Weekly Ketchup: Will Tom Cruise Be The Man From U.N.C.L.E.?

Plus, news for X-Men and Captain America, as well as a reboot of Pete's Dragon

This week's Ketchup includes movie development news for reboots of Escape from New York, Hercules, and Pete's Dragon, the next X-Men and Captain America movies, and new roles for Tom Cruise, Hugh Jackman, and Robert Redford.


This Week's Top Story

TOM CRUISE: FROM MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE TO THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E.?

When both George Clooney and director Steven Soderbergh dropped out, it may have seemed like Warner Bros' attempt at a movie based on the 1960s spy TV series The Man from U.N.C.L.E. was never going to happen. This week, however, the adaptation received new life, and it came from an unlikely source, considering what people were saying about the Mission: Impossible franchise just a few years ago. Tom Cruise is now in talks to take on the lead role as Napoleon Solo, who was originally played by Robert Vaughn in the TV series. The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is about an international team of espionage agents who work together to fight evil that transcends national differences. Guy Ritchie, who is a Warner Bros darling following the success of the two Sherlock Holmes films, replaced Steven Soderbergh as director.



Fresh Developments This Week

#1 BEN AFFLECK MAY CONTINUE HIS BOSTON OBSESSION WITH BUNKER HILL

This story combines two obvious trending factors about Ben Affleck. The first is that Warner Bros wants to continue working with Ben Affleck as a director following the award season success of Argo. The second is that Affleck loves making movies in any way related to his beloved Boston. Combine those together this week and what you get is the news that Warner Bros has acquired the screen rights to the upcoming non-fiction book Bunker Hill: A City, A Siege, A Revolution, by Nathaniel Philbrick. And they want you-know-who to direct it. Indeed, the project is being produced by Pearl Street Films, the production company of Ben Affleck and Matt Damon. Affleck hasn't yet officially signed on as director, but another Argo participant has, in the form of screenwriter Chris Terrio, who will now start working on adapting this Revolutionary War story into a modern screenplay.


#2 HUGH JACKMAN'S FIRST POST-LES MISERABLES DEAL HOPEFULLY WON'T TAKE SIX YEARS TO PRODUCE

Ben Affleck wasn't the only actor featured on Oscar night to make a deal this week. Hugh Jackman has signed with Paramount Pictures to star in an adaptation of the upcoming Harlan Coben novel Six Years. Paramount landed Six Years in a bidding war that included 20th Century Fox, where Jackman has a strong history, including the X-Men franchise. The premise of Six Years involves a man whose great love marries another man, and then six years later, he discovers that the man has died, and that his widow is not the woman he was expecting her to be, which makes him question what he did with the last six years of his life. Harlan Coben's novels have only once been previously adapted as a film (2006's French film Tell No One, an English language adaptation of which Ben Affleck is attached to direct for Warner Bros from a script by Argo writer Chris Terrio). I couldn't make this "stuff" up.


#3 ROBERT REDFORD IN TALKS TO COSTAR IN CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER

There's already been lots of casting for the Marvel sequel Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which starts filming soon, so this story came as a bit of a surprise, especially considering it involves something of a Hollywood legend. Robert Redford is in talks to costar in a role that is being described as a "senior leadership role in S.H.I.E.L.D." In recent times, there are really only two such characters that Robert Redford would seem an obvious choice to play, and one of them is already played by Samuel L. Jackson. The other is Dum Dum Dugan, who was played by Neal McDonough in the previous film Captain America: The First Avenger. So, until we hear otherwise, this writer thinks the smart money is probably on Redford being cast as the "70 years later" version of Dum Dum Dugan, big mustache and bowler hat and all. Of course, the obvious rebuttal to that theory is that Robert Redford isn't THAT old... or maybe that Redford's role as Dugan will be set sometime in the past, which is a possibility, considering the story being adapted. And then, of course, there's the chance that Redford will be playing any of several other high-ranking S.H.I.E.L.D. officials. Walt Disney Pictures has scheduled Captain America: The Winter Soldier for April 4, 2014.


