Last Week(s) in Hollywood: ‘Alvin and the Chipmunks’, ‘The Spiderwick Chronicles’, ‘The Incal’, Marvel Disney+ Shows & More

There’s a lot of breaking news in Hollywood happening every minute. In the age of the blockbuster, it’s easy for some smaller movie and television news to slip through the crack. Last Week in Hollywood is our new weekly series highlighting all the interesting news from the last week that we thought didn’t warrant its own post, but was still worth mentioning. It’s less personal opinions and more a hearty roundup of what you might have missed.

Alvin and the Chipmunks for Sale

According to CNBC, Ross Bagasarian Jr. and his wife Janice Karman are reportedly looking to sell the rights to the Alvin and the Chipmunks franchise and Bagdasarian Productions for $300 million. They have taken several meetings so far with interested parties, including ViacomCBS, but no deal has been struck yet. The husband and wife duo previously looked at selling the company four years ago.

Universal previously acquired the rights to the franchise in 1999, releasing two direct-to-video movies featuring the Universal Monsters. They lost the rights in 2002 after a breach of contract. Bagdasarian Productions then took the property to 20th Century Fox which resulted in four live-action adaptations which made a combined $1 billion at the box office. Those films now sit under the Disney banner after their acquisition of 20th Century. Will ViacomCBS or Disney make an offer Bagdasarian can’t refuse? We’ll keep you posted.

Disney+ to Adapt The Spiderwick Chronicles

Disney+ is set to adapt The Spiderwick Chronicles as an original series. The Disney+ series is being described as a “modern coming-of-age story combined with fantasy adventure.” Nickelodeon and Paramount previously adapted the children’s fantasy adventure books in 2008. Paramount Television Studios and 20th Television will produce the new adaptation.

The Spiderwick Chronicles follows “the Grace Family—twin brothers Jared and Simon, their sister Mallory and mother Helen—as they move into their dilapidated ancestral home and begin to unravel a dark mystery about their great-great Uncle who once discovered the secret and maybe foreboding faerie world existing parallel to their own.”

Taika Waititi to Direct The Incal

Taika Waititi (Jojo Rabbit) has signed on to direct The Incal, an adaptation of Alejandro Jodorowsky and Mœbius’ bestselling graphic novel, for Humanoids and Primer Entertainment. Waititi will also co-write the script with Jemaine Clement (What We Do in the Shadows) and Peter Warren (Ghost Team).

The Incal is described as “an epic space opera centered on shabby P.I. John Difool, who happens upon a mystical artifact known as the Incal—an object of great power coveted by many factions across the galaxy. As Difool learns of the Incal’s powers and purpose, he—along with a ragtag crew of unlikely cohorts—reluctantly embarks on what begins as an improbable mission to save the universe, and slowly becomes a spiritual journey examining the duality and meaning of existence.”

Paramount Players Rebooting Pumpkinhead

Paramount Players is currently in development on a remake of Pumpkinhead, Bloody Disgusting reports. The original 1988 film starred Lance Henriksen as “a grieving father who conjures up the titular monster in an effort to kill those who took his young son from him.”

Apparently, the script is completed and production is ramping up. We should hear who will be directing the remake in the next couple of months.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules to Get Animated Adaptation

During Disney+ Day, a sequel to the upcoming animated film Diary of a Wimpy Kind was announced. Jeff Kinney, author of the popular Diary of a Wimpy Kid books, announced that Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules would be hitting the streaming service in 2022.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid will begin streaming on December 3, 2021 on Disney+. There are currently 16 books in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid franchise, so if these adaptations continue to be successful, expect a lot more of them on your screens in the coming years.

Four New Marvel Shows Coming to Disney+

Four new Marvel Studios series were announced to be in development at Disney+ last week. The first was Spider-Man: Freshman Year. The animated series will follow “Peter Parker on his way to becoming Spider-Man in the MCU, with a journey unlike we’ve ever seen and a style that celebrates the character’s early comic book roots.” It will be written by Jeff Trammel.

Next was Marvel Zombies. The animated series “reimagines the Marvel Universe as a new generation of heroes battle against an ever-spreading zombie scourge.” The show will be directed by Bryan Andrews and written by Zeb Wells. The WandaVision spinoff, Agatha: House of Harkness, starring Kathryn Hahn, was also confirmed. WandaVision showrunner Jac Schaeffer is on board to write and executive produce the series.

