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WIRE Buzz: Jacob's Ladder remake trailer; Disney reeling in Little Mermaid cast; more

By Josh Weiss
Jacob's Ladder remake

Psychological horror-thrillers, friendly sea creatures, and robotic policemen comprise this latest edition of WIRE Buzz! Enjoy updates on Jacob's Ladder, The Little Mermaid, and RoboCop Returns!

Thanks to EW, we now have the first trailer for LD Entertainment's remake of Jacob's Ladder. Based on the 1990 cult classic starring Tim Robbins, this 21st-century update on the horror-thriller finds Jacob Singer, Afghanistan war vet (Almost Human's Michael Ealy), trying to discern between reality and hallucination after his brother (Jesse Williams), killed in action overseas, seemingly comes back to life.

Is Jacob merely seeing things, or is he really being haunted by demons? Watch the trailer below to draw your own conclusions!

Directed by David M. Rosenthal (The Pefect Guy), the 2019 version of Jacob's Ladder was penned by Jeff Buhler (The Prodigy, Pet Sematary) and Sarah Thorpe.

The title is a reference to the Old Testament, where Jacob (son of Isaac), having left home, dreamt of a ladder being endlessly climbed and descended by angels.

The remake, which co-stars Nicole Beharie (Sleepy Hollow) as Jacob's wife, is set for wide release on August 23.

On Friday, we reported Melissa McCarthy was in talks with Disney to play Ursula the sea-witch in the studio's live-action remake of 1989's The Little Mermaid. Today, THR writes that both Jacob Tremblay (The Twilight Zone) and Awkwafina (Jumanji: The Next Level) are also being courted for roles in the Rob Marshall-helmed project.

If the deals go through, Tremblay will end up voicing Ariel's best friend, Flounder the fish (originally voiced by Jason Marin), while Awkwafina takes up the winged post of Scuttle (originally voiced by Buddy Hackett), a seagull who brings the princess objects from the surface world. While the items might seem mundane to us, they completely fascinate Ariel, who wishes with all her heart to be human. Ursula grants that wish, but for the price of the young woman's voice.

Jacob Tremblay and Awkwafina

Marc Platt (Mary Poppins Returns, Aladdin) is producing the remake, which will blend CGI elements (like Flounder and Scuttle) with live action.

Alan Menken is writing the music as well as new songs with Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Taking to Twitter, director Neill Blomkamp offered two big updates on RoboCop Returns, his gestating sequel to Paul Verhoeven's RoboCop from 1987.

For one thing, he confirmed that while the script is still being written, it's "going well" and reads like "Verhoeven [doing] a follow up film." The second and third films in the franchise (1990 and 1993) were helmed by Irvin Kershner and Fred Dekker. In 2014, the first movie was remade by José Padilha to less-than-stellar results.

Blomkamp also revealed via Twitter that the original suit (worn by Peter Weller's Alex Murphy) would most certainly be making a comeback in Returns.

“If I can be honest to what Paul Verhoeven did and almost try to emulate that in a way, then I feel like it does have value and we’re not doing it for the sake of just doing it, but there’s something in there that may have value for the audience," the South African filmmaker (best know for District 9 and his dead Alien moviesaid in February.