Just how complex are Man of Steel and Nolan's Interstellar?

Illustration for article titled Just how complex are Man of Steel and Nolan's Interstellar?
Morning SpoilersIf there’s news about upcoming movies and television you’re not supposed to know, you’ll find it in here.

Matthew McConaughey's wonderfully crazy ramblings hint at the scale of Christopher Nolan's Interstellar. Orson Scott Card discusses the Ender's Game movie. Guardians of the Galaxy casts a very British actress. Plus spoilers for Game of Thrones, Revolution, and Arrow! Spoilers...


Top image from Star Trek Into Darkness.

Man of Steel

Michael Shannon discusses filming his scenes as General Zod:

"I never wore the armor. That is a CG outfit, I think I can say that without getting assassinated, yes. Honestly, the armor would be very heavy – like in Iron Man, Downey Jr. doesn't ever wear armor – Oh, but there is a guy who wears it. I know the guy, the guy who was the Iron Man double, who had to wear that freakin suit was on Man of Steel and he said it was a freakin nightmare, it's so freakin heavy. They wanted me to have freedom of movement and if I would have actually been wearing a giant metal suit I would have been walking around like this, you know? So every time you see me in that metal suit just close your eyes and imagine me in an Arlequino outfit; green, red, blue, with the little tight around the midsection. Yeah, we all looked like bunch of dorks."

He also shares some general praise for the script:

"I thought the whole script was just very sophisticated for the genre that it is. It was as sophisticated as scripts for other movies I've done that have been considered more highfalutin, or whatever. It has a lot of deep themes in it, and the way they deal with Kal-El's journey is really fascinating."


Here are some covers from Empire Magazine. [Comic Book Resources]

Illustration for article titled Just how complex are Man of Steel and Nolan's Interstellar?
Illustration for article titled Just how complex are Man of Steel and Nolan's Interstellar?

Guardians of the Galaxy

Ophelia Lovibond — an impressive new contender in the race for "Most Ludicrously British Name Ever" — has reportedly joined the cast in an unknown supporting role. The original Heat Vision article apparently described her character as "an aide to a being called The Collector, who gathers artifacts and beings in the hopes of saving them from a foretold galactic annihilation," although that has since been removed. [Heat Vision]



Star Matthew McConaughey was asked whether his experiences working on the Carl Sagan-based Contact helped prepare him for Christopher Nolan's space travel epic, which is originally based on the writings of astrophysicist Kip Thorne. McConaughey didn't really answer the question, but his response does perhaps hint at the kind of big ideas Interstellar will explore. Plus, it's vintage McConaughey, so let's just roll with it:

I don't know because I really haven't dug down and got into it, but the one one-liner I got out of the 'Contact' experience –and three hours I got to spend with Carl Sagan- was 'God's backyard is a lot bigger than I thought.' I always used to say, 'I'd rather be a sailor than an astronaut,' because if you go over the same land that man has gone over before it's still the first time because its through your eyes the first time. This is… you're talking about astronaut stuff, you're talking about galaxies, you're talking about new frontiers completely. First time by ANY man stuff. "That is much more of an aspect I can realize and get my head around, but it doesn't seem that far. It's that same thing when you're a kid, your neighborhood is as far as you can go. Then you grow older it's your county, your city, your state, your nation and then all of a sudden continents become part of your backyard. Then as you get older you go, 'Well the moon's just a chip shot away too.' Then you wonder what's in our solar system, it's just one solar system. How many solar systems make up the universe. How many universes are there. Its an idea I can't scientifically lay out to you, but it started off when Galileo said, 'The world's not flat.' Then the other man went, 'Yes it is!'


For even more, check out the link. [Coming Soon]

Pacific Rim

Here's a recruitment poster. [Shock Till You Drop]

Illustration for article titled Just how complex are Man of Steel and Nolan's Interstellar?

