This week’s Ketchup brings you more headlines from the world of film development news, covering such titles as Blade, The Ice Dragon, and Indiana Jones 5.
This WEEK’S TOP STORY
MARVEL’S BLADE FINDS DIRECTOR IN TIME FOR 2024
(Photo by David M. Benett, Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)
One of the biggest Marvel Cinematic Universe reveals at the 2019 San Diego Comic-Con was that their vampire-hunting anti-hero Blade was going to be rebooted soon (after three movies starring Wesley Snipes), and that the character would now be portrayed by Oscar-winner Mahershala Ali. Originally scheduled for the fall of 2023, Marvel then delayed Blade for a full year until 9/6/2024 following the departure in September of the film’s original director, Bassam Tariq (Mogul Mowgli). Fans fearing another possible delay received the good news this week that Marvel Studios has found their new Blade director in French-born, London-raised director Yann Demange, whose previous work has included ’71 (Certified Fresh at 96%), White Boy Rick (Rotten at 57%), and an episode of HBO’s Lovecraft Country (Fresh at 88%). Demange’s hiring is reportedly part of a “creative overhaul,” as Marvel also hired a new screenwriter, Michael Starrbury (Legends of Chamberlain Heights). Blade is getting a page-one rewrite, but it remains on track to start filming sometime in early 2023 in Atlanta to retain its September 6, 2024 release date.
Other Top Headlines
1. GEORGE R.R. MARTIN’S THE ICE DRAGON TO BECOME ANIMATED FEATURE
(Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)
Prolific fantasy and science fiction author George R.R. Martin had been writing for 25 years when he first published A Game of Thrones in (1996), which means that there are plenty of stories in Martin’s bibliography that have nothing to do with the realm of Westeros. One of them was a children’s novellette called The Ice Dragon, which was first published in 1980. In a recent interview, Martin revealed that The Ice Dragon will soon be adapted as a feature film by Warner Bros. Animation. The Ice Dragon may not be set in Westeros, but some of the themes are similar to Game of Thrones, as it involves a “winter child” who protects her family and village from the North with the help of a powerful ice dragon. There is no release date for The Ice Dragon, but as Martin said in the interview, “We’re going to expand it to a fully animated film… a theatrical film, we hope, to be released in a motion picture palace near you.”
2. INDIANA JONES 5 PHOTOS REVEAL SETTING AND SOME FAMILIAR VILLAINS
(Photo by Empire Magazine courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures)
Although there isn’t (yet) a trailer for Indiana Jones 5 (6/30/2023), Walt Disney Pictures has revealed a few details about the film’s setting and premise. (We’re presuming these details are not spoilers, since all of this information is likely to appear in the eventual trailer.) Courtesy of a couple of Empire Magazine exclusives, we now know Indiana Jones 5 will be set in the year 1969, and Indy will face off against his ever-persistent villains the Nazis ((played by Mads Mikkelsen and Boyd Holbrook), some of whom may have infiltrated NASA with sights on the July 24, 1969 return of the Apollo 11 moon-landing mission. There was also a first-look image of Phoebe Waller-Bridge in character as Helena, who is reportedly Indy’s goddaughter. In very related news, director James Mangold also revealed that the beginning of the film will be set in 1944 (about 8 years after Raiders of the Lost Ark), with de-aging technology utilized to transform Harrison Ford into a look closer to that of the 1980s, when he starred in the first Indiana Jones movies.
3. NOPE STAR KEKE PALMER LANDS ACTION COMEDY MOXIE
(Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images)
One of the stars of this summer’s Nope (Certified Fresh at 82%) was Keke Palmer, whose career first started as a child actor, including a series of projects for Nickelodeon. For her next film, Palmer is teaming up with a director and screenwriter who have both recently worked on Marvel projects for Disney+ to star in an action comedy called Moxie, about a stripper who is recruited by the FBI for a dangerous mission. Moxie will be directed by Hawkeye (Fresh at 92%) co-director Bert (aka Amber Templemore-Finlayson, the Bert of the “Bert & Bertie” partnership) from a screenplay cowritten by Palmer and Heather Quinn, who also worked on three episodes of Hawkeye, as well as Marvel’s Halloween special Werewolf by Night (Certified Fresh at 90%), which she also co-produced. Moxie is currently being shopped around to studios over the Thanksgiving week, so there is no word yet about when it will be produced or released.
4. THIS WEEK IN SCRAPPED SEQUELS: BRUCE ALMIGHTY 2 AND THE CHRISTMAS DEADPOOL
(Photo by ©20th Century Fox)
There seems to be an increase lately in the number of shelved Hollywood projects that stars or other creatives are willing to discuss with the trades, with two such projects making the news over the otherwise slow Thanksgiving week. Let’s start with Ryan Reynolds, who revealed that after Deadpool 2 (Certified Fresh at 84%) he had written an entire Deadpool movie set around a Christmas theme, which may have included at least one “song and dance number.” The problem, Reynolds says, is that “it got lost in the shuffle of Disney acquiring Fox and it never got made.” Instead, the third Deadpool (co-starring Hugh Jackman as Wolverine) is now being developed by Marvel Studios for a release on November 8, 2024. Reynolds sounds hopeful about his Christmas movie getting made someday, however, saying, “Maybe one day we’ll get to make that movie. It’s not a musical, but it’s a full Deadpool Christmas movie. So one day.” The other shelved movie being discussed this week is a sequel to the Jim Carrey comedy Bruce Almighty (Rotten at 48%), which was a completely separate project from Steve Carell’s Evan Almighty (Rotten at 24%). Carrey’s sequel, if it had happened, might have been titled Brucifer, as it involved his Bruce character acquiring the powers of Satan instead of God. Brucifer would have been more of a horror comedy, including Jennifer Aniston’s character becoming a zombie after Bruce tries to bring her back from the dead. With Jim Carrey talking about retiring from the film business, it’s very likely Bruce Almighty 2: Brucifer will now never happen.