Marc Webb reveals it'll take more than just The Amazing Spider-Man to retell Peter Parker's origins. Joss Whedon discusses the role of Black Widow in The Avengers and gives an update on the Dr. Horrible sequel.
All that plus a look at the set of Guillermo del Toro's Pacific Rim, Alex Proyas is officially adapting Robert Heinlein, star Josh Hutcherson weighs in on the Catching Fire director controversy, and the animated star of Pixar's Brave reveals what to expect from her movie!
It's nothing but spoilers from here on out!
Top image from Prometheus.
Joss Whedon promises Scarlett Johansson will be more than eye candy as Black Widow in The Avengers:
"All I can say is that Scarlett gets to do a lot more than be hot in Avengers. It's definitely dispiriting to have a woman play an heroic role and then be reduced to body parts by fan commentary, but that can only change slowly. And is."
The Amazing Spider-Man
Director Marc Webb would like to assure you all that his new Spider-Man movie isn't an origin story. Nope, it's in fact the first part of an origin story:
"[There are] obligations to the canon, in terms of Uncle Ben and the spider-bite, but the conditions under which those things happen are very different. This is probably a reveal, but there is no wrestling match in this movie. The character is evolving in a different way. It's about finding a balance between iconic elements of the 'Spider-Man' mythology — like how Uncle Ben's death transforms him emotionally — but it happens in a different way."
The idea seems to be that this new take on the Spider-Man franchise will spend much more time on his early days — which we really could have assumed all along, what with Gwen Stacy being in the movie instead of Mary Jane Watson — and the movies will focus on some less-explored parts of Peter Parker's backstory. Specifically, his parents:
"I wanted to give the audience something new, so that started off with getting underneath the parents' story, which will unfold over probably a few movies. We don't totally wrap up that story in this first movie. It's sort of an ongoing mystery. That was something that was interesting to me...There are elements that we were very conscious of, but it all emanated from [the idea of] this kid who got left behind by his parents many, many years before. I thought that was interesting enough for me to explore."
Ridley Scott screened some new footage in London this morning, which is said to feature several key expository scenes from the first thirty or so minutes of the film. Here's how things kick off, according to The Telegraph, which explains just exactly what prompts the movie's mission in the first place:
We start, from the look of things, with a discovery on the Isle of Skye, in the company of Rapace's archaeologist, Dr Elizabeth Shaw, and a colleague played by Logan Marshall-Green. It's a 35,000-year-old cave painting depicting a faraway solar system, including one habitable planet with a moon. Fast-forward to 2093, and these two awake from hypersleep on a 17-man exploratory space vessel, their mission to probe the secrets of LV-223 — which buffs will note is not LV-426, the dread-filled planet from Alien and Aliens.
There's some disagreement on whether that date is actually 2093 or December 2091, although obviously that's not too big a difference to worry about. Anyway, IGN describes what happens once people wake up:
The ship's crew - which includes Shaw and her scientist-boyfriend Holloway - slowly wake from their space-slumber, and we are introduced to Vickers (Charlize Theron), the tough-talking company suit who is leading the expedition for reasons as-yet-unknown.
Vickers then plays a holographic film featuring Peter Weyland (Guy Pearce), the elderly boss of Weyland Corp., which has funded the mission. Weyland informs the crew that if they are watching the film he is by now dead, introduces them to the ship's android David (Michael Fassbender) and tells the story of Prometheus, who stole fire from the gods and gave it to man, prompting our own evolution.
It's also mentioned, in what I think you'd have to consider a rather telling character detail, that Charlize Theron's character starts doing push-ups the second she wakes up from cryogenic sleep, whereas everyone else vomits quite a bit. There are more details at the links. [Telegraph and IGN]
Memento and L.A. Confidential star Guy Pearce says we won't see any more viral videos featuring his character, business titan and robotics pioneer Sir Peter Weyland, but the other characters will be getting their pre-movie spotlights:
"You've seen everything you're going to see out of [the TED Talk], but there were some sections of the speech that were trimmed out, just for economics. But there are other viral videos that are going to come out that involve the other characters from the film, with Noomi Rapace and Michael Fassbender. Mine was just the entrée to bigger and better things."
He also gave this cryptic hint about his role in the film, which likely refers to the old age makeup implied in the description above:
"It was a difficult time as well, and I won't explain why [without spoiling the film], but it was quite rigorous."