Ender's Game

Author Orson Scott Card explains why director Gavin Hood was finally able to succeed in adapting his book where so many others had failed:

"I realized that ‘Ender's Game' is a story about the relationship between Ender and the kids. That was an insight I needed. I always shaped everything between him and the adults. But you know what? That's not the story. It's the story of Ender as someone you would follow into battle and give your life for and if you don't feel that way there's no movie. [...] ‘Ender's Game' is an unfilmable book, not because of too much violence, but because everything takes place in Ender's head. That's what no one understood. [...] The biggest problem is that if you don't know what is going on inside of Ender's head then it's just the story of an incredibly violent little kid. Why would you like it? Why would you care? Only when you know what he's thinking does it become a story that matters and that's the problem that we have always faced. It's a dangerous film to make. It's why it's taken this long."


He also confirms the movie will feature some fairly major but necessary departures from the original novel:

"I believe and believe that a good movie can be made of ‘Ender's Game,' but it won't be the book. It won't be identical to the book. So if you go there expecting that please don't be angry that it's not just like the book. It can't be. I don't want it to be. You don't want it to be, ok? You want it to be a good movie which the book would not have been. So we'll all find out whether they're successful or not, but I know everyone involved in this movie is doing their very best they can to do this. I've talked to so many involved and they care about it. They love the book and they want this to give the same effect as the book. And so I can tell you this, if it doesn't work for you it will not be because of any lack of good will or strong effort on the part of some very talented people. Not everything that you try works. [...] This film will be the best good people could do with a story they really cared about and believed in. So I'm very hopeful."


He also describes his voiceover cameo in the movie:

"I didn't want to be on screen because I have a mirror. So I didn't want to be a distraction, but then they suggested that I could do a voice over part. So there's a point where Asa and Harrison are flying in a spaceship heading to Eros and they have a dialogue and the pilot speaks over the intercom basically says make sure your seats are in the full and upright position. [...] It's a scene that doesn't exist in the book."


There's still plenty more at the link, including why, even if this movie is successful, there won't be a Speaker for the Dead adaptation. [Ender's Ansible]

Young Ones

Michael Shannon discusses his upcoming indie social sci-fi movie, which also stars Let Me In's Kodi Smit-McPhee, Super 8's Elle Fanning, and X-Men: First Class's Nicholas Hoult:

"It's about the inevitable water shortage that will be happening, or is already starting to happen. It's set in the future a little bit, there's not much water left and I play a guy who's a farmer and his land is completely obliterated by drought and he's trying to take care of his family. It's kind of got a Steinbeck-ian vibe to it a little bit. We shot it down in Africa. I think Jake is super smart. He's really exciting. He reminds me of Jeff Nichols, who is my favorite dude."




Here are two promo stills. [Shock Till You Drop]

Illustration for article titled Just how complex are Man of Steel and Nolan's Interstellar?
Illustration for article titled Just how complex are Man of Steel and Nolan's Interstellar?

Game of Thrones

Here's a promo for the next episode, "Kissed by Fire."

True Blood

Here's a promo for season six.


Star Tracy Spirdakos discusses the different side of Charlie glimpsed in the last episode, and how it's all part of her continuing growth as a character:

Absolutely, that's part of the whole growth process for her. And there's going to be more of that going forward. Where she maybe loses that and then gets it back, as I think we all have in our own lives. I feel like I kind of lose my way and then I find it again and you come back to who you are. But the death of Danny has definitely changed her focus a lot. Not only with the whole revenge thing, but she has to compute the fact that where she's at now, she's no longer fighting to get someone back; she has to get her footing and find who she is. It's interesting.

Given we now know why the power went out, is there a specific episode coming up that also serves to answer a lot of mythology questions?
Well, the last few are pretty epic; there's a lot that comes out of the last few episodes. But even still in general, with our show, I feel like the answers are revealed so quickly, and there are answers in every episode, where we're like, "Really, you're going to tell [the audience] that already?" [Laughs] But that's the way they want to reward the audience and they keep coming up with new questions and so forth. So I think you'll see at the end [of the season] that things are coming out a lot more quickly than people might anticipate.


