James Cameron explains his new Avatar novel, plus how he's changed the second movie's ending. Check out new sneak peeks from Eureka, Warehouse 13 and True Blood. Plus Transformers 3, Fringe, The Walking Dead, Chuck, The Retreat, Monsters, and more!
The new Entertainment Weekly has a big interview with James Cameron in which he talks about how he's writing the novel of Avatar. (Don't call it a "novelization," he hates that.) He says it gets into Grace's backstory, including how she came to Pandora as a young scientist, and it sets up all of the "seeds of what will happen over the greater story arc." As for that greater story arc, Cameron says he's got "tons of notes" on the second and third movies, but his plans have changed. "I've always had a story arc in mind for the sequel, but then I took a trip to South America after Avatar came out, and that has altered the story line somewhat."
So what happened in South America? Apparently Cameron was doing a fundraiser for an Amazonian community of natives, the Achuar, who are fighting to keep oil companies from drilling near their homelands. And the Achuar were bused off to watch Avatar, the first movie they'd ever seen in their lives. Afterwards, one tribal elder was interviewed, and she said, "In this movie, they solved their problems by fighting. We are not afraid to fight, but we have decided to try to solve our problems through dialogue. So this movie needs a better message." And Cameron said "it made me think." So don't be too surprised if Avatar 2 ends with people sitting down and having a healthy, constructive dialogue, instead of a climactic battle scene. [EW]
The movie has officially stopped filming in Chicago, which I can only presume means the end of endless Chicago set photos. Instead, they're now back shooting in Gary, Indiana, and a news article confirms a few details about the shoot. Josh Duhamel's Captain Lennox and Optimus Prime are definitely there, although they may be close to the only major characters involved with these scenes. Gary in the summertime is doubling as Russia in winter (which, as a former Midwesterner, sounds about right). Apparently, the filmmakers were attracted to the city because of its disproportionate amount of abandoned buildings. [Post-Tribune]
The National Park Service has officially stood in the way of awesome, refusing to allow the movie to shoot in the National Mall. As such, the Transformers 3 economy-boosting machine will only be rolling through Washington DC for three days as opposed to three weeks. It's not clear whether the DC scenes will now be shot in a studio or fill-in location, rewritten for a different location, or just dropped altogether. In any event, the National Park Service has definitely not lived up to the legacy of its spiritual father Teddy Roosevelt, who was pretty much the Michael Bay of US presidents. (Well, OK. Maybe it was Andrew Jackson.) [TFLAMB]
Here are a bunch of promo photos for the upcoming movie in which northern Mexico is an infected zone overrun by fearsome aliens. You know, call me crazy, but I feel like these guys might be using science fiction for some sort of metaphorical purposes here. [IGN]
Jamie Bell, last seen as one of the final contenders to take over as Spider-Man, has reportedly joined the cast of this possibly post-apocalyptic movie about a vacationing couple (played by Cillian Murphy and Thandie Newton) who find a soldier in a biohazard suit washed up on the shore. The soldier warns them that everyone has been killed by an airborne virus, but there's some question as to whether he's telling the whole truth. Bell will presumably be playing the soldier. [Deadline]
Some good people in Vancouver took this video of the set. Most of the interesting stuff starts happening around the 1:30 mark. [@FringeWatch]
The third episode will reportedly be called "Chuck vs. the Cubic Z," and we now have additional confirmation that the fourth episode is "Chuck vs. the Coup d'état." That episode, featuring the return of Armand Assante as Premier Goya and a probable trip to his dictatorial paradise Costa Gravas, won't feature a CIA agent assuming the rotating Greta identity, because the Buy More doesn't appear at all. [The Ausiello Files]
The Walking Dead:
Charlie Adlard, the current artist on the Walking Dead comic, makes a cameo appearance in the show as one of the undead. He explained the makeup process:
"I just figured if I'm going to be on set watching it, I might as well be in it. I also wanted to get the make-up on as an experience. And I was lucky because I got to sit in the trailer and have the make-up applied by Greg [Nicotero]'s A-list guys. It was an hour and a half, and it was air conditioned. I was really impressed with the simplicity of it all. One big paranoia I did have was having to wear the contact lenses-I can't even put drops in my eyes. But I never did have to wear them.
Here are two sneak peeks for Sunday's episode, "Everything is Broken": [SpoilerTV]
Syfy's upcoming show about people who use their brain-based superpowers to fight crime has a couple new cast members. Azita Ghanizada, who's appeared on Castle and Psych, will be a regular cast member if the show gets picked up a series, while Callum Keith Rennie, Battlestar Galactica's Leoben Conoy, will guest star in the first episode. [Variety]