Major Casting Updates for The Wolverine, Catching Fire, Game of Thrones, American Horror Story, and Much More!

Christopher Nolan discusses how The Dark Knight Rises ends. Dredd might kick off a trilogy. Check out a new Man of Steel synopsis, and a preview video for the new season of The Walking Dead. Plus Independence Day sequel news!

Spoilers from here on out!

Top image from Man of Steel.

The Dark Knight Rises

Director Christopher Nolan responds to screenwriter David Goyer's recent quote that the ending of the film was one the two had envisioned as far back as Batman Begins, and that the scene in question gave Goyer a "complete lump in [his] throat", which led many to speculate that this might be Batman's death scene, what with all the talk about finality and all. Nolan suggests that isn't necessarily the case at all:

"I think, really, people are reading too much into David's quote, actually. If you read the context of it, he's very diplomatically talking about just fulfilling the promise of what we had initially talked about in terms of having a complete story, and ending the story. Really, what David was saying was that we figured out the ending [of 'Rises'] before we figured out anything else. I think he was very happy with how we realized the conclusion of the story."

The main takeaway, I'd say, is that The Dark Knight Rises was every much conceived from the start as the conclusion to a trilogy, and not just the third entry in an ongoing series. We've known that for a while now, but it remains refreshing to hear Nolan actually confirm it once more. [MTV]


Man of Steel

Although it looks like it might have been removed from IMAX's official site, an announcement earlier today revealed Zack Snyder's Superman movie will indeed be released in IMAX and 3D, much as we might expect. It also included this vague and decidedly non-spoiler-y plot synopsis, although I suppose it's conceivable this is why the post seems to have disappeared:

In the pantheon of superheroes, Superman is the most recognized and revered character of all time. Clark Kent/Kal-El (Henry Cavill) is a young twenty-something journalist who feels alienated by powers beyond his imagination. Transported years ago to Earth from Krypton, a highly advanced, distant planet, Clark struggles with the ultimate question 'Why am I here?' Shaped by the values of his adoptive parents Martha (Diane Lane) and Jonathan Kent (Kevin Costner), Clark discovers having extraordinary abilities means making difficult decisions. When the world is in dire need of stability, an even greater threat emerges. Clark must become a Man of Steel, to protect the people he loves and shine as the world's beacon of hope - Superman.

[Comic Book Movie]


The Wolverine

Though nothing is yet confirmed, 20th Century Fox has reportedly started casting actors alongside Hugh Jackman in the new Japan-set Wolverine movie. First off, Will Yun Lee, who has roles in the upcoming Red Dawn and Total Recall remakes, has reportedly been cast as a character called Harada. That's thought to refer to Kenuichio Harada, the real name of Silver Samurai, which Jackman has already confirmed as the movie's main villain. Joining Lee are Lost and The Last Samurai actor Hiroyuki Sanada as Shingen, The Life Aquatic's Hal Yamanouchi as Yashida, and newcomers Tao Okamoto and Rila Fukushima as Mariko and Yukio. There's no further details on any of these characters beyond their names. [Variety and Coming Soon]


Catching Fire

Lionsgate has confirmed that the truly great Philip Seymour Hoffman will play Plutarch Heavensbee, the Head Gamemaker for the 75th Hunger Games and the successor to Wes Bentley's Seneca Crane. This raises the intriguing question — is Hoffman one of the few actors on the planet actually capable of out-acting Bentley's glorious facial hair? It's going to be close, I'd wager. [@Lionsgate]


Dredd

Screenwriter Alex Garland says the new Judge Dredd movie's financials as an independent film are such that it only need make $50 million in the United States for a sequel to happen. If that fairly modest benchmark is reached, Garland has a trilogy planned for Star Trek star Karl Urban's permanently helmeted take on Judge Dredd, one that might actually find a justifiable way for Urban to take the helmet off — by going back to before Dredd wore the damn thing:

If they want to make sequels, I've got a story that goes from this one into the origins of Dredd and the city. Then the third one would have a strange, existential attack from the Dark Judges.

He expands on how he had hoped to incorporate the Dark Judges into this first movie, and why it didn't ultimately work out: In terms of Dark Judges, I wrote Death into this script, but it didn't feel right for the first film. I thought it felt right but after about 16 drafts and it really didn't work out. I needed to have set up the city and Dredd first before taking on what is essentially a riff on the Judges. You need to know what the Judges are before you can subvert them.

