Awesome casting rumors for The Hunger Games, Luke Cage, and the Oz prequel. Plus who's writing Iron Man 3?

Illustration for article titled Awesome casting rumors for The Hunger Games, Luke Cage, and the Oz prequel. Plus who's writing Iron Man 3?
Morning SpoilersIf there’s news about upcoming movies and television you’re not supposed to know, you’ll find it in here.

See Kevin Bacon in action in the new X-Men: First Class trailer. Steven Moffat drops some more seriously tantalizing Doctor Who hints. Plus a Stargate favorite explains why Rise of the Planet of the Apes isn't just another movie.


Spoilers from here on out!

The Avengers

Turns out Natalie Portman is not in this movie after all. She set the record straight herself:

"I'm not in The Avengers, but I'm signed up for the next two (Thor) sequels if they are made. I think these inter-related Marvel movies are great fun. The Avengers will be like Ocean's Eleven with the superhero all-stars!"

[Today Online]


Portman also explained the nature of Jane Foster's relationship with Thor:

"There is a love story, but it's very unconsummated. It's like they fall for each other and then they leave room for the sequel. (Laughs)"

[Today Online]

Captain America

Chris Evans offers this take on the character:

"Steve is the underdog. Unlike most superheroes, who were born with their powers or given them by accident, he was chosen as he is a good man with an unshakeable moral compass. When given this power, most people would become corrupted by it but he won't."


He also made it clear what will make this film a success, at least in his mind:

"At the end of the day we are doing this for the fans and, if they are not happy, we have missed the mark. So obviously you go into as much research as you can with the comic books."


[Daily Record]

Iron Man 3

The latest word on who exactly is writing the third Iron Man movie is that it's what seemed most likely all along: director Shane Black will reportedly co-write the movie with the previously announced writer Drew Pearce. [CinemaBlend]


Luke Cage

Old Spice pitchman turned rising star Isaiah Mustafa confirms that he's met with Marvel about the Luke Cage role, and why he wants to play the character:

"I've already had a meeting with Marvel. I talked to them and I told them that I was a gracious reader of their comics and that I wanted to be Luke Cage. So we'll see where they take it...It's because what's going on with him right now in the Marvel Universe. I think all their [early black] characters were these Blaxploitation characters - these jokey, clownish characters - but now they've really developed the African-American characters. Luke Cage has a lot going on. He's this man, he's got all these powers and abilities and he can use them to save whatever major city, but instead of doing that he uses them to help Harlem. He wants to fix his neighborhood, and that's what's so admirable to me. Instead of leaving and going someplace bigger, he stays right where he needs to be and tries to do the best that they can."


He also offered his take about where Marvel's plans currently stand:

"They have something in mind, I think, and I definitely want them to see that I'm extremely passionate about it. I'm extremely passionate about being that character. I will do anything to get that role. It strikes me. It's very personal to me. I hold onto it. It's something that I desire more than just about anything that I can think of right now, as far as work goes."


[Superhero Hype]

X-Men: First Class

Here's a slightly different trailer. Among other things, it offers a rather interesting look at villain Sebastian Shaw. [ComingSoon]

Super 8

Here are some new promo photos. [ShockTillYouDrop]


Ridley Scott's not-technically-an-Alien-prequel has added two new actors. Scottish actor Emun Elliott, whose most notable work is on the recent BBC show Paradox, will reportedly play a character called Chance, while Sunshine and Moon actor Benedict Wong will reportedly play someone called Ravel. [Alien Prequel News]


Rise of the Planet of the Apes

David Hewlett, best known as Stargate: Atlantis's Rodney McKay, praises director Rupert Wyatt's work on the movie and explains what drew him to the project:

"The star of that movie is [Rupert]. The fact that he's gone from making small character movies in England to Planet of the Apes is [great]. It's so smart of the producers to say ‘Yes, we're going to do the suspense and the spectacle. But let's get a director in here who is actually going to worry about the characters.' And that's what they've done. The reason I was drawn to it and attracted to it - outside of the nerd factor - was the story," Hewlett continued, while noting how little he could say about the film at this early juncture. "At its core, it's a story about family and I love that. I'm so sick of going to the movies and being like, ‘That was so gorgeous, but the plot...meh.' This has a real story and a real plot and real characters you can care about. And now that I'm done with it, I can sit back and enjoy it just like the hordes of fans and see how it unfolds."



