Alfonso Cuaron has finally got two big stars for his astronaut epic. The onslaught of Doctor Who spoilers continues, and Edgar Wright discusses possibly working on the show. Seth Green talks Robot Chicken and his super-secret Star Wars cartoon. Spoilerama!
Finally, at long last, Alfonso Cuaron has his two big stars for his astronaut movie. Warner Bros. has confirmed that George Clooney is playing the movie's male supporting character, one of two astronauts who survive a massive explosion that kills the rest of the crew and leaves them with precious little time to reach the safety of the International Space Station. Robert Downey, Jr. was originally set to play the part, but he had to bow out due to scheduling problems when it took far longer than expected to find the film's leading lady, a role offered to and turned down by Angelina Jolie and Natalie Portman before Sandra Bullock signed on. So, it's Sandra Bullock and George Clooney...or at least it is, until the next improbable fiasco erupts. [Deadline]
Director Joseph Kosinski explains what drew him to the project in the first place:
It was, first of all, Jeff Bridges, continuing that story and getting him on board, shooting a true 3D film shot with 3D cameras and finished in true 3D, none of this conversion. And this was two years before Avatar came out, so this isn't something like… This is something that was conceived to be 3D from the very beginning.
And once we started talking story, this idea of CLU was fascinating, and this idea of being able to tell a story that no one had told before. And this relationship between a character and a version of himself at 35 was, to me, a new type of story and felt like a great reason to kind of be ambitious in terms of the technology and try to push it further than it had been pushed before.
Olivia Wilde explains what she and director Joe Kosinski wanted to accomplish with Quorra, and why they didn't want her to be a femme fatale:
The look– yes, it was a true collaboration to create Quorra. And when we originally started putting together ideas for it was really kind of up for grabs because Quorra, of course was not in the original film. And Joe Kosinski was very interested in making her a unique and unusual femme– not even femme fatale, a female heroine, if this type of film that was unlike any other. And so we worked very hard to make her very intelligent and powerful but at the same time childlike and nuanced so that she would not just be there as a kind of foil for the men, not just the eye candy.
She could have very easily I think with a different team, that character could have easily turned into the temptress of the Tron world. She could've just been this sexy femme fatale. With a suit like that it's easy to fall into that I think. But because Joe was adamant that she not be that it cause I worked very, very hard to create someone who is not that we were able to work together to create Quorra. We were very inspired by Joan of Arc. I brought the concept of Joan of Arc very early on, six months before we started shooting.
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
The Seth Grahame-Smith adaptation, produced by Tim Burton and directed by Wanted's Timur Bekmambetov, has reportedly set a production start date of January 24, 2011, when filming will commence in New Orleans. [Nola.com]
Some more tantalizing details have been revealed for "A Christmas Carol." The story is indeed influenced by the 7th Doctor short story "Continuity Errors", but there are also allusions to "Pyramids of Mars" and "School Reunion." The Doctor does indeed apparently make an on-screen visit to the United States during the course of this adventure, which ties in with previous reports about Frank Sinatra, Albert Einstein, Santa, and Marilyn Monroe. And, perhaps most importantly, the Doctor's beloved fez makes a cameo appearance.
As for the season six trailer, this report confirms the presence of a bearded Doctor and partially disrobed River Song, as well as an Ood, a bunch of Nazis, a "big china doll", and a gray alien. I don't know whether we had heard anything before about Nazis being involved, but I'm up for it - amazingly, the Doctor has never actually fought the Nazis on-screen, although he's come close once or twice. [Doctor Who Spoilers]
A call-sheet for episode two of series six has turned up, and it reveals some of the scenes in Steven Moffat's American two-parter. You can click the link for the full breakdown, but here are the highlights: the monsters of this story are confirmed as "The Silents", people dressed as astronauts are involved, and Mark Sheppard gets a bunch of scenes as Canton, including some with just Amy. These scenes were all from the filming at Troy House, which doubles for an American orphanage called Greystark Hall. [Doctor Who Spoilers; thanks to bluehinter for the tip!]
