Weekly Ketchup: Oscar Nominations Reveal Snubs and Controversy

Plus, Christopher Nolan's next joint,

This week's Ketchup actually represents a full three weeks since the last true Weekly Ketchup was published on December 21, 2012. Even so, most of these stories actually did happen in the last seven days, because the period before and after Christmas and New Year's is a time when Hollywood is basically a ghost town as far as movie development goes. Included in the mix are stories involving Tina Fey, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Brad Pitt, and directors Wes Anderson, Christopher Nolan, and Robert Rodriguez.


This Week's Top Story

THIS YEAR'S OSCAR NOMINATIONS RESULT IN DIRECTORIAL SNUBS AND AT LEAST ONE AGE-RELATED CONTROVERSY

Every year, the Academy Award nominations make the news. Besides the actual awards themselves, it's one of the few times in a year when movies make major headlines based (ostensibly) on their actual "quality," and not just, say, box office and celebrity cachet (though those are also factors as well). Let's get some crucial linkage out of the way right here, which takes you to RT's list of nominations. Also, over at Deadline, you can see the nominations by movie, and by studio. And now, to the controversies. In the director category, there is the whole matter of two names being omitted from the field of five: Ben Affleck (Argo) and Kathryn Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty). Curiously, both films in question involved true stories about CIA agents and their activities in Islamic nations. The other big story involved the Sundance surprise hit Beasts of the Southern Wild, and specifically, that film's star Quvenzhané Wallis, who was only 8 when the movie was filmed, and who is now a Best Actress nominee for her first role. The controversy there is basically about whether child actors should receive the same sort of honors that adult actors receive, often after decades of work before ever receiving their first nomination (and many never do). Seth McFarlane will host the 85th Academy Awards on ABC on Sunday, February 24th, 2013. There will be jokes.

Fresh Developments This Week

#1 CHRISTOPHER NOLAN'S NEXT WILL BE SPIELBERG CAST OFF INTERSTELLAR

If the result of Steven Spielberg having too many films in development is this story, maybe he should develop even more: To follow up The Dark Knight Rises, director Christopher Nolan has selected the science fiction film Interstellar, which was formerly one of Spielberg's future post-Lincoln projects. Inspired by the work of theoretical physicist Kip Thorne, Interstellar involves "a group of explorers traveling through a wormhole, where they encounter time travel and alternate dimensions." Nolan will be rewriting his brother Jonathan Nolan's original script to incorporate his own story idea. Interstellar is based at Paramount Pictures, but since Nolan has a long relationship with Warner Bros, that studio will also be coming aboard to co-produce and likely co-distribute the film. Going back to Steven Spielberg very briefly, he also made the news this week because filming of his science fiction movie Robopocalypse (starring Anne Hathaway and Chris Hemsworth) has been delayed for a while so that additional work on the script can be done. Blame budget concerns and all that.


#2 BRAD PITT TO MAKE SURE THAT PONTIUS PILATE WASHED HIS HANDS (AND SEALED HIS FATE)

Brad Pitt is circling the lead role as Pontius Pilate in the eponymous historical epic that Warner Bros is currently developing. The Deadline story describes Pontius Pilate as "one of history's most vilified figures," but exactly how the Bible describes Pilate's role is apparently up for debate and interpretation. Pontius Pilate was, of course, the Roman Prefect for the Roman province of Judaea from 26-36 A.D., the duties of which included deciding what to do with a local rabbi named Jesus. Pontius Pilate will be based upon a screenplay by screenwriter Vera Blasi, who wrote the 2000 film Woman on Top, and cowrote Tortilla Soup and the upcoming Douglas McArthur movie Emperor. In addition to the title character, Jesus, and a whole bunch of angry Jerusalem citizens, Blasi's script also includes appearances by the emperors Tiberius and Caligula, and John the Baptist, Salome, and Mary Magdalene.


#3 JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT AND JOSH BROLIN JOIN THE PREQUEL SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR

Director Robert Rodriguez has been filming the prequel Sin City: A Dame to Kill For against green screens in Austin since October, but it was only this past week that some of the bigger casting news has emerged. First, there was the news that Joseph Gordon-Levitt, hot off both The Dark Knight Rises and Looper, has signed on to play a "cocky gambler" named Johnny. The next day, it was revealed that Josh Brolin will be playing the lead role of Dwight, which was previously played in the first Sin City by Clive Owen. Christopher Meloni from Law & Order: SVU and True Blood will also be playing a "disreputable cop." These three actors join an ensemble cast which already included returning cast Jessica Alba, Rosario Dawson, Jamie King, and Mickey Rourke, and new additions Jamie Chung and Dennis Haysbert (of 24 and those insurance commercials). Dimension Films will release Sin City: A Dame to Kill For on October 4, 2013.


