The cast and crew of Transcendence talk the science of their dowloaded-brain movie. There are wild rumors from the set of Christopher Nolan's Interstellar. And Agents of SHIELD is still reeling from last week's revelations. Plus, news about what new shows we'll be seeing in the fall. Spoilers now!
Top image: Arrow
The only plot details thus far revealed about Christopher Nolan's next project is that involves a group of explorers and a wormhole. So any other information is to be taken with a grain of salt until we get some kind of confirmation. With that said, DesdeHollywood has sources saying that filming in Iceland has already shot a spaceship crash. They also report that some kind of drone models have been made and a "mother ship" will be featured. [DesdeHollywood]
Everyone who worked on this film is impressed with its depth and attention to science. Johnny Depp says, "This is not 'point the laser and zap the guy to death.' These are real human beings faced with something large. It's something the audience is really meant to ponder." His co-star Rebecca Hall confirmed that, saying "This is set in a world I know. This isn't tinfoil helmets and spaceships."
Director Wally Pfister was also drawn to the "deeper question" posed by the script:
I became very interested in the idea of these deeper questions, of what we're using technology for, to heal and help or to create a barrier. Is it malevolent or benevolent? It's around us so much we've stopped questioning it.
And here's screenwriter Jack Paglen talking about the union of human and machine in a singularity and nanotechnology:
The theories associated with the film say that when a strong artificial intelligence wakes up, it will quickly become more intelligent than a human being.
. . . There's the idea that nanotechnology could help repair the muscle fibers in your arm, then make your arm much stronger, because microscopic machines could go to the tissue in your bicep and repair it, and accelerate the natural process.
Nanotechnology could help us live longer, move faster and be stronger. It can possibly cure cancer, and help with all human ailments.
Paglan also ties this film's inquiry into AI and nanotechnology to Arthur C. Clarke:
One of [science-fiction author] Arthur C. Clarke's laws is that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. That very quickly would become the case if this happened, because this artificial intelligence would be evolving technologies that we do not understand, and it would be capable of miracles by that definition. There are a lot of people who are deeply concerned about the possibility of this, because ultimately it would mean the emergence of some godlike being. That's something I was very conscious of in terms of the metaphor of this story — how would the world respond to a living god?
And Paul Bettany met with a Cal Tech professor about the possibility of a singularity occurring, and he may never recover from the experience:
I'm a blonde actor, not a science guy. I'm into making unreal things seem real. So I asked [the professor], 'What is the truth? How far off is this?' He said, '30 years.' And that was all I could really remember from that visit.
Pfister also gave details more specifically related to the film, saying:
In each character there's a point of desperation. In Evelyn's character she's desperate to have some part of her husband who's dying remain, and that drives her, along with the science in medical applications, to do what she does. It then becomes desperation with Will: we don't know if this machine's sentient or not, but he measures her hormones, which he thinks is making some sort of connection. But I think to us as an audience—certainly to Evelyn—it is quite a desperate level to reach.
According to Richard Armitage, the last Hobbit film is close to completion, on the actors' end, at least:
Well, I know for sure that we're not going to be filming any more material for the third film. That was something which was a bit up in the air; but there is a bit of sound work to do – a bit of ADR post production voice stuff, which I'm really looking forward to doing, and to seeing the cut of the film. You know, it's been a while since we were in New Zealand, so I've kind of forgotten what we did – so it will be nice to go back and see how that's shaping up. But I think it will be quite a nostalgic event. It's probably going to be the last time that Middle-earth is seen on the big screen. Peter's intention to have six films which sit all along side each other will be contained in that one event at the end of the year – so it wouldn't surprise me if we see some old faces back on the red carpet, in celebration of fifteen years of Peter's work!
QED has acquired the 52-page script Yellowstone Falls by Dan Kunka, featuring wolves fighting post-apocalyptic, mutated humans. [Deadline]
Here's a new poster. [Shock Till You Drop]
Here's a Total Film interview with Dane DeHaan (Harry Osborn), Jamie Foxx (Electro), and director Marc Webb of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 talking about the villain-centric spin-off film.
