Why the beginning of the Star Trek sequel will remind you of The Empire Strikes Back!

The latest batch of probably fake Dark Knight Rises spoilers sets a new bar for lunacy. Tons new details about Doctor Who's Christmas special. Scarlett Johansson talks her Marvel movie future. Plus Man of Steel and Amazing Spider-Man set photos!

Spoilers from here on out!

Top image from The Amazing Spider-Man.

The Dark Knight Rises

There's a new bunch of completely insane, probably fake spoiler-y tidbits from a supposed inside source. These are best taken with an absolutely gargantuan grain of salt, but here are the highlights:

- Marion Cotillard's character Miranda Tate is indeed Talia al Ghul, but she isn't directly affiliated with Bane, who is an independent operator not involved with the League of Shadows.
- Talia and the League have been working to take over Gotham for the eight year time gap between The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises, and they join forces with Bane toward the middle of the movie.
- Bane has forced scientist Leonid Pavel to build the strange machine seen in the set photos, and it's some sort of EMP or nuclear bomb. Talia uses her League contacts in the government - which is jokingly implied to include the president - to prevent the army and National Guard from interceding.
- Other villains, including Scarecrow, form a clumsy alliance against the League. Scarecrow actually kidnaps Talia and puts her on trial at one point, but she is rescued mid-trial and Bane kills Scarecrow in the process.
- The only League-related flashback features Liam Neeson as Ra's al Ghul, not Josh Pence, who instead plays a government official who deploys Matthew Modine's Nixon to Gotham.
- Gotham is ultimately evacuated, setting the stage for a final fight between Batman and Catwoman against Bane and Talia. The heroes win, but then Bane steals the Batwing and escapes the city, leaving the others to escape through the Underground Railroad tunnels that Alfred mentioned way back in Batman Begins.
- There's a shock ending in which Batman tries to stop the device with the Batwing, but he's unable to stop it from going off.

This all sounds pretty ridiculously fake, and it doesn't even seem to tell a consistent story - how does Batman get the Batwing back after Bane steals it, for instance? - but there you go. Just to really push the insanity of these spoilers into the stratosphere, the person then claims Warner Bros. already has plans in place for a reboot, which would emphasize the comic book and detective aspects of the character and feature Batman taking on the Riddler, with Man-Bat thrown in for a horror element. So then. You know, I don't say this lightly, but these may well be the fakest spoilers I've ever seen. [Comic Book Movie]

Christopher Nolan suggests that he isn't sticking too closely to Bane's comic book origins, and that's part of why he picked a lesser-known villain in the first place:

Well, the liberating thing about dealing with a lesser known villain is you feel more creative freedom to embrace the elements of that character you feel can serve your story and ignore those that won't. But at the same time, we chose Bane because he has some very unique elements to who he is. As far as the emphasis to it in the film, I'm actually editing some right now, so you never quite know until it's done. But we certainly intend to do justice to it, to the character I've written and to the comics. And I think the significance of Bane, in our eyes, is his strength as an antagonist to Batman. Everything must serve that, including the nature of his past and how that will play into the story.

[IGN]

The official IMAX Twitter feed has confirmed that a new trailer will play in screenings of Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol in addition to the select screenings of the prologue. Producer Emma Thomas gives this brief description of the trailer:

I'm trying to think. We have a great trailer coming out, and there are a couple of things in the prologue that are in the trailer. But there's a lot of the trailer that isn't in the prologue.

[IGN]

Gary Oldman discusses how The Dark Knight Rises fits in with the other two movies:

Well really, they are all individual films. They're all linked and connected, and there's an arc there over the trilogy. But there are such spaces in between. ... They were all their own movie. So you'd do the first one and you had two or three years off, then you did the second one and had three years off, over eight years or however long it's taken. So I saw them as their own experience. And they're like any other movie, really. They have a little more money than other movies, but Chris [Nolan] doesn't work any differently on the Batman, I think, than he would on Memento. But it promises to be very… I'm intrigued to see it. I'm intrigued to see this one.

