Joss Whedon name-checks The Dirty Dozen and Black Hawk Down as huge influences on The Avengers. Nathan Fillion joins the Percy Jackson sequel, while Felicia Day goes to Supernatural. Brad Bird explains the biggest challenge to making The Incredibles 2.
It's spoilers all the way down!
Top image from The Avengers.
Joss Whedon explains why The Dirty Dozen was a key influence on the film:
"[It was] the first movie I referenced when Marvel asked me what I'd do if they gave me the [Avengers] script. People forget, but that movie is an hour-and-a-half of training and 20 minutes of Nazi fighting. It helped me to say, you can have time to let these people get to know each other; their conflict can be as interesting as their conflict with the villain."
He also name-checks Black Hawk Down as another big influence:
"That's when I realized we needed a war movie. With this many heroes, the only way you can really earn them — earn the idea that they are heroes — is that you put them through a meat grinder."
The Hunger Games
Here's a new sneak peek clip. This one features Donald Sutherland as the autocratic President Snow talking to his chief game maker, Seneca Crane, as played by American Beauty's Wes Bentley. [Coming Soon]
Producer Jon Kilik explains why the political and social themes of Suzanne Collins's books drew him to the project:
That's one of the reasons I was so excited about doing it. For me, it's not strictly science fiction; it's an allegory for our world today. It's something we can all relate to, not so distant from the world and the future that especially young people today face. Farcical politics, a crumbling economy, an increasingly soulless culture ... A lot of kids feel that those in power can't be trusted. That's what the kids in the story are going through, and yet they still harbor hope.
When asked about shooting the Hunger Games sequel in 3D, director Gary Ross provides a flat denial answer that offers one of the more insightful critiques of the format I've seen in awhile:
No, absolutely not, never. I don't think it's appropriate for this film. I think that if we shoot this movie in 3D, we become the Capitol. We start making spectacle out of something that I don't think is really appropriate here. There needs to be an aesthetic distance here because of the nature of the material, the premise, what they're doing. I think that cinematic techniques designed to intensify the experience if you feel them that way, aren't really appropriate. I mean I love 3D, I really do and I think it's a wonderful tool, I just don't think it's the right tool for this.
Universal has reportedly moved Tron Legacy director Joseph Kosinski's next movie from its original release date in July 2013 to an earlier date right at the start of summer: April 26, 2013. The movie stars Tom Cruise as the last human living on a charred Earth while the rest of humanity lives Jetsons-like above the clouds. The cast also includes Morgan Freeman and Quantum of Solace's Olga Kurylenko. [Deadline]
Here's a poster for Tim Burton and Johnny Depp's update of the 1970s supernatural soap opera. [Coming Soon]
And here's a bunch of promo images. [Shock Till You Drop]
Snow White and the Huntsman
Here's a preview of the upcoming trailer. I still can't believe we now live in a world where trailers for trailers aren't automatically the silliest thing ever... and yet here we are. I guess the fact that we also live in a world where there's a gritty, violent Snow White movie starring Twilight Kristen Stewart's does make trailer trailers look relatively mundane. [Coming Soon]
Percy Jackson and the Olympians: Sea of Monsters
If absolutely nothing else, the Percy Jackson sequel is going to feature some cult favorite actors. Chief among them will reportedly be none other Nathan Fillion, who has signed on to play the god Hermes, the father of Percy's main antagonist Luke. He replaces Dylan Neal, who played Hermes in the first movie. If this means we're headed for a general recasting of parts, and Sean Bean is too busy to come back as Zeus, I'm going to go ahead and suggest Bruce Campbell as Zeus. Because the thought of Nathan Fillion and Bruce Campbell as rival Greek gods is about the only thing that could get me legitimately excited for a Percy Jackson sequel. Really, that thought could get me excited for anything. [Hollywood Reporter]
Disney has released a bunch of character posters and profiles for Pixar's latest, a fantasy tale set in legendary Scotland that features the studio's first female protagonist. Here's one such poster on the left - you can check out a bunch more at the link. [Disney's Brave]
The Incredibles 2
Director Brad Bird -= who these days might well be too busy throwing Tom Cruise off of skyscrapers to make animated films anymore — says he won't rule out a sequel to The Incredibles these days, but the challenge is figuring out the right story:
I really love those characters and if I can figure out a whole story to do I would do it. But one of the advantages that we had in the original ‘Incredibles' was that several of the characters had never really got to flex their muscles before. They were repressed, and it was about them discovering their own abilities… Any sequel to it, that particular thing - which is really a wonderful thing to be able to explore in a movie - that's sort of gone. And so you have to find something that is equally interesting to do in a sequel.
