Henry Cavill reveals which unlikely comic story helped him find the heart of Superman. Plus the latest crazy Avengers villain rumor!

The Amazing Spider-Man is back in New York, and some new set photos give us the best look at the movie's villain. Screenwriter John Logan takes us inside Darren Aronofsky's Noah's Ark epic. Matt Smith talks Doctor Who's future. Plus the first Skyfall set photos!

Spoilers from here on out!

Top image from The Amazing Spider-Man.

Man of Steel

Henry Cavill explains why Mark Millar's excellent alternate-universe story Superman: Red Son, which imagines Superman growing up in Stalin's Soviet Union, helped him understand the character:

With "Red Son," I thought it was interesting as a different perspective. It was out there and I like that. It was essential to my character research, too. When you've got two polar opposite viewpoints of the same character, you will see what the authors consider the important baseline trend. I got to see that and see the different ways he would have developed and that was very useful to me. And because we are retelling the story and we are doing our own reinvention and a modernization for the screen, I get the opportunity to add my own interpretation of how he developed. So that was cool to look at "Red Son" and see what changed, what didn't change and what that reveals about the baseline of Superman. You can find what is essential to Superman and what is nature vs. nurture by locating that baseline.

He also discussed how he differentiated between playing Superman and Clark Kent, albeit in as cryptic a way as is humanly possible:

I have to be very careful what I say, only because I'll get excited and talk about my process and then I might reveal too much stuff. Both are difficult and easy to play in their respective ways. Essentially, yes, one is a disguise but the one that's not a disguise is so unreal that brings difficulties of its own with it. I mean, once the shroud is cast off, yeah, there's that - but he can fly. [Laughs] Overall, there's no one that's easier or less easy than the other. It is a lot of fun having two characters in one role which are so intertwined with each other. It's the same person, definitely, but it's the presentation. And that is fun.

Looking at the finer details, Cavill revealed a little information about his Superman flying style:

Do you do the flat-palm flying or the follow-your-fist approach?
The fist thing is quite a natural thing to do once you've gotten into the mind set of being horizontal and flying. Because there is no inner propulsion system that you can dial up. You do it in a very human way. ‘I am now going faster,' that's when the clenched fist thing kind of happens. It's all fun.

There's some more at the link. [Hero Complex]


The Avengers

There's been a lot of rumors about a secret second supervillain making some small appearance in the film, perhaps to set up the story for The Avengers 2. Previously, those rumors have largely focused on Thanos, the death-obsessed cosmic tyrant. Now an inside source — so grains of salt at the ready, people — has reportedly claimed that Loki brings his army through a realm known as the Negative Zone, and the second villain introduced is Annihilus, the ruler of this zone. There's one potential snag with this — Annihilus and the Negative Zone are primarily Fantastic Four concepts that have since been used by The Avengers in comics, and Fantastic Four isn't one of the properties controlled by Marvel Studios. That doesn't immediately invalidate this story, but like I said — take this all with a grain of salt. [What Culture!]

The official website has been updated with some short character bios. Most of them just confirm things that were already relatively obvious, like Tony Stark has to decide to become a full Avenger, Thor has been sent back to Earth to deal with a potential cosmic catastrophe, Bruce Banner has been hiding out for the past few years all over the world, and so forth — you can read some more snippets collected here, or check out all the bios at the official site. Speaking of which, there are also some recently released toy listings, which can't really be considered spoiler-y but do re-confirm the presence of the Quinjet in the movie, I guess.

Anyway, the item of most potential interest is perhaps found in Loki's bio, which closes with a rather ominous take on the Avengers' chances against him:

"After his bid to overthrow the throne of Asgard was thwarted by his brother Thor (Chris Hemsworth), the evil Loki (Tom Hiddleston) retreated to lands unknown to plot his revenge. Not just against his brother, but against Earth, whose inhabitants Thor now protects. Loki, now returns with a nefarious plot to conquer Earth and will stop at nothing to see his vision realized. When his misuse of power threatens the entire planet, it may take more than The Avengers to stop him."

That's probably just a way of playing up how serious Loki's threat is and how much it will require of the Avengers to stop him, but still... if you are hoping on some random extra hero to show up and help save the day, there's a lot of fun to be had with that last line. The former is probably still more likely, of course. [Comic Book Movie]

Black Widow actress Scarlett Johansson says she's gotten to do even more fighting in this than she did in Iron Man 2:

"Even though Iron Man 2 was ‘one-for-them,' I'd never done anything like that before. I'd never been physically driven in something, or a part of something so big. For The Avengers, I've spent so many months training with our stunt team, and fighting all the other actors, it's crazy. I do nothing but fight-all the time. I have humongous muscles, by the way."

