Weekly Ketchup: Anchorman Sequel Is On Its Way
Plus, a Twins sequel and new roles for Ben Affleck and Zooey Deschanel.
This week's Ketchup includes movie news about sequels for Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy and Twins, remakes/reboots of Carrie, (Teenage Mutant) Ninja Turtles and the Jack Ryan franchise, and new roles for Ben Affleck, Zooey Deschanel, Zach Galifianakis and Owen Wilson.
This Week's Top Story
RON BURGUNDY CONFIRMS HE WILL RETURN IN ANCHORMAN 2. DON'T ACT LIKE YOU'RE NOT IMPRESSED
One of the most disappointing movie news stories of 2010 was the decision by Paramount Pictures not to greenlight the plans of Will Ferrell and writer/director Adam McKay for a sequel to the 2004 comedy hit Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. McKay eventually revealed that the plan had been for the entire cast to perform the sequel on Broadway as a full musical before then getting together to actually turn it into a musical film sequel. A year and a half later, it had seemed like the idea of an Anchorman sequel would stay dead. However, on Wednesday, Will Ferrell showed up on the set of Conan dressed like Ron Burgundy, and announced that a deal had been made with Paramount for the sequel, and that filming will start in February, 2013. It's not known if the newly revived sequel plans still include the idea of being a musical, or starting on Broadway, or indeed, anything about the story at all. Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy was of course a comedy about the reporters at a San Diego TV station in the 1970s and how the arrival of a newswoman (Christina Applegate) shook up the world of the channel and especially anchorman Ron Burgundy. Steve Carrell and Paul Rudd are both already attached to reprise their roles in the Anchorman sequel, but it's not yet known if other cast members like Christina Applegate, David Koechner or Fred Willard will also return. That, however, wasn't the only movie news this week for Will Ferrell and Adam McKay. McKay is co-producing with New Line Cinema an adaptation of the 2001 book Crazy U: One Dad's Crash Course in Getting His Kid Into College, in which Ferrell will also star.
Fresh Developments This Week
#1 CHLOE MORETZ IS THE NEXT CARRIE
Chloe Moretz (Hugo, Kick-Ass, Let Me In) has confirmed via her Twitter account that she has landed the title role in the upcoming MGM remake of Stephen King's Carrie. Moretz will be playing Carrie White, a teenage girl with telekinetic abilities who is harassed by both her classmates and her evangelical mother. This new Carrie is described as more of a new adaptation of King's first novel than a remake of the 1976 Brian De Palma film. Glee and Big Love writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa is making his feature film debut adapting King's novel for director Kimberly Peirce (Boys Don't Cry, Stop-Loss). In addition to the 1976 movie starring Sissy Spacek, Carrie has also previously been the subject of a 1999 sequel, a made-for-TV version in 2002, and a Broadway adaptation in 1988.
#2 KENNETH BRANAGH PICKS UP THE HAMMER OF... TOM CLANCY'S JACK RYAN
Last week, Paramount's long-planned rebooting of Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan character seemed like it might be in jeopardy, following the departure of frequent LOST director Jack Bender. Paramount has however found a quick replacement, as Kenneth Branagh, who worked with the studio on Thor is now in talks to take on the spy-action-thriller. Chris Pine is still attached to become the fourth actor to play Jack Ryan, with filming expected to start in September after Pine wraps up the sequel to Paramount's reboot of Star Trek. The previous Jack Ryans were Alec Baldwin (The Hunt for Red October), Harrison Ford (Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger) and Ben Affleck (The Sum of All Fears). This new version, which is currently untitled (but was at one time called Moscow), is not based on any specific Tom Clancy novel, and is a complete reboot of the character, set in the present day. After several other writers tackled the project over years, the current screenwriter is David Koepp (Spider-Man; cowriter of Mission: Impossible), whose new draft reportedly blends three different genres (espionage, action and thriller) into one single narrative.
#3 BEN AFFLECK TO STAR IN POLITICAL COMEDY NATHAN DECKER
Ben Affleck is now attached to star in Nathan Decker, a Warner Bros political comedy that was originally developed by the studio as a potential Tom Cruise movie. Nathan Decker got its start as a spec script sale from screenwriter Dan Fogelman (Tangled, Fred Claus, Crazy Stupid Love), who also has The Guilt Trip coming soon, starring Seth Rogen and Barbra Streisand. The story revolves around a politician who returns to his hometown to "confront his past" after getting caught in an affair scandal. Ben Affleck isn't expected to be directing Nathan Decker, as he is currently busy in post production on Argo (also for WB).
#4 IT'S ABOUT TIME ZOOEY DESCHANEL STARRED IN A TIME TRAVEL COMEDY
Zooey Deschanel and Irish actor Domhnall Gleeson (Bill Weasley in the last two Harry Potter movies) are now in negotiations to star in About Time, a time travel romantic comedy. About Time is expected to be the next film for director Richard Curtis (Love Actually, Pirate Radio), based on his own script. Curtis' credits as screenwriter also include Notting Hill, Bridget Jones's Diary and Four Weddings and a Funeral. There aren't many other known plot details for About Time, except that it's expected to be filmed in the United Kingdom, and isn't expected to require an expensive budget.