#4 COLOSSUS AND BLINK CONFIRMED FOR X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST

This is actually a news story that came out last Friday, just minutes after last week's "Ketchup" was submitted for publication, but this writer just really, really likes the X-Men movies, apparently, so here it is 7 days later, despite a pretty busy news week. The story got its start with a "Twitter" post from director Bryan Singer which included an image of X-Men: Days of Future Past casting photos on a wall, and three of them were news items. First, there was Daniel Cudmore, who played Colossus in two of Singer's previous films. Colossus is also the big romantic interest for Kitty Pryde, who will be played once again by Ellen Page, and who is a big part of the original "Days of Future Past" storyline. Next up, there is Chinese actress Fan Bingbing, who wins this week's prize for Most Awesome/Ridiculous Actual Name, and who has also reportedly been cast as Blink, whose inclusion sort of answers the questions about the returns of teleporters Nightcrawler and/or Azazel, except that Blink is a) pink and b) a girl. Finally, an actor by the name of Booboo Stewart (yes, really), who was apparently in a few of the Twilight movies, was also cast, but we don't know yet who he'll be playing.

Rotten Ideas of the Week

#5 THIS WEEK IN JANE GOT A GUN NEWS

It should be noted that this story is more "borderline" than exactly "rotten" because the new director involved is no slouch himself (just to get that stated right at the beginning). Okay, so a big news item this week was that director Lynne Ramsay (We Need to Talk About Kevin, Morvern Callar) dropped out of directing the western Jane Got a Gun this week by, you know, just not showing up for the first day of filming. There's a lot more to it, but that's what URL links are for. In her place, the producers have quickly recruited director Gavin O'Connor (Warrior) to fly out to New Mexico and take Ramsay's place. Her departure however had another result, which is that Jude Law dropped out of playing the film's villain, as his participation was 100% dependent on him being able to work with Lynne Ramsay. Actors that are being considered as Jude Law's replacement include Jake Gyllenhaal, Tobey Maguire, and Jeff Bridges. Because when one thinks of Jude Law, the obvious associations are those actors.


#4 THE HERCULES MOVIE WITH DWAYNE JOHNSON HAS MORE CASTING NEWS THAN MOST MORTAL MOVIES COULD BEAR

Some movies (and their publicists) drip out casting news slowly, over the course of weeks, to get the most juice out of each actor's name and reputation. And then there's movies like Brett Ratner's Hercules, which just announced a huge list of names this week. We already knew about Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson as the title character, of course. Now known to be joining him (all in unspecified roles, by the way) are (in alphabetical order), Joseph Fiennes, Rebecca Ferguson, Aksel Hennie, John Hurt, Ian McShane, and Rufus Sewell. This version of the Greek myth is based upon the comic book Hercules: The Thracian Wars.




#3 ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK BEING REBOOTED AS A WHOLE TRILOGY

The bad thing about movies like Rise of the Planet of the Apes being surprise hits based on them being actual good movies is that lots of other people in Hollywood figure they can do the same thing with whatever else is lying around. And so, we have this story that producer Joel Silver is reviving the plans for a reboot of John Carpenter's (awesome) 1981 film Escape from New York. These plans will include doing the new Snake Plissken story as a trilogy of films starting off with a prequel (say it with me), in the style of Rise of the Planet of the Apes. There's no word yet on who might be the new Snake Plissken, but Joel Silver has done a lot of stuff with Liam Neeson, so the Internet is mentioning his name a lot.




#8 DISNEY IS BRINGING THE FANTASY REBOOTING MEME TO... PETE'S DRAGON

There are some concepts that can totally be given a "dark and edgy modernization" reboot, and then there's Pete's Dragon. Walt Disney Pictures has recruited the director of the "gritty" Sundance hit Ain't Them Bodies Saints, David Lowery, along with his writing partner Toby Halbrooks, to start work on a reboot of the 1977 children's fantasy Pete's Dragon, about a young orphan boy and his magical dragon friend. This new version will be more dramatic, and not a musical, and by its very nature, almost entirely not what Pete's Dragon was, at all. One has to imagine that maybe the Disney executives are confusing Pete's Dragon with the same studio's Dragonslayer, which came out 4 years later in 1981, and which was the first Disney movie to feature nudity (someone had to do it). Anyway, expect Pete's Dragon, if it ever really does get rebooted to have a strange, disconnected, "indie" vibe to it, because... yeah, sure, whatever. This story in many other weeks would have been your Most Rotten Idea, but it at least has the glimmer of a possibility of being a strangely inspired "Fresh" idea. Unlike...


#9 CRITICS BE DAMNED... IF A MOVIE LIKE HANSEL & GRETEL: WITCH HUNTERS MAKES OVER $200 MILLION, THERE WILL BE A SEQUEL

When people talk about "box office flops," so much of it depends upon budget and public perception. Take, for example, Disney's John Carter, which "only" made $282 million worldwide on a (estimated) budget of $250 million. And so, people made jokes, and jokes, and jokes. This January's Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, on the other hand, only made $205 million, but because it only cost an estimated $50 million, we now have this story: MGM and Paramount have confirmed development of a sequel to Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters. Keep in mind, that pretty much nothing else is known, including whether writer/director Tommy Wirkola, or stars Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton, will be returning for the sequel. As for why this sequel news is the week's Most Rotten Idea, here's the link to the RT Tomatometer for the first movie.

