The Amazing Spider-Man 2 officially adds an Oscar winner. Doctor Who's Sylvester McCoy drops some Hobbit knowledge. Star Wars legends Rick Baker and George Lucas discuss their potential roles in Episode VII. Plus some intriguing Legend of Conan details!
Spoilers from here on out!
Top image from Star Trek Into Darkness.
Star Wars: Episode VII
George Lucas offers a fairly straightforward encapsulation of his "consultant" role in Disney's future Star Wars films:
"[If the filmmakers ask],‘Who's this guy?' I can tell them. I mean, they have a hundred encyclopedias and things, but I actually know a lot. I can say, ‘This is this and this is that.' Basically I'm not - I don't really have much to do."
Meanwhile, legendary makeup designer Rick Baker says he wants back in on the Star Wars franchise, and he offers a rather cogent argument as to why the series needs to get back to at least a little bit of its practical effects roots:
"I think the problem that people have with the digital stuff is the problem I have: Just because you can do anything doesn't mean that you should. Instead of having a spaceship battle with three spaceships, they have 3,000 spaceships. Everything is so big and there's so much going on, you lose reality. It takes you out of it."
The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Somewhat lost in the shuffle of the big announcement that Chronicle's Dane DeHaan is playing Harry Osborn was the other, possibly even bigger news that Collateral and Django Unchained star Jamie Foxx is indeed playing the villain Electro in the sequel. Here's what Foxx has to say about it all:
"Electro is a great character. I met with the director, Mark Webb, I met with Andrew Garfield, and we talked... I think Electro will be an exciting character to play because he's a... genius electrician-type person, and he gets the short end of the stick from the whole world, and the next thing you know he turns it on."
X-Men: Days of Future Past
Wolverine actor Hugh Jackman has confirmed that he has "been talking to [director] Bryan [Singer] about doing something in this." His wording and intonation suggests it's for more than this three-word cameo in X-Men: First Class, but perhaps less than the apparently significant supporting roles that Patrick Stewart and Ian MacKellen will have as the older Professor Charles Xavier and Magneto. Anyway, nothing is definite, but the fact that Jackman is talking about it all indicates there's a pretty decent chance that Wolverine will indeed show up in some capacity. [Coming Soon]
Seventh Doctor Sylvester McCoy discusses his upcoming role as the wizard Radagast the Brown:
He's a wizard, for starts. He lives in the forest. He's more of a hermit, really, and he communicates with animals, and he kind of cares for the forest and the flora and the fauna, and he discovers something - that the forest is in danger, and he has to act quickly and come out of his quiet, lonely yet happy existence and try and do something about it. His closeness to the animals is very helpful to himself and others. It was exciting, really. At first, Peter was doing these logs from the studio and putting them out on YouTube, and they kept keeping me a secret. He said, "You're our little secret." So that was quite fun to be the little secret, the little surprise, maybe.
So what is the relationship like between the two wizards - Gandalf and Radagast?
Well, Saruman the White dislikes Radagast and thinks him a fool, but Gandalf the Grey, he has an admiration for Radagast. He knows that although he's a bit of a bumbling, sweet little old fool, that he has steel inside of him when push comes to shove. I think they're cousins, if I remember rightly. So we've got kind of blood connection.
He also hints at a larger mystery around Radagast's character, because what would a Sylvester McCoy character be without hints of larger mysteries:
If you know your "Lord of the Rings," you might recognize [Radagast's staff]. You'll have to wait and see what happens in the next three years. You'll find out about that staff. It's quite important eventually. It's a mystery. I don't want to give it all away.
