Serkis will only say who he's not playing in Avengers 2 and Star Wars. Kate Mara says that Fantastic Four is going with a wholly original plot, not adapting one from the comics. Zachary Quinto explains why the next Star Trek will please the purists. Plus, what are the Easter Eggs in Constantine? Spoilers now!
Top image: Avengers: Age of Ultron
Avengers: Age of Ultron
A reporter was allowed to glimpse a bit of Avengers footage, which Kevin Feige warned might never be shown again. This included a glimpse of the Hulkbuster armor that's featured in the concept art for the film, as seen in our top image above. Just like in that image, the footage featured the Hulkbuster armor in battle with the Hulk. Not yet finished, it's described as "like Stark's normal red and gold armour after hitting the gym, and is almost the size of the Hulk himself. ... There's no word on why the two heroes are fighting, but the Hulk doesn't need much reason to get in a scrap."
The other footage was a glimpse of the Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, and Hawkeye fight that we've seen set photos of:
Scarlet Witch was shown fighting alongside Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner, the guy with the bow and arrow from the first film) on a ruined Italian street, but earlier in the reel both she and her brother were locked in fancy Perspex prison cells. Could this be a case of bad guys turning good? Hawkeye knows something about that.
Finally, they also saw the revamped Avengers Tower:
Designed by Tony Stark out of the ruins of his New York penthouse, this has all mod cons: floor to ceiling windows, twin laboratories for Stark and Bruce Banner, and parking for supersonic jets. It's reminiscent of the SHIELD helicarrier in terms of construction, with lots of shiny metal pillars
And here's Andy Serkis refusing to say much of anything in response to a question:
You're also apparently playing a character in Avengers: Age of Ultron…is it Thanos?
Um…I'd have to deny that character at this point. But I am playing a character. I was really thrilled that Joss Whedon asked me to be involved. It's fantastic. I've had a ball working with them, both as performance capture consultant through the Imaginarium, but also being asked to be in it. But I can't say anything more!
In the same vein, Serkiss also did us the favor of confirming that he's not playing Jar Jar Binks. [Daily Beast]
Animal Farm/Jungle Book
Serkiss also detailed where they are in the production of his take on George Orwell's novel:
We've been evolving that scripturally and the methodology for that conceptually has been happening over the course of the past year, but we've moved it back because I'm not directing Jungle Book for Warner Brothers.
As for Jungle Book, Serkiss detailed what he thinks the difference between his and Jon Favreau's will be:
You know, in this case, they couldn't really be further apart. I believe Jon Favreau's Jungle Book is very much honoring the 1968 Disney version, and our one is much closer to Rudyard Kipling—it's a darker teenage coming-of-age story. There's absolutely room for two movies in this case.
Kate Mara explained why it doesn't matter that she hasn't read the comics:
Q: How do you feel being the new Invisible Woman? It's a big responsibility.
A: I don't feel more responsibility with this role that I've felt with others. I understand that there are many fans of Fantastic Four and I guess they expect a lot from me, but I prefer not to be pressured by that. We are also trying to create a new way of seeing these superheroes, I'm focusing on making her (Susan Storm) as real as possible.
Q: Do you like comics?
A: I've never been a fan of comics, I've never actually read one. I was going to for this movie but the director said it wasn't necessary. Well, actually he told us that we shouldn't do it because the plot won't be based on any history of anything already published. So I chose to follow his instructions. The one fact is I am a fan of comic book movies, so it's very exciting to be part of a movie like this.
The interview's from Esquire Mexico, with a translation by Comic Book Movie. [Comic Book Movie]
Zachary Quinto discussed the direction the next film is taking, and he reiterated the "five year mission" line we've heard before:
Well, Bob [Orci] is sort of a purist about the Trek universe. I've spoken to him a number of times about his ideas, and I think they're really exciting. And I'm really excited that we get to be a part of his feature directorial debut. And it will be a different world without J.J. [Abrams] on set every day, but it's a family, and Bob is an essential part of that family. And we're all really excited to see where it goes. I think it's in the preliminary stages now of the script kind of being finished and polished and worked on and tightened. And I imagine the phone will be ringing sometime in the next three months to talk about when we'll go back to production.