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

Comments

Gordon Franklin Terry Sr

Gordon Terry

Tom Cruise = over exposure . . . Escape From New York, from the guy who gave us Matrix Reloaded, Ghost Ship, and, Speed Racer; at his best Joel Silver was The Best, at his worst Joel Silver is THE WORST.

Mar 22 - 05:19 PM

Nancy M.

Nancy Moore

As Steffi said its one of the best work from home option that one can earn about $7000 in 1 month by influencing website articles on Home Profit, did you read the page http://cutt.us/Career

Mar 27 - 09:57 AM

Terry B.

Terry Bernard

As Nancy said its commendable that someone earn about $7K monthly by influencing website articles on Home Profit, did you read the page http://2.gp/qznx

Mar 28 - 12:32 PM

Bazooka Jew

Bazooka Jew

Jesus fuck. Leave Pete's dragon alone! We don't need that to be "dark and edgy". I doubt most kids today have even seen it.

Mar 22 - 05:31 PM

Greg Dean Schmitz

Greg Dean Schmitz

Or the Disney execs that started development on the reboot. I was actually quasi-serious about wondering if they had confused it with Dragonslayer.

Mar 22 - 08:43 PM

Bazooka Jew

Bazooka Jew

That might be the case. It would just seem very...odd, to make this cheery 70's live action/animation movie into something darker. I can only hope it's a case of confusion.

Mar 22 - 08:51 PM

Stepping Razor

Stepping Razor

If Hollywood made a My Little Pony movie, they'd go out of their way to make it "dark and edgy" -- "Make it like that Dark Knight movie," executives would say -- and it would be about some Evil HorseLord hellbent on burning down My Pony-ville and enslaving all the wee little ponies. They'll also throw in elements from Avatar, Inception, and the darker parts from the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Mar 23 - 09:12 AM

Bazooka Jew

Bazooka Jew

I love the Dark Knight trilogy...but look what it started...DAMN YOU CHRIS NOLAN!!!

Mar 23 - 09:28 AM

Dick Travis

Mick Travis

Thank you! PETE'S DRAGON may not be a classic, but it's a personal childhood favorite: the fact that it won kids over as opposed to adults doesn't make this story all that farfetched. If it happens, it happens.

Mar 22 - 10:03 PM

Valmordas

Val Mordas

I remember it, and faintly recall one of the songs. However, this new concept sounds like Eragon and we all know how that turned out.

Mar 23 - 12:36 AM

Brad and Netflix

Bradly Martin

I agree with David, especially considering that Dark and Edgy to most director/producers is having the protagonist wear a hoodie and emo about for 2 hours. TAKE OFF THAT DAMN HOODIE CLARK AND GET BACK WORKING ON A FARM, DAMN KIDS THESE DAYS!

Mar 23 - 09:46 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

I've been trying to follow the odd story behind the "Jane Got a Gun" debacle. The best I can understand it, Ramsay and producer Scott Steindorff couldn't agree on a final script. The original script was by first-timer Brian Duffield, but Ramsay had wanted to "rework" it. Inbetween the representative statements from both sides (anonymous, natch), we can see that Ramsay claims an "approved" script was not "provided" for her in time for shooting, which sounds like her changes got shot down. She also tried to renegotiate her "final cut", which in her contract would have expired due to schedule and budget overruns (which she knew were imminent). My own theory: this was a game of chicken between director and producer to see who would blink first, and, apparently, neither did and they rammed head into each other. There's a good article on this at Hollywood Reporter. The question is co-producer Natalie Portman. The HR story claims Ramsay gave notice Saturday morning, but that this was kept secret from Portman, who reportedly showed up to set on Monday expecting to shoot. Both Ramsay and Steindorff are both in the wrong for keeping Portman in the dark of the whole drama.

As for the association between Law and those other actors: it's actually pretty simple - the financing of this independant film hinges on bankable names, and those other actors may just be who happens to be available with Law's level of star power.

I'm not as down on the "Pete's Dragon" story. Obviously, it could either be sublime or garish. I think "Saints" is Lowery's first film, and I haven't seen it yet, so who knows? The post just makes me upset that Disney's first nude scene wasn't Helen Reddy. I know. I'm just saying. Let her roar.

