Avatar 2 will go underwater, but don't expect any trips off-world. Christopher Nolan's cinematographer explains why Batman isn't going 3D. Colin Farrell really is starring in Total Recall, but Zac Efron's not in Akira. Plus tons of Doctor Who/Torchwood spoilers.
Producer Jon Landau says the next film will remain focused on Pandora, and it's not going all underwater either, contrary to some reports:
"Water will be a part of the movie, but it won't be all of the movie. There's been a lot of rumours that it's an underwater movie – it's not. Just like the Floating Mountains, and the Na'vi's interaction with the mountains, were a part of Avatar, it'll be the same type of thing. think the next movie will stay on Pandora. That'd be my guess. Not all the answers are there yet, but I think we're happy with Pandora."
The Dark Knight Rises
Longtime Christopher Nolan collaborator Wally Pfister says he isn't officially on board for the next Batman movie, but he certainly assumes the job will be his. He explained that they hope to shoot as much as the film as they can for IMAX, but budget and sound problems won't allow them to film the entire movie for that format. He denied the rumors about the film shooting in New Orleans, and he says he doesn't expect to see a script until early next year.
He also reaffirmed Nolan and his shared disinterest in 3D:
"I'm not a big fan of 3D. I think one of the biggest problems for Chris, and I would second this, in doing a film in 3D is it has to be shot in a video process, and we're film people to the end. You'll have to pry that film camera out of my dead hands. The so-called digital revolution is great. If you have no money and you want to shoot it on your Canon 5D — fantastic. If that's the only way you can make the movie, great. But if we're putting movies up on a screen this size … we need to deliver the best image quality there. And there's nothing better than film."
Here's even more photos showing off that cool Hydra tank: [Marvel Movie News]
Matty Libatique, who was the cinematographer on Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan and The Fountain, will also be the director of photography on this sequel to X-Men Origins: Wolverine. His big budget background includes Iron Man and Cowboys and Aliens. [Hitfix]
Star Trek 2
A bit of clarification is in order for last week's reports (including our own) about the script for the Star Trek sequel. The writing team of Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, and Damon Lindelof are reportedly not shooting for December 2010 to finish the script, but rather early 2011, which apparently was actually the plan all along. And for anyone worried about J.J. Abrams's uncertain status as director - he didn't commit to direct the first movie until the script was finished, and this is reportedly the same situation. [Trek Movie]
Colin Farrell has reportedly been officially offered the role of Douglas Quaid in Len Wiseman and Kurt Rimmer's highly unnecessary remake of the Paul Verhoeven/Arnold Schwarzenegger original. [Variety]
In what is sure to be a huge disappointment to the tens of people who are huge fans of both High School Musical and classic cyberpunk anime, Zac Efron has reportedly not been offered the lead role after all. [Digital Spy]
A script review is out, and it's rather less than positive. The film has been Americanized, with the setting shifted to a nuked out Manhattan. The story is roughly faithful to parts of the original film, but a new character has been added: Ray Arcman, the mad scientist who created Akira through psychic experiments on children. The Colonel's character is weakened in this, and the reviewer doubts Morgan Freeman would be a good fit for the part as written. The ending is also weak, and seems more interested in hinting at a sequel than concluding the movie in a satisfying way. There's more details at the link. [Screenrant]
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1
A bunch of new photos are out: [Multiple Verses]
Here's some shots from the filming of Edward and Bella's honeymoon on Brazil's Isla Esme: [Gente]
Kate Beckinsale's return to the actually sexy vampire franchise has found its director(s): Swedes Mans Marlind and Bjorn Stein, whose sole English language film is the thriller Shelter. [The Hollywood Reporter]
Transformers: The Dark of the Moon
The movie filmed in the General Assembly of the UN building in New York this past Saturday. The scene is likely to do with either the Autobots getting outlawed early in the movie, or being granted amnesty at the end. There are also some rather unlikely reports that Judi Dench was seen there, although take that with a very big grain of salt for now. [On Location Vacations]
Two of the great inexplicable success stories, Rob Liefeld and Brett Ratner, are still hard at work on a film adaptation of Liefeld's barely veiled X-Men knockoff. Ratner explains the long delay since the announcement of the project is mostly to do with complicated legal issues:
"There were some rights issues. We actually waited for over a year for the rights to these comic books that were made by independent comic books. There was a lot of owners of these comic books and a lot of people were claiming they had the rights. It's taken a long time but I think we've finally cleared the legal part of it."
