This Week s Ketchup brings you more headlines from the world of film development news, covering such titles as Ferrari, The Flash, The Magic School Bus, and a remake of Twister.This WEEK S TOP STORYMARGOT ROBBIE IS THE NEW PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN CAPTAIN (Photo by ©Warner Bros.)There have been hints in the real world for a while now that Walt Disney Pictures had plans for Pirates of the Caribbean following Johnny Depp s run as Captain Jack Sparrow. Most of this has revolved around the character of Redd, a female pirate who became a featured greeter at the Disney parks in 2018. In late breaking news this Friday, we now know that Margot Robbie is attached to star in a new Pirates of the Caribbean spinoff that will be written by Christina Hodson, who worked with Robbie on this year s Birds of Prey. The new film hasn t actually been confirmed to be a Redd movie quite yet, but that s where the speculation is quickly turning. In a somewhat surprising twist, this new Margot Robbie Pirates of the Caribbean movie will also reportedly be separate from the Pirates of the Caribbean reboot by original Pirates of the Caribbean co-writer Ted Elliot and Chernobyl creator Craig Mazin previously, many thought their movie would be the one to introduce Redd. It s possible that Walt Disney Pictures is developing both of these projects to improve their chances that one of them will reach the greenlight stage (Paramount has been doing this for a while with their Transformers projects, including Bumblebee, also written by Hodson). There is no current release date for any new Pirates of the Caribbean project, but with everything going on in the world, it s unlikely it could be before the summer of 2022.Other Top Headlines1. WANNA GET NUTS? MICHAEL KEATON WILL RETURN AS BATMAN IN THE FLASH (Photo by ©Warner Bros. courtesy Everett Collection)The longer big-budget movies take to get produced, the more likely it is that their storylines will twist and change, but at least at one point, the upcoming solo movie for The Flash was going to adapt the Flashpoint premise, which includes both time travel and parallel world -type adventures. Flashpoint eventually became a big part of the TV show The Flash as well, leading to a recent scene during the Crisis on Infinite Earths events when the Ezra Miller s and Grant Gustin s separate versions of the Flash actually met. Possibly confirming a similar story for The Flash (6/2/2022), Michael Keaton is now signed to reprise his role as Bruce Wayne A.K.A. Batman from his two movies with director Tim Burton (1989 s Batman, Fresh at 71%; and 1992 s Batman Returns, Certified Fresh at 79%). The inclusion of Keaton s Batman in The Flash is reportedly meant to establish that there is not just one DC Universe, so that the characters like those in the Arrowverse, Stargirl, Joaquin Phoenix s Joker, Robert Pattinson s The Batman, and the DCEU occupied by Aquaman, The Flash, and Wonder Woman, all exist in separate realities. It s a stark departure from the way Marvel Studios has kept the Marvel Cinematic Universe going in one consistent setting since the first Iron Man in 2008 (the Fox/Marvel movies like X-Men and Deadpool don t count). Warner Bros. is also keeping the door open for other future appearances by Michael Keaton as the older Batman, which might include the long-in-development Batgirl solo movie.2. DISNEY AND LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA GOING TO COLOMBIA FOR ENCANTO (Photo by Lev Radin/Everett Collection)After attaining fame with the hit Broadway musical Hamilton (a filmed version of which is coming to Disney+ on July 3, 2020), Lin-Manuel Miranda expanded into film and animation, including work with Disney on Mary Poppins Returns (in which he co-starred) and Moana (for which he co-wrote the songs). We ve also known for a while that Miranda has a project with Sony Animation called Vivo (6/4/2021), and this week, another new project with Disney Animation was revealed. Talking to Good Morning America on Monday, Lin-Manuel Miranda mentioned that he is spending his quarantine-at-home time working on an untitled Disney animation project set in Colombia. Reportedly, the project will be directed by Byron Howard and Jared Bush, who worked with Miranda as the directors of Moana (Certified Fresh at 95%). This news came just a few days after this Disney blog reported that Miranda, Howard, and Bush were working on a Disney musical called Encanto (Spanish for charm ), about a young girl from a magical family who herself does not have any magical powers. Some sites are already listing Encanto with a possible release date of November 24, 2021, but release dates are obviously very fluid right now.3. HUGH JACKMAN TO REV HIS ENGINE IN MICHAEL MANN S FERRARI BIOPIC(Photo by Wilson Webb/©Warner Bros.)One of the biggest box office surprises of late 2019 may have been the car race period piece Ford v Ferrari (Certified Fresh at 92%), which was able to earn over 7 million in the USA and over 5 million globally. It was not the only Ferrari project being developed at the time, though, as director Michael Mann (Heat, Collateral, Public Enemies) had also been trying to get his own biopic project going about the life of Italian automobile tycoon Enzo Ferrari, who also played a pivotal role in Ford v Ferrari. Michael Mann s Ferrari project is now being sold at the Cannes Virtual Market with Hugh Jackman attached to star as Enzo Ferrari. The focus of Ferrari will be the summer of 1957 (nine years before the events of Ford v Ferrari) when both Ferrari s personal and professional lives were in turmoil. Mann reportedly completed a new rewrite of the Ferrari screenplay, which is based on the Brock Yates book Enzo Ferrari The Man and the Machine. Of course, it s worth noting that Hugh Jackman is very specifically Australian, so it will be interesting to see if he attempts to appropriate any sort of Italian accent in the new film.4. CHRISTOPHER NOLAN S TENET DELAYED AGAIN, SIGNALING BAD NEWS FOR THE SUMMER OF 2020 (Photo by Warner Bros. Pictures)Not that long ago, many in Hollywood were hopeful that movie theaters could be back in business by July, but that was before recent reports of the COVID-19 pandemic numbers going up in many states and Governor Cuomo of New York postponing movie theater reopenings. Even as dozens of projects were delayed from this summer (or went Video-on-Demand), Warner Bros. and director Christopher Nolan have been adamant about Nolan s action film Tenet remaining a summer 2020 movie (though they did delay Tenet earlier this month from July 17 to July 31). Well, Warner Bros. has moved Tenet again, this time back another two weeks to August 12, 2020 (two days before Bill Ted Face the Music and Greenland on 8/14/2020). With this move, the most anticipated movie still scheduled for July (for now) is Disney s Mulan (7/24/2020), but speculation is high that Mulan will also be delayed. Other movies still scheduled for July include Unhinged (7/10/2020), The Broken Hearts Gallery, and Cut Throat City (both 7/17/2020). In related news, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run, previously scheduled for a theatrical release on May 22, 2020, will now debut as a streaming title sometime in early 2021.5. TWISTER GETTING A REMAKE FROM TOP GUN: MAVERICK DIRECTOR (Photo by ©Warner Bros. courtesy Everett Collection)Although the genre is seemingly being kept alive singlehandedly by Gerard Butler (Geostorm, next month s Greenland), the disaster movie is not as common in recent years as it was in the 1990s and 2000s, when titles like Independence Day, 2012, The Day After Tomorrow, Deep Impact, and Armageddon were major box office hits. 1996 in particular was a big year for the genre with the #1 film being Independence Day and #2 being Twister (Rotten at 57%). Perhaps seeing Twister as even more relevant now (thanks to climate change), Universal Pictures is actively developing a remake. Director Joseph Kosinski, who has worked with Tom Cruise twice (Oblivion and the upcoming Top Gun: Maverick) is now in talks for the Twister remake with screenwriters currently being sought. It s currently unclear how closely the new film will stick to the storyline of the original, which focused on a team of storm chasers played by Helen Hunt, the late Bill Paxton, and the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman. Kosinski was also at one time developing a remake of The Black Hole for Disney, but that project appears to have been scrapped (or, at best, delayed indefinitely).6. JURASSIC WORLD: DOMINION WILL REINTRODUCE OBSCURE JURASSIC PARK CHARACTER(Photo by Universal Pictures)When we first started hearing about the upcoming third Jurassic World movie we now know as Jurassic World: Dominion (6/11/2021), one of the biggest stories was that it would feature the return of three of the original Jurassic Park stars: Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, and Sam Neill, all reprising the same characters. Characters from the first Jurassic Park have returned before, including the kids in The Lost World: Jurassic Park, and BD Wong in Jurassic World, but Jurassic World: Dominion will feature another surprising return. Campbell Scott has reportedly signed on to co-star in Jurassic World: Dominion as Dr. Lewis Dodgson, a character from Michael Crichton s novels who appeared in Jurassic Park as the mysterious figure who gave Wayne Knight s character the cannister in which to put the stolen dinosaur embyros. Scott is taking over the role likely to be one of the film s villains because the actor who played Dodgson in Jurassic Park, Cameron Thor, is no longer available. 7. ELIZABETH BANKS TO DRIVE THE LIVE-ACTION MAGIC SCHOOL BUS(Photo by Saeed Adyani/©Netflix)After a long history of animated TV shows based on their various characters, Scholastic Entertainment is now starting to develop more and more theatrical feature films, including Goosebumps (Certified Fresh at 78%), Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween (Rotten at 48%), the upcoming Clifford the Big Red Dog (11/13/2020), and announced just last week, the Animorphs movie. We will also soon be able to add a live-action adaptation of The Magic School Bus to that list, as Elizabeth Banks has signed on to produce and star as Ms. Frizzle, the teacher who drives the bus as it takes kids on adventures through time and space. In the animated TV series, Ms. Frizzle was originally voiced by Lily Tomlin, with Kate McKinnon coming on board later to voice her sister. The Magic School Bus will be distributed by Universal Pictures, which is also the studio that released the three Pitch Perfect movies in which Elizabeth Banks also co-starred (and she also directed Pitch Perfect 2).8. BILL MURRAY TO VOICE A DOG IN BUM S RUSH (Photo by Fox Searchlight courtesy Everett Collection)After starring in both Garfield: The Movie (Rotten at 15%) and Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties (Rotten at 11%) (and thankfully, not a Garfield 3 as seen in Zombieland: Double Tap), Bill Murray also voiced one of the talking dogs in frequent collaborator Wes Anderson s Isle of Dogs (Certified Fresh at 90%). This week, Murray signed on for yet another voice role as a stray dog named Bum in Bum s Rush, along with Anne Hathaway and Robert Duvall. Bum s Rush will be directed by Aaron Schneider (Greyhound, Get Low) from a screenplay by C. Gaby Mitchell, who received a story credit on Blood Diamond and co-wrote Get Low. The independent drama will be filmed in Santa Barbara and New Mexico, though it s unclear, as many film productions are forced to address, when exactly they might be able to get that done. Hathaway will play a custom boot maker who befriends Murray s Bum as these two independent souls find themselves at a serious crossroads, one that will change both their hearts and minds in ways they can hardly imagine. 