Director Ridley Scott was again asked about what rating he hopes the film will get, and he answered with a lengthy rant about the MPAA ratings board and the economics of filmmaking. The upshot is you should probably expect this movie to be PG-13, since he makes it clear that he wants Prometheus to make money:
I want certification for this film that allows me to make as large a box office as possible...The studios wrestle constantly with these ridiculous adjustments to whether it's PG13, PG15, R, double R and it does, to a certain extent, affect the box office, which is arithmetic, which is not a cash register, it's how they get their money back and if studios don't get their money back we don't have any movies.
And so it is important that films are successful and I am fully supportive of that because I'm not just a director, I'm also not stupid. I've been in this business long enough and to a certain extent I'm a businessman. So when a big film fails it's disastrous for all of us. When a big film wins it's terrific for all of us, whether you like the film or not, it's really cool. So the adjustment of the ratings… are inconsistent and ridiculously inconsistent, so I can start talking about films that have got PG13 this year, which are absolutely fucking ridiculous… is anyone in here from the MPA or whatever it is? …Get your house in order.
Josh Hutcherson, who plays Peeta Mellark in the Hunger Games movies, says he's convinced director Gary Ross will end up returning for the sequel:
"There is not much doubt in my mind he'll be doing it. I think so. I don't think there's a chance he won't. He killed the first one, absolutely knocked it out of the park. Everyone loved him. Myself, Jennifer [Lawrence] and the others loved him. I couldn't imagine making another movie without him, so that's what I have to say about that..." [smiles]
Filming is nearly set to begin on Guillermo del Toro's big sci-fi monster-fighting epic, and the streets of Toronto are being converted into a recently attacked version of Tokyo for the start of filming. You can check out a video all about the locations at the link. [CBC]
Here's another preview video for the upcoming trailer for Brick director Rian Johnson and Joseph Gordon-Levitt's time travel movie. [Coming Soon]
Here's an international trailer. [Coming Soon]
The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag
Dark City and I, Robot director Alex Proyas is moving on from his canceled Paradise Lost movie with his long-simmering adaptation of the 1942 Robert Heinlein novella. Red Granite Pictures has announced they're co-producing the film, which Proyas will direct from his own adapted screenplay. A description of Heinlein's original book is below:
In "Hoag," the title character is struck one evening with the realization that he has no memory of what he does during the day. Distraught over his predicament, and particularly concerned that he might be engaged in some nefarious activities, he contacts a husband and wife detective agency and asks them to surreptitiously follow him. The truth takes a dark and ultimately earth-shattering turn as their investigation leads to a series of frightening revelations, beginning with a group of shadowy figures who gravely warn of dire consequences unless the pair immediately cease their inquiry into the nature of Hoag's identity.
The current plan is to start filming in Australia this fall. [Deadline]
Guy Pearce describes the relationship between his character, a loose cannon federal agent named Snow, who has to save the president's daughter Emilie Warnock, as played by Lost's Maggie Grace, from rioting convincts on a space prison:
"I have absolutely no interest in [saving Emilie] whatsoever, but I find out that my friend has also been held captive in this prison. So that's really my motivation to get up there and get her out: to get to my friend. [Snow is] salty. A little cynical. Clearly Emilie is someone he finds attractive - she's a beautiful woman - and she challenges him as much as anyone has in his life. He does his utmost to offend her from the moment he comes across her."
There's more at the link. [MTV Movies Blog]
Here's a behind the scenes video looking at the movie's alien enemies. [IGN]
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter writer Seth Grahame-Smith says he will start working on the script for the Beetlejuice sequel later this year, once he's done adapting his new book Unholy Night. [Heat Vision]
Javier Bardem discusses his character Silva, who is the main antagonist in Daniel Craig's third James Bond movie:
"I think the character is really complex. He's not an easy guy. He's not only a villain, it's more than that — hopefully! That's what we tried to achieve. I'm giving James Bond a hard time. That's my job! That's my duty."
Meanwhile, French actress Berenice Marlohe says of her role as the love interest Severine:
"This movie's really like a classic Bond movie, so this character and I really wanted to be part of this classic spirit."