Do you expect it to feel like the end of a trilogy, or just an ongoing story because these characters will never really end?
Well, you know, the five-year mission, I think, will be a part of this next film in some way or another, so I think you're right. We're coming up on the 50th anniversary of one of the most iconic scifi series in the history of the entertainment industry, so I think it's inherently an ongoing story. But I do think we'll feel some sense of evolution in these characters that's been building through the first two films.
You know, for all its positives and negatives, "purist" is not one of the words often used to describe the revamped Star Treks. [Spinoff Online]
Kevin Feige addressed the state of the movie and expressed a lot of confidence in new director, Peyton Reed:
Peyton is someone that I've been a fan of for a long time. People may not remember, though probably your readers remember, that he was attached to Fantastic Four more than 10 years ago. We spent a lot of time together… and I got along with Peyton very, very well and he had awesome ideas and an awesome vision for the movie, and for various reasons he ended up leaving that movie...
He's come in to meet on a lot of our movies over the years, in particular Guardians. He had a lot of awesome things to say on Guardians. But James [Gunn] had a slightly more solid take that was of interest to us. But Peyton was always on our lists, and so when this happened and Edgar [Wright] said 'Not for me' we met with a handful of people, but Peyton was always one that I thought would be great.
It was not a slam-dunk that he would just step into it and do it. He wanted to be sure that he was wasn't just inheriting something or following someone else's lead. Or wasn't inheriting something that the evil studio had watered down to be something bad. I kept saying, 'You can either read what's online, or come in and talk to us and look at all this stuff.' He looked at everything, he talked with us, and he said 'Number one, I agree with the direction you're going in. And number two, I can add to it.' And he has – the movie is in as good a shape as it's ever been right now.
It's still very much in the spirit of what Edgar's original pitch was and the entire template of the movie is what Edgar set out and originally came and pitched us maybe eight years ago now. But it's on its way to being the absolute best version of what that movie could have been.
More at the link. [IGN]
Executive producer Alyssa Phillips described how the writers came to the decision to do an origin film:
Matt and Burk thought, we know Bram Stoker wrote this wonderful Victorian England gothic story of Dracula. Six years ago they asked, How did he become that? How did he get to Dracula in the 1800s, so they decided to do an origins tale. They went back to the reign of Vlad the Third and that's where our story starts- in the 1400s. When you meet [Vlad], he's a good king, a good ruler and married to a wonderful woman and he has a loving son. His land is at peace. But that peace, as we learn in act one, is tenuous. He's been able to keep his land and his people safe by paying tribute to the Ottomans, the Turks – Sultan Mehmed II. This is all based on history, our writers did a ton of research.
She also said that director Gary Shore refused to do a gory vampire flick, because this is a "hero film." As for the new backstory:
"[Vlad's been raised] in the port of Sultan Mehmed the First, the father of the character playing by Dominic Cooper Mehmed II," adds Phillips. "He had been taken as a royal hostage, raised in this port and raised very violently. Trained to kill. Vlad is trying to hide that past, he wants to be the good king. But Mehmed II comes calling asking for tribute to maintain the peace."
Archer & Armstrong
A press release about the film adaptation of the comic revealed a synopsis and a statement about the film's relationship with Valiant:
ARCHER & ARMSTRONG is an action-adventure/buddy comedy colliding a drunk, delinquent immortal who has given up on saving the world and the idealistic young man who needs him for a globetrotting quest to stop history's oldest conspiracy from toppling modern civilization.
Here are the comments of Valiant CEO and Chief Creative Officer Dinesh Shamdasani.
