Simon Kinberg insists that the movie versions of the X-Men and the Fantastic Four do not actually share a universe after all. Han Solo will be a "co-lead" in Star Wars: Episode VII. And the Walking Dead set is full of carnage and torture. Spoilers now!
Top image: Doctor Who
X-Men: Days of Future Past
Simon Kinberg discussed how he juggled so many characters in this script, saying:
I don't think I've ever seen a movie with this many lead roles. That was the biggest challenge, was just keeping all of the characters straight in their own stories, and making sure that everybody had their own emotional arc over the span of the movie… I had colored notecards on the wall, different colors for each character… But that kept it straight for me, because I could look at the board and see each of their stories broken up separately.
And Peter Dinklage talked about Bolivar Trask and how he's not a villain in his own mind:
Define villain. [He's] more like a highfalutin actor thing of not judging your character, seeing them as a villain. He really believes he's doing the right thing. He wants to save humankind, worldwide.
Here's a video profile of Mystique. [Coming Soon]
Entertainment Weekly has an article on the casting process which singles out Harrison Ford as a "co-lead" and equal to "three of the younger actors." Also in the article is the information that George Lucas brought Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, and Ford into the mix even before Lucasfilm was sold to Disney. Hamill and Fisher's roles are not "co-leads" the way that Ford is, but they do have "significant" roles. Finally, J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan have "overhauled" the original script by Michael Arndt. [Blastr]
Simon Kinberg is not only involved in Days of Future Past, he's also writing the Fantastic Four reboot. But he says the two films take place in "discrete universes." Kinberg said that he couldn't talk about content, but addressed whether or not they'd be doing another origin story by comparing the Fantastic Four films to the Spider-Man ones:
I guess I'll say this: People have a very different relationship to the Fantastic Four movies than they had to Raimi's Spider-Man movies. And Raimi's Spider-Man movies — and that first Spider-Man movie — is a beloved movie that sort of redefined, tonally, sort of what comic book movies could do. There had been other superhero movies, like 'X-Men,' but Raimi's Spider-Man had a joyfulness to it that was unique, I think, to the genre. So, rebooting a movie that was beloved less than ten years after it had come out is challenging. So, we approach 'Fantastic Four' with a different set of challenges.
. . . I can tell you this: Our version, the 'Fantastic Four' movie we're making differs than those other films. And I think where it starts — and where I think superhero movies define themselves — is not in plot and character, but in tone. And the tone of our 'Fantastic Four' movie is so different than those other films. And I actually think, more importantly, different from other superhero movies.
It's like, there's a spectrum, tonally, from like Raimi's 'Spider-Man' to Josh Trank's 'Chronicle' movie. We're on the spectrum, but between those two movies. And I would say, I don't know where the needle turns, but we are in-between those films. On the other side of 'Chronicle' is probably like, 'X-Men' is around there with the darkness. And then 'The Dark Knight' is the darkest. And on the other side is 'Spider-Man' — the original 'Fantastic Four' movies are probably on the other side of the goofiness. So, we're somewhere in-between the joyfulness of Raimi's 'Spider-Man' movies and the reality and drama of Josh's 'Chronicle.'
Terry Jones' comedy about a teacher (Simon Pegg) who is given godlike powers from aliens and has a talking dog (Robin Williams, of course) has finished filming. Here's Jones describing the film in his own words:
It's about a man called Neil, a teacher in a sink secondary school, who gets given magic powers by aliens. And he doesn't know he's got them in the beginning, so though he can make anything happen, he doesn't realise until, well, his colleague says, 'What would you do if you could do anything?' and Neil responds with, 'I'd make an alien spaceship hit class 4C and vaporise them.'
Then there's an explosion in the school, and they run to 4C's classroom, open the door and there's a vast hole in the ground.
He turns the TV on when he gets home, and starts watching with his dog Dennis. He's still saying to himself, 'It can't be true...' To make his day worse, it turns out Dennis has done a couple of poos on the floor. Neil says, 'I wouldn't be clearing up this mess, if I could do anything. I'd say: "Dog mess, clear yourself up." And the dog mess quivers, then goes up on two little fat legs and jumps into the loo.
In addition to the announcement that the film has wrapped, a photo of Pegg and his talking dog was released. See it below. [Empire]
Transformers 4: Age of Extinction
We've finally got some details about how the dinobots will be involved in the film. Says Mark Wahlberg:
If you look at the Hasbro library of characters, there are some that are incredibly beloved and these are examples of that. They're natural candidates to bring into our new-look version of the franchise. They fans are crazy for these guys. They've had a lot of attention historically so we knew that whenever we brought them in it would be met with a huge reaction. The way the Dinobots come to life is spectacular. They're not the easiest bunch to control, either. It's pretty awesome how they evolved, how they took the form of those dinosaurs. Then to see what Optimus has to do to get them to comply and save humanity, it's pretty incredible. They have everything (when asked if they have weapons from the cartoons and comics). Everything you can imagine. They're giant dinosaurs that are also robots... What's not to love about that?
Jack Reynor, who plays Shane, added,
And they run around blowing shit up, just generally being crazy. I think if there's anybody in the world who can bring robot dinosaurs to life and can make them incredibly cool, it's Michael Bay. I think [audiences'] minds are going to be blown when they see them on the screen.
Here are some new images. [Coming Soon]
Scouts Vs. Zombies
Paramount's announced that this film has started filming in Los Angeles. Here's the official description of the film:
HOLLYWOOD, CA (May 12, 2014) – Paramount Pictures announced today that principal photography on "SCOUTS VS. ZOMBIES" has commenced in Los Angeles. The film is directed by Christopher Landon ("PARANORMAL ACTIVITY: THE MARKED ONES").
