Tatiana Maslany could still appear in a Star Wars film—and there’s one detail that could be huge. Game of Thrones is filming a huge scene from the books, minus one important character. There’s a shocking Walking Dead rumor. Star Trek Beyond reveals another new alien. Michael J. Fox is a robot dog. Spoilers ahead!

Star Wars:

They’re looking for a female lead in Episode VIII, set to be directed by Rian Johnson (Looper), and the shortlist includes Gina Rodriguez (Jane the Virgin), Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black), Olivia Cooke (Me and Earl and the Dying Girl), and others. Interestingly, these actors are said to be having a “chemistry read” with John Boyega soon—implying their characters will spend a lot of time with Finn. (And maybe Rey, whom Finn is paired with in Episode VII, is out of the picture for some reason?)

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Meanwhile, Benicio del Toro is close to a deal to play the film’s villain. [The Wrap]

J.J. Abrams said he kept gasping and having moments of fan excitement during the filming of The Force Awakens—but to get the film done, he had to steel himself, because he was there “to tell this story, not to be a fanboy.” He adds more details on what made him want to take on this challenge:

[Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy] and I were talking about what this world would be, this universe, nearly 40 years after Episode Six and the idea that these characters would have lived on. And yet there would have been this new generation that may not know at all who these characters were, or had heard of them but not necessarily believed that they were real... It felt like such fertile ground.

And he added that he wasn’t sure if Harrison Ford would be able to play Han Solo again after so long:

What was incredible from my point of view was how apparently easily [the original cast] flipped back into these roles. I knew for a fact, for example, that Harrison Ford was going to be in this movie, but I couldn’t be certain that Han Solo would be. Meaning, I hadn’t seen Han Solo return after nearly 40 years, either. And it wasn’t until we got on set that I got my answer. It was a remarkable thing to see how effortlessly Harrison Ford became Han Solo again.

[AP]


Captain America: Civil War:

In the comics, Tony “Iron Man” Stark gives Spider-Man a new suit that incorporates a lot of Iron Man technology, and Spidey uses it to fight on Tony’s side in the Civil War. But unnamed sources claim that in the movie version, Tony will just give Spidey his web-shooters. When we first meet Tom Holland’s Spider-Man, he’ll only have access to things a normal teenager would have, and Tony will hook him up with high technology. As usual with unsourced rumors, take this with all the grains of salt. [Latino Review]


X-Men: Apocalypse:

Oscar Isaac talks about what he’s learned from playing the role of the eponymous villain in this film, as well as appearing in Star Wars: The Force Awakens:

With ‘X-Men,’ it was great because there’s an embodiment of such big ideas, you’re not working in the realm of naturalism. And just because something’s natural doesn’t mean that it’s interesting — and I think Kubrick knew that very well. Sometimes it’s fun to push performance into other places that is not just about the same kind of verité thing. You can go to heightened places in a Greek tragedy or kabuki kind of way. You have these forms that express more than just an individual’s personality. And that’s been really fun to play with in ‘X-Men.’ With ‘Star Wars’ it’s similar things, you’re playing in such a heightened reality that in that regard sometimes simplicity is your strength. Instead of getting out all the colors, you focus on the primary colors, and keep it simple and direct.

[The Playlist]


Batman v. Superman:

Remember that report that Michael Shannon said he had “flippers” in this film, which everybody spent hours deciphering? (Like, did he mean that they were using greenscreen appendages to give him monstrous arms? Is Shannon playing Doomsday in this film?) Turns out that Shannon was just taking the piss:

“Somebody was asking me about this in New York and I made up some ridiculous bulls**t answer about how my character Zod has flippers, and this went viral on the Internet or something and people have been asking me about that. That is so obviously a complete bulls**t story, right? But people took it seriously.”

[The Daily Beast]


Suicide Squad:

Remember that sequence they were filming a while back, where Joker and Harley Quinn are driving around, and Batman attacks their car? They were back, filming the culmination of that sequence, in which Batman punches through the roof of the Joker’s car. The car goes off the road and into the river, while Batman rappels to safety. There’s a video below, and check out some photos at the link. [Comic Book Resources]


Star Trek Beyond:

A brand new promotional video includes a glimpse of a head of yet another new Star Trek alien, who looks sort of vaguely Talaxian. Here’s the video:

And Cinemablend posted a screenshot of the new alien head:


Thor: Ragnarok:

Disney has had such a great experience filming next summer’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (and the Australian dollar is so weak) that they’re considering bringing an upcoming Marvel film there, to film in the same locations and at Village Roadshow Studios. The two candidates mentioned are Thor: Ragnarok, and Captain Marvel. [Yahoo]


The Circle:

The movie adaptation of Dave Eggers’ novel about a new Internet company that knows everything about you just gained another high-wattage star: Karen Gillan (Doctor Who) joins a cast that includes Tom Hanks, Emma Watson and John Boyega. [Deadline]


A.R.C.H.I.E.:

Michael J. Fox will provide the voice of a friendly robot dog in this movie, the directorial debut of Robin Dunne (Sanctuary), who also costars. The film is about

a world-renowned roboticist Brooke Benton (Katherine Isabelle) who creates the dog to help those in need. Though he looks like a normal dog, he is anything but. He can talk and run at blinding speed, has super strength and x-ray vision. On the news of her research program being shut down by the military, Brooke helps Archie escape in the hopes of finding a family to care for him. Archie then wonders into the small town of Deanewood where Isabel Sullivan has just moved to live with her uncle Paul (Dunne), the town’s mayor and owner of Lord of Fries, Deanewood’s best burger-joint. Feeling very alone, Isabel struggles to find friends until she meets Archie. As Isabel and Archie’s paths connect, they find a bond and become fast friends while helping out uncle Paul and his race to retain his mayoral supremacy.

