Take a high-resolution look at Doctor Who's next classic villains to make a comeback. Shane Black explains how Iron Man 3 reinvents the Mandarin — but will the movie have a post-credits scene? Also, is an early review of a Man of Steel test screening legit? Sam Raimi discusses the crazy effects of his Oz prequel. Plus The Walking Dead and Revolution hints!
Spoilers from here on out!
Top image from G.I. Joe: Retaliation.
Iron Man 3
Writer-director Shane Black explains how he approached the film, particularly with regards to the depiction of the Mandarin:
I consider the fan base to basically be Marvel's job. Mine is to be a fan and I am one and I have been from a young age, of Iron Man, so for me, I just please me and I hope that pleases the rest of the fans. It should. For instance, one of the joys for me has always been seeing how you take a villain from the comic book and realize him in a slightly more realistic way for the movie, render him for movies in a way that's recognizable, but different. And that's fun. Like the Joker in "The Dark Knight" is not the Joker from the comic book, but there's just enough of him that you recognize him and go, "Wow, what a creative way of interpreting the Joker for motion pictures." So that was our task here too. The fans love this character the Mandarin and we just said, "Well, what we don't want is this potentially racist, stereotype of a Fu Manchu villain just waving his fist." But we found a way, I think, to get an iteration of the Mandarin that we like. We got very excited about having cracked this story when we found out that we could include The Mandarin and give him a character that would be a perfect match, the ultimate Iron Man villain, but without relying too heavily on what the comic book stereotype was.
He then offers the most in-depth description yet of just what Ben Kingsley's villain is all about:
From the very beginning we were all about that, yeah. The idea of just a real world interpretation of this guy who, I hate to break it to you, but he's not from space in this. The rings are rings. They're showmanship. They're accouterments. They're paraphernalia of warfare that he sort of drapes himself with. He studies Sun Tzu. He studies insurgency tactics. He surrounds himself with dragons and symbols of warlords and Chinese iconography because he wants to represent this sort of prototypical terrorist. We use as the example Colonel Kurtz from "Apocalypse Now," this guy who may have been an American, may have been a British National, someone who is out there doing field work, supervising atrocities for the intelligence community who went nuts in the field and became this sort of devotee of war tactics, and now has surrounded himself with a group of people over which he presides, and the only thing that unifies them is this hatred of America. So he's the ultimate terrorist, but he's also savvy. He's been in the intelligence world. He knows how to use the media. And taking it to a real world level like that was a lot fun for us.
There's a ton more at the link from both Black and Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige. There's also some description of footage screened for journalists. Here's an excerpt:
We learn that some kind of terrorist attack has happened and that Jon Favreau's Happy Hogan is in the hospital. Furious, Stark has announced on live television that, whoever the Mandarin is, he isn't afraid of him and challenges the villain to come meet him at his home address. The next morning, Stark is in his home with Gwyneth Paltrow's Pepper Potts when, disguised as news choppers, the Mandarin's force launch an attack, accompanied by some very impressive special effects. During the battle, Stark actually sends the Iron Armor to Pepper so that she can be protected in the suit as chaos erupts.
After he manages to get into a suit of his own, Stark, worried that his designs might fall into the wrong hands, actually activates a self-destruct sequence that destroys his original Mark I - VII designs or "the classics," as he calls them. He does make a point of asking Jarvis, however, if the "wine cellar" is still protected, likely a nod to multiple suits of armor pictured on the most recent poster and hinted at by the XLII designation. As the entire building falls into the ocean, Stark finds himself pinned by debris and makes a last-ditch effort to escape with one tremendous blast. He winds up overshooting, and launches into the sky. Unable to navigate and with systems failing, he crashes to Earth and blacks out.
Again, check out the link for more. [Coming Soon]
Kevin Feige discusses the possibility of a post-credits scene, which was originally rumored to feature the introduction of Ant-Man but has more recently been linked with a first appearance for the Guardians of the Galaxy:
It's sort of case by case. I don't want to be in that theater for the first time when even 2 people stay behind and nothing happens, frankly. I like that we've trained at least some people to stay behind and get a little reward, but you're absolutely right it served a different purpose. It was a part of the, "Hey surprise, these are connected. We're building towards something here." Shawarma, which everyone knows famously was an idea we came up with much, much later and shot after the premiere just because we thought it would be fun. There was not going to be a tag until that point. So it's a little faster and looser now because people know, and frankly the whole purpose of Iron Man 3 is to say that these characters can exist just as successfully on their own again. But, as I said I don't want to be there when nothing happens after people sit through 8 minutes of credits.
