Alfonso Cuarón's astronaut epic Gravity really does begin with a single 17-minute opening shot!

Christopher Nolan talks Dark Knight Rises villains, while Joss Whedon hints at a Captain America character's fate. Plus a crucial Doctor Who casting update, and more on Man of Steel, Lock-Out, Fringe, American Horror Story, and the Short Circuit remake!

Spoilers ahead!

Top image from The Dark Knight Rises.

The Dark Knight Rises

Christopher Nolan encapsulates the movie's two main additions, the villainous Bane and the more ambiguous Catwoman:

"[Bane] represents formidable physical strength, combined with absolute evil of intention. [Catwoman] has a very strong way of protecting herself and those she cares about, which implies an underlying darkness."

Tom Hardy says audiences will be able to understand Bane, even if it takes them a bit of time to get used to his distinctive voice:

"It's a risk, because we could be laughed at - or it could be very fresh and exciting. The audience mustn't be too concerned about the mumbly voice," says Hardy. "As the film progresses, I think you'll be able to tune to its setting."

[EW]


The Avengers

Here's a new Thor-focused TV spot. Also, for a breakdown of the Loki and Tony Stark clip from yesterday, go here.

Alfonso Cuarón's astronaut epic Gravity really does begin with a single 17-minute opening shot!

Here's a cover of Muscle & Fitness showing off a good look at the Hulk and his muscles. I mainly find this amusing because the Hulk is pretty much the living incarnation of roid rage, so it's great fun to see him on the cover of a bodybuilding magazine. [Coming Soon]


Captain America 2

Italian Job director F. Gary Gray has reportedly dropped out of the running to direct the sequel, leaving The Adjustment Bureau's Gary Nolfi and Community's Joe and Anthony Russo as the main contenders. Marvel is also reportedly now widening their search. [Deadline]

Discussing a cut scene for The Avengers, Joss Whedon drops a minor bombshell in confirming that, yes, Peggy Carter is still alive in 2012:

One of the best scenes that I wrote was the beautiful and poignant scene between Steve and Peggy [Carter] that takes place in the present. And I was the one who was like, Guys, we need to lose this. It was killing the rhythm of the thing. And we did have a lot of Cap, because he really was the "in" for me. I really do feel a sense of loss about what's happening in our culture, loss of the idea of community, loss of health care and welfare and all sorts of things. I was spending a lot of time having him say it, and then I cut that.

Admittedly, now that the scene is cut, it may mean Peggy will be dead when Captain America 2 rolls around, but I'd consider this good news for anyone wanting to see Cap and Peggy finally have that dance. There's plenty more of interest at the link, though it's more on the making of The Avengers than any specific spoilers. [New York Times]


The Incredible Hulk

Mark Ruffalo says that he'd be up for making his own individual Hulk movie:

Why not! It was the one character - you know, I was a comic book fan when I was a kid and I always loved the Hulk. When The Incredible Hulk, that show, came on, I would not miss that. And so if I was going to find myself in that world, this would be the guy that I would be most interested in doing. To make a very short answer long: Yeah, I'd love to have him do his own movie.

[IGN]


Man of Steel

Young actor Dylan Sprayberry, who appeared in this week's Glee and is playing a teenage Clark Kent in Zack Snyder's Superman movie, says he just finished filming his scenes in Illinois and British Columbia. He had this to say about what to expect from the movie:

When Zack [Snyder] and I were talking about it the first time, he was saying how Superman, they want to give it a more edgy feel like The Dark Knight but also make it more realistic and emotional so it's not just the all-american superhero that saves everyone. He has dilemmas and love and struggles throughout the whole movie, especially when he's a kid.

[Clever TV]


Prometheus

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Here's a pair of at this point predictably awesome promo images from Ridley Scott's new sci-fi epic. [Shock Tilll You Drop]


Looper

Here's the latest sneak peek at Brick director Rian Johnson's time travel movie before the release of the trailer later today. This one focuses on how they turned star Joseph Gordon-Levitt into a younger version of his adversary and older self, Bruce Willis. [/Film]


Catching Fire

Bringing what has been one of the most confusing and frequently contradictory stories in recent memory to a close, director Gary Ross has officially left the franchise. Here's Ross's official reason for leaving the movie, though feel free to completely disbelieve it, since that's generally the default reaction to official statements anyway:

Despite recent speculation in the media, and after difficult but sincere consideration, I have decided not to direct Catching Fire. As a writer and a director, I simply don't have the time I need to write and prep the movie I would have wanted to make because of the fixed and tight production schedule.

