There are more shots of the Batmobile in action. How will Agents of SHIELD move past the slow pace of the first season? Firefly's Sean Maher is playing a doctor in space again. A movie no one remembers starts production on a sequel. And why are The Flash's special effects so special? Spoilers now!
Top image: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1
Batman v. Superman
Here are some more shots of the Batmobile in action in Detroit. More at the link. [Autoblog]
Joining the crew is cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema (Interstellar, Her). Shooting is set to start in this December, despite script delays. [First Showing]
Sean Maher (Firefly) is set to star in Thomas Zellen's indie sci-fi thriller ISRA-88, according to The Wrap. The film follows the ISRA-88 spaceship, its crew of two, and their mission to find the end of the universe. Maher will play Dr. Abe Anderson, "a scientist who begins to lose his mind during the years-long mission." [The Wrap]
Marvel Studios is in the final negotiations to film Doctor Strange at UK's Pinewood-Shepperton, with a tentative move-in of late 2014/early 2015. [Screen Daily]
Here's a clip from this Bigfoot movie from Eduardo Sanchez (The Blair Witch Project). [via Shock Till You Drop]
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1
Game of Thrones
There are two batches of new set photos — one reveals that Kit Harington is on set in Belfast for Night's Watch filming. (But it just shows him walking around Belfast in normal street clothes.)
But there are also photos from Croatia — photographer Goran Les with Total Split captured photos of Daario Naharis (still played by Michiel Huisman) and Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) on set. At the same time. Last season, Daenerys sent Daario away, mostly at Jorah's urging — but Jorah's gone now, and Daario is apparently back. Also, rumors from the set say a scene was just filmed where Daenerys has a slave put to death, and there's a huge uprising in response. Here are those photos, which show the actors separately:
Separately, veteran Scottish soap-opera actor Derek Lord, 67, has a small role in the new season, presumably connected with the Night's Watch segments. And he broke his wrist during filming, but hid it until he'd finished recording all his lines. So it's not a huge part, since it sounds like he was finished in one day. More pictures at the second and third links. [Winter is Coming and Total Split via Winter is Coming]
Also, there's speculation that that huge set we saw being built in Croatia was for a scene in Essos — either one of the big Daenerys moments where she's got a large crowd in attendance, or a major change in Tyrion's circumstances. Which raises the question: which characters from Tyrion's arc in Dance With Dragons will we meet in the new season? There's been no word of some major characters from Tyrion's storyline being cast this season, although Peter Dinklage is already on set. Hit the link for more book-related spoilers about what this could mean. [Winter is Coming]
Executive producer Bruno Heller and Geoff Johns say the show's shying away from superheroics to focus on the very-human Jim Gordon and the backstories of others:
The series has purposefully leaned away from Batman's journey to center on Ben McKenzie's Det. James Gordon (fated to become police commissioner), and so runs the risk of frustrating fans. But for Heller, the choice was an obvious one: "We centered the show on Gordon because he's very much a human with human problems, and there's less elaborate mythology built up around him as a character."
A major part of "Gotham's" draw, says Johns, is in exploring the untold origin stories of other iconic figures in the Batman universe. "We're going to meet and understand and get to know characters that we don't know a lot about," he says. "We don't know what drives Oswald Cobblepot. How did he become the Penguin? How did Riddler become the Riddler? That's what's exciting to me."
The idea of non-powered characters led to the creation of Jada Pinkett Smith's Fish Mooney, according to Heller:
I particularly wanted to create a female villain who didn't have superpowers — who was powerful the same way that Batman is strong and Penguin is strong. Jada brings the level of veracity, strength and intelligence that the character needs.
And here's a preview:
The special effects required by Barry Allen's powers mean that the show could never have made it to air before now:
CW president Mark Pedowitz concedes that "doing effects to the extent that they're doing it on 'Flash' does cause some production nightmares," but that "each year we do this, it gets better and we're seeing more feature-like effects being done on television. It's a little tougher for TV, based on the production schedule and broadcast schedule, but we're getting to that place where the expertise is all there."
"We couldn't have made this show probably even a year ago," agrees Andrew Kreisberg, who also exec produces "Arrow" and its speedy spinoff. "The technology finally got to a point where you can pull this off."
Berlanti reveals "Flash's" VFX take 10-15 weeks to complete per episode, with each shot going through roughly 20 to 30 iterations: "We like the challenge; hopefully we can continue to maintain the volume and the quality."
Here's a new promo featuring Tom Cavanagh's Harrison Wells. [via Coming Soon]
Agents of SHIELD
The executive producers promise to hit the ground running, after spending much of last season world building:
"We had a lot of groundwork to lay early in the last season," says [Jed] Whedon. "Whereas this season we can hit the ground running with everybody up to date with who these characters are, having developed feelings — either positive or negative — [about them] and you don't have to spend all that time laying out their bios."
The producers promise that last season's world-building will pay dividends this year, now that fans are invested. "In season two we are very much operating within a new paradigm. SHIELD has fallen, we're well aware that HYDRA is out there and has been operating from within, so our team has been forced to basically go underground. We'll get to explore what that even means, what that's like for our team," says [Maurissa] Tancharoen. "And we have quite a few new faces that we've brought into the fold. So there are a lot of new elements that we're presenting as well as addressing all the questions that have been left unanswered at the end of last season."
