The Most Discouraging Justice League Rumor ImaginableS

Thor: The Dark World heads to England's most famous archaeological site. Prepare for a truly unfortunate Justice League rumor. Robocop is bringing in Beetlejuice himself to replace Hugh Laurie as a villainous CEO. Ryan Gosling and Christina Hendricks are making a modern fairy tale. And will Doctor Who go live for its 50th anniversary?

Spoilers from here on out!

Top image from Fringe.

Robocop

After a fairly damning script review, reports of director Jose Padilha being stymied at every turn by MGM, and House actor Hugh Laurie dropping out as the villain, something amazing need to happen to restore my faith in this whole cockamamie concept, such as the addition of an awesome, older star known for his delightfully quirky, offbeat performances in big blockbusters. And since MGM refuses to just recast Robocop as Jeff Goldblum, the news that Michael Keaton is reportedly taking over Laurie's villain role will do very nicely as a substitute. What's more, unlike the rumors of Laurie or Clive Owen, this one is actually legit, as Jose Padilha has already confirmed the casting of the Beetlejuice and Batman star. Keaton is playing the evil, ludicrously wealthy CEO of OmniCorp, the role originally played by the great Ronny Cox. Anyway, the addition of 100% more Michael Keaton can only be considered a good sign. Also, MGM, seriously, it's not too late to just make Jeff Goldblum the new Robocop. [/Film]


Justice League

Meanwhile, what's the fastest way to lose all faith in a project that's already on somewhat shaky ground? How about a rumor that Brett Ratner might direct the thing? Well, on that ominous note, Brett Ratner is now rumored to be one of Warner Bros.' top contenders to direct their Justice League movie, because, as a reputed inside source puts it:

"The studio is very pleased with the work that Brett [Ratner] has done as a producer and director on past projects. They are now very interested in seeing what he can do with helping finally bring this group of iconic superheroes to the big screen!"

That quote seems a little unlikely, as surely it would mean Warner Bros. executives are completely unaware of the last time Ratner was charged with bringing a group of iconic superheroes to the screen. Actually, on second thought, I now find this story completely plausible. Honestly though, there are probably worse things than Ratner taking on this project, insofar as I'm not sure there was much chance that Justice League was going to turn out decent anyway. [Superman Supersite]

Separately, ThinkMcFlyThink's Peter Georgiou claims that his sources confirm Brett Ratner is in the running for Justice League, but Georgiou adds another rumored director candidate that is sure to cheer you right up: McG, director of Terminator Salvation. Other possibilities include the previously rumored Wachowskis, Gangster Squad's Ruben Fleischer — it should be noted that Gangster Squad writer Will Beall is behind the Justice League screenplay — and finally Zack Snyder, whose hiring for this would be a pretty major vote of confidence in Man of Steel... or just a sign that he's particularly willing to do whatever Warner Bros. needs him to do to get these things made on time. [Twitter, via Den of Geek]


Thor: The Dark World

There are reports that the sequel will film scenes at Stonehenge, which has a decently long history in Marvel Comics as a "mystic place." It's not clear whether the Stonehenge sequences would be set on Earth or off-world, although I can't really imagine going to all the trouble of filming at Stonehenge and then pretending it isn't Stonehenge. Generally speaking, the big appeal of Stonehenge is the fact that it's, you know, Stonehenge. In the meantime, you can check out some more set photos from England's Bourne Wood, where filming is due to begin next month, right here. [Comic Book Movie]

The great Idris Elba offers some hints on what's ahead for the gatekeeper Heimdall in the Thor sequel:

""In the new film we're going to get to know Heimdall the Asgardian a bit better, and we're going to get to know Asgard a bit better. I can't say too much, but the expansion of Thor in his world is going to be huge. My part was very small and functional in the first film, but I still felt very privileged to play him — especially since Heimdall looks a certain way and has a Nordic lineage — and here I was playing this character and bringing him to life in a different way. It felt quite groundbreaking to be a part of that."

