News on an updated Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves recasts the title character as "Allen." Steven Moffat explains what makes a good companion for the Doctor and whether they'd ever deviate from the current formula. Plus new details on Gotham's Harvey Dent, and the best-yet look at Lois Lane in Batman v. Superman. Spoilers now!
Top image: Doctor Who
According to Daily Mail columnist Baz Bamigboye, Christoph Waltz has signed on the play the villain in the next Bond film. That's not a giant stretch for Waltz, who has sort of specialized in genial monsters in a bunch of recent films. [Baz Bamigboye via Coming Soon]
Slashfilm has an excellent primer on Ragnarok as used in the Thor comics, and how this plotline could be worked into the movie universe. The takeaways seem to be that Surtur's appearance is a near certainty, Loki's going to play a big role, the question of where Odin is will play a big role, and that this could very well provide an out for Chris Hemsworth, as Thor kind-of-sort-dies in one version of this story. Hemsworth has said he has two Avengers movies and one Thor one left in his six-film contract, so we could be leading up to a story about Thor falling in the Part 1 of Infinity War. More at the link. [Slashfilm]
Batman v. Superman
From the set come rumors that the Wayne murders were filmed with IMAX cameras, which is interesting because there are only a few IMAX cameras in existence, meaning that only two films a year usually have access to them. [Slashfilm]
Ving Rhames has signed on to play the man tracking down a young stockbroker (Luke Goss) who is kidnapped on his honeymoon and programmed to be an assassin by a shadowy (is there any other kind?) intelligence agency. He escapes and seeks the help of a biology student who may be able to help him get back to normal. [Indiewire]
Paramount has bought the script ARES from Michael Starrbury. While details are scarce, it seems that ARES stands for "Allied Recovery of the Extraordinary and Supernatural" and that the tone is a Men In Black or Indiana Jones adventure tale that Paramount hopes will start a new franchise. [The Hollywood Reporter]
A source has told The Wrap that Lee Daniels will direct the demonic possession film. [The Wrap]
Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves
Shawn Levy has been hired by Fox to direct an updated version of the story, which is said to be a comedic adventure tale in the style of Guardians of the Galaxy. Liam Hemsworth (The Hunger Games), Dan Stevens (Downtown Abbey), and Evan Peters (X-Men: Days of Future Past) are said to be in contention to play Allen, the film's version of Ali Baba. [The Wrap]
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1
Here's a new TV spot. [via Coming Soon]
In a Q&A, Steven Moffat talked a lot about season 8, including the character of Missy and how she came about:
The idea came before the casting. I thought 'And she'll be a woman' then having said that, I then got lost for several months going 'and what does that mean? So what?' That's exactly the kind of gimmick I'm always saying you shouldn't do, so what does it mean? I've always said in the past we cast the person, you cast an individual, you don't cast a gender, that's bananas – as she would say.
Fortunately, I was grumping around the office one day and I found a list for another part and Michelle Gomez was on the list and I thought 'oh my God that would be brilliant, Michelle is the perfect person, I can write it now. I know what she's going to be like', only to discover they'd already offered her the other part. Fortunately she turned it down because she was busy - you assume when someone turns a part down because they're busy that they're lying and just don't want to work with you, because I know her and that would be a reasonable reaction - but then she sent me an email about a week later that said 'I'm so horrified I had to turn it down, I really really want to be in Doctor Who. If you ever have a part for a razor-cheekboned villainess…' and I thought right, that's so happening. I wouldn't even discuss anybody else. It had to be Michelle, and I think, going by the response, that was right.
That made sense of it, what really mattered is that we got an arch-enemy performance that I think matches the amazing Roger Delgado and John Simm, those are stellar performances and that's another one that's every bit as good. She's alarming and she's scary, she's extremely funny, and you still vaguely side with her when she kills harmless, likeable, defenceless people.
He also answered the question about why the show keeps going back to the young woman from present day Earth as companion:
As to changing it up with the companion, we actually have changed it up quite a lot, look how different those girls have been. Wait and see.
What we have is probably the most enduring form of the show and I think will always tend back to it for whatever reason, but there's no reason you couldn't tend away from it and there's no diktat or special rule book left by Verity Lambert or something. We absolutely could vary it. The times they've varied it, it makes them work hard - you can see them struggling with Leela. She was a great character but they had to civilise her fast because it was getting hard to fit her into stories - but it's not a hard and fast rule at all.
