Weekly Ketchup: Disney Plans Live Action Cruella de Vil Movie

Plus, new roles for Hugh Jackman, James Franco, and Jennifer Lopez.

This week's Ketchup is heavy on movie development news stories involving fantasy/fairy tales (The Chronicles of Narnia, Maleficent, and Happily Ever After), science fiction (Chappie and Home), comedy sequels (Horrible Bosses 2 and Ted 2), and comic book adaptations in general (almost everything else).


This Week's Top Story

DISNEY FOLLOWS UP MALEFICENT WITH CRUELLA (FROM 101 DALMATIANS)

In addition to their other franchises like (take a deep breath here) Marvel Studios, Pixar, Star Wars, Pirates of the Caribbean, and the live action reboots of classics like Alice in Wonderland, it's now looking like Walt Disney Pictures is developing another. In addition to the Sleeping Beauty prequel focusing on Maleficent (played by Angelina Jolie) that Disney is releasing on May 30, 2014, the studio is now developing another villain-centric spinoff. Walt Disney Pictures has hired screenwriter Aline Brosh McKenna (27 Dresses, The Devil Wears Prada) to work on Cruella, focusing on the fur-loving villain Cruella De Vil from 101 Dalmatians. Unlike with many of the other recent live action movies Disney has either made or has coming up, Cruella De Vil has the distinction of having already been portrayed (by Glenn Close) in a live action Disney movie. There's no word yet about who might star as the new Cruella. Perhaps Meryl Streep (who's costarring as the Witch in Disney's upcoming Into the Woods musical) could slap on a black-and-white fright wig and reunite with her Devil Wears Prada screenwriter?

Fresh Developments This Week

#1 HUGH JACKMAN JOINS ELYSIUM DIRECTOR'S NEXT SCI-FI MOVIE CHAPPIE

We've known for a while that South African actor Sharlto Copley was going to make his feature film collaboration streak with director Neill Blomkamp a three-for-three with Chappie (after District 9 and this year's Elysium). Copley will play (via performance capture) a sort of "Robot Cop" in Chappie, which is described as a science-fiction-gangster-crime-comedy. What we didn't know was whether Chappie would have any big movie stars, ala Matt Damon and Jodie Foster in Elysium. Well, now we do, because Hugh Jackman has revealed that he will be filming Chappie in Johannesburg, South Africa in early 2014. It appears that Jackman may be playing a corporate type who gets involved with the evil gangster types. If you're reading this article in 2015 or later, you can probably laugh at how wrong that description gets it.


#2 THREE STARS OF FREAKS AND GEEKS REUNITE FOR THE INTERVIEW

NBC may not have known what to do with Freaks and Geeks back in the 1999-2000 season, but it's definitely a show that keeps on giving, as its cast and crew are nowadays nearly a Who's Who in comedy and film (if you can forgive a somewhat mixed metaphor). Things came together quickly this week for the Columbia Pictures comedy The Interview which now has two Freaks and Geeks regulars, and one recurring character attached to costar. James Franco will play a talk show host, and Seth Rogen will play his producer, in a comedy about a plot to assassinate the prime minister of North Korea orchestrated by a CIA agent played by Lizzy Caplan. Rogen will also codirect with his frequent partner Evan Goldberg (they also codirected This is the End, and are collaborating on the R-rated animated comedy Sausage Party, also for Sony Pictures). The Interview will be filmed in British Columbia from October 10 to December 20 this fall.


#3 A GOOD WEEK FOR CREATOR-OWNED COMICS MOVIES: COWARD, KINDGARTEN HEROES, WHO IS JAKE ELLIS?

Most of the press continues to go to more traditional superhero movies from Marvel and DC, but this week was chock full of announcements that remind us that there's also plenty of movies in the works from outside the "Big Two." This was most embodied by the new first look deal between 20th Century Fox and Boom! Studios, who had a hit this year with 2 Guns (though that was with Universal Pictures, not Fox). The deal is seen as being innovative because it splits the earnings 50-50 between the publisher and the creators of the respective comics. 20th Century Fox also made a deal this week with Mark Millar (Wanted, Kick-Ass), who is currently acting as a creative Godfather to their various Marvel projects (The Fantastic Four, X-Men: Days of Future Past, and X-Force). The new deal covers Millar's upcoming Kindergarten Heroes, which is exactly what it sounds like, as it depicts toddler superheroes (something that Marvel has already been doing for years with X-Babies, by the way). 20th Century Fox has also made a deal with Image Comics for a movie based on the espionage comic Who is Jake Ellis?, about a former CIA analyst on the run who is aided by the mysterious title character, who appears to be invisible to everyone else but him. Four time Harry Potter director David Yates is attached to Who is Jake Ellis?, but it will have to wait until some point after he directs Warner Bros' upcoming reboot of Tarzan. Finally, there is the movie version of Coward, the first book in the Criminal graphic novel series written by Ed Brubaker, who's most famous for his years of work with Marvel on Captain America and Winter Soldier. Coward will be directed by Korean director Kim Jee-Woon (I Saw the Devil), who made his English-language debut this year with The Last Stand.


