Plus, before Peter Capaldi takes over, there's still the matter of Matt Smith's hair. Edgar Wright drops some hints about Ant-Man's villain (or lack thereof) and the enemy in The World's End. What's next for True Blood's main vampire hunks? Plus Invertigo imagines a world with gravity... only reversed. Spoilers now!
Top image from The World's End.
Writer-director Edgar Wright says there were never plans to include Ultron in the Ant-Man movie, even before the character was made the main villain of the upcoming Avengers sequel, because he’s just too big a character for a movie that also has to introduce Ant-Man himself:
It was never in my script. Because even just to sort of set up what Ant-Man does is enough for one movie. It's why I think "Iron Man" is extremely successful because it keeps it really simple. You have one sort of — the villain comes from the hero's technology. It's simple. So I think why that film really works and why, sometimes, superhero films fail — or they have mixed results — because they have to set up a hero and a villain at the same time. And that's really tough. And sometimes it's unbalanced.
You know, when I was younger I used to love Tim Burton's "Batman." I was like 15 and even then I was aware, "This is really the Joker's film." It's like, the Joker just takes over and Batman, you really don't learn too much about him. Comics have years to explain this stuff and in a movie you have to focus on one thing. So it's about kind of streamlining, I think. Some of the most successful origin films actually have a narrower focus. You cannot put 50 years of the Marvel universe into a movie. It's impossible.
Here are some new promo stills from the Ice Age train movie (which I realize isn’t an entirely perfect description, but it mildly amuses me, so it stays).
And here’s some concept art. [Film School Rejects]
District 9 and Elysium director Neill Blomkamp’s sci-fi robot comedy has reportedly been set for a March 27, 2015 release date. [The Hollywood Reporter]
Edgar Wright reveals how he settled on the design of the movie’s aliens, who have legs where arms normally go, at least in one crucial scene:
[Laughs] We went through three iterations of that, that were all terrifying until we settled on — in the original storyboards, she had four arms. Like, she took the other two arms and plugged them in. And then my brother pointed out, "No, that's not surreal, but they have sockets there? Why would they have sockets there?"
You'd get heat for that.
Exactly, "That makes no sense! Why would she have sockets right there?" So, then we went with one arm and one leg. And then we did a thing with two legs and said, "That's it." And one naked and one with high heels — and it looks terrifying.
And when the aliens open up their eyes and their mouths and it's glowing, that is legitimately scary looking.
You know, even though it's a comedy, the threat element is the stuff of your childhood nightmares. The whole film is about regression. Gary King wants to be 18 again. How is he going to get his friends to be 18 again? He's going to get them drunk — because when you're drunk, you act more juvenile. It's time travel through alcohol ... it's a film about the dangers of nostalgia. To go back to the original thing of "How do you do it without the cosmic intervention?" is that Gary would have gotten them drunk ... and probably eat a lot of carbs at the end. The end of it would be: Get really drunk and they eat some junk food that they really regret — and then that would be the end of their world.
There’s more at the link. [Huffington Post]
Eagle Eye and I Am Number Four director D.J. Caruso discusses his latest horror movie, in which a satellite crash creates a bizarre field where the gravitational force is inverted:
There’s a build-up, kind of a slow burn so there’s a cool wonderment period when the gravity just starts to invert. In a way it’s fun and playful. It’s almost like a really fun moonwalk, and then obviously it turns into a dangerous, catastrophic thing. Ultimately you need to get underground or underneath something because literally the camera turns upside down about 30 minutes into the movie — as well as our lead characters. So basically we’re walking on ceilings, we’re walking on subway tunnels and everything is inverted. It’s a combination of really clever set building, visual effects exteriors, cables and wires. It’s about every trick in the book. What’s difficult about mounting it is that you want to do it right so the audience can experience a huge spectacle and love it, but you don’t want the movie to cost so much — like a few of the movies this summer — that just cost so much that the goal of getting that money back, the window starts to shrink. We just actually licked that, and I feel like we’ve turned the corner on it.
