Matthew Vaughn has an insanely awesome (not to mention awesomely insane) premise for his next X-Men movie. Eight directors are in the running for The Wolverine. Plus Ron Howard talks The Dark Tower, and Fright Night gets an encouraging rating.
Spoilers from here on out!
Top image from X-Men: First Class.
Tons of big news about this movie and its possible sequel. Let's start with the biggest news, which is confirmation that Hugh Jackman makes a brief cameo appearance as Wolverine. The scene happens while Charles and Erik are on the hunt for new mutants, and they come across Wolverine in a bar. Before they can even begin talking to him, he tells them to "Go fuck yourselves." Frankly, I'm kinda amazed that Fox would let Matthew Vaughn put even a single f-word into an X-Men movie (according to the description, this is the only time such language is used in the film) and so I'm just the tiniest bit skeptical that this description is accurate...but if it is, hats off to all involved, because that sounds pretty awesome. Oh, and there's apparently another big cameo from another star of previous X-Men movies, but apparently nobody so obvious that the British press was able to recognize him or her. [ComicBookMovie and Digital Spy]
Matthew Vaughn suggests that, if he gets to make the sequel, we won't be seeing the more traditional X-Men team:
"We will only have one more new character. I won't say who he...I won't say who he or she is! But we will only be bringing one more new character in. Because, I think, as Professor X is in a wheelchair, Magneto needs to have a nemesis he can fight with. Someone that will be his equal. I know who it is. It would be nice if I could say something, but I can't, mate!"
He also left open the possibility of bringing in Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan in for a flash-forward sequence. [MovieWeb]
Elsewhere, Vaughn offers up some sequel ideas, with one particularly bold idea in mind for a premise:
"I've got some ideas for the opening for the next film. I thought it would be fun to open with the Kennedy Assassination, and we reveal that the magic bullet was controlled by Magneto. That would explain the physics of it, and we see that he's pissed off because Kennedy took all the credit for saving the world, and mutants weren't even mentioned. And we could go from there, and I've got some fun ideas about what other mutants to bring in. I don't want to tempt fate, though. If the film's a hit, of course I'd be interested. I really enjoyed making it."
I'm not sure that would be in entirely good taste, but it'd be a hell of a way to kick off a summer blockbuster. Going back to the movie at hand, he explains the particular challenges of Sebastian Shaw:
"He was the villain… no, the character, that I was most afraid of. I kept thinking, 'Are we going to pull Shaw off?' And the comic book version made me nervous, and I would argue with Lauren [Shuler-Donner] about it, and she'd say, 'He must have the ponytail and the cravat.' And I would argue, 'He is going to look like an Austin Powers villain, Lauren. We cannot do that. I have to make the movie work, and Kevin Bacon with a ponytail and a cravat dressed as an 18th-century fop will look ridiculous'...Shaw walks the finest line, even if he did have that look in all the comics. Also with him, it's the power. It's such a hard thing to illustrate, the whole absorbing energy and all that shit, and we only really finished his powers up about two weeks ago. That's when I saw them all for the first time. Thank god I liked it, because it was pretty damn tough."
A list of directors supposedly in contention to take over the slot vacated by Darren Aronofsky is making the rounds, and it includes Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity), Jose Padilha (Elite Squad and the Robocop reboot), Antoine Fuqua (Training Day), Justin Lin (Fast Five), Gavin O'Connor (Miracle), James Mangold (3:10 To Yuma), commercial director Gary Shore, and Mark Romanek (Never Let Me Go). Of these, Romanek is maybe the most intriguing choice, but I'm kinda partial to Gavin O'Connor, if only for the cosmic randomness of having every Wolverine movie directed by a different dude named Gavin. Anyway, take all this with a grain of salt for now, since it's all fairly preliminary. [IGN]
Here's a TV spot.
Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Biel have now been all but confirmed as the two main female leads, taking over for Sharon Stone's Lori and Rachel Ticotin's Melina respectively. [Collider]
Meanwhile, the never not great Bill Nighy has reportedly signed on as Quatto, which may or may not mean he'll be donning prosthetics comparable to those he wore back in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. [The Hollywood Reporter]
Here's a new banner image. [TFLAMB]
Here's a new TV spot.
And here's a (low quality) featurette that aired yesterday on Ellen.
Here's another poster. [SpoilerTV]
Ron Howard offers a relatively upbeat update about the project:
"We had to pull back to our September start date due to budget delays and ongoing story development and logistical issues, but Dark Tower is moving forward. We're thinking of starting in early spring now. I can't really say who'll be in it yet, but Javier Bardem has shown a great deal of interest. We'll know by the end of the summer, when our flashing green light goes solid. There are elements of the Dark Tower saga that are more personal and can be best dealt with on television. TV allows you to roll out details of the characters in a more methodical way."
So it looks like Javier Bardem is no longer officially on board as Roland, assuming he ever actually was, though Howard seems to still be committed to the ambitious joint movie/TV adaptation plan, Universal's budget skittishness be damned. [EW]
One film production site suggests the film will beginning shooting this July in Chicago - not New York, like the previous two movies. This seems unlikely, considering not only has Bill Murray still not read the script, he's also gone off and signed up to play Franklin Delano Roosevelt in another movie. The report also lists Anna Faris as the only new cast member alongside the returning cast (which includes everyone except Rick Moranis and Annie Potts), but this all sounds pretty unreliable and I'd take this with massive heapings of salt until we hear something more substantial. [Bloody-Disgusting]
The movie will reportedly commence principal photography next month, starting in Malta before moving to Britain and then Hungary. The shoot is expected to continue into the fall. [ScreenDaily]
In what is hopefully another sign that the Colin Farrell/David Tennant vampire movie will be darker than most recent entries in the genre, the MPAA has given it an R rating for "for bloody horror violence, and language including some sexual references." [Fangoria]
Eleven-year-old actress Joey King, who recently joined The Dark Knight Rises and is probably best known for appearing in Ramona and Beezus, will play the character of "China Girl" in the Oz prequel, a character who appeared in the original L. Frank Baum novel but not the Victor Fleming movie. And, in case anyone is concerned about weird racial overtones, the "china" bit refers to the fact that she's made out of porcelain. [Variety via ComingSoon.net]
The movie's release date has been set for March 8, 2013, which means it is currently going up against Neil Blomkamp's Elysium. In all likelihood, one of these movies will change its release date between now and then. [/Film]
Here's an introduction to "The Almost People", most of which focuses on the huge cliffhanger twist at the end of the episode.
Peter Hoar, the director of the seventh episode "A Good Man Goes to War", discusses bringing back iconic monsters for the story.
Here's a look at Captain Jack in his new coat. Check out the link for a more technical discussion on how the coat was adapted for the warmer Los Angeles weather. [TV Squad]
Actor Connor Jessup discusses his character Ben, the teenaged son of star Noah Wyle's Tom:
"The more you learn about Ben, the more you learn about the aliens. My character's dad and brother are trying to rescue Ben and trying to figure out what's happening to me. So Ben really ties in to the greatest mysteries of the show: why do the aliens kidnap teenagers? Why do they put these devices on their backs?"
Here's an extended promo for the CW's upcoming teen witch series.
And here's some promo art. [KSiteTV]
Additional reporting by Gordon Jackson and Charlie Jane Anders.