#4 RELEASE DATES IN 2014 AND 2015 ANNOUNCED FOR WARCRAFT, TED 2, AND HORRIBLE BOSSES 2

Normally, release dates don't get included in this column about movie development news, but this was sort of a slow week (volume wise, at least). So, to give you ten stories, here's a little padding in the form of three release date announcements for two comedy sequels and a highly anticipated video game adaptation, in chronological order. First up, there will be Horrible Bosses 2, which New Line Cinema has scheduled for November 26, 2014. The other movie scheduled for that date is the DreamWorks Animation alien comedy Home, which you can read more about below. Then, on June 26, 2015, Universal Pictures will release the comedy sequel Ted 2. The sequel currently has that date to itself, but it comes a week after Pixar's Inside Out and the video game adaptation Assassin's Creed, and a week before the Terminator reboot and the sequel ID Forever Part 1. Finally, also from Universal Pictures (and Legendary Pictures), is the video game adaptation Warcraft, which will be released on December 18, 2015, the same date as Ron Howard's Inferno, based upon the novel by Dan Brown. There's also speculation that sometime in late December, 2015, Disney will be releasing Star Wars Episode VIII.


#5 JENNIFER LOPEZ AND STEVE MARTIN WILL MAKE THE DREAMWORKS FACE IN 2014'S HOME

A popular movie trope that appeared online in the last year or two was the "DreamWorks Face," which takes its form in photo montages from various DreamWorks Animation movies (The Bee Movie, Shrek, and Megamind are usually used), pointing out similar smirks and crooked eyebrows in the artwork. Of course, this sort of thing is also done in Disney, Pixar, and Blue Sky movies, but it's DreamWorks Animation that has been singled out. Anyway, 2014 is going to be a big year for DreamWorks Animation, with three movies scheduled, starting with Mr. Peabody & Sherman (3/7/14) and How to Train Your Dragon 2 (6/13/14). The third movie will be the generically titled Home (11/26/14), which was formerly called Happy Smekday!, which took its title from the book The True Meaning of Smekday, which the movie adapts. Home will be set in a future after which an alien race has invaded Earth, and started to relocate humans elsewhere, thinking that they are doing Earthers a favor. Rihanna and Jim Parsons have been attached for a while as the voice leads, but this week, Jennifer Lopez and Steve Martin also signed on. Martin will be voicing "Captain Smek, leader of the overly optimistic alien race known as the Boov, who take over Earth and begin to relocate the human race." Home is being directed by Tim Johnson, whose previous films include Antz, Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas, and Over the Hedge.

Rotten Ideas of the Week

#4 REESE WITHERSPOON AND DISNEY TO SPOOF FAIRY TALES WITH HAPPILY EVER AFTER

Reese Witherspoon is attached to star in Happily Ever After, a fairy tale comedy that Walt Disney Pictures is developing with producer Nahnatchka Khan (TV's Unfabulous and Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23) and Witherspoon's own Pacific Standard production company. Happily Ever After got its start as a pitch two years ago, and the basic concept is, "to catch up with a prince and princess about 10 years after they have ridden off into the sunset for their "happily ever after." The couple discovers that even in fairy-tale land, you have to work to keep your relationship and your life together." Happily Ever After will have to wait a while to actually get made, however, as Reese Witherspoon's next film will be Wild, the adaptation of the memoir by Cheryl Strayed. This is one of the week's Rotten Ideas based upon the RT Tomatometer for Reese Witherspoon, who has had only 4 "Fresh" movies among her last 16 films.


