project, but sources inside Disney are reportedly wanting to move away from the style, citing the way human characters are depicted as being "creepy." Zemeckis is now free to try to set up Yellow Submarine at another studio. However, after three consecutive motion capture movies (The Polar Express, Beowulf and A Christmas Carol), the director is now reportedly considering returning to live action. As a reminder, Zemeckis' successful pre-motion capture career included such hits as Back to the Future, Romancing the Stone, Forrest Gump and Cast Away. Admittedly, this story may not be considered "Rotten" if one thought that the idea of a Yellow Submarine remake was rotten in the first place, but it is bad news for fans of motion capture animation. The style is not quite dead yet, however, as Steven Spielberg's The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn is still on its way December 23, 2011.


#3 THE PREACHER DIRECTOR'S DREAM CAST INCLUDES SHIA LABEOUF AS... ARSEFACE?

A few weeks ago, director D.J. Caruso (Disturbia, Eagle Eye, I Am Number Four) was announced as the new director of the adaptation of Garth Ennis' Preacher comic book series published by Vertigo Comics. Although it's not yet official, and no one has signed on yet, this week Caruso spoke out about his dream cast for three of the leading roles, two of which have previously starred in Caruso's movies. Caruso would like to cast Chris Pine (Star Trek) as Jesse Custer (the title character), Alex Pettyfer as the Saint of Killers and Shia LaBeouf as the tragic figure Arseface. All three are pretty ridiculous choices, I think it is safe to say, to most people who are familiar with Garth Ennis' actual comic book characters. Shia LaBeouf also made the news this week for being attached to star in the Mandalay Pictures adaptation of the Joe Hill novel Horns. Keith Bunin (HBO's In Treatment) adapted the script about a man who wakes up on the first anniversary of his girlfriend's death with a hangover and two horns growing from his head which appear to now give him the ability to make people do what he wants.


#2 WILL DAREDEVIL ECLIPSE 30 DAYS OF NIGHT?

Before Marvel Studios started adapting their own superheroes, many of the best Marvel superhero franchises were made by other studios. The rights to those characters remain off-limits to Marvel as long as the other studios continue to make movies every few years. And so, it's not surprising that 20th Century Fox has X-Men: First Class coming out this year, and has reboot plans for both Fantastic Four and Daredevil. This week, 20th Century Fox announced that director David Slade (30 Days of Night, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse) is in talks to take on their next Daredevil movie. Slade's Daredevil project will continue the story after the 2003 Ben Affleck movie, so it's not entirely a reboot, but Ben Affleck won't be in it. The basis for the new Daredevil movie will be the 1986 "Born Again" storyline, written by Frank Miller, in which the Kingpin learns that Matt Murdock is Daredevil, and uses that information to completely destroy his life, piece by piece. Although writers have worked on a second Daredevil script for Fox in the past, there is no screenwriter currently attached yet, since Slade's hiring. This is one of the week's Rotten Ideas due to the way this movie will keep Daredevil out of Marvel's hands (where he arguably belongs). This writer also thought 30 Days of Night was, how do I put it... icky.


#1 DARREN ARONOFSKY LEAVES THE WOLVERINE, RETURNING IT TO ROTTEN IDEA STATUS

Fan consensus on a movie project has rarely had such a drastic 180 degree turnaround as when Darren Aronofsky (The Wrestler, Black Swan) signed on to direct The Wolverine, the second movie starring the famous mutant. This week, however, Aronofsky and 20th Century Fox announced that he has left The Wolverine to another director (not announced yet). That change puts The Wolverine right back where it previously was, as the sequel to one of the most negatively reviewed (by both critics and fans) superhero movies in recent years. Aronofsky's stated reason for leaving The Wolverine is concern about the production time, saying he discovered that "The Wolverine would keep me out of the country for almost a year." One factor in Aronofsky's decision may be his ongoing divorce from Rachel Weisz, and a possible custody dispute over their son. It would be extremely unfortunate to lose your kid because you were filming a superhero movie overseas. Set in Japan, The Wolverine had also been expected to film there, which may not be as likely now, with the recent tragedy. Hugh Jackman is still attached to star in The Wolverine, and 20th Century Fox is currently "aggressively" looking for a new replacement director.