[Give Me My Remote]

Here's a short description for episode seventeen, "The Longest Day":

As romantic feelings increase for two couples, a disastrous drone strike puts everyone in danger; an assassination attempt heightens Monroe's paranoia; Foster considers surrender.



Once Upon a Time

Here's the synopsis for episode twenty, "The Evil Queen," which airs this Sunday, April 28:

"The Evil Queen" - With the aid of Hook, Regina attempts to put a plan in motion that will help transport herself and Henry back to Fairytale land. But her plan revolves around a fail-safe that was planted within the curse, which if triggered could wipe Storybrooke off the map - and kill all of its inhabitants; and Emma's suspicions about Tamara grow. Meanwhile, in the fairytale land that was, the Evil Queen asks Rumplestiltskin to transform her into an unrecognizable peasant in order to kill an unsuspecting Snow White, with the twisted aim of earning the love and respect of her subjects.



And here's a promo for the episode.


Here's a preview for tomorrow night's episode, "Home Invasion," from Felicity Smoak actress Emily Bett Rickards.

And here's some more from Rickards:

"Unlike [episode] 15, in which [Felicity] was uncomfortable in a dress and surrounded by a lot of people which she wasn't used to, she's grown more confident. She's been training with Diggle and Oliver and learning more about what she's doing, and learning about herself and her place in this. When we see her in the field this time, she's obviously still scared, because she's in a very dangerous situation with very few exits and lots of armed individuals around, but she feels a lot more capable. She's gotten stronger."



The Vampire Diaries

Here's a sneak peek at the next episode, "The Originals," which serves as the backdoor pilot for the planned Klaus-centric spin-off.

Orphan Black

Here's the synopsis for episode five, "Conditions of Existence":

When terrifying evidence suggests the Orphans are part of a sinister ongoing experiment, Sarah's suspicions turn to Paul, Beth's boyfriend. But her probing inadvertently triggers Paul's own investigation, bringing him dangerously close to the truth. Meanwhile, paranoid Alison piles on a whole new level of complication.



Additional reporting by Amanda Yesilbas and Charlie Jane Anders.



The biggest problem is that if you don't know what is going on inside of Ender's head then it's just the story of an incredibly violent little kid. Why would you like it? Why would you care?

Yep. I finally got around to reading Ender's Game a couple of weeks ago, and this is the first and only thing Orson Scott Card has had to say about it I agreed with. Unfortunately, he seems to think he did an adequate job of conveying what's going on in Ender's head, when Ender is a fairly implausible character even if you stretch suspension of disbelief to assume he's some kind of Cardoverse version of a kwisatz haderach or something. The best alternative for the skeptical reader (as opposed to one who falls headlong into the novel's empowerment fantasy—"Ender is special and misunderstood, just like me, but we'll show them!") is to take Ender as an unreliable point of view or Card himself (for the novel's purposes) as a kind of unreliable narrator despite his semi-omniscient perspective. But gosh, that doesn't quite work, either, since some of the scenes between the adults and between Peter and Val are ostensibly objective omniscient.

Also unfortunate: that if you take it as the story of a violent, mentally ill little kid being abused by adults, the instinctive reaction is one of pathos and tragedy, and in the preface to the "director's cut" edition of the novel OSC strongly implies that we're not supposed to pity Ender. Ender isn't a hero, and if the intent of the novel is that he's meant to be a hero, the book isn't just sloppy, it's seriously bent.

TL;DR: it is just the story of an incredibly violent little kid. I didn't like it. Why should I care?*


*"Then if you don't care so much, why are you writing this comment, dumbass? Huh? Huh, dumbass? Gotcha, dumbass!"

Because I do care about writing. Because Ender's Game is undeniably an important, influential and popular book. Because I think any book, especially a book with the stature of Ender's Game, merits serious and thoughtful discussion re: whether it's really actually a good book or whether its appeal lies on some other axis. Because I personally think Ender's Game is a somewhat pernicious book in that it buries some nasty premises about childhood, parenthood, violence, and ethics in a somewhat confused narrative and beneath some very powerful and attractive archetypes. Because, overall, I like thinking about and discussing literature. So there.