After the regeneration at Christmas, we'll almost certainly be waiting a while for the 12th Doctor's first adventures. Benedict Cumberbatch's people insist he isn't going to be in J.J. Abrams' Star Wars. Marvel Studios reveals tons about Thor: The Dark World. Plus it's reshoot time for Mad Max: Fury Road. Spoilers!
Top image from The Walking Dead.
A spokesperson for Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch has flatly denied yesterday’s rumors that he is set to play the villain in J.J. Abrams’s Star Wars movie:
“There is no truth to the rumour Benedict has been cast in Star Wars,” a spokesperson for the 37-year-old actor told the News. “I think the rumours are circling because JJ and Benedict have just recently had a wonderful time working together on Star Trek.”
Yes, because if there’s one topic that we can expect all involved to be completely honest about, it’s the role Benedict Cumberbatch may or may not be playing in a J.J. Abrams remake of a famous sci-fi property. I mean, I’m entirely willing to believe this rumor is bogus, but this is still basically the “Boy Who Cried Wolf” of casting rumors. [New York Daily News]
Longtime Warner Bros. composer Hans Zimmer discusses the prospect of once again writing scores for Batman so soon after the end of the Dark Knight trilogy:
This is really complicated for me. We all went, 'Okay, we're done with Batman' and now it's sort of getting smuggled back in. I have to have a think about that one. I might give you a new Batman if I do it… I actually think [Ben Affleck as Batman is] a really good choice because #1, he's a great filmmaker, he's smart - he wouldn't have taken it if he [was] setting himself up for a fall. He's a bit older these days and that's what we need. And he's got a good chin.
You can check out the video interview with Zimmer below. [Comic Book Movie]
Marvel has released the official production notes for the Thor sequel, and there are quite a few highlights to run through, starting with star Chris Hemsworth’s thoughts on returning to the title character:
“I love playing the character. The trick is each time to find new ways to make the character have some sort of advance or growth from the last one,” explains Hemsworth. “I think you’ve got to make sure the hero is a big catalyst to the resolution from the beginning, that he’s not just there to step in at the very end and save the day. He has to be proactive throughout. There’s a definite conflict within Thor about where his place was. Was it with Jane on Earth or was it in Asgard, and where does his allegiance lie? Also, he's beginning to understand the darker sides of what it truly means to be king and the burden of the throne.”
Director Alan Taylor builds on that last idea:
“In the first film, we saw Thor go from being an impetuous prince to taking his first steps towards maturing and growing up, and in our film that life story continues. He’s moving closer to actually claiming the kind of power that comes with Odin. He’s becoming not just a man, but potentially a king as well. In this story, as Thor matures and deepens, he has to give some things up and suffer.”
And here’s how the notes describe the movie’s villainous Dark Elves, led by Christopher Eccleston’s Malekith and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje’s Algrim and Kurse:
Malekith is leader of the dark elves, who inhabit Svartalfheim, one of the Nine Realms. After waging war with the Nine Realms, and being defeated by Asgard, the dark elves were considered to be extinct. But Malekith put his planet and the surviving dark elves into hibernation for many thousands of years, until a calculated time when he was ready to avenge the universe and turn light once more into darkness. Malekith and the dark elves will prove to be formidable enemies with a violent and personal history with Asgard.
Plus, here are some thoughts from Thor’s other major adversary, Tom Hiddleston’s Loki:
“I feel like ‘Thor: The Dark World” is a chance as an actor to find new depth, new dimension, new iterations of Loki’s psychology, of his physicality and his capacity for feeling. On one level he is an off- the-rails psychopathic agent of chaos, but on a human level, his psychology and his emotional landscape is very, very interesting because he’s so intelligent and yet so broken. This film is a chance to find where his capacity for heroism and his Machiavellian menace meet.”
And here’s one last interesting note from production designer Charles Wood on how this sequel opens up the world of Asgard:
“One big challenge was to make the film as fantastical as possible, because that’s the nature of this type of film, but also to ground the film and make the environments that we created tangible and realistic. In the first film we were generally within the palace, whereas in this film we actually explore the city as well. We wanted to be true to the idea both within the Marvel Universe and within Norse mythology that Asgard was a golden city, but again we wanted to bring a sense of history to this world. We wanted to suggest that Asgard as an environment had been around for many thousands of years.”
There’s still plenty more at the link, including a bunch of snippets from the supporting cast members. [One8One]
Star and producer Vin Diesel describes the environment he tried to create on set, which was heavily indebted to his experiences with role-playing games:
I try to create an environment where, when we step onto the set, we’re all in character. A funny thing we used to say while we were playing Dungeons & Dragons, when someone would say something random like, “I’m tired, so I might just take a nap,” the DM would say, “Everything that you say is in game,” which is a similar approach to the way we approached making this movie. When you come onto the set, everything should be focused around your character and you should stay in the pocket, as much as possible. Every actor has their own process. For me, I really need to stay in the pocket. So, if I’m on set and I’m in character, I’m not thinking like a producer. If I’m on set and I’m not in character, wardrobe and make-up, and I’m just coming on set for the moments that I’m not shooting, then I’m able to be the producer. This was tricky because it wasn’t like being the producer of Fast & Furious. This was being the producer of something that, if it didn’t work, I would have lost my house. Everything that I had on my life was leveraged to make this movie. So, the stakes were higher than for any producer I know because the skin in the game was real. I was so committed to answering this growing request from the social media fans to continue this character, and the only way that I could pull it off was by leveraging everything.