#4 THE STAR OF THE GODZILLA REBOOT MAY KICK-ASS

Just a few weeks after all of the press for Guillermo Del Toro's giant monster event film Pacific Rim, the period since Christmas has now seen a lot of press highlighting the studio's reboot of Godzilla. Two of the three main Godzilla stories can be interpreted as "Fresh," but let's start with the bad news. The gist is that Legendary Pictures has filed suit to remove three producers from the reboot, and to also stop a potential restraining order filed by those producers against the production. This is probably of most interest to people who are, you know, interested in... entertainment legal news. There's a fanbase for everything, one has to presume. Of more potential interest to people reading this column for clues about what the movie may actually be like, Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption, The Walking Dead) has signed on to do a "final rewrite" of the Godzilla script. Even more significantly, the casting of the lead role in Godzilla has gone from a short list (which included Henry Cavill, Caleb Landry Jones, and Scott McNairy) to being narrowed down to Aaron Johnson, star of Kick-Ass. Of course, what we don't know is what exactly that role involves, but one has to guess if Aaron Johnson signs on, he will probably spend a lot of time staring up at a green screen, shouting something like "Gojira! Gojira!" Matthew Broderick, Hank Azaria, and Maria Pitillo won't be in this one when Warner Bros releases it on May 16, 2014.


#5 TINA FEY'S BOSSYPANTS WILL NOT HAVE A HAND UP THEM, BUT SHE MAY BE IN THE MUPPETS SEQUEL

Tina Fey is in late negotiations with Walt Disney Pictures to take the female lead role in the sequel to the 2011 relaunch of The Muppets. If Fey signs on, she will be reuniting with Ricky Gervais, with whom she costarred in The Invention of Lying. The Muppets sequel (which still lacks an official title) will be a caper across Europe, with Ty Burrell from Modern Family playing an Interpol agent. Christoph Waltz was formerly expected to be playing that agent, but it turns out that he might still have a cameo role, and if he does, it will involve dancing with Miss Piggy. So, there you go. There's a very good chance that Disney will be releasing the Muppets sequel in less than a year as part of the Christmas 2013 holiday movie season.


#6 WES ANDERSON CASTS ENOUGH ACTORS TO ACTUALLY FILL UP AN ESTABLISHMENT CALLED GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL

Thankfully, this story didn't have to be reported completely piecemeal, or Wes Anderson's next film Grand Budapest Hotel might have taken up a month of Fridays. The director (Moonrise Kingdom, Rushmore), who isn't new to working with large, celebrity-filled ensemble casts, is kicking it up a notch in this next film, set at a hotel in the Hungarian capital back in the 1920s. Ralph Fiennes will play the hotel concierge, and the other lead role will be played by Hanna star Saoirse Ronan. For the rest of the cast, we might as well just go alphabetical: F. Murray Abraham, Mathieu Amalric, Bob Balaban (revealed by the actor on Facebook), Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Harvey Keitel, and Jude Law will represent the first half of the alphabet. Then there's Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Jason Schwartzman, Tilda Swinton, and Owen Wilson to represent the second half. Anderson has worked with a lot of these actors before, but it's possibly more fun for you (and less work for me), if this writer just lets you, dear readers, figure out which ones played whom in what.

Rotten Ideas of the Week

#3 FILE UNDER SEQUELS FEW WERE EXPECTING OR DEMANDING: THE HEBREW HAMMER VS HITLER

First off, this writer should note that back at Sundance in 2003, he was quick to jump on the bandwagon for an indie comedy called The Hebrew Hammer. At the time, it seemed like it might just be the next movie to explode in popularity after a strong Park City debut (that used to be "a thing"). Instead, The Hebrew Hammer made its debut as a Comedy Central premiere 11 months later, with only an obligatory limited release in theaters soon after. As a very quick primer, the comedic conceit behind The Hebrew Hammer was that it was a spoof of blaxploitation movies filtered through Jewish culture, with Adam Goldberg playing the lead character. The result was a lot like Undercover Brother, but with Andy Dick as the evil son of Santa Claus. Anyway, it's now ten years later, and a sequel is coming together which be called The Hebrew Hammer Versus Hitler. The joke this time around will involve the Hebrew Hammer traveling back in time to take on the Third Reich, and along the way through history, he teams up with another famous Jew, Jesus Christ. It's not yet known if this sequel will get a better theatrical release than the original film. The first movie got a "Rotten" RT Tomatometer rating of 52%, which is why this is one of the column's "Rotten Ideas" this week.


