Plus, read a possible description of Max van Sydow's Force Awakens character. Roberto Orci talks clears up some Star Trek rumors, Mark Ruffalo hints at a big mistake from Bruce Banner in Avengers: Age of Ultron, and Robert Kirkman trolls us with a possible huge death in The Walking Dead. Spoilers now!
Top image: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Time for the usual pack of Star Wars rumors, so grains of salt, take these as speculation, et cetera, et cetera:
First up, there's an anonymously-sourced report that the first standalone movie will be about Han Solo and that its production will overlap a bit with Episode VIII. Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad) is supposedly attached to this film, but he may or may not be playing a young Han. And the code name is supposedly "Luminac Industrial Goods." [Making Star Wars]
In the more likely to be true column: word is the standalone film will move into London's Pinewood Studio as the 24th James Bond film, Spectre, vacates it. [Making Star Wars]
And now for The Force Awakens: The usual descriptions of possible concept art for today include Max von Sydow's character, the tri-wing, and one we've definitely heard about before, which has Darth Vader standing in for the film's version.
The drawing of Max von Sydow is "clearly" him, so it was either made after he was cast or he was always the inspiration for the character. He's described as wearing:
He does not have any cybernetic implants upon his face, nor is there makeup of any sort; he wears a dark robe with a grayish tunic running across half his torso. The art is largely dark so it's hard to determine much detail. He's seated, leaning slightly forward with his hands folded, with a faint smile on his face. "Menacing" is not at all the vibe I would say I get from his character in the slightest – he looks more like a grandfather, ready to listen to a story his grandchildren have to tell him. In fact, our source describes him as having "an 'Obi Wan' vibe" to his character.
... He appears to be seated in a dark room with several dark-orange and bright-yellow lights illuminating the place. While I'd say it looks kind of like the Carbonite Chamber from Bespin, I think it would be more accurate to say that it would probably look more like an "employees only" area of a Cantina – in most ways, the one on Tatooine from A New Hope, and in a few others, the ones on Coruscant in Attack Of The Clones. Behind him appears to be a monitor of some kind – it's giving off steam in the top-right corner. I'd imagine that it's for work purposes and not for leisure, but it's impossible to tell what it's used for considering that I can't see anything on the monitor. This description actually fits with what we've heard from some time now – no major character in the movie will be a cyborg.
The tri-wing is red and grey and is described as a "mashup between an A-wing, a B-wing, and the Droid Tri-fighter" which looks most like a B-Wing. It has an X-Wing-like cockpit, with a wedge stuck to the front pointing down. Here's more of the description:
It has three large engines and three guns that are slightly larger than those of a B-wing. If the ship were flying directly at you, it would look exactly like the front side of a B-wing, but with heavy artillery and more massive engines on the sides perpendicular to the cockpit. To put it more accurately, one of the engines is where the B-wing cockpit would be stationed, while the actual cockpit is just to the side of the wings with the other two engines.
... I should note that the engines seem to split into semicircular exhaust ports, much like the new generation of starfighters that we saw in the trailer. One of the three guns is fairly close to the cockpit, while the other two are closer to the center. Behind these guns is something that resembles a sail, and is the part of the ship that resembles an A-wing – it's relatively flat. I'm presuming that this sail is used to explain how this thing lands, because it doesn't seem to have any technical purpose to the ship otherwise, and I'm having a hard time visualizing how this ship gets on and off the ground.
And it looks like Star Wars 7 news has seen the same bit of Vader-based concept art Making Star Wars saw a while ago. However, their source says the scene is of stormtroopers burning down a rebel base, rather than the village it looks like is being attacked. [Star Wars 7 News]
The rumor about a dark Luke Skywalker, and his failure to kill the character who ends up being the major villain of the later films, won't go away. There's also apparently several bits of concept art on the theme of a cloaked cyborg reverently holding Darth Vader's helmet. In two of them, the setting looks like a smaller version of Vader's health pod from The Empire Strikes Back. In one piece, the cyborg is a white male with a black mask that leaves his mouth uncovered and a red cybernetic eye. In another piece, the black mask parts are clearly bits taken from a Darth Vader mask. In the first, the mask is the mask set on fire on Endor in Return of the Jedi in good condition and in the second it is melted and deformed.
It has Anakin Skywalker's robot arm in both pieces. Making Star Wars thinks the character is most likely Rylo Ken, the lightsaber-igniting, cloak-wearer we saw in the trailer. [Making Star Wars via Slashfilm]
In the recent Force for Change "thank you" video, the 7" 1" actor Ian Whyte makes an appearance. He has the build to play a Wookie and looks like he might be wearing the gear in the video. It seems as though he might be a double doing the more physical Chewbacca work for Peter Mayhew. [Making Star Wars via Slashfilm]
And, finally, what may be the list of LEGO sets appearing in stores next year has leaked:
75091 Flash Speeder™
75092 Naboo Starfighter™
75093 Death Star™ Final Duel
75094 Imperial Shuttle Tydirium™
75099 Star Wars Wolf 1
75102 Star Wars Wolf 4
75103 Star Wars Wolf 5
75104 Star Wars Wolf 6
75105 Star Wars Wolf 7
75106 Imperial Assault Carrier™
75100 Star Wars Wolf 2
75101 Star Wars Wolf 3
It seems to be that "Wolf" is a placeholder for names, but it could be that the Rebels sets are related to the Classic sets with the same name. [Geek Gusher]
With the comment on Trek Movie that he's "producing, nothing more or less," Roberto Orci seems to have confirmed that his script isn't being used, and they're basically starting over from scratch. This makes sense, if there's any truth to the rumors about Paramount's dissatisfaction with his script being the reason he was removed as director. He also answered the question of "Is there any hope for a good Trek movie?" with "I won't lie, I don't know yet, but the story we are talking about would be awesome, hang in there!" [Slashfilm]
Avengers: Age of Ultron
In an interview with Total Film, Mark Ruffalo hinted that Bruce Banner might have a hand in the Ultron mess, saying:
Banner's been living in Stark Tower. They've been working side by side, and Bruce has his own lab now. He's doing work that augments Tony's own, which could lead to an experiment going wrong...