For more Weekly Ketchup columns by Greg Dean Schmitz, check out the WK archive, and you can contact GDS via Facebook or a RT forum message.

Comments

Ricky M.

Ricky Murphy

kinda sucks that he left wolverine, was looking forward to it because of him!

Mar 18 - 05:16 PM

Odd E.

Odd Even

He could do wonders for The Punisher or Blade.

Mar 18 - 08:23 PM

sirdarkhorse

GiO Herrera

blade.... keep dreaming pal.
besides its all about the x-men...
everybody knows that.

Mar 19 - 12:09 AM

sirdarkhorse

GiO Herrera

me LOVE horns.
and
locke and key coming out soon....
plus
walking dead on dvd.....
clean up in isle three
>geekGasam<

Mar 19 - 12:17 AM

Odd E.

Odd Even

me lovey walking dead.

I CAN DREAM YOU DOUCHE!!!! *Sobs silently*

OOO an new dream. Darren decides to direct the reboot of Spawn. It sounds a lot Black SWAN!!!!

OH wellz.

Mar 19 - 12:38 PM

tommy j.

tommy joseph

im so glad that he chose not to do this movie

Mar 19 - 10:09 PM

General Wiz

Carlos Flores

Unhappy with the hunger games news. I think the book was very good but Jennifer Lawrence just doesn't seem right for the role. It could be good, but if they do cast Alex pettyfer I will loose all hope. I'm also still not sure about superman. While I like Zack Snyder directing style alot I'm not sure if the realistic and dark feel that Nolan's batman films had would work with superman. Scream 5 I'm borderline on. I liked the first two screams to the point that they might be among my all time favorites scream 3 was shit. The horror genre does seem to be dying off though this could be a good time to do a new scream but I'm not sure if it will be good or not.

Mar 18 - 05:32 PM

Noah S.

Noah Simon

well, i think that after a few truly shitfuck cheesy supermans, it could use a dark turn.
zack snyder (tip of the hat for watchmen) would be great (he's a master at staying by the book/comic) and he also makes very enjoyable movies, and that's the goal of comic movies.
christopher nolan would make it too twisty for a superman if you ask me, keep this one short, simple, and dark. but if either director directs it, it'll be at least three and a half hours

Mar 18 - 06:43 PM

Bigbrother

Big Brother

Right, but what young male actor can they get. I think Logan Lerman could make a good Peeta, but can't think of anyone for Gale. Gotta go with a fresh face I think.

Mar 18 - 08:13 PM

Henry O.

Henry Owens

What's wrong with Pettyfer? sure he hasn't had the best choice in movies but he always delivers a good performance (watch tortured)

Mar 19 - 03:34 AM

General Wiz

Carlos Flores

You mean Torment? If so, yes he was good in that but in my opinion he's been fairly weak in everything else. Also, if he was cast, I couldn't help but feel he was cast for his looks as opposed to his talent. I rather have a unknown and not that good looking actor who can act very well to play peeta as opposed to someone who is very good looking and fairly well known but who's acting ability is just average.

Mar 19 - 05:17 AM

Henry O.

Henry Owens

Yeah, I meant torment, sorry for the mistake. And yeah, i'd rather someone else play Saint Of Killers then him, but I think he's gonna turn out to be a pretty neat actor.

Mar 20 - 01:11 AM

General Wiz

Carlos Flores

Also why is hunger games the top story. While i'm very interested in the hunger games i would think yhe x-men news be bigger.

Mar 18 - 05:39 PM

greg_dean_schmitz

Greg Dean Schmitz

The role of Katniss has been one of the most sought after in recent months, and casting speculation has also highly discussed by fans of the books. "The Hunger Games" has the potential of being a young female hit just shy of the "Twilight" movies; the books are very popular. Also, by making it the top story, I avoided having to label it fresh or rotten. :P And Aronofsky leaving The Wolverine is definitely the most rotten story of the week.