The Hunger Games

National treasure John C. Reilly is reportedly in talks to play Haymitch Abernathy, the drunken ex-champion who trains Katniss and Peeta for the games. [Vulture]


Caprica's Paula Malcomson has reportedly been cast as Katniss's mother. [Heat Vision]

The Hobbit

Peter Jackson has confirmed that Ian Holm will return as the older version of Bilbo Baggins, presumably in the same scenes that see Elijah Wood reprise his role as Frodo. [MTV Movies Blog]


Jackson also announced that Rob Kazinsky will have to drop out of the role of Fili for personal reasons. He also explained what impact this will have on filming:

"I should say that Rob's departure will not affect ongoing filming of The Hobbit, nor will it impact work done to date, as we had yet to film much of Fili's storyline. At the moment we are shooting scenes featuring Bilbo without the Dwarves, which will give us time to find a new Fili."



Oz the Great and Powerful

Sam Raimi reportedly wants to cast multiple Oscar winner Hilary Swank as one of the main witches in his James Franco starring prequel, while Disney reportedly is pushing for Blue Valentine and Brokeback Mountain actress Michelle Williams. Honestly, I don't see much downside with either casting, but knowing this movie's frequent casting difficulties, it's quite possible that someone else entirely will play the part. [Vulture]


The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn

Original writer Steven Moffat explains why he left and what, if any, of his writing is still in the movie:

I'm sure hardly any. I haven't kept track. I now don't know which bits are secret and what aren't. So, I'm very circumspect. I mean, I was the one that left. I was the baddie there. They didn't sack me, or anything. I left to do Doctor Who and they were incredibly kind and decent about that. They could have kicked up more of a legal fuss about it, frankly. But they were really gentlemanly about it and they were lovely people to work with. I was chatting the other day with Edgar [Wright, the director of Shaun of the Dead, who took over writing duties on Tintin, together with Attack the Block filmmaker Joe Cornish]. He said he'd seen a bit of it and it was looking absolutely beautiful. The truth is, I've been used to running my own show for ages. So maybe it was better to go back to that.




Here's a preview clip.

Dylan Dog: Dead of the Night

Here's a new clip.

Doctor Who

The BBC has released a bunch of videos for the second half of the opening adventure, "Day of the Moon." There's an introduction, trailer, and two sneak peeks.

And here's the description for "Day of the Moon."

The Doctor is locked in the perfect prison while Amy, Rory and River Song are being hunted down across America by the FBI, as the time-travelling adventure series continues.

With the help of new friend and FBI-insider Canton Everett Delaware the Third, our heroes are reunited to share their discoveries, if not their memories. The world is occupied by an alien force that controls humanity through post-hypnotic suggestion, and no one can be trusted.

Aided by President Nixon and Neil Armstrong's foot, the Doctor must mount a revolution to drive out the enemy and rescue the missing little girl. No one knows why they took her. Or why they have kidnapped Amy Pond...


[Doctor Who News Page]

Here are some promo photos. [Daemon's TV and Life, Doctor Who, and Combom]

Steven Moffat offers this small teaser for Neil Gaiman's episode:

It's called "The Doctor's Wife." I can't say very much actually because the whole gimmick behind that show - and it's a very clever gimmick - will be unveiled in the opening minutes. I literally can't talk about it without giving it away, which I don't want to do. It's a lovely, magical, mad episode.



Moffat also explains the particular difficulties of writing Doctor Who, possibly offering a spoiler-y hint for Steve Thompson's "Curse of the Black Spot" in the process:

"The trouble with Doctor Who is that it's so story-specific. There isn't a set way of making Doctor Who...You're doing pirates one week, and then you're doing a spaceship – possibly in the same episode!"


