Do we already know the release date for Avengers 2? Plus Catching Fire, Noah, and Kick-Ass 2 casting updates!

Has Warner Bros. already lost its preferred director for Justice League? Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters finds its rating. Get the latest scoop on three CW genre offerings: Supernatural, Arrow and Beauty and the Beast. Plus even more Doctor Who photos!

It's spoilers all the way down!

Top image from Skyfall.

Justice League

Ben Affleck, who's made some legitimately terrific films with Gone Baby Gone and The Town (and Argo, hopefully), reportedly has no interest in Warner Bros.' offer for him to direct Justice League — with Affleck reportedly willing to take a meeting with the studio as a courtesy, but nothing more. In case this story is sounding a bit familiar, this is pretty much exactly what reportedly happened a year or so ago with Man of Steel, which Warner Bros. also offered to Affleck before he quickly turned it down. [Deadline]


The Avengers 2

Now that Joss Whedon is officially back to write and direct the sequel, there's really no time like the present to find out the movie's release date. While Marvel Studios hasn't said anything yet — and quite possibly won't make anything official until they clarify whether or not Edgar Wright's Ant-Man will be their third movie in 2014 — the word is that the release date has been set for May 1, 2015. Best to take that with a grain of salt until we know for sure, but that sounds reasonable enough.

MTV has this report from a supposed inside source to explain the logic behind the date:

"Marvel has a very set agenda of what they want to do, they are already kind of ahead of the game [on the sequel] because they've got the guy that did it before doing it again and something tells me Joss already has the template [for the film]. In terms of the time frame, I think that it is well in the works. ... It looks like the release date might be May 1, 2015, but that can change depending on people's schedules. The beauty of 'The Avengers' is that you've got so many people in this that even during the shoot if someone has to do another film they can just focus on [other characters]."

[MTV]


Catching Fire

Alan Ritchson, best known for playing Aquaman on Smallville, has been cast as Gloss, described as "a former career tribute who, along with his sister Cashmere, competes in the Quarter Quell." [IGN]


Noah

Considering he's appeared in every single last one of director Darren Aronofsky's movies, this really can't be considered that surprising, but Mark Margolis — who you might also recognize as Hector "Tio" Salamanca from Breaking Bad — has joined Aronofsky's epic, possibly post-apocalyptic reimagining of the Noah's Ark story. Paramount Pictures has confirmed the casting but didn't specify which role Margolis will play. [Coming Soon]


Kick-Ass 2

Yancy Butler will reportedly return in her role as the mother of Christopher Mintz-Plasse's villainous Red Mist, who I feel honor-bound to point out once more has reportedly been renamed The Motherfucker for the sequel. [Heat Vision]


Skyfall

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Here are some new posters for the latest James Bond movie. [IGN]


Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters

The Great Debate of Yesterday Morning that threatened to tear our nation asunder — specifically, whether the much-delayed Hansel & Gretel movie would be better off released as PG-13 or R — has now at long last been settled. Paramount has reportedly long since decided to release the movie with an R rating, and indeed the test versions described in yesterday's post were actually both potential R-rated cuts of the movie. I'd say the more adult rating gives the film a chance of being a little more interesting than the standard action fantasy fare... but then, there's still the whole "bumped to January" thing that's kind of tough to get around. [Collider]


Doctor Who

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Here are some more set photos from the filming of this year's Christmas special. They are along the same lines as what we saw yesterday, although they give us some much better views of Madame Vastra, Catrin Stewart as Jenny, and guest star Tom Ward as some manner of Victorian. Photos via WENN.com.


True Blood

Here's a promo for this Sunday's episode ten, "Gone, Gone, Gone."


The Walking Dead

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AMC has released these two awesomely disgusting photos of new zombies in season three. [Shock Till You Drop]


Grimm

Here's the official description for the season two premiere, "Bad Teeth", which airs next Monday, August 13:

A FOREIGN AGENDA TO HUNT DOWN NICK IS REVEALED AS THE BODY COUNT IN PORTLAND RISES –BRIAN TEE, JAMES FRAIN AND MARY ELIZABETH MASTRANTONIO GUEST STARS - After their face-off with Kimura (guest star Brian Tee), Nick (David Giuntoli) finds himself trying to come to grips with the return of his mother, Kelly Burkhardt (guest star Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio). A trail of brutal murders unveils a foreign conspiracy to hunt down Nick, leading to several revelations about his past. Meanwhile, Juliette (Bitsie Tulloch) still lies in her mysteriously-induced coma as Rosalee (Bree Turner) and Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell) work tirelessly to bring her out of it safely. Elsewhere, Hank (Russell Hornsby) struggles with the shocking truths he's recently seen and Captain Renard (Sasha Roiz) deals with unexpected family issues when his estranged brother (guest star James Frain) comes back into his life. Reggie Lee also stars.

