Weekly Ketchup: Guillermo del Toro Moves on to Pacific Rim
This Week's Ketchup includes new movies for director Guillermo del Toro, John Cusack, Vince Vaughn and the Fanning sisters, two new comic book adaptations, and a movie about extremely large balloons.
This Week's Top Story
GUILLERMO DEL TORO MOVES ON TO THE PACIFIC RIM
This week, director Guillermo del Toro saw his second dream project in as many years shut down (although The Hobbit eventually came back to life), as Universal Pictures pulled the plug on the H.P. Lovecraft adapation At the Mountains of Madness. Concurrently, it was also announced that Del Toro will instead next direct the science fiction action thriller Pacific Rim for Legendary Pictures and (most likely) Warner Bros. Set in the future, Pacific Rim is about how mankind must band together when threatened by "malevolent creatures." At one time, there were rumors that Pacific Rim may be adapted to be the Godzilla reboot (those plans were abandoned), so that may give us an idea of the sort of scale and monsters that will be featured in Pacific Rim.
Fresh Developments This Week
#1 MARVEL'S NEXT SUPERHUMANS MAY BE INHUMANS
Marvel Studios is currently looking for writers to adapt The Inhumans, about the secret race living on the far side of the Moon that were created by the Kree alien race millions of years ago, during experiments on primitive humans. With rumors that the premise of The Avengers may involve the alien race the Skrulls (the enemies of the Kree), it is possible that groundwork for The Inhumans may be started in that 2012 release. First introduced over 40 years ago, The Inhumans in Marvel Comics have long been the focus of stories that mix science fiction, superhuman abilities and royal intrigue, as most of the central characters are members of the Inhuman royal family. The Inhumans are headed by Black Bolt, a ruler who must stay mute because his actual voice can have the force comparable to a nuclear explosion. Other members of the Inhumans include Medusa (super hair!) and Crystal (who can control the four elements), both of whom have been members of the Fantastic Four, the aquatic Triton, the satyr-like Gorgon, Karnak (who can find vulnerabilities in anything) and the teleporting dog-like creature Lockjaw.
#2 DREAMWORKS STEALTHILY REVEALS THEIR SNAIL MOVIE TURBO
This week, DreamWorks Animation revealed their release schedule through 2014. Included in the mix was a movie for June 7, 2013 called Turbo which was not previously announced. Turbo "tells the story of an ordinary garden snail with an impossible dream: to become the fastest snail in the world. When a freak accident gives him extraordinary speed, Turbo sets out to try to make this dream come true." The first hint of Turbo came in November, 2010 when DreamWorks filed a trademark for a Turbo logo that includes the words "Es Car Go" (a play on Escargot, the French snail delicacy). Turbo will be the feature debut of animation director David Soren, who directed the TV short Merry Madagascar for DreamWorks. The other movies on DreamWorks Animation's 2012-2014 schedule are Kung Fu Panda 2 (5/26/11), Puss in Boots (11/4/11), Madagascar 3 (6/8/12), Rise of the Guardians (11/21/12), The Croods (3/1/13), Me and My Shadow (11/8/13), Mr. Peabody & Sherman (3/21/14) and How to Train Your Dragon 2 (6/20/14).
#3 THE BIGGEST ECOLOGICAL DISASTER OF 2010 TO BECOME A DISASTER MOVIE IN SOME FUTURE YEAR
Summit Entertainment has acquired the rights to a New York Times article called "Deepwater Horizon's Final Hour." Published on December 25, 2010 the article tells the story of the April 20, 2010 tragedy that struck the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, resulting in the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster. The story will be adapted into a screenplay by Matthew Sand, whose only previous produced work was the 2009 action movie Ninja Assassin (which he cowrote). The project is described as depicting "the courage of those who worked on the oil rig and the final minutes leading up to the disaster that ultimately led to great devastation that will forever be remembered."
#4 THE FANNING SISTERS MAY PLAY THE WIGGIN SISTERS IN THE SHAGGS
Sisters Dakota and Elle Fanning are in talks to costar in the long-planned musical biopic about the quirky 1960s all-sisters group The Shaggs. The Shaggs were comprised of the four Wiggin sisters (Dot, Betty, Helen and Rachel), who seemed to have no actual musical talent, but were made into a band anyway by their father, who claimed to be motivated by a palm reading session their mother had that predicted success for the band. The Shaggs recorded only one album, 1969's Philosophy of the World, which was considered a curiousity at the time, but decades later, it would become an inspiration and influence for the 1990s "indie rock" scene. The Shaggs (or whatever it ends up being called) will be directed by indie filmmaker Katherine Dieckmann (Diggers, Motherhood).
#5 JOHN CUSACK TO STAR IN POLITICAL SCREWBALL COMEDY DICTABLANDA
John Cusack will star in a "screwball comedy" set on an international politcal stage called Dictablanda, which Cusack also cowrote. "Dictablanda" is a term that translates as "soft dictator" and refers to dictators who allow their citizens to have civil liberties. Dictablanda will be filmed on location in Argentina over the next two months, and is being directed by Alejandro Agresti (2006's The Lake House). Other premise details about the movie aren't yet known, but you can get an idea for what the concept of Dictablanda means in this Wikipedia article.
#6 VINCE VAUGHN HAS SOME INSANE LAWS
Universal Pictures is in negotiations to pick up the comedy The Insane Laws, which will star Vince Vaughn. The comedy started development at Columbia Pictures, but was then put into turnaround, allowing Universal to potentially pick it up. The Insane Laws focuses on two life long best friends who find their lives changed when their grown children fall in love and one friend's daughter gets pregnant. The Insane Laws will mark the feature directorial debut of screenwriter Jeremy Garelick (cowriter of The Break-Up, also starring Vince Vaughn), who reportedly based the script upon his own experiences.
#7 CROSSHAIR IS ANOTHER COMIC BOOK TITLE HOLLYWOOD HAS IN ITS... CROSSHAIRS
Mandeville Films and Top Cow Productions are in talks with Summit Entertainment to develop a movie based on the comic book Crosshair. The comic is about a former CIA agent who discovers that he has 48 hours before a computer program in his brain will turn him into a presidential assassin.
Rotten Ideas of the Week
#2 THE TOMB RAIDER REBOOT HAS BEEN RAIDED AND REBOOTED
After being put in turnaround by Warner Bros, the Tomb Raider reboot has been picked up by British producer Graham King and GK Films. The goal is to produce a new cinematic adventure series about "the young and dynamic Lara Croft," which seems to suggest a version that is even younger than the one that starred Angelina Jolie, who was 26 when the first movie was released in 2001. This is one of the week's Rotten Ideas because Tomb Raider is an example of the long lag time between the popularity of a video game franchise, and Hollywood's interest in making movies based on them. Although Tomb Raider games are still being made, the height of the game series was definitely in the late 1990s, and this is now the 2010s.
#1 MACY'S THANKSGIVING PARADE... THE MOVIE?
Producers Scott Glassgold and the Raymond Brothers have acquired the rights to develop a big budget family film based on the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. The producers are currently meeting with screenwriters, and discussing ideas, which include a story in which the balloons of the parade come to life, similar to the exhibits in the Night at the Museum movies. If this movie progresses, one would imagine it could be a copyright nightmare, as most of the balloons and floats in the Macy's parade represent trademarked characters. This is the week's most Rotten Idea because it seems to be a borderline two hour commercial for Macy's, and possibly the other companies that sponsor the balloons.
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.