I loved making The Hunger Games – it was the happiest experience of my professional life. Lionsgate was supportive of me in a manner that few directors ever experience in a franchise: they empowered me to make the film I wanted to make and backed the movie in a way that requires no explanation beyond the remarkable results. And contrary to what has been reported, negotiations with Lionsgate have not been problematic. They have also been very understanding of me through this difficult decision.

[/Film]


Gravity

Visual effects expert Chris deFaria explains how he helped create the shots for Children of Men director Alfonso Cuarón's epic about a pair of stranded astronauts trying to make it to the International Space Station. He confirms that the opening shot is 17 minutes long, there are only 156 shots in the entire movie — which would mean an average of 45 seconds per shot — and many shots are significantly longer:

"Instead of trying to create real people and what they're doing, let's turn it around and create almost an entirely animated film and then backwards engineer the people into that film," he explained. "As a matter of fact, let's not even engineer the people into the film, let's engineer their faces. So you've got these little faces inside these little helmets. But there was a big hiccup that we came to I didn't realize until later, which was that we began building it as an animated film and Alfonso had an idea that he wanted the shots to be incredibly long, and I said, ‘How long?' And he said he wanted the first shot to be really long. And I said, ‘You mean, 40 seconds?' ‘No, 17 minutes.' So it ends up the film only has 156 shots in the entire two-hour movie, many of them six, eight, 10 minutes long.

There's more at the link. [Immersed In Movies]


Lock-Out

Co-director Stephen St. Leger discusses the look and feel of his space prison movie, and how star Guy Pearce's performance fit into what they were going for:

No, it's certainly not a big budget (laughs) but you know, in a way—and I don't mind it—it is leaning to a B-picture aesthetic, but that part of it is slightly deliberate. [Producer] Luc [Besson] and I were talking about the tone of the film, and Luc's recent action movies he's produced, there's an awful lot of kicking heads if you like, but one thing that I wanted to do is that I wanted to try and go back to the stuff in the '80s where the lead anti-hero is reluctant and vulnerable and when he gets hit, it hurts. He's not super martial arts, and that's something Luc used to do years ago in the '80s with "Leon" and "Nikita," so while we were writing it, we were aware of Luc's films and those kinds of films of the '80s and '90s. I think it's really obvious. (Laughs) I think the clip just went up on the 'net where he cuts her hair to disguise her and that's completely from "Nikita," something that Luc did.... A lot of [Guy Pearce's] roles have been very serious, very earnest, and in "Lockout," he's the complete polar opposite of that. He's not earnest at all. He's blunt, he's sarcastic, he's rude, so I think when Guy read the script, he got it, and I think he wanted to try and have some fun with it. No, I think you're right. It will be interesting to see what audiences think of him in this role, because it is definitely a different type of thing for him. I think he's great in this, he really pulls it off.

He also explains how they shot the movie:

We shot it in Belgrade, Serbia. We built all the sets in studios in Belgrade, so we had four or five (stages). The studio in Belgrade was a new build and they had all these new studios there, so I think we had four 20,000 square foot stages, all filled to the brim with sets. The other thing that James Mather did, which was really clever, was he built the sets for 3D and prelit them in 3D, so if you imagine him building all the sets and where the lights go in all sets, so you're kind of prelit when you arrive, so you get all the electricians to light the sets as he had lit them on a 3D model, so everything is prewired and prerigged and set up and that allowed me to be a lot of freer and just follow the action without stopping and starting and trying to keep the fluidity of it going, which is what they used to do in the '80s. They didn't have the 3D technology but it's that kind of thing, it's what they used to do.

