Was a brand new Star Wars character gender-swapped? Kevin Feige gives details on the futures of Guardians of the Galaxy, Ant-Man, and Doctor Strange. Dean Devlin explains why they're rebooting Stargate. And details about the new villains in Orphan Black and Teen Wolf. Spoilers now!
Top image: Guardians of the Galaxy
Latino Review's Umberto Gonzalaz revealed what he believes it the after-credits sequence of Guardians. It is ... unlikely, to say the least:
[via Hollywood News]
Following up on that with more rampant speculation: Not only will Richard Rider (aka Nova) be in the post-credits sequence, he'll be played by Nathan Fillion. This is probably a matter of linking Fillion's comments hinting that he'd be in the post-credits sequence to the above rumor. [Comic Book Movie, Unleash the Fanboy]
Some footage has been screened at CineEurope, and Total Film has descriptions of the clips they saw:
The first sequence was set in 1988, as an eight-year-old Quill storms from his house, following an argument with his parents. He's barely had a chance to fall on his knees and start weeping before he's taken away from the misty night by an alien spacecraft that suddenly blinks into view. The only possession he has with him? A backpack loaded with '80s memorabilia, including his Walkman.
Following that, we leap 26 years ahead to the abandoned planet of Morag, for a fuller look at the scene that been a key fixture of the trailers, as Quill (now in Chris Pratt form) is on the hunt for an orb to steal. Geysers pop and splutter, as rain lashes the dusty, red planet, home to the remains of a lost civilization, like ruins of a cosmic Rome. Quill uses what looks like a hi-tech torch to survey the area as it once was in an augmented-reality style. With his trademark helmet vanishing digitally at the touch of a button, Quill slips on his headphones to dance his way towards his prize. Puncturing the faux sci-fi seriousness of the set-up, it's a brilliant showcase for Pratt, who demonstrates his likeability further in his now infamous run-in with Djimon Hounsou's Korath. After making his jet-booted escape, Pratt's back in his ship, revealing a Captain Kirk-esque side when a red-skinned alien girl – who he'd forgotten was still there – appears from below decks.
His escape was clearly not all that successful, as the next clip we were shown had Quill being flung into prison, alongside the others that will go on to make up his team in the future: Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax (Dave Bautista), Rocket Raccoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper) and Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel). Over the course of prison sequence, Rocket was something of a standout, with Cooper adopting a not-hugely-recognisable drawl for the cute-but-deadly trouble-maker. He's the one who's scheming up a plan to get the gang out of prison, although he's not averse to winging it or throwing a curveball as and when the situation dictates. There's also a hint at what makes Rocket such an angry little fella. As the gang are being processed into the prison, Quill is stripped down to his briefs and blasted with red gunk (showing off the six-pack that got so much attention after it was glimpsed in the trailer). He spies Rocket, also clothesless (but, y'know, covered in fur) and sees metal nodes that are attached to the little guy's back, a reminder of the genetic experimentation he's been subjected too...
And while Zoe Saldana's emerald-skinned badass wasn't at the forefront of the footage, Gamora felt like the straight-up badass of the group. Though, even she still gets a few scathing one-liners – "I'm going to die surrounded by the biggest idiots on the planet!" During the prison escape, Gamora demonstrated her superhuman ass-kicking abilities as the quintet pulled off their haphazard plan.
More at the link. [Total Film]
Marvel Studios' Kevin Feige said that they've focused on this film, without leaving anything good out just to save it for a possible future film. However, they've still got some things percolating for a possible Guardians of the Galaxy 2:
[T]here are dozens and dozens of Guardians of the Galaxy storylines - there's a group that came about in the '60s, they were revamped again in the '80s and they changed into this incarnation that you see in this movie about eight or nine years ago - so there are a lot of other characters and worlds and stories. So should this film work, should the audience come out for this one, there are definitely places we can take it and we have ideas of where we'd like to go with it, but really all the energy goes into the first movie first.
