Some possible Wonder Woman 3 answers; Reese Witherspoon returns as Tracy Flick in an Election sequel; friend-of-Moviemaker Micah Khan is directing his first feature, Zombie Wedding, ripped from the pages of the Weekly World News. All in today’s Movie News Rundown.
Congratulations: To director Micah Khan, who has completed principal photography on The Zombie Wedding, featuring Cheri Oteri, Heather Matarazzo, Seth Gilliam, and Vincent Pastore, among others. Its the first film from the Weekly World News — yes, that Weekly World News — and its based on the beloved supermarket checkout tabloid’s IP. Written by Greg D’Alessandro, chief creative officer of Weekly World News Studios, it was originally launched as an interactive theater event in New York, and tells what we’re sure is the true story of the first-ever wedding of a human bride and a zombie groom.
Local Filmmaker Makes Good: Micah has done lots of fantastic interviews for MovieMaker and is one of our favorite advocates of using every aspect of a scene to contribute to the story. Here he is talking about visual storytelling it with Denis Villeneuve, and here’s a brilliant video essay he made about how Rian Johnson controls your eyes in Knives Out.
Tracy Flick Returns: Paramount Pictures has announced Tracy Flick Can’t Win — a sequel to Alexander Payne’s 1999 dark comedy Election — will be made for Paramount+. Payne will return as director, with the original film’s star, Reese Witherspoon, back as Tracy Flick. The new film is based on the Tom Perrotta novel Tracy Flick Can’t Win, which came out in June. I read it and it was diverting and good. Election was based on the 1998 Perrotta book of the same name.
What’s Tracy Flick Can’t Win About? The book finds Tracy, her political dreams dashed by circumstances beyond her control, living a comfortable life as a high school administrator, but longing for more. Then a tech millionaire introduces plans to create a hall of fame for the high school, which instigates lots of conflict — like the student-body presidential election did in Election.
Bee Gees: Lorene Scafaria, who crushed it as the director of Hustlers, is replacing John Carney as the director of a new Bee Gees biopic, Deadline reports. Gladiator and Hugo screenwriter John Logan wrote it, and the hair and costumes will be amazing.
Reached for Comment: The writer of this newsletter said, “Yay, we have an excuse to post a Bee Gees song at the end.”
Wonder Woman Wonder: Since Wednesday’s Hollywood Reporter report that Patty Jenkins’ plans for Wonder Woman 3 are not happening, some stuff. First: James Gunn, who now leads DC Films with Peter Safran, tweeted that “some of it is true, some of it is half-true, some of it is not true, and some of it we haven’t decided yet whether it’s true or not.” He also noted: “We know we are not going to make every single person happy every step of the way, but we can promise everything we do is done in the service of the STORY and in the service of the DC CHARACTERS we know you cherish and we have cherished our whole lives.” He also declined to tweet his plans for DC Films over the next decade, which seems reasonable.
More Wonder Woman Stuff: Deadline contends that Warner Bros. and DC Films want Gal Gadot back in the role, despite Jenkins’ plans for the sequel not happening. And TheWrap‘s Umberto Gonzales reports that Jenkins walked after Warner Bros. Film Group co-chairs and CEOs Michael De Luca and Pamela Abdy said they didn’t think her treatment worked and decided not to move forward with that version. TheWrap says the executives asked Jenkins if she would pitch other approaches, but she declined. TheWrap also said Gunn and Safran weren’t involved, but agreed with De Luca and Abdy that the treatment didn’t work. No one besides Gunn (she above) has publicly commented.
A Thought: Exactly two years before the THR story about Jenkins’ version of Wonder Woman 3 not happening, the New York Times reported that Jenkins and Gadot would receive $10 million from Warner Bros. because of its pandemic decision to stream Wonder Woman 1984 on HBO Max on Christmas Day 2020 — the same day the film came out in theaters. They received the money because the decision to stream the film online threatened to cut into Gadot and Jenkins’ profit-sharing from the film. But Wonder Woman 1984, obviously, was not the only Warner Bros. film to be released simultaneously in theaters and online — Warner Bros. ultimately released 17 films that way in 2021, drawing the ire of filmmakers like Dune director Denis Villeneuve. Jenkins and Gadot’s payouts didn’t seem fair to many directors and filmmakers who weren’t similarly compensated. Among the 17 films? The Suicide Squad, directed by James Gunn. I don’t know if Gunn received any special compensation for the decision to release his film simultaneously in theaters and on HBO Max, but either way, he maintained good relations with Warner Bros., making the Peacemaker series for HBO Max. Now Patty Jenkins is gone from the franchise she built, and Gunn runs all of DC Films. It’s wild how things turn.
The Bee Gees Song at the End: We decided to go with the best one.
Main image: Reese Witherspoon as Tracy Flick in Election.