Weekly Ketchup: Olympus Has Fallen Gets a Sequel

Plus, new roles for Michael Fassbender, Channing Tatum, Noomi Rapace, and... The Expendabelles.

Every year in November, the American Film Market in Santa Monica, California, attracts movie producers and distributors from all over the world. And in the week before the AFM, the Internet gets deluged with dozens of movie development stories. This was that week, and so, this week's Ketchup is here to filter through all the noise (and a few Halloween-themed announcements, too). Included in the mix are a few sequels, and three different celebrity biopics.


This Week's Top Story

LONDON HAS FALLEN: HOW CAN THE SAME STUFF HAPPEN TO THE SAME PRESIDENT TWICE?

There are (many) movies that, when you see them, or even just hear about them, you figure, "they want to franchise that." Then, there are movies that seem pretty clearly to be "onesies." Of course, such guesses can eventually be proven very wrong (for example, John Carter in the first case, and The Godfather in the second). When our year of White House invasion movies started with Olympus Has Fallen, this writer thought it was probably just a one time story. This writer was wrong. Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman, Angela Bassett and Radha Mitchell will reprise their roles in the sequel London Has Fallen. This time, the President of the United States (Eckhart) travels to London for the funeral of a prime minister, where he teams up with the head of the Secret Service (Butler) and an MI6 agent (to be cast) to fight the latest wave of evil terrorists. The scenario is ridiculous (you think?) but it does raise the question of whether world leaders would decline visits from the POTUS, or welcome him, in the hopes that while he's there, he can fight off their local villains. Filming of London Has Fallen will start in London on May 5, 2014. The screenwriters of Olympus Has Fallen (Katrin Benedikt and Creighton Rothenberger) are currently working on London Has Fallen (and also worked together on the upcoming The Expendables 3). Worldwide, Olympus Has Fallen has earned a box office total of $160 million from a filming budget of $70 million, and a RT Tomatometer "Rotten" score of 48%.

Fresh Developments This Week

#1 KICK-ASS STAR AARON TAYLOR-JOHNSON CONFIRMED TO PLAY QUICKSILVER IN THE AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON

It was nearly five months ago now that we first heard that Kick-Ass star Aaron Taylor-Johnson might be playing Quicksilver in the upcoming Marvel sequel The Avengers: Age of Ultron. That casting, however, was never confirmed until this week. Quicksilver and his sister Scarlet Witch have been Avengers members (on and off) since the early 1960s, but they mostly remain fairly obscure to non comics fans. Their situation is also complicated by the fact that their father is Magneto, and 20th Century Fox is including Quicksilver in next year's X-Men: Days of Future Past (as one of several new movie mutants, including Bishop, Blink, Sunspot, and Warpath), to be played by Evan Peters. Quicksilver is a super speedster, and his sister has "hex spell powers," but as part of their inclusion, the fact that they are mutants (or related to Magneto) will not be mentioned in the movie. Scarlet Witch will be played by Elizabeth Olsen when the movie opens in theaters on May 1, 2015.


#2 DIRECT-TO-VIDEO HORROR ANTHOLOGY TRICK 'R TREAT TO GET DIRECT-TO-THEATERS SEQUEL

Usually, this goes the other way. Nothing about the release of the 2007 horror anthology Trick 'r Treat really went the way it was supposed to. Produced by Bryan Singer, the movie was well received at a variety of horror-friendly festivals in 2007 and 2008, and then in 2009, Warner Premiere released Trick 'r Treat direct-to-DVD in October, 2009. In the age of horror movies frequently opening to fairly significant box office numbers, the decision to have Trick 'r Treat bypass theaters entirely boggled many minds. It's not like it was an awful movie, with a "Fresh" RT Tomatometer score of 85%. Director Michael Dougherty never gave up, however, on the idea of Trick 'r Treat 2, and this week, in the days leading up to Halloween, he announced that just such a movie is indeed in the works. The anthology sequel will tackle "classic movie monster" types not seen in the first movie. The movie still has a lot of steps to get through in the development process, but the goal is to release Trick 'r Treat 2, in theaters, in October (which year it will be is the question).