Toby Whithouse, who wrote last series's "The Vampires of Venice" and the early David Tennant story "School Reunion", is writing an episode this series, according to executive producer Piers Wenger. There's some thought that it will be episode ten, thought that part is unconfirmed. [Crave Online via Doctor Who Spoilers]
Looking further afield, Edgar Wright revealed that he would like to do a Doctor Who episode (unclear what that means - presumably direct, although the initial question is vague enough that he might mean write and direct, which would pretty much make my head explode from all the awesome). He says that Steven Moffat has given him an open invitation to get involved. It's all just idle chatter now, but frequent Wright collaborators Simon Pegg and Jessica Hymes have already had some pretty major involvement with the show, and Steven Moffat has already managed to bring in outside luminaries like Richard Curtis and Neil Gaiman, so it's hardly impossible that Edgar Wright might get involved eventually. Here's the video, in which Wright also reveals the geekiest reference in all of Scott Pilgrim: [Digital Spy]
Show creator Tom Wheeler revealed a bunch of little details about the show, as well as tackling larger questions about what he wants to do with the show. He revealed that King Kong and Downfall actor Thomas Kretschmann will play a supervillain who has a prior connection to hero Vince Faraday's superpowered cape, and he will attempt to take back what he feels is his. He described Summer Glau's character Orwell as being both glamorous and "very military." He confirmed Mena Suvari's character Dice is a supervillain. He mentioned an upcoming episode features a poisoned beer bottle, and Vince Faraday has to fight Vinnie Jones's villain Scales on a train. There's a lot more at the link. [SpoilerTV]
Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode III
Seth Green explained how the storytelling structure has evolved over the three specials, and what's in store for this last one:
The first one we made included every joke that every nerd has been thinking for the last 25 years, and we put them on TV in sketch format. With the second one we experimented with the idea of telling specific stories, centering around the same characters and catching up with them in sequence, like following the bounty hunters Darth Vader hires in Empire and showing how they all got that job. Then Matt had the idea of telling the entire series of Star Wars in one episode through the eyes of a few key characters - namely, the Emperor, Darth Vader, Boba Fett, and Gary the Stormtrooper - and that's what this is.
He also teased what they'll be doing with Jar Jar in this one:
In Episode III, we've also tried to give him a little redemption, like maybe he wasn't tricked, maybe he wasn't manipulated into handing Palpatine power. Maybe he was evil all along, and his way of ruining the galaxy was to act like a bumbling idiot and get in a position of power where he could hand Hitler the keys to the universe.
There's a lot more from Green at the link, including why Star Wars is so perfect for comedic reinterpretation. [EW]
Star Wars Animated Show
As for the untitled animated comedy he's developing for Lucasfilm, Green had only this to say:
I literally can't tell you anything about it, but I will say this: It won't look like any Star Wars you've seen. It's a whole new aesthetic.
Make of that what you will. [EW]
Here's a synopsis, sneak peek, and some photos for episode six: [Daemon's TV]
The gang's superpowers have been exposed to the entire world. They're ruddy famous celebrity super heroes! And they're being called the `Asbo Five'.
Why? There's serious money to be made – they just need to handle their fame. Ensconced in a luxury hotel, the newly outed heroes become the target of a sinister killer with the most bizarre power yet.
Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency
The stars of the upcoming BBC adaptation of Douglas Adams's other major original science fiction work discuss the challenges of translating Adams to the screen. Dirk Gently actor Stephen Mangan explains how he sees his very odd character:
Dirk's described as eccentric. A bit of a maverick. Enigmatic. I think he's unusual for a detective. Most detectives when they explain what has happened in a case, everyone goes, "Aah." But when Dirk explains what's happened, everyone goes, "What?" He comes at things from a very peculiar angle. He's a mystery. He's sort of unknowable, really, and confusing. A bit random.
A conman, perhaps?
I don't think he thinks he's a conman at all. He needs to pay the rent. I think he's got a good heart. I don't think he's a cold manipulator, but sometimes he finds it necessary, for people's good as well as his own, to bend the truth, slightly.
Mangan also confirmed that the show will have some of the science fiction elements seen in the books:
There are some of those elements in it. It isn't simply a domestic, Earth-bound, world-as-we-know it story. It does explore those areas. And when the BBC commissions the 49-part series, which hopefully they will, it'll go even further. It's not set in the world of the modern day. There are some of those other elements to it.
Producer Chris Carey explained how they plan to take material from the books (Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, The Long, Dark Tea-Time of the Soul, and the unfinished The Salmon of Doubt) if the show does get picked up for a full series:
Well, I think the approach to the books that [writer] Howard Overman took, which was not to do straight adaptations, as we've said earlier - what the hope is, because there's only two-and-a-half books, is that we can cherry pick little bits from them over many, many episodes. Because, as fans of the books know, they're full of rich, rich detail. And because of the way Dirk processes information, they'll find their way in, regardless of how obscure they might be.
In the pilot alone, there are lots of little art direction messages from the book for people to pick up on, and hopefully, over the course of the series, we'll be able to take little bits, and keep doing so for a lot longer than if Dirk Gently had been adapted straight from the books.
There's a ton more at the link, including the other actors explaining how their characters fit together on the show and how they've been changed from the book. [Den of Geek]
The time-traveling Canadian show, which is all about a woman traveling through her own timeline to fix her past mistakes, is getting an American remake on ABC. I'm not sure why it's necessary to remake a Canadian show for American audiences, although I can only assume it's because of the original's constant references to poutine, the Edmonton Oilers, and Brian Mulroney. Or it might be that the show is already a little too well-known in the US to import it straight to ABC. [Variety]
Additional reporting by Katharine Trendacosta and Charlie Jane Anders.