Today s Ketchup brings you another 10 headlines from the world of film development news, covering new roles for Zac Efron, Idris Elba, Tom Hanks, Angelina Jolie, and Denzel Washington.This WEEK S TOP STORYANGELINA JOLIE IN TALKS TO LEAD MARVEL S THE ETERNALS(Photo by Walt Disney Studios)It s been a few weeks shy of a year now since we first heard that Marvel Studios was developing a movie based on The Eternals. Since then, it s been confirmed that The Eternals will be the next film to start production after Black Widow, likely for a late 2020 release (November 6, 2020, specifically). Despite that, one could argue that the project hadn t really been receiving much press or buzz, and the reason for that is sort of obvious: most non-comics fans don t know what The Eternals is (Thanos is an Eternal from Titan, but there are different groups of Eternals). What The Eternals needed and was lacking until this week, then, was some genuine star power to raise the film s profile. Marvel is getting it in the form of Angelina Jolie, who s now in talks to star in The Eternals. Technically, Jolie s role was not confirmed this week, but the leads are reportedly Ikaris (who s male) and Sersi, so she s probably Sersi. This might also mean Jolie could join a future version of The Avengers, as Sersi was a member of the team for over 60 issues from 1989 to 1994. The Eternals will be directed by Chloé Zhao (The Rider, Songs My Brothers Taught Me) when it starts filming this summer. In the meantime, you can check out this fan art that speculates what Angelina Jolie could look like as Sersi.Fresh Developments1. JOEL COEN GOING SOLO FOR SHAKESPEARE S MACBETH STARRING DENZEL WASHINGTON (Photo by Wilson Webb/Focus Features)Director Joel Coen and his brother Ethan have collaborated on so many movies (dozens) that it s become shorthand to just refer to them as the Coen Brothers, even if their precise duties on each film vary. This week, we learned of the first film that Joel Coen will be directing from his own screenplay, without Ethan writing or producing, and it will be an adaptation of William Shakespeare s MacBeth (A.K.A. The Scottish Play for the superstitious). Denzel Washington will play the title character, and two-time Academy Award winner Frances McDormand (A.K.A. Mrs. Joel Coen) will co-star as Lady MacBeth. It is not yet known if the film will retain the play s medieval Scotland setting or perhaps shift to a more contemporary setting. This MacBeth also comes just a few years after the 2015 adaptation (Certified Fresh at 79%) that starred Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard.2. NEW AVENGERS: ENDGAME POSTERS CONFIRM FATES OF SHURI, VALKYRIE, AND OTHERS(Photo by Marvel Studios)There was a lot going on in those final moments of Avengers: Infinity War, but Marvel wasn t able to fit in every character. It s also telling of the scope of these movies now that Marvel Studios was able to release 32 character posters for Avengers: Endgame, and still leave out several fan favorites. The posters were divided into two groups (16 of each): black-and-white posters for (some of) the characters who were dusted (or ashed ) in Avengers: Infinity War, and color posters for characters who survived Thanos snap. The inclusion of a poster for Tessa Thompson s Valkyrie character from Thor: Ragnarok confirms one of the lingering questions some had, since she wasn t seen on the Asgardian spaceship in Avengers: Infinity War (or at all). Likewise, there s also a black-and-white poster for Letitia Wright s Shuri character from Black Panther, confirming that she shared the fate of her brother T Challa (not that he s likely to be gone permanently). Marvel Studios also confirmed this week that Avengers: Endgame will be around three hours long when it s released on April 26.3. CUMBERBATCH, FIRTH, AND STRONG JOIN SAM MENDES WORLD WAR I DRAMA(Photo by JA, Priscilla Grant, Elizabeth Goodenough/Everett Collection)We ve known for a while that Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Skyfall) was planning on directing a drama called 1917 following his decision not to direct another James Bond film after 2015 s Spectre. Details about 1917 have remained sparse, but the title itself makes it pretty clear that it s set during World War I (1917 was the year the United States joined the war, but the focus will be on the British). We now know that the story will center on a single day in the war for two young British soldiers played by George MacKay (Captain Fantastic) and Dean-Charles Chapman (Tommen from Game of Thrones). With filming of 1917 starting on location in England and Scotland on Monday, several more actors were confirmed this week. The cast will include Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Strange, TV s Sherlock), Colin Firth (The King s Speech), Richard Madden (Robb Stark from Game of Thrones), and Mark Strong (Shazam!). There are a few reunions going on here, including for Kingsman: The Secret Service (Colin Firth and Mark Strong), and The Imitation Game (Benedict Cumberbatch and Mark Strong), and Game of Thrones.4. MICHAEL B. JORDAN WON T LOOK A DAY OVER 400 AS METHUSELAH(Photo by Marvel Studios)It was less than three years ago that we first heard about a biblical epic called Methuselah, in which Tom Cruise would play the long-lived figure from the Book of Genesis. The film is still in development at Warner Bros, but it s now set up as a starring vehicle for Michael B. Jordan (Creed, Black Panther), who will also produce. One significant change to Methuselah is that it s no longer described as a biblical epic, but is instead about a 400-year-old man who, over hundreds of years, has accumulated vast intellectual knowledge, from multiple languages to the sciences, as well as survival skills. Methuselah joins Jordan and his production company s sizable slate of film projects along with Just Mercy (1/17/2020), Tom Clancy s Without Remorse (9/18/2020), Journal for Jordan, The Liberators, Red Wolf, Silver Bear, and Wrong Answer.5. TOM HANKS JOINS ELVIS PRESLEY BIOPIC AS COLONEL TOM PARKER (Photo by Sony Pictures)Tom Hanks is on some sort of crazy streak of late playing iconic real-life figures of both the 20th and 21st centuries. In the last six years alone, he’s starred in Captain Phillips, Saving Mr. Banks (as Walt Disney), Bridge of Spies, Sully (as pilot “Sully” Sullenberger), The Post (as Ben Bradlee), and his Mister Rogers movie, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is due out later this year (11/22/2019). Hanks is now in talks for another film in which he will play a 20th century pop culture personality; if the deal goes through, he ll take on a Southern accent again as Colonel Tom Parker, co-starring in the untitled Elvis Presley biopic that director Baz Luhrmann (Moulin Rouge!, Australia) has been developing for several years. Luhrmann reportedly moved on to Tom Hanks after previous talks with Leonardo DiCaprio (his Romeo + Juliet star) didn t work out. Baz Luhrmann has not yet cast his actor to star as Elvis Presley.
ON THE RECORDDirected and produced by Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering (The Hunting Ground, The Invisible War), and first reported by the New York Times, On The Record presents the powerful haunting story of music executive Drew Dixon (collaborator on hit records by Method Man and Mary J. Blige, Estelle and Kanye West, and Whitney Houston) as she grapples with her decision to become one of the first women of color, in the wake of #MeToo, to come forward and publicly accuse hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons of sexual assault.The documentary, which premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival to rave reviews, chronicles not only Dixon’s story but that of several other accusers – Sil Lai Abrams, Sheri Sher – delving deeply into the ways women of colors’ voices are all too often silenced and ignored when they allege sexual assault, as well as the cultural forces that pressure them to remain silent.After Launch Schedule(Photo by Courtesy HBO Max)Thursday, June 18:The entire first season of the unscripted kids adventure competition series Karma, led by YouTube host Michelle Khare.Thursday, June 25:An original second season of the critically acclaimed DC Universe fan-favorite Doom Patrol; an original second season of Sesame Workshop’s animated series Esme Roy, taking preschool-aged viewers on learning adventures through Monsterdale; a brand new third season of the comedy thriller Search Party (the first two seasons will be available on the platform at launch on May 27); and Adventure Time: Distant Lands- BMO, the first of four hour-long breakout specials resurrecting the Emmy and Peabody award-winning franchise Adventure Time.Thursday, July 9: The premiere of the three-part documentary series Expecting Amy, an unfiltered and intimate view into comedian Amy Schumer’s life on tour creating a stand-up special during her difficult pregnancy, directed and edited by Alexander Hammer, and the adult animated comedy Close Enough, a hilarious look at the surreal life of a millennial family living with roommates, from J.G. Quintel, creator of the Emmy-winning Regular Show.Thursday, July 16: Multi- generational family docusoap The House of Ho, chronicling the daily lives of patriarch Binh Ho, matriarch Hue Ho, their daughter Judy Ho, their son Washington Ho and his wife Lesley Ho, Aunt Tina, and Cousin Sammy, lands on the platform.Thursday, July 23:Cartoon Network Studios’ animated children’s series Tig n’ Seek, following eight-year-old Tiggy and his gadget-building cat Gweeseek, pounces onto the service.Thursday, July 30:Scripted comedy Frayed, which follows a wealthy Londoner as she travels back to the Australian home she escaped as a teen, and