Will the Dark Knight Rises prologue reveal the secret origins of Bane?

Christopher Nolan reveals the unexpected similarities between Batman and Bane. Andrew Stanton discusses the Martian monsters of John Carter. See new set photos from The Hobbit and Game of Thrones, and get the lowdown on the new True Blood characters!

Spoilers from here on out!

Top image from The Hobbit.

The Dark Knight Rises

Christopher Nolan offers some more insight into why Bane is the perfect final foe for Batman:

He's a great sort of movie monster but with an incredible brain, and that was a side of him that hadn't been tapped before. Because the stories from the comics are very epic and very evocative - very much in the way that Bruce Wayne's origin story is epic and evocative. We were looking to really parallel that with our choice of villain. So he is a worthy adversary.

[Heat Vision]

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Here are some more promo photos.

CSI: Miami costar Adam Rodriguez says that, while he was indeed cast in the movie, he had to bow out of his minor role due to scheduling conflicts. [Celebuzz]

Another supposed description of the six-minute prologue has surfaced. This one is considerably less insane than the last, which if you remember took place right after the end of The Dark Knight and involved Bane randomly showing up and breaking Batman's back while calling him a loser and so forth. This prologue description says the whole thing is actually about Bane's origins, and it's supposedly meant to mirror Bruce Wayne's story in Batman Begins:

- The prologue focuses on Josh Pence as the young Ra's al Ghul and a young Bane, as well as the League of Shadows.
- Young Bane and Talia are childhood friends in much the same way Bruce and Rachel Dawes were.
- The "mad scientist" character played by Alon Aboutboul is responsible for the horrific experiments that created Bane's condition. These experiments will be in the prologue. The character is also responsible for building the mysterious bomb-like device spotted during the New York filming.
- Some villagers try to burn Ra's al Ghul and his family alive, and Ra's is only able to save Talia and Bane. His wife is lost in this fire, and Bane is so severely injured that his best hope for survival is the mad scientist's experiments.
- Bane will crawl up a well, mirror young Bruce falling down one in Batman Begins.
- It will be revealed Bane was one of the masked League members during Bruce's time spent training with them in Batman Begins. Liam Neeson will appear here in archival footage.
- Neeson does appear briefly in new footage, as a montage shows Bane repeating the same training exercises over several years, with Josh Pence turning into Liam Neeson across several cuts.

So...I guess that's a little more plausible than the first prologue description we heard, particularly if you consider that quote above from Christopher Nolan about paralleling Bruce Wayne and Bane. Still, it doesn't really sound like the sort of thing you'd expect from a prologue to a Christopher Nolan Batman movie, what with the mad scientists and villagers burning people to death. Take this one with a pretty major grain of salt, I'd say. [Comic Book Movie]


Marvel Movies

Kenneth Branagh says he would be up for working with Marvel again, saying Thor was "an excellent collaboration." I'm now having a vision of Branagh coming back to do Avengers 2 as one of his four-hour Shakespeare adaptations... you know, I probably shouldn't be quite so excited about an idea that demented. [Variety]


X-Men: First Class Sequel

This shouldn't come as too much of a surprise, but 20th Century Fox Chairman Tom Rothman has confirmed that they are moving ahead with the sequel, and they want Matthew Vaughn back to direct once the script is in place. Speaking of which...


Rise of the Planet of the Apes Sequel

Rothman had pretty much the exact same thing to say about Rise of the Planet of the Apes director Rupert Wyatt, who is also tabbed to return for the semi-surprise hit's sequel. [ComingSoon.net]


John Carter

Director Andrew Stanton explains how the white apes were made more imposing for the movie, and how they fit into John Carter's journey:

They're sort of an oversized gorilla in the books, and they're kind of ubiquitous. They're littered everywhere through at least the first several novels. They were always cool, just from a visceral standpoint, [but] they don't really have a narrative function in the first book. So what we did is we made the White Apes a formidable creature that you kind of hear about throughout the movie, but you never really witness. There's a subtle sense of anticipation for what these things might be like. Then Michael Kutsche - who did a lot of the designs on [the Johnny Depp movie] Alice in Wonderland – came up with this design on his own, for just their scale. He made them nocturnal, almost like moles - they stopped using their eyes, and just had a heightened sense of smell. We just love that. We needed a scene where Carter was going have to get out of his execution sentence in order to move the story forward, and we thought what better than having to go up against this formidable creature?