9. SCI-FI COMEDY ALPHA GANG RECRUITS STAR-STUDDED ENSEMBLE CAST (Photo by Elizabeth Goodenough/Everett Collection)As movies are increasingly based more on concept or franchise than the star s fame, we see fewer stories about the sort of star-driven projects that used to be the norm. That said, the Cannes Film Festival or, as it s been rebranded this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Cannes Virtual Market remains one of the places where these sort of retro star-driven projects can still generate interest. One of the movies at the market this year is a sci-fi comedy called Alpha Gang, about a group of aliens who are sent on a mission to conquer Earth disguised as a gang of bikers. Alpha Gang will feature an ensemble cast that includes Sofia Boutella (Kingsman: The Secret Service), Mackenzie Davis (Terminator: Dark Fate), Charlotte Gainsbourg (Independence Day: Insurgence), Jon 当然，虽然现在手机性能非常强劲，世面上也有大量优质手游，但在网络上的游戏玩家群体中，手游依然存在于游戏鄙视链的低端。
The season finale of HBO’s Watchmen comes with a number of questions, including whether or not the premium cable channel will order another season. At one point, it seemed as though Watchmen was designed to be a one-season event, with executive producer Damon Lindelof saying the season represents everything he has in mind for the Watchmen world. HBO has since walked back his comments, though, as it likes to have dependable programs come back year after year.The season ended on a similar ambiguity: Did Dr. Manhattan (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) have the time to transfer his abilities into that last remaining egg? His conversation with Adrian Veidt (Jeremy Irons) and the use of that “I Am the Eggman” cover would suggest this is the case. But as Watchmen leaves us wondering if Angela Abar (Regina King) stuck the landing, any thought of a second season story is predicated on the answer to that question, which leads to two major options.Assuming a season 2 happens, of course, but more on that later.Angela Sticks the Landing(Photo by Mark Hill/HBO)Presuming Angela receives the Manhattan powers, she faces the unenviable position of not just living every moment of her life simultaneously, but answering up to her grandfather Will’s (Louis Gossett Jr.) belief that Jon Osterman (Dr. Manhattan’s civilian name) could have done more with his powers.Indeed, that is a central topic in the Watchmen comic book series by Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons, and John Higgins. Jon’s increasing distance from human issues makes it difficult for him to care — particularly after the Vietnam invasion — or willing to do much of anything to help until his perception of humanity changes. True, his apparent omniscience indicates to him that interfering in history is impossible, but it leaves a lot of innocent people brutalized or killed during his lifetime.For Angela, this could easily become the central moral conflict of the season. She is predisposed to Will’s morality and would jump at the chance to put the racial hatreds that have dominated her life to an end, which includes the tension back in Vietnam. But is a such a thing even possible, and would her sudden omniscience hold her back?Beyond those questions is the acting challenge for King. Angela has been such a passionate and sympathetic protagonist — ready with the barb or well-timed expletive — that turning her into a “Dr. Saigon” would be a major departure. Granted, it wouldn’t happen all at once, but the slipping away of her humanity would be an awesome thing for King to play. It terms of story, it would be a major shift as the protagonist is, essentially, a god. The writing challenge there would be incredible.Provided, of course, Angela sticks that landing.Angela Plunges into the Pool(Photo by Mark Hill/HBO)So let’s say Watchmen returns with Angela falling into the water and Jon getting one last laugh in at her expense. She is still faced with rebuilding her life in the wake of his death and the revelation that her mentor was a Klansman. Presumably, the Tulsa Police will also be reorganized into a more traditional — and maskless — organization. Will she be able to go back to that? Or will events force Sister Night become a vigilante?Alternatively, there is always the possibility Laurie Blake (Jean Smart) will offer her a place in the FBI’s anti-vigilante taskforce. Despite their differences, the two characters have a few key things in common — including their relationships with Jon. They also had a natural rapport in the first season that could serve them well. Add Agent Dale Petey (Dustin Ingram) and Wade (Tim Blake Nelson) into the mix, and we could see a second season of Watchmen ripping apart the idea of costumed identities utterly, starting, perhaps, with the mysterious Lube Man (whom many fans believe to be Petey). But Angela’s new position could be threatened when Topher (Dylan Schombing), inspired by Angela s time as Sister Night, decides he wants to put on a mask.Of course, that premise lacks the astonishing ambition of the first season. While Watchmen’s dalliance with the Klan ended in something very swift (and very cathartic), spending so much screen time on historic racism in the United States (via the Watchmen lens) set it apart as a Big Idea show. It makes continuing stories with these characters feel smaller somehow. Unless of course, one turns around and uses Will’s belief that Jon should’ve done better to ask a large question: can those with greater economic and political power genuinely do better? In the context of the show, the characters could face that question in a variety of ways.And, as it happens, there is plenty of economic disparity in U.S. history for the capes and technology of Watchmen to examine.The Real Trial of Adrian Veidt(Photo by Mark Hill/HBO)Whether or not Angela breaks the pool’s surface tension — or even whether or not the show continues — it is clear Adrian will finally be brought to justice as the architect of the 1985 squid attack on Manhattan. And unlike his phony trial on Europa, he cannot fart his way out of this one. Well, maybe he can. He is the smartest person on Earth again.Nonetheless, a trial could allow Irons to perform his role in an essentially separate production once again. Which would no doubt keep him interested and keep us watching his fascinating, if odd, take on Ozymandias. It would also put his thinking behind the attack in the forefront – is it OK to kill 3 million people if it will save 6 billion lives?Also, the trial would, presumably, force Robert Redford out of office. His replacement could be a compelling source of background details or, perhaps, a new central storyline. Imagine what would happen to Laurie’s task force if the new president was sympathetic to vigilantes or a mask themselves. Would it allow Dan Dreiberg a reprieve from his prison sentence?And while we’re at it, Bian’s (Jolie Hoang-Rappaport) survival could lead to a Free Vietnam movement.Again, this might feel a little bit pedestrian, but now that the series has blown the roof off a 2019 in the Watchmen world, its 2020s must follow up on some these ideas.Watchmen 2020?(Photo by Boris Martin/HBO)Of course, we’re presuming the series can quickly remount with traditional network speed. As a matter of history, HBO famously let The Sopranos take 18 months off and gave the last season of Game of Thrones the time it needed to complete effects work on extra-long episodes. Besides the postponed release of The Hunt, Lindelof has no publicly announced projects on his docket in the near future. This would suggest a plan to continue with Watchmen even if he needs a year or two to put it together. Then again, he once said he would not be interested in continuing to make Watchmen, favoring to hand it off to someone else to dream it all up again.“Watchmen is not mine, Lindelof told Collider in October. Someone else can take the reins in the way that, for comic book fans, of which I consider myself one first and foremost, the idea that Alan Moore himself came to Swamp Thing in the early 1980s and he basically completely and totally reinvented that character, but that character was not his creation.”He added he would consider returning should the right idea appear, but as of that interview, claimed no such idea was in the frame. That said, he subsequently told LADbible that he and his writing staff planned to take a breath over the holidays and seeing where to go from there. King and Irons have no long-term commitments in the upcoming year, while Smart is currently shooting a television pilot. Gossett has a number of projects in various stages of development and Nelson has a handful of films. Their combined relative availability suggests they are, at the very least, in holding contracts should HBO quickly decide to order another season. Granted, that is a standard contractual obligation on a show like this and the entire cast could be released from their contracts by Wednesday.And much like the original Watchmen’s limited run, there is something to be said for the television show to come to its conclusion here, with Angela on the precipice. As with the comic book’s final moment, it leaves viewers with a question they can debate until the next format prepares itself for Watchmen. Maybe its next iteration will put you behind Angela’s eyes and face the questions of godhood in a VR simulator. Imagine the slightest movement taking you to random parts of her existence.So even if this iteration of Watchmen is seemingly at an end, it is wise to keep Dr. Manhattan’s words in mind: “Nothing ever ends.”雷神之锤2以往没有手游做开放世界，或者说没有这种复杂程度和画面素质都达到了家用机级别的手游，这就降维打击了之前各种粗制滥造的手游，既让手游玩家眼前一亮，也让主机玩家产生尝试一下的兴趣——反正不花钱，多少玩一点，老白嫖党了。
