Today there's a wild rumor about Lex Luthor's Batman v. Superman ambitions. Plus a possible director for Ready Player One, and some information tying the new Bond movie to Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace. Plus, James Brolin talks Thanos, and Oscar Isaac talks Star Wars and X-Men: Apocalypse. Spoilers now!
Top image: Guardians of the Galaxy
Last week, the news broke that Roberto Orci won't be directing the next Star Trek movie after all. The question now is why he's being replaced, even if he is staying on as a producer. Badass Digest's sources say that the reason may be Orci's (and Patrick McKay and J.D. Payne's) script. The story reportedly had the Enterprise, the Vulcans, and another set of aliens racing to get their hands on a time travel device, with the Vulcans wanting to undo the destruction of their planet. This time travel plot is what would have justified Shatner's cameo as Future Kirk.
And Badass Digest's sources say the script was definitely one of the problem factors — and that the production was shut down last month while Paramount fought with Orci over whether to go back to time travel so soon after the 2009 movie. Writer Devin Faraci also tweeted that he's hearing this storyline is out the window, and they're possibly starting from scratch with a new script. [Badass Digest via Screenrant]
Batman v. Superman
On top of the existing rumor that Batman v. Superman features the death of the President of the United States, there's speculation that Amanda Waller could be Lex Luthor's running mate as he runs for President. Which, if true, would mean that Waller would have to be cast soon, not just for the upcoming Suicide Squad movie, but also for Batman v. Superman. [Moviepilot]
In an interview with IGN, Oscar Isaac talked a little bit about the prep he did before getting into an X-Wing:
I did a little bit on a simulator, just for a day, but ultimately it was more about my imagination. I remember some of my prep was getting a little ship and just playing in my room with it and thinking about the things I used to say when I was doing that.
... It's funny, because I spoke to Harrison before [shooting]. He was just like, 'Whenever you wanna go up, we'll fly.' I was like, 'That's amazing!' Then, scheduling-wise, we couldn't find the time to do that. Ultimately, he was like, 'Well, you know, it's space. So it's a little different when you're flying in atmosphere.' At the time, I don't think he'd done much flying, way back when he was first Han Solo.
He also commented on one the things that has been a major factor in making what little we've seen of the film look so good: the practical effects. Said Isaac:
There was just so much love poured into it and so much care. The thing is, when you rely on the latest technology to tell your story — and that's it — that dates. It can date badly. Whereas, when you actually make the stuff, I think there's something about that that is a little bit more ageless.
Issac also said that, as in the original trilogy, there was a little room for the actors to tinker with the words:
If you watch Harrison Ford in [the originals], he doesn't give a f***, you know? [Laughs] He's just being a real person. He's funny. You can even hear little ad-libs and things like that... [It's similar on this film]. There's less of a formality, I think.
I think the biggest thing, the most important part of the story, is the emotional aspect of it. I think that's what most of us were keyed into: 'What is the emotion of the thing?' The spectacle is secondary to that.
More at the link. [ IGN]
James Brolin opened up on why he took the role of Thanos:
"I love the idea of Thanos," says Brolin. "…Ultimately, it's Thanos against everyone. Why wouldn't you do that?"
Brolin also cited a certain Marvel Studios Co-President (and two-time "Marvel One-Shot" director) as the man responsible for getting him to sign on.
"Thanos came along because of my good friend Louis D'Esposito," Brolin continues. "…He and I used to train together. We did 'Hollow Man' together. He called me up and started talking about this thing. It was nice because I could intimately talk to him about it. What I liked. What I didn't like about the whole idea of it… It was really exciting because of the possibilities that it could be come. Not as an idea or as a blockbuster, but just as something different. It's a character mentality."
[ Coming Soon]
Looks like we have an answer to the question about whether or not the dangling Quantum plotline would just disappear from the Daniel Craig movies. It'll be back in some fashion in Spectre, as Jesper Christensen confirmed that he will return as Mr. White, telling the Danish press, "It is a truly exciting script and a very capable team. So it'll be fun."
Here are some interviews with the cast from the announcement event last week. And a bit more about the plot:
In the movie, a cryptic message from Bond's past sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister organisation. While M battles political forces to keep the secret service alive, Bond peels back the layers of deceit to reveal the terrible truth behind SPECTRE.
Ready Player One
A number of names have been rumored for the director's chair for the film adaptation of Ernest Cline's Ready Player One. First, The Tracking Board had the news that Christopher Nolan had been approached about directing this film by Warner Bros. Then, Ain't It Cool News said that he's on list of potential directors which also includes Matthew Vaughn, Edgar Wright, Peter Jackson, and Robert Zemeckis (who is reportedly the first choice). [Ain't It Cool, Den of Geek]
Oscar Issac's also talking about his role as Apocalypse, explaining what he and Bryan Singer have discussed so far:
In the early conversations we talked a lot about that [Apocalypse's distinct point of view and agenda]," he said. "Of course, you read the comic book, and [Apocalypse is] not so shaded with gray — except his face. [Laughs] That's the only thing gray about him.
... Just as Bryan's done with the other films, I think he seeks to find something a little more interesting than the archetypal aspects of the characters, which work really well in print, but for a film I think you want to see a bit more of the — for lack of a better word — humanity in [Apocalypse]; because ultimately this is a story about humans.
He then talked about what he'd love to see from the Age of Apocalypse comics in the film:
I don't really know how they're going to put all that together or exactly what characters, or how that's going to work. But I know Angel and Archangel in particular were some of my favorite characters in that storyline. That was such a cool and dark storyline. I think that would be a cool thing to see on film.