How has John Carter come to find himself in this predicament?
I don't want to give any spoilers away, but basically he needs an army to solve his big problem in the third act, and the only army he knows was his previous captors. When he goes back, the game has changed, and he gets incarcerated. This is what he has to get out of. He has to get out of jail and not get killed by these apes in order to get his bigger problem solved.

Stanton also clarifies how powerful John Carter is when on Mars:

He's not Superman. He has this one Superman-like ability where he can leap farther than we can here [on Earth]. But it's like being a man on the moon. It can't be forever. He can build up momentum. This green species called Tharks, they know his one special jumping ability, so they chain him to a rock. It's entertainment. It's entertainment to watch this execution. They give him a nice long length of chain, so he can bounce around, but he can't go out of the arena. It's an interesting problem to have for that guy.

[EW]

Will the Dark Knight Rises prologue reveal the secret origins of Bane?S

Here's a new poster. [FirstShowing.net]


The Hobbit

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Here are some set photos, including a look at Stephen Hunter as the dwarf Bombur. You can see more at the links here and here.


Judge Dredd

Here's an interview with costar Olivia Thirlby, who plays the rookie Judge Anderson in the movie, and as such is the trainee of Karl Urban's Judge Dredd. This was recorded back at New York Comic-Con, but for whatever reason it's only just making the rounds.

And here are some set videos. [Bleeding Cool]


Finally, here are some quotes from Domnhall Gleeson, who has a small role as some sort of morally gray "technology geek":

I only did two weeks on Dredd – it's not a huge role but I feel in some way he could represent the troubled heart of that kind of world. This awful society where Dredd's a figure of hope is really interesting. So I was really proud of working on this. I love [screenwriter] Alex Garland as well. So my character is very important actually. Also I've got mad makeup and things.

And do you get to do any action?
No not action stuff. I got to be dragged around and tortured a little bit basically but that's about it.

[Comic Book Movie]


Men in Black 3

Because apparently this movie is actually a real thing and not simply an ongoing performance art satire of Hollywood hubris and excess, here are a couple new posters showing off stars Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, although Jones will be replaced for most of the movie by his younger 1960s self, played by Josh Brolin. [Earsucker]


Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol

Here are two sneak peeks.


And here's an interview with costar Simon Pegg, reprising his role as tech wizard Benji.


Paani

Indian filmmaker Shekhar Kapur discusses his plans for his next film, a movie about future water wars:

I don't think you'll be living in India and not be aware of this issue. I grew up as a kid thinking that water would never run out. And now as a grownup I realise that water is running out. People keep saying that we are facing an environmental issue if we are not careful. But the problem right now with water is that 90 per cent of this world is already short of water and we are heading towards huge social unrest over water. The film is about the same issue.

The film is a sci-fi. Is that a continuation of your fascination with sci-fi post Mr India?
I have always been fascinated by Sci-fi. Not only as a filmmaker but also as a reader, I like science fiction books. I like short sci-fi stories. I love sci-fi films. Sci-fi gives you the liberty to create your own world. It is a very mystic representation of life, that's what I like.

[Times of India]


Game of Thrones

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Here's a couple set photos from Croatia. Check out the link for more details. [EW]


True Blood

Episode two of season five is reportedly called "Authority Always Wins." [SpoilerTV]

Here are a bunch of casting calls for various season five characters. Some of these have in fact already been cast - I've indicated where applicable - but they do provide some additional insight into upcoming characters. I've included all the regular and recurring characters, but there's a ton of episode-only casting calls at the link.

Season 5 General - Series Regular

[SALOME] - Valentina Cervi
20 to 40. THE Salome from the Bible. Dark haired with dark features, exotic looking, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and /or African. An ancient vampire who is a world class seductress and fiercely intelligent. She also has quite a lot of madness in her. She is the most powerful person in every way yet capable of hiding this power when it serves her purposes.
SERIES REGULAR ACTRESS MUST BE WILLING TO DO NUDITY

[NORA] - Lucy Griffiths
25 to 35. Beautiful, any race, centuries old. A double agent working within the Vampire Authority. Eric's vampire "sister" a progeny of Godric. Intelligent, intimidating, cool under pressure and a very good liar. She loves Eric deeply, but has dedicated her life to a higher purpose.
SERIES REGULAR POSSIBLE NUDITY

Episode #501, "Turn! Turn! Turn!"

