Major casting updates for Doctor Who's Christmas Special, Robocop, and Once Upon a Time!

The Thor sequel is headed to Iceland. J.K. Simmons is up for a Spider-Man return. The star of another much-acclaimed HBO show turned down a role in Game of Thrones... but which one? Plus Supernatural, Grimm, and Vampire Diaries updates!

Spoilers from here on out!

Top image from Looper.

Thor: The Dark World

Director Alan Taylor, who most recently worked on Game of Thrones is reportedly following the example of the show's second season by shooting parts of the Thor sequel in Iceland. The movie will be primarily shot in England, and it's not yet clear exactly how Iceland will fit in, but obviously there's plenty of overlap between what you see in your average Thor comic and the gorgeous, otherworldly (and cold) vistas found in Iceland. [Latino Review]


The Amazing Spider-Man 2

J.K. Simmons says he's open to reprising his role as J. Jonah Jameson in the rebooted Spider-Man movies, which is probably a good thing considering I'm not sure there's an actor alive who is even remotely as well-suited for the role:

"Oh, I'm open to anything. Obviously that was enormous fun playing that character. A big part of the fun was doing it with Sam and with Tobey. Like I said I literally have not seen the movie. I don't even know tonally how different it may or may not be. I'm a fan of the actors, the director and everything else. Yeah, I'm always open."

[Crave Online]


Looper

Major casting updates for Doctor Who's Christmas Special, Robocop, and Once Upon a Time!S

Here's an awesome international poster. Honestly, just about everything about this movie so far has qualified for the descriptor "awesome." [Yahoo! Movies]


Robocop

Jennifer Ehle, best known for playing Elizabeth Bennet in the BBC's epic Pride and Prejudice adaptation and who has recently appeared in Contagion and The King's Speech, has reportedly joined the cast of Jose Padilha's reboot n the apparently new role of Liz Kline. The cast already features an impressive array of supporting players, including Gary Oldman, Samuel L. Jackson, Hugh Laurie, Jackie Earle Haley, and, uh, Jay Baruchel (who was excellent in How to Train Your Dragon). [Deadline]


Pacific Rim

There's a fifteen minute interview with director Guillermo del Toro about his monster-fighting giant robot epic down below. Here's a quote in which he explains his approach to the source material and why he avoided watching old Japanese monster movies:

"I felt there was a chance to do something fresh, something new that at the same time was conscious of the heritage, but not a pastiche or an homage or a greatest hits of everything. One of the first things I did is make it a point to not check any old movies or any other references. Like start from scratch."

[Hero Complex]


Wreck-It Ralph

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Here's some concept art from Disney's upcoming computer-animated movie set inside the world of video games, which is directed by Futurama's Rich Moore and stars Walk Hard's John C. Reilly in the title role. [IGN]


Doctor Who

This year's Christmas special — which serves as the introductory episode for Jenna-Louise Coleman's new companion Clara, although she's already filmed a few episodes for later in the series — began production on August 2, and we already know the identity of the major guest star: Richard E. Grant, who appeared alongside Eighth Doctor Paul McGann in the truly fantastic (and very drunk) Withnail & I, appeared as the "Quite Handsome" Tenth Doctor in Steven Moffat's 1999 spoof The Curse of Fatal Death, and who was actually very briefly the BBC's official Ninth Doctor in 2003's animated Scream of the Shalka before the decision was made to revive the series on TV. There's no word yet on what his role will be, but I'm going to guess some combination of aristocratic and sardonic, hopefully with a bit of drunk thrown in. [Doctor Who News]

Hey, anyone feel like mashing together a couple unconnected quotes and speculating that Christopher Eccleston could actually make a return appearance as the Ninth Doctor in the 50th Anniversary Special, despite everything he's ever said about this topic ever? Well, here's a report from a recent Q&A session with Eccleston at the National Theatre:

In response to a question about whether he felt he'd taken the character as far as he could he (very tellingly) said he felt that one series isn't enough to get under the skin of the character and that if he'd had two or three series he'd have developed the role considerably. He said that if you looked at the other Doctors (with the exception of Tom Baker) you can see them working out how to play the character through their first series because it's such a complex and challenging role. He said several times that there was more for him to do with the character...

And here's incumbent Doctor Matt Smith saying he would love the chance to go up against Eccleston's incarnation:

"Chris will be alright. Well, I mean, who knows? I'd love it. I'd love him to come back. I love his Doctor. I really do. He was from Manchester. Proper hard. Leather jacket. He'd give my Doctor a bit of a whopping, wouldn't he?"

For those desperate to keep the Eccleston returning dream alive, you might interpret this as Eccleston being ever so slightly more open to the possibility of a comeback, and Smith's statements a sign of mild interest on the part of the current creative team. But, uh, there's like a 99.9% chance that there's still nothing to see here.


Game of Thrones

British actor Dominic West, best known for playing McNulty on The Wire, reveals he was offered a major role in season three but turned it down because it would have involved him spending six months away from his family in Reykjavik. Since Iceland is where the show shoots the scenes set north of the Wall, the obvious part for West to have been up for is Mance Rayder, the King Beyond the Wall, but West himself doesn't remember the exact name of the character. He does say, "it was a lovely part, a good part" and "I'm going to regret it", but the logistics of the role precluded his participation. If nothing else, West's potential casting gives us some idea of the kind of actor Game of Thrones is looking for in the role — assuming he actually was up for Mance Rayder, of course. [Huffington Post]


