Steven Moffat reveals the bold new direction of Doctor Who's next season!

Christopher Nolan explains the reason for The Dark Knight Rises' surprising timeframe. A new Amazing Spider-Man set video seems to reimagine one of Spidey's darkest moments. And has Thor 2 found its director?

Spoilers from here on out!

Top image from Doctor Who.

The Dark Knight Rises

Christopher Nolan reveals the eight year time jump between The Dark Knight and the final Batman movie is all about doing justice to the end of The Dark Knight:

"It will make a lot more sense to people when they see the film. But it's not a great mystery - it's the jumping-off point for the film - but it's hard for me to articulate it. I think the mood at the beginning of the film will make a lot of sense. If I had to express it thematically, I think what we're saying is that for Batman and Commissioner Gordon, there's a big sacrifice, a big compromise, at the end of the 'The Dark Knight' and for that to mean something, that sacrifice has to work and Gotham has to get better in a sense. They have to achieve something for the ending of that film — and the feeling at the end of that film — to have validity. Their sacrifice has to have meaning and it takes time to establish that and to show that, and that's the primary reason we did that."

Nolan also says he chose an eight year gap so that the return actors wouldn't need extensive makeup to show the aging process, but also allow them a chance to play around with the characterizations to show the passage of time:

"It's a time period that is not so far ahead that we would have to do crazy makeup or anything — which I think would be distracting — but it gave them something to get their teeth into, particularly Christian [Bale] in terms of [portraying] this guy who has been frozen in this moment in time with nowhere to go. He really has done an incredible job figuring out how to characterize that and express that."

I'm not totally sure what the "frozen in this moment" part refers to, though I would assume Nolan means Bruce Wayne has had to play the same exact Batman — and the same exact public version of Bruce Wayne, for that matter — for the last eight years. [MTV Splash Page]


The Amazing Spider-Man

Here's a set video that appears to show the reimagined version of Uncle Ben's death, in which this time Peter Parker doesn't stop the robber fleeing the store and giving up his chance for revenge, which is more in line with his depiction in The Ultimate Spider-Man. [Comic Book Movie]


Thor 2

Game of Thrones director Alan Taylor has reportedly emerged as the new frontrunner to replace original director Patty Jenkins, and even entered contract negotiations. [3 News New Zealand]


John Carter

Andrew Stanton explains that the title change from John Carter of Mars - and indeed the change from its very first title, A Princess of Mars - was a business decision that he's not crazy about, but accepts is probably the right choice:

Here's the real truth of it. I'd already changed it from A Princess Of Mars to John Carter Of Mars. I don't like to get fixated on it, but I changed Princess Of Mars… because not a single boy would go. And then the other truth is, no girl would go to see John Carter Of Mars. So I said, "I don't won't to do anything out of fear, I hate doing things out of fear, but I can't ignore that truth."

All the time we were making this big character story which just so happens to be in this big, spectacular new environment. But it's not about the spectacle, it's about the investment. I thought, I've really worked hard to make all of this an origin story. It's about a guy becoming John Carter. So I'm not misrepresenting what this movie is, it's John Carter. Mars is going to stick on any other film in the series. But by then, it won't have a stigma to it.

[Bleeding Cool]


The Hobbit

Here's the official plot synopsis. They confirm that the two movies are set 60 years before The Lord of the Rings. It's unclear whether this is a synopsis for both movies, or just the first entry, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey:

The adventure follows the journey of title character Bilbo Baggins, who is swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor from the fearsome dragon Smaug. Approached out of the blue by the wizard Gandalf the Grey, Bilbo finds himself joining a company of thirteen dwarves led by the legendary warrior, Thorin Oakenshield. Their journey will take them into the Wild; through treacherous lands swarming with Goblins and Orcs, deadly Wargs and Giant Spiders, Shapeshifters and Sorcerers.

Although their goal lies to the East and the wastelands of the Lonely Mountain first they must escape the goblin tunnels, where Bilbo meets the creature that will change his life forever...Gollum.