the unscripted heartwarming British animal rescue series The Dog House have their U.S. premieres.Thursday, August 6:(Photo by Courtesy of HBO Max)HBO Max announced in late April that it has acquired rights to distribute has acquired worldwide rights to An American Pickle, which will be released on August 6 under the upcoming platform’s Warner Max label. The film, starring Seth Rogen in dual leading roles, is an adaptation of the 2013 New Yorker series Sell Out by Simon Rich who also adapts, and is directed by Brandon Trost, the cinematographer from Rogen’s previous films This is the End, Neighbors, and The Interview.HBO Max announced in a statement that it had acquired the film from Sony Pictures so that it would not be delayed due to Covid-19 theater closures and will reach audiences this year.The film is based on Rich’s New Yorker novella and stars Rogen as Herschel Greenbaum, a struggling laborer who immigrates to America in 1920 with dreams of building a better life for his beloved family. One day, while working at his factory job, he falls into a vat of pickles and is brined for 100 years. The brine preserves him perfectly and when he emerges in present day Brooklyn, he finds that he hasn’t aged a day. But when he seeks out his family, he is troubled to learn that his only surviving relative is his great grandson, Ben Greenbaum (also played by Rogen), a mild-mannered computer coder whom Herschel can’t even begin to understand.(Photo by HBO Max)Previously announced HBO Max Originals:HBO Max has ordered three series from J.J. Abrams and Bad Robot:Overlook is a horror-thriller series inspired by and featuring iconic characters from Stephen King novel The Shining, which Stanley Kubrick adapted into 1980 horror classic of the same name. The series “explores the untold, terrifying stories of the most famous haunted hotel in American fiction.” Bad Robot, King, and Warner Bros. Television previously collaborated on horror series Castle Rock for Hulu. Duster will be co-written by Abrams and LaToya Morgan (The Walking Dead). Set in the 1970’s Southwest, the life of a gutsy getaway driver for a growing crime syndicate goes from awful to wildly, stupidly, dangerously awful. The series is produced by WBTV. The third will be a series based on DC characters in the Justice League Dark Universe with details to be revealed soon.The Fungies! from Stephen Neary and Cartoon Network Studios, is a prehistoric comedy that explores Fungietown through the whimsical quests of Seth, a young student at Fungietown Elementary.Tig N’ Seek from Myke Chilian and Cartoon Network Studios is about 8-year-old Tiggy and his gadget-building cat, Gweeseek, as they search for the lost items of Wee Gee City. With Tiggy’s cheerful attitude and Gweeseek’s exceptional inventing capabilities, the duo humorously navigate day-to-day dilemmas at the Department of Lost and Found.Tooned Out executive produced by Robert Zemeckis (Forrest Gump, Cast Away, Back to the Future), is a half-hour, hybrid live-action and animated comedy. Things get a little cartoony for Mac when he starts seeing iconic cartoon characters in his life, but they’re not just there for laughs, they’re helping him get through a very rough patch in his life.Jellystone a new animated children’s comedy series from Warner Bros. Animation that will welcome viewers to the town of Jellystone, where their favorite Hanna-Barbera characters live, work, play, and stir up trouble together.DC Super Hero High a half-hour comedy series executive produced by Elizabeth Banks (Charlie’s Angels, Pitch Perfect, Shrill), which follows a group of students experiencing the fun and drama of adolescence at a boarding school for gifted kids. These teens are just trying to navigate the pressures of high school, but none of them realize that someday they will become legendary DC Super Heroes.Rap Sh*t (working title) from Issa Rae (Insecure, A Black Lady Sketch Show) is a half-hour comedy series that follows a female rap group from outside of Miami trying to make it in the music industry.College Girls (working title) the latest series from Mindy Kaling (Four Weddings and a Funeral, Late Night, The Mindy Project, The Office), is a 13-episode half-hour, single-camera comedy following three 18-year-old freshman roommates at Evermore College in Vermont who are equal parts lovable and infuriating.Strange Adventures a DC Super Hero anthology series executive produced by Greg Berlanti (Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, Titans, Doom Patrol), will feature characters from across the DC canon. This one-hour drama series will explore close-ended morality tales about the intersecting lives of mortals and superhumans.A Green Lantern–inspired series from Berlanti Productions, the series will finally introduce characters from this iconic comic in Berlanti’s biggest series yet.A series of stand-up specials presented