Peter Ramsey, one of the directors of last year’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, has lined up his next directing gig – and no, it’s not the Spider-Verse sequel. Instead, he’ll make the jump to live action for the first time and direct a film called Love in Vain, an “unconventional biopic” about famed blues musician Robert Johnson. Johnson, a 1930s guitar player who has become legendary in the blues community, is arguably most famous for being the subject of a story that he sold his soul to the devil in exchange for the ability to master the instrument.
Deadline brings word that Paramount has bought the pitch for Love in Vain from up-and-coming writer Krystin Ver Linden, who wrote the initial script for the Sally Ride biopic about the first American woman in space. Ramsey, who directed the underseen 2012 animated film Rise of the Guardians as well as last year’s Spider-Verse, is set to direct. Based on his previous work, I wouldn’t have guessed that this would be subject matter that interested him, but I’m excited to see what he does in the world of live-action – and I’m especially interested in the “unconventional” aspect of Ver Linden’s screenplay. Are we looking at a new Rocketman, or something even more stylistically adventurous? Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Mike Menchel, and acclaimed musician Lionel Richie will produce the film.
Not much is known about Johnson’s real life, which is the best way for rumors and legends to become believed as facts over time. Johnson was a small time musician who only participated in two recording sessions in his life, resulting in only 29 songs before his early death. But those songs, initially recorded in low quality, were re-released in the early 1960s and inspired artists like Bob Dylan, Keith Richards, Robert Plant, and Eric Clapton, who once referred to Johnson “the most important blues musician who ever lived.” Johnson pioneered the Delta Blues genre of music, influencing an entire generation of performers despite being a relative unknown during his lifetime. He died at age 27, becoming an early member of what would be known as the “27 Club” or “Forever 27”: musicians like Kurt Cobain, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Amy Winehouse who all died at that age.
If you want to do some more research into Johnson’s life before this movie comes out, there have been several movies made about him: The Search for Robert Johnson, Can’t You Hear the Wind Howl?: The Life and Music of Robert Johnson, and a 48-minute Netflix movie that came out earlier this year called Devil at the Crossroads.
Disney recently released Frozen 2 on Disney+ months in advance, which is both good and bad news for parents. The good: it gives kids something to watch while they're stuck at home. The bad: dad turning into Jack Torrance after hearing “Into the Unknown” for the 75th time that week. Luckily, there's a movie on streaming that everyone can agree is great, no matter how many times you see it: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
The Oscar-winning animated feature and best comic book movie of the 2010s is on Netflix, and according to Jake Johnson, who voices Peter Parker, parents have been reaching out to him, “saying they've been watching Spiderverse with their kids. A lot.”
That give him an idea:
So, here's my idea. If your child is home from school and wants a quick encouraging message from Peter B Peter, then send me an email with their name and I'll try and send over a short voice note. If I don't get to you, I apologize. #stayhome
To get in touch with Johnson, you can send an email to [email protected] Maybe if you ask extra nice, he'll leave a message as Nick Miller, as well. “It is perfectly fine to watch TV all day” is good advice right now. And always, but especially right now.
Yet another major production has reportedly been put on hold for the time being. The currently untitled Spider-Man 3, which will see Tom Holland return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe following last summer's Far From Home, is rumored to hit the pause button. It joins other major comic book movies such as The Batman and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings as big 2021 releases that have been affected by the shutdown brought on by current events.
According to a new report that is going over the wide-ranging implications of the Hollywood shutdown, it was revealed that Spider-Man 3 has also been put on hold for the time being. The plan had been to begin filming in July, which means Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios were undoubtedly in pre-production before the things escalated to where they are now. There is no word currently on how long the delay is expected to last, but the situation has been evolving rapidly and has proved to be unpredictable.
With movie theaters shut down all around the world and with productions on pause on both the TV and movie side of things, the entertainment industry is bleeding cash right now. A number of high-profile releases have had their release dates pushed back, including Mulan, Black Widow, F9, A Quiet Place: Part II and No Time to Die, amongst others. Sony recently pushed most of its major releases for the year, including Ghostbusters: Afterlife and Morbius, to 2021, with Venom 2 being a notable exception. For now at least. Tom Holland's schedule could become an issue as the Uncharted movie was recently pushed back as well.
Plot details are largely being kept under wraps for Spider-Man 3 at this time. Jon Watts, who directed both Homecoming and Far From Home, is set to return to round out the trilogy. Tom Holland will be back as Peter Parker, with Zendaya also returning as MJ. We know for sure it will be picking up with the major cliffhanger we were left with at the end of Far From Home, which saw Mysterio revealing Spider-Man's identity to the world, while also framing him for murder. There is no word yet on who may be the main villain. Chris McKenna penned the screenplay.
The difference with this delay is that the MCU is dependent on the release order. The movies all tie in with one another, to varying degrees. Depending on how this all shakes out, it could end up meaning larger changes for the larger MCU plans, especially with shows like The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and WandaVision also on the way. Fortunately, for now, Black Widow is the only movie that has had its release date pushed back. That shouldn't complicate things too much, especially since it's a prequel. As it stands, Spider-Man 3 is set to arrive in theaters on July 16, 2021. We'll be sure to keep you posted as the situation develops. This news comes to us vi Sight and Sound Magazine.