He also previewed a bit about how Guardians will lead into Avengers: Age of Ultron:
If you remember we had a tag scene in Thor: The Dark World where Benicio Del Toro showed up for the first time as The Collector, so that was our way of saying the Guardians and the other Marvel characters inhabit the same reality and the same universe. In particular, there's a villain in this film, that comic fans know as Thanos, that moviegoers will begin to learn more and more about in the coming years. He appeared at the very end of the first Avengers film, when he turned into camera and smirked, and we realized he was the person behind the alien army that Loki teamed up with to terrorize New York City, and that the Avengers had to fight. We see him again in this movie [Guardians], we learn a little bit more about him in this movie, and he - and his band of followers - is the biggest piece of connective tissue that will eventually lead us back into Avengers films in the future.
In the same interview, Feige said that, despite its difficulties, the film is still on track to come out next year:
Ant-Man is still going to come out on July 17 , we start filming this August. Edgar Wright, who I've known for many years, who wrote the draft with Joe Cornish - much of the movie will still be based very much on that draft and the DNA of what Edgar has created up to this point, but Peyton Reed has stepped in [to direct]. Adam McKay, a very good writer, is reworking parts of the script - not the entirety of the script, but some of it - and it's going to, we believe, come to life in the best version of Ant-Man that we could possibly make. Again Ant-Man is a very important character for us. We like that people don't necessarily know what it is, we like that it sounds sort of strange when you first hear the notion of Ant-Man, or a hero that can shrink, but he's a very key Marvel character: he's a key Avenger. He's an important character we want to bring into our universe and Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas and an amazing cast all set to start in August, we believe that we're on the road to the best version of Ant-Man that we could have.
Feige also spoke about why Marvel's making a Doctor Strange film and where they are in the production:
Scott Derrickson has been announced as the director. Doctor Strange is a character that I've been interested in for many, many years and that I've talked about in interviews for probably 14 years, because I believe it's very, very important for us to explore every nook and cranny of the comic-book universe and we've done the street-level heroes, and we've done the billionaire superheroes [on Earth]. We've now done the cosmic side with Thor and Avengers and most obviously with Guardians, but there's a whole other side of the Marvel comics, which is that supernatural side - the interdimensional side of the Marvel universe, and Doctor Strange is, I believe, our entry point into that other realm, which has dozens of characters and storylines all of its own. So Strange is very, very important, not just because it's an amazing character study, and a journey of a man who's gone from this very arrogant surgeon to somebody who is quite zen and literally keeps all of reality together on a daily basis, but it also is going to open up a whole other side of storytelling for our movies. So we're about to hire a writer to redo a draft, and we think we'll be casting probably in the next month or two, and announcing an actor, and then we get into production in the spring of next year.
And finally, Feige discussed the connection between the movies and the television shows and Netflix series:
I think the television division first and foremost need to make great TV shows that stand on their own. But because it is Marvel, we do think they will all fall under the umbrella of the Cinematic Universe, the way Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. does now, the way the Agent Carter series will, so I do think that Daredevil and Jessica Jones and the other ones [Iron Fist and Luke Cage] will have a loose connection to the overall storyline. But, just like the most important thing for us with each film is that each film works independently and stands alone as a great movie, and then the fun part is it connecting to the other world; I think the TV group is doing the exact same thing with each series.
He also spoke about that constant pipe dream: the reunification of the Marvel properties through crossovers with the Avengers, X-Men, and Spider-Man films:
It would be great, I think, to be able to have all of the Marvel characters interact one day, in a single movie with Marvel Studios, [but] I don't think that'll happen anytime soon. Fox is doing very well - Days of Future Past just came out, was a big hit, was a very, very good movie. As long as they keep doing that they'll be able to keep those rights. Sony - same thing - has very long term plans for Spidey, and I think as long as they keep doing that and as long as they keep succeeding, Sony will have Spidey for a long time. So I wouldn't say anything's impossible, I've been at Marvel for almost 14 years now, and it's a very different company today than when it was a near bankrupt company just trying to get a foothold in movies when I started. So I always say nothing is impossible but I'm not sure that's going to happen any time soon.