#2 R.I.P. SNAKES ON A PLANE DIRECTOR DAVID R. ELLIS

Whatever the critics might think of a movie (or in this case, several movies), it's still sad when we hear about a filmmaker being taken from us prematurely. And so, this column unfortunately has to announce (for those who missed it at the time) that David R. Ellis, the director of such films as Snakes on a Plane, Shark Night 3D, and The Final Destination died on January 7, while preparing to film the anime adaptation Kite in South Africa. Samuel L. Jackson was to have starred in that movie, the production of which is now probably scrapped. No cause of death is yet known. David R. Ellis was 60.




#1 BEING THE FIRST NEW #1 MOVIE OF 2013 EARNS TEXAS CHAINSAW 3D A SEQUEL (OR MAYBE NOT)

Opening up against a very strong field of late 2012 movies (including lots of Oscar contenders), Texas Chainsaw 3D did well enough to open at #1 in its first weekend with over $24 million in domestic box office. This quickly led to online news that Millennium Films was already developing a sequel to the film. Normally, that would be both the beginning and the end of the story (because, really, what else more is there to say about a story like this?). However, the surprise that came later in the week was that there is still some dispute about whether or not a sequel has indeed be greenlit, due to a disagreement about who has the right to make such a decision. Regardless, none of the writing in that link actually says there won't be a Texas Chainsaw 3D sequel, either, which leaves us at square one. There will probably be more chainsaws, in Texas, in the future, in 3D.

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

Comments

Steven Hoover

Steven Hoover

I always thought that Ben Affleck not getting a nomination for Argo just meant that I really wanted him to win so much that it could possibly mean that I'm just too much of a fan for him and that I would never accept the truth. Seeing every single Oscar news post regarding the first 'bad thing about it' is him not getting a directing nomination may proof that I am not completely crazy about it as I think.

Jan 11 - 06:02 PM

Gordon Franklin Terry Sr

Gordon Terry

The most sickening Best Actress Nomination is Naomi Watts . . . over Two Hundred Thousand people of non-European descent die during the tsunami and film industry chooses a white chick to represent the disaster. Cinematic Racism is still glaringly apparent.

Jan 12 - 11:09 AM

Ryan Romania

Ryan Romania

And that means that she wasn't great in the movie??

Jan 12 - 12:15 PM

Mark Conroy

Mark Conroy

Ye I Mean, the movie was a about a miraculous true story of this one family which was incredible. Its a movie about this family and regardless of what you think she was very good in the film

Jan 12 - 03:04 PM

Dick Travis

Mick Travis

Okay, as far as the age thing, the Academy screwed themselves by getting rid of the Best Juvenile Performance Oscar decades ago: among the winners include Claude Jarman, Jr. (for THE YEARLING) and Hayley Mills as POLLYANNA. I'm not sure whose bright idea was to remove that award, but maybe they should reinstate it if they are going to bitch and complain about the ages of the nominees. Personally, I thought Wallis was so amazing in BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD and would love to see her win, however the clear favorite is Jessica Chastain (why couldn't it be for a different movie?).

As for the rest of the stories, I could give a frog's fat ass about any of them, particularly the SIN CITY prequel, as I wasn't a fan of the original, as a lot of men were. Hey, I like boobs, but I actually got bored with the original, a clear case of style over substance. In any case, RIP David R. Ellis: loved that cameo you had in 1977's HEROES along side another famous director, John Cassavettes.

Jan 11 - 06:26 PM

Andrew Henderson

Andrew Henderson

No, just a clear case of you being a bitch.

Jan 11 - 09:40 PM

Dick Travis

Mick Travis

NEWS FLASH: People have different opinions, asshole, so fucking deal with it BIYATCH!

Jan 11 - 09:50 PM

Gage Kent

Gage Kent

Get used to it. It is all he is good at being.

Jan 13 - 01:26 AM

Jack Treese

Jack Treese

Very well said Mick. And you are free to opinion, regardless of what closed-minded individuals would have you think. When I hear of the age controversy, all I can think is that theother nominees are jealous that the girl may have just as good a chance at winning as the others. They should reinstate the Best Juvenile Performance awards.

