We've got the most reasonable speculation yet on which villain Tom Hardy might play in The Dark Knight Rises. Denis Leary could join the Spider-Man reboot, but Robert Downey Jr. is defying Gravity. Plus Avengers, Green Lantern and Doctor Who!
The Dark Knight Rises
An inside source is claiming they know who Tom Hardy is playing: the villainous Dr. Hugo Strange. As casting rumors go, this one is decently believable - Strange is certainly one of the more Nolan-ready Batman villains - but it's still just one of about a dozen casting rumors we're likely to see before we know anything for certain. So, grains of salt at the ready, I'd say. [Batman-News]
Denis Leary is reportedly in talks to play Captain George Stacy, the father of Gwen Stacy — who gets killed in a battle with supervillains in the comics. So don't get too attached to this character, if they're following the comics storyline. [Hollywood Reporter]
Marc Ruffalo explains that he sees Bruce Banner slowly getting more control over his Hulk persona, in part following on from the end to Ed Norton's The Incredible Hulk:
We ended the last Hulk with him smiling and you feel like he's getting control of it. And I don't know how deep we're gonna get into that, but my general feeling is for Bruce Banner/the Hulk, and what I hope we talk about, is that Bruce Banner is slowly but surely — it's like riding a wild mustang. At some point, you do start to get it a little bit under control. And like I said, I don't know what the final script's gonna be, but we've talked a lot about him at some point being able to penetrate his consciousness with the consciousness of the goliath.
He also explained his preparation for the role, which should warm the hearts of even the most hardened comic book fan:
You dust off. You go back. I think you go right back to the beginning and dust off your first issue of Avengers and I've been doing that. I've been watching the 100 hours of Bill Bixby's Hulk. And I've been really thinking about the inception, the original motivation of that character and why they came up with that character. He's a cross between Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Frankenstein. I'm finding a lot of stuff there. And I'm actually going to be physically playing the Hulk. No other actor's ever done that. So I've been getting into Tai Chi and Pilates and doing a lot of movement stuff. I don't know what I want to do with it exactly, but I've been working physically to bring the leviathan alive.
Just as director Alfonso Cuaron finally gets Sandra Bullock to sign on as the female lead in his astronauts two-hander, he loses his male co-lead. Robert Downey Jr. has reportedly have to drop out of the project because of scheduling problems brought on in part by the long delays. There's no word yet on who Cuaron might find to replace him - indeed, it's entirely possible the project could keep getting delayed long enough for Downey Jr. to rejoin the film. [The Hollywood Reporter]
It's possible that the new trailer is hiding a couple hints about the other Lantern Corps - Carol Ferris's flight helmet seems to have the Star Sapphire logo on it, and there's a hint of rage-induced red in Hector Hammond's possessed eyes. Check out the link for the visual evidence and judge for yourself. [ComicBookMovie]
Earth Defense Force
The Sam Raimi produced movie, also known as EDF, is reportedly closing in on a director, as Taken's Pierre Morel is considering taking on the project. The movie is about Earth's attempts to respond to a humiliating attack by three alien fighters in time for the next wave of the extraterrestrial invasion. [The Hollywood Reporter]
Lots of intriguing Doctor Who news today. Let's start with executive producer Piers Wenger, who dispels a couple misconceptions about the upcoming Christmas special:
"There's no one called Scrooge in it and it's not set on Earth, but there are familiar archetypes from that story within it that will please fans of Dickens's original."