Executive producer Andrew Kreisberg says that Laurel's reaction to Oliver's alter ego is going to mirror Tommy Merlyn's from season 1:
It's funny because it was sort of the same experience with Colin Donnell's character, where once he knew it changed his character so much. There was just so much more you could write for him and just the way he looked at everything in the world, every scene just became super charged, even if it was small scene that didn't have anything to do with the main plot."
. . . With Laurel, now that she knows, whatever she's doing, whenever she's in a scene with someone, her world view has shifted and it's different and I think Katie [Cassidy] has really risen to it and it's real exciting to see how it plays out in the last 3 episodes.
He also said that Thea is "not going to be in a good place anytime soon" and revealed that making Isabel Rochev into Ravager was a last minute decision, with one of the original ideas being that Sara Lance would start the season in that role. As for how Isabel's takeover of Queen Consolidated would affect things, Kreisberg said:
That plays out in the last five episodes. And we're going to start Season 3 with Oliver in very different circumstances than he's been before, which, obviously, him being in different circumstances changes the circumstances of his paid bodyguard [Diggle] and his paid assistant [Felicity] since he can no longer pay them.
The finale will also take place mostly in real time. [TV Fanatic]
Here's a featurette for episode 2.19, which will include appearances of characters from the upcoming Flash. [via SpoilerTV]
And here's a clip from tonight's "Man Under the Hood":
Brett Dalton spoke about the future of Skye and Ward given the events of "Turn, Turn, Turn" and says that the clues for his turn were embedded in the previous episodes:
Well, I think what I can say is that I don't think Ward has ever been in a situation quite like this. He has been undercover before, but the circumstances are very [different] — I'm in a plane with five other people in close quarters, I've been with them for a really long time and I've had to wear that mask of Agent Grant Ward for perhaps longer than I have in the past. So, perhaps there are feelings that came up that are genuine because I don't think Ward has been in a situation like that before.
I think what's so great about it, though, is that it is in question. When you see him again, you really don't know what's true and what's false. You can watch back through [past] episodes and there are Easter eggs in there with editing in terms of little hidden gems in there that can be seen in a whole new light that the writers knew people were going to watch again. It's great — there's a couple of them there, where people say, "We don't know who to trust," and then you see maybe the next clip — there's a nice beautiful one in "Turn, Turn, Turn," where Coulson is talking about it and says something like, "They're right under our nose." Cut to the next scene and it's Chloe and me in the supply room.
But there's a couple of them in the last couple episodes. They're there if you watch carefully.
In an interview previewing last night's "Providence," executive producer Maurissa Tancharoen also hinted that it could be a long road to Coulson trusting May again:
Coulson is deeply wounded. She said to him that she [concealed the truth] out of a place for caring for him, but it will take him a while to believe anything she says.
Here's the press release for next week's "The Only Light in Darkness":
COULSON'S PAST LOVE IS IN JEOPARDY, ON ABC'S "MARVEL'S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D."
Patton Oswalt Guest Stars as Agent Eric Koenig
Bill Paxton Guest Stars as Agent John Garrett
Amy Acker as Audrey
"The Only Light In The Darkness" - With their WORLD turned upside down, Coulson races to save the life of his one true love as the mystery of "The Cellist," which began in Marvel's The Avengers, is finally revealed on Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., TUESDAY, APRIL 22 (8:00-9:01 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.
"Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." stars Clark Gregg as Agent Phil Coulson, Ming-Na Wen as Agent Melinda May, Brett Dalton as Agent Grant Ward, Chloe Bennet as Skye, Iain De Caestecker as Agent Leo Fitz and Elizabeth Henstridge as Agent Jemma Simmons.
Guest starring are Bill Paxton as Agent John Garrett, Patrick Brennan as Marcus Daniels, Amy Acker as Audrey, B.J. Britt as Agent Antoine Triplett, and Patton Oswalt as Agent Koenig.
"The Only Light In The Darkness" was written by Monica Owusu-Breen and directed by Vincent Misiano.
