Has The Dark Tower found its Roland? Plus an intriguing replacement for Darren Aronofosky on The Wolverine!

The Dark Tower may have cast its gunslinging star. One of sci-fi's most promising young directors could take over on The Wolverine. Plus even more tantalizing Doctor Who hints, Andy Serkis explains his expanded role for The Hobbit, and more!

Spoilers ahead!

Top image from Captain America.

The Dark Tower

Javier Bardem is reportedly in the very final stages of negotiations to play gunslinger Roland Deschain in Ron Howard's adaptation of the Stephen King saga. His contract is reportedly one of the most complex in Hollywood history, as it calls for him to appear in all three of the movies plus the prequel TV miniseries. As always, we suggest remaining reasonably skeptical until we hear something official. [Deadline]


Elysium

William Fitchner, who has made a career out of playing unnerving badasses in everything from Prison Break to Drive Angry to The Dark Knight, is reportedly in final talks for a role in District 9 director Neill Blomkamp's next movie. The already awesome cast includes Jodie Foster, Matt Damon, Sharlto Copley, and Wagner Moura, star of the Brazilian blockbuster series Elite Squad. [Variety]


Captain America

The film is reportedly doing some reshoots in Los Angeles - which may or may not include the filming of Stan Lee's cameo. [On Location Vacations]


The Wolverine

Fox reportedly has two main contenders to take over for Darren Aronofsky. The first is reportedly 30 Days of Night and Twilight: Eclipse director David Slade, which shouldn't really come as a surprise — he was reportedly the runner-up last time around, and Fox just named him as director of its Daredevil reboot. The second is rather more intriguing: Moon and Source Code director Duncan Jones. As consolation prizes for Darren Aronofsky go, you could do an awful lot worse. Of course, consider this all rumor and speculation until we hear something official. [Deadline]


Rise of the Planet of the Apes

The James Franco starring prequel, once just called Rise of the Apes, has received a new, slightly wordier title that brings in line with all the previous titles in the series. [/Comic Book Movie]


The Hobbit

Andy Serkis has revealed that, in addition to his Gollum duties, he will be working as a second unit director on the film:

"I think I understand Peter's sensibility and we have a common history of understanding Middle Earth. A lot of the crew from The Lord of the Rings was returning to work on The Hobbit. There is really a sense of Peter wanting people around him who totally understand the material and the work ethic. [It] encompasses a lot of directing aspects of filmmaking and story. Yes, there is some performance capture, but I will be very much on the live action sets and locations helping Peter to tell the story."

Serkis also says that 3D will be used "dramatically, to give a point of view." [Heat Vision]


Immortals

Producer Mark Canton provided this overview of Tarsem Singh's latest:

The story is basically about Theseus. The Gods recognize that there's a bow that is very powerful that was embedded in stone and hidden for years. The rules are such that the Gods can not interfere with man's free will and journey. They can mentor, but they can't do their work for them. Basically, what happens, Mickey [Rourke] and his Hyperion army go after the bow. Mickey is a descendant of the Titans, who have been trapped underground for eons. The Gods recognize that, if Mickey gets this bow, all Hell is going to break loose. Theseus has the stuff to rise up, but he doesn't have the faith. The story is one about finding your free will and your faith. About finding that the greater good matters as opposed to not rising up to the occasion. It's basically the story of him becoming a hero and badass warrior in the battle between good and evil. I'm not going to give you the ending, but it's very cool.

There's more at the link. [ComingSoon.net]


Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Lars and the Real Girl director Craig Gillepsie is reportedly about to sign on to direct the troubled project, which has already seen the departures of previous directors David O. Russell and Mike White. [Deadline]


Doctor Who

Time for another round-up of all the masses of Doctor Who information. First up, we now have the titles for all of the first seven episodes. Steve Thompson's pirates episode is called "The Curse of the Black Spot", while the second part of Matthew Graham's two-parter, previously thought to be "Gangers", now has the official title "The Almost People." So then, the first half of the season is now locked in as "The Impossible Astronaut" and "The Day of the Moon" by Steven Moffat, "The Curse of the Black Spot" by Steve Thompson, "The Doctor's Wife" by Neil Gaiman, "The Rebel Flesh" and "The Almost People" by Matthew Graham, and "A Good Man Goes To War" by Steven Moffat. [Doctor Who News Page]

Metro offers "six spoilers that aren't really spoilers", although they are quite helpful in clarifying what isn't happening in the opening two-parter. First, whatever is in those spacesuits, it's not the Apollo astronauts, as there are no possessed astronauts in the episode at all. The strange markings on River and Amy's arms were actually the characters' own doing, and the reasons why are disturbing. Also, Matt Smith is naked in the first scene, Richard Nixon is portrayed quite positively, fish fingers and custard get referenced at a crucial moment, and there's a moment involving the TARDIS swimming pool that "might just be the greatest visual gag in the entire history of the show." Which, considering what happened the last time we saw the TARDIS swimming pool in "The Invasion of Time", sounds entirely possible. [Metro]

Not to be outdone, SFX magazine offers thirty teasers for the opening two-parter. We couldn't possibly include them all, but here are a few of the most interesting ones:

