This week’s Ketchup brings you more headlines from the world of film development news, covering such titles as Dune: Part Two, Lilo & Stitch, and Scream 6.
This WEEK’S TOP STORY
MARCEL THE SHELL DIRECTOR TAPPED FOR DISNEY’S LIVE-ACTION LILO & STITCH
(Photo by Amanda Edwards/Getty Images, Walt Disney courtesy Everett Collection.)
After three weeks in limited release, the stop-motion/live action hybrid mockumentary Marcel the Shell with Shoes On (Certified Fresh at 99%) expandS into wide release this week (7/15/2022). In a seemingly precisely timed announcement, Walt Disney Feature Animation has hired Marcel the Shell with Shoes On director Dean Fleischer-Camp to helm their live-action remake of the 2002 animated comedy Lilo & Stitch (Certified Fresh at 87%). Similar to Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, the Lilo & Stitch remake will combine both live action (for the human characters in Hawaii) with CGI animation for the alien creature Stitch. Crazy Rich Asians (Certified Fresh at 91%) director Jon M. Chu had previously been attached to direct Lilo & Stitch, but he is now going to be busy until 2025 with the two halves of the musical Wicked adaptation (dated for 12/25/2024 and 12/25/2025). Hawaiian screenwriter Chris Kekaniokalani Bright is in negotiations to adapt Lilo & Stitch in what may his feature film debut (his screenplay Conviction made the 2018 Black List of Unproduced Screenplays, but hasn’t been produced yet). Walt Disney Pictures has not yet announced a release date or a cast for the live-action Lilo & Stitch.
Other Top Headlines
1. SOUHEILA YACOUB JOINS DUNE: PART TWO AS FREMEN LEADER
(Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)
Production of the ambitious science fiction epic Dune: Part Two is scheduled to start this fall, just a year before the film’s scheduled release next year on October 20, 2023. Many of the cast members from Dune (Certified Fresh at 83%) are returning for Part Two, but director Denis Villeneuve also structured the first Dune in a way that saved several major characters for the follow-up. New characters in Dune: Part Two that have already been announced in 2022 include Austin Butler (Elvis) as Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen (the role Sting played in David Lynch’s 1984 film), Florence Pugh as Princess Irulan Corrino, Lea Seydoux as Lady Margot, and Christopher Walken as the Emperor Shaddam IV. As a group, those characters are all from outside the planet Arrakis, but this week, one of the new Fremen of Arrakis was also cast. Swiss actress Souheila Yacoub, who co-starred in Gaspar Noé’s Climax (Fresh at 69%), has been cast as Shishakli, who in Frank Herbert’s original novel was a squad leader of Fedaykin. It’s not yet known which Dune: Part Two characters might also return in Denis Villeneuve’s planned third film, reportedly based on Frank Herbert’s Dune: Messiah.
2. EMERALD FENNELL ADAPTING JOHN WICK SPIN-OFF
(Photo by Karwai Tang/Getty Images)
Much like other “cinematic universes” like The Conjuring Universe and the Monsterverse, the John Wick movies have been slowly dropping seeds that are intended to eventually be spun off into other films. One example of this was a scene in John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (Certified Fresh at 89%) when Keanu Reeves’ John Wick meets a character played by Anjelica Huston with ballet dancers on stage in the background. This was an intended “Easter Egg” for an eventual Ballerina spin-off movie that was first announced in 2017. In the five years since, Ana de Armas, who has both The Grey Man and Blonde coming from Netflix this year, has become attached to star as the title character in Ballerina. De Armas herself revealed in a recent interview that writer/director Emerald Fennell (Promising Young Woman) has been brought on board to rewrite the Ballerina screenplay, saying, “It was really important for me to hire a female writer, because to that point when I got involved in the project, it was only the director, Len Wiseman, and another guy. And I was like, ‘That’s not going to work.’” Lionsgate has not yet announced a release date for Ballerina, but it will almost certainly be at some point after John Wick: Chapter 4 is released next year on March 24, 2023.