He also promises that we will see the Doctor get overtly angry again in much the same way he did after learning the truth in "The Beast Below":

You will see scary Doctor again, without doubt. That wasn't a particular decision. I quite like writing a grumpy Doctor. It just didn't really come up in the stories. It wasn't moving away from that at all. And we do have proper grumpy Doctor returning. And moments of scary Doctor, as well. Because he's very, very good at them. It's quite alarming – I'm used to the Doctor's anger, and indeed his sadness being, in a very good way, quite theatrical, whereas Matt's not that sort of actor, so when he does anger or tragedy or any of those big emotional things it's quite visceral; it's quite serious and heartfelt. It's horrible to think that you've brutally disappointed this sweet man. And he is. Let's not pretend otherwise about the Doctor, he is fundamentally incredibly sweet and incredibly kind, and all the things that he has to be to be the Doctor. But there are moments when he loses that, or he can't sustain it."


And he offered this description of Matthew Graham's two-parter "The Rebel Flesh"/"The Almost People", which suggests Graham is drawing on his Life on Mars experience:

"Matt Graham gives us quite a dark one, a dark, clever, very funny a two-parter. And I'd say Matt Graham's Doctor Who is slightly different, it's more like a police procedural somehow, in a way! You'll throw those words back at me when you see it, but he takes a different angle on it."


There's much, much more at the link. [SFX]

Writing for The Radio Times blog, Steven Moffat offers this cryptic preview for episode 7, "A Good Man Goes To War":

Want to find the most dangerous place in the universe? Easy. Harm a hair on Amy's head and just wait. But as the last of the Time Lords and the Lone Centurion blaze across galaxies to save the woman in both their lives, history is unfolding. In her cell, in Stormcage, River Song knows the time has come at last. She has a secret, and this is the day she tells it.

The battle of Demons Run has begun.

And the Doctor's darkest hour is now.

This would seem to suggest that the big cliffhanger at the end of episode 6 involves Amy being placed in mortal danger. [Combom]


Karen Gillan offered another take on Amy and the Doctor's evolving relationship:

"Amy's relationship with The Doctor is going to have a few ups and downs and changes in this new series, particularly because Rory's on board. It adds a whole new dimension to it. I think having him on the TARDIS really emphasizes the relationship [between Amy and The Doctor] and makes it slightly clearer. There's this one moment where Amy realizes that [she] and The Doctor are best friends - really weird, unhealthy best friends - but I think from the last series with Amy kissing The Doctor and things like that, it's moved on. It's something much deeper than that. She's not trying it on anymore. It's something far deeper and it's kind of an emotional connection of two people who are best friends."


[MTV Splash Page]

One Doctor Who set watcher reports that Winston Churchill is back filming scenes, presumably for the currently filming episode 13. The source doesn't actually identify the actor as Ian McNeice, who played Churchill in last year's "Victory of the Daleks" and "The Pandorica Opens", but that seems like a relatively safe guess, assuming the report itself is accurate. [Doctor Who Filming]


Today Show co-anchor Meredith Veira will reportedly make a cameo on the show. This will presumably be along the same lines as the celebrity cameos seen in "Army of Ghosts", "The Sound of Drums", and "The Stolen Earth", in which these people appear on TV to comment on what's going on but don't actually encounter the Doctor. [Today]

And finally, the Doctor Who News Page has a roundup of various possible returning characters. For instance, John Simm offers his own take on a possible return as the Master:

I'm sure I could, but no-one's mentioned it. Steven Moffat is a brilliant writer and it would be nice to see what he does with The Master. Maybe they'd want him to regenerate into somebody much younger. Somebody from Skins or something like that. Or a woman. And what would be wrong with that? They can do whatever they want with The Master. You're at their mercy. But I'd seriously consider it if they asked me. I'd love to have a go at Matt Smith because I think he's really great.


While producer Marcus Wilson says James Corden's run as Craig Owens may not end with this series's twelfth episode:

What's lovely about Doctor Who is that people want to guest star in it. We set out the story commissions for this series and we knew that we wanted to do a sequel to The Lodger. James said, "Tell me when, I'll be there." We thought that his episode would be a one-off, but it did so well that everyone was keen to do another. Now he's pitching to us for a trilogy.