Passengers, the Black List-written script by Jon Spaihts — whom we've spoken to about the project — has gotten a second life in the hands of Sony. The Weinstein Company originally bought it in 2012, and previously had Keanu Reeves and Reese Witherspoon (and after she left, Rachel McAdams) attached to star. Sony's version will start from scratch, since neither the actors nor director Brian Kirk are still a part of the project. [Deadline]
In addition to the change of directors, Luke Evans is also leaving the project, saying:
No, at the minute The Crow is not, not for me, I think it's a little… I mean I'm sure it's going to go ahead at some point, but I have other projects that are greenlit and ready to go and projects that I'm very interested in and you know, I can't wait much longer! [laughs]
The Babadook 2
Director Jennifer Kent is adamant that no sequels will be made, telling IGN:
Well, the good news is, I had the foresight to make sure that my producer and I owned the rights to any sequels. The reason for that is I will never allow any sequel to be made, because it's not that kind of film. I don't care how much I'm offered, it's just not going to happen. [Laughs]
Nottingham & Hood
Disney has bought the script for Nottingham & Hood, from first-time writer Brandon Barker. It supposedly a telling of the Robin Hood story which has a Pirates of the Caribbean tone. Sony also has a Robin Hood film in the makes, having bought a pitch by Cory Goodman and Jeremy Lott earlier this year. [Deadline]
The 5th Wave
On Friday, in Kennesaw Georgia, the film reportedly shot an "intense" arrival at a military base. Which also lines up with set photos from Just Jared Jr. showing star Chloe Grace Moretz on set in camouflage. [Just Jared Jr., Fashion & Style]
The Divergent Series: Insurgent
While the trailer won't hit until Friday, we do have the first official still from the film. [Coming Soon]
What's On TV has a preview of this year's Christmas episode, which Peter Capaldi says has a very scary Santa:
It's a rather clever Christmas episode as it's festive and jolly but also terrifying. While Santa being on Clara's roof should be an excuse for happiness, it's actually a nightmarish development, and only the Doctor knows why. It's the scariest Christmas adventure so far.
Kids will be delighted to know Santa remains intact. He's not a robot or an alien - he's the real, genuine Santa Claus!
There's also a quote from Nick Frost, who plays Santa, saying that the two characters have a history:
There's a long-standing beef. You never know why, but from the get-go they're kind of at each other's throats.
Executive producer Michael Narducci explained what the midseason finale will reveal about the connection between Hayley and Klaus:
There's a really interesting connection that they have, and Klaus will [learn] what Hayley is going to do in order to help and free her people. Klaus is a strategic, visionary master manipulator, and I think he knows that Hayley marrying Jackson and these werewolves gaining power and forming an alliance and Hayley having control of those werewolves is a much better situation than Finn having control of the werewolves. So, it's to the benefit not only to the Mikaelson family, but his child, if Hayley goes through with this wedding. At the same time, Klaus in his devious way knows Hayley might be a little reluctant to engage in that wedding because of her lingering feelings for Elijah. So I think Klaus' perspective... is wanting the mother of his child to not have another husband because that husband might be a threat to his role as sole father to Baby Hope. But he knows that strategically there are alliances to be made.
He also hinted at some giant plotlines that will be set up for the rest of the season, one involving the after-effects of Elijah's torture and one about Freya:
There's a big storyline going forward for Elijah where he's having a hard time keeping control of what Esther has unleashed within him. True to form, Elijah realizes this red door, this capacity to violence, is something he's been able to control for 1,000 years and he might not be able to control it anymore. So he has to figure out how to control it, if there's a way to control it, and if there's a way to his benefit to let that door swing open and use his ferocity as an advantage against those who have threatened his family. What cost might that have if he were to do so? Elijah will always behave in the most noble way, but he is a vampire and there's a cost to that existence which Elijah will have to explore.
... There is a huge storyline coming up that's going to address [Esther's first child Freya and her deal with Dalia]. There will be subtle hints of that in [this] episode for the careful viewer who really watches the show and asks the right questions.
Here's the producer's preview for the midseason finale:
The below photo, posted to Who Say by John Barrowman, seems to show him being fitted for a mask.
A set photo shows the return of Peter Stomare, who played Werner Zytle (AKA Count Vertigo). He's in a prison jumpsuit, so are we thinking an escape might be in his future? [via SpoilerTV]
At the link, see the cast speculate on Harrison Wells' motives/levels of evil. [TV Guide]
Tomorrow's midseason finale is going to run two minutes over. Here's the synopsis of "The Man In the Yellow Suit":
Barry (Grant Gustin) finds himself face-to-face with his nemesis, the man in the yellow suit, a.k.a. Reverse Flash, who killed his mother. Barry is frustrated when the Reverse Flash escapes, but Dr. Wells (Tom Cavanagh) and Cisco (Carlos Valdes) come up with a plan to trap him. All they need is bait, so they turn to Dr. Tina McGee (guest star Amanda Pays) from Mercury Labs to help.
Meanwhile, it's Christmas at The West household and Iris (Candice Patton) is in full holiday cheer. Eddie (Rick Cosnett) gives her a surprising gift but also leaves her with a question that could change her life. Joe (Jesse L. Martin) joins the search for the man in yellow and ends up in the crossfire. Plus, Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) finds Ronnie (Robbie Amell).
Stan Lee will make his obligatory cameo in episode 4 of Agent Carter. [Comic Book Movie]
Simon Barry tweeted a picture of binary code on twitter, which translates to "December is the new November." Which seems to mean that we'll finally find out this month if the show has been renewed. [Seriable]
Agents of SHIELD
Head to the link for a sneak peek at tomorrow's midseason finale. [Entertainment Weekly]
American Horror Story
Person of Interest
Additional reporting by Charlie Jane Anders and Abhimanyu Das