Rotten Ideas of the Week
#5 ZACH GALIFIANAKIS CONTINUES HIS MAN CHILD ROAD MOVIE STREAK WITH YOU ARE HERE
Owen Wilson and Zach Galifianakis are attached to star in the Lionsgate dramedy You Are Here. Matthew Weiner, the creator of the TV series Mad Men, will be making his feature film directorial debut with You Are Here, which he has spent eight years developing while his TV career took off. Owen Wilson will play a TV weatherman who goes on a road trip with his best friend, a "bi-polar man child" played by Zach Galifianakis, after he hears that his estranged father has recently died. Amy Poehler is also in negotiations to play Wilson's sister. You Are Here is one of the week's (borderline) Rotten Ideas mostly because it's yet another movie in which Zach Galifianakis plays a character that sounds an awful like his roles in The Hangover and Due Date.
#4 MICHAEL BAY DROPS HALF THE TITLE TO MAKE IT JUST NINJA TURTLES
Last week, the collective online movie fan community went a little crazy over the news that the Michael Bay-produced reboot of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles would also have an alien element. Many asked how exactly the "alien" aspect would fit in with the "mutant" part of the quartet's nomenclature. The answer came this week as Paramount is now referring to the movie as simply Ninja Turtles. Michael Bay made the official announcement: "Paramount marketing changed the name. They made the title simple. The characters you all remember are exactly the same, and yes they still act like teenagers." Paramount Pictures has scheduled Ninja Turtles, to be directed by Jonathan Liebesman (Battle: Los Angeles, Wrath of the Titans) for December 25, 2013.
#3 ONE SMALL STEP FOR EROTIC FAN FICTION, A GIANT LEAP FOR FIFTY SHADES OF GREY
Fan fiction, and in particular, erotic fan fiction, has existed on the peripherals of various fan communities all the way back to the days when fans were writing homoerotic stories about Kirk and Spock. Fan fiction has always, however, stayed on the fringes, but that all changed this week as an e-book series called Fifty Shades of Grey became the latest hot property in a multi-studio bidding war. Universal Pictures and Focus Features came out on top, acquiring the rights to a series that got its start as erotic fan fiction based on the Twilight books. Author E.L. James eventually changed the names and backgrounds of the lead characters to become a female college graduate named Anastasia Steele (nee Bella) and a young businessman named Christian Grey (nee Edward the vampire). But all the filthy, kinky sex scenes... well, they stayed the same. And now, this e-book series that has been called "mommy porn" is lined up to become at least one movie. One has to wonder if this will now become the latest trend, with fans of various stripes polishing off their old works of fan fiction involving superheroes, teen vampire slayers, FBI supernatural investigators, space cowboys, etc.
#2 EDDIE MURPHY TO JOIN SCHWARZENEGGER AND DEVITO IN A TWINS SEQUEL
Last week, this column took the concept of a Midnight Run sequel to task over the issue of whether there's really an audience demanding a sequel to a comedy from 1988. However, Universal Pictures, the studio behind Midnight Run 2, wasn't quite finished yet, as it is now developing a sequel to Twins, another 1988 comedy. Danny DeVito and Arnold Schwarzenegger starred in the original Twins as men who discovered that they were long lost brothers as the result of genetic experimentation trying to create the perfect child. In the sequel, to be called Triplets, Eddie Murphy will join the cast as a third brother (Twins trivia: there were actually six different fathers who donated their "material" to the experiment). Triplets doesn't yet have any writers or directors attached to it (Ivan Reitman is just on board as producer). Universal Pictures is hoping that this crazy idea will attact interest from screenwriters who can actually come up with ideas to make the sequel work.
#1 POPULAR YA HEROINE CRAZY CHLOE RACES TO THE MOVIES
The week after the record breaking success of The Hunger Games, Hollywood set its collective sights on another post apocalyptic young adult trilogy starring a sympathetic heroine. Nearly every studio is currently engaged in an auction for the screen rights to the Crazy Chloe trilogy by author Melora Miller that includes the sequels The Road Wars and Crazy Chloe in the Lightning Bowl. Set in a near future North America where rampaging bands of motorcycle gangs scavenge for gas, food, water and wireless hot spots, Crazy Chloe is a former Gold Award Girl Scout who travels the country in her father's vintage Ford Falcon, having adventures and such. The author says that she was inspired to write Crazy Chloe while flicking channels between reruns of Top Gear and E! True Hollywood Story: Mel Gibson. There's no word yet on casting deals for Crazy Chloe, but the role will probably go to whichever young actress gets the most Oscar buzz next fall. Chloe Moretz is also considered a top contender, for obvious reasons. Crazy Chloe is this week's most Rotten Idea because it's yet another YA series getting a quick greenlight to appeal to its rapidly maturing fan base, and also... APRIL FOOL'S!
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.