This week s Ketchup brings you more headlines from the world of film development news, covering such titles as Barbie, the Fletch reboot, and Guys and Dolls.This WEEK S TOP STORYKINGSMAN DIRECTOR RECRUITS STAR-STUDDED ENSEMBLE FOR ARGYLLE (Photo by David James/©Paramount)British director Matthew Vaughn has largely made a name for himself on movies based on comic books. After directing both Kick-Ass and X-Men: First Class, Vaughn returned to comic books again with Mark Millar s Kingsman: The Secret Service (Certified Fresh at 75%), the sequel Kingsman: The Golden Circle (Rotten at 51%), and the upcoming prequel The King s Man. Perhaps ready to start another possible new franchise, Matthew Vaughn is preparing to adapt the upcoming spy novel Argylle, and he has recruited an impressive ensemble cast. It appears that the title character, the world s greatest spy , will be played by Henry Cavill (who s previously appeared in the spy movies The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and Mission: Impossible Fallout). Cavill s Argylle co-stars will include Bryce Dallas Howard (Jurassic World), Sam Rockwell (Moon), Samuel L. Jackson, John Cena, Bryan Cranston, Catherina O Hara, and, in her acting debut, pop star Dua Lipa.Other Top Headlines1. GRETA GERWIG TO DIRECT MARGOT ROBBIE S BARBIE FOR 2023 (Photo by Jason Smith/Everett Collection)Some movies can get announced, developed, and produced within a couple of years, and other movies languish in development hell for years or even decades (and some never do get made). One such example of that is the live-action Barbie movie, which Mattel has been developing since at least 2009. To put that in perspective, in 2009, there were only two movies released in what we now know as the MCU (Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk), which includes dozens of movies now, while there still isn t a single Barbie. For a while, it looked like Amy Schumer or Anne Hathaway might star in Barbie, but eventually Margot Robbie came aboard. Warner Bros. has finally officially announced that Barbie will indeed start filming in early 2022 at Leavesden Studios in London, under the direction of Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird, Certified Fresh at 99%; Little Women, Certified Fresh at 95%). Back when Amy Schumer was (almost) involved, the Barbie movie was to be a fish out of water story about Barbie coming from her toy world to the real world, but Margot Robbie (who s also producing) and Gerwig are expected to have changed the premise, although it s not yet known to what.2. GUYS AND DOLLS TO BE REMADE BY DIRECTOR OF CHICAGO AND DREAMGIRLS (Photo by Everett Collection)Another project that has been kicking around development for well over a decade is the idea of a remake of the classic 1955 gangster musical Guys and Dolls (Fresh at 91%), which originally starred Marlon Brando and Frank Sinatra. To finally get the remake going, TriStar Pictures has enlisted the help of musical director Bill Condon, whose filmography includes the Broadway adaptations Chicago (Certified Fresh at 86%) and Dreamgirls (Certified Fresh at 78%), as well as The Greatest Showman (Rotten at 57%) and Disney s live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast (Fresh at 71%). Over the years, several actors have considered taking on Guys and Dolls, including Vin Diesel, Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, and most recently, Channing Tatum and Joseph Gordon-Levitt (and we should also note that since the movie isn t yet cast, it s still possible any of those actors could star in the movie when it eventually happens).3. MICHELLE WILLIAMS CAST AS HENRY VIII S FINAL WIFE IN HORROR FILM FIREBRAND (Photo by Elizabeth Goodenough/Everett Collection)The life of England s King Henry VIII has long interested writers dating all the way back to Shakespeare, which has also resulted in dozens of movies about either his life or other people in his immediate orbit. Part of the fascination with Henry VIII has to do with the way he went through wives (spoiler: some were killed off), and now, Michelle Williams is set to star as Catherine Parr, Henry VIII s final wife, in a psychological horror film called Firebrand. The focus on Catherine Parr is a bit unusual, because Anne Boleyn and Jane Seymour are typically the wives that both film and literature tend to focus on. It s also worth noting that Firebrand is described as psychological horror, which suggests that Henry VIII himself (who hasn t been cast yet) may be the film s villain.4. ZACK SNYDER IS READY FOR HIS OWN STAR WARS (SORT OF) (Photo by ©Netflix)Director Zack Snyder has risen to that rare level of fame where his name alone is a draw, as in Zack Snyder s Justice League (Fresh at 71%), though the irony of that title is that Justice League is obviously an adaptation of someone else s work. More recently, Snyder has been focusing his attention on projects for Netflix, starting with the zombie heist thriller Army of the Dead (Fresh at 68%) and continuing with the upcoming prequel series Army of the Dead: Lost Vegas. For his latest Netflix project, Snyder appears to be setting his ambitious sights on the stars, as he will co-write, produce, and direct a sci-fi fantasy adventure called Rebel Moon, which is being compared to George Lucas original Star Wars. Rebel Moon will be about a peaceful colony on the edge of the galaxy that is threatened by the armies of a tyrant called Balisarius, leading them to recruit a young woman with a mysterious past to seek out warriors from neighboring planets to help them make a stand. 5. JAVIER BARDEM TO VOICE LYLE, LYLE, CROCODILE IN 2022 MUSICAL (Photo by Elizabeth Goodenough/Everett Collection)Movie adaptations of children s books are perhaps not as frequently discussed as say, comic book movies or remakes, but Hollywood has been steadily turning to them as a source for children s films since in the 1930s (and The Wizard of Oz). The latest is the 1965 picture book Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile by Bernard Waber, which is now in production as a live-action/animated hybrid for release next year (7/22/2022). The role of the titular reptile (coincidentally announced in the same week that Alligator Loki is all the rage on Twitter) will be voiced by Spanish actor Javier Bardem, whose big budget franchise work has included such movies as Skyfall and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. Bardem will also soon be seen as King Triton in Disney s live-action remake of The Little Mermaid. The songwriting team of Benj Pasek Justin Paul (La La Land, Dear Evan Hansen) are currently working on original songs for Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile.6. MAD MEN STARS TO REUNITE FOR FLETCH REBOOT (Photo by Justina Mintz/©AMC)For fans of 1980s movies, the 1985 movie Fletch (Fresh at 77%) (and its sequel Fletch Lives) might be synonymous with the film s star, Chevy Chase, but the character actually first got his start as the star of a series of several novels by mystery author Gregory McDonald. There have been attempts to reboot Fletch in the decades since, with perhaps the project that came closest to actually happening being Kevin Smith s adaptation of the first novel, Fletch Won, in which Smith was hoping to cast Jason Lee (TV s My Name is Earl), but it didn t happen. Instead, it s Mad Men star Jon Hamm who is reviving Fletch with an ada
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9.80.3 6月喜迎This has been a year with very few big superhero blockbusters, but Wonder Woman 1984 is finally coming to save the day. Ahead of its Christmas release in theaters and on the streaming service HBO Max, a select group of movie critics were invited to see the DC comic book sequel at home or on the big screen and offer their thoughts. Good news: the reactions are overwhelmingly positive, and not just for the usual action movie delights, but also for why this one in particular is the best possible movie of its kind for right now.Here’s what critics are saying about Wonder Woman 1984:Is it worth the wait?I adored it. Terri Schwartz, IGN MoviesIt s absolutely delightful. Mike Rougeau, GameSpotAbsolutely incredible. John Nguyen, Nerd ReactorWonder Woman 1984 is — forgive the term — wonderful. Hoai-Tran Bui, SlashfilmWonderful!… I absolutely loved it! Patty Jenkins and Gal Gadot knock it out of the park! Jenna Busch, VitalThrills.comIt was AWESOME, I loved it! Mark Hughes, ForbesA resounding success… a marvelous achievement!… even better than I’d hoped it would be!! I love this movie!! Jimmy O, JoBlo s Movie NetworkWorth the wait. Between the stunning visuals and resonant emotional beats, it s a piece brimming with charm and confidence. Meagan Damore, CBRWonder Woman 1984 is fantastic!… Get hyped, because it s the real deal. Eric Eisenberg, Cinema BlendRyan FujitaniHow does it compare to the first movie?I enjoyed the first film, but I loved Wonder Woman 1984 even more. Meagan Damore, CBRI loved the first film and I can confidently say the sequel takes everything to another level! Dorian Parks, Geeks of ColorA joyful, thrilling and engaging sequel, one that manages to connect to what worked the first time around, yet it’s still uniquely its own thing. Emotional, hilarious and exciting, perhaps even better than the first. Jimmy O, JoBlo s Movie NetworkIt doubles down on the compassion and cheese that made the first so great, as well as its tenacious belief in the best of humanity. Hoai-Tran Bui, SlashfilmThe sequel is superior! Eric Eisenberg, Cinema BlendIt feels both bigger than the first Wonder Woman while simultaneously more contained. Brandon Davis, ComicBook.comThe first Wonder Woman is my favorite of the modern DC films, and Wonder Woman 1984 makes all the smart next steps, telling a very human and very beautiful story for Diana Prince. Terri Schwartz, IGN MoviesI think I like the first film more but this is a worthy and bigger sequel for sure. Germain Lussier, io9.comI prefer Wonder Woman to Wonder Woman 1984. But I also much prefer seeing filmmakers take new, big swings with sequels and that’s definitely what Patty Jenkins and co. do here. Perri Nemiroff, Perri NemiroffHow does it rank against the other DC movies?Definitely top three… with the first Wonder Woman and Birds of Prey. Meagan Damore, CBRWonder Woman 1984 doesn’t look or feel like any other modern superhero movie. I can’t wait for us all to talk about it! Amy Ratcliffe, NerdistLet Patty Jenkins take charge of the entire DCEU! Dorian Parks, Geeks of Color(Photo by Clay Enos/©2020 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)Is Gal Gadot still wonderful?Gadot perfectly captures the essence of Wonder Woman once again! Jimmy O, JoBlo s Movie NetworkGal is of course a goddess. Mike Rougeau, GameSpotLots of Diana Prince and some epic Wonder Woman moments as Gal Godot literally soars! Brandon Davis, ComicBook.comHow is the surprising return of Chris Pine?Chris Pine s return is done well