[Deadline]


Maze Runner 3:

The second Maze Runner movie, The Scorch Trials, picks up right after the first movie ended. But director Wes Ball said the third movie will take place over a year after the second, and a lot of stuff will have happened in the mean time. This will give the third movie an even bigger feeling of scale. [Collider]


Spectre:

Daniel Craig hints once again that this could be his last James Bond film, although he doesn’t sound terribly certain. “At the moment, I can’t even conceive of it.” He also describes Bond as “very fucking lonely.” [Esquire U.K.]


Hotel Transylvania 2:

Remember this movie? Here’s a clip, involving some bike-riding:


SFv1:

This space thriller—about a drifter named Sy (Kellan Lutz) who falls in with an off-world military contractor named Kane (Daniel McPherson) trying to rescue his daughter (Teagan Croft) from danger—has added two new actors. Isabel Lucas (Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen) will play Gyp, while Luke Ford (Deadline Gallipoli) will play Bill. [Deadline]


Star Wars: Rebels:

Here’s a new clip, in which Ashoka gives the Ghost crew some advice, as they set out to find her mysterious ally.


Game of Thrones:

We’ve known for a while that the show will finally be tackling the huge “Kingsmoot” sequence in which a new ruler of the Iron Islands is chosen, to replace Balon Greyjoy (Theon’s father.) But now, there are actual reports that the scene is being filmed—and a just-shot sequence involved a crowd cheering for Euron Greyjoy, who’s being played by Danish actor Pilou Asbæk (The Borgias). Also present at this scene: Yara Greyjoy, Theon’s sister. But the show is apparently leaving out Victarion Greyjoy. [Watchers on the Wall]

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Meanwhile, Maisie Williams is in Ballintoy, where some huge sets are being built, including a stage area. Some of the sets also look like a Dothraki camp, meaning the show is filming two different storylines in the same place—or there’s an unexpected crossover happening. Hit the link to see some photos. [Watchers on the Wall]


The Walking Dead:

There’s a huge rumor about what happens in the midseason finale of the new season. Alexandra is swarmed with walkers, and Rick, Michonne, Carl, Father G, Jessie, Ron and Sam are trapped inside a house. They try to escape by covering themselves with walker guts and walking out, hand in hand. But Sam gets nabbed by walkers and eaten, and Jessie tries to rescue him in vain—still holding onto Carl’s hand. So Rick chops Jessie’s hand off, which pisses off Ron. Ron tries to shoot Rick, but Carl gets in the way and is shot in the eye. Michonne kills Ron. Then Rick freaks out and starts killing every walker in sight, with other Alexandrians joining in. This is all just rumor from an unverified source—so take this with all the salt. [The Spoiling Dead Fans]


Doctor Who:

There are some lovely new promo pics of the Doctor and Clara. Click to enlarge. [Blogtor Who]


Penny Dreadful:

This show is taking a leaf from American Horror Story’s book. Patti LuPone, who had a memorable arc as the Cut-Wife in season two, will return in season three... playing a brand new character. This time, she’ll be playing Dr. Seward, an American therapist who helps Eva Green’s Vanessa using an unconventional approach. Also joining the cast this time around: Shazad Latif as Henry Jekyll, Christian Camargo as zoologist Alexander Sweet, and Sam Barnett as Dr. Seward’s mysterious secretary. Plus Wes Studi will play Kaetenay, who’s described as “an intense, enigmatic Native American with a deep connection to Ethan (Josh Hartnett) who also becomes an ally to Sir Malcolm (Timothy Dalton).” And Jessica Barden will play Justine, who becomes an acolyte to Billie Piper’s Lily and Reeve Carney’s Dorian Gray. [TV Line]


The Muppets:

Scandal stars Katie Lowes and Guillermo Diaz threaten to torture Gonzo in a brand new promo:


The Flash:

Here’s a joint promo for this show and Arrow:

And here’s a glimpse at Jay Garrick’s helmet:


The Muppets:

There are some new promo photos. Tons more at the link. [SpoilerTV]


American Horror Story: Hotel:

Here are a few new scary teasers:


Agent Carter:

Hayley Atwell tweeted that this show just started filming its second season:


Charlie Jane Anders is the author of All The Birds in the Sky, coming in January from Tor Books. Follow her on Twitter, and email her. Additional reporting by Gordon M. Jackson.