We couldn't have more apt partners than Sean Daniel — who, as an executive at Universal, shepherded the seminal movies in the genre in "Blues Brothers," "Midnight Run" and "Animal House" — and BenDavid Grabinski, who just turned in a truly awesome adaptation," said Valiant CEO & Chief Creative Officer Dinesh Shamdasani. "We're bringing the same quality and creativity that established our success in comics to our film and television adaptations. 'Shadowman,' 'Bloodshot,' and 'Archer & Armstrong' are just the beginning.
Guardians of the Galaxy
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Here's a new "character video." [Comic Book Movie]
Speaking with Super Hero Hype, star Matt Ryan addressed the smoking controversy:
For me, he's a smoker. John Constantine is a smoker. There's no question about it. I think in the original description of the character, it's the third thing that's mentioned. So yeah, he's a smoker. He has to be a smoker, without question. We can't make him not a smoker. It's just that we're not going to dwell on it too much. There's only so much we can show but yeah, we'll have him putting out cigarettes, doing a lot of other stuff like that. It's still an essential part of the character. It's got to be in there. For me, it's got to be in there.
He also talked about losing Liv and gaining Zed:
Yeah, Lucy's great, but I've known Lucy for years. I worked with her before on a TV show called "Collision" in the U.K. She's a wonderful actress and she's fantastic. She did a great job in the pilot. I can see where the guys have gone in terms of the character of Liv is someone who's more susceptible to John's manipulations, so maybe then it's not as hard for John to manipulate her. I think the character of Zed is someone who can maybe take John up on his sh*t a little bit more, be a little bit more in his face. I can see where they've gone creatively with that but obviously, I love Lucy and it'll be a shame not to work with her.
... I think [Zed's] feisty. I think she'll get a lot more in John's face and challenge John a little bit more. I think John's the type of person that feels he can easily manipulate anyone. When there's someone who comes along who can take him up on his sh*t, he kind of likes that. There's the possibility of a sexual chemistry there as well. He likes this person because she can give it back to him. I think that makes an interesting dynamic for the show and the episodes that they're not always going to agree with each other. She's not just going to follow him around. She's a leader as well.
He also talked about working the Hunger Demon plot into the first season:
I think that John's manipulation of Lester and the way all that works out, and you see again one of John's friends dying around him. I think that shows a part of John which we haven't seen yet and a part of him that's willing to sacrifice. There's loads of great things about that. If you just look at it in terms of a special effect, how it would look, you could do lots of interesting things with that. So it'd be interesting if we do go down that road, how we adapt it.
More at the link. [Super Hero Hype]
More was revealed at the TCA panel for the show, including more about Harold Perrineau's Manny:
Perrineau: He's an angel. I say he's always an angel of questionable intent. That's how I sort of describe him right now.
Executive Producer Daniel Cerone: Manny was designed to be a bit of a mysterious character, and we took that seriously all the way down to his wardrobe and the design of his wings. I mean, you do see him dressed in gray. We want him to be mysterious. He is an angel. He does represent the heavens, but he's also someone who's one would imagine that, being in the heavens and watching man through the dawn of time, one might grow impatient for certain things to happen or improvements to happen. Manny is someone who is tired of watching. He is very good of heart, but he also has his own challenges and moral conflictions, very much like Constantine.
David S. Goyer also said that we should be on the look out for Easter eggs in the pilot:
We wrote in the pilot that the Dr. Fate helmet, which is another character from the comic books that may show up later on but we wanted to put that in the pilot, and then Geoff (Johns) said, "Hey, why don't we throw in a bunch of other Easter eggs from the DC universe, and we'll have our sort of creative department 3D print them up?" So there's actually a half dozen other ones.
Star Aaron Stanford said that the time travel is meant to be painful, with the director of the pilot telling him to think of the worst hangover he's ever had. He also gave some of the time travel rules for the series:
Yes, the process is meant to be painful and it's also meant to take something out of the time traveler every time it happens, something that can't really be put back in. So I think the idea is going to be - I'd have to run this by the writers again - but I think the idea is going to be that there's a finite number of times that you can do it basically. Which is sort of interesting because it puts a clock on things, it raises the stakes.