and makes sense. Mike Rougeau, GameSpotChris Pine’s unusual and inspired return is a huge bonus, both with humor and heart! Jimmy O, JoBlo s Movie NetworkGal Gadot and Chris Pine give us the kind of windswept classic Hollywood romance that I could watch forever. Hoai-Tran Bui, SlashfilmWhat about the film s villains?Pedro Pascal and Kristen Wiig absolutely kill it as Maxwell Lord and Cheetah. Dorian Parks, Geeks of ColorAmazing work is done with both Cheetah and Max Lord. Wiig and Pascal are both stellar. Eric Eisenberg, Cinema BlendPedro Pascal and Kristen Wiig are brilliantly cast…[as] villains with purpose! Jimmy O, JoBlo s Movie NetworkPedro Pascal is serving a ham feast, Kristen Wiig is magnetic as hell. Hoai-Tran Bui, SlashfilmPedro Pascal and Kristen Wiig are the highlights of Wonder Woman 1984 for me. Pascal goes ALL IN on a wild portrayal of Max Lord, a conflicted but vile villain. Wiig s Cheetah evolution throughout the movie is heartbreaking yet epic. We need more! Brandon Davis, ComicBook.comAll of the villains are so wonderfully layered. Kristin Wiig excels in the role of Barbara Minerva/Cheetah. The chemistry between her and Gal Gadot s Diana is unreal. Pedro Pascal adds a lot of fun as Maxwell Lord, but even he is more than he appears. Meagan Damore, CBRKristen Wiig is phenomenal as Barbara. Jenna Busch, VitalThrills.comKristen is great, but Pedro almost steals the show. Dude goes HARD. Mike Rougeau, GameSpot(Photo by Clay Enos/©2020 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)Is this the right time to release this movie?A wonderful movie for this moment in time. Mike Rougeau, GameSpotThe story is excellent and has a great, timely message. Eric Eisenberg, Cinema BlendA magical, sorely needed beacon of hope in this year. Hoai-Tran Bui, SlashfilmHonestly, it’s just what I needed. What we all need. It’s uplifting, hopeful, and so utterly Wonder Woman. Just a beautiful film with themes that hit you right in the heart. Amy Ratcliffe, NerdistAlthough I wish we d gotten the chance to see it earlier, the movie came out at possibly the perfect time for its hope, optimism and message. Meagan Damore, CBRIt was a lot of fun and has a very heartwarming and hopeful message that, frankly, we really need this year. Jim Vejvoda, IGN MoviesWonder Woman 1984 tells us that our world deserves the kindness and empathy of a superhero like Wonder Woman, and in 2020, that feels like the most radical and necessary message of all. Wonder Woman is the superhero we need AND the one we deserve. Kayti Burt, Den of GeekIt was everything I needed and more. The movie is hugely ambitious, incredibly exciting, and full of much needed hope. Germain Lussier, io9.comIt shows that superheroes can be flawed, vulnerable, fierce, and loving. Gal and Patty have crafted a beautiful film with intrigue and hope. John Nguyen, Nerd ReactorI think what surprised me most was that the message Wonder Woman 1984 leaves you with feels even more important to hear at the end of this year in a way Patty Jenkins couldn’t have predicted when she made it. Terri Schwartz, IGN Movies(Photo by Clay Enos/©2020 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)Is it going to give us all the feels?The opening 10 minutes will bring tears to your eyes. Jenna Busch, VitalThrills.comJoyful, thrilling, and tear inducing! Jimmy O, JoBlo s Movie NetworkWonder Woman 1984 made me cry several times—sometimes, in the most unexpected of places. It s the only kind of (superhero) movie I have time for right now: one that can still see beauty in our broken world, and fundamentally believes it deserves saving. Kayti Burt, Den of GeekIt made me feel things — a rare feat these days. Mike Rougeau, GameSpotIt reminded me how wonderful a big blockbuster can make you feel. Germain Lussier, io9.comAre there any criticisms?Not everything adds up, but the value of selflessness, love and compassion do shine through. Perri Nemiroff, Perri NemiroffIt s also very long, to a fault at times. Germain Lussier, io9.comIt’s definitely on the long side, and sometimes slathers on so much cheese that it might be a health hazard, but it’s the kind of aspirational superhero blockbuster that we need more of. Hoai-Tran Bui, Slashfilm(Photo by Clay Enos/©2020 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)Is it best seen on the big screen?A theater is always preferred of course, but I don t think it hurt the experience for me in anyway. A theater only would have enhanced it. Germain Lussier, io9.comThis is a big movie that was made to be seen in theaters. If they are open near you and you feel safe, I’d highly advise seeing this on the big screen before streaming it on HBO Max. Dorian Parks, Geeks of ColorYesterday I saw Wonder Woman 1984 in an IMAX theater… No matter what system you have at home, nothing will ever replace the magic of seeing a movie on a huge IMAX screen. Steve Weintraub, ColliderI wasn’t sure how I’d feel experiencing a blockbuster at home for the first viewing but I was so caught up in the emotion of it all but it will be a bummer not to see this one with a group of friends. Amy Ratcliffe, NerdistI sincerely hope it s an experience we can all share together in a theater someday. Meagan Damore, CBRWonder Woman 1984 opens in theate
“I will show you terror in a handful of dust” was the tagline DC Comics used to introduce its readers to The Sandman in 1988. Like Swamp Thing before it, it was a reinvention of a relatively obscure DC character by an up-and-coming British talent – in this case, writer Neil Gaiman. Also like Swamp Thing, it was pitched as a horror title, but grew into so much more. The series became a massive success with readers outside the comic book marketplace and proved arty comics could work right alongside the superheroes.Its ideas, scope, and characters are also perfect for television adaptation, but it took a long time for the rights-holders to make that realization. As Gaiman recalls, he was first asked about adapting The Sandman into a film in 1991 and – barring a long extension of the worldwide pandemic – a Sandman television series will finally debut on Netflix 30 years later.Why did it take so long? Let’s consider everything we know about The Sandman television series and unravel the story of its long gestation.[Updated on 9/25/21]The Story Basics: Meet Morpheus and the Gang (Photo by DC Comics)The Sandman tells the tale of Morpheus – a.k.a. Dream of the Endless – an impossibly old being who is also the living personification of dreams. He lives in a realm called, appropriately enough, The Dreaming, where he tends to the REM state of being all over the universe; of course, this means he spends a lot of time near Earth, courting gods, inspiring fools to become authors, and occasionally arousing waking terrors. As the series begins, in 1916, an exhausted Morpheus is captured by an immortality-seeking magus. He eventually escapes in 1989 and sets out to put his broken kingdom back in order.From there, the series expands into a group of novels detailing Morpheus s long-term plan to make up for past misdeeds and escape from his other confinement – which we won’t spoil as it is a key element of the series. In each major story, we also meet characters like Rose Walker, the immortal Hob Gadling, the Dreaming s wisecracking janitor Mervyn Pumpkinhead, Matthew the Raven, the crafty Thessaly, and Lucifer Morningstar – all of whom are as fascinating as Morpheus himself.We also learn about the troubles within Morpheus family, the Endless. Each is the personification of some essential concept – Destiny, Death, Destruction, Desire, Despair, and Delirium (formerly Delight) – with personalities to match. Well, except for Death and maybe one other, but that is another of the series great surprises. Though designed as a horror title at launch, the series ends as a grand exploration of myths, storytelling, and being true to oneself, beautifully rendered by artists like Sam Keith, Jill Thompson, P. Craig Russell, Charles Vess, and Mike Allred.Naturally, it has been almost impossible for Hollywood to adapt it.False Starts: From Harry Potter–like Franchise to HBO Series(Photo by Mike Marsland/WireImage)After Gaiman resisted the 1991 inquiry about a film, Warner Bros. would begin developing a Sandman feature four or five years later. The first attempt boasted director Roger Avary (The Rules of Attraction) and writers Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio (Pirates of the Caribbean). Reportedly, the script reworked elements from the first two major storylines, Preludes Nocturnes and The Doll s House, into one plot. In subsequent years, Gaiman was complimentary about the script, but Superman Returns producer Jon Peters fired Avary after the two could not find a common creative vision.Peters continued to develop the project with other writers. A 1998 draft by William Farmer (who received story credit on Jonah Hex) was leaked to Ain’t It Cool News – one of the site s earliest big scoops. As AICN reported, the script reworked Morpheus into a slasher movie villain, set up a new protagonist, and recast Lucifer as Morpheus’ brother. The action-heavy plot also involved the then-upcoming turn of the millennium, which would’ve immediately dated the project had it gone forward. To read about it now, it sounds oddly similar to the eventual Constantine feature starring Keanu Reeves and the liberties it took with its source material. (Which many of us didn t mind at all.)Gaiman would remember it as “not only the worst Sandman script I ve ever seen, but quite easily the worst script I ve ever read,” and told fans at a San Diego Comic-Con 2007 event that he would “rather see no Sandman movie made than a bad Sandman movie.” Reality seemed to take Gaiman s advice as Peters project came to naught.In 2014, a new version of the project emerged with producer David S. Goyer (The Dark Knight), actor-director-producer Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Gaiman, and writer Jack Thorne (His Dark Materials). Intended to be separate from the emerging universe of the DC films, The Sandman was to be released by New Line Cinema under the Vertigo label seen at the start of V for Vendetta. It was hoped the film would inspire several sequels and, perhaps, a Harry Potter–sized franchise. In March 2016, Eric Heisserer (Arrival) signed on to rewrite Thorne’s draft, but soon after, Gordon-Levitt left the project citing creative differences – granted, it was never clear if he was going to play the title role or just serve as a producer. Heisserer turned in his script in November of that year, but also left the production, suggesting The Sandman should be an HBO series.As it happens, an attempt to do just that also occurred.Logan’s James Mangold pitched a Sandman series to HBO sometime in 2010. It was not successful, obviously, but it led to Warner