Damon Lindelof explains why Ridley Scott's Prometheus is more than just an Alien prequel. Guillermo del Toro confirms a key bit of Pacific Rim casting. Plus a former Doctor Who star is possibly headed to Game of Thrones!
Nothing but spoilers from here on down...
Top image from Transformers: Dark of the Moon.
Marvel Studios executive Kevin Feige recently offered some thoughts on Marvel's slate of upcoming films. First, he explains why they abandoned the initial approach to Captain America, in which the story was set in both the 1940s and the present day:
"The problem was that you didn't have enough time to get to know the character. All of a sudden, people were calling him an icon and treating him as a costume as opposed to a character. Plus, his origin story takes place in World War II — that's when he was created and when he was first brought into comics. So I decided that we needed to go full period; not only does Joe [Johnston] love that era, but it also allows us to do a whole first act with Steve Rogers [Captain America's alter ego] as a scrawny, 98-pound weakling who just wants a chance to prove himself. It was always my hope that viewers would fall in love with Steve before he even puts on the costume and gets the muscles. And in the test screenings we've done up to this point, that seems to be the case."
Feige also says that they consciously avoid the urge "to move away from the source material without good reason", and then explained one such instance in the film:
"For example, in the original comics, Captain America had a sidekick named Bucky Barnes, who was this 12-year-old camp mascot. These days, it wouldn't make a lot of sense to have a 12-year-old running around in battle. So in the film, we've made them contemporaries and best friends. We've also learned to take chances on casting and not think that there has to be a marquee name playing every character, because retrofitting the character to fit whatever flavor of the month has been cast never works."
Here are some promo posters. [IGN]
And here's a super-brief clip, plus a new TV spot which gives a glimpse of the present-day framing sequence:
Next, Feige explained their approach to The Avengers, and how they avoided overcrowding the movie:
With The Avengers, we're mimicking what comic-book publishers have been doing for years and years. We're making a big crossover event that brings all of these characters together to face something incredible and epic...The first step in avoiding [overstuffing the movie] was hiring Joss. If you look at his body of work, he regularly writes for lots of characters. ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer' may be called ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer,' but it's really an ensemble piece and none of the characters ever get lost in the spectacle of whatever is going on. We're in the fifth week of production on The Avengers and all of the actors have been very impressed with him. They all carry their own movies and I think everyone was worried about who would get the short end of the stick. But no one does because they're all there servicing this larger story. The stuff we've shot is cutting together spectacularly and it's just the character interactions that we've done so far-we haven't shot much of the action sequences yet. I think the end result is going to feel very, very satisfying."
And finally, Feige teases some details on the third Iron Man film:
Audiences will see that Tony Stark is going back into his own world. There will be acknowledgements to the events of The Avengers and the character journey he took there, but he's not going to be having tea with Thor and calling Nick Fury every five minutes.
We heartily recommend checking out the full feature at the link. [Film Journal]
Longtime stuntman Vic Armstrong explains why this movie ditches the CGI-heavy approach of the Sam Raimi films in favor of something more realistic:
Yeah, that's what everybody, including the producers were aware of – and this, as well as being a re-boot with a great young actor, Andrew Garfield, they wanted to re-boot the approach to it, saying "Let's think naturally and start again." The thing you do when you get a script, or a problem like that, is you think, "What do we want him to do for real? How much can we do for real?" And then you back yourself into a comfort zone – "OK, we can't do that for real, so we'll use a bit of CG, and then we can pick it up here and do that," and you do as much as you physically can – you don't get lazy and do it in post.
Armstrong also describes one of the recent stunts:
I did a shot a few weeks back, on Spider-Man, where we had to jump over a 20 foot gap between skyscrapers. He does a somersault in the air as he's going over the 20 foot distance, lands in a somersault, gets up and runs off – we had an 8 inch pad and an Air Ram. We did the shots, and I asked the guy what he needed next, and he said just give me a clean path, take the pad out, take the Air Ram out, nothing left, and we shoot a path like that, and then they can replace where the pad was with the roof – it's a fantastic bonus in that respect...
There's more at the link. [Comic Book Movie]
And here's a collection of recent set videos and photos of Spider-Man in action.
Here are some set photos of a 2012 Lamborghini Aventador outside Wollaton Hall, which portrays the new Wayne Manor. Presumably, this is Bruce Wayne's sleek new ride in the movie, although that's just speculation. [Batman-News]
Plano, Illinois - which is widely believed to be the film's stand-in for Smallville - will reportedly close down Main Street on August 6 and August 22-29, suggesting those are probable filming dates. [Comic Book Movie]
If a sequel does happen — and there's some speculation that Warner Bros's larger commitment to various tie-in products may force the studio to give a sequel a shot — then it would probably feature a different tone, a more CGI-experienced director, and a lower budget. The one thing it might not have is Ryan Reynolds, and not because Warner wouldn't want him back. Rather, as one rival film executive argues, Reynolds himself has almost nothing to gain from doing a Green Lantern sequel, and it might be better for his career just to move on. So, anyone who was hoping to see a Kyle Rayner or John Stewart Green Lantern movie... you may not have long to wait. (Those hoping for a Guy Gardner Green Lantern movie... you probably do have long to wait.) [The Hollywood Reporter]
Writer Damon Lindelof explains just what exactly this movie - which is generally thought to be an Alien prequel in all but name - actually is:
It started as an Alien prequel. That is what everybody wanted it to be. Obviously, Ridley Scott has not made a science fiction movie in 25 years, since Blade Runner, so the idea that he's returning to this genre is huge. But there is a real issue which is - what is the state of the Alien franchise at this point in our lives? There has been Alien vs. Predator and all these things, and its been completely and totally diluted. I've always felt that really good prequels should be original movies. And the sequels to those prequels should not be the movie which already exists because, with all due respect to anyone who makes a prequel, but why would you ruin the greatest twist in the history of cinema, "Luke, I am your father", by showing me three movies which basically spoil that surprise. You can do movies which take place before Star Wars, but I don't need to see the story of the Skywalker clan. Show me something else which I can't guess the possible outcome of. There is no suspense in inevitability. So a true prequel should essentially precede the events of the original film, but be about something entirely different, feature different characters, have an entirely different theme, although it takes place in that same world. That was my fundamental feeling about what this movie wanted to be.