[RIKKI] - Kelly Overton - In her mid 20s, a dirty-beautiful werewolf, she demands to know what's become of the pack leader...RECURRING
[J.D.] - Louis Herthnum - 50s, a particularly large Marine-type werewolf, he refuses to bow down before the new pack leader...1 speech, 1 scene RECURRING
[ANNIE] - Dale Dickey - In her late 40s, maybe 50, she's a powerful, respected werewolf within the pack due to her late son's position. She's determined to perform a particular ritual...RECURRING
[JUDGE CLEMENTS] 50ish, corrupt, a former athlete whose body has been neglected, this judge radiates power and uses his position to get a speeding ticket for his son fixed...3 speeches & 2 lines, 1 scene POSSIBLE RECURRING

Episode #502, "Authority Always Wins"

[KIBWE] Early 40s to early 60s. A slender African gentleman vampire, he's an Authority council member who believes rehabilitation for prisoners over stricter punishment...STRONG RECURRING
[ROSALYN HARRIS] 40s to 60s. A Texas vampire with "hair high enough to interfere with air traffic," she's an Authority council member with a homespun wisdom-spouting mouth and a firm hand...RECURRING
[ALEXANDER] 9 years old. An impetuous young vampire who was turned at the age of 9, he's an Authority council member who loves cigarettes and razzing his fellow council members...RECURRING

There's still a ton more at the link. [Bookies ♥ True Blood on Facebook]


The Walking Dead

Robert Kirkman teases what's ahead in the second half of the season:

All kinds of awesome stuff. These people are going to be pitted against each other now. Hershel's been keeping these walkers a secret and now they find out that Sophia's been in the barn the whole time. Shane isn't going to suddenly calm down. That's something I should probably point out. I mean, he was pretty angry there at the end of this episode. He was probably a little shocked by Sophia coming out of the barn but I wouldn't expect him to put his gun down and be like, "Okay, well, I'm good now." So there's going to be tremendous amounts of conflict that comes from that and there's going to be a lot of aftermath dealing with the shocking revelation and there's going to be a lot of crazy new stuff thrown into the mix. I think we're going to see some new characters very early on, introduced in our first episode back. There's going to be a lot of cool stuff coming up.

[EW]

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Here's a couple promo photos for the midseason premiere, "Nebraska." [SpoilerTV]


Once Upon a Time

Will the Dark Knight Rises prologue reveal the secret origins of Bane?

Here's a first look at Lost alum Emilie De Ravin as Belle from the Beauty and the Beast story. According to showrunner Adam Horowitz, the role takes advantage of De Ravin's "very natural strength and warmth", and fellow showrunner Edward Kitsis says Maurice, Gaston, and the Beast will all feature, although this will be a new spin on the familiar story. The show will also reportedly feature an appearance by Aladdin and the genie, which means it's probably only a matter of time before they figure out a way to throw in Simba and Mufasa into all this. You know, in the fairy tale reality Simba would be the lion king, while in the real world he'd be an accountant who just happens to be an African lion. Something like that. [TV Guide]


Alcatraz

Here's a new trailer for J.J. Abrams's latest show. [Digital Spy]


Supernatural

Here's everything you need to know about Meghan Ory's upcoming guest spot in episode eleven, in which she plays a sex worker named Sally who turns to Sam for help after a brush with, yes, the supernatural:

Why is Sally frightened?
Life's hard when you're turning tricks. Plus, there's some stuff going down at the place that she works, and she has nowhere to turn except to Sam. He's in the right place at the right time... Sally works out of a truck stop. She's a good girl who's doing everything she can to survive, and Sam is there to help her do that..
Will there be (gratis) sparks with Sam?
Aren't there always sparks with Sam? At any given moment?

[TV Line]


American Horror Story

Here's a promo for the next episode, "Spooky Little Girl", which is apparently upping the insanity the only way the show can: by throwing in the Pope. You've got to admire this show's psychotic levels of moxie, if nothing else. [ShockTillYouDrop]


Sanctuary

Here's a promo and a sneak peek for episode nine, "Chimera."



Lost Girl

Zoie Palmer discusses her character, Dr. Lauren Lewis:

I don't think we know all of Lauren's story. I think there's more to Lauren and that she's a pretty complicated character. She surprises me even at times when I read the script. As far as stuff being revealed this season , yes, we've only just cracked into what's happening. There's a ton to come. It's just the tip of the iceberg. You have a bit of a ride still.

[The Televixen]


Additional reporting by Gordon Jackson and Charlie Jane Anders.