Liam Neeson is ready to bring Qui-Gon back to Star Wars. Gotham's executive producer explains how Christopher Nolan paved the way for the new show. Plus Ryan Murphy explains why Jessica Lange lobbied for American Horror Story's new setting. Spoilers now!
Top image: Avengers: Age of Ultron
Mark Ruffalo really wants to be in Rian Johnson's Episode VIII, telling Collider that he wrote a letter to his Brothers Bloom director which read:
Rian, congratulations on everything you've been doing. And by the way, if there's a part in Star Wars, please, anything, please consider considering me to join you.
Also willing to join the passel of new Star Wars films is Liam Neeson. He said that he'd be willing to come back as Qui-Gon Jinn, but that he hasn't been asked to appear in Episode VII. Between this and his comments about playing Ra's al Ghul on Arrow, Neeson's developing a habit of expressing an interest in returning to parts in projects that are unlikely to ever ask. See the video below. [Hey U Guys]
Batman v. Superman
Ben Affleck told the Sunday Times that he shared the some "character flaws" with his version of Bruce Wayne:
I think it's a necessity, historically, in the tradition of these films. For me, anger is so deeply buried and contained that when it does kind of come out, it comes out in stronger bursts.
I tend to be respectful, polite, get along, put up with, put up with, put up with… then when it emerges, it's not something I have a ton of control over. I'm not gonna do a Wolverine berserk rage, but I do have a, I do.
James Bond 24
My Entertainment World reports that filming on the next Bond film will start on December 6. They'll film at Pinewood Studios in the UK, with additional shooting locations of Rome and Austria. [My Entertainment World via Coming Soon]
Avengers: Age of Ultron
Here's the official synopsis:
Marvel Studios presents "Avengers: Age of Ultron," the epic follow-up to the biggest Super Hero movie of all time. When Tony Stark tries to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry and Earth's Mightiest Heroes, including Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye, are put to the ultimate test as the fate of the planet hangs in the balance. As the villainous Ultron emerges, it is up to The Avengers to stop him from enacting his terrible plans, and soon uneasy alliances and unexpected action pave the way for an epic and unique global adventure.
Marvel's "Avengers: Age of Ultron" stars Robert Downey Jr., who returns as Iron Man, along with Chris Evans as Captain America, Chris Hemsworth as Thor and Mark Ruffalo as The Hulk. Together with Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow and Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, and with the additional support of Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury and Cobie Smulders as Agent Maria Hill, the team must reassemble to defeat James Spader as Ultron, a terrifying technological villain hell bent on human extinction. Along the way, they confront two mysterious and powerful newcomers, Wanda Maximoff, played by Elizabeth Olsen, and Pietro Maximoff, played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson, and meet an old friend in a new form when Paul Bettany becomes Vision.
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Here's a new banner. [SpoilerTV]
Here's an extended TV spot and a poster. [First Showing]
On a conference call, executive producer Bruno Heller answered a question about whether Smallville and Arrow made Gotham possible:
Oh, that's a good deep question. Yes, I would say. Both the shows you mentioned are Warner Bros. shows, and the DC Universe is now very much a part of Warner Bros. culture. I've been talking with DC for many years before we got to this point and landed on "Gotham".
I think you're probably right — ten years ago it wouldn't be possible and I think that's a combination of the brilliance of what the Nolans did to revivify the Batman franchise and also the shows you mentioned. […] I would say that the difference between those shows and this is that those were cable shows and this is network, and there are slightly different demands there. The analogy would be those are arena shows and this has to be a stadium show and we have to appeal to an even larger audience. So it has to appeal to both people who love Batman and love Gotham and love that world, and also people who have no particular love for the world and you just have to grab on the strength of the story and the characters.
He also addressed the pilot's front-loading of characters and whether, as the show went on, it would continue to pack the episodes or do a more "villain of the week" approach:
Obviously the demands of opening big means that we've front-loaded with lots of characters and fun just to indicate where we're going, as the show rolls on it won't be a villain per week, simply because these are such great villains and their storylines are so big and epic it would be shortchanging everyone if we did it in that production line sort of way. So there are a lot of big characters in that first episode, but sort of as it rolls on other characters will be introduced in a much more measured sort of way.