As is his wont, Guillermo del Toro is still talking up his various projects. On his big budget monster movie:
It's not a Godzilla film. I don't think any of [the giant monster films] have been done quite like this one. And the plot is very special. I'm under the mother of all non-disclosure agreements, so I can't reveal much. But it's a very particular film. I love it.
Here's more, featuring a seriously epic food metaphor:
"The same thing that appeals to me about most of my projects, monsters, creatures. It's literally, I love sophisticated food, I love caviar and this and that, but I also love Twinkies. It's like I stepped into a room full of Twinkies [with this movie], you can hear the song and my face brightening up, a love moment. I go, 'Monsters? In that number and that size, doing the things that they do in Pacific Rim? [It is a] pure banquet. It's the sheer joy of a giant monster movie. If you've ever seen one or enjoyed one, this is the sheer joy of giant things doing terrible things to little things."
He also confirmed that Charlie Day will be in the movie, but not as comic relief:
"He plays a very nice role. It's not a comedic relief role, but he is a strange character, his character is pretty strange."
As anyone has ever seen It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia can attest, "pretty strange" is pretty much perfect for Charlie Day. [MTV Movies Blog]
Here are some promo photos from del Toro's upcoming horror film. [IGN]
Paramount is reportedly about to officially sign on as co-financier (along with New Regency) for Darren Aronofsky's big-budget take on the Noah's Ark story. [Deadline]
Steven Soderbergh's viral outbreak movie has set a release date of September 9, 2011. [/Film]
Much of the movie's visual effects will be handled by Cinesite, which previously handled effects work for X-Men: First Class, Battle: Los Angeles, Generation Kill, and John Carter. [Screen Daily]
The Hunger Games director Gary Ross is working on a sci-fi action film set in the Australian Outback, and Carey Mulligan - who supposedly has done other, even more acclaimed things since lighting up Doctor Who as Sally Sparrow, but frankly I find that difficult to believe - attached to star. Nothing more is known about the film, the script isn't even written yet, and both director and actress have pretty busy schedules, so this may not be happening for a while. [Variety]
Channing Tatum is reportedly definitely coming back as Duke, while Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson will play Roadblock, Wu Tang Clan's own The RZA will play Blind Master, and Detroit 187 actor D.J. Cotrona is in negotiations to play Flint. [/Film]
Rumors are circulating that Jodie Foster is up for a part in the zombie cop movie, but she reportedly passed on the role over a month ago. [@TheInSneider]
Andre Royo has reportedly revealed he will be back as cab driver Henry Arliss Higgins next season. [The Fringe Movement]
Two Doctor Who alums are rumored to be in line for second season roles: Tony Curran, who played Vincent Van Gogh in the last series, and the Ninth Doctor himself, Christopher Eccleston. No word on who either will play - for what it's worth, the current speculation is that Eccleston would play either Stannis Baratheon or Balon Greyjoy. In any event, if Eccleston doesn't play a character who gets killed in heartbreaking fashion after a season or so, then it'll throw into question everything I think I know about Christopher Eccleston. [Den of Geek]
Alan Ball confirms there will be a shower scene with Sookie and Eric like in the books, but it won't be quite the same:
"There is a shower scene. But it is not a direct re-enactment of the shower scene in the book. It goes to a slightly different place. Sookie and Eric are in the shower together...Everybody who's been waiting for Sookie and Eric to hook up, this will be a very good season for them."
Scott Wilson, who recently appeared on such shows as CSI and Justified, has been cast as Herschel Greene, while Supernatural and Chuck actress Lauren Cohan has been cast as his daughter Maggie. [TV Guide]
Here are some more dinosaur-themed promo posters. [Daemon's TV]
Longtime Lost producer and director Jack Bender has joined the new mysterious J.J. Abrams show in the same two capacities. [EW]
Guillermo del Toro confirmed he is still working on a new TV version of the Hulk:
Yeah, yeah, yeah. We turned in the outline to ABC about four weeks ago. And then we did a rewrite for ABC on the outline, and now we are lining up the pages.
Is it safe to assume this will be a different Hulk than we've ever seen before?
I think so. Or we wouldn't be trying it. Actually, one of the points of this project early on with Marvel, was "We're going to do this thing different, and here's how. Are you interested?" And they were.
Here's a sneak peek at the midseason premiere, "Liftoff." [SpoilerTV]
Here are some promo photos for episode two, "Fear and Loathing." [SpoilerTV]
And here's a general promo for Eureka, Warehouse 13, and Alphas.
Here are some promo photos for episode five, "The Tell." [SpoilerTV]
Here's a promo for episode six, "Heart Monitor." [SpoilerTV]
Additional reporting by Mandy Curtis and Charlie Jane Anders.