The prequel to John Carpenter's movie has lost its April 2011 release date in favor of another Universal movie. Right now, there's no word on what new slot in the schedule it will take. [Los Angeles Times]
Commercial director Fredrik Bond is reportedly taking on this movie, which is set twelve years after a devastating alien invasion and follows a underwater uranium miner (they have those?) who is recruited by the human resistance to blow up the mothership. The script is by Edward Ricourt. [The Wrap]
Immortality is apparently the big new thing, because legendary actress Angela Lansbury is playing Katherine Heigl's daughter in this new film. Heigl plays a woman who gets struck by lightning as she's dying, which makes her ageless...for some reason. We then find her caring for her sick 80-year-old daughter, played by Lansbury. And, as you might expect, romantic complications ensue when Heigl meets a man who might be worth growing old with. [Deadline]
Philip Noyce is reportedly negotiating to direct Timeless, which is about a man who inherits vast wealth from his wife, who died shortly after they married. He decides to invest that money to build a time machine that will allow him to see her one last time. The script is by Enchanted writer Bill Kelly. [ComingSoon.net]
Here's some images to get you ready for Wes Craven's revival of his other iconic horror series: [ShockTillYouDrop]
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
Another longer trailer has been released: [The Daily Mail]
A short summary is out for the "over there" episode 7, "Abducted":
The case of a serial kidnapper in the alternate universe becomes personal for Broyles; Olivia reconnects with cabdriver Henry (Andre Royo) on her secret quest to return to the other side.
Here's the synopsis for episode 10, "Chuck vs. the Leftovers":
CHUCK FACES A HIGH-STAKES HOLIDAY WHEN UNEXPECTED GUESTS ARRIVE FOR A THANKSGIVING "LEFTOVERS" DINNER – MONET MAZUR, LINDA HAMILTON AND TIMOTHY DALTON GUEST STAR – It's the day after Thanksgiving and Chuck (Zachary Levi) faces the most awkward of family reunions when mom (guest star Linda Hamilton) comes over for dinner-along with the dangerous Alexei Volkoff (guest star Timothy Dalton). Back at the Buy More, Morgan (Joshua Gomez) deals with the busiest shopping day of the year as Jeff (Scott Krinsky) and Lester (Vik Sahay) hatch their latest scheme. Yvonne Strahovski, Sarah Lancaster, Ryan McPartlin, Adam Baldwin and Mark Christopher Lawrence also star.
It's not clear who Monet Mazur is playing, although Greta would be the logical guess. [ChuckTV]
The Christmas special is borrowing not just a plot from Charles Dickens, but a title as well - its title is "A Christmas Carol." Steven Moffat also offers a few tantalizing hints:
"Oh, we're going for broke with this one. It's all your favourite Christmas movies at once, in an hour, with monsters. And the Doctor. And a honeymoon. And ... oh, you'll see. I've honestly never been so excited about writing anything!"
A clip from the episode will be shown during next Friday's Children in Need appeal, which is where the show has previously aired little scenes like "Time Crash." I guess this means they're again not using my idea for an 8th Doctor comeback sketch, which is basically just five minutes of me profusely thanking an increasingly uncomfortable-looking Paul McGann. One of these days... [BBC]
Steven Moffat also confirms this series really will reveal the truth about River Song:
Well, you will find out who she is and what's going on and how it all makes sense. And that will explain a number of things. I'm writing the episode right now where the Doctor finds out who she is. We're not just going to endlessly tease.
And, more generally speaking, he explained why we shouldn't expect any companions to get the Adric treatment anytime soon:
In the old series, they did off a couple of them. I'm not saying we'll never do it, but it's not that kind of a show. It's not gritty. It's kind of a lovely, life-affirming, optimistic show without a cynical bone in its body. It's almost odd when you see it in competition with things like Battlestar Galactica, and you think, Well that's not us at all. We're the story of a wonderful man from space who can travel in a telephone box! But I'm not guaranteeing I won't kill someone in the future!
Torchwood: The New World
Russell T. Davies says the show will strive to make all three leads - Captain Jack, Gwen, and new character Rex Matheson - accessible to new viewers:
I will enjoy playing with that and I can see already that a slight myth is going to build up of sorts, saying that Rex is our only entry point. When we first see Gwen, you will see what it essentially was in the series [before]. There are no super powers, there's no credits, no money, no special privileges. You'll see an ordinary woman whose life is about to take an extraordinary turn. So there will be an awful lot of new viewers where if you've never seen Gwen Cooper in your life, you will see a woman with a husband, a baby, thrown into a threat and you'll latch onto her immediately. Even the way that Captain Jack is introduced is written so that you'll latch onto that as well.