Bros. Television developing a Sandman TV show concurrently with the film. Supernatural’s Eric Kripke pitched a concept, but Gaiman later revealed it wasn’t quite right. And with the Goyer production looking like it was going to happen, WBTV backed off the show.Which only goes to show how much timing matters. The Sandman could never be a film series, and television was simply not prepared for it until the streaming age, when things finally came together.Netflix Steps In With an 11-Episode Commitment and Wonder Woman Talent(Photo by Priscilla Grant/Everett Collection)In June 2019, Netflix announced it was developing The Sandman as a television series. Wonder Woman screenwriter Allan Heinberg (pictured above with The Catch actress Sonya Walger) will serve as the showrunner and Gaiman as a producer. When asked on Twitter about his level of involvement in the series, the whimsical author said, “Much more than American Gods. Less than Good Omens. The former is the troubled Starz adaptation of his 2001 novel – known more for drama behind the scenes than what s going on onscreen – the latter is the Amazon series based on the novel he co-wrote with the late Terry Pratchett. Gaiman ultimately served as that program’s showrunner and is apparently in no hurry to take on that amount of responsibility again. Goyer is still on board as a producer and all three worked on the pilot script. Also, unlike previous attempts to bring The Sandman to the screen, the show has an 11-episode commitment.Who Is in the Cast? (Photo by Netflix)Like most of the various would-be Sandman adaptations, the first season will adapt “Preludes Nocturnes,” and, according to Gaiman, “a little bit more.” We assume this means at least one episode will directly adapt issue #8, “The Sound of Her Wings,” which introduced Morpheus’ sister, Death, into the story. But since the comic delighted in non-linear storytelling, it is possible other episodes in the season will feature (seemingly) standalone tales of people coming into contact with Morpheus or one of his subjects. An entirely animated episode based on issue #18, “A Dream of A Thousand Cats,” would be an amazing thing to watch. We also imagine Gaiman s little bit more will include the introduction of The Corinthian; a wayward and murderous dream who becomes the series first major antagonist, but does not appear until the comic book s second storyline.In January 2021, Netflix announced the first of the cast and their roles:• TOM STURRIDGE is DREAM, Lord of the Dreaming• GWENDOLINE CHRISTIE is LUCIFER, Ruler of Hell• VIVIENNE ACHEAMPONG is LUCIENNE, chief librarian and trusted guardian of Dream’s realm• BOYD HOLBROOK is THE CORINTHIAN, an escaped nightmare who wishes to taste all that the world has in store• CHARLES DANCE is RODERICK BURGESS, Charlatan, blackmailer and magician• ASIM CHAUDHRY is ABEL and SANJEEV BHASKAR is CAIN, the first victim and the first predator, residents and loyal subjects of the Dream Realm.(Photo by Netflix)In May 2021, Netflix announced a new batch of cast members, including Jenna Coleman, Stephen Fry, Patton Oswalt, David Thewlis, and
Kimberly Potts for Rotten Tomatoes: What attracted you to this topic, to this project?Kerry Ehrin: Initially it was Brian Stelter s book, Top of the Morning (which the Apple TV+ series is based on). I really liked it, and the tone of the world he was describing, and I was just saying it felt like a very good stage to write great character stories on, set against this high stakes world, but also there s a social absurdity to that world … so competitive, and the behavior gets a little bit like, almost high school-ish. So that was a very intriguing world to me. And then obviously Reese and Jennifer, getting to create complex female characters with high profile, high stakes jobs, and write about female relationships in a real way was very intriguing to me. All those elements don t line up every day.(Photo by Apple TV+)One of the most things with the stars of morning TV is how much their personal lives are impacted by their jobs. Even just the fact that they have to get up at these ridiculous hours — that has to impact their time with their kids and their family and friends and personal time. How much are you going to get into that, Alex and Bradley s personal lives, as the season goes on?Ehrin: A great deal. I think that s a big part of Alex s story, how much she has sacrificed to get to that top level. And Bradley is really just entering into this world. So her story is more about being from the outside and trying to acclimate and immerse into it … When you live those kind of hours, there s no question that it becomes your life and it dictates your life. Any high-stress job becomes your life and dictates your life.I m guessing that s something you can relate to as a showrunner.Ehrin: Oh, 100 percent. I mean, I could also relate to it when I was working retail. Jobs do end up dictating your life. But yeah, I mean, when you have a ton of financial responsibility for other people, you do live with it all the time.Getting into the characters, viewers are going to assume that Mitch Kessler (Steve Carell) is Matt Lauer. What is your response to that?Ehrin: Well, I mean, it isn t. I get, I guess, why people would go there. I don t know … I don t know why they never pick Charlie Rose. But all I can tell you is … it isn t Matt Lauer. It s an amalgam of human beings that I ve interacted with, that have been in my life, and some people that have been in the public eye. But it really is an original tale. It isn t “The Matt Lauer Story” at all. Nor did I want to write that.(Photo by Apple TV+)In the first three episodes, viewers get some viewpoints that they might not be expecting. This is a discussion of all angles and some nuanced points of view that haven’t played out so much in a scripted series. Episode three in particular, with Mitch’s conversation with the director played by Martin Short — do you think people are ready for, or maybe even craving at this point, a nuanced look at this subject?Ehrin: I feel like there s a lot of layers to that question. I mean, one of them is, there s a specific road we re going down with the stories that we re telling, and you re meeting a character in the beginning, so there s that aspect of it. I m trying to say this without giving too much stuff away. It’s a story about human beings who are in this web. And I don t think (Mitch) is written overly sympathetically. It s interesting to me that people are saying, Oh, he s so sympathetic. And I don t think he s any more sympathetic than anyone in the show. I think everyone on the show is really screwed up in different ways. He’s a narcissist, he clearly lives inside his own reality of what s real and what s right. And I mean, yeah, Steve Carell is a likable, charming guy, but so are a lot of these guys. So I think you have to look at the whole enchilada. And I would say this will be a better discussion after episode ten.It s interesting to see this particular story play out from all these different points of view.Ehrin: It s a huge thing. There s a huge movement. It has affected everybody, and it s seismic. So yeah, it s a story of looking at it and at all the elements.(Photo by Apple TV+)Kudos for keeping the Martin Short cameo under wraps. He was great, and having such a beloved actor playing that character, saying those shocking things about his behavior, and challenging Mitch to consider his own behavior, was impactful. I hope the surprise of his appearance isn’t spoiled for people before they watch the episode.Ehrin: That would actually be great, because it is so exciting to see him, and he s so good. Man, that guy is a great actor. He s really, really good.What s your goal overall with the development of Bradley and Alex s characters? Ehrin: They both have important individual stories. Alex s being about a highly successful person who has sacrificed so much of her life and was so close to this partner who gets fired for sexual misconduct. And it really is about how it dismantles her life. And then Bradley s is about a person who has a lot of demons from her family and isn t really psychologically or emotionally set up for success, and finds herself pulled into this world. And how do you, as sort of an emotional outsider of success, how do you function in that world? And can you survive it? Can you thrive in it or is that impossible?In addition to that, there is the story of these two women who come into each other s lives, and I really wanted to do a realistic story and not make them hate each other, like All About Eve, or they re best friends and they re never mean. I really wanted to do just a real nuanced portrayal of all (aspects) of a female working relationship — all of its wonderful complexities. And that s been the ongoing road. That s the heart of it to me, what that relationship is about and how it develops and evolves.(Photo by Apple TV+)We’ve met Bradley’s family, her mom and her brother, and there have been hints that she has sort of been almost a parental figure for both of them. Is that something we’ll get into a lot more?Ehrin: Yeah. That s a big part of Bradley s character, who she is and dealing with that. If you have baggage that you haven t dealt with and you get thrust into a high-stress, high-profile job, it s a different experience than someone who does not have that baggage.You ve made great television, told great stories, on network and cable, and now a streaming service. Has it been different in any big ways creating this show for a streaming service?Ehrin: There s been more freedom, certainly. I think that was always a challenge for me, because I ve been doing this for a while, and for a big chunk of my career there weren t all these venues available. And you had to fit in (on) broadcast, and it was always, always, always a challenge to — if you re a little idiosyncratic, if you re a little dark, if you re a little to the left of center, it was just harder to fit into that mold, that box, and still get to play with your whole deck of cards.Do you feel like you finally have gotten to do a show, this show, exactly how you would want to do it?Ehrin: Yeah, I do. I mean, I felt that way about Bates as well, except for the swearing. It really would have made it a little more (realistic) to have people be able to talk the way people actually speak. And also, commercials are just death to me. That used to kill me about Bates, because I felt like it was like an opera, and then you d be so into these huge, crazy things, and then it s an ad for erectile dysfunction or insurance. And it just was like, it completely wrecked it for me. So that was always hard. But this is pretty cool. It is a lot more freedom. It s a lot more money to make stuff. It s been pretty great. New episodes of The Morning Show premiere on Fridays on Apple TV+.