The screenplay from Landon is based on Lona Williams ("DROP DEAD GORGEOUS," "The Drew Carey Show") and Etan Cohen's ("MEN IN BLACK 3," "TROPIC THUNDER") draft of an original script from Emi Mochizuki & Carrie Evans ("COLLEGE ROAD TRIP"). Todd Garner ("PAUL BLART: MALL COP," "INTO THE STORM") and Andy Fickman ("PARENTAL GUIDANCE," "RACE TO WITCH MOUNTAIN") will produce, with Bryan Brucks ("BLENDED"), Sean Robins ("INTO THE STORM") and Samson Mucke ("PARANORMAL ACTIVITY: THE MARKED ONES") serving as executive producers.
Tye Sheridan ("MUD," "DARK PLACES"), Logan Miller ("I'M IN THE BAND," "NIGHT MOVES"), and newcomer Joey Morgan are three scouts who, on the eve of their last camp out, discover the true meaning of friendship when they attempt to save their town from a zombie outbreak.
Rounding out the cast is Sarah Dumont ("DON JON") as Denise, David Koechner ("ANCHORMAN: THE LEGEND OF RON BURGUNDY," "ANCHORMAN 2: THE LEGEND CONTINUES") as Scout Leader Rogers, Cloris Leachman ("THE LAST PICTURE SHOW," "Raising Hope") as Ms. Fielder, Halston Sage ("NEIGHBORS," "THE BLING RING") as Kendall, and Patrick Schwarzenegger ("DEAR ELEANOR," "STUCK IN LOVE") as Jeff.
Prisoner of War
Alex Russell (Chronicle) is in negotiations to star alongside Berenice Marlohe (Skyfall) in Prisoner of War. If the deal closes, Russell will play American soldier alongside Marlohe's French foreign aid worker. The two team up during an alien invasion set in the "in the war-ravaged African countryside." [Variety]
Noomi Rapace (Prometheus) joined the cast of this film, which takes place in a near future where some some people, called "brilliants," have heightend abilities. Will Smith stars as a guy who uses his abilities to hunt terrorists. David Koepp wrote the script from a novel by Marcus Sakey. [The Wrap]
Frequent J.J. Abrams and Pixar collaborator Michael Giacchino (Up) will provide the soundtrack for this dinosaur sequel as well. [THR]
An upcoming episode written by Peter Harness was described by Stephen Moffat this way:
For the first time since 1984, the Doctor Who production team is heading to Lanzarote. The Doctor is returning to the scene of an old adventure - but there have been sinister changes since his last visit.
As bluehinter pointed out on Observation Deck, the last episode in question was "Planet of Fire," when Lanzarote played both itself and the volcanic planet Sarn. It's more likely that the production is returning to Sarn, where the Doctor tangeled with the Master. And since we've heard from Sylvester McCoy that there will be a new, "very scary," Master coming, this could be the episode re-introducing the character.
The episode is also going to guest-star Hermione Norris (The Crimson Field), with Moffat saying: "It's a testament to the quality of Peter Harness's intense and emotional script, that we've been able to attract an actress of the brilliance of Hermione Norris." [Blogtor Who]
Speaking of the new season, Matt Smith's had a preview of what's coming, and he's impressed, saying:
I rang Steven Moffat up the other day and found out everything about the new series. It sounds really good! I was really jealous actually.
. . . [Capaldi] will be different, and it will be a different show and it will be a new show and that's what Doctor Who is about, and I've got to let it go. And the great thing about it is everyone has their own Doctor. So, hopefully, there's a few eight or nine-year-olds out there who I've claimed.
The Radio Times has a source saying nothing but good things about Capaldi and his chemistry with Jenna Coleman:
He is the oldest Doctor, and there is a sense he is more distanced from his assistant, more of a mystery.
He is perhaps less a mate, and someone she looks up to. She has to try and gauge him – but dramatically it's very satisfying and onscreen they work very well together.
There is a real buzz about this Doctor. And of course the monsters are great.
The Walking Dead
Season five is filming, and visitors to the set report "Chandler, Andrew, Norman, Lauren and Steven have all been seen on location so far at Terminus. Lots of screams, gunfire and some walkers."
Later reports described indoor filming: "Loud screams were heard. Not shouting/arguing/pleading tones. These were described by multiple people as 'torture' or something that sounded extremely bad."
Below is a photo of the Terminus set. [Wet Paint]
The new iteration of the old show got a description from NBC:
The saga behind the 2006 breakout series Heroes will continue as creator Tim Kring returns to the fold and develops new layers to his original superhero concept. This highly anticipated 13-episode miniseries will reconnect with the basic elements of the show's first season where ordinary people were waking up to the fact that they had extraordinary abilities. This series will be preceded by a new digital series that will introduce audiences to the new characters and storylines that will take the Heroes phenomenon to new places.
That pretty much sounds like just different characters set in the same world. [We Got This Covered]
Here's a cast photo of Fox's show about a thief taken from prison to serve an Egyptian pharaoh, causing him to deal with "palace intrigue, seductive concubines, criminal underbellies and divine sorcerers." From left to right, the photo below shows Antony Bunsee, Condola Rashad, Kelsey Chow (seated), Reece Ritchie, Max Brown, Caroline Ford, and John Rhys-Davies. [The Hollywood Reporter]
Cory Michael Smith (Edward Nygma), Victoria Cartagena (GCPD's Renee Montoya), and Andrew Stewart-Jones (GCPD's Crispus Allen) have been upped to cast regulars. The three actors originally only guest-starred in the pilot. [Deadline]
The 16-episode first season will air on Mondays at 8 pm. [Entertainment Weekly]
Here's the preview for episode two, "Seance." [via SpoilerTV]
Under the Dome
Additional reporting by Charlie Jane Anders and Madeleine Monson-Rosen