[Vanity Fair]

Paul Bettany says he will indeed be back to provide the voice of Tony Stark's house computer, J.A.R.V.I.S. [IFPress]


The Amazing Spider-Man

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Here are some more set photos from the recent reshoots, including Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker, Rhys Ifans as a pre-Lizard Dr. Curt Connors, Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy, and Denis Leary as her father Captain George Stacy. [Newscom and The Daily Mail via ComingSoon.net]


Noah

Screenwriter John Logan discusses his work on Darren Aronofsky's epic, big budget take on the Noah's Ark story:

"I just dipped in to help a little bit because I've liked Darren's work and we just sort of talked about it and it was fun. It's really great. I think Darren's an auteur and I think he's a genuine artist. I think any movie is going to be his sensibility. What excites me about it is the revisionist idea of Darren Aronofsky doing a Bible movie. It's like, when Ridley came to me with 'Gladiator' I was like, 'You're out of your mind. It's a sword and sandal movie,' but we were able, all of us, to sort of to put a new gloss on an old genre. There couldn't be a more old tired genre that we think we know than the biblical epic. You have those images of Charlton Heston, Cecil B. DeMille, but that's not what we're doing. Darren's sensibility is completely modern and so thrilling because it's revisionist."

[ComingSoon.net]


Skyfall

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Here are some of the first set photos of Daniel Craig filming the new James Bond movie. It would appear that he's sporting an older-looking, more grizzled look. Perhaps we're in for a Dark Knight Rises style time jump...or perhaps it's just a reflection of the fact that it did take MGM years to get their bankrupt act together and actually make this movie. [Reelz]


Doctor Who

During an appearance on BBC Breakfast, Matt Smith revealed the current filming plans:

We shoot another fourteen starting in February.

So fourteen, is that two whole series?
No, it'll be a whole series and a Christmas Special. And, going into the fiftieth anniversary, a fiftieth anniversary special!

There's a couple ways to parse what he said - we might be looking at a thirteen episode series seven that now incorporates the Christmas special, since Doctor Who may now be moving to a winter schedule airing episodes on either side of the holiday. Or it's still thirteen regular episodes, plus a Christmas special, which makes up the fourteen episode order, with a fiftieth anniversary special tacked onto that - the way he listed them out made it sound as though the special might be in addition to the fourteen episodes he initially referred to. In any event, that's the clearest road map we've now got for the future of Doctor Who: the first part of the series in late 2012, then the 2012 Christmas special, then the rest in early 2013, followed by the 50th Anniversary special at some point later in 2013, possibly near the actual anniversary date of November 23. But, uh, I'll admit some of that is just educated guesswork. Either way, it's cool to have the anniversary special now 100% confirmed. You can judge for yourself by watching the full interview.

Also, when asked about whether the recent clothing auction for this year's Children in Need means that the Doctor will change his clothes in the next series, Smith coyly responded, "Well, I am keen on the outfit constantly evolving, so you never know." [Life, Doctor Who, and Combom]

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Here are some nice hi-res images from the trailer for the 2011 Christmas special, "The Doctor, the Widow, and the Wardrobe." [Life, Doctor Who, and Combom]


Fringe

Here's a promo for the show's January premiere, "Back To Where You've Never Been." [Fringe Television]


The Walking Dead

Here's a promo and a sneak peek for the seventh episode and midseason finale, "Pretty Much Dead Already."


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And here's a couple of promo photos. [SpoilerTV]


Terra Nova

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Here are some promo photos for episode eleven, "Within", which is set to air December 12. [KSiteTV]


Once Upon a Time

Star Jennifer Morrison says that Reba and Better With You actress Joanne Garcia is currently being considered for a fairy tale guest star role, and the speculation is that the character in question might be Ariel from The Little Mermaid. Morrison also mentioned X-Men: First Class costar Rose Byrne as someone she would love to see appear on the show as a fairy tale character, and she talked up the possibility of a musical episode down the line:

"We all sing. Josh Dallas, Ginny Goodwin, me. I don't know if Robert Carlyle sings. He probably does. I feel like we have a lot of musically inclined people in the cast. We'll see!"

[E! Online]

Here's the official synopsis for episode seven, "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter":

THE TOWN OF STORYBROOKE WILL MOURN THE LOSS OF ONE OF THEIR OWN, AND THE EVIL QUEEN TRIES TO HIRE AN ASSASSIN TO MURDER SNOW WHITE, ON ABC'S "ONCE UPON A TIME" - One of the town's residents begins to remember their fairytale past, and Storybrooke mourns the loss of one of their own. Meanwhile, in the fairytale world that was, the Evil Queen attempts to find a heartless assassin to murder Snow White.

[SpoilerTV]


Lost Girl

Here's a synopsis for episode ten, "Raging Fae":

Bo joins the brutal world of underground fighting to help a human competitor juiced up on Fae "steroids" that are sending him on blackout rages – and putting his son in harm's way. Meanwhile, the sister of the first boy she ever killed shows up and confronts Bo over her deadly past.

[SpoilerTV]


Additional reporting by Gordon Jackson and Charlie Jane Anders.