Chris Hemsworth explains why Thor: The Dark World is more Viking epic than scifi. Guillermo del Toro drops some engineering knowledge about Pacific Rim's giant robots. Catching Fire is made for IMAX. Plus a returning favorite in new Fringe set photos!
Spoilers from here on out...
Top image from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.
Iron Man 3
Marvel Studios head honcho Kevin Feige has gone in-depth on a number of points about the new Iron Man movie. Let's start with how it does (and doesn't) connect in with The Avengers:
This is all about how he was affected by the events of The Avengers, and how his world and mindset can be affected by that. By the end of Avengers, when a portal is opened up in Manhattan and he's met Thor and The Hulk and the Chitauri are coming down on him, he realises that he doesn't know everything; we think that has had an effect on his psyche, and then his world is blown out from underneath him... Iron Man 3 doesn't feature any of the other Avengers, or Nick Fury showing up, or any of those world-blending conceits that the Phase One films had. You have to keep in mind that Iron Man 3 had been in the works for almost a year, year and a half before The Avengers was released. We're sticking to the vision for these films, and showing once again that these characters are just as interesting alone as they are together.
He also discusses Ben Kingsley's villainous role as the Mandarin:
Early - and very late - drafts of Iron Man 1 featured The Mandarin as a villain. The Mandarin is his most famous foe in the comics mainly because he's been around the longest. If you look, there's not necessarily a definitive Mandarin storyline in the comics. So it was really about having an idea. In terms of the Fu Manchu stereotyping that was involved, we never had any interest in that. He's relentless. Assuming that he's the one responsible for what happens to Tony's house, no other villain has been able to strike that fast and that hard at one of our heroes. He's very much about believing that the world needs to learn, and he wants to bend the world to his vision.
Finally, he explains why Don Cheadle's James Rhodes is trading in his War Machine gear for the Iron Patriot:
The notion in the movie is that a red, white and blue suit is a bold statement, and it's meant to be. With Rhodey, he's very much the foil to Tony's eccentricities, and in this one you get to see this and be reminded of the trust and friendship between them in that great Shane Black buddy-cop fashion.
[Empire Magazine via Comic Book Movie]
Elsewhere, Feige discusses the movie's tone and approach:
It's not a serious movie, but we seriously dig into exploring more of Tony. The trick is just trying to make great movies. We try to make them all great, all different and all fresh. What you'll see in Iron Man 3 is some very unique directions that were taken."
And here's some more from director Shane Black:
"We're not aiming for bigger, necessarily. We're aiming for different and fresh and new. It's all about capturing that lightning-in-a-bottle feel, about trying to get as much into this as we can. We're looking to get a ton of thrills into a short space, to make a nice little stew for you."
Thor: The Dark World
Star Chris Hemsworth explains how the sequel differs from its predecessor:
There's a lot more of an organic kind of feel to Asgard now. And that Viking element of the Asgardian people, of Thor's history, is much more present... It's less science fiction. I mean, if you look at [director Alan Taylor's work on] Game Of Thrones, what I love about it is that it has that mythical element but you're always grounded in such an organic world. I think that's the goal scored second time round.
He also explains the particular narrative challenges of building a Thor story when this is the third time the audience has seen him, counting The Avengers:
In a way, it becomes more difficult at this point. Thor 1 was the origin story and he starts off as a brash child and ends as the hero; the danger then is, where does he go from here? If he doesn't change, he's gonna become boring. How do you break him down again to rebuild him and have some sort of arc, some sort of journey? Avengers was different, it was the arc of the team. So now, on [Thor 2], we've been really throwing around, "Okay, so what's Thor's big conflict here?" Because it can't just be that bad tempter again, or that he's too cocky. We've done that. And now, where does the humour lie? Because it can't be the fish-out-of-water, Crocodile Dundee kind of thing that we had in the first one. He's been to Earth now. There may be elements of that...