Speaking of Marvel on TV, early rumors have it that an Agent Carter Series is close to getting a series order. It may also come along with a season 2 order for Agents of SHIELD, with Agent Carter airing between that show's fall and spring runs. [Deadline]
Wondering how James S.A. Corey's Expanse managed to get turned into a series for Syfy? Here's Corey's description of the events:
So here's what happened.
A few years back the Expanse books were out and doing pretty well, which was cool. Through our agent, we had a television agent in Hollywood – a fella named Brian Lipson – who was there to address any inquiries about the film and TV rights. That was a really pleasant place to be. We had a good publisher, a series that was getting good reviews, and a plan for what the next few books could look like. The rest of that – the TV guy, the rights, that stuff – it was the same level of CYA as flossing your teeth and doing your taxes. It's what you do because it's what you do, not because we expected anything to come from it.
And then there was this party in Los Angeles and Jason Brown and Ben Cook had a conversation. Jason had been looking for something in the science fiction line, and Ben passed on a recommendation of this book he'd read and liked called Leviathan Wakes. And in an unexpected twist Jason talked to people Ty knew from Game of Thrones about wanting to adapt Leviathan Wakes and those people emailed Ty and said do you know this guy named Jason wants to buy your book. So that was weird.
So then our TV guy – Brian – called us and told us that the books were getting some interest, and that he'd been looking specifically for folks who had screenwriters already lined up as part of the deal. We had some phone conversations with a few sets of folks, and one of them was Jason Brown. He worked with the producer Sean Daniel, who could bring the writers Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby to the table, the guys who wrote the first Iron Man movie and Children of Men. They weren't the only good writers in the mix, but they were the only ones who wrote Iron Man and Children of Men. We managed to mostly keep our cool, nod sagely and say, yeah, they seem good. Let's go with them. And then after we got off the phone we could talk about how cool it was that guys like that would be fans of our books.
And then we were out in Los Angeles on a different trip when Mark and Hawk were there, so Ben Cook and Jason Brown got all of us together for lunch and we talked about the books, and what we had in mind for them, and what the themes were that we saw in them, and what the themes were that they saw in them, and what the end of the last book was, and what the secrets were that we'd hidden in the first couple books and what they meant and the back stories of the main characters that we hadn't laid out. And then, before too long, it wasn't lunch anymore, so we had dinner too. Mark and Hawk who had lives and families eventually left, but we kept Jason and Ben for another few hours trying out the bar's drink selections and geeking about how much fun it would be to make a TV show. Haha, will never happen, let's joke around about it. So I guess the joke was on us.
Mark and Hawk had – and have – a hell of a job. They took the books and our conversation (along with a few more we had) and with Jason and Sean Daniel, they worked up a pitch to take to production companies. When the time came to go make the sale, we rode along to answer any questions folks had about the underlying material. And there was a week last summer when we were out in LA meeting with a bunch of companies Sean Daniel and Jason Brown had lined up. As I recall it was six or seven meetings in something like four days. And one of them was Alcon. We tried to stay quiet, answer questions when asked, and not constantly blurt out "Holy crap are you seriously talking about turning our book into a TV show?" They consider those outbursts unbecoming.
So picture you're sitting in a conference room with the guys that wrote Iron Man and seeing if maybe Sharon Hall (whose last big project was developing a show called Breaking Bad) and Ben Roberts (formerly an executive on Walking Dead) would like to do business with you. It was like that, only if anything weirder.
Turned out they did. They bought the option from us and Mark and Hawk started writing a script. Mark and Hawk came out to Albuquerque and hung out for a few days, while we talked about everything from how thrust gravity works to what the differences are between the ships to the mixed time sequence of the prologue of Leviathan Wakes (here's a hint: when Julie hears the weapons firing, you're already several chapters in). Slowly, carefully, they put together a take on Leviathan Wakes that was perfectly true to the book and also absolutely their own. There is nothing cooler than seeing something you've made inspiring someone else to make something in a different medium that catches everything you intended and makes it work without it being locked into it. It's what I imagine dancing would be like if we could dance for crap.
Then there was the long gap when a bunch of very serious people had a bunch of very serious conversations and we sat quietly and tried not to freak out. We knew there were meetings with a lot of very impressive names (none of which I'll mention here) about who would buy this TV show.