While the pilot has Cole succeed at changing something that he failed to change in the movie, Stanford says that the difference from the movie won't affect the overall plot adaptation:
In a way it amounts to the same thing, because he is able to complete the mission that he was given, without the intended result. So in a way, Bruce Willis in the film learned it's impossible to alter the past basically. You can't do it. It's not possible. So my character has to struggle with that. He's waking up to the idea that it's possible that maybe it's futile. Maybe you won't be able to actually change this. Maybe your mission will be useless ultimately.
He also said that he hasn't seen an airport yet, as of episode two. [Coming Soon]
Season three will do flashbacks to other characters' pasts, according to executive producer Greg Berlanti. Berlanti also commented on the "date" that Oliver will ask Felicity on. He said that there's "more context" then the single sentence about Oliver feeling that he can have a private life:
They're real characters to us, and they had that conversation on the beach, and they had that conversation in the house to help capture Slade, So the question you have to ask is: Does Oliver have real, genuine emotions for her? And how aware is he of that? And how aware does he make her of that? That is an active part of the season this year.
Agents of SHIELD
ABC President Paul Lee said that the dismantling of SHIELD and the naming of Phil Coulson as the director "triggered a whole lot of [Season 2] storylines that we're reading at the moment, and I'm loving those scripts. I feel good." [TV Line]
Person of Interest
Cara Buono's joined the cast as a recurring character, "a femme fatale who's uniquely qualified to navigate the new world order of Season 4." [Deadline]
Syfy's miniseries about a a group of people engaging in a 100-year space journey investigates the issues of a multi-generational voyage. Said EP Jason Blum:
The people on the ship, only some of their children, but most of their grandchildren, are the only people who are going to arrive at this new world. ... A lot of the people who started on this ship have died. It's their children, their children's children, who are going to get to where they're going. And there are a lot of conflicts going on. Should they turn around and go back to Earth, which they've lost touch with? So they have no idea of what Earth even looks like now. Should they continue? Also there's been a murder on the ship, which never happened before. So that's kind of what starts it.
Other issues mentioned at the TCA press tour was the kind of parent/child relationship that would evolve on the ship. Creator Phillip Levens said:
There's much more of a sense of obeying your parents because, you know, for the ship to really work, everybody has to cooperate. The murder is kind of the starting of the unravelling, so to speak. And kids start to question choices made by their grandparents. There's a thing on board the ship called 'the crisis.' It's this existential dilemma that everyone has to go through when they realize that, you know, their life has been circumscribed for them. You know, everybody they ever know or ever will know is already around them. So there's lots of issues like that kind of play [as] a coming of age thing with the kids and their parents.
[Zap 2 It]
Game of Thrones
Here are the directors for season five:
Episodes 501 and 502: Michael Slovis (episodes of AMC's Breaking Bad, NBC's Law & Order: SVU)
Episodes 503 and 504: Mark Mylod (episodes of Showtime's Shameless and HBO's Entourage)
Episodes 505 and 506: Jeremy Podeswa (episodes of HBO's Boardwalk Empire and Showtime's The Tudors)
Episodes 507 and 508: Miguel Sapochnik (episodes of Fox's House and Fringe)
Episodes 509 and 510: David Nutter ( four episodes of GoT)
The Vampire Diaries
Eureka's Colin Ferguson will join season six as Tripp, leader of a community militia "who will do anything to protect his town." [Entertainment Weekly]
Here's another short trailer:
Head to the link for a new clip, with Barry interacting with her robot son. [Entertainment Weekly]
And here for photos from next week's. [SpoilerTV]
Here's a behind-the-scenes photo tweeted by the show. [via SpoilerTV]
Additional reporting by Charlie Jane Anders and Madeleine Monson-Rosen