John Carter director Andrew Stanton reveals how he created a movie out of Edgar Rice Burroughs' adventure yarns. Director Sam Mendes talks from the set of Skyfall. Plus Neil Gaiman talks about writing the pilot for HBO's American Gods adaptation.
Spoilers from this point forward!
Top image from John Carter.
Director Andrew Stanton explains how he and cowriters Michael Chabon and Mark Andrews turned the extremely episodic nature of Edgar Rice Burroughs's books into a cohesive narrative:
"It was train cars on those first couple books, especially the first one. It was like, ‘Then this happened, then this happened. Oh, shit, I need some kind of climax to make this all come together at the end and then I add that on.' Here, I had the luxury that Burroughs didn't, of [asking], 'Where are all these characters going? Where are these worlds going?' So you could push these together and go, ‘Oh, well, I'm sure if he had this oversight he might make a couple changes, too, and shift when you learn about stuff.' I just would hang stuff on the side I loved from the first book as ingredients in the kitchen, and then we put it away and said, ‘OK, we know what the basic line is: It's a guy who has lost his way, has lost his humanity, and has discovered it with a whole other culture. How do we make that arc work?'"
There's more at the link. [Spinoff Online]
Elsewhere, Stanton credits Edgar Rice Burroughs fans everywhere for the fact that this movie is even happening:
"The only reason that I'm attached to this thing and it got on to the screen is because of the fandom. It was not a career move, it was not a filmmaker choice. If it takes my influence with Disney from other things to convince them this is a property that needs to get on to the screen, then fine, I'll use it."
Stanton also addresses the movie's reported $250 million budget:
"I think once you see the film, you'll realize how big of a budget it is, it's all on that screen. It's a fully realized world with tons of history, tons of cities and characters and cultural things, and fantastical ideas. And all of them are part of what makes it attractive in the books, in the 11 books, and there's just nothing cheap about it."
Given the movie's crazy huge budget and muted buzz, it doesn't seem that likely that sequels are going to happen, but star Taylor Kitsch says he's excited to make them, but only if Andrew Stanton returns to direct:
It's such an origin story for JC, this one, and you're always trying to ground yourself, in the first weeks of any film, of the tone, the character, of all that stuff. But now we have it. This sequel, we're landing and we're going full tilt. So that's what I'm excited to do. You guys will know where John is, so there's no explaining the backstory anymore. And I know where Stanton's going with it, and it's pretty great.
Willem Dafoe, who plays John Carter's Thark ally Tars Tarkas, confirms that he is also signed on for any potential sequels:
"I am. If it succeeds, there are potentially two or three of them and I know Andrew's signed on, Taylor [Kitsch]'s signed on, Lynn [Collins'] signed on. So if it happens, I know it's the same people, and there's only the hope that we can go deeper."
The Night Stalker
Johnny Depp is reportedly taking time out from playing a supernatural character with a weird look and crazy accent to playing an intrepid reporter who hunts supernatural characters — and I'll just assume will have some sort of weird look and crazy accent, in this adaptation of the 1970s TV movies that starred Darren McGavin as Carl Kolchak. This time around, he will reportedly be working with director Edgar Wright, which instantly makes this about 1,000% more exciting than it would otherwise be. There aren't too many other details, apart from it being a Disney movie with a planned PG-13 rating, and the smart money is probably that a vampire will be involved, like in the original TV movie, because there's no way a movie made in the 2010s will pass up a chance to include a vampire. [Deadline]
Here's a video blog from director Sam Mendes on the set of the new James Bond movie.
Here's a new poster for Pixar's upcoming Scottish fantasy movie, which is really the preferred type of fantasy movie. [First Showing]
Here's a new international poster for the board game adaptation in which the navy fights aliens...just like in the board game![First Showing]
The Seventh Son
Antje Traue, who will soon appear as Faora in Man of Steel, has reportedly been cast alongside Jeff Bridges, Ben Barnes, Julianne Moore, and Alicia Vikander in this movie featuring Bridges and Barnes as witch-hunters doing what witch-hunters do (hint: they hunt witches). It's not clear what role Traue will play in this, but the best guess is probably alongside Moore and Vikander as one of the coven of witches. [Variety]
Willem Dafoe discusses his role in The Mummy director Stephen Sommers's adaptation of the Dean Koontz novel, in which Star Trek's Anton Yelchin plays the clairvoyant title character:
"I play Chief Porter, who has a really beautiful relationship with Odd. He's kind of like a father figure. Odd Thomas is played by Anton Yelchin, who I like very much. I think he's really a talented, smart guy. I haven't seen the movie yet, it was great fun to make. It's a real hybrid, and it's a real personal movie. Stephen really broke his usual way of working and financed it and made it with a very personal stamp on it, so I'm eager to see it."