#3 WRITER NEWS FOR NON-MARVEL MARVEL MOVIES PART 1: THE FANTASTIC FOUR REMAKE

It's a continuing fact that explaining the difference between "Marvel Studios" movies and the other Marvel movies that Marvel isn't technically making can be quite confusing to those who, you know, have other things to worry about in life. Anyway, two of those big non-Marvel-Studios franchises (at separate studios) both got news this week concerning who will be writing future films. First up, let's discuss 20th Century Fox's planned reboot of the team that got Marvel's Silver Age off to its start back in 1961, which they are calling The Fantastic Four (the "The" doesn't usually appear in the comic book titles). 20th Century Fox has rather optimistically been sticking with stated plans for a March 6, 2015 release date for The Fantastic Four, but the continuing revolving door of writers and the ticking of the clock seems to be putting that closer to question. Fox is hoping that producer/writer Simon Kinberg can turn things around, as Kinberg is expected to be "overhauling the script substantially," which gives us a hint at how messed up Fox thinks The Fantastic Four is right now. Simon Kinberg had sole screenwriting credit on Mr. & Mrs. Smith and the sequel xXx: State of the Union, and also cowrote Brett Ratner's X-Men: The Last Stand and the upcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past. Here's Simon Kinberg's RT Tomatometer page for more insight on why this is one of the week's Rotten Ideas.


#2 WRITER NEWS FOR NON-MARVEL MARVEL MOVIES PART 2: THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 3

A studio that is more confident about its writers is Sony Pictures, which has recruited the writers of next year's The Amazing Spider-Man 2 to also start work on writing The Amazing Spider-Man 3. Those three writers are Jeff Pinkner (of TV's LOST and Fringe) and the team of Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, whose work on the Transformers and Star Trek franchises have, let's say, "united" fans online. Sony Pictures has scheduled The Amazing Spider-Man 3 for June 10, 2016, and (already) The Amazing Spider-Man 4 for May 4, 2018. Although The Amazing Spider-Man has a Fresh score of 77% on the RT Tomatometer, we're talking about different screenwriters for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (and TASM3). A look at Roberto Orci's RT Tomatometer page gives you an idea of why this is one of the week's Rotten Ideas.


#1 NARNIA LIVES ON WITH THE FOURTH MOVIE THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE SILVER CHAIR

After Walden Media released The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader in 2010, it appeared that the film franchise would be ending with the third movie, despite it being an overlooked box office success ($415 million worldwide), and the #12 top grossing movie of the year. This week, the C.S. Lewis Company announced plans to continue the franchise forward with an adaptation of the fourth book, entitled The Chronicles of Narnia: The Silver Chair. This particular book is also a good point at which to somewhat reboot the franchise, post-Walden, as only a few characters from previous books also appear in The Silver Chair (Aslan the Lion, a very elderly Prince Caspian, and Eustace Scrubb). Will Poulter (Son of Rambow) played Eustace Scrubb in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, but due to him now being in his 20s, he would likely be recast for this new film. Instead of Walden Media, this newest Narnia movie will be produced by The Mark Gordon Company, which is known for successes in both television (Criminal Minds, Grey's Anatomy) and film (Saving Private Ryan, Speed, The Patriot), and Mark Gordon himself is the president of the Producers Guild of America.

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

Comments

Jennifer Reid

Jennifer Reid

A movie for Inferno already? What happened to 'The Lost Symbol'? :(

Oct 4 - 05:07 PM

Typhon

Typhon Q

They're skipping it to take advantage of the momentum that Inferno has in book sales right now.

Oct 4 - 06:24 PM

Wyatt Person

Wyatt Person

Too little, too late, essentially.

Oct 5 - 05:03 AM

This comment has been removed.

Andrew Ochwat

Andrew Ochwat

Please, shut your face.

Oct 5 - 08:54 AM

William Ackerman

William Ackerman

Top Story: I'll wait to see how good Maleficent is before I judge this one. They already did live action 101 Dalmatians, so I don't know why they would do this one next.
Fresh 1:Could be interesting.
2.Yawnville
3.Yawnville
4.I'm sure they'll all suck
5.I don't think the concept sound too interesting; also animated sci fi movies with the exception of Lilo and Stitch usually suck.
Rotten 1: What a tired concept, with the likes of Shrek and Enchanted that already exist.
2. Yawnville
3. I'm sure it still would have been worse than Sam Raimi's anyway.
4. Why is this rotten? It sounds promising to reboot the franchise, after the last two sequels became more and more generic fantasy.

Oct 4 - 05:25 PM

Frisby2007

Frisby 2007

Top Story:

I am so looking forward to this (but I look more forward to Maleficent). What makes this even more interesting is that the writer of "The Devil Wears Prada" is on this project; I don't think there is a more suited writer for it (and Cruella DOES have that vibe). But I don't see how any other female actress could do better than Close did as Cruella.

Fresh:

1. Haven't seen Elysium yet, but since this project has District 9's Blomkamp behind it I can say I look forward to it. Though I'm still waiting on more news from Blomkamp about that District 9 sequel rumor.