Man of Steel
Take this with a total grain of salt, but someone claims to have attended a test screening and so decided to post a review of the film, non-disclosure agreements be damned. It's an overwhelmingly positive review, but this could easily be fabricated, or just wildly unrepresentative of the typical reaction to the film. For those interested, the complete post is here.
X-Men: Days of Future Past
Here's director Bryan Singer's latest tweet from the set.
There have been a lot of rumors lately about the future of the dormant Hulk solo films — mainly centered on whether an upcoming film would adapt the Planet Hulk comics storyline, and whether the fact that Bruce Banner is Hulked out for the entire story would make it impossible to adapt. Anyway, Marvel creative consultant Joss Whedon decided to set the record straight in fairly unequivocal terms about whether Planet Hulk is happening:
"Well I'm really not supposed to comment, but no, that's nonsense."
Star Trek Into Darkness composer Michael Giacchino, who previously worked with the Wachowskis on Speed Racer, will provide the music for their cosmos-spanning latest. [Film Music Reporter]
Oz the Great and Powerful
Director Sam Raimi explains how he approached the movie's extensive visual effects:
...I challenged my visual effects designer with "How can I make these characters more human than human? I want to capture Joey [King]'s performance [as the China Girl] absolutely. I want to capture Zack [Braff]'s performance [as a talking monkey] absolutely. I don't want a CG performance. Then we will do just that. We will capture them with the camera. We won't do the motion control. We won't have their performance drive some computer android.
"So what we did was, we filmed them and then we interpreted it through the heart of a great animator, our animation director. He would look at the takes that Bob Murawski, our editor, had selected of that performance and that animator would look at it and simply animate by hand these CGI characters really working from the heart, not being driven by a computer to capture the essence of what they were performing versus the letter of what they were performing."
There's more at the link. [/Film]
G.I. Joe: Retaliation
Here are some TV spots that include a bit of new footage:
Here's an official, high-resolution image of the redesigned Ice Warriors, which really aren't that different from the original version. The Martians will make their big return in the submarine-set episode nine. Check out another 15 high-res promo images from the new episodes right here.
The Walking Dead
Executive producer Gale Anne Hurd previews what's ahead in season four:
We are going to amp up the threat of the walkers, because they've started to seem like a manageable threat. They are not a manageable threat. But, it is the people who you think you can trust who betray you, that you have to fear. It is the monster inside you. We all have them. How do we keep them in check?... You never know who is going to, you know, who is going to be the one who's had enough. Like, Shane saw Rick as a threat to their survival. He's not the only one who's going to have those feelings... I think the characters are going to really have a lot of difficult things thrown at them that they're going to have to deal with. But there's going to be no shortage of action, either!"
Creator Eric Kripke says a main character will die in the second half of the season, which finally resumes on March 25:
The world of Revolution is a dangerous place where no one is truly safe. This is not a show that pulls punches. Life for our people is hard and often tragic, and we will wrench a lot of drama out of this loss.
Star Billy Burke adds:
We're coming back like we're a big-ass, big-screen, action-movie spectacular. As actors, we felt like we were in the middle of a war zone, what with the helicopters, bullet hits and explosions. And it was all really happening. We didn't need to fake it and make it work later with CGI.
You can also check out a video interview with Kripke below. [TV Guide]
Episode eleven will reportedly be called "The Stand." [SpoilerTV]
Once Upon a Time
Creators Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis confirm vague plans for a spin-off, but mostly debunk the recent rumors of a Mad Hatter-centered show that would have replaced Sebastian Stan with someone new:
Horowitz: We've just been tinkering with some ideas and it's not a Mad Hatter spin-off.
Kitsis: We do have an idea that may or may not take place in Wonderland that will definitely have some new characters. But at this point, it's just kind of us tinkering in the laboratory, so we're kind of trying to keep it secret before we unleash it."
There's also a video interview with the pair below, in which they discuss what to expect in upcoming episodes. [E! Online]
Robert Hewitt Wolfe, much lauded for his work on Deep Space Nine and Alphas, tweeted that Defender, his and Syfy's planned return to the space opera genre, likely isn't happening.
Here's a promo and a sneak peek for episode eight, "Fae-ge Against the Machine."
Being Human (US)
Here's a promo for episode nine, "Of Mice and Wolfmen."
Here's another trailer for BBC America's upcoming show about clones. [TV Equals]
Additional reporting by Amanda Yesilbas and Charlie Jane Anders.