He also says the series will respect Jack's grief for Ianto and not dismiss that, but at the same time the series is set at least two years later and Jack has to start moving forward. Davies then gave some sense of new characters Rex and Esther:
Rex certainly brings dynamism and energy and hostility towards Torchwood. He wants to know who the hell they are and why the hell they're so important and they can get out of his way… at first. There's a great, fun, sparky, sexy sort of antagonism to the whole thing. Esther is much calmer, but through the course of the story, she suffers some great, powerful, emotional stories as it goes on. In some ways, she's a bit of an innocent abroad and soon learns not to be. And that plays off Gwen's experience with these things. The fact that Gwen still is the most ordinary woman in the world, and Jack's huge perspective of things, having lived for thousands of years… Just telling Rex that he can't die is a hilarious scene. There's a lot of fresh material there that we'll mine, but again the new story will always move us forward.
There's a ton more at the link. [IGN]
The Sarah Jane Adventures
Here's the trailer for the fourth series finale, "Goodbye, Sarah Jane Smith": [Planet Gallifrey]
Castiel actor portrayer Misha Collins explains why his character is up to something:
"Cas is on his own specific mission, which is to restore order to heaven, and at times it's going to run counter to Sam and Dean's missions. Why are these monsters so active, what brings them about, and why is there so much monster activity? The answer ultimately does lie with something that Cas has something to do with. I can't tell you what that is, but Cas is definitely involved, and heaven and hell are involved."
Here's a quick summary of this Friday's episode, "Clap Your Hands if You Believe":
Dean is abducted from a crop circle while investigating a UFO sighting. He quickly discovers he isn't dealing with aliens but rather with fairies. Sam searches for him and stumbles upon a world occupied by elves, gnomes and a leprechaun.
Here's a synopsis and promo for tomorrow's episode, "Malice": [Scifi Scoop]
Simeon makes his escape from Destiny, sending Nicholas Rush on a vengeful mission. But Young and Greer attempt to retrieve Simeon unharmed.
Todd McFarlane is still working on an animated adaptation of his comic series, and he explains it won't be for kids...at all:
"Absolutely," McFarlane told MTV News when asked whether or not the new series would preserve the old show's dark tone. "We're gong to a cable network, and that's their bread and butter. They want stuff that isn't what you can find on ABC, NBC and CBS. They've covered that field. We have now an area where we can actually do shows that get a little grittier, a little darker, a little more risque."
He also says he wants to keep doing what the first Spawn cartoon did, which aired from 1997-99 on HBO and won a couple Emmys with a similarly adult tone. [MTV Splash Page]
Here's a teaser for the season premiere: [SciFi Cool]
Here's a synopsis, two previews and a bunch of promo photos for the next episode "Patriot", featuring the return of Aquaman and a guest appearance by Michael Hogan as General Slade: [Comic Book Resources, ComicBookMovie, and OSCK]
The show is reportedly casting a new villain named Morgan. That's all we know right now - I actually wouldn't even feel comfortable guessing the character's gender at this point. [SpoilerTV]
True Blood actor James Frain explains how his character Peter Fleming, who is secretly the supervillain Chess, fits into the show:
"This guy [lawman Vince Faraday, played by 'ER's David Lyons] is framed for a crime he didn't commit, so he turns himself into his son's favorite comic book hero and tries to reunite with his family. But he's thwarted by the bad guy [Fleming] who is sort of a billionaire who's taken over the city. I will be taking care of the villain duties in the show. It's definitely a lot of fun. [Fleming is] super cunning and has a general concentration of evil."
Some more details are available for Mena Suvari's character Dice:
Dice's understanding of quantum physics always keeps her one step ahead of the game. Her father was a research physicist who worked with Chess. He developed some kind of advanced technology, which Chess later stole - something Dice neither forgave nor forgot. And she returns to Palm City seeking revenge.
Obviously, I haven't seen the episode yet, but I will guarantee right now that quantum mechanics don't work that way. [Zap2It]
A couple more tidbits about episode six, reportedly called "Cape's Day Off": the episode features a character named Goggles, and there are links to a Cape comic book. [Capesite.net]
Additional reporting by Chelsea Lo Pinto and Charlie Jane Anders.