E.P. Marc Guggenheim said that the show's take on O.M.A.C. will not give Ray Palmer anything like Ted Kord's plotline with that project:
[F]or what it's worth, we dropped the O.M.A.C. Easter egg after we had already made the decision to go with Ray.
He also hinted that something from season one will be coming back soon:
We start with the season mapped out but then the closer we get to the end of th season, we've got to plant firmer flags in the sand. The picture that we developed back in June has got to come into greater focus. And we were talking about the next batch of episodes and we couldn't help ourselves; we started talking about Season Four and it was like, "No, no, no, we've got to finish Season Three first."
That's sort of the way the show has been done. We're actually working on an episode now that pays off something that we set up back in Season One, an idea we've always had and were holding in our back pocket for the right time. That, to me, is one of the joys of working on the show is we get to play the long game with a lot of these things, like with the Felicity episode last week, and when we finally get it out into the world, it's always really exciting.
Here's a post-show with Stephen Amell:
Here are the synopses for the Flash/Arrow crossover episodes:
PART ONE OF THE EPIC CROSSOVER EVENT WITH THE FLASH AND ARROW — Barry (Grant Gustin) is thrilled when Oliver (guest star Stephen Amell), Felicity (guest star Emily Bett Rickards) and Diggle (guest star David Ramsey) come to Central City to investigate a case involving a deadly boomerang. Excited about teaming up with his friend, Barry asks Oliver if he'd like to help him stop Ray Bivolo, the meta-human Barry is currently tracking. Bivolo causes people to lose control of their emotions and has been using that skill to rob banks. Unfortunately, the superhero partnership doesn't go as smoothly as Barry expected. When Oliver tells Barry he still has a lot to learn, Barry sets out to prove him wrong by attempting to stop Bivolo alone. However, when Bivolo infects Barry and sets him on a rage rampage, everyone is in danger, and the only one who can stop him is the Arrow. Meanwhile, Iris (Candice Patton) is furious when Eddie (Rick Cosnett) tries to get a task force to stop The Flash, Joe and Dr. Wells (Tom Cavanagh) agree the Arrow is a bad influence on Barry, and Caitlin and Cisco deal with a new team in S.T.A.R. Labs. Glen Winter directed the episode with story by Greg Berlanti & Andrew Kreisberg and teleplay by Ben Sokolowski & Brooke Eikmeier (#107).
PART TWO OF THE ARROW AND FLASH CROSSOVER EVENT — Oliver (Stephen Amell), Arsenal (Colton Haynes) and Diggle (David Ramsey) track down the location of a boomerang-wielding killer named Digger Harkness (guest star Nick Tarabay) but are surprised when they come face to face with an A.R.G.U.S. team. Diggle asks Lyla (guest star Audrey Marie Anderson) why A.R.G.U.S. is involved but she defers until Harkness attacks the building, killing several agents and targeting Lyla. The Arrow joins the fight and gets help from an old friend — The Flash (guest star Grant Gustin). Harkness manages to get away and Oliver teams up with Barry again to find him before he can get to Lyla. When Harkness plants five bombs in the city that are timed to explode at the same time, both teams must come together to save the city. Jesse Warn directed the episode with story by Greg Berlanti & Andrew Kreisberg and teleplay by Marc Guggenheim & Grainne Godfree Schwartz (#308).
Nicholas D'Agosto explained how his Harvey Dent will be different:
What's unique would be that this is the origin story so [the writers] have this freedom to follow their imagination for the foundation of this guy. I looked through what were the through-lines for Harvey Dent in his history and I thought it was really important to latch onto his early parental abuse by his father. What's nice about this origin story is that although he's going to look a little different than other pre-Two Face Harvey Dents, there's foreshadowing of his darker nature—there's going to be a little bit of that you're seeing early.
He also defended this show's controversial use of foreshadowing for its future Batman villains:
It's a facet of the television world. It's important to speak to a larger audience and to speak to have these kind of [touchstones] because people have their minds in so many different shows. Definitely from the first scene you'll see me flipping a coin. I hope it comes across like in Eckhart's version where it was used by Harvey as a tool to subtly manipulate people into getting his way.
Nicole Baharie says that Abbie and Ichabod will get "proactive" in getting ahead of Moloch and Henry this season. She also said that the next episode, "Mama," is a big one for Abbie and that "They basically have to go back into their past and [deal with things] they don't necessarily want to revisit." [Buddy TV]
Once Upon a Time
Elizabeth Mitchell explained why, in Sunday's two-hour episode, the Snow Queen is pitting Elsa against Emma:
She's just trying to find love, so it seems to me that throwing a bit of discord in there always helps people figure out who they really are. I've been playing her like a very angry preteen girl because I feel like she was self-aware in that urn for so many years, so I don't really see where she learned to grow up or any of that stuff. She's just doing it the best way she knows how. But it's so hard because you keep wanting to be like, "It's right in front of you! You have it already," but that's why we have all these great antagonists.
