Michael Caine talks the new Dark Knight Rises cast. Plus which major character dies in alien road movie Paul!

Michael Caine has heard all the same rumors we have about who is joining The Dark Knight Rises. January Jones explains the frenzied production schedule for X-Men: First Class. Paul may be a buddy comedy, but it's also not afraid to shed some blood. Roland Emmerich gives updates on his Foundation adaptation and Independence Day 2, Johnny Depp talks Dark Shadows, and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter has found its First Lady.

Spoilers from this point on!


The Dark Knight Rises

Michael Caine offered a script update, followed by various musings on the cast that suggest he probably doesn't actually know all that much more than anyone else:

"I talked to Chris last week 'cause I said I hadn't gotten a script and he said, 'I haven't finished it.' And he said, 'I'll finish it in two weeks.'...Marion Cotillard is in it? Nobody tells me these things. Oh shoot. I didn't know. Well, Anne Hathaway is Catwoman isn't she? Well that's fabulous. Tom Hardy is gonna be great too [as Batman nemesis Bane]. He's a tough British actor."

So, just in case the rumor mill gets carried away, no, Michael Caine did not just confirm Marion Cotillard is in the film - he's just repeating that he had heard that story. He also didn't technically confirm that Anne Hathaway is playing Selina Kyle and Catwoman, although various members of the production staff have already pretty much let that slip. [E! Online]

Another random tidbit to keep track of - the stories reporting on Marion Cotillard's potential casting also mention the film is shooting in Pittsburgh. Neither Warner Bros nor the Pittsburgh Film Office have confirmed that though. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]


X-Men: First Class

Emma Frost portrayer January Jones revealed what a lot of people had already guessed - that director Matthew Vaughn has had to finish the movie at breakneck speed, although she insists the rushed schedule won't impact the quality of the film:

Poor Matthew Vaughn is going to have to edit it in three days… That's been a blast. We've all had so much fun making that movie… I think it was unrealistic for them to think they were going to make such a huge movie in whatever we had - two months or something. So of course we went over (schedule). I think I have a couple more days to shoot… We're almost done. The fact we've had to push the wrap date but they haven't moved the release date is really interesting to me. I guess they must know what they're doing. I have a lot of faith in Matthew as a director and an editor; I think his movies are great. And I think they've been cutting as we've been going. We should be fine.

[The Playlist]


Paul

We actually have some relatively major spoilers for this film, as it concerns who lives and dies. (Yes, people die in this movie.) So if you want to avoid that level of heavy-duty spoiler, you can skip ahead to the next item. To give you time to ponder, here's a more innocuous quote from star Simon Pegg...

Pegg explains the movie's themes about religion and why Kristen Wiig's creationist character shouldn't offend people of faith:

Really if you have faith, then a film about a dope-smoking alien isn't going to affect that. We were interested in the idea that someone could have their belief system shattered by a single moment and that's why Kristen's character [Ruth] is a Creationist, a very specific kind of wing of Christianity; you can't have a film with an alien in and it not be counter to that idea. Even Mac and Me is an anti-Creationist film because there's an alien in it. We're not being anti-religion, it's just that that's the universe that the film takes place in. Paul at one point – I think the line was lost in the end – said, ‘look, I don't know, I'm saying there probably isn't [a god]'. Certainly that particular dogma [Creationism] can't exist if Paul exists. And we loved the idea of Ruth suddenly changing from one thing to another in a second, and that was it. It wasn't kind of a crusade against organised religion.

OK, now...the deaths. First, Joe Lo Truglio's loveable nerd O'Reilly dies relatively early on. Pegg explains why they did this:

We wanted it to be perilous. There needed to be danger. The reason we killed Joe's character first is because he's so lovable and O'Reilly's the knockabout funny one and as soon as he dies you think if he can die, anyone can die. So the rest of the film is like, ‘who's going to get it next?' We used to joyously talk about blowing you up on set... you love O'Reilly because he's funny and innocent and he loves scifi and if he hadn't done what he's doing, he probably be with Graeme and Clive. So blowing him up was joyous and squashing Sigourney was something of a coup.

