Major casting updates for the Star Trek sequel and Ender's Game!

Another day, another supposed description of the Dark Knight Rises prologue. Avengers costar Jeremy Renner explains Hawkeye's appeal. Game of Thrones might feature a genuinely unexpected plot twist. Darren Aronofsky looks for a new star for his bible epic Noah!

Spoilers from here on out!

Top image from The Avengers.

The Dark Knight Rises

I suspect you're getting as sick as I am of all these probably fake descriptions of the movie's prologue, which will be shown in select IMAX screenings of Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol... but here's another one anyway. This latest one sounds pretty similar to previous versions that show Bane as a League of Shadows member under the tutelage of Ra's al Ghul, but it adds on this first scene in which we supposedly learn why the character needs to undergo the experiments that turn him into Bane:

"Bane and his mercenaries hijack a military plane transporting a dictator of a country which is in unrest (think Saddam Hussein type figure). He successfully kills the leader, but makes some mistakes along the way and is unable to safely land the plane. Because of the resulting injuries from the accident, he has to undergo complicated surgeries and that is how he winds up with that scar down his neck and the need for the mask to numb the pain."

Again, take all this with a grain of salt. Although this is starting to feel like a modern, more irritating update of infinite monkeys at infinite typewriters producing the complete works of William Shakespeare — if infinite random inside sources on the internet claim to know what the Dark Knight Rises prologue is, eventually one is going to have to be right by default. Thankfully, we'll know either way in just a couple of weeks. [Total Film]

When asked how the eight year time gap between The Dark Knight and this movie will have changed James Gordon's character, Gary Oldman offers this intriguing answer:

He's a little reminiscent of the Gordon you see in Batman Begins, yeah. You know, they've tidied up the city but there's still work to be done. He's very world-weary.

[MTV]


The Avengers

Jeremy Renner explains what attracted him to the part of Hawkeye:

[I] was blessed to be a part of [the Marvel] universe, because I love what Marvel did with something so fantastical and unrealistic, making it kind of plausible, like when they did "Iron Man". I just thought those were really great movies, the first one in particular... The character of Hawkeye was always cool. He's kind of a rogue, shadowy character. That's what attracted me to him. Then he's also a human being. He just has a high skill set, so they call him a superhero.

[ComingSoon.net]

Elsewhere, Renner considers the possibility of a Hawkeye spin-off movie:

I don't know. There are a lot of variables in that one. Would they want to make one? What would it be about? There are a lot of things. I suppose, if they all align, then it could be interesting ‘cause I certainly like the character. But, I don't know what the future holds.

There's more at the link. [Collider]

A bunch of ever so slightly spoiler-y character descriptions for the various characters have appeared online recently. While most just recap what we've already seen in the previous Marvel movies, there are some new details to be gleaned from the bios for Bruce Banner, who we haven't seen in awhile, and Hawkeye, who hasn't been introduced yet outside that brief cameo in Thor. First, some minor details on how Banner joins the team:

fearful of the damage that the Hulk could inflict, Dr. Banner chooses to live a discreet life in remote parts of the world, working to cure the sick and help the poor while trying to elude those who would take advantage of his ability to change into the enormous, green menace. When a mounting threat calls for Banner's specialized scientific expertise, S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Nick Fury recruits him, knowing full well that the incredible strength of Banner's alter ego, the Hulk, would be an asset to The Avengers.

And now a bit of background on Hawkeye:

One of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s most elite agents, Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner), code-named Hawkeye, is the greatest living marksman on Earth. Armed with his weapon of choice, the recurve bow, Hawkeye fires his arsenal of custom augmented arrows, specialized for any number of specific situations, with perfect precision. With the potential for global catastrophe on the horizon, he employs his amazing combat skills to fight along side The Avengers.

You can check out the rest at the link. [Stitch Kingdom]


Star Trek 2

She's Out of My League actress Alice Eve, who also has a role in the upcoming Men in Black 3, has reportedly been cast in an unspecified role in the new Star Trek movie. The role is supposedly new to Trek canon, and I'm going to go out on a limb and say the most likely possibilities are a villain of some sort or a love interest for Kirk. (Of course, knowing Kirk, those could very easily be one and the same thing.) While Eve is reportedly on board, she doesn't have a deal in place yet. Eve reportedly beat out I Am Number Four's Teresa Palmer and Captain America's Hayley Atwell for the part.

