One major star confirms their Iron Man 3 casting, while another bows out. Leonard Nimoy plays coy about the Star Trek sequel. American Horror Story adds a seriously awesome actor, and a bunch of British acting heavyweights join Angelina Jolie's Maleficent!
Spoilers from here on out!
Top image from Prometheus.
Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige lays out the groundwork all the upcoming sequels will do to set up the pretty much financially guaranteed Avengers sequel:
If we do an Avengers 2 it will be after [Iron Man 3, Thor 2, Captain America 2]. They have to grow, they have to change. What they've gone through in this movie will impact their state of mind and where they stand in their next movies. Then whatever they go through in those movies is going to affect where we meet them in the next Avengers film. But I think people will be surprised to see, as we go forward — particularly in Iron Man 3 — the notion of how singular the stories can become. Iron Man 3 is a very singular Tony Stark story. As is Thor 2. Cap, who is stuck in the modern day with no friends or family, there will be some revelations of who is still alive from his days in WWII, but SHIELD and Nick Fury are kind of his confidants right now. So of all these movies, Captain America 2 will be most closely associated with Avengers.
There's also the matter of Thanos, who was introduced in the Avengers post-credits scene. The current rumor seems to be that he could be crucial to the planned Guardians of the Galaxy movie, but you've got to assume he would show up in the Avengers sequel. Kevin Feige credits Joss Whedon for coming up with the idea of including Thanos, and Whedon explains what appeals to him about the character:
He for me is the most powerful and fascinating Marvel villain. He's the great grand daddy of the badasses and he's in love with death and I just think that's so cute. For me, the greatest Avengers was THE AVENGERS annual that Jim Starlin did followed by THE THING 2 in 1 that contained the death of Adam Warlock. Those were some of the most important texts and I think underrated milestones in Marvel history and Thanos is all over that, so somebody had to be in control and had to be behind Loki's work and I was like "It's got to be Thanos." And they said "Okay" and I'm like "Oh my God!"
There's much more on the decision at the link. [/Film]
Also, this is a long, long way off, but there's a rumor that the movie's huge response in India will lead to some of the sequel being filmed in the world's second most populous country. Specifically, the rumor is that three locations would be used - Hardwar and Uttar Pradesh in North India and another location in Maharashtra. [Comic Book Movie]
Gandhi actor Ben Kingsley confirms that it is now "official" that he will be in the third Iron Man movie, and that he will turn his attentions to his undisclosed role once he's done filming Ender's Game. [Huffington Post]
In other casting news, the omnipresent Jessica Chastain — whose credits include Tree of Life, The Help, Take Shelter, and about thirty other movies made last year — has just become slightly less omnipresent, as it turns out she won't be playing a "sexy scientist" in the third Iron Man movie. She posted to her Facebook the following explanation:
Sorry to say that ‘Iron Man' 3 isn't going to work out. My schedule is jammed packed and I can't fit anything else in. The press announced my possible attachment far too soon. I know many of you wanted me to be involved, and I'm so sorry to disappoint you. Hopefully there'll be another Marvel film in my future. Shane Black and everyone on the IM3 team are really wonderful. I'm very excited to see the film when it comes out. xx
Here are some photos from various viral sites, including a Parker family photo and a look at Peter Parker's class schedule. [First Showing]
Leonard Nimoy is being fairly cagey on Twitter about whether he actually will appear in the Star Trek sequel, basically suggesting that any potential cameo is still just a maybe at this point. [/Film]
It's all but official that Prometheus will be released with an R-rating, reportedly for "sci-fi violence including some intense images, and brief language." Considering how much harder it is for R-rated movies to be financial successes compared to their PG-13 counterparts, I'd say 20th Century Fox deserves some major credit for staying true to their word that they wouldn't compromise the movie in search of a more box office friendly rating. [Collider]
Meanwhile, here's a promo photo of Michael Fassbender as the android David. [Shock Till You Drop]
Vin Diesel has posted another photo from the third Riddick movie, complete with accompanying commentary:
"A still from the Riddick set this year. We are in post and I can't tell you how excited I am to see it manifest. You all were such a part of it becoming a reality... willed it into being, so to speak... Filming Fast this summer is going to be incredible, haha... Thank you again for the opportunity to make magic."
Here's how Game of Thrones star Lena Headey describes her role as Madeline "Ma-Ma" Madrigal:
"She's a prostitute who then kills her pimp and takes over his drug-running business. And Ma-Ma is a bit of a man-hater. I think of her like an old great white shark who is just waiting for someone bigger and stronger to show up and kill her. She's ready for it. In fact, she can't wait for it to happen. And yet no one can get the job done. She's an addict, so she's dead in that way, but that last knock just hasn't come. This big, fat, scarred shark moving through the sea and everyone flees and she's like, ‘Will someone just have the balls to do it? Please?‘"
Seth Grahame-Smith says he won't be devoting his full attention to this until he's finished his Night of the Living script for Tim Burton, then adapted his new book Unholy Night and completed his publicity duties for Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. [Coming Soon]
Joining Angelina Jolie, Super 8's Elle Fanning, and District 9's Sharlto Copley in this revisionist take on the Sleep Beauty story are a bunch of great British thespians, including Vera Drake's Imelda Staunton and Blackadder's Miranda Richardson (they were also both in the Harry Potter movies, but I'm trying to be ever so vaguely highbrow here). Here's a breakdown of the casting additions:
Staunton and Another Year's Lesley Manville are playing Knotgrass and Flittle, respectively, two of the three pixies who end up taking care of Aurora. (They were fairies in the original tales.) Richardson will play Queen Ulla, a fairy queen who is Maleficent's aunt — and dislikes her niece. Hot Fuzz's Kenneth Cranham will play the human king who plots to conquer the fairy kingdom. Brighton Rock's Sam Riley takes the role of Diaval, a raven who changes into human form and is Maleficent's right hand.