The success of Wonder Woman proved women-helmed, women-led superhero movies could be immensely successful, and now Warner Bros. and DC continue to lead in that arena with Cathy Yan’s Birds of Prey, with Margot Robbie reprising her Suicide Squad role as Gotham City antihero Harley Quinn. The first reviews of the comic book movie are on the positive side, emphasizing the ensemble cast (including the villains), the action aided by John Wick director Chad Stahelski, and the general fun had by all involved, especially the audience.Here’s what critics are saying about Birds of Prey:Where does it rank in the DC Universe?Rights so many of the DCEU’s wrongs, trading CGI for carefully choreographed fight scenes and breathing new life into a stagnant genre. Hannah Woodhead, Little White LiesBirds of Prey looks like what you d imagine Suicide Squad could have been under a clearer vision. Angie Han, Mashable[Features] perhaps one of the most fun third acts in a DC film so far. James Whitbrook, io9It s the perfect spiritual successor to Joker in terms of the current state of the DCEU. Molly Freeman, ScreenRantThis is not a perfect film, nor is it the DCEU s best. But it is immensely enjoyable. Kirsten Acuna, InsiderIs it just for DC fans?No, [but] you ll have a deeper understanding of [Harley] and DC characters like Black Mask, Zsasz, and Black Canary if you ve watched animated DC cartoons, played popular games like Arkham City, and watched the CW s Arrow. Kirsten Acuna, InsiderBirds of Prey stands on its own more than most comic book movies. References to the Joker and Batman are few and far between. Kristen Lopez, FansidedA superhero movie that might actually be more enjoyable for viewers who haven’t read a single comic. Susana Polo, Polygon[It’s] a spinoff/sequel that requires no knowledge of its mediocre predecessor, Suicide Squad. Thank goodness. Gavia Baker-Whitelaw, The Daily Dot(Photo by Warner Bros. Pictures)What about the comparisons to Deadpool?[It’s] DC’s R-rated answer to Deadpool in terms of rampant cursing, in-universe commentary and clever pop-culture riffs. Brian Truitt, USA TodayComparisons are going to be made between BoP and Fox s R-rated Deadpool, which also has a fourth-wall-breaking antihero. Any similarities are only surface level. Kirsten Acuna, InsiderIt’s going for the sparky nihilist defiance… [but] Birds of Prey could have used more of the intricate cleverness of Deadpool. Owen Gleiberman, VarietyThose hoping for a Deadpool-like fusion of mayhem and wit should lower their expectations. John DeFore, Hollywood ReporterDoes Robbie continue to shine as Harley?Robbie reminds you why Harley is the role she was born to play. Kirsten Acuna, InsiderThe movie is a stunning showcase for Margot Robbie, who commands the screen and gives her damaged protagonist all the dimension she deserves. Laura Prudom, IGNRobbie’s mayhem-fueled portrait of a mobster moll run amok is precisely tuned. She captures this unapologetic, dynamic complex woman with delirious verve and vigor. Courtney Howard, Fresh FictionRobbie s shining performance cuts through the murk like a neon sign in a dark alleyway. Angie Han, MashableWhat about the rest of the ensemble?Birds of Prey is a true ensemble in the sense that it doesn t work because one person or one part is excellent, but because they all are. Molly Freeman, ScreenRantThe main heroine ensemble actors all breathe a wonderful amount of life into little-known characters overdue for mainstream attention. Susana Polo, PolygonThe actresses who come together to form Harley’s posse… have presence to spare, but you wish they’d been given more to do. Owen Gleiberman, VarietyUnfortunately, the Birds of Prey are the ones who get shortchanged by the ambitious scope… you can’t help but wish [the movie] leaned a little harder into the team-up aspect of the title. Laura Prudom, IGN(Photo by Warner Bros. Pictures)Does anyone stand out?Huntress is the least developed of all the lead characters… but in her few appearances, Winstead steals the show. Hoai-Tran Bui, SlashfilmFans will undoubtedly fall in love with Mary Elizabeth Winstead s Huntress. Kirsten Acuna, InsiderWinstead’s self-serious, mafia-bred, crossbow-toting Huntress appears to be ripped out of another movie entirely. Kate Erbland, IndieWireThe scene-stealer is Black Canary… Smollett-Bell gives her character fire and a voice, literally, that has power. Kristen Lopez, FansidedIn her debut feature film role Ella Jay Basco is a force to be reckoned with. With impeccable comedic timing, the young actress holds her own. Britany Murphy, Geeks of ColorWhat about the villains?The film also benefits from two first-rate villains… worthy opponents to Quinn, delighting in violence for the sake of violence but crucially grounded in reality. Hannah Woodhead, Little White LiesIn terms of DCEU films, McGregor’s Sionis and Messina’s Zsasz are my favorite villains…[with] some of the best villain moments seen in a comic book film to-date. Britany Murphy, Geeks of ColorIt s McGregor who shines the brightest in Birds of Prey… he skillfully slips between the personas to create an effective counterpart to each of the heroes. Molly Freeman, ScreenRantHe s the best villain in the DCEU right now… for what it s worth, that s not too high of a bar. Kirsten Acuna, InsiderVictor’s obsessive desire to please his boss and Roman’s unchecked narcissism combine to create a dynamic duo who are pure nightmare fuel. Laura Prudom, IGNVillains Sionis and Zsasz are left aching for a bit more oomph, or gravitas, behind their wickedness… Their unhinged nature could stand to be dialed up further. Courtney Howard, Fresh FictionEwan McGregor’s Roman Sionis is likely to be divisive… He’s an extravagantly blatant example of queer-coded villainhood, to the point where it’s not really coded at all. Gavia Baker-Whitelaw, The Daily Dot(Photo by Warner Bros. Pictures)How is Christina Hodson s script?Hodson has made sure internal and external character stakes are cogent. She utilizes familiar story elements, but remixes them into a refreshed product. Courtney Howard, Fresh FictionHodson’s script is packed with the kind of small actions and moments of recognition that only a film made by women would ever think to include. Clarisse Loughrey, IndependentHodson uses Harley s omniscient, if unreliable, narrator to great effect in order to immerse viewers in this world and introduce the various key players. Molly Freeman, ScreenRantSlight at best, convoluted at worst, but Birds of Prey rips through its hardboiled neo-noir story with such gleeful abandon that you barely notice the tired Macguffin narrative. Hoai-Tran Bui, SlashfilmThe first hour of Birds of Prey is a bit confusing… Even if you re a big DC fan, you may find yourself struggling to understand the point of the film. Kirsten Acuna, InsiderThe movie would have been so much better had it simplified its story by half. Alex Abad-Santos, VoxIf you think of how the narrative is being shown and just who it’s coming from, it works well… but I could see that it might not necessarily translate to the audience as a whole. Britany Murphy, Geeks of ColorDoes director Cathy Yan rise to the occasion?Yan steps up to the plate without a trace of the nerves you might expect of a first-time big-budget director. Helen O Hara, Time OutYan may be a newcomer to the big-budget blockbuster, but she brings an assured confidence to each stylistic choice. Hoai-Tran Bui, SlashfilmDirecting her first studio feature, Cathy Yan keeps it all hurtling along with impeccable ferocity. Her action scenes have a deftly detonating visual spaciousness. Owen Gleiberman, VarietyBirds of Prey barely holds together plot-wise… That Yan directs the movie with a pinball comic energy, in scenes of action and character interaction, makes a world of difference. Scott Mendelson, ForbesShe has a gift for kinetic fight scenes, though there are only so many creative-kill scenarios before the death toll becomes numbing. Leah Greenblatt, Entertainment WeeklyYan’s stylish direction and keen sense of comedic timing keep things lively even when the story starts to strain under the weight of so many competing storylines. Laura Prudom, IGN(Photo by Claudette Barius/©Warner Bros.)Does she deliver on the action?Yan’s camera [holds] on wide shots to show off the acrobatic stunts of her stars. It’s one of the best displays of fight sequences in a superhero movie to date. Hoai-Tran Bui, SlashfilmBoasts some of the most inventive fight sequences ever seen in a comic book movie… The smackdowns have a tangible, bone-crunching quality that sets them apart from the overly CGIed slugfests found in many other superhero movies lately. Laura Prudom, IGNThe movie’s fight scenes are like highlight reels in themselves, mashing together visual artistry with bone-crunching savagery. Alex Abad-Santos, VoxBirds of Prey’s clearly shot and inventively staged action sequences feel like the first superhero movie response to John Wick’s success. Susana Polo, PolygonIt s not quite John Wick, but crisp camerawork and playful choreography place Birds of Prey comfortably above the muddy CG action of an Avengers: Endgame or, God forbid, a Suicide Squad. Angie Han, MashableDoes it do right by women in comic book movies?Rather than the paint-by-numbers girl power of Captain Marvel and Wonder Woman, Birds of Prey presents flawed, multi-faceted women as more than an afterthought in male-driven narratives. Hannah Woodhead, Little White LiesThe film is itself a liberation from male-led and male-created superhero comic book movies. Molly Freeman, ScreenRantNot only does Cathy Yan’s female-fronted, feminist feature capture one woman’s resilience… it symbolically represents that we women can overcome our worst starts. Courtney Howard, Fresh FictionAll the daily joys and hurdles of a woman’s experience are deftly woven into the larger-than-life fabric of the comic-book film… this isn’t the kind of boardroom-designed, slogan-spouting style of feminism we’re used to from Hollywood. Clarisse Loughrey, IndependentDoes the movie’s pop-feminist message need to be as consistently, cartoonishly violent as it is? Almost definitely not. But in a world gone mad, the catharsis of Prey’s twisted sisterhood doesn’t just read as pandemonium for its own sake; it’s actually pretty damn sweet. Leah Greenblatt, Entertainment WeeklyIf there’s one thing Hollywood should learn from the experience, it’s this: Sometimes girls just want to have fun, whether they’re in superhero movies or watching them. Susana Polo, PolygonThe perfect Galentine s outing. Kirsten Acuna, Insider(Photo by Warner Bros. Pictures)Will audiences want more?Birds of Prey provides a perfect setup for a host of other intriguing spinoffs in the DC cinematic universe — can we request Poison Ivy next? Laura Prudom, IGNYou ll be ready for a sequel with the group or more of Robbie s take on Harley the moment the film s over. Kirsten Acuna, InsiderBirds of Prey left me wanting [a sequel], which is about the most anyone can hope for in a big-screen comics adaptation. Alonso Duralde, The WrapShow[s] us just how cool Harley Quinn and the Birds of Prey can be, so we re left wanting to get back in line for their next movie. Angie Han, MashableNothing in Birds of Prey suggests [these characters] ever merit further attention, far out in this suburb of Gotham with Batman nowhere to be found. John DeFore, Hollywood ReporterBirds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) is in theaters on February 7.