Here’s a preview of Steven Moffat’s thoughts on 12th Doctor Peter Capaldi, which will appear in full in the upcoming issue of Doctor Who Magazine:
"The Doctor's always said he’s thousands of years old, and suddenly he’s going to look closer to what we know he secretly is. He’s going to look like an older man. A fiercer man. He won’t be the dashing young man he was a minute ago, and I think that’ll be rather exciting… [Peter Capaldi has] always looked like Doctor Who, how has this taken us so long?! Because the moment you say his name, you go ‘Of course!’ Because he’s got the hair, and he’s got the look, he’s brilliant, he’s known to be a fan, of course it’s bloody him!"
In rather exciting news, Neil Gaiman says he’s very much hoping to write a third episode, following on from “The Doctor’s Wife” and “Nightmare In Silver.” He mentions that he hopes to write for Peter Capaldi’s Doctor either this season or the next, which is, if we want to be super-technical about this – and since this is Doctor Who we’re talking about, that goes without saying – the first indication that Capaldi will indeed be sticking around for multiple seasons. Anyway, here’s what Gaiman has to say:
Absolutely! I definitely, definitely - I don't want to be coy, you know with Nightmare In Silver it was like I was being coy, but I figured they would like to have me, I would like to do more. The only problem that I'm having right now is the time that I probably would have spent writing a Doctor Who script this year suddenly got eaten by going on tour for this book. So, what I'm hoping, is that I can persuade Steven Moffat, instead of getting the BBC to pay me in cash, cos, you know, I'm now like this best-selling author - I've got enough money! Money is just fine! So I'm wondering if maybe I can get them to start paying me in time. You know, I know he knows people, so if he can just sort of...
And who better than the executive producer of Doctor Who? Time travel!
That's what I'm hoping! If I can just get him to send me, you know, like 9 weeks and I can write in it. I don't know, I'd love to write an episode for Season 8, it may well be that I'm over in Season 9, but I promise I haven't gone away! The idea of writing for Peter Capaldi's Doctor is one that I find so thrilling and exciting, I've been a fan of his since Neverwhere when he played the Angel Islington.
Meanwhile, let’s go back to the one giant question hanging over the 11th Doctor’s regeneration episode, which is set to film next month – how exactly is the show going to deal with Matt Smith’s new, buzzed hairdo? While there’s no question Smith will sport his signature Doctor look in the special — either though some fast hair growth or a strategic wig deployment — he does says he’s hoping his new look could be included in some way. Here’s his probably not entirely serious quote:
"The coif will be there for the finale in some way, shape, or form, but I think it could be quite funny to have the bald hair. I think you could have, like, that Macaulay Culkin scene in Home Alone when he, like, slaps on the aftershave - I think the Doctor could sort of wake up and be like, 'Ah!' I'm sure Steven will come up with something. He'll come up with something clever."
Showrunner Brian Buckner answers the second most important question about season seven – namely, will Eric return? (The most important question, obviously, is whether Eric’s penis will return.) Here’s the mildly helpful answer:
I can tell you that Alexander Skarsgard is going to be a part of the next season of True Blood. He will be a series regular.
I’m guessing Eric won’t suddenly be alive and well in the Season 7 premiere.
No. That would be a cheat, wouldn’t it? That would be an incredible cheat. Pam has gone off in search of Eric, and maybe she’s going to be the one to find him, y’know?
Turning to one of the vampires who boringly didn’t show his penis in the season finale, Buckner discussed what’s ahead for Bill:
We don’t want Bill to be an a—hole. Whereas the show that I love watching most right now, Breaking Bad, Walter White is on a downward trajectory with the consequences of his actions. The question we’re going to be asking this coming season is: Can Bill be forgiven? Because he made his intentions clear. One thing that I noticed – and I probably shouldn’t read as much as I’ve been reading, but I have been, in terms of audience reaction – is the idea that characters can’t change. I will put to bed one thing for you: this idea that Lettie Mae is trying to poison Tara? It’s absurd. That is genuine. And I realize that on our show, because it’s been so incredibly plot-driven for the past several years, you insert a Big Bad and then have the characters react in the way we expect them to react. That’s sort of what’s been going on. When we let characters change, when we let the show be character-driven, I think people don’t know what to do with that. So with Lettie Mae and Tara, not to say that everything is going to go great, but the conflict is not going to be she’s poisoning Tara. By the same token, I think Bill doesn’t have a trick up his sleeve this time. I think he’s genuine. The real question is about forgiveness.