There's more at the link. You can also check out an early review here, which more or less agrees with the director's take on the film, insofar as Pearce's performance and the film's general sense of humor are just enough to compensate for the cheesy special effects and plot holes. [Coming Soon]


Cabin in the Woods

Here's a new clip from Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard's horror movie. You can also check out the link for an introduction to the clip by star Chris Hemsworth.

And here's a TV spot. [Yahoo]


Dark Shadows

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Here are some more promo photos that prove, as though there was any doubt, that this will really be the palest thing ever. [Shock Till You Drop]


The Host

Alfonso Cuarón's astronaut epic Gravity really does begin with a single 17-minute opening shot!

Here's a poster for Gattaca director Andrew Niccol and Hanna star Saoirse Ronan's adaptation of Stephenie Meyer's non-Twilight alien invasion book. [MTV Hollywood Crush]


Short Circuit

Director Tim Hill, who just for the sake of argument let's pretend didn't direct Alvin and the Chipmunks and Hop, explains how his reboot of Short Circuit is going to be — everyone say it with me now — darker and grittier than the 1986 original, because of war or something:

"The thing that makes it so relevant is that we live in this age of robots, particularly when it comes to war. We have drones that do our fighting for us, do all these jobs men and women don't want to do. And that's what makes this so interesting — things like this moment in the story when Johnny realizes he's going to be disassembled and contemplates death, and whether it's right to terminate someone else. These are heavy themes for a family movie. But I think they can have their place.

He also discusses how the potential design of the new Johnny 5:

"I'm tempted to go back and grab the original. But I think it has to be closer to what modern design actually is. There are computer models and labs developing real machines like this. We want to do something like that. You've got to find the balance between something fierce and something endearing. The original was cute. But no one was threatened by it."

He also revealed the robot's human friend, who was played by an adult Ally Sheedy in the original, will be a teenager or preteen this time around. This is in part to add a "wish-fulfillment angle", one that apparently involves befriending a murderous kill-bot in the midst of an existential crisis. Actually, in fairness to Tim Hill, I may have wished for that when I was 12. [24 Frames]


Skyfall

Here are some on-set interviews for the latest James Bond movie with stars Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, and Bérénice Marlohe. [Coming Soon]

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And here's a bunch of promo photos. [Coming Soon]


Safety Not Guaranteed

Alfonso Cuarón's astronaut epic Gravity really does begin with a single 17-minute opening shot!

Here's a poster for the indie comedy that may or may not be about time travel and stars Parks and Recreation's Aubrey Plaza, The League's Mark Duplass, New Girl's Jake Johnson, and a bunch of other reliably funny people. [First Showing]


Doctor Who

I think we all could have assumed this was going to happen, but a new casting call pretty much confirms Alex Kingston will be back as River Song for episode five, Amy and Rory's big farewell episode that sees the deadly return of the Weeping Angels. Specifically, the casting call is looking for a double of Kingston in the New York City area who can drive, so the episode will feature River in a car. I imagine she'll do other things than just randomly chauffeur, but I'm only going on what I know. [Doctor Who TV]

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Here are some more great super high-res set photos from the New York City location filming of Amy and Rory's final episode. Including the Doctor brandishing his sonic screwdriver while a dismayed Amy and Rory look on, Amy rushing to look over a bridge at something below, and Amy and Rory kissing. [WENN.com]

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And here are some more shots of the filming in Central Park. [SpoilerTV]


Fringe

Here are three sneak peeks for this Friday's episode eighteen, "The Consultant." [Fringe Television]



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And here are some promo photos for the episode. [SpoilerTV]

Here's a trailer for next week's nineteenth episode, "Letters of Transit", which is as weird and experimental as previous seasons' nineteenth episodes.

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And some promo photos. [TV Line]


Touch

Here are some sneak peeks for tonight's episode, "Entanglement."