She added that this episode will explain how she got to this world and why she erased any memory of her previous time in Storybrooke. [Once Upon a Time]
Here's a teaser for the episode from EP Adam Horowitz:
Here's an interview with Cas Anvar, who's playing Alex in the Syfy adaptation of the James S.A. Corey novel. Among other things, he says that they've finished the first week of filming. [h/t Andrew Liptak]
Slias Weir Mitchell previewed the violence Monroe and Rosalee will face because of their "frowned upon" marriage:
TVLINE | The description for next week's episode says that the threats heat up.
Yes. There's violence. I hate giving stuff away but it's basically the intensity of the hatred really takes off. It becomes ugly. You see the ugliness of how people can be.
TVLINE | Does it put Monroe or Rosalee in danger of losing their lives?
Yes. It gets very serious.
TVLINE | Is there resolution by the end of the arc?
I don't even know. I mean, there's a resolution of a sort. I think it could go on for some time. It's a pretty rich vein. [Laughs] Hatred is a really great narrative tool.
Here are some dialogue teases from the premiere:
"I've done my best to guide you, but there are some things that you must see for yourself"
"Perhaps you have lost faith in your new Queen?"
"It seems our luck has run out"
"It's been many years since I left Atlantis, didn't know if I would ever return"
"It can only be a matter of time before word of this spreads"
"There is no-one else I can turn to"
"There are bigger things at stake than one man's life"
"If you're done playing the hero we have to get out of here, now!"
"It seems our destiny is to die following him on this suicide mission"
"You expect him to see sense but it strikes me that love is entirely nonsensical"
Here's a small bit of information on the CW show:
An early episode sees Liv put her co-worker Ravi in an awkward situation with her ex after lying about his living arrangements. What starts as an uncomfortable stand-off ends with the pair bonding over a shared hobby.
NBC's looking to reboot 1999's Frequency with Supernatural's Jeremy Carver hired to write the new show. The show'll follow an NYPD officer who talks to his son from 30 years in the future, as they work together to avert a disastrous future. [The Hollywood Reporter]
Photos from next week's "Danse Vaudou" give us the first look at Jim Corrigan. More at the link. [IGN]
The Walking Dead
The next episode will have Daryl and Carol see something from back in season 1 and proof that camping equipment and Walkers do not mix. [SpoilerTV]
Here's the synopsis for episode 10.08:
"Hibbing 911" — (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET) (Content Rating TBD) (HDTV)
JODY MILLS RETURNS — Jody Mills (guest star Kim Rhodes) reluctantly attends a mandatory sheriff's retreat and is partnered with an overeager sheriff named Donna (guest star Briana Buckmaster) who wants to bond. Just as Jody thinks things can't get any worse, a body with just strings of meat and skin hanging off the bones is discovered. While the local sheriffs blame an animal attack, Jody knows better and calls Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles). Tim Andrew directed this episode with teleplay by Jenny Klein and story by Jenny Klein & Phil Sgriccia (#1008). Original airdate 12/2/2014.
The Vampire Diaries
Here's the press release for episode 6.09:
"I Alone" — (8:00-9:00 p.m. ET) (Content Rating TBD) (HDTV)
A DEAL WITH THE DEVIL — Damon (Ian Somerhalder) finds himself in hot water after he carries out a plan that requires Alaric's (Matt Davis) unwilling participation. When Elena (Nina Dobrev) shares some hopeful news with Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) about Bonnie (Kat Graham), she is caught off guard by his reaction. Liv (guest star Penelope Mitchell) helps Damon and Elena with their plan to get Bonnie back, but when things take an unexpected turn, she's left with a difficult choice to make. Elsewhere, Matt (Zach Roerig) takes matters into his own hands when Enzo's (Michael Malarkey) actions cross the line, and Kai's (guest star Chris Wood) existence continues to be a dangerous threat. Paul Wesley and Michael Trevino also star. Kellie Cyrus directed the episode written by Brian Young & Holly Brix (#609). Original airdate 12/4/2014
Head to the link to see another photo of Rebekah's return. [TV Line]
American Horror Story
Below's a featurette on the sets:
Additional reporting by Charlie Jane Anders and Diana Biller