And here’s his take on the theme of season seven:
The show started out as, “Let’s see if vampires and humans can get along.” We’re returning to that original promise of the show. And because humans and vampires are being forced together, we’re going to be examining that with all of our characters. Everyone’s going to come under the umbrella of that main story. These are complicated relationships now because they’re feeding – it’s not necessarily sex, but things get confused sometimes, especially in vampires’ minds – so you’re going to be looking at a number of complicated three-way, four-way relationships.
There’s still a ton more at the link. [TV Line]
Here’s a promo for episode ten, “Let the Games Begin.”
Showrunner Robert Singer reveals the overarching story for the coming ninth season:
"The arc this year is much more multi-layered than in the past. When we start a season, we try to say, very loosely 'what's the movie this year? What's the story this year?' A couple years ago we said 'all right, we're going to do a season-long mystery.' Last year was sort of an Indiana Jones quest 'movie' for the entire year. This year is very multi-layered; we don't really have a movie or a story in mind," Singer explained. "We just have a lot of balls in the air, and a lot of stories that are separate and apart from Sam and Dean, and of course they'll get integrated into those stories. The angels falling, Crowley incapacitated, what's going to happen with Abaddon. We have demon on demon stories, angel on angel stories, and the boys are sort of in the middle of this maelstrom. There's a thing that happens very early on in the first episode that really informs the Sam and Dean relationship, certainly at least through halfway through the season."
Here’s a new promo. [SpoilerTV]
Here are synopses for the first three episodes of season four:
Episode 4.01 – Fallout
Six months after the events of last season, Duke is ejected from the barn-without Audrey and rescued by Jennifer, a young woman with a mysterious connection to a place she's never been: Haven.
Episode 4.02 – Survivors
As charred bodies are uncovered around Haven, Duke must refocus Nathan from his search for Audrey to solve the case at hand. Meanwhile, Audrey's fate rests with Jennifer, as she comes to terms with her own trouble.
Episode 4.03 - Bad Blood
Nathan and Dwight race to search for the trouble behind a series of exsanguinated corpses before more blood is spilled. Meanwhile, Duke must convince his half-brother Wade to leave Haven before he learns the truth of the Crocker family trouble.
Previewing the second half of season three, showrunner Jeff Davis reveals why Derek is gone:
“He’s gone for a specific reason and he’s gone to a specific place. The reasons why come out in the first three episodes [of the second half of the season]. It’s a fun story. So he’s got some secrets that he needs to deal with and some questions as well. Derek’s story…I like to talk about Derek’s arc in 3A as one of endurance. Derek is the kind of guy who can endure. He will always endure. He can take any kind of pain punishment and torture and survive. And that’s kind of his biggest superpower. And now that he has, has he learned how to become a hero. I’ve said before, Scott needs to learn how to become a true Alpha and Derek has to learn how to become a true hero.”
And here are some hints for the midseason premiere:
“The first episode deals with the repercussions of what they’ve done in essentially bringing power back to Beacon Hills. And they’re all dealing with it in their different ways. What you’re going to see with Stiles is that he’s having a lot of trouble sleeping. He becomes a bit of a tortured soul in the first part of [season 3B]. They’re all feeling the effects and none of them are good. It’s going to be a difficult road for some of our characters.”
And here’s a sneak peek at the episode, which is set to air January 6, 2014. [SpoilerTV]
Additional reporting by Amanda Yesilbas and Charlie Jane Anders.