Get the lowdown on the first five episodes of season two of Game of Thrones. Dark Shadows is finally getting a trailer. There's potentially some bad news for World War Z. Plus prepare for the return of Vampire Diaries and Secret Circle!
Spoilers from here on out!
Top image from The Hunger Games.
I'm pretty sure her contract doesn't really give her much choice in the matter, but yes, Jennifer Lawrence says she would be happy to return as Mystique in the sequel:
"I don't know, I mean... if they write me in, then I'm in. But I don't even know if there'll be... I've only heard what everybody else has heard, just whispers. I haven't heard the official word yet."
Journey 2: The Mysterious Island star Josh Hutcherson explains how he developed Peeta's character, particularly since the focus remains primarily on his fellow District 12 tribute Katniss:
It's interesting because, in the book, you have Katniss's internal monologue and dialogue to help you understand that she's confused about Peeta. In the movie, you have to rely on how the scenes are structured and other performances. For me, if you watch it, I felt like I was right along with Katniss the whole time as a viewer. So I think it came from how it was edited together. You only see Katniss' interactions with Peeta, so as an audience, you have to live off of that. Like when he runs off with the other faction, you wonder if Peeta is not who you think he is. So it's got a lot to do with the structure of the film.
Peeta - once he's in the Hunger Games – seems to go through the stages of grief about being in the contest. Was that something you developed consciously?
Definitely, when you get chosen to go into the games, it's more or less a death ticket, so it's disbelief. Shock is the first thing he goes through. What you don't see is the grieving process, which he goes through with his family. Saying goodbye to his mom and dad. But Peeta does a good job of hiding it and his goal is to just help Katniss survive. He loves her and he's weirdly okay with the fact that he probably won't make it out of the games [as long as he can] help Katniss survive.
There's more at the link, which also includes thoughts from Gale actor Liam Hemsworth — who honestly at this point is probably best known for being Thor star Chris Hemsworth's little brother...not that there's anything wrong with that. [Coming Soon]
Elizabeth Banks discusses how she and director Gary Ross viewed her character, the outrageously dressed Effie Trinket:
It's really fun to watch yourself disappear in the movie every day, and watch Effie appear. It required a full transformation. I never knew how old she was, in reading the book. She could be 30, or she could be 100. I imagine, in the future, life expectancy is long and they use crazy plastic surgery. Who the hell knows what's going on? So, I really wanted her to be ageless. Gary's one real note was, "I imagine Joel Grey in Cabaret for her face." That was our jumping off point, and why we ended up with the rough skin and the gnarliness of that...I never wanted Effie to be a clown. I really wanted her to be three-dimensional. She represents the Capitol, in every way. Not just in the way that she dresses, but in her attitude. That line where I say, "I just love that," was an improv on the day. Gary and I were trying to figure out a way to really say that she drank the Kool-Aid.
While Lenny Kravitz explains his character, the personal stylist Cinna:
Obviously, he has integrity. He's at the Capitol and he's working at the Capitol, but he's the guy that, when the revolution busts, is going to be right there. This is not his thing, but he's stuck within the system, and he gets to use his talent and design. From the very beginning, I think he was really taken by the fact that she took the place of her sister. When he comes in to meet her, he's all about, "That was the bravest thing I've ever seen." He's open to her, from the very beginning. I think that he sees her integrity, and he really becomes personally invested. I don't know how long he's been there, but he's been there for a little bit and he's seen kids come and go. He dresses these kids and they're dying. He really wants to do whatever he can do to help her survive.
There's a bunch more from both of them at the link, as well as some thoughts from costar Wes Bentley on his character Seneca Crane. [Collider]
The great Donald Sutherland explains how he views his character, the autocratic President Snow:
He expects someone to come and challenge his position. He's very confident. His main priority is roses. You see that he looks different from the people in the community. He's much older and he comes from a different generation. In the same sense that my parents didn't really like Elvis Presley and I was crazy about him, it's the same with President Snow. I don't know how much he approves of all that's going on, but it's okay. Now, young people have loads [of] tattoos. I don't have a tattoo.
Alexander Ludwig explains how he prepared to play the villainous career tribute and ruthless killer Cato:
When I got offered the role of Cato, I jumped on the opportunity just ‘cause I've never really had a chance to play a bad guy, and that's something I've always really, really wanted to do. I wanted to experience that really dark side of a person, and Cato is a really, really twisted individual. We worked unbelievably hard. Physically, I wanted Cato to have as big of a physical presence as he did a mental one, in the movie. There was lots of fight training that we had to go through. I worked with an ex-Navy SEAL to bulk up. I did tons of hand-to-hand combat.