Here, alone with Gollum, on the shores of an underground lake, the unassuming Bilbo Baggins not only discovers depths of guile and courage that surprise even him, he also gains possession of Gollum's "precious" ring that holds unexpected and useful qualities ... A simple, gold ring that is tied to the fate of all Middle-earth in ways Bilbo cannot begin to know.

There are more details at the link, including a complete cast list (minus Smaug voice Benedict Cumberbatch, for some reason). [SpoilerTV]


Battleship

Rihanna, who is making her acting debut in Peter Berg's board game adaptation that has pretty much singlehandedly rendered parody obsolete, describes her character, a weapons officer named Raikes:

"My character is a weapons officer, a badass, she's tattooed up and she's in control of the weapons on the ship. She knows everything about every single weapon – it's a really cool role. Being out there in the ocean, literally shooting weapons with (director) Peter Berg, Liam Neeson and Taylor Kitsch. It's really surreal to be in the centre of all that for my first film, but I'm really comfortable working in that group."

[95-106 Capital FM]


Byzantium

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Here are some set photos of Hanna star Saoirse Ronan and X-Men: First Class actor Caleb Landry Jones on the Dublin, Ireland set of Neil Jordan's vampire movie, in which Ronan and Quantum of Solace's Gemma Arterton play a mother-daughter pair of vampires who sometimes pretend to be sisters. They also sometimes pretend to be human, presumably, but I'm just going off the information I've been given. [ComingSoon.net]


Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

Composer Hans Zimmer explains the journey he took to make a culturally authentic sound for Noomi Rapace's character, a member of the historically marginalized Roma people:

"On this one when I started reading the script I saw the whole movie had tilted a little more into that [darker] patc. I phoned Guy and I said, 'Road trip! Let's go there,' we didn't really know where 'there' was and through NDI [the National Democratic Institute] who were really helpful in this, we found out if we go to eastern Slovakia there are all these Roma settlements. I took my daughter along, Zoe Zimmer who is a photographer, because I thought it would be interesting to document that part, that people, I didn't know, that none of us had seen. I had this weird idea of the Roma people, I had this weird idea of all the cliches. I had this weird idea of all this music in my head but I didn't really know anything, so to go there and experience it seemed like an important thing to do."

[MTV Movies Blog]

For those with fourteen minutes to spare, here's a super long interview with director Guy Ritchie. [First Showing]


Doctor Who

Discussing next year's series seven in Doctor Who Magazine, Steven Moffat drops the bombshell that they're not planning to make any two-parters, with every episode being a standalone:

"The big thing is, nothing in the next run is starting out as a two-parter," he confirms in the latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine. "At this stage, everything is a single episode, and the only reason anything will become a two-parter is if we think it needs to be; not so much that the story is too long for 45 minutes, because nothing is too long for 45 minutes, but if it feels as though there are two distinct stages to the story.... I want to be able to say, every week, we've got a big standalone blockbuster, and then a trailer that makes it look like nothing compared to what's going to happen next week! That's the form for next year."

He also explains that the longstanding assumption that two-parters save money is a fallacy, and that interest both from fans and the press always dips for the second episode of a two-parter, regardless of its quality. [Doctor Who TV]

Moffat continues by suggesting you don't need a big cliffhanger or an action-packed trailer to get people excited for the next episode, pointing to simply revealing a title like "Let's Kill Hitler" at the end of "A Good Man Goes to War" as more than punch enough on its own. And it seems that he wants to make titles like that the norm next year:

"This year, we used a lot of cliffhangers and mysteries to pull people through, but then I remember the moment, at the end of A Good Man Goes to War, when we put up the title Let's Kill Hitler. That was so exciting. I'm thinking, ‘Can we do that every week?' You can sod off with poetic understatement. I want slutty titles and movie-poster plots. I want big pictures and straplines. The first episode I'm writing is called [Spoiler] of the [Spoilers]. And it'll feel a bit like Die Hard, that first episode. Everyone is expecting us to do another year like 2011. You're not going to get that at all. You're going to get the biggest, maddest set of episodes ever."