[Empire Online via Comic Book Movie]
Director Guillermo del Toro stopped by the forums of his official fansite to share a little backstory for the Jaegers, the gargantuan robots used to fight the monstrous Kaiju in the film:
The Jaegers were based on existing Robotic / DARPA Jet-fighter neural links. The very first engines used to create the "muscle strands" on the Jaeger limbs were Husqvarna engines and the first assembly line was an amalgam between Germany and US. Those were the MARK I... "Muscle Strand" was a new base nomenclature for the horse power assigned to each Jaeger's limb but it is not an actual muscle fiber-based system.
Peeta Mellark actor Josh Hutcherson discusses what to expect from new director Francis Lawrence's Hunger Games sequel:
"They actually built a cornucopia in Atlanta that we shot at, and it looks amazing, and the way that the spokes got out, and the way everyone comes up on the pedestals and the water - it looks incredible. "I've seen some of the CG renderings that [director] Francis [Lawrence] has worked on, and they look really, really great. They're shooting, I think, all the stuff in the Arena is going to be IMAX. So when you go see it in IMAX, you'll see the regular movie when we're in the Districts and in the Capitol. When you see us go up in the pod in the games, it will open up into IMAX. It will be amazing. It's very cool."
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Here's a Japanese poster. [First Showing]
The BBC has released a pair of rather cool promo images for this year's Christmas special, "The Snowmen."
Here are some set photos from Harbour Green Park in Vancouver's Coal Harbour neighborhood, which reveal that Lance Reddick will indeed be back as Broyles for the show's endgame. The series is currently filming its penultimate episode, and it's thought he appears in both that episode and the series finale. [YVR Shoots]
Here's the description for the eighth episode, "The Human Kind", which is set to air December 7:
PETER PRESSES ON IN A PASSIONATE MISSION TO DEFEAT THE OBSERVERS — Jill Scott ("Steel Magnolias") Guest-Stars — Olivia encounters a very intuitive and oracle-like person named Simone (guest star Scott) as she looks to recover a key piece of equipment for Walter. Meanwhile, Peter finds himself in a perilous situation as he observes Windmark (guest star Michael Kopsa).
And here's a synopsis for the ninth episode, "Black Blotter", which airs December 14:
WALTER TAKES A TRIP IN SEARCH OF ANSWERS — In attempt to recall a plan to defeat the Observers, Walter takes an LSD trip down memory lane. Meanwhile, Peter and Olivia trace a mysterious signal to the woods, where they come upon a grisly scene.
The Walking Dead
Here's a promo for this Sunday's midseason finale, "Made to Suffer."
Costar Dallas Roberts discusses his character Milton, starting with his relationship with Michael Rooker's Merle:
I think they live in confrontation with each other (laughs). That is a real fun dynamic to play with Michael Rooker. Milton and Merle have completely different values and completely different outlooks on life. You put them in a room together and it is fun to watch the fireworks go off.
From what we have seen so far, it seems you are trying to figure out the behaviors of the zombies and maybe even try to reverse the process. What can you tell us about your experiments?
Yeah, I think ideally reversal would be the ultimate goal. Milton is on his back foot certainly, there is a limited amount of electricity and he certainly doesn't have all of the state of the art medical equipment that you would need, but he is making his way toward that idea and at this point he is just trying to gather information and study the undead and see what he can learn about them. Sort of the same way a biologist would study a new species. He is in the information gathering stage at this point.
American Horror Story: Asylum
Here's a promo photo for tomorrow night's episode, "Dark Cousin," featuring your first look at returning star Frances Conroy, playing the "Ultimate Angel." [TV Line]
Here's a bunch of promo photos for the ninth episode, "Year's End", which based on the title I'm going to guess is the winter finale. It's set to broadcast on December 12. [SpoilerTV]
And finally, let's go to the Syfy Twitter feed for a quick non-update on the show's third season renewal prospects:
Additional reporting by Rob H. Dawson and Charlie Jane Anders.