Wrath of the Titans writer Dan Mazeau is reportedly working on an adaptation of Tite Kobu's manga for Get Smart director Peter Segal, who is reportedly in line to produce and possibly direct. Here's a description of the manga:
"Bleach" follows the adventures of Ichigo, a teenager who can see ghosts. When his family is attacked by a Hollow — a malevolent lost soul — Ichigo inadvertently absorbs the power to hunt Hollows. He then dedicates his life to protecting the innocent and helping tortured souls find peace.
Men in Black 3
Here's a poster for the Men in Black sequel starring Will Smith, plus Josh Brolin as a younger version of Tommy Lee Jones. [Cosmic Book Movies]
Justice League: Doom
Here's a preview clip from DC's next DVD movie.
Here's a new promo for Friday's winter finale, "The End of All Things."
The Walking Dead
Here are some sneak peek videos of this Sunday's episode, "18 Miles Out." The first one is dubbed in what sounds like Italian.
There's a super-spoilery description of the episode. It's hard to say if this is actually, you know, accurate — and the fact that it comes from an IMDB message board doesn't exactly inspire confidence — but here it is:
Episode starts with Rick, Shane and Randall (the kid captured last episode) running away from walkers in an abandoned schoolyard. After some chasing around, cue theme music. By the way, we don't see Daryl, T-Dog, Dale, Hershel, Patricia, Glenn, Jimmy, Carol or Carl AT ALL in the entire episode. I'm not even kidding. Flashback to earlier that day, Rick and Shane drive a bound and gagged Randall away from the farm (18 miles to be exact) to let him loose.
They pause briefly to have a heart-to-heart conversation about Shane *beep* Lori, how Otis really died, and the other *beep* Rick basically tells Shane to forget about Lori and fall in line. Meanwhile in the farm, Beth is still lying in bed, now awake, and becomes suicidal. She unsuccesfully tries to convince Maggie to kill themselves together. Andrea and Lori have a bitchfight when Andrea says that Beth should be allowed to choose whether she wants to kill herself or not
You can read the rest at the link. [IMDB]
Game of Thrones
Robb Stark actor Richard Madden discusses what's ahead in season two:
"This season you go deeper into a lot of the characters. Robb Stark has more confidence – he's learning by doing – we have a little love story or two, there are some new faces, some people get more evil, some get smarter and of course there's a bit of death thrown in there, too."
Neil Gaiman tweeted about writing the pilot script for his own adaptation of his 2001 novel, which is in line to get a multi-season commitment from HBO if all goes according to plan:
On page 40 of the #HBOAMERICANGODS pilot. 2/3 of the way done. So strange, writing down scenes I knew but didn't actually write in the book.
That makes it sound fairly clear that the TV show will expand the original scope of the book, although there probably wasn't too much doubt of that given the differences in medium. [Comic Book Movie]
Person of Interest
Here's the official description for episode seventeen, "Baby Blue", which airs March 8:
REESE AND FINCH PUZZLE OVER HOW A 6-MONTH-OLD BABY COULD BE THE NEXT POI, AND AN OLD NEMESIS RETURNS - Reese & Finch redefine "overprotective parenting" w/their POI, a 6-month-old baby.
When The Machine spits out the number of a 6-month-old baby, Reese and Finch turn into overly protective parents – with an arsenal at their disposal. Meanwhile, when Elias resurfaces, Detective Carter begins to question her new allegiance with Reese and Finch.
Here are some promo photos for this Friday's episode, "Last Grimm Standing." [SpoilerTV]
Being Human (US)
Here's a sneak peek at next Monday's episode, "The Ties That Bind."
And here's a promo for the next Syfy episode, "Arachnofaebia", which is episode seven of season one.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars
Here are two sneak peeks and the description for this Friday's episode, "Massacre."
Star Wars: The Clone Wars returns with an epic four-episode arc that leads into the season finale, and return of the universe's most notorious Sith.
This week, in "Massacre," Count Dooku is determined to have revenge against the Nightsisters of Dathomir after their betrayal. General Grievous launches an all-out droid attack against the magic-wielding witches, and Mother Talzin and Asajj Ventress lead the defense with all the dark powers at their command.
Additional reporting by Marykate Jasper and Charlie Jane Anders.