#3 EMILE HIRSCH CAST TO PLAY SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE STAR JOHN BELUSHI

When people are trying to play "casting game" with real life figures like John Belushi (who progressively gained weight), there seems to be a tendency for people to want to pick a "fat guy." That's a little odd, because it's not like gaining weight is really that difficult. There are also fun solutions like "fat suits" and belly pads. The producers of the long-in-development John Belushi biopic went this route this week with their announcement that Emile Hirsch (Into the Wild) has been cast. This still-untitled film will be the second John Belushi biopic after Wired in 1989, which was surrounded by controversy, and featured Michael Chiklis (who eventually went on to play another comedian, Curly of the Three Stooges). The producers of this Belushi movie will include his widow Judy Belushi and his comedy and singing partner Dan Aykroyd (whose role is now being cast). Dan Aykroyd also made other biopic news this week by joining the James Brown movie Get On Up, which will be directed by Tate Taylor (The Help) and feature Chadwick Boseman as the Godfather of Soul. Don Cheadle is also looking to get into this burgeoning celebrity biopic resurgence, by making his directorial debut with Kill the Trumpet Player, which is described by some sources as being like a period "gangster movie" in which jazz musician Miles Davis is a character. Don Cheadle will also play Miles Davis, and Ewan McGregor and Zoe Saldana are reportedly in talks for supporting roles.


#4 CHANNING TATUM MAY STAR IN BAD ROMANCE FOR THE DIRECTOR OF 50/50 AND WARM BODIES

Channing Tatum is in talks to produce and star in a movie called Bad Romance. That title is pretty much all we know about the movie itself, so this is going to be a fairly slim story. But, you know, it involves Channing Tatum and a director with a good streak going right now, so the story still makes the cut in a busy week, regardless. That director (who will also write) is Jonathan Levine, whose last three films were The Wackness, 50/50, and Warm Bodies, the latter two of which were both Certified Fresh. Channing Tatum is also producing (and will star in) a biopic about 1970s daredevil stunt motorcyclist Evel Knievel.




#5 MICHAEL FASSBENDER TO STAR IN BRITISH GANGSTER MOVIE TRESPASS AGAINST US

Michael Fassbender continues to have an impressive career (let's just ignore The Counselor). He's currently in theaters with the critically acclaimed Twelve Years a Slave, and his half dozen movies awaiting release (or production) include the anticipated videogame adaptation Assassin's Creed (which Fassbender is also producing), his second film as Magneto (X-Men: Days of Future Past), and a new version of William Shakespeare's MacBeth. This week, Michael Fassbender added yet another project to the mix by starting negotiations to star in the British gangster movie Trespass Against Us, which will mark the feature debut of director Adam Smith, who does for 18th century economists what the director of Twelve Years a Slave did for, well, Steve McQueen. Trespass Against Us will span three generations of a British crime family, with Michael Fassbender basically being the "Michael" (Corleone) of the story: the son who wants get out of the family business. The British dance group The Chemical Brothers will be providing the film's score.


#6 HOLLYWOOD'S MINING OF OLD TV SHOWS FINALLY GETS AROUND TO... IT TAKES A THIEF

As time continues on, old TV shows only get older, and if they didn't get exposure through syndication or cable reruns, obscure titles are only likely to get more obscure. That is, of course, unless a Hollywood studio dusts off the property and turns it into the latest in the now long standing tradition of movies based on decades-old TV shows. The 1968-1970 ABC spy show It Takes a Thief definitely fits the bill. Robert Wagner starred in It Takes a Thief as a cat burglar (inspired by Cary Grant's role in To Catch a Thief) who is recruited out of prison to come work for the "Secret Intelligence Agency." And then he had 66 episodes of light-hearted adventure, with frequent guest appearances from old school Hollywood stars like Joesph Cotten, Bette Davis, and, for five episodes as his father, Fred Astaire. Universal Pictures is the studio starting development on a movie update for It Takes a Thief. It's possible that this renewed interest in It Takes a Thief was inspired by the currently filming movie version of another 1960s spy TV show, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., in which Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer are starring for Warner Bros.


#7 NOOMI RAPACE TO COSTAR WITH HERSELF, HERSELF, HERSELF, HERSELF, HERSELF, AND HERSELF

There might be something in the water in Norway that inspires bizarre genre movies. In recent years, Norway has given us both Trollhunter and director Tommy Wirkola, whose career started with the Nazi zombie movie Dead Snow, and continued with Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters. For the sake of calling this story "Fresh," we're going to just ignore the really "Rotten" score of 15% for that one, because this film's premise gets points for "ambition." Wirkola's next film will be in the "dystopian sci fi" genre, and will be called What Happened to Monday? Swedish actress Noomi Rapace will play all seven parts of a group of septuplets who have to struggle to hide themselves from detection in a future of "one child laws," in which their very existence is a huge crime. Rapace's previous roles include The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (and its two sequels), Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, and Prometheus. The role was originally going to be male, but director Tommy Wirkola says, "I was struck by the complexities of having an actor portray seven characters and immediately knew Noomi was the ideal actor -- male or female -- to bring them to life."