3. CHANNING TATUM REPLACING CHRIS EVANS IN PROJECT ARTEMIS
(Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)
Capping off a $100+ million bidding war back in March, Apple landed the rights to a hot romantic comedy project called Project Artemis that had Jason Bateman attached to direct former Marvel Studios stars Scarlett Johansson and Chris Evans. Last month, however, the future of Project Artemis appeared to be in question when Bateman dropped out as director. Just a month later, Apple has revived Project Artemis with a new director and a new star as well. Channing Tatum has stepped in to replace Chris Evans, who became unavailable for Project Artemis because of scheduling conflicts (with the Netflix feature Pain Hustlers) when Jason Bateman dropped out. The new director attached to Project Artemis is Greg Berlanti, who is best known as the prolific showrunner behind such DC Comics shows as Arrow, The Flash, Stargirl, and Superman & Lois, as well as feature films like Love, Simon (Certified Fresh at 92%). Although details about Project Artemis were initially scarce, it is now believed to be “a romantic comedy set against the backdrop of the 1968 Apollo 11 moon launch.”
4. SAMARA WEAVING JOINS SCREAM 6 IN READY OR NOT REUNION
(Photo by Priscilla Grant/Everett Collection)
Before directing this year’s horror “requel” Scream (Certified Fresh at 76%), directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett and the rest of their Radio Silence filmmaking group first had success with the 2019 horror comedy Ready or Not (Certified Fresh at 88%), starring Samara Weaving as the film’s “final girl.” Gillett and Bettinelli-Olpin are currently filming Scream 6 (3/31/2023), which will now be a Ready or Not reunion project with the casting of Samara Weaving in an unknown role. Tony Revolori, best known for playing Flash Thompson in the recent Spider-Man films or his frequent appearances in the films of Wes Anderson, has also landed a role in Scream 6. In addition to the cast whose characters who survived Scream, other announced Scream 6 stars include Hayden Panettiere (reprising her role from Scream 4), Jack Champion, Henry Czerny, Liana Liberato, Dermot Mulroney, Devyn Nekoda, and Josh Segarra. Although (unsurprisingly) the premise is being kept basically under wraps, Scream 6 is expected to depart from the previous five films by moving the murders to New York City.
5. NEW MOVIES FOR STRANGER THINGS STARS JOE KEERY AND FINN WOLFHARD
(Photo by Arturo Holmes, Theo Wargo/Getty Images)
The last two episodes of the fourth season of Stranger Things (Fresh at 91%) started streaming on July 1st, and just two weeks later, two of the show’s young stars have landed new projects. Finn Wolfhard, who plays Mike on the show, will make his feature film directorial debut at the age of just 19 (he turns 20 this December) by co-directing a horror comedy called Hell of a Summer with his frequent collaborator Billy Bryk. Wolfhard also co-wrote and will star in Hell of a Summer, which starts filming later this month in Ontario, Canada and whose premise is not yet known. Joe Keery, who plays Steve on Stranger Things, also has a new movie coming soon called Marmalade, which wrapped recently in Minnesota after not being formally announced beforehand. Keery’s co-stars in Marmalade include Camila Morrone (Death Wish) and Aldis Hodge (Hawkman in the upcoming Black Adam, due out on 10/21/2022). Marmalade is described as a “romantic bank heist” movie framed as a story told by “a naive small town man” to his cellmate in prison.