And here's the description for episode two, "Kiss", which airs August 20:

TWO GRIMMS ARE BETTER THAN ONE AS NICK JOINS FORCES WITH HIS MOTHER TO TAKE DOWN HIS GREATEST THREAT YET – JAMES FRAIN, JESSICA TUCK, MIKE DOPUD AND MARY ELIZABETH MASTRANTONIO GUEST-STAR – As Nick (David Giuntoli) and his mother (guest star Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio) continue to battle the Mauvais Dentes (guest star Mike Dopud), Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell) and Rosalee (Bree Turner) fight against the clock to save Juliette (Bitsie Tulloch). More details are revealed about the source of Juliette's illness, resulting in an epic showdown. Back at the precinct, Hank (Russell Hornsby) senses that something is amiss when Nick lands in hot water with the FBI. Meanwhile, Captain Renard (Sasha Roiz) continues to reveal himself as he deals with his estranged brother (guest star James Frain). Reggie Lee also stars.

[KSiteTV]


Revolution

Here's a profile on the main reason to be excited about this show: Breaking Bad's Giancarlo Esposito as militia leader Captain Neville.

And here's much the same sort of thing for the show's young protagonist Charlie Matheson, as played by Tracy Spiridakos, who you might remember as Brynn McLean on the most recent season of Syfy's Being Human.


Supernatural

New showrunner Jeremy Carver explains how Dean's time in purgatory will be different from either brother's previous trip to Hell:

I'll say this: each brother had starkly different transformative experiences over this past time that they were apart from each other. I think, first and foremost, they're still dealing within themselves about how it's affected them, both emotionally and in the relationships that have sprung up in their time alone. It's the process of starting to be able to relate with each other anew that forms a lot of the basis for that — at least in the earlier episodes. I think one of the things that's nice is that there's always secrets and everything, but what happens when it completely changes your outlook on life or who you are or what you want to be in 15 years? I often say it's like when you talk to your best friend when you're 20 and then you talk to them differently when you're 30, because life is catching up to you.

He also discusses what challenges the brothers will face this year, which I think you'll all be pleased to know involves significantly more of Mark Sheppard as Crowley:

The notion of the year is "quest." They're united in the search of something. One of the guys will start to present themselves as something of an obstacle this year, which will be the character of Crowley. He had somewhat of an uneasy yet fairly businesslike relationship with them. I think this year you're going to see that they're very much on opposite sides of the fence in terms of this quest, as it were. Things are going to get a little dirtier with Crowley. Then we can certainly say that other baddies will emerge. Again, it's very much perceptions this year, so I don't think it's going to be as obvious from the get-go who is good and who is bad.

There's plenty more good stuff at the link, including some more thoughts from Carver on the evolving relationship between Dean and Castiel. [IGN]

Nneka Croal, whose previous credits include a minor guest role on The 4400 and a part in something called Alien Agenda: Project Grey, will reportedly play a coroner in the fourth episode of season eight. [SpoilerTV]


Falling Skies

Here's a pair of promos for this Sunday's ninth and penultimate episode of this season, "The Price of Greatness."



Beauty and the Beast

Smallville's Kristin Kreuk discusses her return to The CW, in which she plays a cop (a beautiful cop, if you will), who encounters the survivor of a weird army experiment (the beastly survivor of a weird army experiment, if you also will, except the dude actually seems pretty handsome). Anyway, she discusses how both her character and the theoretically beastly Vincent both have their dark sides:

I think the whole concept is that we all do. It's not necessarily a dark side, but there are things about ourselves that we want to hide and that we think are bad, and sometimes they are destructive and violent. Even if it's something where you say something to me and I get pissed, and I say something mean to you, that's violent. Catherine has got a lot of stuff that she's buried down, and her impulse towards revenge, which is a violent act that isn't okay, she understands is an impulse towards stopping these people that hurt her mom. She believes that somehow it's going to make it better. But Vincent, in some ways, knows that it won't. No matter how much you exact justice in the world, it won't make the feeling go away. That is her darkness.

There's more at the link, including Kreuk's thoughts on her character's fighting scenes. [Collider]

Onetime Smallville showrunner Brian Peterson, who will have a major creative voice on this show alongside his old producing partner Kelly Souders, discusses how Vincent compares to his previous CW leading man:

Vincent never started as an outsider. He was in the military, he was a doctor, he was on a very different track and never experienced what it was like to be an outsider, to feel like an alien, all the things that Clark, from the very second he was born, had started to feel. It's created a very different person and a very different approach to being a hero for Vincent. Clark was very guided by the morality of his parents. Vincent is a beast. There are times when he's out of control and there's times where he may not do the right thing. Catherine is going to have to deal with that as somebody who works within the system."

There's some more at the link, including some thoughts from Souders. [TV Guide]


Arrow

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Here are some set photos that show star Stephen Amell doing some stunts on the side of a Vancouver building. Check out the link for some more context on just what's going on here, but the short version is, "Green Arrow does some badass shit, although please don't refer to him as Green Arrow, as that isn't badass." [YVR Shoots]

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