Rotten Ideas of the Week

#2 MERYL STREEP, CAMERON DIAZ, AND MILLA JOVOVICH IN... THE EXPENDABELLES?

It's been about a year now since we first heard about plans for a "female version" of The Expendables. Speaking to Bulgarian press (where the movie is planned to be filmed), producer Avi Lerner revealed three of the actresses that he is currently negotiating with to potentially star in the movie. But, first, we must really adress the name of the movie, which ascends (or descends, depending upon your opinion) to heights of ridiculousness: The ExpendaBelles. Got that title in your mind? Okay, now imagine Meryl Streep agreeing to star in that movie. The other two names are Cameron Diaz and Milla Jovovich (who one has to guess is probably the most likely to actually sign, since she does already work in Europe on action movies a lot, anyway). The script for The ExpendaBelles was written by Karen McCullah Lutz and Kirsten Smith, who worked together before on Legally Blonde.


#1 DREAMWORKS PICKS UP THE MOVIE RIGHTS TO AN EIGHTH GRADER'S JOURNAL

Hollywood has spent a lot of time and energy in recent years trying to make movies out of things read by 8th grade girls, with a lot of the eventual movies not actually doing that well at the box office. This week, someone at DreamWorks hit upon the idea that maybe they were approaching this all the way around the wrong way. DreamWorks has instead picked up the movie rights to something that was *written* by an eighth grade girl. Now fifteen, Maya Van Wagenen was in eighth grade when she wrote a journal which is now being published as a "book" called Popular: One Geek's Quest for the Impossible. The journal was themed around old magazine articles and books from the 1950s like Betty Cornell's Glamour Guide for Teens, and attempted to apply their advice to her life in the early 2010s. To adapt Van Wagenen's journal into a movie script, DreamWorks has hired TV showrunner and screenwriter Amy B. Harris, whose work has included both Sex and the City and the spinoff series The Carrie Diaries.

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

Comments

Typhon

Typhon Q

Why is London Has Fallent the top story?

1. This is old news.

Nov 1 - 05:19 PM

Brad and Netflix

Bradly Martin

I know right! It's hell old news!

I think it made a lot of money. RT seems to think Blockbuster bucks are top news now. I wonder how Twilight stuff still gets rotten news though? Ha ha ha.

Nov 2 - 04:09 PM

Rizwan Ji

Rizwan Ji

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Nov 4 - 04:15 PM

J.D Dean

J.D Dean

I'm so happy that Trick 'r Treat is getting a sequel. It's one of the few horror movies in the last few years that has actually impressed me.

Nov 1 - 05:20 PM

Vincent

Max

Lame. So Die Hard #2045 gets a sequel. Oh, but it's still the same thing. I really despise Die Hard because everyone calls it a masterpiece when it isn't. It's just a run-of-the-mill action movie with terrible side characters and an equally bad script. It's not a masterpiece. Now, backto Olympus Has Fallen, looks really dumb and I'm not gonna watch a forced sequel.

The only good news here is Trick 'r Treat's sequel, which could suck.

Nov 1 - 07:37 PM

Wyatt Person

Wyatt Person

Die Hard is a masterpiece, you fool!

Nov 3 - 08:45 AM

Stewart H.

Stewart Hoffman

When you say Die Hard, I'm going to assume you meant to say, A Good day To Die Hard - because that WAS a bad film. The original Die Hard is a masterpiece!

Nov 3 - 09:24 AM

Dave J

Dave J

You just love to incite controversy- don't you Jay?

Nov 4 - 01:03 PM

Robert Skillstad

Robert Skillstad

Fallen always planned as a trilogy. Coming for Thanksgiving 2017 - The White House Christmas Tree Has Fallen.

Nov 1 - 10:22 PM

Mike Smith

Mike Smith

You got the studio releasing To Catch a Thief wrong. It's Paramount that releasing it-and they still own it!!!! The rights to all the other Hitchcock productions made for Paramount is sold to Universal!!!

Nov 1 - 10:53 PM

Greg Dean Schmitz

Greg Dean Schmitz

I knew there was something odd about To Catch a Thief, but should have double checked that reference. Thanks for correcting that.