Possible, but so, so unlikely. [Movie Web]
Lupita Nyong'o spoke about joining the cast:
"It's a wonderful opportunity to be working in these fantastical realms," she told Vogue's Hamish Bowles of the enthralling storytelling of the galaxy far, far away. "They're worlds away from '12 Years a Slave,' that's for sure — but that kind of diversity is what dreams are made of."
In the middle of a larger article about the challenges of covering Star Wars rumors, Badass Digest lends some support to the Latino Review report we covered last week:
I believe that the Latino Review article is closest to reality, although I also think that article doesn't give the actual premise of the movie, just some flavor on who the bad guys are. I also think that JJ Abrams and company are paying attention; I've heard that the Gwendoline Christie role was originally intended for a man but was gender-swapped at some point, possibly after the online outcry about Episode VII's sausage factory first cast photo.
* my own sources back up some of it as well, and many of the same things Latino Review has heard, including the black and chrome storm troopers and Lupita Nyong'o as a villain
Speaking of gender-swapping... The Los Angeles Times has a feature on Snowpiercer, including these details:
Swinton's character, known as Mason, was written as a man, a functionary and enforcer of the status quo. The actress and Bong had been looking to work together, and so he proposed to her that she play Mason. The script was never changed, so throughout the film Swinton's character is referred to by male pronouns or as "Mister."
"She is familiar to me, he or she or whatever, she's really a collage of every maniacal, dictator-stroke-coward, self-publicizing, mouthing plutocrat you've ever seen," Swinton said.
Some 24 separate train cars were created for the production, including an aquarium, a greenhouse, a nightclub and an elaborate engine car. With the film's sprawling and diverse cast, scheduling became key, as catching Chris Evans in particular around his duties as Captain America in the "Avengers" franchise took some doing. (Bong noted how in the post-credits scene in "The Avengers," Evans has his face in his hands to cover the beard he had grown for "Snowpiercer.")
More at the link. [The Los Angeles Times]
Here's a set photo of a LexCorp helicopter:
Dean Devlin spoke about re-teaming with Rolan Emmerich to follow-up on these two projects. He told the Portland Business Journal:
"Independence Day," ever since we did it, there's been enormous pressure to follow it up. Two-and-a-half years ago, Roland and I came up with an idea that's worth doing.
The "Stargate" thing is a different story. We did the original "Stargate" as an independent movie. It was a surprise success. Shortly before the movie came out, the financiers who were frightened the movie might not do well sold the film to MGM. When the film came out, it was a hit and spawned TV shows.
Of all the projects I've ever done, "Stargate" is the only one from the beginning intended to be a trilogy. We always wanted to do parts two and three, but the thinking was they didn't want to do anything other than the TV series. So literally for 20 years I've been chasing this project. Twenty years later, we can't really do part two. We have to start over from the beginning. So let's reboot the series, put in all the things we couldn't the first time, and set it up properly.
2016 is going to be a big year for Paramount, since all of these films are scheduled to be released that year. [Screen Rant]
It also sounds like Transfomers 5 won't be set into motion by the upcoming Transformers 4: Age of Extinction. Says executive producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura:
We're not planning on doing a trilogy. We're not not planning on doing a trilogy. It's really a one-movie-at-a-time philosophy. It feels a little arrogant. Both [director Michael Bay] and I feel like it's a little arrogant of us to presume success each time. We know our fans are really out there and they're going to come, so we presume a certain amount of success. But all the energy will be thrown into the next movie, if we're lucky enough to get there.