Jan 18 - 10:07 AM

Josh H.

Josh Hanssen

I'm more disappointed by The Master getting snubbed (with the exception of Joaquin Phoenix's nomination).

Jan 11 - 06:39 PM

Jason H.

Jason Huang

well, christopher nolan has a new movie :D

Jan 11 - 06:43 PM

Corey Dowd

Corey Dowd

Okay, don't even mention the snubs for Tarantino and PT Anderson, and that The Master wasn't even nominated for Best Picture! Same with Dark Knight Rises. Considering the whole reason (allegedly) they bumped it up to up to 10 pics was because of The Dark Knight, it seems ridiculous to not award Nolan for his incredible trilogy.

Jan 11 - 07:11 PM

greg_dean_schmitz

Greg Dean Schmitz

I was really relaying more the main points that most other articles have pointed out about the nominations, than doing my own analysis. If I had been, in addition to QT, I probably would have written about the way "Moonrise Kingdom" was penalized for coming out in May instead of November or December. I personally think it was one of the top 5 movies of the year, and particularly in craft categories, should have been nominated (instead of just one nomination, for original screenplay). I probably could have filled the whole Ketchup with all the snubs and films that could have received more nominations, it's true.

Jan 11 - 08:23 PM

Colton Rice

Colton Rice

Lets be real,Dark Knight Rises sucked

Jan 11 - 10:09 PM

Amardeep Lakra

Amardeep Lakra

But sucking was good.

Jan 12 - 01:48 AM

Harry Ravenwood

Zuhairi Harry Ravenwood

It's not great, but it didn't suck. Though I must say, they give the film a nomination for Original Score and Special Effects. Come on, just because someone didn't overuse greenscreen like George Lucas doesn't mean he or she is not eligible for the award. P.S. I love Star Wars

Jan 12 - 01:59 AM

Gordon Franklin Terry Sr

Gordon Terry

ARE YOU KIDDING???? The Dark Knight Rises has incredibly intelligent dialog and ANNE HATHAWAY IS CATWOMAN, she OWNS that role, probabily sharpening her acting-teeth for Les Miserables

Jan 12 - 11:01 AM

Frisby2007

Frisby 2007

How did it suck? It was better than the previous one.

Jan 12 - 11:42 PM

Gimhana Fernando

Gimhana Fernando

Interstellar will flop.Nolan is an accomplished director,but I feel tha he has a signature style,if you notice the similarities in the Bat trilogy and Inception (haven't seen memento).If he strays I got a bad felling about his future......I maybe wrong,but that's my thought.

Always there's a big snub at the Oscar's,this time several.Not surprised,don't care.

Jan 11 - 07:44 PM

Typhon

Typhon Q

Well we haven't see how he works with that sort of material yet, so I think its a bit early to start judging.

Jan 11 - 08:41 PM

Brendan Adams

Brendan Adams

What would him having a signature style have to do with Interstellar? It's his brother's script so it would have their own flare. I see this movie being a huge success critically and at the box office.

Jan 12 - 01:21 AM

Zhandos Bolatbek

Zhandos Bolatbek

Usual things for Nolan.

Jan 12 - 02:52 AM

Kurtiss Keefner

Kurtiss Keefner

Well, since his brother co-wrote the screenplay in several Christopher Nolan films, including the two Dark Knights, then you are simply supporting Gimhana's argument.

Jan 12 - 11:07 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

The fact that you seem to have only put a single thought into your analysis, I'd say it's safe to say you are wrong.

Jan 13 - 07:26 PM

graeme m.

graeme minto

If you have'nt seen memento nolan's best film then i think an opinion from you is irrelevant he and his brother work very well togehter and i imagine that the movie will only gain from spielberg dropping owt and nolan jumping into the seat.

Jan 21 - 11:11 AM

Square M.

Vince Mcmahon

The only film coming out this year that could do better than Interstellar is Mockingjay. It's ludicrous at this point to say that a Nolan film could flop when he's never had a financial failure his entire career. He's simply too good and too BIG to fail.

Jul 7 - 10:54 AM

Alex Stiles

Alex Stiles

My biggest disappointment was probably John Hawkes being snubbed, after being nominated for just about every single other award. Also, Affleck and Bigelow weren't the only ones snubbed for Best Director. Quentin Tarantino, anybody? I get that the Academy has personal things against QT (grow up, guys), but in the past, they've at least had the decency to nominate him.