Lastly, Marvel Studios is working on a continuation of the popular ’90s animated series X-Men: The Animated Series. Titled X-Men ’97, the new series will pick up where the original series left off. Original cast members Cal Dodd (Wolverine), Lenore Zann (Rogue), George Buza (Beast), Adrian Hough (Nightcrawler), Christopher Britton (Mister Sinister), Catherine Disher (Jean Grey), Chris Potter (Gambit), Alison Sealy-Smith (Storm), and Alyson Court will all be returning, and they’ll be joined by new cast members Jennifer Hale, Anniwaa Buachie, Ray Chase, Matthew Waterson, JP Karliak, Holly Chou, Jeff Bennett, and AJ LoCascio. Beau DeMayo will serve as the head writer with X-Men: The Animated Series original writers Eric and Julia Lewald and director Larry Houston working as consultants. The revival is slated to hit Disney+ in 2023.

Jason Momoa, Dave Bautista to Lead Buddy Action Comedy

MGM has won an auction for an untitled buddy comedy action pitch starring Jason Momoa and Dave Bautista. Jonathan Tropper (The Adam Project) wrote the script. The film came from an original idea from Momoa, Bautista and Tropper.

MGM will develop the project, but the trio have made “rich deals that kick in when the picture goes into production.” Momoa and Bautista will play brothers in the Lethal Weapon-esque buddy cop comedy. The goal is to shoot it in Hawaii in 2023.

Jon M. Chu to Direct Oh, The Places You’ll Go Adaptation

Jon M. Chu (Crazy Rich Asians) will direct an animated adaptation of Dr. SeussOh, The Places You’ll Go! Deadline reports that Dr. Seuss Enterprises and Warner Bros. Animation Group are planning to bring the characters and story to life in a new movie set to debut in 2027.

The film is being made in conjunction with J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions. This will be Bad Robot’s first adventure into feature animation, with J.J. Abrams serving as a producer. First published in 1990, Oh, The Places You’ll Go! is the final book of Dr. Seuss. The animated musical film adaptation will follow “a young adventurer as they explore the wide range of feelings and encounters that come along with living life and venturing out on our own for the first time.”

Dan Aykroyd, Howard Deutch Working on The Great Outdoors Sequel

Dan Aykroyd recently told The Hollywood Reporter that he is working with The Great Outdoors director Howard Deutch on a sequel titled The Great Outlaws. Akyroyd is currently “looking for the Candy figure. There are some really interesting names, but I can’t say who. Howie and I are tickled to bring back Roman as a Ponzi scheme guy who victimizes a federal agent. Who knows? If I find the right partner…”

Kevin Hart was reported to be starring in a Great Outdoors remake for Universal back in 2017, but that was the last we ever heard of that project.

Broken Lizard Working on Hunchback of Notre Dame Comedy

Searchlight and Broken Lizard have started production on Quasi, a satirical take on the Hunchback of Notre Dame. Broken Lizard’s Kevin Heffernan will direct the comedy with Heffernan and the rest of the Broken Lizard members Steve Lemme, Jay Chandrasekhar, Paul Soter, and Erik Stolhanske writing the script and starring. Adrianne Palicki will also star in the film.

Quasi follows “a hapless hunchback who only yearns for love, but finds himself in the middle of a murderous feud between the Pope and the King of France when each orders the hunchback to kill the other.” The film will stream exclusively on Hulu in the U.S., on Star+ in Latin America, and on Disney+ in all other territories.

Universal Acquires Channing Tatum, Tom Hardy Drama

Universal Pictures has acquired an untitled original pitch from George Nolfi with Channing Tatum and Tom Hardy attached to star.

The story, based on recently reported true stories, focuses on “three former special forces team members who jump back into the fray alongside their Afghan counterparts, to rescue families and allies left behind amid the rapid fall of Afghanistan last August.”

Transformers, Star Trek, Elvis Get Delayed

Paramount has delayed two of its upcoming films. Transformers: Rise of the Beasts has been pushed back a year from June 24, 2022 to June 9, 2023. The new Star Trek movie that’s been in development for a while now will open on December 22, 2023. It was previously in the June 9, 2023 slot.

Lastly, Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis biopic has been pushed back a couple weeks from June 3, 2022 to June 24, 2022.

Edgar Wright Gives Baby Driver 2 Update

In a discussion with fellow director Cary Fukunaga for Interview MagazineEdgar Wright was asked about Baby Driver 2. Here’s what he had to say on the proposed sequel:

“If I did the sequel—and in fact I’ve already written a script—I’d have to find a way to make it fun for me. The idea of doing a straight Xerox is just not interesting because, as you know, these films take at least two years and in our cases, because of the pandemic, they took even longer. My rule of thumb is you have to really want to do it. We’ve both been in situations where we have walked away from a studio franchise movie because we weren’t feeling it. I know that we share many things in common, and that’s one of them.”

That’s it for the last couple of weeks. What castings mentioned are you interested in seeing the most onscreen? Tell us down in the comments!

Author: Marmaduke Karlston

"Wait a minute. Wait a minute Doc, uh, are you telling me you built a time machine... out of a DeLorean?"