Judy Greer finally comes clean about her Ant-Man role. Are more Batman villains in Batman v. Superman? Early reviews for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies are decidedly mixed. Ridley Scott wavers on his decision not to direct Blade Runner 2. And are we going to ever see the Inhumans in Agents of SHIELD? Spoilers now!
Top image: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Batman v. Superman
Badass Digest says that Doomsday will definitely appear in Dawn of Justice and adds its name to the various sources saying that Anatoli Knyazev, AKA KGBeast, will appear as a henchman of Lex Luthor. He won't appear as KGBeast though, and the name's only in the script so far and it sounds like it may just show up as an Easter Egg. [Badass Digest]
A Disney rep has confirmed that the sound at the end of the teaser trailer is the sound attached to Luke Skywalker's first lightsaber — AKA, the lightsaber that used to belong to Anakin Skywalker and was lost (along with Luke's hand) in The Empire Strikes Back. If that means it's the same lightsaber, than this may be confirmation of the rumors that the discovery of this lightsaber is what kickstarts the action in The Force Awakens. Video below. [Slashfilm]
Judy Greer's confirmed that she'll be playing Scott Lang's estranged wife:
I'm Paul Rudd's estranged ex-wife. We have a daughter together and our relationship is, well, estranged, but I feel like my character is still rooting for him to succeed. I guess that's about as much as I can say. They gave us all these papers of things we're allowed to say and things we're not allowed to say, and I left them in Atlanta. Sorry!
The reference to their daughter could be confirmation that the story will include many of the same elements from the original comics story that made Scott Lang into Ant-Man. [Hey U Guys]
Blade Runner 2
And now Ridley Scott isn't so definite that he wants someone else directing the sequel after all. Telling Yahoo! that he's "not sure" about it. He elaborated:
The script is very, very good. Very good. I wouldn't know [what sort of director we'd want]. It's a hard one to track because it's a very personal piece of my work.
['Blade Runner'] may be one of the most personal pieces I did. I got so beaten up for it, I said I'd never try that again. But here we are. It's sitting there ready to be made.
See the video at the link. [Yahoo!]
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
The first reviews are already coming out of the UK, and they are pretty mixed. The Telegraph was particularly harsh, with its two-star review saying:
The trouble is that Jackson can't make it mean very much: when every life on Middle Earth is seemingly at stake, few individually grab our attention. There's more aftermath than plot left, and very little of it has to do with Bilbo (Martin Freeman), who feels increasingly like a forlorn bystander in his own franchise.
The further and more competently the movie trundles on, the more it begs not to exist, really: hindsight favours a two-part adaptation at most.
The Guardian's three-star review was more mixed:
Jackson, for understandable reasons, has concentrated his cinematic fire on the clang of swordplay and the roar of battle; this consigns Bilbo to a peripheral role throughout. Of course, and I don't think this is too much of a spoiler, his return to the Shire is calibrated for maximum heartstring-tugging, as well as one or two bits of business to close the loop to the Lord of the Rings movies.
Be that as it may, this film is a fitting cap to an extended series that, if nothing else, has transformed Tolkien's place in the wider culture. His books were once strictly for spotty teen nerds (I think we've all been there), and while The Battle of the Five Armies is unlikely to repeat the Oscar sweep that greeted the conclusion of Jackson's first Tolkien trilogy, in truth it is just as enjoyable as each of the five films that came before it. Jackson may or may not be resigned to the fact that, unless something very dramatic emerges, they will be his principal cinematic legacy – his pre-Rings eccentricity having been thoroughly eclipsed – but at least he can take a bit of time off. He's earned it.
And The Independent sees it as the strongest of the three Hobbit movies:
A movie comprised almost entirely of battles could have become very tedious indeed. Jackson, though, is always able to give an intimacy to even the biggest, noisiest scenes. Howard Shore's music plays a crucial role in driving the action forward and in providing emotional shading. Freeman's role as the down to earth everyman Bilbo Baggins provides much needed contrast to the bombast that runs through The Battle Of The Five Armies.
As the different armies collide, the film risks becoming chaotic and confusing. There are some moments of mawkishness, especially at the finale. We get the sense that Jackson is struggling to drag himself away for the last time from a kingdom to which he has devoted so much of his working life and that he can't quite work out how to make a tidy exit. Nonetheless, for all its loose ends, The Battle Of The Five Armies is the strongest, boldest film in the Hobbit trilogy and provides just the send off that the series deserves.
The Last of Us
Maisie Williams says that, at this early stage, it looks like she is going to star as Ellie in the movie adaptation of The Last of Us. She told IGN:
So the way it was left is they want me to do it, and I want to do it. But there's no script, no director, and no anything else. So at this moment, it's looking like, 'Yes,' but it's still such early days. If they make it in 30 years, they can't have a 40-year-old Ellie. So at the moment, it's looking good, and I'd love to do it. Hell yeah.