That might sound like a brush-off, but it's worth noting that Pixar actually does do sequels long after the last film, such as the eleven year gap between the second and third Toy Story movies and the twelve year gap between 2001's Monsters, Inc. and its planned prequel Monsters University. So, nothing's impossible with this one. [IFC]
G.I. Joe: Retaliation
Here's a new promo image of Snake Eyes, again played by Darth Maul actor Ray Park. [Total Film]
Game of Thrones
Emilia Clarke previews what's ahead for Daenerys Targaryen in season two:
Things kind of suck, because when you last saw her, it's like magic was being re‑awoken and it's all wonderful. Now [she's in] complete and utter despair. She has dragons, but they are tiny. They're babies. She doesn't even know how to feed them. So, and she's got all her people looking to her, including Jorah, and she's losing the will to kind of see her way through it.
Does your story line pretty much follow the book?
I don't want to give too much away. There are a few things that are slightly different, just to give her a bit more meat this season. Dany is going to get a little glimpse of what else is going on in other parts of the world of Game of Thrones. There's a number of surprises in store for everyone.
There's some more at the link. [EW]
Costar Maisie Williams discusses what to expect from Arya Stark's journey in season two, starting with her relationship with Gendry:
At the beginning of the season, she still doesn't really trust him because everyone who she's trusted before has been taken away from her, and she doesn't think she's going to see most of them again, and she knows she's not going to see her dad again. I think she knows that she can trust him, but for some reason she doesn't because she doesn't want to get emotionally attached to anyone, just in case they get taken away from her.
Arya learned really quickly at the end of Season 1, when the boy tried to steal her sword, that her world is more treacherous by the minute. How dangerous is it going to get?
I think because Needle's the only thing she's got left of home, and that's really the only thing worth something that she's got with her, she's really protective. Because she was quite sensitive anyway, and this boy she never even met before came up to her and was trying to take her sword away, she didn't stick up for herself. After that happened, and when we start off Season 2, she's not gonna be pushed around… She can now stand up for herself and people won't sort of laugh at her because she's a girl, because everyone thinks she's a boy.
Here's a bunch of behind-the-scenes photos from the latest Entertainment Weekly. [SpoilerTV]
Here's a twenty minute interview with author George R.R. Martin to mark the coming second season.
The Walking Dead
Showrunner Glen Mazzara discusses what to expect from this Sunday's second season finale:
We're proud of this finale, we've been building to it all season, and we cant wait for you to see it … There's more bloodshed coming. They thought they were safe on this farm, they were wrong … We're on a killing spree here … There are answers about the nature of the virus in the finale … I will guarantee people will watch this finale and want to know what comes next. People will have a lot of questions, but in a good way.
He also promises that the third season will be much faster paced overall than season two:
I am very interested in keeping the pace up. I'm proud of the [early] episodes in season 2. I'm surprised at some of the feedback. That being said, it was always my intention to ramp up the pace. I do think the [recent] episodes have been better crafted at having a beginning, middle, and a punch at the end. I think we've cracked it. We still will have slower episodes … this is a story about characters we care about. But I do think the pacing in season 3 will feel like a freight train … [Also] there will be more webisodes coming before season 3.
Finally, he gave these general thoughts on the show's long-term future, which seems to imply the show is intended to run at least five or six years:
I've talked about it with Robert [Kirkman]. I do have a feeling where this show ends.We know pretty much the entire arc of season 3. We have ideas for season 4. Then skipping ahead to the end of the series, I have very storng ideas.
Once Upon a Time
Here are some sneak peeks for this Sunday's episode, "Heart of Darkness."
Here are some set photos. [SpoilerTV]
Executive producer Edward Kitsis and Rumplestiltskin actor Robert Carlyle discuss what's ahead for Belle:
Kitsis: I would be disappointed if you reveal her to be in Storybrooke and you don't show that again. But God help whoever put her there.