Considering how much Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace were concerned with rebooting the series and getting away from earlier incarnations of the franchise, it should be interesting to see just what this "classic spirit" really means. [MTV Movies Blog]
Here's a new video featuring the movie's hero Princess Merida, as voiced by Trainspotting and Boardwalk Empire actress Kelly MacDonald, as she explains the story and some key plot points for Pixar's latest. [First Showing]
Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Sea of Monsters
Leven Rambin, who played the District 1 tribute Glimmer in The Hunger Games and also played Riley in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, has reportedly been cast as Clarisse, the daughter of Ares, the God of War. The character is described as "skilled at battle and a perfectionist." [Variety]
Dr. Horrible 2
Joss Whedon reveals "we're still in the early stages of writing...but we hope to make a great deal of progress this summer." More ominously, he says, "you can expect the death of someone you love." Although he confirms that Felicia Day's Penny is absolutely, definitely dead. [Heat Vision]
Here's a promo for this Friday's episode, "The Consultant." [Fringe Television]
Showrunner Joel Wyman says news of the show's future should come sometime this week, and he is "feeling good" about the show's chance for a fifth season. He also made it clear there are no plans for a movie, which I don't really think was on the table to begin with. [@JWFRINGE]
The Walking Dead
Lauren Cohan, who played Maggie last season, has reportedly been promoted to a series regular for the third season. That might suggest she will be sticking around for a while, but there's certainly no guarantees - this past season killed off a pair of regulars in Jeffrey DeMunn's Dale and Jon Bernthal's Shane. [TV Line]
Here's a short synopsis for episode ten, "Slack Water", which airs May 3:
Bird and Britten investigate what appears to be gang violence; Hannah faces a tough situation with Rex and his girlfriend; Captain Harper (Laura Innes) is forced to take back a promise.
Here's a short description for episode twenty, "Happily Ever Aftermath", which is set to air May 4:
After a wealthy matriarch mysteriously dies and her stepdaughter loses everything in a Ponzi scheme, Hank and Nick investigate; Juliette tries to help Nick find closure.
Here's a promo trailer for the upcoming fifth and final season.
And here's a sneak peek for the season premiere, "Lost."
Finally, here are some promo photos for the episode. [SpoilerTV]
Being Human (US)
Star Sam Huntington tweeted that season three will begin filming in June. [@SammyHuntington]
The Legend of Korra
Joaquim Dos Santos, who worked extensively on two of the pinnacles of animated television in Justice League Unlimited and Avatar: The Last Airbender and is now the storyboard artist on the Avatar follow-up, discusses what sets the new series apart from its predecessor:
Both series are about discovery, the hero looking within themselves and finding out more about themselves. Yes there are a lot of aspects about Korra that are the opposite of Aang, but that's not what informed the decision to go in that direction, Mike and Bryan just had this really cool idea and they went with it. As it turns out, as you will see, that Korra discovers stuff about herself that is shown right up front in the first episode completely the opposite of Aang, but there is stuff that she might relate to about Aang, she's her own person. I don't think the decision was 'just do something that is opposite Aang.'
Thousands of fans saw the first two episodes during the preview weekend, what inspired the look of the show's setting, Republic City?
A lot of it is old Shanghai/industrial revolution. We scoured the internet for a ton of references and we went and picked up a ton of books, mostly used books, that just had a ton of great photo-reference and speaking with the Art Director's hat on, we wanted all the [backgrounds] to feel like they were painted, to have a paint-style rough look. We hired two amazing [background] painters, young kids right out of school, that really just went for it. The mandate was for there not to be any Photoshop pre-made textures you tend to see a lot in US animation, just laid on things [making] the backgrounds feel manufactured. We wanted each one to feel like a painting, one you could touch and hold even though they are done on computers.
There's plenty more at the link. [Newsarama]
The Vampire Diaries
Tyler will return in episode nineteen, "Heart of Darkness", which airs April 19 and will kick off what executive producer Julie Plec calls a "jealousy triangle" between him, Caroline, and Klaus. That said, Tyler is reportedly going to survive this season and be back for season four. [E! Online]
Episode 19 will also see some forward motion for Damon and Elena. [TV Line]
The CW's dystopian pilot that is being compared to The Hunger Games is based on an as-yet-unpublished series of novels by Kiera Cass, and her agent Elana Roth gives a preview of what to expect:
"It's light dystopian. Kiera calls it 'diet dystopian.' Kiera's characters are not killing each other; it's a love story, a fairy tale."
Roth also said that Cass described it to her as "The Hunger Games meets The Bachelor, which she observed, "I said to myself, that sounded ridiculous but kind of awesome at the same time." [TV Guide]
Here's a new trailer for Disney XD's animated Tron spin-off, which is set to debut this June. [/Film]
Additional reporting by Jennifer Griffith-Delgado and Charlie Jane Anders.