For 2021, DC FanDome was a nearly four-hour livestream updating fans on the latest DC films, TV series, comics projects, and video games. Even just watching it for the film and TV content was a task worthy of Earth’s Mightiest Mortal, and categorizing the announcements is the sort of thing you might set Brainiac 5 to do. Nevertheless, we tried to live up to Shazam and Brainy, watching all of it and compiling everything related to film and television at DC FanDome 2021 from the look of Blue Beetle’s costume to Ace the Bat-Hound’s drinking habits. To say there is a lot of DC Entertainment material on the horizon is an understatement. Just take a look at what we learned:DC’s Film Roster Is Amazing: The Flash, Black Adam, And The Batman (Oh My!)DC Entertainment made a big push with its feature film slate this time around. With two films shooting, one completing production, and two in pre-production, there was a lot to talk about even if only The Batman had a proper trailer to unveil during the event.FanDome began with a look at Black Adam, featuring a scene of the title character (played by Dwayne Johnson) being awakened from millennia of slumber by archeologist Adrianna Tomaz (Sarah Shahi). Of course, her team of explorers came with an armed detachment, so bullets start flying and Adam calls down the lightning. Literally. Combined with some behind-the-scenes footage, it at least confirms that the film – in development for over a decade – will actually come out next year.Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom also offered some behind-the-scenes footage and a first-look at Black Manta’s (Yahya Abdul-Manteen II) upgraded costume. Eagle-eyed viewers also spotted a black variant of Arthur’s (Jason Momoa) classic costume. Shazam: Fury of the Gods also unveiled a behind-the-scenes sizzle reel with co-star Asher Angel confirming the end of principal photography. The film sees Helen Mirren and Lucy Liu playing goddesses arriving in Philadelphia to tangle with the Shazam Family. It s due out in 2023.(Photo by DC)Over on the HBO Max side of things, the principal creatives and stars of Batgirl and Blue Beetle offered the briefest of teases, including design art of the title characters’ respective costumes and a broad sense of what the films will be. Batgirl star Leslie Grace said the character is a “girly girl, but she’s capable and strong and determined… She’s sincere and wants to prove herself.” Co-director Adil El Arbi also confirmed the character will have red hair and use a cowl as part of her outfit (some recent Batgirl costumes favor goggles instead).“It’s going to be crazy, but it also has feelings,” Blue Beetle screenwriter Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer said of the project. “It contains all that’s great about Blue Beetle.” Things like the scarab, Jaime Rodriguez’s (Xolo Maridueña) costume, and his family were referenced as key elements Dunnet-Alcocer and director Angel Manuel Soto wanted to bring to the screen. “He’s a Mexican-American kid who wants to be a part of this world, but he’s hitting the same obstacles a lot of us face,” the screenwriter said. He also added that the closeness of family is part of what sets him apart” from other superheroes – noting he has no way of keeping his suit or powers a secret from his parents.(Photo by DC)And as for the suit? “I know for a fact we have the best suit, and I haven’t seen it yet,” Maridueña said.There is one animated feature on the roster, DC League of Superpets, which sees Johnson giving voice to Krypto the Superdog while Kevin Hart voices Ace the Bat-Hound. In a brief clip, Ace can be seen, well, relieving himself while Krypto looks on in dismay. The film will also feature the voices of Kate McKinnon, John Krasinski, Vanessa Bayer, Natasha Lyonne, Diego Luna, and Keanu Reeves. It is set for release on May 20, 2022.(Photo by DC)But perhaps the most impactful presentation outside of The Batman trailer was the first-look at The Flash. The long-in-development film which has missed half-a-dozen release dates at this point – genuinely looks amazing from the footage director Andy Muschietti compiled for FanDome. For one thing, Barry’s (Ezra Miller) new suit(s) looks incredible, and the teases of Supergirl (Sasha Calle), Batman (Micheal Keaton), and a second Flash (also Miller) provided some of the best moments of the whole four-hour event. Capping it off: a shot of Barry examining the Batmobile as it hides under a tarp.Curiously, though, director Patty Jenkins offered no updates on Wonder Woman 3 while chatting with Lynda Carter about the character s 80th anniversary, other than to reconfirm she is working on it.HBO Max Is The New Center Of The DC MultiverseIf there’s one thing this year’s FanDome made clear, it is that HBO Max is the new hubworld for DC’s expansive multiverse. Beyond Batgirl and Blue Beetle’s eventual debuts on the service, Pennyworth – previously an Epix exclusive – will be moving to Max for its third season late in 2022. The previous two seasons will become available to subscribers early next year.Additionally, most of the DC Universe orphans Max adopted Titans, Doom Patrol, and Harley Quinn will return for subsequent seasons next year with fourth seasons of Titans and Doom Patrol confirmed at the event. Harley Quinn will return “sometime in 2022,” according to Harley (Kaley Cuoco) herself. The last of the rescued DC Universe shows, Young Justice, debuted two episodes of its fourth season (subtitled “Phantoms ) on Max immediately after FanDome concluded.If all of those shows weren’t enough, Peacemaker’s premiere date was also announced during FanDome: January 13, 2022. Creator James Gunn also unveiled a teaser trailer which suggests Peacemaker (John Cena) may actually grow a little on his next adventure. That said, the star said the hardest part of playing the character is “becoming a super a hole. I’m usually a regular a hole.” Gunn wrote all eight episodes and directed five, extending his time in the DC Multiverse. In fact, Cena expressed a wish to continue playing Peacemaker in subsequent seasons, which may mean more of Gunn’s sensibility in the future.Although HBO Max’s focus is on the DC superheroes, it will also be the home of DMZ, a four-part limited series based on a comic published by DC Comics now-defunct Vertigo imprint. Ava DuVernay directs Roberto Patino’s adaptation of the book, which stars Rosario Dawson as an outsider who may tip the scales in the US’s second civil war.But for all the hour-long live action DC shows calling HBO Max home, Green Lantern was conspicuously absent from FanDome. The program, from Arrowverse mastermind Greg Berlanti, is set to star Jeremy Irvine as Golden Age Green Lantern Alan Scott and Finn Wittrock as 1980s fan-favorite Guy Gardner and sees the characters in their respective time periods facing social issues and weird space threats. Also absent: Berlanti’s Strange Adventures anthology series, first announced at HBO Max’s initial public unveiling, and any mention of J.J. Abrams’ live-action projects.Batman: The Animated Series Is Getting A Spiritual Successor(Photo by Everett Collection)One project Abrams did promote, though, is the upcoming Batman: Caped Crusader. Produced and developed by Abrams, Batman: The Animated Series’ Bruce Timm, long time DC animation executive producer James Tucker, and The Batman director Matt Reeves, the series will go back to what Timm called the “original principles” of Batman: TAS with fewer broadcast restrictions. Set in the early days of Batman’s war on crime, it will feature a version of the character who uses Bruce Wayne as a mask to hide his activities as the Caped Crusader.“It’s just Batman,” added Reeves. “No Justice League.”And because the series takes place so early on in his career, animated Batman audiences will see him in a lower-tech situation than usual. According to Tucker, “We find him discovering these things.” That means viewers may see several iterations of the Batmobile and, quite possibly, the trial-and-error involved in creating Batarangs. Tucker added that as the series begins, no one trusts the Batman and vice-versa. He also teased that some of the Dark Knight’s traditional relationships may not form. “Nothing is assumed in this series,” he said.Reeves and Timm agreed the series will lean heavily in to the 1940s noir style, but the characters will be more modern in terms of inclusivity. Timm also added that the program will be, overall “more Batman: The Animated Series than Batman: The Animated Series.” It is unclear when the series will debut, but it will be available on both Cartoon Network and HBO Max.Caped Crusdaer isn’t the only word on DC animation, though, with an HBO Max Superman animated series, My Adventures with Superman, in production, the preschool-targeted Batwheels preparing for release, the currently running Aquaman: King of Atlantis, and a stellar upcoming lineup in the dependable DC Animated Movie direct-to-video range.Indeed, DC FanDome was the occasion to debut a trailer for Catwoman: Hunted, an upcoming DC Animated Movie featuring Elizabeth Gillies as Catwoman and Stephanie Beatriz as Batwoman. The pair must team up to take down the organization known as Leviathan in a stylish, anime take on the characters. Other DC Animated Movies set for release in 2022 include Green Lantern: Beware My Powers, Battle of the Super Sons, and a compilation of the 2022 DC Showcase shorts headlined by Constantine: The House of Mystery. Matt Ryan will, of course, reprise his role as magician and con man John Constantine.Before all of that, though, is the release of Injustice, a DC Animated Movie based on the video game and comic book of the same name. During FanDome, a clip was released featuring Joker’s (Kevin Pollak) “masterpiece” – a brutal act of violence which sets Superman (voiced by Justin Hartley) on a dark path. The scene is surprisingly grim and offers those less familiar with the DC Universe Animated line an idea of the sorts of films available. Injustice debuts on home video platforms this Tuesday.Gwendoline Christie Leans Into The Bowie Look For Sandman’s LuciferAlthough not part of the HBO Max lineup, The Sandman received a little recognition via the debut of Gwendoline Christie’s Lucifer in a first-look photo. The image recalls the Bowie-esque appearance the Prince of Darkness assumed in his first Sandman comic book appearance. Its unclear if Christie will keep the look in subsequent appearances or evolve like her comic book counterpart. Curiously, though, Lucifer’s initial androgyny gave way to a more masculine countenance as The Sandman’s story wore on. Perhaps that will also be part of the changes writer Neil Gaiman and his collaborators have in mind for the adaptation of his comic book.Shortly after the Lucifer reveal, Gaiman took to Twitter to clarify that the series will debut on Netflix sometime in 2022. Initial messaging about the series suggested it could launch in late 2021, leading to some confusion and Gaiman’s exasperation in the tweet.DC’s other Netflix-based show, Sweet Tooth, was represented by star Christian Convery answering fan questions. The program, already renewed for a second season, will also remain on Netflix.Barry Will Finally Get Gold Boots On The Flash TV SeriesIn one of the earliest announcements of the event, The Flash TV series star Grant Gustin revealed Barry is finally getting gold boots like his comic book counterpart. “It’s always been the final element that I think has been missing from our suits,” Gustin said. “The suit we have now is the closest we have to a lot of the [comic book] iterations … but I always thought the gold boots would be the final touch.” DC released a close-up image of the boots and a look at the suit with the footwear added. As Gustin intimated, the boots have long been a running joke behind the scenes. They will debut when The Flash begins its eighth season in November.Beyond the long-awaited kicks, the Arrowverse was also represented at DC FanDome via an assortment of special videos. Batwoman stars Javicia Leslie and Rachel Skarsten teased Batwoman and Alice’s state-enforced team-up while the cast of Supergirl looked back their six seasons. DC’s Legends of Tomorrow celebrated 100 episodes in 100 seconds and the cast of Superman and Lois presented a tour of the Kent farmhouse.And although not technically an Arrowverse show (it takes place on the Post-Crisis Earth-2, after all), Stargirl took an extended look at this week’s upcoming episode, which sees Courtney (Brec Bassinger) trapped in the Shadow Lands, where she runs into the Golden Age Dr. Mid-Nite (Alex Collins).But to cap off the Arrowverse presence at FanDome, Naomi star Kaci Walfall debuted a first look at the program, in which she stars as a high schooler who discovers her connection to the DC Multiverse is more staggering than she can imagine. And as the scene shown during FanDome revealed, it all begins with a Superman sighting.Naomi will debut on The CW sometime in 2022.On an Apple device? Follow Rotten Tomatoes on Apple News.