Jan 11 - 07:56 PM

greg_dean_schmitz

Greg Dean Schmitz

I was really relaying more the main points that most other articles have pointed out about the nominations, than doing my own analysis. If I had been, in addition to QT, I probably would have written about the way "Moonrise Kingdom" was penalized for coming out in May instead of November or December. I personally think it was one of the top 5 movies of the year, and particularly in craft categories, should have been nominated (instead of just one nomination, for original screenplay). I probably could have filled the whole Ketchup with all the snubs and films that could have received more nominations, it's true.

Jan 11 - 08:23 PM

Typhon

Typhon Q

Well we haven't see how he works with that sort of material yet, so I think its a bit early to start judging.

Jan 11 - 08:41 PM

Andrew Henderson

Andrew Henderson

No, just a clear case of you being a bitch.

Jan 11 - 09:40 PM

Dick Travis

Mick Travis

NEWS FLASH: People have different opinions, asshole, so fucking deal with it BIYATCH!

Jan 11 - 09:50 PM

Gage Kent

Gage Kent

Get used to it. It is all he is good at being.

Jan 13 - 01:26 AM

Joshua

Joshua "LF" Mitchell

No mention about Jurassic Park 4?

Jan 11 - 09:42 PM

greg_dean_schmitz

Greg Dean Schmitz

That news broke after my deadline. http://www.deadline.com/2013/01/jurassic-park-4-release-june-13-2014-steven-spielberg/

Jan 11 - 10:05 PM

Dick Travis

Mick Travis

NEWS FLASH: People have different opinions, asshole, so fucking deal with it BIYATCH!

Jan 11 - 09:50 PM

greg_dean_schmitz

Greg Dean Schmitz

That news broke after my deadline. http://www.deadline.com/2013/01/jurassic-park-4-release-june-13-2014-steven-spielberg/

Jan 11 - 10:05 PM

Colton Rice

Colton Rice

Lets be real,Dark Knight Rises sucked

Jan 11 - 10:09 PM

Amardeep Lakra

Amardeep Lakra

But sucking was good.

Jan 12 - 01:48 AM

Harry Ravenwood

Zuhairi Harry Ravenwood

It's not great, but it didn't suck. Though I must say, they give the film a nomination for Original Score and Special Effects. Come on, just because someone didn't overuse greenscreen like George Lucas doesn't mean he or she is not eligible for the award. P.S. I love Star Wars

Jan 12 - 01:59 AM

Gordon Franklin Terry Sr

Gordon Terry

ARE YOU KIDDING???? The Dark Knight Rises has incredibly intelligent dialog and ANNE HATHAWAY IS CATWOMAN, she OWNS that role, probabily sharpening her acting-teeth for Les Miserables

Jan 12 - 11:01 AM

Frisby2007

Frisby 2007

How did it suck? It was better than the previous one.

Jan 12 - 11:42 PM

Jamison Barsotti

Jamison Barsotti

I thought I had seen all of Wes Anderson's movies but I guess I missed "Moonlight Kingdom".

Jan 11 - 10:30 PM

greg_dean_schmitz

Greg Dean Schmitz

Ah, thanks for catching that. I'll ask RT to fix.

Jan 11 - 10:47 PM

Sebastian O.

Sebastian Ochoa

It's Moonrise, and I agree with Greg that people sort of forgot about it, since it was released in May, but it truly looked Oscar material. I have seen most Best Picture nominees, my favourite being Silver Linings Playbook. I am dying to watch Django Unchained, but I can only watch it with my friend, which makes me desperate. Personally, QT is one of my favourite directors, while Kathryn Bieglow is NOT. Maybe her snub was due to the fact that she has shown the Academy that she can only make one kind of movie: war, terrorism, death, Cinema Verite. She won for The Hurt Locker, though that could have been for the whole James Cameron/Avatar publicity, but how can she be "Best Director" when she can only make one type of movie? Meanwhile, SLP is complete different to Russell's previous film, the Fighter, that was also nominated for an Oscar.

Jan 12 - 07:38 AM

greg_dean_schmitz

Greg Dean Schmitz

Ah, thanks for catching that. I'll ask RT to fix.

Jan 11 - 10:47 PM

Frisby2007

Frisby 2007

Ellis dies on my birthday, how unfortunate. Seems like that Humpty Dumpty movie I've been looking forward to for years now is going to be scrapped or postponed much longer now. Other than that, there is nothing interesting this week.

Jan 11 - 10:49 PM

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