As for the other big rumored addition to the cast, Benicio del Toro is reportedly still in serious talks for the role, and it seems likely that he will be end up being cast, but his deal is still pending. He's thought to be in line for a villainous character that will be familiar to Trek fans, which many are interpreting as meaning either Khan or a Klingon of some sort, and the majority of recent reports suggest Klingons will be involved. Since sources seem to be saying it's the character, not the character's race, that will be familiar, this might mean we'll see del Toro playing a particular Klingon, the leading candidates for which would probably be the "Blood Oath" trio: Kang, Kor, and Koloth. Anyway, that's all 100% speculation on my part, which puts me in the unusual and mildly paradoxical position of telling you to take everything I have to say with a grain of salt.

Finally, there's reportedly a third major role still to be cast, which is described as "another villain, someone who's older and in more of a supporting character to del Toro." [Variety]


The Hunger Games

Elizabeth Banks explains how she created the voice for Effie Trinket:

It's a combination of The Philadelphia Story and Rosalind Russell in Auntie Mame. Rosalind Russell is just amazing. It's one of my favorite performances ever. I wanted Effie to be really theatrical. I just wanted to make sure she didn't sound too British. She needed to be a little highfalutin.

[EW]


Ender's Game

Hugo star Asa Butterfield tweeted, "I have just booked Enders Game. :)", confirming his casting in the title role of Ender Wiggin in the long-awaited adaptation of Orson Scott Card's 1985 novel. [@asabfb]

The next priority for Gavin Hood's adaptation is reportedly to cast the part of Colonel Hyrum Graff, the Commander of Training for the International Fleet. Viggo Mortensen was reportedly the top choice for the role, but those initial talks have fallen through and the filmmakers are looking elsewhere. One name listed as a serious contender is Harrison Ford, but this is all still at the rumor stage. [Variety]


Noah

Christian Bale, Darren Aronofsky's preferred choice to take on the lead in his big-budget revisionist biblical epic, has reportedly had to step aside due to scheduling conflicts. In his stead, Aronofsky is reportedly considering another intense, handsomely terrifying actor in the form of Michael Fassbender, who to be fair is linked to just about everything these days. According to the report, Fassbender has an open slot after Rupert Wyatt left their project Londongrad to work on the Rise of the Planet of the Apes sequel, and while no official negotiations have begun he is currently talking to Aronofsky about the role. [Variety]


Evil Dead Reboot

Don't Be Afraid of the Dark and Insidious distributor FilmDistrict has announced that they will partner with Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions to handle global distribution for the movie everywhere except France and the United Kingdom. [Fangoria]


Kick-Ass 2

Chloe Moretz reaffirms her desire to return as Hit-Girl:

"I hope it happens because it would be great to do. I know there is a second comic book but I am not sure about the movie yet. I'd train even harder and go even deeper with the character if I get the chance to be in the sequel. I'd love to do some more Hit-Girl."

[Showbiz Spy]


Predators 2

The tepid reaction to the Robert Rodriguez produced Predators has put plans for a sequel (proposed title: Predatorses) on the back-burner, with Rodriguez saying he hasn't even really spoken to 20th Century Fox about it:

"I haven't talked to them in a while. I know they liked the idea of doing another one. I should probably call and check in. I've just been busy doing these other things."

You can check out the link for more updates on Rodriguez's upcoming slate, although most of them take the usual, not particularly illuminating form of, "Yeah, I'm still planning on making that at some point." [The Playlist]


Skyfall

Daniel Craig says that he really wants to make a perfect James Bond movie — which he came damn close to with Casino Royale — and he hopes that this Sam Mendes directed entry will get him there:

"There's a perfect Bond movie out there. And I'm going to find it if it kills me. Which it might. I have to be that way about it. The script that we have at the moment, and this is not just actor hyperbole, I'm genuinely excited about it. There's a really good hook. In fact, we now have two or three really good hooks, two might work and that's what you want. That's what we had in Casino [Royale]. ... (As) long as we hit those [story hooks], the rest of it is hopefully going to come together."

[IGN]


Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol

Here's a new sneak peek clip, rather irritatingly called "Babe Battle", which features costars Paula Patton and Lea Seydoux. I'm going to go ahead and assume they do battle or some such.


Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

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Here are the final posters for Guy Ritchie, Robert Downey, Jr., and Jude Law's sequel. [Yahoo!]

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And here are some general promo images. [IGN]


Underworld Awakening

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Here's a couple promo photos for the fourth Underworld movie. [IGN]


The Devil Inside

Here's a TV spot for the upcoming exorcism horror movie.