Beyond his kind of amazing "slutty titles" quote, the big reveal here is that the opening episode will be like Die Hard, and judging by the "[Blank] of the [Blank]" construction might feature the return of some well-known monster, be it Daleks, Cybermen, Weeping Angels, the Silence, or whatever else. [Doctor Who TV]

Here are three clips from the Christmas special, "The Doctor, the Widow, and the Wardrobe." Also, for a complete roundup of pretty much everything released so far related to the special, go here. [Life, Doctor Who, and Combom]



The Radio Times preview reveals the special features the following lines are in the special:

"I got dressed in a hurry."
"Why does a forest need people?"
"Happy crying..."

The preview also says the special has a much more linear structure than we're used to from Steven Moffat's episodes, and the story doesn't overdo the CS Lewis allusions beyond the Narnia-inspired title and presence of a snowy forest inside a box. The episode also features a shout-out to a 1984 Doctor Who story, which includes all the stories from Peter Davison's final season, including the show's finest hour and a half, "The Caves of Androzani." Of course, it would be kind of amazing if the reference was to Colin Baker's debut story, the universally reviled "The Twin Dilemma", just because Moffat wants to screw with the die-hard fans. [The Radio Times]

Karen Gillan again confirmed that she and Arthur Darvill will make a cameo appearance in the Christmas special, but she said she knows absolutely nothing about series seven beyond the fact that she will be in it. [Hero Complex]


Terra Nova

Here's an interview with star Jason O'Mara about next week's two-part finale, "Occupation" and "Resistance."


Chuck

Executive producer Chris Fedak reveals that Rebecca Romijn's character in this Friday's episode, "Chuck vs. the Curse", was originally conceived as a male character:

"We created a character originally that was going to be a man. Kind of an ominous, scary figure with a penchant for torture, which he considers his art form. But then when we started thinking about it, I was like, 'What if Rebecca Romijn was this guy? That would be scary and sexy'… She was game for it, and she also has a great sense of humor."

You can also check out some sneak peeks of Romijn's guest spot here. [TV Line]

Elsewhere, Fedak discusses Stan Lee's guest spot in the Christmas episode, "Chuck vs. the Santa Suit":

"We loved the idea that Chuck Bartowski isn't the only wackadoodle espionage agent working in Los Angeles. Stan Lee is secretly doing it, too. We also reveal that Stan once had an interlude with our very own General Beckman."

He also revealed that the episode features the release of a world-crippling computer virus, and that the reveal of who was behind the virus is a major twist that will "end the episode with one of the craziest cliffhangers we've ever done." [ChuckTV]

Finally, Fedak says that Morgan's frosted tips may well make an unwanted return, but in the meantime the character's main priority is trying to win Alex back:

"Morgan's going to be desperate to try to get Alex back but… that's not an easy thing to do. He broke up with her on a text message. He turned into a douche."

[TV Guide]


Alcatraz

Here's the latest promo for J.J. Abrams's new show.


Being Human (US)

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Here are some promo photos for the second season premiere, "Turn This Mother Out." [SpoilerTV]

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And here are some general cast photos for season two. [SpoilerTV]


Sanctuary

Here's a sneak peek from episode eleven, "The Depths."


Lost Girl

Syfy has put out this release for their January 16 premiere of the Canadian import:

Anna Silk (The Ghost Whisperer) stars as seductress Bo, a Succubus (a powerful female entity in folklore) who feeds off sexual energy. Raised by human parents, Bo had no reason to believe she was anything other than the girl next door – until she "drained" her first boyfriend to death.

In the premiere episode, Bo discovers she is one of the Fae, creatures of legend who pass as humans while secretly feeding off them. Faced with choosing between an allegiance to the Dark or Light Fae clans, Bo takes the middle path between the human and Fae worlds while embarking on a mission to unlock the secrets of her origin.

[multipleverses.com]


Additional reporting by Gordon Jackson and Charlie Jane Anders.