6. ADAM SCOTT JOINS SPIDEY SPIN-OFF MADAME WEB
(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/NBC/Getty Images)
An unusual amount of mystery (for a Marvel Comics-based movie) still surrounds Sony Pictures’ Madame Web, based on the character (or, possibly, characters) that began as Spider-Man supporting characters in the comics. We are, however, starting to get dribs and drabs about what Madame Web might be. For example, there are new production reports that say that areas around Boston and New England are being set-dressed for the film to look like New York City in the early 2000s, including a billboard for Beyonce’s 2003 album, Dangeorusly in Love. Madame Web as an early 2000s period piece could explain why Dakota Johnson may be playing a character who is an older woman in the comics (in that her modern appearance would be 20 years older). The latest cast member to join the film is Adam Scott, who is best known for NBC’s Parks and Recreation (Fresh at 93%) and who is now the star of the Apple TV+ show Severance (Fresh at 97%), for which he was just nominated for an Emmy earlier this week. Dakota Johnson’s other co-stars in Madame Web include Isabela Merced (Dora and the Lost City of Gold), Emma Roberts, Sydney Sweeney, Celeste O’Connor, Mike Epps, and Tahar Rahim. Sony Pictures has scheduled Madame Web for release next summer on July 7, 2023.
7. DANIEL KALUUYA NOT RETURNING FOR BLACK PANTHER: WAKANDA FOREVER
(Photo by Matt Kennedy/©Marvel Studios)
The 2018 Marvel Studios blockbuster hit Black Panther (Certified Fresh at 96%) featured a large ensemble cast, some of which seemed to be introduced for expansion in future movies like this November’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (11/11/2022). Speaking about the upcoming Nope, however, Daniel Kaluuya revealed to Rotten Tomatoes’ Jaqueline Corey that he will not be reprising his role as W’Kabi of the Border Tribe (and the husband of Danai Gurira’s Okoye) due to scheduling conflicts with Nope. The exact premise of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is still mostly unknown, but there is speculation that will soon change as Marvel Studios will host a major Hall H panel at San Diego Comic-Con next week where Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is expected to be featured prominently.
8. FIFTY SHADES OF GREY DIRECTOR TAKING ON AMY WINEHOUSE BIOPIC
(Photo by Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images)
Hollywood is currently something of a mini-Golden Age for musical biopics, following the (relatively) recent successes of films like Bohemian Rhapsody (Fresh at 60%), Rocketman (Certified Fresh at 89%), and Elvis (Certified Fresh at 78%), and with the Whitney Houston film I Wanna Dance with Somebody (12/21/2022) and Madonna’s self-directed biopic also coming soon. Efforts to get a biopic about the tragic life of British singer Amy Winehouse have been in the works almost since her 2011 death. (Winehouse’s story was the focus of the award-winning Certified Fresh 2015 documentary Amy. ) The currently untitled Amy Winehouse biopic is back in development again, now with director Sam Taylor-Johnson attached. One of Taylor-Johnson’s early films was 2009’s Nowhere Boy (Certified Fresh at 80%), starring her future husband Aaron Taylor-Johnson as the young John Lennon, but she is probably best known for directing Fifty Shades of Grey (Rotten at 24%). In addition to the StudioCanal production company and other producers, the Amy Winehouse biopic is being developed “with full support from the Amy Winehouse estate,” including her father Mitch Winehouse. A search for a young singer and actress who can depict Amy Winehouse will begin soon.
9. DEVASTATING PRINCE ANDREW STORY TO BECOME FILM SCOOP
(Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
In 2008, the Ron Howard-directed drama Frost/Nixon (Certified Fresh at 93%), based on a play, dramatized a historical interview between British TV personality David Frost and disgraced former President Richard Nixon. Now, a very different TV interview with a fallen celebrity decades later will also become a feature film. In 2019, the BBC programme (using their spelling here) Newsnight aired an hourlong interview with Prince Andrew that became a public flashpoint in the scandal surrounding Queen Elizabeth II’s second oldest son. That interview will be the focus of a feature film called Scoop, which was adapted by screenwriter Peter Moffat, who is best known for his British television work on Doctor Who and Sherlock. No casting has begun yet on Scoop, but the actor reportedly on the producers’ “wish list,” according to Deadline, is Hugh Grant. There is no filming start date, or release date, for Scoop.