Despite facing innumerable stumbling blocks – which included an ecological disaster in Australia, rumored massive budget overruns, and the growing insanity of the franchise’s original star – director George Miller defied the fates and actually completed filming of his fourth Mad Max movie. Well, about that… the word is that Miller is getting the cast – which includes Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Zoey Kravitz, and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley – back together for three weeks of additional shooting in November, which is actually a relatively short amount of time for reshoots. Miller still hasn’t released any official images, although there’s always that absolutely delightful plot synopsis:
"Mad Max is caught up with a group of people fleeing across the Wasteland in a War Rig driven by the Imperator Furiosa. This movie is an account of the Road War which follows. It is based on the Word Burgers of the History Men and eyewitness accounts of those who survived."
Also, the report mentions that Mel Gibson – the aforementioned insane original star – will have a cameo as “Drifter,” which may not be news but I hadn’t seen it before. [if.com.au]
Showrunner Steven Moffat recently made Media Guardian’s 100 List of the most powerful people in all media, and the attached item noted that series eight will debut in “Autumn 2014.” This is pushed slightly back from the currently assumed but unofficial premiere date, which is August 2014, although it’s worth noting that an August premiere date would still mean that the vast majority of Peter Capaldi’s debut series as the Doctor would indeed run in the traditional Autumn months of September, October, and maybe even November. So this may not be new information, exactly, but it does reaffirm that it’s going to be a bit of a wait until Doctor Who returns – a delay, it’s always worth pointing out, that almost certainly has way more to do with the BBC’s ongoing budget woes than the wishes of the production team. [Doctor Who TV]
Star Clark Gregg offers this useful summation of the show:
“You’ve got a roving team of extremely skilled badasses and also Agent Coulson on an incredibly sophisticated, high tech plane going around the globe each week to investigate new and old threats to the Marvel universe. There’s a level of action and special effects that I’ve never seen on television, but I think it goes way beyond that though as people are stepping up against the most terrifying threats in this world and several others. They don’t have immortality. Iron Man and The Avengers and Thor and all these movies deliver something that have turned a lot more people onto this world which is this incredible blend of comedy and action and some sci-fi. It’s very much what I think the show’s going to deliver as well… Marvel is doing something very unusual. It isn’t just a one-off, it’s in continuity with the rest of the Marvel universe. Those events will interact with our world and I have a feeling there will be some surprises.”
Here are some thoughts from costar Iain De Caestecker, who plays the gadget genius Agent Leo Fitz:
“Fitz kind of provides all of the gadgets and the technology that you see on the show but he’s spent a long time in his own reality in front of a computer so that’s one of the big things when he comes into the group is actually stepping out and going outside into the real world. [My favorite thing about playing the character is] probably all the gadgets, they’re so cool. We can’t really talk about Leo without talking about Simmons as they kind of come together as a package.”
Chloe Bennet offers some thoughts on her character Skye, who is recruited from civilian life in the first episode:
“She definitely does not have the skill set that they have, but she has very good people skills so she can kinda charm and be very charismatic and get her way”.
There’s a bunch more at the link, including additional thoughts from other cast members. [UnrealityTV]
And here’s a behind-the-scenes video. [Misfits of Sci-Fi]
Comics creator Robert Kirkman discusses some of the relationships heading into season four, starting with Rick and his children:
"He repurposes himself towards raising Carl and Judith, and protecting them emotionally instead of physically. He's trying to make sure these kids don't lose their humanity. That's almost the central theme of the season… There's every chance that [Daryl and Carol is] actually a no-burn and these two people don't get together. Daryl and Carol are very different people. These are two very damaged individuals, and that leads them to connect in a very serious emotional way. But it still remains to be seen whether that's actually going to spiral into a romance."
And there’s a promo photo below. [TV Line]
Executive producer Neal Baer answers some questions about the season’s endgame, starting with the identity of the Monarch:
You will find out who the Monarch is [by the end of the season]. Angie (Britt Robertson) has the butterfly tattoo. Joe actually drove the car. Everyone is saying it's Barbie because he saved Julia, or Junior (Alexander Koch) because the storm stopped when he came back, but what about Joe?
Will the four actively try to kill Big Jim?
Yes, we'll see that next week. It gets pretty ugly. Remember, nobody is safe.
Will Barbie be able to clear his name?
What two characters have we not seen together since the very first episode? Angie and Barbie. That comes back into play in the next episode. We will see Angie and Barbie reunite in a very surprising way.
And here’s a promo for the next episode, “Exigent Circumstances.”
Creator Eric Kripke discusses the current state of Monroe:
“[He’s] indulging in women and alcohol, trying to drink and screw away the pain. He's in a much grungier, grimier place, as are all our characters. We really tried to take 'the Noxzema clean' out of the show this year.”
Here’s a poster. [Coming Soon]
Additional reporting by Amanda Yesilbas and Charlie Jane Anders.