If Joel Silver thinks he can just slide that little Taylor Kitsch punk into the shoes of Snake, then's he's in for a world of pain. All of Bon Jovi's shampoo can't make Kitsch half the good eye of Kurt Russell on a bad day. That's just some pre-emptive advice.

Mar 22 - 05:44 PM

Greg Dean Schmitz

Greg Dean Schmitz

Or the Disney execs that started development on the reboot. I was actually quasi-serious about wondering if they had confused it with Dragonslayer.

Mar 22 - 08:43 PM

Bazooka Jew

Bazooka Jew

That might be the case. It would just seem very...odd, to make this cheery 70's live action/animation movie into something darker. I can only hope it's a case of confusion.

Mar 22 - 08:51 PM

Stepping Razor

Stepping Razor

If Hollywood made a My Little Pony movie, they'd go out of their way to make it "dark and edgy" -- "Make it like that Dark Knight movie," executives would say -- and it would be about some Evil HorseLord hellbent on burning down My Pony-ville and enslaving all the wee little ponies. They'll also throw in elements from Avatar, Inception, and the darker parts from the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Mar 23 - 09:12 AM

Bazooka Jew

Bazooka Jew

I love the Dark Knight trilogy...but look what it started...DAMN YOU CHRIS NOLAN!!!

Mar 23 - 09:28 AM

Bazooka Jew

Bazooka Jew

That might be the case. It would just seem very...odd, to make this cheery 70's live action/animation movie into something darker. I can only hope it's a case of confusion.

Mar 22 - 08:51 PM

Stepping Razor

Stepping Razor

If Hollywood made a My Little Pony movie, they'd go out of their way to make it "dark and edgy" -- "Make it like that Dark Knight movie," executives would say -- and it would be about some Evil HorseLord hellbent on burning down My Pony-ville and enslaving all the wee little ponies. They'll also throw in elements from Avatar, Inception, and the darker parts from the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Mar 23 - 09:12 AM

Bazooka Jew

Bazooka Jew

I love the Dark Knight trilogy...but look what it started...DAMN YOU CHRIS NOLAN!!!

Mar 23 - 09:28 AM

Typhon

Typhon Q

I dont see why Hercules is a Rotten idea

Mar 22 - 09:21 PM

Bazooka Jew

Bazooka Jew

Brett Ratner.

Mar 22 - 09:30 PM

Valmordas

Val Mordas

Everything about it is a bad idea.

Mar 23 - 12:37 AM

Bazooka Jew

Bazooka Jew

Brett Ratner.

Mar 22 - 09:30 PM

Dick Travis

Mick Travis

Thank you! PETE'S DRAGON may not be a classic, but it's a personal childhood favorite: the fact that it won kids over as opposed to adults doesn't make this story all that farfetched. If it happens, it happens.

Mar 22 - 10:03 PM

Valmordas

Val Mordas

I remember it, and faintly recall one of the songs. However, this new concept sounds like Eragon and we all know how that turned out.

Mar 23 - 12:36 AM

Dick Travis

Mick Travis

Hey, Gregg, read some rather depressing things here: remakes of ESCAPE TO NEW YORK and PETE'S DRAGON: both are fine, as opposed to 'awesome', films and these ideas are some of the worst I've ever read. However, nothing could be more soul-crushing to me then the recent casting of the new ENDLESS LOVE based on Scott Spencer's best seller (and my favorite novel of all time). Not saying you should have included it here: hell, how many people really remember the 1981 version with Brooke Shield's barely-legal body being covered by atrocious blue lighting which Franco Zefferelli directed with all the finesse of the most cheap soft-core porn out there? Hopefully nobody here! And what's funny? The 1981 original served as the theatrical debut of Tom Cruise (and James Spader, but whatever), who shows up in what is arguably the worst scene in the entire movie from an adaptation perspective. It was nominated for like six Razzies or something, while the Ritchie-Ross' hit got an Oscar nod!

Hopefully the EVIL DEAD remake will live up to its ecstatic buzz, which is getting more exciting by the second, don't you think?

Mar 22 - 10:18 PM

Connor Dutchak

Connor Dutchak

Ummm...Rotten news numbers? 5, 4, 3, 8, 9? What?

Mar 22 - 11:26 PM

Valmordas

Val Mordas

Who fucking paid to see Hansel and Gretel? They don't deserve money if they plan to waste it in such a fashion...

Mar 23 - 12:33 AM

Mensa Devoid

John Mancz

Lol, I did and I knew going in it was wrong, but couldn't stop myself. To make it worse I paid for my friend too. Your right though...take my $...I see that now and if I knew it would have led to a sequel...omg if only I could get in a DeLorean and change it all...