2. Can't stand Franco, & I cannot forgive him or Raimi for that horrible 'performance' as OZ. Yawnville.

3. More Yawnville.

4. Ted 2? Horrible Bosses 2? Assassin's Creed & Warcraft!?!?! Definitely loving this section in news! The Pixar part can die in a fire :D

5. Love Dreamworks' stuff (most of them, at least) but none of the movies they're releasing in 2014 sound interesting.

Rotten:

4. Having a bad RT tomatometer count won't detract the fact of how great of an actress Witherspoon remains. BUt this idea itself sounds really bad. Almost as if Disney wanted to try their own take on that "Happily N'Ever After" movie (horrible animated movie, btw)

3. Couldn't stand the previous Fantastic four movies, don't care about this.

2. I love how RT thinks that a tomatometer automatically makes something Fresh or Rotten. If there would be Cars 3 news, it would most likely land as Fresh mostly due to the fact that Lasster or Pixar is involved. Regardless, I still don't see how this is rotten news.

1) I didn't bother watching Voyage of the Dawn, & I didn't really care for Prince Caspian (Ben Barnes sucks), but how is this rotten?

Oct 4 - 05:56 PM

The.Watcher

The Watcher

02. Seeing as how, back in the day, Cars 2 news was billed as Rotten, I highly doubt it.

Oct 4 - 06:05 PM

King  S.

King Simba

"I love how RT thinks that a tomatometer automatically makes something Fresh or Rotten."

Technically it does. The whole fresh/rotten thing comes from the tomatometer score.

Oct 5 - 01:16 AM

Wyatt Person

Wyatt Person

Logic'd.

Oct 5 - 05:04 AM

The.Watcher

The Watcher

Nothing about this week's news makes me happy. I still have hope for Blomkamp, despite thinking that Elysium was surprisingly awful (it looked pretty, but everything else was a mess). I'll chalk that up to the sophomore curse, and hope Chappie will be better. It sure as hell sounds interesting.

Fox should Alt its F4 and let it revert back to Marvel. If, after the horrendous abominations that were the first two pieces of shit, FOX is ordering a substantial rewrite of the new script, I can only guess at how putrid it really is.

Does anyone care about Narnia? Didn't the third one fail hard? The only time I enjoyed anything Narnia was when the lion got killed in a flashback in Fables.

Oct 4 - 06:04 PM

Wyatt Person

Wyatt Person

Oh my God, I would squee if FF went back to Marvel. Fat chance, what with the dollar signs in Fox's eyes.

Oct 5 - 05:05 AM

The.Watcher

The Watcher

02. Seeing as how, back in the day, Cars 2 news was billed as Rotten, I highly doubt it.

Oct 4 - 06:05 PM

Typhon

Typhon Q

Top: Disney should really make sure that this evil lad origin formula actually works before cranking out so many of them.

1. Chappie is something I will be looking forward to.

4. 2015 is just going berserk.

Rotten 3. Fantastic 4 is gonna have to work a miracle to pull itself out of the abyss known as Rise of the Silver Surfer.

Rotten 2. Eh. I feel like these guys are decent writers.

Rotten 1. Why is this rotten again???

Oct 4 - 06:24 PM

Typhon

Typhon Q

They're skipping it to take advantage of the momentum that Inferno has in book sales right now.

Oct 4 - 06:24 PM

The Wolf of Wall Street

Jordan Belfort

Oh god please not more Narnia. Those movies are tough to sit through

Oct 4 - 07:14 PM

Joseph  E.

Joseph Enoch

The first one was good, second was slightly better, the 3rd was crap.

Oct 4 - 07:56 PM

RoHiT

Good Looking RoHiT

All three movies were extremely funny !

Oct 4 - 08:56 PM

Typhon

Typhon Q

I think that we can all agree that it would have been better to finish the Narnia movies than have to have gone through all the Twilight movies. (If they can even be called movies)

Oct 4 - 09:04 PM

Frisby2007

Frisby 2007

They're movies. End of story.

Oct 7 - 03:16 AM

The Wolf of Wall Street

Jordan Belfort

I hated all three. Except maybe the 2nd one, still didn't like it though.

Oct 4 - 09:14 PM

Jared Gullage

Jared Gullage

Why is Narnia such a rotten idea? I liked the ones that are out.

Oct 4 - 07:33 PM

Gary Devenport

Gary Devenport

Most other people didn't.

Oct 4 - 09:07 PM

Joseph  E.