According to Ming-Na Wen, we'll see Coulson and May's relationship repaired at the start of the season:
I think they've patched things up, and they respect and understand each other enough and have a strong enough friendship where both understand why she had to follow orders. So they're in a good place. I don't know how much of this I can give away. What's really great is [now] that Coulson has new duties as Director in rebuilding S.H.I.E.L.D., he's got his hands full in coordinating and recruiting S.H.I.E.L.D. members that he feels he can trust. So May is now his right hand man, or I guess, his right hand woman, I should say, in dealing with the ragtag gang of S.H.I.E.L.D. members we have left and in conducting missions. I love the fact that May now has a lot more duties and she really, truly, is in the field, which is a thing that she didn't want in the beginning. She's completely immersed in it and she understands why she has to be.
She also talked about what she wanted to see her character do this season:
I think some of her backstory, it would be wonderful if that surfaced a bit. I don't mind her being an enigma and being mysterious because I know where her heart is, but I really think for the fans, especially, what happened [in] Bahrain is very, very important. And maybe some of her backstory like who the hell her mom is, I would love to explore that. I'm always joking, "Oh, she worked for MI-6 and [maybe] she had a moment with James Bond years ago. Maybe James Bond is [May's] father!" I go crazy with all kind of backstories just for fun.
But I think for me, just having an opportunity to see all the various aspects that she's capable of as a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and all her training from the academy. Not just about fighting and being able to keep her emotions in check or flying a plane and doing all those cool things, but maybe some of the more espionage type stuff, the undercover stuff. Like the one time where [Coulson and May] did the nerdy thing [in Season 1], that was so much fun. I would love to explore those sides of her. And her more feminine needs, I guess, because obviously, she's not shy about it, like when she hit up Ward. [laughs] She's just such a woman, I'd love to explore all those aspects about her. And her relationship with Coulson, what that's really about. I think there is a deep-seated love, a friendship from life experiences together. It's such a strong bond.
Jeph Loeb promises that to use Agent Carter's 1940's time period to explore the origins of the Marvel universe:
We felt the story of a woman in the 1940s who was probably smarter than everyone else in the room, combined with the extraordinary talent of Hayley Atwell, was an opportunity for us to tell the origins of a story not just about SHIELD, but about the heroes in the Marvel universe.
The man in charge of the possible series, Greg Berlanti, thinks that it's "well past" time for this series:
We're well past due for those kind of characters in film and TV. I've gotten a number of messages from friends and former coworkers who write me about their daughters wearing superhero outfits instead of princess outfits and how they're grateful that people are working on it. I definitely think there's a need.
I think people are more interested in quality than they are necessarily just going to watch something because it's about a man or a woman… There are just as many women who love the action of ["Arrow"] as there are men who love the romance. I think it's [about] recognizing that audiences are sophisticated and varied.
Production was stopped on Falling Skies after a security guard, Amrik Singh Gill, was killed by an unattended truck. [Deadline]
Toni Trucks (Franklin and Bash) will play Deputy Janelle Farris, who requests Nick and Hank's help with a highway-crime scene in an upcoming episode. [TV Line]
Here's a poster. [Coming Soon]
American Horror Story
Episode six of Freak Show will be called "Bullseye." [SpoilerTV]
Here's a new promo:
The Vampire Diaries
Head to the link for a clip from the premiere, featuring a lesson in resurrection. [TV Guide]
Here's an extended synopsis for episode 2.03:
Episode 2.03 - Root of All Evil (06-Oct-2014)
When several usually benevolent citizens of Sleepy Hollow begin acting violently out of character, Crane comes to the conclusion that their sudden change in behavior is due to the introduction of a "Judas Coin"... a centuries old piece of mystical currency with the power to bring the previously dormant but decidedly deadly urges of its bearer to the fore. The Two Witnesses quickly determine that the coin's presence in Sleepy Hollow can only be attributed to Henry Parish... but to what end? In order to get more information on the coin – and to aid in its retrieval – Jenny suggests that Crane and Mills seek out her acquaintance, Nick Hawley, a highly capable local adventurer and purveyor of rare and mystical artifacts. While Crane is at first reluctant to trust the seemingly self-serving soldier of fortune, the three form an uneasy alliance, leading them to the realization that Parish's next intended victim is someone very close to them... one whose darkest thoughts – if left unchecked – could have deadly consequences for the pair.
Meanwhile, Jenny is released from jail and makes a startling discovery regarding the town's new Sheriff and her involvement in another seminal event in the lives of the Mills sisters. And Katrina, who has remained a willing prisoner of the two Horsemen of the Apocalypse in the hopes she can learn more of their – and Moloch's – evil plan, uses her close proximity in an attempt to drive a wedge between the two. And later, Crane visits Irving and informs him of his new lawyer's true nature, but will the revelation be sufficient for the former police captain to resist the temptation of all that's been promised?
Written by MELISSA BLAKE & DONALD TODD
Directed by JEFFREY HUNT
Additional reporting by Charlie Jane Anders and Diana Biller