This is actually great to hear, as one of the more frustrating elements of the pilot was that it felt like famous characters were crammed into every nook and cranny for no real reason. [Batman News]
American Horror Story: Freak Show
Ryan Murphy says that the idea for this season's locale was partly due to Jessica Lange lobbying for it. He also gave a quick description of the season:
It sort of dovetails with a time in our culture where different people of all different kinds of life start to stand up for their civil rights. The performers have put up with centuries of abuse which is all true and are getting to the point where we're not going to take it anymore. We're not going to take it from the town, from the law. The carnies historically were always thought of as lower than thieves, lower than vermin. They were not allowed to sit in certain parts of diners. They were not allowed in movie theaters. They were really ostracized from society. They were thought of as the dregs. So that's going on as Elsa is trying to keep the sideshow going and it's not working until she stumbles across two girls, conjoined twins played by Sarah Paulson, who may or may not be responsible for heinous activities that have gone on in the town. Then suddenly become her new headliners and of course that begins to attract people far and wide to see this incredibly odd and special girls.
We're doing conjoined twins in a very interesting way that I've never seen done before. What we're doing with Sarah is one body, one actor, two heads. It's really a technological and acting marvel for Ms. Paulson. I think people will really be blown away by. We kinda have created this technology to make it work so it's something that's never been done and I was really interested in the challenge of that.
Murphy laid out everyone's part: Lange's Elsa isn't a villain but a "mama" to everyone in her show; Kathy Bates' Ethel was a circus star who became a drunk after having a baby, and was saved from the drunk tank by Elsa and became her number two; Evan Peters' Jimmy (Ethel's husband) is the "big man on campus and is the male leader of the group until Michael Chiklis' character comes, the strong man, and they begin to battle for power under Elsa"; Angela Basset's Desiree is a three-breasted woman married to Michael Chiklis' Dell "is a strong man who is also running from the law because it turned out he did a series of disastrous events"; Emma Roberts plays Maggie "fortuneteller with a crystal ball who's a complete con artist. She shows up at the camp to help them and it ends up terribly bad"; John Carroll Lynch plays Twisty the murderous clown; and Wes Bentley plays the mythical Edward Mordrake.
As for newcomer Patti LaBelle:
This year has Patti LaBelle. Tell me about her role.
Patti LaBelle plays a friend and coworker to Franny Conroy. Patti plays someone who knows what's going on in this town and she tries to stop it. She was awesome. She hadn't really acted that much before. She's amazing. She's another person in the long lexicon of people who have been on the show that I just personally am a fan of. So I just called her and said, "I love you will you do it?" I like to do that every year. Diana Ross your call is coming is all I'm going to say!
Does she sing?
Oh no because it's a straight dramatic part. It's the opposite of what people expect.
But is there singing in this?
Yeah in a very specific way. It is a freak show. There are visual marvels. There's circus acts. There's musical acts. And Jessica's talent on the show is she's a chanteuse so she does croon a tune for her sideshow.
And what about Gabourey Sidibe? She's Patti's daughter?
Yes. She is somebody who has gone to New York and become a society girl and she comes back to find out why her mother is not returning her phone calls.
Read more details at the link. [Entertainment Weekly]
Here's the description of episode two:
Episode 4.02 - Massacres and Matinees
(Airs October 15, 10:00 pm e/p)
A citywide curfew threatens to shut down the Freak Show. A strongman from Ethel's troubled past arrives at camp. Gloria arranges a terrifying play date for Dandy. The Tattler Twins reveal a talent that could knock Elsa from the spotlight.
Written by Tim Minear; directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon.
Scott Glenn (Bourne Ultimatum, Silence of the Lambs) has been cast as Matt Murdock's martial arts mentor, Stick. [Comic Book Resources]
Here's a promo for "Time Heist":
Go here for more promotional photos from "Time Heist":
Once Upon a Time
Go here for more promo banners. [SpoilerTV]
The Vampire Diaries
Go here for photos from the season 6 premiere. Here's the description:
After spending the past four months coping with the loss of Damon (Ian Somerhalder) in an unconventional and potentially dangerous way, Elena (Nina Dobrev) has returned to Whitmore College for the start of sophomore year. Unable to move on, Caroline (Candice Accola) is desperate to find a way to reverse the anti-magic spell the Travelers have put over Mystic Falls and grows frustrated when her calls to Stefan (Paul Wesley) go unanswered. Tyler (Michael Trevino), who is human once again, has a run-in at a football tailgate that tests his ability to control his anger, while Matt (Zach Roerig) worries that Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) is dealing with the loss of Bonnie (Kat Graham) in a self-destructive way. Alaric (Matt Davis), who is struggling to adjust to his new life as a vampire, finds himself in an awkward situation when he meets Jo (guest star Jodi Lyn O'Keefe), a beautiful doctor at the university hospital. Last, while everyone believes Stefan is off tracking a lead to get Damon and Bonnie back, Elena is shocked when she learns the truth of what he has really been up to.
Here's a photo from the premiere, "Rebirth." [SpoilerTV]
Additional reporting by Charlie Jane Anders and Diana Biller