A new rumor claims Ben Affleck's Batman is finding love. Meanwhile, Billy Dee Williams has a pitch for Lando Calrissian's Episode VII status quo. The mystery of Matt Smith's hair is solved! Arrow could introduce the Suicide Squad. And a Walking Dead producer talks about the Rick-Michonne relationship. Spoilers ahead...
Top image: The Walking Dead.
Latino Review claims to have seen a casting breakdown of this crossover-tastic sequel, and they say that Zack Snyder and friends are looking for a love interest for Batman. They want someone in her late 20s, and are "open to all ethnicities," but she must be someone who is "both tall and possesses physicality." As always, take unsourced rumors with several grains of salt. For one thing, it’s not clear that Batman will have time to find romance in between fighting Superman and then teaming up against the real enemy, whoever that might be. [Latino Review via Slashfilm]
The recently released Desolation of Smaug Annual 2014 includes some plot points. Apparently, Beorn chases the company out of his house because he hates dwarves — until he finds out they're running from Azog, and then he decides to help them. Beorn is described thusly: "Beorn is the last shape-shifter in the whole of Middle-earth. Most of his kind were killed by Azog, so when Beorn finds out that The Company are fleeing from Azog, he agrees to help them."
Meanwhile, at the Halls of the Elven King, Thranduil has given the order that the elves are not to leave the forest, or interact with any of the other races, especially dwarves. But Tauriel is at odds with Thranduil and doesn't agree with his separatist policy — and she's not like other elves, and quite likes dwarves. When Tauriel decides to follow the dwarves, the other elves stay behind, except for Legolas, who comes along because he's "very protective" of her. More at the link. [Nerd Bastards]
This new Russian trailer includes a few new scenes. [SciFiNow]
At Dragon Con, Billy Dee Williams' manager announced a campaign to bring back Lando Calrissian in the new movie. And Williams himself explained what he'd like to be doing this time around: "The right idea actually is to come back with a daughter who’s a Jedi, a beautiful daughter who’s a Jedi." [ComicBook.com]
Director David Twohy talks about the creatures in this film:
This was a little odd because the hero baddie creature, we call them Mud Demons in our production circles. Nobody calls them that in the movie. Those were actually designed by Patrick Tatopoulos, who was my creature designer on Pitch Black and who is now a production designer of note. And Patrick actually designed that for me last movie, Chronicles, and we never got around to using it. But I still liked the design. I said, well, I'm going to start to build. I'm going to start working with some properties and I'm going to start to write the scenes based on this one image that Patrick did for me. So that came oddly pre-designed, that creature.
And then when it came to jackals, Patrick gave us some early sketches, and those were refined by other artists, because a pet jackal in the story that he finds is a puppy. At first he was using it as a tool to help inoculate himself against these Mud Demons. But then the puppy grows on him and grows literally and figuratively on him. And it becomes his companion on this world. So, at that point it went through a series of design evolutions, including with the creature house up in Montreal who did the CG work. But yeah, you are still building some fabricated pieces, not animatronics, that try to emulate life by blinking. But if Riddick has to, in a close-up, touch the animal's hide and run his fingers through it, then certainly that will be a build piece you can physically touch. But anytime it's the full grown jackal, or you need a face along with Riddick running and jumping, forget it. It's CG now.
There's tons more at the link, including his story of how he aimed to shoot Riddick partly on location, but wound up filming the whole thing on a soundstage. [First Showing]
As we mentioned yesterday James Cameron was full of praise for this space movie. He also mentioned that he'd encouraged director Alfonso Cuaron to use the kind of performance capture techniques he used on Avatar for the zero-gravity sequences, but Cuaron opted for a different route. Said Cameron: "I'm sure Alfonso had a real uphill battle with the studio, with everyone involved, to get it the way it needed to look. But he knew in his mind how it needed to look, and he went after it." [First Showing]
Gregor Clegane, aka the Mountain, has been recast, for a second time. This horse-killing character was played by Conan Stevens in season one and Ian Whyte in season two, and then he wasn't in season three. For season four, he's getting more to do — and he'll be played this time by Thor Bjornsson, who was named the strongest man in Iceland two years in a row. This will be Bjornsson's first acting role, other than playing himself in the televised World's Strongest Man competition. [Wetpaint]
In other casting news, season four is adding Elizabeth Webster as Walda Frey, granddaughter of Lord Walder and the lucky bride of Lord Roose Bolton. And Lu Corfield (The Doctors) is playing the madame of Mole's Town, home of the brothel near the Wall where the Night's Watch sneak off for illicit fun.
Finally, there's a rumor that Locke (Noah Taylor) will be back this season — and that he'll be taking the black as a member of the Night's Watch, possibly in punishment for his rashness in slicing off Jaime Lannister's hand. That could get interesting. [Winter is Coming]
Armando Iannucci, the man behind Peter Capaldi's other genre defining role in The Thick Of It, has said he'd love to write an episode and revealed something about Capaldi:
I'd love to write [an episode of Doctor Who]! Steven Moffat hasn't asked me, but it would be great because I love sci-fi and I grew up with Doctor Who as well. I was so pleased when I heard that Peter had got the role. He had a part in the show a few years back and he told me that when he went on set and saw the TARDIS, he nearly cried! He's a massive fan...
