In this edition of Sequel Bits:
- Kung Fu Hustle 2 is currently being developed.
- Some updates on the mysterious Ghostbusters 3.
- There’s still a chance we’ll see a “U.S.S. Callister” follow-up, but it won’t be in Black Mirror season 5.
- Brad Bird and Patton Oswalt make a disgusting joke about the fictional Ratatouille 2.
- Jason Blum wants 10 more Halloween sequels.
- Avatar franchise producer Jon Landau isn’t worried about that long gap between Avatar and Avatar 2.
- James Cameron has plans for Alita sequels, but don’t get your hopes up.
- Just what is going on with that Pirates of the Caribbean reboot?
Kung Fu Hustle, the comedy from Stephen Chow, has a strong cult following. And it might finally be getting a sequel. According to MAActionCinema.com, Chow recently revealed he’s working on a sequel to the 2004 film, and will start focusing on it more after he’s done filming the sequel to his 2016 film The Mermaid. Beyond that, details are scant. In the original film, “Sing (Stephen Chow) and his dim-witted pal, Bone (Feng Xiaogang) try to scam the residents of Pig Sty Alley into thinking they’re members of the dreaded Axe Gang,” but things get complicated when “the real gangsters descend on this Shanghai slum to restore their fearsome reputation. What gang leader Brother Sum (Chan Kwok-kwan) doesn’t know is that three legendary retired kung fu masters (Yu Xing, Dong Zhihua, Chiu Chi-ling) live anonymously in this decrepit neighborhood and don’t take kindly to interlopers.” The original film was praised for its stylish choices and often cartoonish approach to action.
You want some Ghostbusters 3 details? Good, because we’ve got some. First: according to Discussing Film, the Jason Reitman-directed sequel/reboot is set to start filming May 13, which is surprisingly soon. In addition to that, HN Entertainment has some new character descriptions for the two main characters:
UNNAMED (LEAD BOY 2) To play 12 years old. Slender, pale, dark hair, piercing blue eyes, aquiline features, high cheekbones, withdrawn. He’s prodigious — bright, witty, stubborn, and remains playful in spite of hardship. He is also a brilliantly quick thinker under pressure, is at ease with technology, and has a high facility for problem-solving.
UNNAMED (LEAD GIRL 2): To play 13 years old. Fun-loving, a bit of an airhead. Always curious, haunted, charmed, dazed.
These descriptions are more or less in line with what we’ve heard in the past regarding the plot, which involves some precocious kids getting involved with bustin’ ghosts. Since May is right around the corner, I imagine we’ll start learning even more about this project soon.
“U.S.S. Callister” is one of the more popular Black Mirror episode. This dark and twisted send up of Star Trek features Jesse Plemmons as a total creep imprisoning his co-workers in a Trek-like simulation. The episode is so popular that some fans have expressed interest in returning to the world set up therein, especially since the episode ends with plenty of room for a sequel. And we may just get that sequel – but not anytime soon. Jimmi Simpson, who appeared in the episode, recently told The Wrap that Black Mirror creator Charlie Brooker has ideas for a “U.S.S. Callister” sequel/spin-off. But nothing is set in stone yet, and the upcoming Black Mirror season 5 – which is expected to debut on Netflix sometime this year – definitely does not have a “Callister” sequel.
And the shot below is where the movie STARTS. What they call a photorealistic “reimagining” is in fact a shameless play for attention from the Actors branch in next years Oscars if you ask me! I will not soon forgive you for validating this take, @pattonoswalt!!! https://t.co/OTrwcge2Nk
— Brad Bird (@BradBirdA113) February 14, 2019
Of all the Pixar films, Ratatouille is the one I’d love to see a sequel to. But I doubt it will happen. And to rub salt in that wound, Ratatouille star Patton Oswalt and director Brad Bird recently took to Twitter to have some disgusting fun, courtesy of a dead rat. You can see it above, and read Oswalt and Bird’s banter regarding it. Not cool, guys. Not cool at all.
The Blumhouse-produced Halloween sequel/reboot was a huge hit, and a sequel is already in the works – at least in screenplay form. But if Jason Blum has his way, it’s going to be the first of several sequels. Ten, to be precise. Speaking with Moviefone, Blum said:
“Well, we had talked about it but right now we’re not shooting any Halloween movies right now because we don’t have deal rights to the sequels. But I certainly hope to make 10 more but I’ll start with one more.”
Multiple Halloween sequels? What could go wrong?
The first Avatar came out 10 years ago, and many have wondered if anyone still cares about the film (even though it’s the biggest box office hit in history). Producer Jon Landau sure hopes so, since he and James Cameron are making several sequels. The first, Avatar 2, will hit theaters December 18, 2020. That’s a long gap between sequels, but Landau isn’t concerned. Speaking with Syfy Wire, Landau said: “There are huge time periods between Jumanji and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, and huge time periods between Star Wars and [the new Star Wars trilogy],” and those films were still hits. He also added:
“People want to return to the world of Pandora…They want to return with these characters. So for us, it was never about meeting a timeline to do a sequel. It was about getting scripts that Jim was happy with that cover all the stories we want to tell, not just the first one, not just the second one, not just the third one, all four scripts had to reach a point that we were happy with and Jim was happy with before we proceeded. But audiences still tell us that there’s a yearning to go back to these stories.”
We’ll find out next year if he’s correct.
Speaking of James Cameron properties, the filmmaker is out there promoting the sci-fi epic Alita: Battle Angel, which he produced. Cameron spoke to Digital Spy and confirmed that he indeed has sequel ideas at the ready, even though the film hasn’t been out for a full 24 hours yet:
“Well, we obviously have a plan for that… But it’s cheeky to set up a sequel before you’re proven. That can blow back in your face. We think of something like Warcraft that was clearly set up with the intention to do sequels, and then it becomes mock-able because the film doesn’t succeed. But I don’t worry about stuff like that. If the film fails, it’s its own punishment, you know? It doesn’t matter if we get mocked on top of having failed.”
While I’ve heard positive things about Alita, the movie is headed towards an underwhelming opening weekend, with many predicting it will be the first flop of 2019. If that happens, Cameron and company probably won’t be making any sequels anytime soon.
Disney is hoping to reboot Pirates of the Caribbean, and they originally turned to Deadpool writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick to get the job done. However, word recently broke that Reese and Wernick are no longer involved with the project. On top of that, rumors abound that Disney might just give up entirely. Just what is going on here? According to Variety’s Justin Kroll, news of the potential reboot got out before Disney really wanted it to:
Couple of observations following this latest PIRATES news. When I first checked in with sources on the news, it came off as if the reality of this actually coming together was not as concrete as was made to believe, which made me think this broke before anyone wanted it out there
— Justin Kroll (@krolljvar) February 14, 2019
But wait, there’s more! Kroll also says that there was talk of Guy Ritchie taking over the series, but the idea was shot down because they worried it would cause word of the project to leak too soon.
I also almost immediately heard that Guy Ritchie was the top choice from multiple sources to take over as director. That was shot down but I always got the sense that it had more to with the studio not wanting too much out about this project and less about his actual involvement
— Justin Kroll (@krolljvar) February 14, 2019
All that said, it’s unlikely Ritchie was even offered the job. For now, the Pirates reboot remains without a rudder.