The new director for the remake is Corin Hardy, who replaces F. Javier Gutiérrez, due to a conflict in schedules. [Deadline]
Executive producer Andrew Kreisberg explained all the work that went into the crossover episodes and reiterated that there's the chance for more down the road:
Doing it this time nearly killed us, because we basically had to shoot two extra episodes in the same amount of time, and it really was a giant scheduling nightmare that was very difficult on both crews, both sets of casts and also for the writers. But at the same time, you look at the results, and we're so proud of these episodes. There's certainly an appetite to try and do something like this again. Hopefully we'll find the right story and the right time, and hopefully the fans are here for it, too.
Fellow EP Marc Guggenheim added that the crossover taught him that they could make powers fit into the world of Arrow and we may see metahumans show up in Starling City:
Guggenheim: Yeah, it really was [fun to indulge in the fantastic], actually. And I have to say, what's fun about episode 8 for "Arrow" is, it proved to me as a writer and a producer, "Hey, you know what?" You can do metahumans on "Arrow" without feeling like the show is changing its tone too much.
So we may see more of that?
Guggenheim: You may. It's something that we all sort of collectively realized: "Hey, the show can handle that." So that's kind of cool. I may have to amend my earlier comment from the beginning of the year, just because this kind of works!
Stephen Amell is keen for all the DC shows, regardless of network, to exist in the same universe, saying:
I know the logistics are challenging and the politics are above my pay grade, but in the interest of putting the best product forth for the fans, I don't think we should limit ourselves to Flash and Arrow crossing over because we're both on the CW. If you're owned by Warner Bros., or if you're just in the DC Universe, everything should be in play.
Here are the rest of the photos from the midseason finale, "The Climb," which is described thusly:
Nyssa returns to Starling City and tells Oliver that her father, Ra's al Ghul has given Oliver 48 hours to find Sara's killer or the League of Assassins will start killing the citizens of Starling City. Laurel is stunned when her father delivers a very special Christmas gift – her mother, Dinah. Meanwhile, Ray tries to make amends with Felicity and Oliver sets a meeting with Ra's al Ghul.
Agents of SHIELD
Executive producers Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen danced around the question of whether the show's building up to revealing the Inhumans:
WHEDON: That's why there's more episodes to come!
TANCHAROEN: You will see how this Kree fact that we all now know plays out.
WHEDON: It also helps tie us into the cinematic universe. In Guardians, we saw parts in our universe that we hadn't explored yet, so it shows we're a part of that too.
They did reveal a bit more about what's next for Skye and her various relationships:
Now Skye is with Ward (Brett Dalton) en route to meet her dad (Kyle MacLachlan). Is it safe to assume this meeting will be fraught with tension?
WHEDON: Their relationship is just beginning. We will definitely see it develop in one way or another.
TANCHAROEN: It's hard to let go of that lifelong hope of meeting your birth parents and having your parents be people that you've always wished them to be, but she's been faced with the reality of who he really is, and she's seen dead bodies in his wake. She's still grappling with that inside.
Will Skye and Ward's relationship also be contentious when we pick up in the next episode?
WHEDON: She's not his biggest fan. Everybody has a reason for being the way they are. Ward has his. Whether or not she can reconcile that with his actions, that's the question. Right now, it feels like she can't.
More at the link. [Entertainment Weekly]
Bradley James (Arthur in Merlin) will play the title role in Lifetime's Omen sequel. The six-episode show will follow Damien as he comes to terms with his Antichrist role. [Deadline]
Executive producer Jason Rothenberg said there are no plans to go back and show how the relationship between the Mountain Men and the Reapers came about:
Right now, there's no plan to show flashbacks to how that started. It basically started out of necessity. The Mountain Men can't survive out on the ground without heavily protected full-body radiation suits. It's not the most ideal way to conduct operations on the ground. When they realized they need these Grounders to survive they also realized they needed accomplices, I suppose is the right word.
The Syfy show based on the Lev Grossman books following a group of students at a college for magic has added Jason Ralph and Sosie Bacon to its cast. Ralph will play Quentin Coldwater, a "brilliant yet withdrawn young man who feels alienated by his peers, including a hopeless crush on the beautiful Julia (Stella Maeve)." Quentin finds himself at Brakebills College for Magical Pedagogy, where he discovers a talent for magic
Bacon will play Alice, a "shy but lovely woman who attends Brakebills, and is regarded as an outcast among her peers despite her brilliance as a practitioner of magic." [Entertainment Weekly]
Here's a poster. [Entertainment Weekly]
Additional reporting by Charlie Jane Anders and Abhimanyu Das