by Conan O’Brien, the series will feature five new comedy specials. O’Brien will host two specials, featuring short sets from multiple up-and-coming comics while also curating one-hour sets from three comedians. In addition HBO Max has purchased the rights to a one-hour special from comedian James Veitch.Raised by Wolves (pictured above) an epic serialized sci-fi series executive produced and directed by Ridley Scott (The Martian, Blade Runner, Alien: Covenant) centering on two androids tasked with raising human children on a mysterious virgin planet.Bobbie Sue is a feature-length film starring Golden Globe–winner Gina Rodriquez (Jane the Virgin) following the story of a headstrong young lawyer who lands a career-making case with an upper crust law firm, only to realize she’s been hired for optics and not her expertise. Let Them All Talk (working title) an original film directed by Oscar and Emmy award-winner Steven Soderbergh (Traffic, Behind the Candelabra) about a celebrated author (Meryl Streep) who takes a journey with some old friends (Candice Bergen and Dianne Weist) to have some fun and heal old wounds. Her nephew (Lucas Hedges) comes along to wrangle the ladies and finds himself involved with a young literary agent (Gemma Chan).UNpregnant adapted from the young adult HarperCollins novel authors Jenni Hendriks (How I Met Your Mother) and Ted Caplan (music editor for The Hate U Give, The Greatest Showman), from PICTURESTART and Berlanti Productions, the film tackles complicated friendships and the difficult road to adulthood, all while in a stolen El Camino.Ellen DeGeneres original series HBO Max ordered three original shows from the Emmy-winning daytime talk show host straight to series: Ellen’s Home Design Challenge, First Dates Hotel, and Little Ellen, as well as docu-series Finding Einstein in development.Grease: Rydell High the musical spin-off series is inspired by the 1978 Golden Globe–nominated film Grease.Superintelligence an original film starring Melissa McCarthy (Spy, The Heat, Bridesmaids), the comedy is directed by Ben Falcone (Life of the Party, Tammy) and written by Steve Mallory (The Boss) and slated to premiere at the streaming service s launch.Equal four-part docu-series that captures the gripping and true backstories of LGBTQ+ movement leaders and unsung heroes, pre-Stonewall, who changed the course of American history through their tireless activism.Gossip Girl (a reboot of the title with new cast) eight years after the original website went dark, a new generation of New York private school teens are introduced to the social surveillance of Gossip Girl. No word yet on whether original cast members will appear.Dune: The Sisterhood an adaptation of Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson’s book based in the world created by Frank Herbert’s book Dune, from director Denis Villeneuve.Tokyo Vice based on Jake Adelstein’s non-fiction first-hand account of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police beat starring Ansel Elgort.The Flight Attendant a one-hour thriller series based on the novel by Chris Bohjalian, which will star Kaley Cuoco, who is also executive producing alongside Greg Berlanti.Station Eleven a post-apocalyptic limited series based on Emily St. John Mandel’s international bestseller, adapted by Patrick Somerville and directed by Hiro Murai.Made for Love a 10-episode, half-hour, straight-to-series adaptation based on the tragicomic novel of the same name by Alissa Nutting, also from Somerville and directed by S.J. Clarkson.Gremlins an animated series from Warner Bros. Animation and Amblin Entertainment based on the original movie.gen:LOCK season 2 of the mecha animated Rooster Teeth series starring Michael B. Jordan.Full Bloom an eight-episode, hour-long competition series featuring 10 of America’s budding florists vying to be crowned America’s best.CNN Original Series and CNN Films nonfiction titles two new documentary series Heaven’s Gate and Generation Hustle (working title) and two new original documentary features under the working titles The Scoop and Persona.Birth, Wedding, Funeral a travel docu-series that is part of an overall deal with Lisa Ling.The Ho’s (working title) Lionsgate TV docu-series follow multi-generational Ho family as they grow their Houston empire.15 Minutes of Shame Produced by Six West, the documentary from executive producers Monica Lewinsky and Max Joseph (MTV’s Catfish) features Joseph with appearances by Lewinsky as they take an in-depth look at public shaming.Expecting Amy (working title) from Emmy award–winner Amy Schumer, the documentary takes viewers behind-the-scenes as Schumer goes through an extraordinarily difficult pregnancy while touring to prepare for a stand-up special.Brad Gary Go To… (working title) food, travel, and fashion series will follow Brad Goreski and Gary Janetti on globe-trotting escapades.