The video game series will be adapted into a digital film, streamed on Sony's website Crackle. Tim Carter is writing the script and Lorenzo di Bonaventura will produce. [First Showing]
Here's the trailer for Ragnarok, in which an archaeologist mounts an expedition to the Oseberg Viking ship, which he believes contains information about the legendary twilight of the gods, Ragnarok. [Shock Till You Drop]
The creators of the show, John Fawcett and Graeme Manson said that we will be seeing more of Charlotte next season, as she represents an innocent who "adds to the stakes." They also said that we would meet the major players in Topside, which they described as "Marian's shadowy cabal." Fawcett also told Entertainment Weekly about how they developed the idea for the male clones:
JOHN FAWCETT: The genesis for that was between season 1 and 2. There had been a lot of discussion about introducing male clones in season 2, and honestly the decision to have Mark be the male clone was something that we arrived at kind of as we were getting into the beginning of season 2, once we had started shooting and we had Ari in as Mark. What's interesting about this is that Ari Millen is a really talented guy and he's someone that we had brought in as this new Prolethean character, and we had planned to kill him in episode 6. And after he did some significantly great work for us in the early get-going of the season we started to focus our eyes on him as very strong potential for our male clone, and that's kind of how that happened.
The two creators also explained the significance of the clone dance party:
MANSON: But story-wise, the clone dance party suggested to me the emotional climax of the season in a very celebratory fashion that did not involve a lot of talk. So I was thinking strongly about the structure of episode 210 being a little bit different in that the action climax would occur at the end of act 3, then we would have the emotional climax of the season in act 4 with the dance party. And then we would set the stage for the third season with the revelations in act 5.
FAWCETT: We put a lot of work into the episode, We just finished it two and a half weeks ago, with all the visual effects. And obviously there was a ton of work from a visual effects point of view on the clone dance party and the sequence with Helena at the end. The editing of the finale went on and on and on. It took a long time not just to edit the dance party, but just to get all the pieces right for the season finale. What's interesting and of note is that unfortunately there was a Donnie storyline that we had to cut out, but we will include the four minutes of the Alison and Donnie storyline on the DVD which will be released later.
... FAWCETT: Well, we are in the sense that it is an emotional ending. And that dance party is a little bit about his feeling of worry and concern and dread for Cosima and if she's going to live and die. We have that feeling too, amongst Graeme and I and the way we talk about the character. I think ending with Cosima still ill, but with Duncan's special book in her hand, it's kind of like this ray of light at the end of season 2.
Star Tatiana Maslany explained how she views Rachel:
I don't see her as a villain in any way. I think she doesn't do kind things necessarily, but her iciness and her coldness has to spring from a place of pain and a place of deep humanity. So, to me, it's fun to play someone who is so loathed and find compassion for her. It's funny, because she is so much less compassionate than Helena even though Helena is killing people left, right, and center. Nobody seems to think she's a bad person because we get these glimpses of her soft side and we sort of root for her. But Rachel seems to really get people pissed off. And I kind of love that. I think that's so fun. As a viewer, I love whoever is the villain, so those are my favorite people to watch.
Showrunner Hank Steinberg explained how the show will move from big action to more character-based episodes:
We believe in revealing character through story. In the first three episodes, the stories are really big and the characters are up against big situations. Their characters are revealed by how they respond to those situations. In subsequent episodes, we will dive even deeper, but again you just pick your spots. If you look at the third episode for example, there's really one big action scene at the end of the episode, the climax, and you feel like you've earned it by the time you get there. Before that, it feels a little bit like the intellectual cat and mouse game that you would see in The Hunt for Red October, where you have a lot of suspense and some darker moments. We make that one really big action scene feel earned and feel climactic.
Star Eric Dane gave even more details about what some of those moments will be, telling TV Line:
They have to [leave the ship]. They've got to get food and fuel. We have to get monkeys so we can test the vaccine. We go to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to refuel and get provisions and we run into some problems there with some Al-Qaeda, which is pretty timely. By Episode 4 or 5, we're in the jungle of Costa Rica and Nicaragua, looking for monkeys and we run into a narco-terrorist who's enslaved a village of people.
Executive producer Jeff Davis says that one of season four's "central mysteries" is what is going on with the return of Kate, who has control of the new "Beserkers" without even knowing why. However, Davis says her motivation of family is the same, and Kate will do anything to get Chris back on her side. David also said that this season will reveal a lot about Lydia:
Lydia's a very important character this season, and we actually learn a lot about her history, and her family. Her banshee abilities are crucial to this season. You'll see her sort of mastering them now as she learns how to trigger them. It's an interesting thing to see play out on screen, because it's something I've never seen. Banshees, in folklore and whatnot, usually aren't helpful at all. They're the wailing women, almost villainous. ... [T]he one spoiler I can give for her is that we pull back quite a bit on romance for her. As she's exploring her abilities and dealing with the death of her best friend, romance takes a back seat.
