Fresh Developments This Week
#1 THE NEXT SCARFACE LANDS ACCLAIMED CHILEAN DIRECTOR OF NO
We've known for a while now that Universal's next version of Scarface, which was previously about Italian and Cuban immigrants (as played by Paul Muni and Al Pacino, respectively), would have a new background to reflect a modern 21th century setting. This week, we learned that the new Scarface will be a Mexican immigrant gangster living in Los Angeles. We now also know that the director will be Chilean director Pablo Larrain, whose film No was a critical darling last year, and was also an Academy Award nominee for Best Foreign Language Film. The script was written by another Academy Award nominee, Paul Attanasio (for Quiz Show and Donnie Brasco). This third Scarface is being described as "a more mythic origin story that explores where Tony's physical and emotional wounds come from and how they shaped him as a man."
#2 ICE CUBE AND FRIENDS RETURNING FOR NEW HAIRCUTS AT BARBERSHOP 3
Depending upon your perspective, the early 00's either feel like just yesterday or long ago, but regardless, time does keep on keeping on. It's hard for this writer to believe that it's really already been ten years since the 2004 release of Barbershop 2: Back in Business (which focused the Ice Cube franchise more on ladies like Queen Latifah and Eve). Well, it has, but MGM (a studio that is sort of making a business of revisiting old movie properties) has plans on going back to the neighborhood. Ice Cube, Queen Latifah, and Cedric the Entertainer are now all in talks with MGM to return for Barbershop 3. Ice Cube, whose movie career is on quite an upstream with the successes of 21 Jump Street and Ride Along, is also on board to produce Barbershop 3. MGM is currently looking for writers for the sequel project.
#3 KEVIN SPACEY TO BRING US WINSTON CHURCHILL'S FINEST HOURS AS CAPTAIN OF THE GATE
Whenever actors of one background sign on to portray a character of another background, it's natural to react with some skepticism. It's a tradition of sorts, however, that goes back to the very earliest days of cinema. And sometimes it works. With that approach, we now ask you to consider this week's news that New Jersey native Kevin Spacey is now attached to star as Winston Churchill in a biopic called Captain of the Gate. It's worth noting that Kevin Spacey, although a U.S. citizen, has been rewarded with a C.B.E. for his work as artistic director for the Old Vic theatre. Winston Churchill was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom twice, and this film will focus on the first term, which took Great Britain through the war years of 1940 to 1945. The project is currently looking for a director to tackle the script by Ben Kaplan, who previously worked on the History Channel documentaries about World War II, Vietnam, and Ronald Reagan. Besides his political skill, Winston Churchill was also quite a master of the English language, so it should be fun to see what Kevin Spacey can do with the role.
#4 PETER DINKLAGE TO TAKE ON CLASSIC VIDEO GAME CHARACTERS IN PIXELS
For a while now, we've been referring to Sony's adaptation of the FX-heavy short film Pixels as an Adam Sandler movie (he's also producing through Happy Madison), but this week, a new cast member signed on that might force us to re-evaluate our opinions. Game of Thrones costar Peter Dinklage is in final negotiations to join Pixels, about video game characters invading the real life New York City, a movie which is looking even more timely following the success of The LEGO Movie. Peter Dinklage joins the already cast Adam Sandler, Kevin James, and Josh Gad, as a group of "video game experts who are recruited by the government to help deal with the threat." Pixels will be directed by Chris Columbus of Harry Potter and Home Alone fame.
#5 ANCHORMAN DIRECTOR TO ADAPT MORE SERIOUS BUSINESS WITH THE BIG SHORT
The move from comedy to serious drama is rarely attempted by famous directors, possibly for a reason, but when it works, you get things like Recount (from Jay Roach) and almost the entire second half of Woody Allen's career (sort of). This week, we learned that director Adam McKay, who recently confirmed that the Anchorman franchise is done and out, is starting to make plans for exactly that sort of shift. McKay is in talks with Paramount Pictures and Brad Pitt's Plan B to write and direct an adaptation of a recent book about the 2000s credit and housing bubble bursting. The book in question by Michael Lewis is called The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine. It's worth noting that a previous non-fiction adaptation produced by Plan B went on to become Moneyball.
#6 ARNOLD SCHWARZENGGER CONFIRMS RETURN FOR TERMINATOR: GENESIS
In recent months, as we've heard more official confirmations about casting in Terminator: Genesis, there's been a lingering question about whether or not Arnold Schwarzenegger really was returning for a movie that is mostly being called a "reboot." If the movie is a reboot, isn't the usual expectation that none of the original cast members are going to be involved? Well, not so in this case, because Arnold Schwarzenegger is saying that he will be playing the older version of the T-800, with another actor playing the young version. We also heard this week that Dayo Okeniyi (The Spectacular Now, The Hunger Games) has been cast as the son of Miles Dyson, one of the Cyberdyne scientists responsible for creating Skynet. Miles Dyson was played by Joe Morton in Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Dayo Okeniyi joins Schwarzenegger, Emilia Clarke, Jai Courtney, and Jason Clarke. Terminator: Genesis, directed by Alan Taylor (Thor: The Dark World, Game of Thrones), is scheduled for release on July 1, 2015.
#7 THIS WEEK IN HOUSE OF CARDS PART 2: COREY STOLL JOINS ANT-MAN
The way that Marvel Studios carefully times (or seems to do, anyway) their casting announcements so that there's one nearly every week, the Weekly Ketchup is challenged to parse out how often we give them "Top Story" status. This week, you know, maybe the "mystery character" in question is someone awesome, and history will question why it's not the top story, but hey, Marvel can't have it every single time. Just can't. Anyway, the mystery role in question is in Ant-Man, which will launch Marvel's Phase 3 when it's released next summer on July 17, 2015. Corey Stoll (of House of Cards and Law & Order: LA) is in talks to join the already announced Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas (who both play the lead character... sort of), and Evangeline Lilly, Michael Pena, and Patrick Wilson. Ant-Man will be directed by fan favorite Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead) from a script he cowrote with Joe Cornish.
THE FULL DISCLOSURE GREY ZONE -- GREG DEAN SCHMITZ WAS ONE OF THE BEARD-OS AND BADASSES
We swear, we like never do this, but this week, we're going to cover a movie that, in the spirit of full disclosure, can't be assigned any category we usually use. The reason for this is because the recently announced documentary Beard-Os and Badasses will cover the early years of online film journalism. Debut directors Geoff Todd and H. Perry Horton will be interviewing 50 to 75 different people, with focus on Patrick Sauriol (Corona's Coming Attractions), Harry Knowles (Ain't It Cool News), Garth Franklin (Dark Horizons), Greg Dean Schmitz (Upcomingmovies.com), and others who were involved in the late 1990s explosion of online film journalism. The movie will shine a light on how "a revolution was launched that changed the entire landscape of American film journalism and criticism."