* The monsters (whose mere name would be a spoiler) are brilliant, with a truly chilling MO. They should rate up there with the Weeping Angels as one of the new series' greatest creations. They look great, but it's the idea behind them that is truly chilling
* The Doctor dances… with some unexpected film stars
* It's very, very dark and spooky at times. Wait till you see the scene in the Whitehouse toilets…
* There is the startling return of a familiar special effect… twice
* There is the curious return of a familiar prop
* There's lots of timey whimey stuff, and not just in terms of the science fiction – more so, we're referring to some of the storytelling techniques involved, with lots of flashbacks, sudden jumps and montages
* You may suffer from revelation fatigue by the end of it. And a lot of things – perhaps a couple too many – are not wrapped up in the story itself, but are ongoing mysteries to be sorted out later.
* The final, final, final scene, though, will ensure you'll carry on tuning in to find out what happens next… or maybe in the story after next. Or maybe next season…

Check out the link for the full list. [SFX]

Neil Gaiman talked some more about "The Doctor's Wife", confirming that Michael Sheen is indeed playing "a mysterious baddie called The House." He mentioned that the first cut was 56 minutes long and a ton had to be cut out to get it to 43 minutes. This particularly affected two characters:

"Uncle and Auntie played Adrian Schiller and Elizabethe Berrington, they were wonderful, they were so funny, they were so brilliant, they had all this great stuff and it's not really there anymore. There's a flavor of it and you can get to see it but their scenes wound up going because other stuff was more important. But there's no sense that you're going to walk away from the episode going, 'Ah, I wish with had more Uncle and Auntie stuff,' you walk away going, I hope, ‘What a great episode!'"

He also mentioned that this will quite possibly be his only time writing for Doctor Who because his schedule is so busy, so he decided to make the most of the opportunity:

"I was very determined that if I was going to write an episode of Doctor Who, it was going to have everything in it. So it's funny and it's scary and it's exciting and it's heartbreaking and it has running down corridors and there are places where I kind of hope that it may add to the giant Doctor Who mythos because you always want to leave something nice behind you. But really what it is is just, you know, somebody who's just always wanted to write an episode of Doctor Who, just writing an episode of Doctor Who and being indulged by the BBC in this folly."

There's more at the link. [Newsarama]


Torchwood: Miracle Day

Here's an interview promoting the series with stars John Barrowman and Bill Pullman. [Doctor Who News Page]


The Walking Dead

Robert Kirkman says nothing is official yet, but he hopes to write more than one episode next season. He also says he and showrunner Frank Darabont have discussed longterm plans for the show:

"There are different ideas that Frank had for different episodes from the beginning of the first season. He has ideas for the third season. We talk about the third and fourth season a lot in the writers' room, which haven't been picked up by AMC, but we have high hopes. So there is a lot of longterm planning. Anything that we couldn't quite fit into the first season will just kind of happen in the [second] season."

He also discussed how they plan to push the boundaries of what's acceptable on TV this season:

"I worry that we are getting a little too like, ‘Oh, yeah. They [AMC] will let us do anything,' just because they have been so accommodating. It's really kind of shocking, but I think it's a testament to how successful the show has been that they have been willing go to that extra mile. They are allowing a zombie show to be a zombie show. They are not pulling punches at all, and I think that is a big part of its success. People who like zombie movies can sit down and watch this, and not feel like they are getting a light version of a zombie movie. We plan to stretch those boundaries to the test on the second season."

[Collider]


Game of Thrones

Episodes nine and ten are reportedly called "Baelor" and "Fire and Blood." [SpoilerTV]


Supernatural

View gallery »

Here are some promo photos for episode 18, "Frontierland." [SpoilerTV]

And here's a description for episode 19, "Mommie Dearest":

AM AND DEAN MEET EVE —- Sam (Jared Padalecki), Dean (Jensen Ackles), Bobby (Jim Beaver) and Castiel (Misha Collins) track Eve (guest star Julia Maxwell) to a small town in Oregon. The guys discover the townspeople have been converted to demons, but surprisingly, they all appear to be dying. When they finally do meet Eve, she decides to torture the brothers by bringing back their mother, Mary Winchester (guest star Samantha Smith), as a demon.

[KSiteTV]


Stargate Universe

Here's a sneak peek at next week's episode, "The Hunt", courtesy of Syfy.


Smallville

Allison Mack dropped some very cryptic clues about what will happen to Chloe in the two-part finale:

It was really amazing, it was emotional and loving and sweet and nostalgic. It's ending in a way that I think is very honorable given that we've been around for 10 years. So it was really sweet...I don't want to give anything away, but I think she ends in a very healthy and levelheaded way. I think that the writers have respected my character for such a long time, and she goes out with the same affection she came in with. I'm really proud of it.

[TV Guide]

Here's a description for episode 21, "Dominion", featuring the return of Zod:

Tess (Cassidy Freeman) learns that General Slade was found unconscious on a street corner, proof that someone has gained access to the Phantom Zone's escape portal and sent him back. Clark (Tom Welling) decides to return to the exiled land to make sure other phantoms are not fleeing and is furious when Oliver (Justin Hartley) tricks Clark into taking him along. With Clark's powers gone, the two are immediately captured by the Zoners who take them to their new leader, Zod (Callum Blue), who is thirsting for revenge on Clark for banishing him to this Kryptonian jail.. Meanwhile, Lois (Erica Durance) learns Clark trusted Tess with a secret, but didn't tell Lois.

[KSiteTV]

Additional reporting by Gordon Jackson and Charlie Jane Anders.