[Movieline]


Man of Steel

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Here are a bunch of set photos of Michael Shannon and Henry Cavill. While it looks like that robe might be part of Shannon's costume, it seems that it's just something he's wearing over the black motion capture suit that he's already worn on-set. [Collider]


Iron Man 3

Scarlett Johansson says she hasn't been asked to appear in the next Iron Man movie, but that doesn't necessarily mean anything:

"I've heard nothing. You know how it goes. Sometimes two days before, it's like 'And here's your next mission.' I have no idea."

She also had this to say when asked about a possibly Black Widow spin-off, possibly alongside Jeremy Renner's Hawkeye:

"I love playing the Widow. I think she's got a very interesting past, a lot of storylines to explore, and certainly Kevin (Feige) loves that character. I think that Marvel has a very personal relationship with their fans, and I think if the fans want it, and the audience wants it, nothing's impossible. I would love to explore that option as well. Like I said, I love the character and it would be nice to see something nice and gritty."

[Superhero Hype]


The Amazing Spider-Man

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Here are some set photos from the recent Los Angeles reshoots, in which Andrew Garfield in street clothes jumps onto a lamppost and hangs from a wire. You can also check out a set video of the scene right here. [Comic Book Movie]

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Here are three banners that are reportedly for international marketing purposes, which are ever so slightly less moody and artistic than the recently released promo poster.[/Film]

Kirsten Dunst reveals that she wanted to have a blink-and-you-miss-it cameo in the reboot, alongside Tobey Maguire:

"I wanted to do a cameo. I had the idea of Tobey and I as extras and we'd just walk by in the background but it's not in there. I love Andrew Garfield and I think Emma Stone (who plays love interest Gwen Stacy) is cute too. I think that they're going to be really cute in the movie for sure. They look like they have good chemistry."

[Showbiz Spy]


Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance

Why the beginning of the Star Trek sequel will remind you of The Empire Strikes Back!S

Here's another look at the latest poster. [Comic Book Movie]


Star Trek 2

Simon Pegg weighs in on Khan, saying he hasn't heard the character is in the film, which is either a lie, proof that Khan isn't in the movie, or an indication that J.J. Abrams' penchant for secrecy is reaching comically insane levels:

"I haven't heard the name Khan come up. Not to say it won't come up, but I have heard no mention of him whatsoever," he said. "He is a great villain. I don't want to say too much and then have to eat my words as I often do, but we've seen Khan [in a 'Trek' movie before]. To see him again, how much value is there in that? I don't know."

Producer Bryan Burk also discusses the sequel, suggesting the movie hits the ground running in a way the first one couldn't:

"Unlike the last film, where we were restarting and setting up the characters ... we're going to jump right back in, and we don't have to set up everybody and we can go right in it. We're kind of in a mad dash at the beginning of the film. In all of our conversation, we reference a lot of our favorite films and how 'Empire Strikes Back' was spectacular and how they were able to pick up and keep going."

Burk also offers this answer to the big Khan question:

"There are amazing villains all throughout the 'Star Trek' universe as well as new villains. As we did in the last film, there's a lot of directions you can go with the film. In this case, we chose to do something we thought would be original and unique and different, and I think on paper, we made the right choice. Now we have to go shoot."

Here's another update from Simon Pegg:

I haven't seen a script yet. I do know the story, though. I know PART of the story, but we haven't seen a script yet. We're gonna see it soon. I think next week.

[MTV]

He also said filming will begin in January, and that the story is "more of what we love as Star Trek fans." [Trek Web]


Transformers 4

This is about as shaky as a story gets, but Transformers actors Tyrese Gibson and Ken Jeong tweeted about meeting up this weekend, and both mention a "JS"... which people are speculating refers to rumored new Transformers star Jason Statham. Of course, it's not exactly obvious why a couple random supporting actors in the franchise meeting with someone means that person will then appear in the next Transformers movie. [MTV Movies Blog]


Upside Down

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Here's a bunch of promo photos from Argentine filmmaker Juan Diego Solanas's new film, in which Across the Universe actor Jim Sturgess travels to another universe in search of his lost love, played by Kirsten Dunst. There's a more detailed synopsis below. [First Showing]

Jim Sturgess stars as Adam, a seemingly ordinary guy in a very extraordinary universe. He lives humbly trying to make ends meet, but his romantic spirit holds on to the memory of a girl he met once upon a time from another world, an inverted affluent world with its own gravity, directly above but beyond reach... a girl named Eve (get the names?), played by Kirsten Dunst. That childhood flirtation becomes an impossible love. But when he catches a glimpse of grown-up Eve on television, nothing will get in the way of getting her back.


Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol

Tom Cruise discusses the movie's showcase stunt, in which he actually dangled off the side of Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building:

"[Director Brad] Bird designed it. When I saw it, I said, 'Man, this is incredible. I've gotta put this on screen.' "When I saw the animatic of it, we spent a lot of time figuring out how we're going to do it, how to convince the Burj Khalifa to pull the windows out. They were worried about the engineering. I had a safety officer at first that said everyone has to wear parachutes. Well, we gotta get a new safety officer! We're doing this! We need someone who 'doesn't care as much.'"

[MTV Movies Blog]

Why the beginning of the Star Trek sequel will remind you of The Empire Strikes Back!S

Here's a poster. [IGN]


Skyfall

Daniel Craig promises this movie will be a vast improvement over Quantum of Solace:

"On 'Quantum,' we were f—-ed. We had the bare bones of a script and then there was a writers' strike and there was nothing we could do. We couldn't employ a writer to finish it. I say to myself, 'Never again', but who knows? There was me trying to rewrite scenes – and a writer I am not...I think this one is better. I really do. It's a totally original story. I read it and it just works as a story. If you're going to do that sort of stuff, you've just got to get it right. You've got to give it your best shot. When you've got all that talent, everyone gunning to make it good, you've got to get it. For f—-'s sake, it's a Bond movie. You want people to go, 'Whooah!' – a sharp intake of breath during a movie is never a bad thing."

[MTV Movies Blog]


Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

Here's an interview featuring stars Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law from the London premiere. The cast shows up at about the 1:30 mark. You can also check out an interview with Downey, costar Noomi Rapace, and director Guy Ritchie here.


Paranorman

Why the beginning of the Star Trek sequel will remind you of The Empire Strikes Back!S

Here's a new promo image for the stop-motion zombie movie. [Fangoria]


Doctor Who

Here's a description of the beginning of the Christmas special, "The Doctor, the Widow, and the Wardrobe", which explains why the Doctor comes to owe Madge Arwell and her family a debt:

The Doctor makes a big spaceship blow up above the Earth, in his rush to escape it, he puts the spacesuit he finds on backwards, and crash-lands in England in 1938.

The Doctor wakes up in a ditch, Madge Arwell passes by and helps him. She finds his TARDIS, but doesn't see the Doctors face because of the backwards spacesuit, the Doctor leaves promising to repay her kindness.

Its 1941, Madge and her children are evacuated to a house in Dorset, Madge believes her RAF husband killed in WWII, but hides this from her children, unknown to Madge the caretaker is the Doctor here to repay his debt to her...

[Life, Doctor Who, and Combom]

Director Farren Blackburn discusses the episode's tones:

I would say there is a kind of mix. It goes through several worlds. It's most definitely a classic action-adventure but I think it merges into the Edwardian children's story and there's a sort of Tim Burton-esque magic about it as well. I think there's a magic throughout the episode, but there is an underlying suspense and tension and darkness to it as well. So I think it merges those three things with an awful lot of Christmas about it. Steven was very vocal initially saying he wanted it to be the most Christmassy Christmas special ever, and I've tried my best to give him that. So there is quite a lot of snow which was fantastic but painful all at the same time.

Blackburn also discusses one of his favorite sequences:

I can't say too much about where we go, but there is a turning point in the story where the young boy, Cyril, is attracted to this big glowing parcel under the Christmas tree and he does what every young kid is told not to do and he opens the parcel before Christmas Day. And it's revealed that it's a entrance into another world.