Game of Thrones

Major casting updates for the Star Trek sequel and Ender's Game!S

Here's a set photo of Kit Harrington as Jon Snow from the recent filming in Iceland. The photo is from Icelandic newspaper coverage on the filming, which has produced one seemingly major scoop: in a video interview, executive producer D.B. Weiss revealed a character will die this season who doesn't die in the books. Check out the links for more specifics on the Iceland filming. [Winter-Is-Coming]


True Blood

Season five will reportedly introduce the Authority Council to deal with the fallout of Nan's death, and their membership includes, "Kibwe, an Andre Braugher type who's a proponent of prisoner rehab; Rosalyn Harris, a tough cookie who, from what I hear, could have been separated at birth from Paula Deen; and Alexander, a mischief-maker who only looks like he's 9." [TV Line]


The Walking Dead

The rumor about a cast member asking to be allowed to leave the show in the wake of Frank Darabont's firing is still floating around, and there's a couple more details. According to the latest update, it's a male cast member, and he supposedly was granted his request to be written out of the show. Still, I'd treat all this with a grain of salt until we hear more, as it's all very weirdly hush-hush at the moment. [TV Line]


Terra Nova

Executive producers Rene Echevarria and Brannon Braga offer this preview of the two-hour season finale, which ends with a comparison that just completely obliterates the very concept of the word overstatement. See for yourself:

Echevarria: "Our evil guys, the Phoenix Group, will send somebody through the portal with a bomb, and it explodes. Jim Shannon [Jason O'Mara] is hit by the blast and wakes up three days later to a very surreal scene — Phoenix soldiers have taken command of the colony."
Braga: "We have supercharged the premise of our show in a very chilling way. Everything changes. A person who is without family will willingly go to [his or her] death in order to help the Shannons survive."
Echevarria: "We know Lucas has been helping the Sixers and the Phoenix Group, and we've teased that something bad happened between the two men in Somalia, but we don't yet know why Lucas so intensely hates his father. That will all come out in the finale. It's Shakespeare meets Sophie's Choice."

Shakespeare...meets...Sophie's...Choice. That is what the season finale of Terra Nova will be like. Ladies and gentlemen, that may well be the most ludicrously hyperbolic thing you will ever read. [TV Guide]


Chuck

The general end of filming is mere days away, and at least one cast member is already done - Alex McHugh actress Mekenna Melvin has tweeted that she's completed her filming on the show. [SpoilerTV]


Once Upon a Time

Here's another behind-the-scenes featurette, entitled "The Wish Upon a Star."

The show is looking to cast "an actress in her 30s to early 40s to play a sweet, quirky, charming and clumsy fairy named Nova." [TV Line]

Here are some spoilery-y tidbits from a recent chat with one of the show's writers, the omnipresent Jane Espenson:

- The show won't do a Christmas episode, but there is a Valentine's Day episode. As a general rule, the show is interested in holidays with pagan roots.
- Hansel and Gretel will be introduced, as will Aladdin.
- There's a juicy reveal regarding the Sheriff's identity, as well as for Billy the Mechanics and Grumpy the Dwarf.
- The show will soon resolve two key mysteries, Snow White's relationship with the Queen and the identity of Henry's father.
- Not every character in the town has made a deal with Rumplestiltskin...probably.
- The Mirror will get a great showcase episode.
- Espenson on the possibility of character deaths in one reality but not the other: "Major deaths? Well, we can't kill a character in Fairy Tale Land if they are also in Storybrooke. Unless we get super tricky."

- She is writing episodes 8, 12, and 15, along with possibly one more.

[Small Screen Scoop]


Grimm

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Here are some promo photos for episode seven, entitled "Nothing More to Live for", which will air December 16. [SpoilerTV]


Alcatraz

Here's another promo for Fox's new J.J. Abrams mystical conspiracy show.


The Munsters

X-Men director Bryan Singer is reportedly joining Pushing Daisies creator Bryan Fuller in the attempt to reboot the 1960s TV show for NBC. Singer is reportedly in talks to direct the pilot and serve as an executive producer going forward, similar to his role on the early seasons of House, back when that show was actually pretty good. So, all in all, this is a reasonably promising addition. [Deadline]


Supernatural

Here's a promo from episode ten, "Death's Door," which airs this Friday.

Former Vampire Diaries actress Sara Canning has been cast as Lydia, who executive producer Sera Gamble describes as "wry, independent, and as fun-loving as Dean" who with Dean has "a memorable evening that takes an unexpected turn", which based on the original character breakdown apparently involves "a sizzling one-night stand." She will appear in episode 13, which should air in late January. [TV Line]


Additional reporting by Gordon Jackson and Charlie Jane Anders.