Tim Burton's latest comes out in less than two months, and in an apparent bid to make the John Carter ad campaign look like a masterclass of marketing, Warner Bros. hasn't released so much as a trailer. That will change this Thursday when it premieres on, of all places, an episode of Ellen. Here's the promo for the episode, which features some quick glimpses of footage from the film. [Ellen via ShockTillYouDrop]
Here are some new set photos for Daniel Craig's latest James Bond movie. [SpoilerTV]
Quantum of Solace director Marc Forster's adaptation of Max Brooks's acclaimed novel has been pushed back from its original release date of December 21, 2012 to June 21, 2013. That six month delay might mean the movie needed more post-production work, or Paramount might simply have decided the movie works better as a summer film than an awards season release. Either way, June 2013 is still a pretty prime release date spot, so this probably shouldn't be considered too huge a red flag. The film features a ton of stars and recognizable faces including Brad Pitt, Bryan Cranston, The Killing's Mireille Enos, James Badge Dale, and Matthew Fox. [ShockTillYouDrop]
Paramount has announced the release date for their latest attempt to revive this franchise: December 25, 2013, and really I can't imagine a nicer Christmas present than the latest warmed over stab at a TMNT movie. Considering its placement right in the middle of awards season, I can only assume that the latest TMNT will win all the Oscars — yes, all of them. Michelangelo's best supporting actor Oscar will be richly deserved, I have no doubt. [Coming Soon]
Here's a romance-themed trailer for the show's upcoming return from hiatus, which kicks off with the episode "A Short Story About Love." [Fringe Television]
Here's a few set photos. There are more at the link. [SpoilerTV]
The season finale — which we're hoping to all that is good and holy is not the series finale — will reportedly introduce a new female character that is simply described as "strong, confident, and beautiful." [E! Online]
Here are the official descriptions for the first half of the ten-episode second season, which kicks off April 1:
Season 2, Episode 1: "The North Remembers" (April 1)
"As Robb Stark and his northern army continue the war against the Lannisters, Tyrion arrives in King's Landing to counsel Joffrey and temper the young king's excesses. On the island of Dragonstone, Stannis Baratheon plots an invasion to claim his late brother's throne, allying himself with the fiery Melisandre, a strange priestess of a stranger god. Across the sea, Daenerys, her three young dragons and khalasar trek through the Red Waste in search of allies, or water. In the North, Bran presides over a threadbare Winterfell, while beyond the Wall, Jon Snow and the Night's Watch must shelter with a devious wildling."
Season 2, Episode 2: "The Night Lands" (April 8)
"In the wake of a bloody purge in the capital, Tyrion chastens Cersei for alienating the king's subjects. On the road north, Arya shares a secret with Gendry, a Night's Watch recruit. With supplies dwindling, one of Dany's scouts returns with news of their position. After nine years as a Stark ward, Theon Greyjoy reunites with his father Balon, who wants to restore the ancient Kingdom of the Iron Islands. Davos enlists Salladhor Saan, a pirate, to join forces with Stannis and Melisandre for a naval invasion of King's Landing."
Season 2, Episode 3: "What Is Dead May Never Die" (April 15)
"At the Red Keep, Tyrion plots three alliances through the promise of marriage. Catelyn arrives in the Stormlands to forge an alliance of her own. But King Renly, his new wife Margaery and her brother Loras Tyrell have other plans. At Winterfell, Luwin tries to decipher Bran's dreams."
Season 2, Episode 4: "Garden of Bones" (April 22)
"Joffrey punishes Sansa for Robb's victories, while Tyrion and Bronn scramble to temper the king's cruelty. Catelyn entreats Stannis and Renly to forego their ambitions and unite against the Lannisters. Dany and her exhausted khalasar arrive at the gates of Qarth, a prosperous city with strong walls and rulers who greet her outside them. Tyrion coerces a queen's man into being his eyes and ears. Arya and Gendry are taken to Harrenhal, where their lives rest in the hands of "The Mountain," Gregor Clegane. Davos must revert to his old ways and smuggle Melisandre into a secret cove."
Season 2, Episode 5: "The Ghost of Harrenhal" (April 29)
"The end of the Baratheon rivalry drives Catelyn to flee and Littlefinger to act. At King's Landing, Tyrion's source alerts him to Joffrey's flawed defense plan and a mysterious secret weapon. Theon sails to the Stony Shore to prove he's worthy to be called Ironborn. In Harrenhal, Arya receives a promise from Jaqen H'ghar, one of three prisoners she saved from the Gold Cloaks. The Night's Watch arrive at the Fist of the First Men, an ancient fortress where they hope to stem the advance of the wildling army."
Check out the link for some analysis and speculation on what this all might mean. [BuddyTV]
Comics creator Robert Kirkman says Shane's influence won't end with his death:
"Shane isn't on the show any more but his presence is going to be felt throughout the third season and beyond. This is a very important character to the series. He's almost more important to the show in death than he was in life."
I don't have the first season Blu-ray to confirm this, but various posters at the show's wiki are claiming it's possible to boost and isolate the audio so that Dr. Jenner's whisper to Rick becomes audible. The results? "It's in your blood" and "We're all carriers", both of which fit pretty cleanly with last episode's Shane revelation, not to mention match a similar development from the comic books. There's a good chance this will get confirmed or denied in this Sunday's season finale, so I'll guess we'll see. [Walking Dead Wiki]
Here's a promo for next Monday's episode, "Webb Porter." [Multiple Verses]
Here's a promo for next Tuesday's season finale, "Row, Row, Row Your Boat."
Here are some promo photos for this Sunday's episode, "Heart of Darkness." [BuddyTV]
The season finale will feature two major cliffhangers. [TV Line]
Here's a promo for the first episode of the show's two-part season finale, featuring a trip to the International Space Station and an astronaut voiced by Breaking Bad's Bryan Cranston.
Here's a promo and a sneak peek at next Monday's episode, "Dream Reaper."
Here's an introduction for this Thursday's episode, "1912", from producer Julie Plec.
And here's a preview for the episode featuring the cast.
Here's a promo for the return of both The Vampire Diaries and The Secret Circle. [EW]
Here's a preview of this Thursday's episode and sixteenth overall, "Lucky", with producer Andrew Miller.
Here are three sneak peeks for the episode.
Here are some promo photos for episode eighteen, "Sacrifice", which airs March 29. [Multiple Verses]
Additional reporting by Jennifer Griffith-Delgado and Charlie Jane Anders.