Mar 18 - 07:21 PM

DrJonathanCrane

Timothy Bridge

Really upset that Aronofsky's leaving The Wolverine. The first one kinda sucked, but his directing is quite honestly brilliant and could have made it great. That being said, he took the project because he thought the script was great, so if they get a good enough director it could still be good. I trust his judgement.

Superman will always be iffy for me until I see it, because of Zach Snyder. His movies always seem too forcibly violent and I'd hate to see Superman tank. That being said, I like Costner, so his addition I see as a positive thing.

I think the best news is the ditching of the Yellow Submarine remake. That movie is so much fun and such a classic, I would've hated Zemeckis to get his creepy 3D animation fingers all over it. Really hope he stops making those kinds of movies.

Overall kind of a negative week of stories.

Mar 18 - 05:54 PM

TheEmeraldGuy

Bradley Bainter

Sucks to hear about Wolverine losing it's golden ticket to potential revival in his fans' eyes. The "aggresive" last-minute search for a new dircetor gives me that terrible feeling that it's gonnna end up with some infamously lazy director, become the next Jonah Hex, and cause more lulz-filled outcries from fans. It's a real shame, though, since with Aronofsky, we had a shot at restoring a badass superhero back to his rightful status. But with his current family problems (and right after being nominated for some Oscars nevertheless!), it's understandable.

.....oh, and I never thought I'd see DOOM's poster somehow pasted among the Fresh Ideas, even if it was of minor relevance.

Mar 18 - 06:04 PM

rt-ryan

Ryan Fujitani

That was just for kicks. Mostly just to get people thinking exactly what you expressed. ;-)

Mar 18 - 06:07 PM

TheEmeraldGuy

Bradley Bainter

Well then, mission accomplished, RT. Though I can only imagine the day the somehow get away with putting a film by Uwe Boll up on there.....with a major relevance to the film itself. XD

Mar 18 - 06:23 PM

rt-ryan

Ryan Fujitani

That was just for kicks. Mostly just to get people thinking exactly what you expressed. ;-)

Mar 18 - 06:07 PM

TheEmeraldGuy

Bradley Bainter

Well then, mission accomplished, RT. Though I can only imagine the day the somehow get away with putting a film by Uwe Boll up on there.....with a major relevance to the film itself. XD

Mar 18 - 06:23 PM

TheEmeraldGuy

Bradley Bainter

Well then, mission accomplished, RT. Though I can only imagine the day the somehow get away with putting a film by Uwe Boll up on there.....with a major relevance to the film itself. XD

Mar 18 - 06:23 PM

BLaCKWoLF

BLaCKWoLF .

Firstly, I am immensely disappointed about Aronofsky leaving The Wolverine. He is a brilliant Director and if they cannot find a decent replacement, the future might be looking pretty bleak for the upcoming sequel.

Secondly, I simply cannot lie about how excited I am to hear that Kevin Costner will be involved in the new Superman film. This is fantastic news and I am really, really optimistic that a solid cast, quality collaboration and a half decent script could turn out to be the project that really showcases Snyder's true class. All the best to him.

Finally, whether they be good, bad or mediocre, I always love discovering new science fiction films. So the more, the better :).

Mar 18 - 06:40 PM

Wisenheimer

Joshua Dinsmore

If you ask me, and you didn't, I think Hollywood could lay off the sci-fi craze a little bit or else pretty soon half of all the movies made in a year are sci-fis. But I will admit that they do add a little bit of pizazz to a film going experience.

Mar 18 - 09:14 PM

Flash T.

Flash T

Trouble is it's not sci-fi, it's just noise and spaceships.

Mar 19 - 02:32 AM

Noah S.

Noah Simon

well, i think that after a few truly shitfuck cheesy supermans, it could use a dark turn.
zack snyder (tip of the hat for watchmen) would be great (he's a master at staying by the book/comic) and he also makes very enjoyable movies, and that's the goal of comic movies.
christopher nolan would make it too twisty for a superman if you ask me, keep this one short, simple, and dark. but if either director directs it, it'll be at least three and a half hours

Mar 18 - 06:43 PM

greg_dean_schmitz

Greg Dean Schmitz

The role of Katniss has been one of the most sought after in recent months, and casting speculation has also highly discussed by fans of the books. "The Hunger Games" has the potential of being a young female hit just shy of the "Twilight" movies; the books are very popular. Also, by making it the top story, I avoided having to label it fresh or rotten. :P And Aronofsky leaving The Wolverine is definitely the most rotten story of the week.