The non-Earth setting is intriguing, considering the clips from the BBC preview certainly look pretty Earth-like. If true, this is the new series's first visit to an Earth-like alien planet (or colony world, I suppose), leaving aside New Earth and mentions of the planet Sto in "Voyage of the Damned." [ATV Network]
And here's the first photo from the Christmas special, released alongside the news that the special will air on Christmas Day on BBC America. Click to enlarge, or right-click and "save link as" to make it a desktop wallpaper:
Filming has started in Utah. Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, Arthur Darvill, Alex Kingston, and Mark Sheppard have all been spotted on-set, and one bit of filming reportedly involved Amy being chased by men in black. [Doctor Who News Page]
Sarah Smart, best known for playing Virginia Braithwaite in At Home with the Braithwaites and Anne-Britt Hoglund in Wallander, has been cast as Jennifer Lucas in an upcoming two-parter, according to her CV. More interesting is we now know those episode's titles: "The Rebel Flesh" and "Gangers", which reportedly are the 5th and 6th episodes. They're being written by Matthew Graham, who unfortunately wrote the second series episode "Fear Her", which is probably the second-worst episode of the new series. (Nothing's outdoing "The Runaway Bride" in a hurry.) On the other hand, he was the co-creator of Life on Mars, so I'm more than happy to give him a second chance. [Doctor Who Spoilers]
Matt Smith dropped a couple tantalizing hints about just why the Doctor has gone to Utah in the first story, what he knows about River Song, and how he doesn't even know what the big mid-series cliffhanger is:
"My lips are sealed, I'm afraid. He's there for a very important reason, and the universe depends on him making the right choice."
"I hope The Doctor does actually discover who [River Song] is. Steven [Moffat] has told Alex everything about the whole next season's plotline and story, and he's told me nothing because narratively, I'm meant to know less than her. …
"[Moffat] tells us it's all on a need-to-know basis. He wants us to find out like fans. He said to me about the Episode 7 cliffhanger, 'I want you to drop your script when you're reading it.' "
Finally, Russell T. Davies says that Steven Moffat wants to bring Captain Jack (a character that, lest we forget, Moffat created) back to Doctor Who at some point. He says it's the sort of thing that Moffat will probably make happen if he wants to, and it's the sort of thing that "one day will happen." So it's probably not happening anytime soon, but we can officially start hoping for the seventh series, I guess. For what it's worth, Davies has said in the past that Moffat really should be the one to explain Captain Jack's missing two years, so perhaps we could see that plot thread picked back up again. [Doctor Who Online]
Here's another synopsis for tonight's episode, "Abducted":
When a serial kidnapper "over there" strikes again, the emotional and familiar case hits home for Colonel Broyles, sending a determined Olivia to uncover additional details about the abductions. In the meantime, Olivia fights on and reunites with Henry (guest star Royo) to enlist his services on an intense and covert mission to return home.
Episode 14 is reportedly titled "Chuck vs. the Seduction Impossible." [ChuckTV]
For anyone missing the old Sam/Dean dynamic, executive producer Sera Gamble says the show will offer some hope that the characters are going to recapture their old rapport, but for now she's enjoying the icy new status quo:
"I can only speak for myself, but I kind of find it charming and enjoyable in its own twisted way. I would never say that it replaces the core relationship that we all love and we all want them to go back to and that Dean is desperately trying to recapture, but for where we are with the story right now, there's something sort of interesting and fun happening."
Here's another image for the next episode, "Caged Heat": [KSiteTV]
Star Wars: The Clone Wars
Here's a clip and the synopsis for the next episode, "Heroes on Both Sides", which features updated, more war-ravaged character models for Obi-Wan, Anakin, and Ahsoka:
When Padmé Amidala and Ahsoka Tano travel in secret to Raxus to forge a peace agreement with the Separatists, Ahsoka must confront her own prejudices and preconceptions when she comes face to face with the enemy. She will learn that there are "Heroes on Both Sides" in an all-new episode of STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS.
Here's a new clip that shows off the all-new CG character models they're using for some of the show's main characters, starting with this week's episode:
It's looking pretty likely that the British teen superhero show is getting not just a third series, but also an American remake. Don't treat either of these as official just yet, but it does appear reasonably likely on both counts, based on comments from the producers. [TV.com]
Here's a ton more behind the scenes photos: [Nigel Horsley's Flickr]
Here's a new trailer focusing on everyone's presumptive favorite character, Summer Glau's Orwell: [CapeSite.net]
And here's some more photos of the characters: [CapeSite.net]
Finally, creator Tom Wheeler confirms the first season will be thirteen episodes. [CapeSite.net]
Additional reporting by Michael Ann Dobbs and Charlie Jane Anders.