Mar 23 - 05:48 AM

Valmordas

Val Mordas

If you were drunk you're excused.

Mar 23 - 09:59 AM

Valmordas

Val Mordas

I remember it, and faintly recall one of the songs. However, this new concept sounds like Eragon and we all know how that turned out.

Mar 23 - 12:36 AM

Valmordas

Val Mordas

Everything about it is a bad idea.

Mar 23 - 12:37 AM

Mensa Devoid

John Mancz

Lol, I did and I knew going in it was wrong, but couldn't stop myself. To make it worse I paid for my friend too. Your right though...take my $...I see that now and if I knew it would have led to a sequel...omg if only I could get in a DeLorean and change it all...

Mar 23 - 05:48 AM

Valmordas

Val Mordas

If you were drunk you're excused.

Mar 23 - 09:59 AM

King  S.

King Simba

I kind of doubt Tom Cruise is going to go through with Man from U.N.C.L.E. It just feels too similair to Mission Impossible. Though this could also mean that they're planning on making Renner the new star of that franchise, but I kind of doubt it.

I think we just found out what film is going to get Affleck his first best director oscar. Even if it ends up being a step below his previous roles they'll probably give him a nomination just to make up for not giving him one for Argo.

Wait there was a character in the first Captain America named Dum Dum Dugan. How could I have missed that? Anyway, really liking how the cast is shaping up for Winter Soldier and Marvel is on a roll so I'm really looking forward to Winter Soldier.

Normally, I'd be worried at the amount of characters planned on making an appearance in Days of Future Past, but if anyone can handle such a wide array of characters, it's Bryan Singer.

Okay, there are some films that have a lot of potential to lead to multiple sequels and reboots, but Escape from New York isn't one of them. Didn't the sequel prove that you can only take the premises so far?

I actually think Pete's Dragon has potential. The original wasn't one of Disney's best, so there's definetely a lot of room for improvement (unlike say Beauty and the Beast), but I don't think dark and gritty is going to work for it at all.

Didn't see Hansel and Gretel so I'm not going to bother with the sequel either.

Mar 23 - 08:44 AM

Bigbrother

Big Brother

Yep, Dum Dum was one of the POW's Cap free's from Hydra while he's going after Bucky. He's the one who tells the Nazi "You know Fritz, one of these days I'm gonna have a stick of my own."

Mar 24 - 05:34 PM

Stepping Razor

Stepping Razor

From U.N.C.L.E.? I was thinking more along the lines of "From M.I.D.G.E.T." And I'll admit that I even like some movies with Tom Cruise as the lead.

He's in far too many movies. In some, he fits, in numerous others, he's simply the wrong guy for the lead. Hollywood is still living in the past, stuck on the whole BIG STAR phenomenon. BIG STARS aren't the nearly foolproof casting choice that they once were.

Even casting Johnny Depp can't always save a movie.

Mar 23 - 09:07 AM

Bazooka Jew

Bazooka Jew

Man from U.N.C.L.E. sounds way to similar to Mission Impossible based on the description. Tom Cruise always does his best work stepping out of character, like Collateral, Magnolia and Tropic Thunder.

Mar 23 - 09:30 AM

Dick Travis

Mick Travis

His best performance is still in 1989's BORN ON THE FOURTH OF JULY, hands down!

Mar 23 - 11:11 AM

Bigbrother

Big Brother

I also really liked him as Lestat in Interview with the Vampire. So much of that movie wasn't right, but I was pleasantly surprised that Lestat wasn't one of them.

Mar 24 - 05:35 PM

Bazooka Jew

Bazooka Jew

Interview was another great Cruise role. I haven't seen Born on 4th of July yet, so I can't comment.

Mar 25 - 06:24 AM

Stepping Razor

Stepping Razor

If Hollywood made a My Little Pony movie, they'd go out of their way to make it "dark and edgy" -- "Make it like that Dark Knight movie," executives would say -- and it would be about some Evil HorseLord hellbent on burning down My Pony-ville and enslaving all the wee little ponies. They'll also throw in elements from Avatar, Inception, and the darker parts from the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Mar 23 - 09:12 AM

What's Hot On RT

Cosplay Gallery
Cosplay Gallery

See over 350 Comic-Con Costumes!

The Hobbit
The Hobbit

See the final movie's trailer

Weekly Ketchup
Weekly Ketchup

Read the Comic-Con revelations

24 Frames
24 Frames

Photo gallery of great movie spaceships

Find us on:                     
Help | About | Jobs | Critics Submission | Press | API | Licensing | Mobile