Comics artist John Romita, Jr. suggests a sequel is really happening, and in the surprisingly near future. He reportedly said the deals are in place and filming could happen as soon as this summer for a May 2013 release. That doesn't really seem to fit with what everyone else has been saying, and it also would call Hit-Girl actress Chloe Moretz's availability into question, as she will be busy shooting the Carrie reboot. So...might want to take this one with a grain of salt for now. [/Film]
Comics creator Robert Kirkman talks about which specific elements from the comics will show up in the third season:
We're a big fan of the SWAT gear here at The Walking Dead writer's room... maybe that's an indication that we'll be seeing that stuff in the show. It's important to us to maintain the tone of the show. Thus far [the characters] have been out on the road, desperate and living in the heat, and we don't want it to be that they're relaxing in this safe place now.
With the evil Governor in the picture, does that mean the humans are the bigger threat this season?
The plan was always to evolve naturally into a place were the zombies essentially become a manageable threat. You know the rules. You know how to deal with them. To a certain extent they become something to not really be scared of unless you mess up. Humans, however, do not follow any rules and will always do something that surprises you and are capable of doing things far worse than trying to eat you...We're definitely going to be seeing a lot of horrible things.
He also discusses Treme actress Danai Gurira's training to play the sword-wielding Michonne:
There's been quite a bit of sword training going on and [Danai] is doing an amazing job. She's going to be do all of the hard character stuff and drama that The Walking Dead is known for, but she has tremendous physical capability and the sword training that I've seen is absolutely amazing. I can't wait to see her hack up some zombies.
Q: Can you tell us anything about the sword she's using?
A: She's using a sword that we specially designed for the show...The origins of the sword will be revealed on the show.
Here's a promo for the next episode, "Say Hello to My Little Friend."
Here's the official description for the May 17 season finale, "Firewall", which guest stars genre favorite Amy Acker:
PSYCHOLOGIST BECOMES THE TARGET OF ONE OF HER PATIENTS, AND THE FBI CLOSES IN ON REESE ON THE FIRST SEASON FINALE OF "PERSON OF INTEREST," THURSDAY, MAY 17
Amy Acker ("Angel," "Cabin in the Woods") Guest Stars As the Psychologist and POI
"Firewall" – When a psychologist's number comes up, Reese must protect her from one of her patients while eluding capture by the FBI, who are closing in fast. Meanwhile, Finch receives an unwelcome visit from an old acquaintance, on the first season finale of PERSON OF INTEREST, Thursday, May 17 (9:00 – 10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Amy Acker ("Angel," "Cabin in the Woods") guest stars as the POI.
Here's a promo for the season finale, "A Land Without Magic", which airs on Mother's Day (which is this Sunday, in case you needed a friendly reminder.)
And here are some promo photos. [TV Line]
Finally, the plot description for the episode, which features a whole bunch of returning guest stars including Jamie Dornan as Sheriff Graham's fairy tale alter ego the Huntsman:
EMMA AND REGINA MUST TEAM TOGETHER IN ORDER TO SAVE HENRY'S LIFE, AND PRINCE CHARMING TRIES TO ESCAPE FROM THE EVIL QUEEN'S CLUTCHES TO REUNITE WITH A FALLEN SNOW WHITE, ON ABC'S "ONCE UPON A TIME"
Jamie Dornan Guest Stars as Huntsman; Emilie de Ravin ("Lost") Guest Stars as Belle; Kristin Bauer ("True Blood") Guest Stars as Maleficent; Sebastian Stan ("Gossip Girl," "Captain America: The First Avenger") Guest Stars as Jefferson
"A Land Without Magic" – Emma and Regina team together in order to find a way to save Henry's life. Meanwhile, in the fairytale land that was, Prince Charming attempts to escape from the Evil Queen's clutches in order to reunite with Snow White who, unbeknownst to him, has already taken a bite of the Queen's poison apple, on "Once Upon a Time," SUNDAY, MAY 13 (8:00-9:01 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.
Here's a promo for the next episode, "Music of the Spheres."
Here's a sneak peek for this Friday's episode, "There Will Be Blood."
The great James Cromwell, whose credits include everything from Star Trek: First Contact to Babe to L.A. Confidential (and that's just 1995 to 1997), has been cast as Dr. Arden, part of the staff at this season's all new setting, a mental institution for the criminally insane. While commenting on the news, series creator Ryan Murphy revealed that there definitely won't be any links back to the first season, as "the second season is set in a completely different time period." Presumably, that means sometime in the past, although I don't think we can even remotely rule out this being a mental institution in the 22nd century or whatever else. [The Live Feed]
Here's a promo and two sneak peeks for the Canadian time travel series starring Star Trek supporting player Rachel Nichols.
Here's a trailer for season two. MTV says five million views will unlock a preview of the first ten minutes of the new season - as of this writing, they're only 4,928,564 away!
Additional reporting by Ben Vrignon and Charlie Jane Anders.