I'm calling it right now — that staff is really the Hand of Omega. Look, if you can come up with a way of padding The Hobbit out into three movies that doesn't involve a random Dalek invasion, I'd like to hear it. Anyway, there's a bunch more at the link. [Hero Complex]
Star Trek Into Darkness
After J.J. Abrams used his appearance on Conan to preview an entire three frames from the movie, Spock actor Zachary Quinto decided to use his appearance to show a more substantial clip. Except, of course, this is Conan we're talking about, so it's all an elaborate windup to an intentionally giant letdown — at least if you actually expected to see a clip from the movie. So, no news here, but you can check out the fairly amusing clip at the link. [Team Coco]
The Legend of Conan
Longtime Fast and the Furious series screenwriter Chris Morgan discusses Arnold Schwarzenegger's return to his first iconic role as an aging Conan confronting his warrior mortality:
"[It's] not a reboot, not a remake. Just an update. Where has the character been all this time? A catch-up with Conan. He's not going out and fighting battles, but he ends up getting drawn into something," Morgan explained. "And he has to access the barbarian he was in his youth. I love that Conan has been many things in his life, notably a pirate, a major tactician and a commander of men. In this movie, we're going to tap into some of those things – things you haven't seen on screen yet."
Morgan also makes it clear that the movie won't try to cheat around the fact that Schwarzenegger isn't the peak physical specimen he once was — which isn't to say that Schwarzenegger couldn't still kick my ass, because I have no doubt that he totally could — and it's essential to the premise that Schwarzenegger play the part as he looks now, without CGI enhancement:
"I want the warrior whose joints have started to fuse together, who has to crack the cartilage so he can pick up a sword again. I want the guy who's not necessarily lost a step, but there's some rust he has to shake off. I want to embrace that. It makes it a greater hero story. Conan needs to be faced with challenges. The greatest challenge to him isn't the armies that are set before him. It's, on some level, self-doubt, a little bit of slowing down and forcing yourself to be heroic beyond what people expect of you. What I don't want is for him to step back in and look the same. That would defeat the purpose of our story"
Morgan is just producing the project for the time being, though he says he hopes to write it if his schedule allows for it, or else work closely with whoever he picks to write the screenplay. [Hero Complex]
Here's a couple promo photos from the zombie romantic comedy, starring X-Men: First Class's Nicholas Hoult.
The Highlander Reboot
28 Weeks Later director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo has reportedly exited Summit's planned Ryan Reynolds-starring reboot of the 1986 Queen soundtrack, which I'm told also involved a movie of some sort. The split was reportedly due to creative differences over how best to approach the material, with "Eh... maybe just leave it alone" apparently not an option for either party. [Deadline]
Game of Thrones
Mark Killeen, who had small roles as a cop in The Dark Knight Rises and a German officer in the Doctor Who episode "Let's Kill Hitler", has reportedly been cast as the sellsword Mero of Braavos, otherwise known as the Titan's bastard. It's also now confirmed that Michael McElhatton will be back as Lord Roose Bolton. [Westeros and The Lisa Richards Agency]
The Walking Dead
Here's a pair of promo photos for February's midseason premiere episode, "The Suicide King." [SpoilerTV]
And here's a pair of sneak peeks for what's in store in the 2013 premiere.
Once Upon a Time
Here's a promo for the next episode, "The Cricket Game."
The Vampire Diaries
Executive producer Julie Plec explains why Matt and Jeremy won't be spending a whole lot of time together, despite now being roommates:
"Unfortunately, we don't actually get to see them in action for a while. In [Episode 9], Jeremy gets shipped off to the lake house for treatment. They're in a predicament, which is that he loves his sister and she's the one person he'd love to kill more than anybody, so ... when we get to Episode 9 we'll see that Elena has enlisted Bonnie to help. She's seeking out unconventional methods to find a fix."
Here are the titles and short synopses for the final three episodes of the third season:
Episode 3.11 - Last Goodbyes
Haven falls into a deep sleep; Audrey must work with the only other person awake in town; more questions arise about the Bolt Gun Killer.
Episode 3.12 - Reunion
Nathan and Duke try to help Audrey search for a troubled killer after a string of murders take place at the Haven High school.
Episode 3.13 - Thanks for the Memories
Audrey, Nathan and Duke face off against the Bolt Gun Killer.
Additional reporting by Rob H. Dawson and Charlie Jane Anders.