Nov 2 - 09:57 AM

Frisby2007

Frisby 2007

The Trick 'r Treat sequel is the only good section in this week of shit news.

Also, how the hell is the ExpendaBelles going to be any good with such crap casting? Not that Diaz or Streep are terrible actresses (nor Jovovich for that matter), oh no, but they are not action material. Maybe Diaz is questionably, but so far Jovovich is the only female in this cast to fit in this project. Where the hell are Beckingsale, Weaver, Johanssen, Jolie, Saldana, Stewart, Theron, Carrie-Anne Moss, Loken, Rodriguez, & Browning?

Nov 2 - 03:18 AM

Brad and Netflix

Bradly Martin

I think the ones you listed wanted way to much money. They are strong empowered women who star in there own movies, none of that sharing the spot light BS! I'm actually impressed Jovovich agreed to be in it considering she's usually the star of her action films as well.

It doesn't seem to be any more stupid than the expendables though.

Nov 2 - 04:14 PM

King  S.

King Simba

I don't know. Most of the films they've headlined have been medium to low budget, while whenever they go big budget they usually have to share screentime with other stars or even take secondary roles. Jolie, Diaz and Streep are the only ones who can be considered A-list stars.

Nov 3 - 01:21 AM

King  S.

King Simba

Kristen Stewart and Emily Browning? I agree with the rest of the names you mentioned, but nothing in Browning or Stewart's careers so far have convinced me they can pull off the action heroine role convincingly (and yes, I've seen Stewart in a lot more than the Twilight films). While Diaz isn't the first person to come to mind when I think badass action star either, at least she showed with Knight and Day and Charlie's Angels films that she can be used to add humor to the film.

Nov 3 - 01:13 AM

Jacob Arnett

Jacob Arnett

Can't wait for the Trick r Treat sequel. I doubt I'll watch the one where Rapace plays septuplets, not because it sounds bad, but because that's too much sexy for me to handle.

Nov 2 - 08:37 AM

Andrew Milito

Andrew Milito

I love me some Noomi Rapace...

Nov 2 - 11:37 AM

Brad and Netflix

Bradly Martin

I think the fact that she doesn't ever play any sexy roles is whats so fascinating about her sex appeal. Like a real human being quality. Which is saying a lot considering Lisbeth was anything but a real human being.

Nov 2 - 04:17 PM

Greg Dean Schmitz

Greg Dean Schmitz

I knew there was something odd about To Catch a Thief, but should have double checked that reference. Thanks for correcting that.

Nov 2 - 09:57 AM

Andrew Milito

Andrew Milito

I love me some Noomi Rapace...

Nov 2 - 11:37 AM

Brad and Netflix

Bradly Martin

I think the fact that she doesn't ever play any sexy roles is whats so fascinating about her sex appeal. Like a real human being quality. Which is saying a lot considering Lisbeth was anything but a real human being.

Nov 2 - 04:17 PM

Maineutral R.

Maineutral Reviewer

...The Expendabelles...oh my god, Meryl please don't...don't go in there...you're the greatest actress ever! Don't go into a mindless self-deprecating movie!

Nov 2 - 01:34 PM

Brad and Netflix

Bradly Martin

I think Noomi Repace is a fantastic Actress, I don't get the whole "I am a tree...I am a quite sullen Tree...." pictures she constantly poses for. It seemed to happend all at once after Girl with a Dragon Tattoo. What is wrong with Smiling now Noomi!?

The other news on this list seems to be really old news...or I'm taking Rumors as news and now that its all been confirmed it just seems like old news?

Nov 2 - 04:08 PM

Brad and Netflix

Bradly Martin

I know right! It's hell old news!

I think it made a lot of money. RT seems to think Blockbuster bucks are top news now. I wonder how Twilight stuff still gets rotten news though? Ha ha ha.

Nov 2 - 04:09 PM

Brad and Netflix

Bradly Martin

I think the ones you listed wanted way to much money. They are strong empowered women who star in there own movies, none of that sharing the spot light BS! I'm actually impressed Jovovich agreed to be in it considering she's usually the star of her action films as well.

It doesn't seem to be any more stupid than the expendables though.

Nov 2 - 04:14 PM

King  S.

King Simba

I don't know. Most of the films they've headlined have been medium to low budget, while whenever they go big budget they usually have to share screentime with other stars or even take secondary roles. Jolie, Diaz and Streep are the only ones who can be considered A-list stars.