[Bleeding Cool]


Noah

Director Darren Aronofksy tweeted that Anthony Hopkins, he of everything from Silence of the Lambs to Thor, will play Noah's grandfather Methuselah in the upcoming big budget reimagining of the Noah's Ark story. Methuselah was famously 969 years old when he died a week before the Flood — making him the person with the oldest noted age in the Bible. In case you're wondering about the same thing I was, Noah was around 600 years old at this point, while his father and Methuselah's son Lamech died a few years before the flood at around the age of 750. I'm guessing Aronofosky will play down this aspect in his version, though it would be pretty awesome if he kept this insane longevity aspect in and didn't even really make a big deal out of it. [First Showing]


Independence Day 2

Original movie screenwriter and current Leverage executive producer Dean Devlin says he and director Roland Emmerich have finally figured out how to make a sequel happen:

"I can tell you that Roland and I have been working together for the first time in 11 years and we're every excited about the idea of doing it. Whether or not we can make this happen, if we can get all the pieces to come together, that's gonna be challenging. But creatively, for the very first time since we did the original, I feel we have a worthy concept, a worthy path to go. We resisted doing the sequel for years because we still wanted to honor the first one. The first one gave us all careers, and we really love that movie and loved the experience. We didn't want to make a movie because it was financially a good idea, we only wanted to do it when we had an idea and a concept that creatively felt like it honored the first one — that it felt like an organic sequel as opposed to ‘let's just go make some more money.' I feel like we got it. I think it took a long time, but I feel like we finally got something that really feels like, 'that's worth seeing as a sequel to Independence Day.'"

[Heat Vision]


Stargate 2

Dean Devlin also says he'd like to return to his other Roland Emmerich collaboration, because if there's one thing the world unequivocally doesn't yet have enough of, it's Stargate:

"Stargate has always had this empty hole. When we made the first one, we always intended on doing part two and three, and we were prevented for years. And our hope is that we can get another chance at Stargate and tell the entire story we wanted to tell."

[Heat Vision]


Game of Thrones

A pair of casting rumors are reportedly picking up some steam, with Waking the Dead actress Tara Fitzgerald in line to play Stannis Baratheon's wife Selyse Florent, while The Office and Pirates of the Caribbean costar Mackenzie Crook is reportedly attached to the role of Vargo "The Goat" Hoat. Neither of these is even close to confirmed, however. [EW]


The Walking Dead

Here's a video preview of season three from the cast and crew. [Shock Till You Drop]


Once Upon a Time

To make up for all our intense feelings of loss and grief over the cancellation of Alcratraz (reminder: Alcatraz was a TV show which I believe involved Alcatraz in some way), showrunners Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz are hoping to bring in Lost and Alcatraz alum Jorge Garcia. This also neatly solves the main existential problem facing Once Upon a Time, namely the fact that a show about an absurdly convoluted mythology isn't really a show about an absurdly convoluted mythology until Jorge Garcia shows up. They don't have a specific role in mind for him yet, but they do say some of the new characters this season will include Ariel from The Little Mermaid and Aladdin and Jafar from Aladdin, with Kitsis suggesting fellow Lost alum Naveen Andrews as a possibility for Jafar. [TV Guide]


Grimm

The fifth episode of season two is reportedly called "The Good Shepherd", making Grimm just the latest show to cash in on America's enduring love affair with that movie where Matt Damon was a spy or something. [SpoilerTV]


Supernatural

Liane Balaban, probably most recognizable around these parts as the human Rosetta Stone Anna on a couple episodes of Alphas, has reportedly been cast as Sam's latest love interest for season eight. Her character Amelia is a recurring role, described as "a doctor in training who is courageous, intelligent and sarcastic beneath her damaged shell of a soul." [TV Guide]


American Horror Story

In what really has to be my favorite paraphrase of a casting call ever, the first two episodes of the show's rebooted second season is reportedly looking for "several lesbian characters, 2 hospital orderlies, and a prostitute." Also, Jessica Lange — who is now the protagonist after her supporting role in season one — is now reportedly playing a Mother Superior named Claudia, and the mental institution where she works also features "an Irish priest named Father Malechi" and a head of security from Boston, which implicitly suggests the season is not itself set in Boston but elsewhere on the east coast. The show is also looking to cast some trick-or-treaters, though no word on what if any overlap there is between these and the several lesbians. [SpoilerTV]


Additional reporting by Rob H. Dawson and Charlie Jane Anders.