[SFX]

And here's an interview with producer Marcus Wilson about the special. [BBC]


Game of Thrones

Producer's assistant Cat Taylor has tweeted that filming on season two has now wrapped. [Winter Is Coming]


The Walking Dead

Sarah Wayne Callies discusses Lori's role in the group:

"I think she looks at this group, especially Rick and Shane, and she sees how ardently they're trying to save everyone's lives. She and, to a significant extent, Dale (Jeffrey DeMunn) are the people who go, 'That's wonderful, but it's not enough. We have to be human beings, not just living creatures. We have to bury our dead. We have to honor what's past. We have a certain moral and ethical responsibility to each other, even if we screw that up a lot.' Lori inadvertently committed adultery with her husband's best friend, and she's standing up for ethical behavior on the part of the remaining remnants of humanity. And, within the group, she's becoming a matriarch, in a sense. She's the keeper of our rituals, as well as of our hearts and home and hopes. This is not a woman who considers herself a feminist. She considers herself a homemaker, in the sense that making a home for people in a world that is a living hell is a pretty powerful position. That's a really interesting character."

She calls Lori "a study in hypocrisy", explaining:

"She's standing up and saying that there are right things and wrong things, but is conflicted herself about what to do with this baby. She presents an interesting picture to the audience of someone being consumed from the inside out by her grief, regrets and mistakes, while at the same time trying to help everyone else make better decisions than she's made herself. I don't think she holds herself out as any kind of moral authority," the actress said, "but this is the position she's fallen into. It's odd to be saying, 'We need to be the best we can be and, by the way, I'm maybe carrying the love child of my husband's best friend.' "

[Reading Eagle]

There's not even a supposed inside source to back this up, but the latest report is that True Blood's Rutina Wesley is not playing Michonne in the season finale. [SpoilerTV]


Terra Nova

Fox's decision to renew the show definitely won't come until early 2012 at the soonest, and the latest reports indicate that Fox may wait to see how their other new scifi offerings, J.J. Abrams' Alcatraz and Tim Kring's Touch, perform before deciding whether to renew the show. If both of those shows — which are presumably cheaper, because pretty much any show would be significantly cheaper than Terra Nova — perform well in the ratings, Fox may decide a renewal isn't a cost effective move. [About.com]


Chuck

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Here are some promo photos and a short synopsis from episode seven, "Chuck vs. the Santa Suit", which airs on December 23. [multipleverses.com]

Chuck and Sarah learn who is trying to destroy Carmichael Industries; Ellie's Christmas plans come undone; a computer virus threatens to ruin Christmas at Buy More.

Why the beginning of the Star Trek sequel will remind you of The Empire Strikes Back!

Here's the first promo photo of Cheryl Ladd as Sarah's mom, who will appear in the December 30 episode, "Chuck vs. the Baby." [SpoilerTV]


Once Upon a Time

Here's a promo for the January premiere episode, "Desperate Souls." For some additional speculation on the episode, which features the return of old villain Daniel Shaw, go here. [KSiteTV]


Grimm

Spy Kids star Daryl Sabara and Hannah Marks of the USA show Necessary Roughness will reportedly appear in the upcoming episode "Organ Grinder" as Hansel and Gretel. Here's how their role is described:

Hanson (Sabara) and Gracie (Marks) are homeless teens trying to survive in the streets of Portland, when they unexpectedly get caught up in the creature world's deadly black market of human organ dealing.

[EW]


Alcatraz

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Here are some promo photos from the pilot of J.J. Abrams' upcoming new sci-fi mystery show on Fox. [multipleverses.com]


American Horror Story

Here's a preview from the next episode, "Birth."


Sanctuary

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Here are some promo photos from episode eleven, "The Depths." [SpoilerTV]


Lost Girl

Here's a promo and synopsis for episode thirteen, the strangely titled "Barometz. Trick. Pressure." [SpoilerTV]

When Trick takes matters into his own hands to foresee the future, he runs the risk of revealing too much to the wrong Fae. Meanwhile, a furious Bo confronts The Ash about a betrayal… and is stunned by his response.

Lachlan actor Vincent Walsh tweeted that he was finished with his time on the show after he completed filming on the twentieth episode, suggesting his character will be gone after that point. [SpoilerTV]


Additional reporting by Gordon Jackson and Charlie Jane Anders.