Morning SpoilersIf there’s news about upcoming movies and television you’re not supposed to know, you’ll find it in here.  

Rian Johnson explains how much leeway Disney's given him for Star Wars. Ridley Scott's The Martian is looking to cast another female character. Gotham walks a thin line between iconic moments and original takes. And details about Arrow and Agent of SHIELD's new characters. Spoilers now!

Top image: The Flash

Star Wars

Rian Johnson spoke with Terry Gilliam on the TalkHouse podcast, and it sounds like he's being given a fairly long leash on the new film:

Well, I'm just starting into it so… but so far it's been nothing but… honestly, it's the most fun I've ever had writing. It's just joyous. But also for me personally, I grew up, not just watching those movies but playing with those toys, so as a little kid the first movies I was making in my head were set in that world. So a big part of it is that sort of direct connection, its almost like an automatic jacking-in into childhood in a weird way I guess…. but I don't know, ask me again in a few years, we'll talk about it.

It's a balance [between the franchise and his own creative direction], yeah. … Well, that's been the great thing about it — Kathleen [Kennedy] and her whole creative team have been so insistent on all the filmmakers they've been hiring for these new movies: 'We want you to take it and turn it into something that you really care about.' And we'll see how the process plays out, but so far, that's a big part of the reason I'm in it. Because that just seems like their attitude towards it. It's really exciting actually.

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[Slashfilm]


Star Trek

TrekMovie has learned that the next film is currently in pre-production, with all indications that Roberto Orci is directing. They say production is set to start in mid-February, 2015, with a target of summer 2016 for a release date. [TrekMovie]

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The Martian

Kate Mara's been offered a role in Ridley Scott's film based on the Andy Weir story. [Deadline]

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Interstellar

Here's a new poster. [Wired]

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Ex Machina

Here's a photo of Alcia Vikander as a half-formed android in Alex Garland's first outing as a director. [Slashfilm]

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Dead Rising

Dennis Haysbert has joined the cast of the zombie outbreak film. [The Wrap]


V/H/S Viral

Here's the red band trailer for the new horror film. [First Showing]


Gotham

Ben MacKenzie explained why this prequel is so important to the Batman mythos as a whole:

If you are really a big (Batman) fan, wouldn't you love to see how it all came to be? How Bruce (Wayne) becomes Batman? The only way that Jim as commissioner is actually going to embrace this crazy notion of Bruce as Batman is through twists and turns that you're going to see.

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[Yahoo!]

Executive producer Bruno Heller explained the show's version of Alfred:

I wouldn't say he's the bad father, but he's certainly the permissive father, the enabling father — as opposed to Gordon, who represents the law. What Sean Pertwee brings to it is a kind of avuncular strength, but also a sense of irony and a sense that he has strength and power. In order for Bruce to turn into Batman, Alfred had to be an enabler there. Bruce could not have done this in secret; at some point they made a pact, whether an unspoken or a spoken pact, that this was going to be allowed. So you had to have an actor with an edge of danger to him, who was not simply the good, loyal caretaker, but also someone with his own sense of rage inside him. Someone who could carry that, but lightly, and that's what Sean does so brilliantly. And to me, that's who Alfred was — which is what Michael Caine used to play [in Christopher Nolan's "Dark Knight" trilogy]. I'm not sure that it is such a leap from the previous characters. It's a leap from the very old style of Alfred where he's kind of much more the English butler than the soldier. We went for a dynamic character who can carry his own stories, who is a genuine, positive, dynamic influence in Bruce's life, and that requires an actor with great charisma and strength and also, underneath, you have to feel that he loves and cares for this kid. So it's a very tricky line he's walking, there, but he's walking it brilliantly.

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He also talked about the way the show will approach the histories they're creating:

The main challenge there is reverse engineering enough that we have a journey to take, without destroying all of the iconic elements of the characters that people know and love. But at the same time, you want that journey to be as long and as interesting as possible, so we can't start with the fully-fledged characters, even if we wanted to. There's a whole bunch of history that has to happen before those characters emerge in all their finery. For me, that's a big part of the fun of the show, both making it and watching it, I hope, is seeing these people as young people and seeing how they're going to change over time and giving them space to grow. It's hard to describe in simple terms how that works. A lot of the challenge with TV as opposed to making movies is that you have to leave room for the characters in the story to tell themselves. Sometimes you don't know where a character is going to go and what's going to happen to them until you've seen the actor take that part and make it their own. Then, you know, sort of like novelists say the book starts to write itself, the characters start to tell their own story, and then we know where they're going as opposed to mapping it out step by step. We have broad, general

, but you've got to leave space for these characters to live and breathe, you know.