And Steven Moffat discussed the possibility of John Barrowman returning, as well as an upcoming allusion to a past companion:

Will any of the Russell T. Davies characters, like Jack Harkness [John Barrowman], come back?
There's no rule against that. People talk as if somewhere there's been some schism.
Well, you seem to have drawn a line.
There isn't an intentional line at all. I do think there's a danger, if you're always harkening back. Are you saying the show used to be better?
No, just some of those characters are ones people are attached to.
I mean, Jack, who I wrote in the show, I'd love to have him back. I was thinking he should really be here recently but he's busy [making the next season of the Who spinoff Torchwood for Starz]. And I mean there are references to Davies' characters-we just had a reference to Rose, in fact. In my head there is a continuing story. There's no idea that we're abandoning anything. There is an element that the Doctor moves on from people in a rather scary but inevitable way. He won't be nearby forever.


[Life of Wylie, Shortlist, and Gothamist via Doctor Who News Page]


Here's a promo and a sneak peek for episode 21, "The Last Sam Weiss." [Fringe Television]

Game of Thrones

Here are detailed synopses for episodes three through seven.

Episode #3: "Lord Snow"
Arriving at King's Landing after his long journey, Ned (Sean Bean) is shocked to learn of the Crown's profligacy from his new advisors. At Castle Black, Jon Snow (Kit Harington) impresses Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) at the expense of greener recruits. Suspicious that the Lannisters had a hand in Bran's fall, Catelyn (Michelle Fairey) covertly follows her husband to King's Landing, where she is intercepted by Petyr Baelish (Aidan Gillen), aka "Littlefinger," a shrewd longtime ally and brothel owner. Cersei (Lena Headey) and Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) ponder the implications of Bran's (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) recovery; Arya (Maisie Williams) studies swordsmanship. On the road to Vaes Dothrak, Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) finds herself at odds with Viserys (Harry Lloyd).

Episode #4: "Cripples, Bastards and Broken Things"
Ned looks to a book for clues to the death of his predecessor, and uncovers one of King Robert's (Mark Addy) bastards. Robert and his guests witness a tournament honoring Ned. Jon takes measures to protect Samwell (John Bradley) from further abuse at Castle Black; a frustrated Viserys clashes with Daenerys in Vaes Dothrak; Sansa (Sophie Turner) imagines her future as a queen, while Arya envisions a far different future. Catelyn rallies her husband's allies to make a point, while Tyrion finds himself caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Episode #5: "The Wolf and the Lion"
Incensed over news of Daenerys' alliance with the Dothrakis, Robert orders a preemptive strike on the Targaryens that drives a wedge in his relationship with Ned. A captive Tyrion helps Catelyn, but receives a cold reception at the Eyrie from her sister, John Arryn's widow Lysa (Kate Dickie). Sansa is charmed by the dashing Ser Loras Tyrell (Finn Jones), aka the Knight of Flowers. Arya overhears a plot against her father.

Episode #6: "A Golden Crown"
Reinstated as the Hand, Ned sits for the King while Robert is on a hunt, and issues a decree that could have long-term consequences throughout the Seven Kingdoms. At the Eyrie, Tyrion confesses to his "crimes," and demands that Lysa give him a trial by combat. Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) apologizes to Sansa; Viserys receives his final payment for Daenerys from Drogo (Jason Mamoa).

Episode #7: "You Win or You Die"
Explaining that the future of the Lannisters is at stake, Tywin (Charles Dance) presses Jaime to "be the man you were meant to be" as they prepare for battle. Ned confronts Cersei about the secrets that killed Jon Arryn. With the fate of the missing Benjen (Joseph Mawle) very much on his mind, Jon Snow takes his Night's Watch vows, though not with the assignment he coveted. After Ser Jorah (Iain Glenn) saves Daenerys from treachery, an enraged Drogo vows to lead the Dothraki where they've never gone before. An injured Robert takes pains to ensure an orderly transition at King's Landing.


For some extra spoiler-y context, check the link. [ScreenRant]

Mark Addy discusses his character, King Robert Barantheon:

"The thing about Robert is that he's not really a kingly king. He's really a guy, a warrior, a soldier who happens to find himself in a position of power. He'd much rather be with the lads. That's his roots, his heritage...Well, in the day he was a handsome, strong, powerful warrior but there's been a lot of water under the bridge since then...