Joseph Enoch

The first one was good, second was slightly better, the 3rd was crap.

Oct 4 - 07:56 PM

RoHiT

Good Looking RoHiT

All three movies were extremely funny !

Oct 4 - 08:56 PM

Typhon

Typhon Q

I think that we can all agree that it would have been better to finish the Narnia movies than have to have gone through all the Twilight movies. (If they can even be called movies)

Oct 4 - 09:04 PM

Frisby2007

Frisby 2007

They're movies. End of story.

Oct 7 - 03:16 AM

The Wolf of Wall Street

Jordan Belfort

I hated all three. Except maybe the 2nd one, still didn't like it though.

Oct 4 - 09:14 PM

RoHiT

Good Looking RoHiT

All three movies were extremely funny !

Oct 4 - 08:56 PM

Typhon

Typhon Q

I think that we can all agree that it would have been better to finish the Narnia movies than have to have gone through all the Twilight movies. (If they can even be called movies)

Oct 4 - 09:04 PM

Frisby2007

Frisby 2007

They're movies. End of story.

Oct 7 - 03:16 AM

Typhon

Typhon Q

I think that we can all agree that it would have been better to finish the Narnia movies than have to have gone through all the Twilight movies. (If they can even be called movies)

Oct 4 - 09:04 PM

Gary Devenport

Gary Devenport

Most other people didn't.

Oct 4 - 09:07 PM

The Wolf of Wall Street

Jordan Belfort

I hated all three. Except maybe the 2nd one, still didn't like it though.

Oct 4 - 09:14 PM

King  S.

King Simba

"I love how RT thinks that a tomatometer automatically makes something Fresh or Rotten."

Technically it does. The whole fresh/rotten thing comes from the tomatometer score.

Oct 5 - 01:16 AM

Wyatt Person

Wyatt Person

Logic'd.

Oct 5 - 05:04 AM

King  S.

King Simba

So far all these live actions versions of stories already done in animation have paled in comparison to their animated counterparts. Maybe these villain focused stories will change that, but I have my doubts. Having the villain be the focus of the story works if the villain has a tragic story behind him/her (Darth Vader, Two Face). Cruella De Vil is iconic in her simplicity. She's an evil rich lady who wants to kill puppies for coats. Hell, her name alone tells you that this is a bad person. She just isn't suited to be the main character, unless they want to give her an origin, which would completely ruin her (what, she only wants to do this because her parents were murdered by a viscous dog?) Despite the screenwriter of Devil Wears Prada, this is giving off all the warning signals of Rob Zombie's Halloween.

A science fiction comedy? Sounds like a change in pace for Neil Blomkamp. Really hope it works out.

What is it with announcing movie plans for Mark Millar comics that haven't been released? Anyway, Kindergarden Heroes sounds dumb. It could work as an animated film, but live action? The other two sound more interesting, and they've gotten talented directors behind them as well (though we'll see with Tarzan how David Yates will handle non-Potter related material).

Warcraft better hope Star Wars doesn't get a 2015 december release date, or it's going to be eaten alive by that film (as if it didn't have enough to worry about as it is).

Dreamworks is no Pixar or Studio Ghibli but their films are usually pretty fun. However, as of late they seem to going for quantity over quality and the only film of theirs I'm really looking forward to is How to Train Your Dragon 2.

Happily Ever After could work, if they go for a more Enchanted vibe, and make it both a homage and a spoof at the same time of classic fairy tales.

I get why Fantastic Four is being labeled as rotten but Amazing Spiderman 3? So far all the Spiderman films have been fresh (even Spiderman 3) and despite their screenwriting credits of the Transformers film, Orci and Kurtzman seem to perform well when there's a talented director directing their work (as seen by the Star Trek films).

Silver Chair doesn't deserve the #1 rotten spot. Yes, the last two films underwhelmed compared to the first, but I'd put the blame entirely on the soruce material. The first novel was a classic, the second was pretty bad (I honestly thought the film did as good of a job as possible adapting such a weak book), the third was good but not really suited for a film adaptation because there isn't really a fixed plot to it. Silver Chair though is in my opinion the second best novel in the series behind only the first and is tailor-made for a film adaptation.

Oct 5 - 01:56 AM

Wyatt Person

Wyatt Person

Too little, too late, essentially.

Oct 5 - 05:03 AM

This comment has been removed.

Andrew Ochwat

Andrew Ochwat

Please, shut your face.

Oct 5 - 08:54 AM

Wyatt Person

Wyatt Person

Logic'd.

Oct 5 - 05:04 AM

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