Nov 3 - 01:21 AM

Brad and Netflix

Bradly Martin

I think the fact that she doesn't ever play any sexy roles is whats so fascinating about her sex appeal. Like a real human being quality. Which is saying a lot considering Lisbeth was anything but a real human being.

Nov 2 - 04:17 PM

Alex M.

Alex Maverick

The ExpendaBelles? What. The. Fuck.

Nov 2 - 04:48 PM

Dave J

Dave J

As a matter of fact, I had seen my fair share of kick-ass women in movies and some are brutal, and they don't even have to wear a super hero costume to do it either! Gina Carano, Maggie Q, Michelle Kahn/ Yeoh and Cynthia Rothrock are not your average defenseless typical girls one might expect! Also, the US has just as many women arming themselves with easy-to-carry guns as much as men!

Nov 4 - 01:18 PM

This comment has been removed.

Dave J

Dave J

Well, although you may be right, they're probably many movies with bad titles but that still doesn't mean that it's going to be a bad movie! But I know what you're saying that with a bad title can also deter viewers from going to it!

Nov 4 - 05:13 PM

King  S.

King Simba

Kristen Stewart and Emily Browning? I agree with the rest of the names you mentioned, but nothing in Browning or Stewart's careers so far have convinced me they can pull off the action heroine role convincingly (and yes, I've seen Stewart in a lot more than the Twilight films). While Diaz isn't the first person to come to mind when I think badass action star either, at least she showed with Knight and Day and Charlie's Angels films that she can be used to add humor to the film.

Nov 3 - 01:13 AM

King  S.

King Simba

I don't know. Most of the films they've headlined have been medium to low budget, while whenever they go big budget they usually have to share screentime with other stars or even take secondary roles. Jolie, Diaz and Streep are the only ones who can be considered A-list stars.

Nov 3 - 01:21 AM

Wyatt Person

Wyatt Person

Kinda interesting week.

Top Story: Oh, God no.

Fresh
No. 1: The idea of having two Quicksilvers greatly worries me, and I'm not so fond of this casting decision regardless.

No. 2: This is interesting, but from a mile away it sounds like a bomb waiting to happen.

No. 3: I like Emile Hirsch, but I'm not familiar with John Belushi's work, so I don't know how to judge this casting decision.

No. 4: I love 50/50, but it was moreso the acting and writing that made it for me, rather than the direction. I also dislike Channing Tatum greatly, and I refuse to understand how he gets work.

No. 5: This is easily the most interesting news of the week. Michael Fassbender is one of the most talented actors in the world right now, and this premise interests me. Hopefully the director pulls it off.

No. 6: This could work, if they were to go the campy, affectionate route, and maybe cast some older stars, and stuff. They'll probably mess it up, though.

No. 7: This sounds really interesting, but the director ruins it for me.

Rotten
No. 2: *Sigh* This will fail miserably. At least The Expendables cast action stars, not Meryl f**king Streep.

No. 1: Well, this'll bomb.

Nov 3 - 08:44 AM

Brad and Netflix

Bradly Martin

His Box office returns are how he get's work. I have not seen a movie I really liked starring Tatum either. 21 Jump Street hype made it sound like the most hilarious movie in the world, it was okay. Box office returns though man, now there will be like 4 more 21 Jump Streets.

Hey at least the Channing Tatum white house movie isn't getting any sequels.

Nov 3 - 09:59 AM

Wyatt Person

Wyatt Person

I think I've said this before, but he looks like a piece of meat, and he's being vaunted as some huge box-office king of Hollywood type...

Nov 3 - 11:22 AM

King  S.

King Simba

As far as box office goes, he was on fire...at least up until White House Down (which, to be fair, suffered a lot from Olympus has Fallen), having starred in 3 100 mil hits last year.

Nov 3 - 11:30 AM

Wyatt Person

Wyatt Person

Yeah, but I don't see why he would be cast in a decidedly non-blockbustery director's film, when he cannot act.

Nov 3 - 11:48 AM

Brad and Netflix

Bradly Martin

I think Sodenburgh (spelling?) Just loves a challenge. Clooney had Two Moves before "Out of Site" and J-Lo sure as hell wasn't even considered an actress at that point. Sodenberg (spelling) changed all that. Now he's challenging all that with Tatum. You really should be blaming him and his entertaining movies.

Nov 3 - 07:06 PM

Gary Ferrie

Gary Ferrie

How is anyone not familiar with Belushi's work? Just askin

Nov 3 - 07:41 PM

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