Mar 18 - 07:21 PM

Bigbrother

Big Brother

Right, but what young male actor can they get. I think Logan Lerman could make a good Peeta, but can't think of anyone for Gale. Gotta go with a fresh face I think.

Mar 18 - 08:13 PM

John Matrix

John Matrix

My... God. Did they go out of their way to find somebody who completely and totally does not understand Preacher to direct it? This just sounds... beyond terrible. The Saint of Killers would ideally be played by an Unforgiven-era Clint Eastwood. Not a talentless pretty-boy. It's obvious that they're going to dumb it down considerably, make it completely PC (yet still try to act like it's edgy), it's obvious that he doesn't 'get' it.

Mar 18 - 08:16 PM

Flash T.

Flash T

Presumably they're going to leave out the 16th generation inbred descendant of Christ?

And yes, I've been hoping for a big screen version of preacher for well over a decade and it looks like (true to form) hollywood are going to fuck it up. Dj caruso really? Was I the only one that saw Eagle Eye???

Mar 19 - 02:36 AM

Flash T.

Flash T

Presumably they're going to leave out the 16th generation inbred descendant of Christ?

And yes, I've been hoping for a big screen version of preacher for well over a decade and it looks like (true to form) hollywood are going to fuck it up. Dj caruso really? Was I the only one that saw Eagle Eye???

Mar 19 - 02:36 AM

John Matrix

John Matrix

Probably. That would be too offensive.

Mar 20 - 08:19 AM

Henry O.

Henry Owens

Uhhh, Pettyfer isn't talentless, he's next generation. He's turning out to become a pretty neat actor.

Mar 19 - 03:38 AM

John Matrix

John Matrix

The Saint of Killers isn't supposed to be "the next generation." In fact, that's the exact OPPOSITE of what he's supposed to be. He's supposed to be a legend, a direct link to the myth of the west. Michael Biehn, Lance Henriksen, and Mickey Rourke would all be fine choices.

Mar 19 - 11:21 AM

King Crunk

King Crunk

Okay, Henry, I am not trying to be a jerk here man, but I do not care how good of an actor Pettyfer is (he has not been anything except boring in what I have seen him in, though), he is wrong for the Saint of Killers! The Saint is a brute of a man who is scary as hell; Pettyfer is not intimidating in the least. Plus he is waaaaay to young.

Mar 19 - 07:04 PM

Henry O.

Henry Owens

I agree, there's plenty of other actors way better for Saint Of Killers. I just don't agree with saying Pettyfer is talentless.

Mar 20 - 01:12 AM

JoCho

Joshua Choate

I can't believe that Preacher news! Wolverine now sucks. And are mustaches cool again?? Terrible week.

Mar 19 - 08:24 PM

anDy

Andreas Babs

I was really curious to see how Aronofsky was going to make of this superhero movie. It would have been reinvented like Nolan did with Batman. Ah well. I'm all the more eager to find out what he has in store next. It's terrible to hear about the divorce problems. Nothing like possibly losing your child. What a tragic thing. Best of luck to Aronofsky.

Wolverine is starting to look doomed it seems.

Mar 18 - 08:21 PM

Odd E.

Odd Even

He could do wonders for The Punisher or Blade.

Mar 18 - 08:23 PM

sirdarkhorse

GiO Herrera

blade.... keep dreaming pal.
besides its all about the x-men...
everybody knows that.

Mar 19 - 12:09 AM

sirdarkhorse

GiO Herrera

me LOVE horns.
and
locke and key coming out soon....
plus
walking dead on dvd.....
clean up in isle three
>geekGasam<

Mar 19 - 12:17 AM

Odd E.

Odd Even

me lovey walking dead.

I CAN DREAM YOU DOUCHE!!!! *Sobs silently*

OOO an new dream. Darren decides to direct the reboot of Spawn. It sounds a lot Black SWAN!!!!

OH wellz.

Mar 19 - 12:38 PM

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