... There are certain characters that would be very, very difficult to put on the screen. That crocodile guy [Killer Croc] is a tough one — although we may go there. We haven't excluded anyone from the mix, potentially. But generally what we're looking at is characters where there is some drama or a story behind how they got to be the way they are, and we're looking for characters who can live in the real world of Gotham, as opposed to the even more super-real world of Metropolis, if you like. It's not about superpowers; it's about super-will, if you like. So we have veered towards those characters who are interesting as people rather than interesting for their particular power or their particular gimmick or their costume. So that's how I would divide that world. But the simple answer is we're ready to go with any of them.

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[Comic Book Resources]

Here's the synopsis for episode 1.03, "The Balloonman":

"GOTHAM" - " - (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) CC-AD-HDTV 720p-Dolby Digital 5.1

THE SAFETY OF GOTHAM IS UP IN THE AIR ON AN ALL-NEW "GOTHAM" MONDAY, OCTOBER 6, ON FOX

Detectives Gordon and Bullock track down a vigilante who is killing corrupt Gotham citizens by attaching them to weather balloons. Meanwhile, Oswald Cobblepot returns to Gotham and gets a new job close to an influential figure in the underworld in the all-new "The Balloonman" episode of GOTHAM airing Monday, Oct. 6 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (GTH-103) (TV-14 D, 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: Dan Bakkedahl as Davis Lamond, James Colby as Lt. Bill Cranston, David Zayas as Maroni, Jack Koenig as Arnold Danzer and Clark Middleton as Gerrick

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[SpoilerTV]

Here are two promo videos and a sneak peek:


Arrow

Brandon Routh's seen the concept art for the Atom and has compared it to the other superhero costume he's worn:

It's a totally different suit and I haven't been in it yet, I've only seen drawings. It's a very different character and I reallyc an't say too much about what the suit's going to look like — just that it's very different and I don't believe it has a cape, which doesn't really surprise anybody if you've seen The Atom in the comics. But it's a cool opportunity; it's a cool show with a huge following. They do a great job grounding the show. Having my character on there — he has a lot of different elements. I get to come on there and [do some] comedy in a pretty dark world. My character, Ray Palmer, interacts with Felicity mostly in the episodes I've shot so far and it's just a lot of fun. I have a great time working with Emily. I think it's going to add it a whole new element to the show that I think fans will like, whether they dislike Ray getting into the middle of the Oliver/Felicity relationship or no.

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[Comic Book.com]

Nick Tarabay (Spartacus) has been cast in the recurring role of villain Digger Harkness/Captain Boomerang. He'll first show up in the seventh episode but — as makes sense, given the character's comic book background — will stay on to appear in the eighth-episode Flash crossover. Arrow's version of Harkness has him as a "former A.R.G.U.S operative, highly skilled in martial arts and espionage, with a deadly thirst for vengeance against his former employer." [Entertainment Weekly]


Agents of SHIELD

Nick Blood explained a little bit about the way Lance Hunter's been adapted for the small screen:

He's based on a Marvel character, Lance Hunter, who in the comics was the head of S.T.R.I.K.E., which was kind of like the British equivalent of S.H.I.E.L.D. But that's not necessarily [the direction we're going in] "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." He's British, he's got military background, as did Lance [in the comics]. He kind of comes across the S.H.I.E.L.D. gang and ends up joining them. You'll have to tune in to find out.

Marvel.com: When we're introduced to Lance, he has a very strong relationship already with Lucy Lawless' character, Isabelle Hartley, and her team. What is it about her the he respects so much?

Nick Blood: Yeah, they're a real tight crew. There's a couple of characters, Izzy and Idaho, and these guys have been through everything together. They've been together for a while, trust in each other explicitly, and they know each other inside out. They know what each other's going to do before they do it. I think with that, with the experiences that they've gone through, comes a huge amount of love and respect for each other and a sort of deep caring for one another. So with Izzy, they're thick as thieves. It was nice because my first few [scenes] were with [Lucy Lawless] and that was really nice to have somebody who is kind of new as well, but she knows the city really well and she's done lots of work over here so she kind of [had that on me].

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[Marvel]

Here's a link to a video featuring Melinda May. [via SpoilerTV]

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Powers

Executive producer Charlie Huston said about the setting of the comic book and the show, "It's such a clever concept to try and imagine a real world where you actually have to deal with powers and how they impact society, and to do that through the lens of a cop drama." He also described the non-superhero half of the cop duo as:

[Deena Pilgrim (Susan Heyward)] knows nothing about this world," Huston says. "She's really young, she's really inexperienced, but she's a completely instinctive, awesome detective.