He adds that "His relationship with Natasha deepens. There's something similar about the two of them. I see them as lost souls. They're kindred in some ways." As for the relationship between Banner and the Hulk, Ruffalo says:
He does feel more comfortable with himself. His confidence is getting better. But, you know, that gets shaken. His ability to handle the Hulk really gets thrown into question in this film. The hard part is coming back. Hulk doesn't want to cede his place. It's much harder to come back from being Hulk than it is to get into him.
... I think there's a whole other chapter we haven't seen yet where you find the other nuances within him. The battle of identity going on between him and Banner is all about establishing dominance. The only thing that Hulk is really afraid of is Banner. That's an interesting dynamic.
Jared Leto posted an old photo of himself with a shorter haircut, with the comment that it's his 2015 haircut. Since Suicide Squad films next year, this could be his Joker hairstyle. [Comic Book Movie]
The Walking Dead
Here's a photo shared by Spoiling Dead Fans of new buildings being built on the set in Senoia, GA. [Spoiling Dead Fans]
And here's a recent interview with creator Robert Kirkman where he trolls us all on who will live and die in the rest of the season, saying that nobody is safe. "Looking at you, Norman Reedus." [CNN]
There's more speculation about whether or not Oliver really died in the midseason finale, with Entertainment Weekly pointing out that the promo shows Oliver's body on the edge of a snowy cliff, so he could be clinging to life there. Or, they also point out, that Ra's al Ghul states that he was last challenged "67 years ago," and he looks much better than that would imply. Could the show have been hinting even then at the existence of a Lazarus pit? [Entertainment Weekly]
Exdcutive producer Caroline Dries talked about Sheriff Forbes' cancer:
Well, that's the whole tragedy of cancer; it's random and unexpected. And that's what we were trying to say with this. Our show is all about death — trying to prevent death, avoiding death, and beating death. Then, all of a sudden you get this very human illness and it's like, 'Oh! What do we do now?' Currently there is no obvious cure for the Sheriff's cancer, and that was the whole point of doing this now and having it be a curveball in the middle of the season.
Once Upon a Time
Executive producer Adam Horowitz and Eddy Kitsis said that we will get more of the Knave/Will Scarlett's backstory in the second half of season 4. They also said that curse on the town line will be a big problem in the "near turn" and reminds us that the right instruments can lead people to Storybrooke. They also answered "can't say" or "maybe" to whether there would be another pregnancy, the identity of the Black Fairy ("Someday we will"), seeing King Triton's kingdom, Hook having a past with Ursula, Regina discovering that the Knave knew her mother, seeing Belle's mother again, seeing Rumplestiltskin going to Camelot, whether the book can be rewritten to reverse deaths, and whether the Sorcerer is the writer.
We will see a Hook flashback, meet the Sorcerer, find out what happened to those in the hat, and Hook will seek revenge on Rumplestiltskin. [Entertainment Weekly]
And here's a tiny bit of dialogue from the midseason premiere:
It appears that the release date on Netflix will be May 1st, as Marvel is releasing a behind-the-scenes book in May to go with the show. A screenshot of Netflix seems to put the date at May 1st. Granted, it's not the shot that appears when I tried to look it up on Netflix, but maybe it's a region thing or there's been a change since then. [Bleeding Cool]
Here's a featurette on Mill House. [via SpoilerTV]
Go here for photos from episode 1.11, "Rogues Gallery," which has this synopsis:
ET. GORDON REPORTS TO DUTY AT ARKHAM ON AN ALL-NEW "GOTHAM" MONDAY, JANUARY 5, ON FOX
Det. Gordon's assignment at Arkham Asylum gets off to a rocky start when the murder of a guard ignites an investigation, leading him to meet Dr. Leslie Thompkins (guest star Morena Baccarin, "Homeland"). Meanwhile, Cobblepot continues to build his army in the all new "Rogues' Gallery" episode of GOTHAM airing Monday, Jan. 5 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (GTH-111) (TV-14 L, S, V)
Cast: Ben McKenzie as Detective James Gordon, Donal Logue as Harvey Bullock, Jada Pinkett Smith as Fish Mooney, Sean Pertwee as Alfred, Robin Lord Taylor as Oswald Cobblepot/The Penguin, Erin Richards as Barbara Kean, David Mazouz as Bruce Wayne, Camren Bicondova as Selina Kyle/the future Catwoman, Zabryna Guevara as Captain Sarah Essen, Cory Michael Smith as Edward Nygma/the future Riddler, Victoria Cartagena as Renee Montoya, Andrew Stewart Jones as Crispus Allen, John Doman as Carmine Falcone
Guest Cast: Morena Baccarin as Dr. Leslie Thompkins, Drew Powell as Butch Gilzean, David Zayas as Maroni, Allyce Beasley as Dorothy Duncan, Isiah Whitlock Jr. as Gerry Lang, Kyle Massey as Mackey, Christopher Heyerdahl as Jack Gruber, Kevin McCormick as Aaron Helzinger, Anthony Grasso as Ganza
And here are a bunch of clips from the episode. [via Gotham Site]
Additional reporting by Charlie Jane Anders and Abhimanyu Das