Carlyle: [Rumplestiltskin and Belle] will meet again. Definitely. But probably not in fairytale land. If he ever finds out that [Regina] hid her away, there's going to be trouble for sure."
Here's the official description for episode fifteen, "Island of Drames", which is set to air March 30:
THE CREATURE AND HUMAN WORLDS COLLIDE AFTER THE BRUTAL MURDER OF A SPICE SHOP OWNER – BREE TURNER AND CLAIRE COFFEE GUEST STAR – After the grisly murder of a familiar shop owner, Nick (David Giuntoli) joins forces with Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell) to help solve the murder. When the shop owner's sister, Rosalee (guest star Bree Turner), comes to town, Nick thinks he may have found a new ally in the creature world. Elsewhere, Captain Renard (Sasha Roiz) enlists Adalind (guest star Claire Coffee) to cast a spell on Hank (Russell Hornsby). Meanwhile, Sgt. Wu (Reggie Lee) unwittingly becomes entangled in Adalind's dastardly plan.
And here's the same for episode sixteen, "The Thing with Feathers", which airs a week later on April 6:
NICK'S ROMANTIC WEEKEND GETAWAY WITH JULIETTE TAKES AN UNEXPECTED TURN — AZURE SKYE, BREE TURNER, CLAIRE COFFEE AND JOSH RANDALL GUEST STAR— Nick (David Giuntoli) pulls out all the stops to plan a romantic getaway for Juliette (Bitsie Tulloch) in an attempt to get their relationship back on track. Nick's duties as a Grimm get in the way of romance when he meets the unsettling neighbors (guest stars Azure Skye and Josh Randall) and discovers that the troubled wife has a rare and valuable treasure to protect. It's left to Nick to keep everyone safe. Back in Portland, Hank (Russell Hornsby) and Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell) each find themselves on the brink of new romantic relationships. Sasha Roiz and Reggie Lee also star.
Executive producer Robert Singer offers this introduction for tonight's episode, "Out with the Old."
Misha Collins reveals that his take on the resurrected Castiel in next week's episode will be nerdier than previous incarnations of the character. [E! Online]
Genre favorite Felicia Day will guest star in the April 27 episode, "The Girl with the Dungeons and Dragons Tattoo." She will play the title character, which is indeed a spin on the Stieg Larsson character, according to executive producer Sera Gamble:
"Felicia plays a girl named Charlie who is sort of a lowly tech working in one of Dick Roman's companies. She's an amateur computer hacker and unwittingly gets wrapped up in Sam and Dean's problems. It's a classic story of an everyday girl who does not want to be in a whistleblower position."
Gamble also offers this overview of tonight's episode:
"Our boys pick up a crazy case in which a ballerina dances her feet off; her shoes are a cursed object. There's a lot of pretty famous fairy tales in Western folklore, like 'The Red Shoes,' that are similar. In the case of this cursed object, if you touch the shoes, you become so enamored of them, you just want to put them on. They kind of follow you around until you do, and we see this happen to a couple different people. In the course of wrestling them off somebody, Dean does touch them. So he starts to get the urge to put them on. It becomes a high-stakes race as to where this cursed object came from, and are there curse boxes they can shove it back into quickly before Dean becomes the next victim."
TNT has announced the alien invasion show's second season premiere date will be June 17. The ten episode season will kick off with a two-hour premiere. [Multiple Verses]
Here's the first promo for next Thursday's episode, "Break On Through."
The Secret Circle
Here's a promo for next week's episode, "Curse."
Executive producer Andrew Miller discusses which characters will find themselves on the wrong side of John Blackwell in upcoming episodes:
"Ethan's revealed secrets will put him and Blackwell at specific odds. [Charles] has an axe to grind with Blackwell that's probably bigger than anybody's. Those two guys that will really face off in the next few episodes - and it only gets worse as the season progresses."
The CW's pilot that totally isn't The Hunger Games, no really you guys, has reportedly begun filming in Vancouver. Here's a brief description of the premise that goes beyond "well yeah, that does sound a lot like The Hunger Games":
America Singer (Aimee Teegarden) is a poor young woman who is chosen by lottery to participate in a competition to marry Prince Maxon (Ethan Peck) and become the next queen of a war-torn nation at a crossroads.
Additional reporting by Jennifer Griffith-Delgado and Charlie Jane Anders.