"It's complicated because there is what Robert thinks he knows, which is that [his beloved Lyanna Stark] was abducted by Rhaegar Targaryen and raped and murdered. That is the cause of his deep-seated hatred of all things Targaryen, that's why the Targaryens must die. But that's not necessarily the whole story...

"Being in that position of power, it's very easy to take your eye off the ball and discover that you've actually surrounded yourself with enemies. There's only one man that you can trust and that's Ned. By making him the Hand of the king, you're bringing your best friend into the same danger that you're in."


There's more at the link. [TV Guide]

True Blood

Here's a couple preview clips for season four. [Daemon's TV]


Here's the description for episode 23, "Chuck vs. the Final Details."

CHUCK AND SARAH RACE TO SAVE CHUCK'S MOM IN TIME FOR THEIR WEDDING DAY – LAUREN COHAN, MEKENNA MELVIN, RAY WISE AND LINDA HAMILTON GUEST STAR - Chuck (Zachary Levi) and Sarah's (Yvonne Strahovski) wedding prep includes one final detail: ensuring that the mother-of-the-groom (guest star Linda Hamilton) makes it to the ceremony alive. Meanwhile, Morgan's (Joshua Gomez) responsibilities as Best Man include his most dangerous mission yet, as he faces Vivian Volkoff (guest star Lauren Cohan). Elsewhere, Ellie (Sarah Lancaster) tends to the last details of the rehearsal dinner and seeks help from an unlikely source.



The Event

Here's a description for episode 20, "One Will Live, One Will Die", which airs May 9:

DOUBLE AGENT WITH A COUNTER AGENT — ROGER BART GUEST STARS — With doubt still surrounding the tragedy at the White House, Sterling (Željko Ivanek) encounters an unlikely ally in Simon (Ian Anthony Dale), who risks his life to return with a possible antidote. Against the wishes of Chief of Staff Richard Peel (guest star Roger Bart, "Desperate Housewives"), Jarvis (Bill Smitrovich) authorizes an air strike to neutralize them. Meanwhile, Sophia (Laura Innes) continues on her diabolical plan to exterminate the human race, now with the help of an unwitting accomplice — Leila (Sarah Roemer). Elsewhere, Sean (Jason Ritter) and Vicky (Taylor Cole) try to prevent the deaths of many thousands of innocent people.




Here's a promo for episode 19, "Mommy Dearest."

Executive producer Sera Gamble discusses the big two-part finale:

"We heard pretty early that we should be prepared for them to air on the same night. We had so many threads to tie up this season, we didn't end up telling one story that stretches over two episodes. Instead, they work as companion pieces and separate episodes.


She also explained what these final episodes show us about Dean:

"He started this season completely out of the hunting life, and he has a lot of fears about the worst version of himself in that situation - who he could turn into and the bad he could do to other people. There's a reason he has so few people in his life, and it's because he has a lot of fears about what he could bring into their lives – what he could do to them. He has to face that in this episode. We look at those issues through a Supernatural lens, which is fun because then they get really bloody." [Laughs]



Stargate Universe

Here are descriptions for the final three episodes:

EPILOGUE (April 25)
Returning the settlers to their home planet Novus, the Destiny crew discover the planet has been abandoned and on the verge of seismic destruction.

Alien drones create a blockade of viable power sources forcing Destiny to recharge in a star so hot it could destroy the ship.

GAUNTLET (May 9 – Series Finale)
Blocked by Command Ships at every star and unable to gate for supplies without alerting the drones, Destiny must take a stand or be left adrift.




Here are some photos from episode 13, "One Night." [Daemon's TV]


Here's a promo for episode 19, "Dominion."

The Cape

NBC has now confirmed that the show is, in fact, cancelled. Just in case anyone was still wondering... [SpoilerTV]


Additional reporting by Michael Ann Dobbs and Charlie Jane Anders.




The Old Spice commercials are a riot, but I'd much rather have a more established black actor in the role of Luke Cage/Power Man. I like Kevin Grevioux for the role.

Oh, and for the record, Mustafa, The Black Panther was not a blaxploitation character. Neither was the Falcon, as initially conceived. He only became one, years later, when they ruined his origin.