Once Upon a Time

Michael Raymond-James — who if there was any justice in this world would be best-known for being Britt on Terriers but I guess is actually known for playing Rene on True Blood and that one memorable dude who lasted about ten minutes on The Walking Dead — has reportedly been cast as "a mysterious new character." It's unclear just who this might be, but speculation includes Henry's biological father, Rumplestiltskin's son Bae, or Jack of Beanstalk fame. I would hazard a guess, but I'm too busy being sad all over again about Terriers getting cancelled. [TV Guide]

Irish actor Colin O'Donoghue, who played Duke Philip of Bavaria in The Tudors and Anthony Hopkins's exorcist apprentice in The Rite, has reportedly been cast as the Peter Pan character Captain Hook, who in the show's universe is described as, "a confident pirate who never backs down from a fight; a man who seeks to crush and humiliate his enemies, but he also has the meticulous style and manners of a proper gentleman." [EW]

Major casting updates for Doctor Who's Christmas Special, Robocop, and Once Upon a Time!S

Here's a set photo showing what is being called a "Charming family reunion." [@KecksExclusives]


Grimm

Josh Stewart, who thanks to his mostly silent role as Bane's main henchman gets to be known as The Dark Knight Rises's Josh Stewart instead of No Ordinary Family's Josh Stewart, has reportedly been cast in a guest starring role for episode seven of Grimm's imminent second season. He will reportedly play Bill, described as "a middle-class dude who moonlights as a Badger-esque creature called a Drang-Zorn." You know, when I hear the hyphenated word "Drang-Zorn", I'm expecting something a little more intimidating than a badger. This better be one evil Badger Man to justify a name like that, is all. [TV Line]


Supernatural

New showrunner Jeremy Carver is generally positive about predecessors Sera Gamble and Robert Singer's work on the show, but he does have one key critique:

The one thing that struck me [while] watching Season 7 was I felt like the show got a little bit buried under its mythology. It became a little hard to tell exactly what was going on at times. The longtime fans all deserve intricate plot, but it felt a little burdensome. Resetting our mythology was one idea that I tried to bring into [the show]."

And part of Carver's solution is exploring how the brothers changed and matured during Dean's time in purgatory, which for Sam included an honest attempt at living a normal life, complete with romance:

"Part of this season is realizing they didn't just spend several years together; they really matured in different ways. It's one thing to get in a car with your brother in year one, but eight years later, you've both matured and grown. You're both changing and trying to find out who you are. There's a lot of that type of exploration for these guys this year."

[TV Line]

It was reportedly announced at a recent New Jersey convention event that stars Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalicki have already signed on for ninth and tenth seasons of the show. The CW would still have to renew the show for those seasons, but it would at least appear that the cast is in place if they do go ahead. [SpoilerTV]


The Vampire Diaries

Showrunner Julie Plec reveals what's ahead for Elena, Stefan, and Damon in the wake of Elena beginning her transformation into a vamire:

"All these things that she's experienced with Damon and with Stefan will have different context for her as she's becoming this new person. This circumstance, which is pretty horrific, is going to make them all care about each other even more deeply and argue even more intensely and fracture even more greatly and love as deeply as possible...It's certainly not the end of Delena, as anyone might be afraid. In fact, in a way, it's the beginning of the beginning. [But] I wouldn't want her to be so fickle [about Stefan]. [Her regained memories will] imbed itself in her brain a little bit. As she continues to look at herself and her relationship and friendship with Damon, it's all those new pieces of information that will be important along the way."

She also discusses the introduction of a new female character with a link to Tyler:

"We'll start to understand that this is a friend of his, who's been very important to him in the past. Any time a hot, new girl comes to town, somebody's got to be worried about something. But Tyler and Caroline have a really solid bond, a really solid relationship. So it takes somebody really special to get in the way of that."

There's some more at the link. [TV Line]

Star Ian Somerhalder explains why Damon will be unleashed this year:

"He's not going to be pining, and this the season of No Pining. This is an Oak season, okay? Look, Season 2 and 3, he did everything they wanted him to do. He tried to be the person that they wanted him to be. He tried to do it. And guess what? It didn't work. He's basically saying now, ‘this is who I am, like it or not,' for lack of better words, ‘go f- yourself.' Seriously. If you don't like who I am, then you have no business being in my face, so get out of it. So I think that this year, now, he has this sense of self-worth, in saying ‘You know what? I've been around a long time, and you guys are a bunch of morons. This is me'."

There's more at the link. [KSiteTV]

Episode four will reportedly feature a flashback to the 1100s. [E! Online]


Arrow

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Here are some sets photos from the CBC Vancouver building, showing star Stephen Amell's stunt double crashing through some glass as part of Green Arrow's third episode battle with DC Comics assassin Deadshot. [YVR Shoots]

Executive producer Marc Guggenheim discusses what Deadshot brings to the show:

I'm super excited about Deadshot, actually, because he's one of the characters I grew up reading. It's a good example of taking a character from the comics that sort of has a very flamboyant costume and look, and reinterpreting it for our show in a way that's more grounded and real-world. And yet, I think you'll [look] at Deadshot and go, "Okay, I see where they're drawing inspiration from." We also establish that he never misses. We're setting him up as an antagonist for Arrow in episode three. I think it sends a very clear message that we're not fooling around.

He also says he's optimistic that Warner Bros. will let the show use Batman at some point, now that Christopher Nolan's trilogy has wrapped up and there are slightly less concerns about diluting the brand:

Oh, my hope is that we can use him at some point. I think that plagued the Smallville showrunners more than it plagues us because, obviously, the Dark Knight Trilogy is over. [Batman characters are] not available to us yet. My hope is that they'll be available to us at some point. That would be awesome. No question, that would be absolutely awesome. But I don't know. That's above my pay grade.

There's more at the link, including his thoughts on X2's Kelly Hu as the villainous China White. [IGN]


Additional reporting by Amanda Yesilbas and Charlie Jane Anders.