... She is this amazing fireball. You do 12-hour days and it's getting into 10 p.m. and you're in a parking garage and all you can smell is gas fumes and you're eating stale pizza, and Susan is down at the end of the ramp doing jujitsu kicks, spinning around and ready to go.

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He also says that Sharlto Copley's Christian is much less stoic than his comics counterpart. He also gave some details on Michelle Forbes' Retro Girl:

I love the idea of a mature Retro Girl, someone who's been at the top forever and ever and ever, and having that not just be an internal thing but be something we're fully aware of the first time we see her.

[USA Today]


NORAD

Amazon has purchased a half-hour sci-fi comedy called NORAD from writer Jason Micallef (Butter). The Hollywood Reporter says that the description is still being kept secret, but we can at least guess at the setting. [The Hollywood Reporter]

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Once Upon a Time

Executive producers Eddy Kitsis and Adam Horowitz were on hand to talk everything Frozen with The Hollywood Reporter. First, the two explained the timeline of Once's world:

Adam Horowitz: Without giving the exact date, which we don't have in front of us, we are roughly in early 2013 given that the show started in October of 2011. We've been more or less running in real time, including the year time jump. Because of that, the trailer for Frozen hasn't even premiered so in the world of our show, none of the present-day Storybooke characters are aware of the Frozen mythology and universe.

... The way to think about it is, divorce yourself from time and space as you know it and think of the world of story occurring in a timeless place. What we're not saying is that the events of the movie took place in November of 2013. What we're saying is the movie came out and told the story that occurred in the land of our fairy-tale world. As far as the timeline goes, when we see Elsa arrive at the end of season three, that is an Elsa who is post the events of Frozen. Going forward, the Elsa that we are seeing in Storybrooke is someone who experienced everything you saw in that movie and is hopefully that character who is now facing a new challenge and involved in a new mystery that we intend to explain in the first episode.

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We also got a bit about the approach to the new characters:

Kitsis: There are times we take liberties as we've done with Peter Pan and other characters, but Frozen we really feel like they are so well-defined and we were so inspired by what we saw up on the screen last November, that we don't want to change those characters. It's much more about Anna — what we love about her is that she's fearless and she never gives up on the people she loves. She has no problem going off into the middle of the storm to find her sister. What happens when a true believer like that gets in front of the devil himself, Rumplestiltskin, who sees the worst in everyone? What happens with these two kinds of characters? In fact, what happens when Elsa, who is somebody who wanted to run away, meets another character who loves to run away, Emma? It was really about keeping the characters exactly who they were in the movie but seeing how they would interact with other characters on Once Upon a Time and telling a new story.

Now you have two queens in Storybrooke. Will one of the main conflicts this season be Regina and Elsa battling for power?

Horowitz: It's not that it's jockeying for power, it's more about …

Kitsis: There's a mystery.

Horowitz: And it's hard to answer your question without spoiling, but I'll try. When Elsa arrives, it signifies the start of a mystery that needs to be explored and answered. And the repercussions of that mystery reach out and touch everyone, and you'll see it affects everyone from Regina to Emma to Rumplestiltskin.

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More at the link. [The Hollywood Reporter]


The Walking Dead

Here's a description of season 5:

Season Four of The Walking Dead ended with Rick and the group outgunned, outnumbered, and trapped in a train car awaiting a grim fate. Season Five picks up shortly thereafter. What follows is a story that weaves the true motives of the people of Terminus with the hopeful prospect of a cure in Washington, D.C., the fate of the group's lost comrades, as well as new locales, new conflicts, and new obstacles in keeping the group together and staying alive.

Stories will break apart and intersect. The characters will find love and hate. Peace and conflict. Contentment and terror. And, in the quest to find a permanent, safe place to call home, one question will haunt them…After all they've seen, all they've done, all they've sacrificed, lost, and held on to no matter what the cost…Who do they become?

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Head here for promo photos, some of which we've seen already. [Shock Till You Drop]


Doctor Who

Here's the synopsis for episode 8.07, "Kill the Moon":

In the near future, the Doctor and Clara find themselves on a space shuttle making a suicide mission to the Moon.

Crash-landing on the lunar surface, they find a mining base full of corpses, vicious spider-like creatures poised to attack, and a terrible dilemma.

When Clara turns to the Doctor for help, she gets the shock of her life.

[SpoilerTV]

Additional reporting by Charlie Jane Anders and Abhimanyu Das

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