And then, last Friday the word came down. Syfy fought to the top of the pile, and had ordered a full first season of the show. We're on.
So, like that.
Star Tatiana Maslany spoke a little bit about how filming season 2 has differed from season 1:
I think initially it was really daunting to come back to it because of that response. Because it feels like there's more freedom when you can work in a vacuum and you don't know what it's going to be and it could've been a huge flop. So there's a huge risk that you can take without the public eye. And now it's like, we take the risks with the knowledge that people are watching it and with the knowledge that people have an investment in these characters, and that they'll feel upset or they'll feel excited and their reaction is so visceral and so present and so immediate, too, with Twitterverse and all that stuff. But as we get deeper into it it's just like, oh, right, it's about the storytelling and that's why people respond to it. So just silencing that noise on the outside was the trick in the first month, for me, because it's such a loud noise, and a great noise, but as an actor, you have to tell the story. You can't think about every single's person's opinion or alliances with characters or whatever.
Nathan Parsons says that Jackson's distrust of Klaus, even with the moonlight ring offer, will continue on throughout the rest of the season:
Yeah I think it will. Would you trust Klaus? He's not the easiest guy to trust, but that is such a great way for us to get back into the power and the place in that city where we deserve to be. He's dangling a carrot, but it's a really enticing carrot and I don't know how far Jackson would be willing to go.
He also talked about this season's ramp up to war and Jackson's need to prevent it:
Everything this season is spiraling towards really all out war between the witches, the humans, the vampires and the werewolves. And Jackson is working desperately to try and avoid that. It would be disastrous for his pack because they are so weakened at this point that he may be willing to, I don't know, do some things that he would otherwise not do. They are backed into a wall right now. If war is going to happen, they're not going to back down, but unless they get some kind of leverage they aren't going to do well either. I think that's the difficult position that Jackson's being put in going forward.
Creator Kevin Murphy previewed a little of what we'll get from new mayor Niles Pottinger (Jim Murray):
Pottinger is incredibly complicated — the kind of guy you want to hate because he's just so despicable. But then he does something really kind that melts your heart.
Murphy also talked about the new propaganda filmmaker Jessica Rainier, played by Anna Hopkins (although you kind of get enough from the information that the character is nicknamed "Berlin" after Leni Riefenstahl):
This new world is terrifying and dangerous, and Berlin is the voice of the disenfranchised people. She has dedicated herself to bringing safety and protection back into everyone's lives.
Dwayne Boyd will play the role of Greg in Episode 2.05, with no information about "Greg" available. [SpoilerTV]
The adaptation of the Ray Bradbury short story "Zero Hour" (formerly called The Visitors) is reportedly close to a pick-up from ABC.
The link also reports that Constantine, Tin Man, Gotham, Flash, and the Supernatural spinoff Bloodlines are likely to be picked up for the next TV season. [Deadline]
Go here for a bunch of photos, including some behind-the-scenes ones, for episode 3.18, "Bleeding Through." [SpoilerTV]
Here's a promo for episode 1.10, "What Storm Is It That Blows So?" [via SpoilerTV]
Here are the photos from that episode. And the synopsis:
A HURRICANE LOOMS, TRAPPING EVERYONE INSIDE THE SCHOOL — A hurricane suddenly hits the town and everyone is trapped inside the school. Teri (Chelsea Gilligan) drugs Roman (Matt Lanter), which leaves him very paranoid and very angry. While drugged he says some very hurtful things to Emery (Aimee Teegarden) that alter their relationship. Taylor (Natalie Hall) convinces Drake (Greg Finley) that they should go public as a couple. However, when Grayson (Grey Damon) overhears the couple talking, he blackmails Drake into breaking up with Taylor. Meanwhile, Julia (Malese Jow) turns to Emery for help after Eva (guest star Stephanie Jacobsen) threatens her. Norman Buckley directed the episode written by Robert Hewitt Wolfe & Yolanda E. Lawrence (#110).
Here's the promo for episode 1.20, "A Sort of Homecoming." [via SpoilerTV]
Additional reporting by Charlie Jane Anders and Madeleine Monson-Rosen