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Here are some promo photos for episode seven, "Noosphere Rising", which airs April 26. [SpoilerTV]


Supernatural

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Here are some promo photos for Felicia Day's appearance as some sort of sword-wielding computer hacker — because really, what else would she be? — in episode nineteen, "The Girl With The Dungeons And Dragons Tattoo", which airs April 20. [TV Guide]

Here's the description for episode twenty-one, "Reading is Fundamental", which airs May 4 and promises the latest return of Misha Collins as Castiel:

CASTIEL AWAKENS FROM HIS COMATOSE STATE - Meg (guest star Rachel Miner) calls Dean (Jensen Ackles) and Sam (Jared Padalecki) and tells them Castiel (guest star Misha Collins) is awake and talking. Meanwhile, a teenager named Kevin (guest star Osric Chau) gets hit by a bolt of lightning and is turned into a reluctant prophet. Sam and Dean believe Kevin holds the key to defeating the Leviathans but must fight off two Archangels who want him for their own purposes.

[SpoilerTV]


American Horror Story

French actress Lizzie Brocheré has reportedly been cast as Gia, a femme fatale and Jessica Lange's main nemesis on the show's second season. The role was originally described as "a fierce, ferocious, extremely sexual and dangerous wild-child sexpot", although the character is reportedly being altered significantly following Brocheré's casting. [TV Line]


Falling Skies

Here's a new video setting out some of the lingering questions the TNT alien invasion show's second season will attempt to answer. [Multiple Verses]

And here's another trailer. [Multiple Verses]


The Vampire Diaries

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Here are some promo photos for episode twenty, "Do Not Go Gentle", which airs April 26. [SpoilerTV]

Here's the description for episode twenty-one, "Before Sunset", which airs May 3:

A DAY WITHOUT A VAMPIRE - Klaus acts on his intentions to leave town with Elena (Nina Dobrev), but finds resistance from a surprising new enemy. Bonnie (Kat Graham) calls on Abby (guest star Persia White) to help her with a difficult spell. As events spiral out of control, Elena is determined to protect Caroline (Candice Accola), Damon (Ian Somerhalder) and Stefan (Paul Wesley) enlist Tyler's (Michael Trevino) help, while Bonnie and Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) take a terrifying risk to make sure her spell is effective. Damon and Stefan have a surprisingly candid conversation about the future.

[SpoilerTV]


The Secret Circle

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Here are some promo images for episode twenty, "Traitor", which airs April 26. You can also check out the official description below. [KSiteTV]

THE CIRCLE DOES MAGIC TO FIND THE REMAINING CRYSTALS - When a crystal is magically stolen from the abandoned house, the Circle decides it was the traitor witch working with Eben (Sammi Rotibi) so Jake (Chris Zylka) calls for a meeting with Isaac (guest star JR Bourne) to see if they can get him to change sides. Cassie's (Britt Robertson) loose grasp on her dark magic threatens to destroy any possible alliance when their pursuit of the traitor leads them to the "Creepiest Place on Earth." Meanwhile, Faye (Phoebe Tonkin) and Jake (Chris Zylka) work together to steal Dawn's (Natasha Henstridge) crystal, Melissa (Jessica Parker Kennedy) and Adam (Thomas Dekker) pair up and uncover a new magic trick. Meanwhile, a frustrated Diana (Shelley Hennig) reaches out to Charles (Gale Harold) for help.

And here's the official description for episode twenty-one, "Prom", which airs May 3:

PROM NIGHT IN CHANCE HARBOR - It's Prom night in Chance Harbor and after Adam (Thomas Dekker) uncloaks a crystal hidden in the school, Blackwell (guest star Joe Lando) tells Cassie (Britt Robertson) she can use her dark magic to find it. When Cassie follows this advice, it leads her to a dangerous discovery. Meanwhile, Faye (Phoebe Tonkin) invites Jake (Chris Zylka) to Prom, despite the fact that he stood her up two years earlier. Adam, Diana (Shelley Hennig), Cassie and Melissa (Jessica Parker Kennedy) finally make it to Prom but when they lose the crystal to Eben, they end up in a life and death situation. Meanwhile, Dawn (Natasha Henstridge) attempts to stop Blackwell, who casts a deadly spell on Charles (Gale Harold).

[SpoilerTV]


Lost Girl

The third season has reportedly begun filming, with the characters Vex and Tamsin set to appear in the season premiere while Val is being held for later. [SpoilerTV]


Additional reporting by Ben Vrignon and Charlie Jane Anders.