He won't be Malcolm [Tucker, The Thick Of It] - that's the thing. I think some people will be surprised because he's a fantastic actor. He's really funny, so I imagine there'll be lots of humour there, but he can also be powerful and tragic. It'll be interesting to see if they do stories that allow him to play to those things!
Meanwhile, the most important topic of all — Matt Smith's hair — gets some clarification. Smith shaved his head, and we've been wondering just what this will mean for his famously coifed incarnation of the Doctor. Smith explains: "I did it for a film, but it means I have to wear a wig in Doctor Who which is a nightmare. I'm excited, I start shooting the Christmas Special Sunday. It'll be sad - the end of a wonderful era!" [Doctor Who News]
Cynthia Addai-Robinson (Spartacus) will play Amanda Waller. In the Arrow universe, she's the head of A.R.G.U.S. (Advanced Research Group United Support), a secret organization that has some information about the Arrow. She appears in episode six, but could become a recurring character. She also could play a key role in setting up the Suicide Squad, which we'll see the beginnings of when Deadshot teams up with Bronze Tiger (Michael Jai White). [TV Guide]
Also, the episodes featuring Barry Allen (who will become the Flash) will start filming Sept. 30, even though Barry hasn't been cast yet. [EW]
Summer Glau's Isabel Rochev has "a lot of fun banter" with Oliver Queen as she seeks to take control of Queen Consolidated away from him. And meanwhile, Roy will score a meeting with the Arrow, and the introduction of the Black Canary actually marks a step forward in Laurel's journey. [TVLine]
And here's a new promo. [SpoilerTV]
Creator Robert Kirkman says Rick and Michonne are forming a friendship: "They have a very large mutual respect for each other because of their capabilities and their ability to trust one another, and I think that’s a lot of what was growing in the [Season 3] episode where they both went off on a run together."
And while he wouldn't rule out a romance, Rick’s "wife did just die in a horrible way, so I don’t think any kind of romance is really on his radar just yet." [TVLine]
The Wire's Lawrence Gillard Jr. talks about his casting as Bob Stookey, who's an older white man in the comics: "I showed up, and apparently I was the first one to read, and it was three pages of a character they made up because they didn’t want anyone to know it was going to be Bob Stookey. Very hush-hush. It was like three pages of just this guy talking. And I went in and I did it, and they were kind of just quiet when I was done. They were like, “You know, that was really good.” I walked out, and I saw another guy sitting there, a white guy, older guy." [EW]
Here's a new poster. [TVLine]
Executive Producer Greg Plageman says we shouldn't be wondering where the Machine is. Rather, we should wonder, "What is it up to? What sort of organism is it becoming? And is it expanding beyond the parameters of what even Finch designed?" By November sweeps, we may meet Control, the mysterious woman who's Hersh's boss — and we'll see her trying to find out what happened to the Machine, something Root could be instrumental in. Meanwhile, we'll learn more about the origins of Carter, who's "out there on the wing a bit, trying to figure out her next move."
Gil McKinney (Supernatural, Friday Night Lights) has been cast as Prince Eric, the love interest of Ariel. Both he and Ariel will debut in episode six. [TVLine]
Newcomer Alexander Dreymon has been cast as recurring character, a handsome young man who becomes a neighbor to the Academy. [Deadline]
Evan Peters may be romantically involved with the character played by his real-life girlfriend, Emma Roberts. Or possibly, he'll have a love triangle with Roberts and Taissa Farmiga. [E! Online]
Meanwhile, there's a bit of casting news for USA's new show about aliens and World War II. Kara Killmer (If I Can Dream) will play Anna, a high-class callgirl who's more than she appears. According to Deadline, this show is about "Lauren (Ruth Bradley), a secretary at the FBI who begins a secretive investigation into files that have been stamped with the codename 'horizon.'" [Deadline]
Guillermo del Toro's pilot for FX has replaced Laura Lee Smith with Natalie Brown as Kelly Goodweather, wife to Corey Stoll's CDC doctor. [Deadline]
Billy Burke says Miles will be carrying the death of Nora with him for a while. And he hints that Neville won't remain a villain for too long: "I don't think that Neville is all bad, and I think he at one time, too, started outwith good intentions and probably wanted to do what was right for the greater good, like a lot of these characters have. But daily they are forced to do stuff that they don't want to do but have to, and it changes them." [E! Online]
By the second hour of the new season, Nick will be saved from zombie-ism but, according to EP James Kouf, "there’s kind of residual damage." [TVLine]
This season will feature "dangerous, sexy mermaids," a vengeful Wesen, and the first appearance of Meisner, a character we've only heard about until now.
Here's a video interview with Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen. [BuddyTV]
Jim Michaels tweeted that episode 9.06 will be called "Dog Dean Afternoon" [SpoilerTV]
Also, Tahmoh Penikett's Ezekiel won't be the only new angel we'll be meeting. There will be some "interesting, really neat angels," says producer Jeremy Carver — and some of them have "deep roots in angel mythology." [TVLine]
Stephanie Jacobsen (Battlestar Galactica, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) has joined the cast of this alien teen romance, airing on The CW early next year. She plays Eva, "a charismatic biology teacher at Marshall High School, who has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to the Atrians and is sympathetic to their cause. She quickly becomes a favorite among human and Atrian students alike." [Zap2It]
Downton Abbey's Dan Stevens will be the voice of the "biological computer" TIM. [EW]
Additional reporting by Katharine Trendacosta.