J.J. Abrams gives an eminently reasonable explanation for all the Star Trek 2 delays. History's greatest B-movie thespian joins Oz, the Great and Powerful. Reports of Green Lantern 2 may have been exaggerated. And what's going on with Eureka's future?
It's spoilers all the way down!
Top image from Rise of the Planet of the Apes.
The Dark Knight Rises
A lot of the set photos and reports seem to be fueling the longstanding rumors that Marion Cotillard is playing Talia al Ghul, and not her officially announced role of Wayne Enterprises executive Miranda Tate. She's been seen on set apparently leading a bunch of armed figures who many are speculating are the League of Shadows, and she's also been seen emerging from one of the Tumblers spotted on set. Of course, it's worth pointing out that all of this is very speculative and far from conclusive, and without any real context it's hard to know whether the armed men are League assassins or, say, Wayne Enterprises security or something like that. And, it's worth remembering that the Tumbler is originally Wayne technology. Anyway, expect the constant speculation to continue up until the day the film is released...and in this case, we wouldn't have it any other way. [Gather]
Here are some set photos, courtesy of Wenn.com. They seem to show Christian Bale and Anne Hathaway on set together, though I'm not sure Hathaway is actually there filming - she looks like she's just in her street clothes. [WENN.com]
We might be seeing an en masse return of the Batman imitators seen at the beginning of The Dark Knight, at least according to this random email sent to Comic Book Movie:
We create and provide bulk sales for movie projects ranging from lighting props to police badges. Today at work we had a meeting that all projects where to be put on hold for the remainder of the work week. Some dummy movie company name ordered nearly 200 Batman suits all requested to look *homemade* and to fit a wide range of sizes. The job is dead lined August 10th and must be shipped August 11th...
Massive grains of salt for this one, obviously, but it's an intriguing rumor nonetheless. [Comic Book Movie]
Finally, there's a great roundup of various minor spoilers at the link, including this tidbit about the football game that will be staged at Pittsburgh's Heinz Field:
"[at] opening kickoff the field will start to blow up behind the returner and the field will cave in w/ players falling over the edge."
Well, that would pretty much explain why they're sticking a football game into Christopher Nolan's last Batman movie. Anyway, check out the link for more tidbits. [Comic Book Movie]
Marvel Studios may have found the natural successor for Kenneth Branagh as director, and it's reportedly
the reanimated corpse of Orson Welles Brian Kirk, who directed three episodes of Game of Thrones as well a bunch of other TV stuff. He's reportedly in early negotiations for the gig. [Variety]
The Amazing Spider-Man
Here's a promo image. [IGN]
Green Lantern 2
Looks like that sequel is very far from a certainty. Time Warner chairman and CEO Jeff Bewkes gave a fairly blunt statement that the first film did not live up to expectations, and they are still deciding whether to make another. [Hollywood Reporter]
Star Trek 2
J.J. Abrams says that he's still not officially the director, but this project is now his number one priority. He also explains that the delays are simply them taking the time to get this thing right:
There have been a lot of things that we've been working on, a lot of important elements that we just know we need to really nail down and solve. Once you say, "We're ready to go, but we don't have a finished script yet," or "I'm directing the thing and here's the release date, but we don't have a finished script," what starts to happen – and I've seen this happen with a lot of friends of mine – is that you're suddenly in production on a movie that they're thinking, "Oh my god, we weren't really ready. We thought we'd get it done in time, but we didn't." So, while we have a moment to say, "Let's get the important things figured out," then all the pre-production stuff will come. But, I just want to make sure that we're putting the story and the characters, the cast and the crew, and most importantly the audience, first before we start talking about exactly which locations we're going to be shooting at and what the wardrobe and visual effects budgets are. It just seems important that we get the important stuff right first.
Well, that all seems perfectly fair. But I want it now!! [Collider]
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
John Lithgow describes a scene where the super-intelligent Caesar helps his Alzheimer's-afflicted character handle a fork, as well as why he decided to do the film in the first place:
"It's an extraordinary moment when a chimp is teaching a human being how to do something basic. There is this tenderness where Caesar is more capable than the old man. And there is a grain of plausibility there...
"I've never watched a ‘Planet of the Apes' film start to finish. But this script genuinely moved me, it really surprised me. Science fiction works best when it's fact-based, when it's got some sort of emotional authenticity. What happens if a drug is created that can jump start a primate brain? It's a fascinating premise, and it sets in motion this emotional story of our mutual relationship with this ape. You just don't expect to be touched like this by an ‘Apes' movie."
Here's one last poster. [/Film]
The Hunger Games
Acclaimed director Steven Soderbergh is reportedly serving as Gary Ross's second unit director for the production, because that's just the sort of random thing Steven Soderbergh likes to do to keep the whole film-making thing interesting. [The Playlist]
Mad Max: Fury Road
George Miller's long-delayed quasi-reboot starring Tom Hardy as the new Max has hit another snag, albeit relatively minor compared to the whole "being shut down indefinitely" thing. The movie will no longer shoot in the Outback town of Broken Hill, New South Wales, due to weather concerns. Assuming the movie ever does start up again, its cast also includes Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Zoe Kravitz, Adelaide Clemens, and Riley Keough. [ABC Sydney]
We're already on record that the hiring of Paul Blart: Mall Cop director Steve Carr to helm this remake made us lose all hope for whatever minor potential the remake had. Well, in one of those rare cases where things go from bad to downright apocalyptic, Carr is out as director...only to be replaced by Tim Hill, the auteur behind Alvin and the Chipmunks, Hop, and the film that is generally considered his magnum opus, Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties. [Deadline]
Oz, the Great and Powerful
In a casting move that fulfills many of the more awesome ancient prophecies, Sam Raimi has added frequent collaborator Bruce Campbell to his Oz prequel. Here's Campbell's tweet announcing his casting:
I. Am. In. Oz. Sam Raimi refuses to tell me what character I will portray. Just know that the role is PIVOTAL.
gritty reboot adaptation of John Milton's 17th century poem already has Bradley Cooper on board as Lucifer, and now Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter star Benjamin Walker is reportedly in talks to play the Archangel Michael. [Deadline]
Torchwood: Miracle Day
Here's the BBC's description for episode 7, "Immortal Sins", which among other things promises a guest appearance by Star Trek's Major Kira:
Gwen must fight to protect her family and takes a terrifying journey covering both miles and decades, as the long history of the Miracle is revealed. Torchwood: Miracle Day stars John Barrowman and Eve Myles. The series, created by Russell T Davies, also stars Mekhi Phifer, Bill Pullman and Alexa Havins, plus recurring guest stars Arlene Tur and Lauren Ambrose. Episode seven, "Immortal Sins," also guest stars Sharon Morgan (Mine All Mine), Nana Visitor (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine), Tom Price and Daniele Favilli (Blood For The Gods).
John Barrowman and Eve Myles both say they'd love to see Torchwood make the jump to movies - which, to be fair, between the TV series and miniseries, radio plays, online motion comics, and tie-in novels, is just about the only form of media the show hasn't yet explored...unless they go ahead and do something crazy like restage "Countrycide" as a Restoration comedy, which I would be so up for. [Digital Spy]
Game of Thrones
Kit Harrington previews what's ahead for Jon Snow:
"Of what I know and what I'm allowed to say, it's a tricky one because I don't want to spoil it. Obviously he has his own story beyond the Wall, some very interesting things happen to him. He has a better time of it I think in the second season than he did in the first...Obviously he wants to know who his mother is, that's his long running ambition. I think he wants to prove himself, that's his thing."
Here are two sneak peeks for this week's episode, "Cold Grey Light of Dawn."
The Walking Dead
Here are some season two set photos. [SpoilerTV]
Ashley Zuckerman, who previously appeared on The Pacific and the Australian cop show Rush, has reportedly landed an important recurring role as the "mysterious and enigmatic" Lucas, who is somehow connected to Stephen Lang's Commander Nathaniel Taylor. [The Live Feed]
Here are some promo photos from the two-hour season finale. [SpoilerTV]
Colin Cunningham discusses the future of his character, John Pope:
There is an arc but I think it's going to be a little one. Maybe Pope is going rediscover a little of his own humanity through this journey. Right now I see him very much as a pessimist. He doesn't see anywhere out of this thing. He sees this that this is a completely lost cause and that one of the things motivates him. He doesn't want to sit around and wait to get annihilated; instead he'll take the fight to them. I don't think John Pope has any expectations to live any longer than the day and that motivates him. He doesn't expect to survive so he might as well live life on his own terms. At the end of the series or as it continues on, for many more seasons to come, there will be a gradual coming out of his shell I suppose and hopefully he'll see a little bit of hope.
And what can we expect out of the Tom Mason-John Pope relationship moving forward?
Tom Mason and John Pope continues throughout the series, but more in-depth. Tom doesn't really trust this guy, nor should he. John is an opportunist and the writers never forget that. It's not in his bones and blood to be a super good guy. That kind of thing isn't going to happen. But he does know how to kill these things; he does know where to find things that the 2nd Mass needs. He is of use, but nobody does ever let their guard down around the guy and that's a smart move.
There's more at the link. [Buzz Focus]
Syfy has announced that they've renewed the show for a sixth season - in case you lost track, season 4.5 is the one currently airing, and they're just finishing up shooting next year's 13-episode season five. The odd thing is that the renewal is only for six episodes, which makes it seem likely that those final episodes will wrap up the show. However, here's what Syfy president of programming Mark Stern had to say:
[Producers] Bruce Miller and Jaime Paglia have brought a creative vitality to Eureka that has kept it fresh and inventive. Although we do not have a commitment beyond six episodes for the sixth season, we are hopeful that this will not be the end of the franchise.
As EW points out, the use of the word "franchise" instead of "series" or "show" might mean that they're considering some sort of spin-off or continuation...or maybe they'll just move Fargo permanently over to Warehouse 13 à la Worf in DS9 or something. As for that short sixth season, I think we should look at the last time that a light-hearted ensemble science fiction show got a radically reduced episode order after a thirteen-episode season. Yes, that's right: we're clearly headed for Eureka: Children of Earth, the nature of which I can't even begin to contemplate. [EW]
Here's a brief description of episode five, "Roots":
A wedding at an isolated estate becomes a lethal trap for everyone in attendance - including Audrey, Chris, Duke and Evi.
American Horror Story
Here are some promo photos from Glee creator Ryan Murphy's upcoming horror series, which will be airing on FX. [Daemon's TV]
Executive producer Kevin Williamson explains why there probably won't be crossovers with his other supernatural CW show, The Vampire Diaries:
"I don't know if you'll see that crossover episode. I didn't want this show to look like The Vampire Diaries. You want this show to look like its own show. You want it to be its own world. We would be tied to the werewolf and vampire lore and witchdom. That limits us. We need to start from ground zero and create our own story... so that we can tell just as good a story as Vampire Diaries...Our version of witchcraft is very dark. It's certainly not that hard-edge, ripping hearts out and slicing people open the way we do in Vampire, but there's other ways to skin a cat."
Here are two sneak peeks for the pilot.
The Canadian show about a lovable succubus has been given a 22-episode order for season two. More info is at the link. [SpoilerTV]
Additional reporting by Mandy Curtis and Charlie Jane Anders.