He also defended Malia and previewed what's up next for her and Stiles:
We give her a lot to do, and that's not an easy character to play. Malia is someone who's been toughened by her experiences and who has to adapt very quickly to being in high school. One of the great things about Scott and his pack is that they accept someone new wholeheartedly without reservation. Almost immediately, she's one of them, which means she's part of them. So if she's good enough for Scott and Stiles, hopefully the fans will like her, too.
It's clear Malia has a close connection to Stiles. What can you say about their journey together, romantically or otherwise, in Season 4?
It's definitely romantic, but it's not going to be easy. Stiles is the kind of guy who's never really had a girlfriend, and she's still got a bit of a wild creature in her, so they don't really know what they're doing. They know they're attracted to each other, but once they start trying to put a label on it, things get more complicated. Dylan and Shelley have great chemistry together, and they're funny together. I think people are really going to find that Shelley's really funny.
There's not going to be a single villain in this last season. Showrunner Brian Buckner explained that decision, saying, "There are certain things I don't believe we can top. So the writers and I decided from the get-go that we're not going to take screen time away from our series regulars to build a new character who becomes the focus of the season."
He did say that they were looking to bring people back:We know who the fan favorites are and we're going to do our very best to weave everything in. As we say in the writers' room, 'Try to use the whole buffalo.'" [Entertainment Weekly]
In response to Rob Bricken's recap, Jaime Murray responded with this promise:
Here's the promo for episode 2.02, "In My Secret Life." [via SpoilerTV]
Here are a bunch of video interviews with Tom Cavanagh, Candice Patton, Danielle Panabaker, Carlos Valdes, and Jesse L. Martin.
The upcoming Syfy show has added three actors to its cast: Harold Perrineu (Lost), Tom Everett Scott (Southland), and DJ Qualls (Supernatural).
The show will follow Perrineau's Hammond and his team as they transport the only known survivor of the zombie virus from New York to California, to hopefully create a vaccine from his blood.
Scott will play Garnett, Hammond's second-in-command, and Qualls will play Citizen Z, a computer hacker who helps the team navigate through zombie-infested terrain. They join Michael Welch and Kellita Smith, who will play two wanderers who only want to survive. [TV Guide]
New showrunner David Eick explained the premise for the new season:
There's something compelling about having your heroes separated, cordoned off from each other, and then you find yourself as an audience yearning for their reunion. You of course become more aware, in a heightened sense, of the value that each character brings, because you see what they have to endure when they're without each other.
Tom and Weaver are being held in a "Warsaw ghetto-like prison," which has the added element of inmates being periodically carried away by creatures called "black hornets." We'll also learn over the course of the season why the Espheni are keeping certain humans alive.
Ben, Maggie, and Lourdes will be in an "oddly quiet" commune, which Eick says will also develop over the course of the season:
They share responsibilities and duties, they're a very agrarian society, they're a peaceful society — there are no guns allowed on the premises. At first it seems surreal to Ben. And only when we start to getting to the bottom of why this community has been developed do we start to see the bigger picture of its purpose.
And the leader of the commune is Tom and Anne's daughter Lexi. Other children are under the thrall of the Espheni, says Eick:
We discover that the Espheni have managed to co-opt a contingent of human beings and through the use of propaganda persuade them into believing that the Espheni are here only for peaceful, 'handshake across the galaxy' reasons. These camps have been set up to effectively brainwash young people — kind of like the Khmer Rouge — into turning their parents in and being used as pawns to infiltrate militias and camps.
Here's a promo for episode 1.02, "Godspeed." [via SpoilerTV]
Additional reporting by Charlie Jane Anders and Ryan Plummer