雷神之锤2 This week s Ketchup brings you more headlines from the world of film development news, covering such titles as Downton Abbey 2, Furiosa, Haunted Mansion, and Muppet Man.This WEEK S TOP STORYMAD MAX: FURY ROAD SPIN-OFF FURIOSA WILL BE BIGGEST AUSTRALIAN MOVIE EVER (Photo by Jasin Boland/Warner Bros)Director George Miller and various Australian government agencies came together this week for an official statement announcing that the upcoming Mad Max: Fury Road spin-off Furiosa (featuring Anya Taylor-Joy as the younger version of Charlize Theron s character) will be the biggest film shoot ever in Australian history. Filming of Furiosa is scheduled to start in New South Wales in June, 2021, aiming for a release date of June 23, 2023, and is made possible by financial incentives on both the federal and state government levels. Taylor-Joy will also be joined in Furiosa by Chris Hemsworth and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II. The production of Furiosa is expected to bring in over 850 local jobs and increase the local economy by over A0 million (around 5 million U.S. dollars). As one can guess by the hiring of the much younger Anya Taylor-Joy to replace Charlize Theron, the film is expected to be a prequel depicting the earlier life of the woman who became known as Furiosa, though we don t know any details of what that might be (other than what we learned in Mad Max: Fury Road).Other Top Headlines1. SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE 2 DIRECTING TEAM ANNOUNCED (Photo by ©Columbia Pictures)The Miles Morales animated movie Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (Certified Fresh at 97%) was both a critical hit and the winner of the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature in 2018. That film was directed by the team of Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsay, and Rodney Rothman, but for the sequel, Sony Pictures has hired another trio of directors. The directors of the Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse sequel will be Joaquim Dos Santos (The Legend of Korra, Avatar: The Lost Airbender), Kemp Powers (co-director of Soul, writer of One Night in Miami), and Justin K. Thompson (an animator on shows like Star Wars: Clone Wars and Buzz Lightyear of Star Command). Dos Santos had previously been announced as the sole director of the the sequel, but both Powers and Thompson have been working with Dos Santos on the sequel since the project started. Although Sony Pictures has not yet announced the sequel s cast or premise, the film is scheduled for less than 18 months from now, on October 7, 2022.2. RUSSELL CROWE REVEALS GAMECHANGING ROLE IN THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER (Photo by © Universal Pictures)Marvel Studios does a pretty great job of keeping most of their secrets (who knew until last week that they had cast Julia-Louis Dreyfus in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier?). Having said that, the COVID-19 pandemic has arguably made keeping secrets a little more difficult, as the sequel Thor: Love and Thunder is being filmed in Australia, where stars have to quarantine upon arrival, making their presence there more obvious. That even applies to an actor who is himself Australian, like Russell Crowe, whom we ve known for a few weeks was filming a role in Thor: Love and Thunder, even if we didn t know what role he was playing. At the time, it seemed possible that Crowe s casting was another wink wink cameo like Matt Damon playing the Asgardian actor who portrays Loki on stage in Thor: Ragnarok, but Russell Crowe told an Australian radio show this week that he is instead playing the Greek god Zeus. The introduction of Zeus to the Marvel Cinematic Universe is significant not just because it expands the MCU beyond just Norse mythology, but also because it potentially sets up the introduction of long-time Avenger Hercules. Walt Disney Pictures is also developing a live-action adaptation of their 1997 animated film Hercules (Certified Fresh at 84%) to be produced by the Russo Brothers (the directors of the two most recent Captain America and Avengers movies). Thor: Love and Thunder is scheduled for release on May 6, 2022, starring Christian Bale as Gorr the God Butcher.3. DOWNTON ABBEY 2 ARRIVING JUST IN TIME FOR CHRISTMAS (Photo by ©Focus Features)While Downton Abbey was still on the air, the show regularly filled in the gap after the end of each season (except for the first) with a Christmas special. This week, Focus Features announced that filming has begun on the sequel to the 2019 Downton Abbey feature film (Certified Fresh at 84%), and it sounds like the sequel might be another Christmas-themed story (partly because Downton Abbey 2 is scheduled for Christmas, 2021). No actual premise details have been announced yet for Downton Abbey 2, but we do know about four new cast members. The rest of the large ensemble will be joined by Dominic West (The Wire, and Prince Charles in S5 of The Crown), Hugh Dancy (Hannibal), Laura Haddock (Peter Quill s Mom in Guardians of the Galaxy), and French actress Nathalie Baye. Seemingly confirming the Christmas theme for Downton Abbey 2, Focus Features chairman Peter Kujawski said, There s no place like home for the holidays, and we can t imagine a better gift than getting to reunite with Julian, Gareth, and the entire Downton family in 2021 to bring the Crawley s back home for their fans. 4. SING STREET DIRECTOR TAKING ON THE FASCINATING RHYTHM OF GEORGE GERSHWIN (Photo by Andrew Schwartz/©Weinstein Company courtesy Everett Collection)Like many filmmakers on his level, Steven Spielberg is at any one time developing a number of projects, some of which don t end up happening. Spinning the clock back to 2010, there was once a time when Spielberg was developing a biopic about the life of composer George Gershwin in which Zachary Quinto would have starred (until it was eventually scrapped a while back). Fast forward 11 years to the present, and a different George Gershwin-themed film called Fascinating Rhythm is now in development, with Marin Scorsese aboard as one of the producers, and Irish filmmaker John Carney (Once, Sing Street) is attached to direct. Fascinating Rhythm is being described as an original musical drama that focuses on a young woman’s magical journey through past and present New York City, inspired by the life and music of American composer George Gershwin. It s not yet known who might be cast to star in Fascinating Rhythm.5. ANTOINE FUQUA TO DIRECT ALL-BLACK REBOOT OF CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF (Photo by Scott Garfield/©Columbia Pictures)Some classic writers are cinematic evergreens (Shakespeare, Jane Austen, and Charles Dickens, for example), but others are not as in vogue as they once were. Tennessee Williams is definitely in that category, having given us several hits in the 1950s, including The Glass Menagerie, A Streetcar Named Desire, and Suddenly Last Summer, but not much in the way of major Hollywood productions in the decades since. If a Tennessee Williams cinematic revival is indeed looming, it might be coming to us from an unexpected source. Frequent Denzel Washington collaborator Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, The Equalizer) is now attached to produce and direct a new film adaptation of Tennessee Williams play Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, adapted from the 2008 Broadway production featuring an all-black cast that included Terrence Howard, Phylicia Rashad, and James Earl Jones. It s not yet known if any of them will return for this film.6. JIM HENSON BIOPIC MUPPET MAN TO BE PRODUCED BY DAUGHTER LISA HENSON (Photo by ©ABC courtesy Everett Collection)Among the projects that spend the longest time in film development, a frequent theme is celebrity biopics, which can sometimes take decades to get produced for a variety of reasons. Some examples include films about Janis Joplin, Bob Marley, Marvin Gaye, San Kinison, Richard Pryor, and Martin Luther King, Jr. One similar case can be found back in the February 8, 2008 edition of the Weekly Ketchup, which just happens to be this writer s very first entry in this column. Thirteen years later, the world still hasn t gotten the long-in-development Jim Henson biopic, but his daughter Lisa Henson is now putting together a project called Muppet Man to be produced by The Jim Henson Company and Walt Disney Pictures (which has been the Muppets corporate home since 2004). Although described as a biopic, the premise of Muppet Man will reportedly focus on Henson s struggle in the 1970s to convince broadcasters that The Muppets was a great idea and how he worked to get the characters on air where they became a comedy staple. The screenwriter currently working on Muppet Man is Michael Mitnick (The Giver, The Current War).7. SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 2 SET PHOTOS REVEAL FAN FAVORITE KNUCKLES (Photo by SEGA)The ending of Sonic the Hedgehog (Fresh at 63%) teased the introduction of Tails the Two-Tailed Fox, so we ve known pretty much all along that Tails was almost guaranteed to co-star in next year s Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (4/8/2022). This week, however, set photos from Canada where Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is currently being filmed revealed that in addition to prop stand-ins for Sonic and Tails, there is also one for Knuckles the Red Echidna, one of Sonic s long-time racing rivals. We don t yet know who might be voicing Knuckles (or Tails), or really, much else about the sequel as of yet.8. DISNEY REBOOTING HAUNTED MANSION THEME PARK ADAPTATION (Photo by Walt Disney courtesy Everett Collection)Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (Certified Fresh at 79%) was a hit that inspired several sequels, but it might be easy to forget that in the 2000s, Walt Disney Pictures attempted to adapt other theme park attractions as movies (like, say, The Country Bears) with far less success. Another theme park adaptation that flopped for Disney was 2003 s The Haunted Mansion (Rotten at 14%) starring Eddie Murphy, but 18 years later, it looks like Disney is ready to attempt another adaptation. Disney has hired Justin Simien (Dear White People, Bad Hair) to direct a new movie based on the Haunted Mansion theme park attraction, which will be adapted from a screenplay by Katie Dippold (The Heat, Snatched). We should also note that about 10 years ago, Walt Disney Pictures had been working with horror filmmaker Guillermo del Toro on a Haunted Mansion reboot one of his unrealized passion projects that was eventually shelved.9. VIN DIESEL TO STAR IN TOY MOVIE ROCK EM SOCK EM ROBOTS (Photo by George Kraychyk/©Paramount)Several years ago, when we were frequently hearing about new movie projects based on popular toys (spurred on mostly by the success of The LEGO Movie in 2014), some people online started joking about the inevitiblity of a Hungry Hungry Hippos movie (until, almost inevitably, an actual Hungry Hungry Hippos movie project actually did enter development). Another game that was popular in the 1970s that had a similar mechanism was Rock Em Sock Em Robots, and that boxing game is finally getting its own movie as well. Vin Diesel is already attached to star in Rock Em Sock Em Robots, although it s unclear if he will be playing one of the boxing robots or perhaps a human coach, a la Hugh Jackman in Real Steel. Rock Em Sock Em Robots is being produced for Universal Pictures by Mattel Films and Vin Diesel s One Race Films production company. That was actually the first of two new Vin Diesel projects announced this week, as he is also attached to star in an action thriller called Muscle for director F. Gary Gray (Straight Outta Compton), who previously directed Vin Diesel in A Man Apart (Rotten at 11%) and The Fate of the Furious (Fresh at 67%). The premise of Muscle is being kept secret.On an Apple device? Follow Rotten Tomatoes on Apple News.