Yup, Sigourney Weaver's villain dies at the end of the film and apparently "one of the aliens hose her off the landing craft." There's a ton more fun details at the link. [Blogomatic 3000]


Foundation

For reasons that I can't even begin to fathom, 2012's Roland Emmerich is heading up an adaptation of Isaac Asimov's masterpiece. This project has been in development for ages, and according to Emmerich himself, there hasn't been a ton of forward progress (which I am completely OK with):

"We've hired a production designer and it's mainly now to find out what the movie will cost. It'll take us until the end of March, then we'll decide. The studio's happy with the script, but now's the time that the numbers count. I want to make a movie that's very different from other science-fiction movies and I don't want to have the burden of too big a budget."


Independence Day 2

Emmerich also offered this update on the prospects for a sequel to his smash hit Independence Day, which is even further from seeing the light of day:

"Independence Day 2 is nowhere. It's back and forth, back and forth. There's no script because I don't want to write anything before anything starts. One day it will happen."

Make of that what you will, but it probably has something to do with getting Will Smith to return his calls. [EmpireOnline]


Dark Shadows

Johnny Depp says that his portrayal of vampire Barnabas Collins will be very much in line with what original actor Jonathan Frid did:

For me, even the conversations I've had with Tim [Burton], what Jonathan Frid did with that character and that classic look he created, I find it very difficult to stray very far from that. I think it's going to be somewhere in that arena, with maybe just a couple of different touches here and there...There's something about this vampire coming back after 200 years into this modern world, with a touch of the poetic, with maybe a tendency to maybe wax a little poetic now and again. I have a good feeling about it. But Jonathan Frid's Barnabas was so special.

[MTV Movies Blog]


Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

Relatively unknown Australian actress Robin McLeavy has reportedly been cast as First Lady and love interest Mary Todd Lincoln. [Latino Review]


Breaking Dawn

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In what apparently counted as a Valentine's Day gift to Twihards everywhere, Summit Entertainment released this image of the fictitious Isle Esme, where Bella and Edward head for their honeymoon. [ComingSoon.net]


Fringe

Here's a promo for episode 14, "6B": [SpoilerTV]


No Ordinary Family

Here's a synopsis for the upcoming episode "No Ordinary Love", guest-starring Lucy Lawless and Tricia Helfer:

"No Ordinary Love" – The mysterious Mrs. X (Lucy Lawless, "Xena: Warrior Princess," "Battlestar Galactica") tasks the sexy – and dangerous – Sophie ("Battlestar Galactica's Tricia Helfer) to cause Jim and George to fall under her spell and make them do whatever she wants them to – which could place Jim's marriage in jeopardy. Meanwhile, Stephanie must decide whether or not to inject a patient with the trilsettum serum and risk turning him into a super in order to retain Dr. King's trust, and Daphne's boyfriend, Chris, begins to have suspicions about the Powell family's abilities.

[multipleverses]


The Event

The twelfth episode will reportedly be called "Inostranka" and it will air on March 14. [SpoilerTV]


Supernatural

Here's a sneak peek at the next episode, "Mannequin 3: The Reckoning": [SpoilerTV]


Outcasts

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Here are some photos, a promo, and a synopsis for episode 3. [Daemon's TV]

A whiteout of unprecedented strength threatens to destroy Forthaven. Stella and Tate enlist Tipper to help with the oncoming disaster. Fleur attempts to make peace with the ACs, and Cass leaves the settlement on a rescue mission that no one believes he can survive.


17th Precinct

Ronald D. Moore's upcoming cop show in a world where magic is real has found its first cast member: Stockard Channing has reportedly joined as Mira, a former homicide detective now working in the robbery division. [Deadline]


V

Here's a synopsis for episode 8, "Uneasy Lies the Head":

"Uneasy Lies the Head" - Erica, now officially in charge of the global Fifth Column, leads them in a high risk attack against Anna. Anna meanwhile, growing closer in her plan to destroy humanity, finds a major obstacle in a certain Live Aboard candidate; and Ryan sneaks back onto the Mothership to try and rescue his daughter.

[multipleverses]

The ninth and tenth episodes will reportedly be called "Devil in a Blue Dress" and "Mother's Day." [SpoilerTV]


Smallville

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It's already been pretty strongly hinted, but the Lex Luthor clone Alexander is actually a hybrid Lex/Clark clone, which means that he's more or less the most recent comics version of Superboy. This will be formally revealed in the upcoming episode "Scion", but you can already see his Conner Kent inspired look in the photo. [TV Line]


Additional reporting by Michael Ann Dobbs and Charlie Jane Anders.