[Examiner]


Catching Fire

Costume designer Trish Sommerville, whose most recent work was on The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, will reportedly make the costumes for the Hunger Games sequel. The news takes on a little extra significance because one of the key costumes this time around will be Katniss's wedding dress, which "eventually goes up in flames to reveal a feathered (and winged) mockingjay gown." So yeah, that's probably the sort of thing for which you want a top-notch costume designer. [EW]


How To Catch A Monster

Genial dreamboat Ryan Gosling has announced plans for his directorial debut, which will star his Drive costar Christina Hendricks in the lead role. Here's the seriously intriguing plot description, which suggests Gosling is bypassing the whole "make a small-scale indie drama" phase of his transition to drama and just diving right into the "make something gloriously batshit insane" phase, for which we salute him:

Written and directed by Ryan Gosling, HOW TO CATCH A MONSTER weaves elements of fantasy noir, and suspense into a modern day fairytale. Set against the surreal dreamscape of a vanishing city, Billy, a single mother of two, is swept into a macabre and dark fantasy underworld while her teenage son discovers a secret road leading to an underwater town. Both Billy and Bones must dive deep into the mystery, if their family is to survive.

What I particularly love about that synopsis is that it makes no attempt whatsoever to explain who the hell "Bones" is, so I'm just going to assume it's a DeForest Kelley hologram. [Deadline]


Doctor Who

Matt Smith dropped a particularly bizarre hint about the big 50th anniversary special:

"[2013 is] a very exciting year for Doctor Who. I feel very pleased and privileged to be a part of that year because it's the biggest year in the show's history. It's his birthday, so it's my birthday. [The special] won't just be a televised event, I think it will be a live event. The way it's transmitted on TV will hopefully be an inventive thing–something different."

Now, I can't honestly believe that they're going to shoot the 50th anniversary special live, because that would be psychotic. It's possible he's talking about some sort of simultaneous public screenings or something, perhaps with some integration between live and pre-filmed footage like in the mini-episode David Tennant made for the Doctor Who Proms a few years back. Honestly though, I have no idea what he means by that, and my suspicion is that it doesn't actually mean that much of anything. Basically, I'd wait to hear some more from Smith or Steven Moffat before we really try to interpret this one. [Foirbes]

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Just to prove that Steven Moffat wasn't screwing around when he said each episode this series would feel like a big blockbuster movie, the BBC has released movie-like posters for each of Amy and Rory's final five episodes. [Life, Doctor Who, and Combom]

For those who like hearing about this Saturday's series premiere "Asylum of the Daleks" but would prefer to not actually have to look at it, here's a radio trailer. [Life, Doctor Who, and Combom]


Fringe

Here's the latest promo for the fifth and final season, which reveals just how bad it is to live in the Observer-dominated world of 2038... especially if you happen to be Walter Bishop. [Coming Soon]


S.H.I.E.L.D.

Joss Whedon's recently announced ABC show will reportedly be only loosely set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with the goal being to create a show that Whedon says is essentially "autonomous" from the Avengers movies. That pretty much confirms what we pretty much already assumed, which is that Samuel L. Jackson isn't going to be the star of this show, even if he is the hardest working man in Hollywood. It also probably means ABC doesn't have to worry about prying Maria Hill actress Cobie Smulders away from her gig on How I Met Your Mother, which is good news considering CBS appears set to continue that show until around 2030. All that said, Whedon says he "reserves [the] right to pepper in bits here and there", which is probably more along the lines of, say, an Agent Coulson Memorial Juice Bar than an actual cameo by Jackson or Smulders, at least at first. The project is on track to join ABC's lineup in fall 2013, placing it well ahead of their AKA Jessica Jones and The Incredible Hulk projects, both of which are still languishing in the development stage. [Spinoff Online]


The Walking Dead

Star Andrew Lincoln explains that the relationship between Rick and Lori is pretty much shattered over his killing Shane:

"I'm not saying that it's irrevocable, their relationship, but it's pretty close to that. Every time they see one another, they're reminded of the shame. [Sarah Wayne Callies and I] made a choice as actors, certainly for the first few episodes, not to make eye contact. It was an interesting choice because every time that we looked at each other, it burned."

[EW]

Series director Guy Ferland explains some of the challenges that went into bulding this season's story:

There's a little bit of first season peeking through this season. In the first season it seemed like everything we were doing was new and there was a lot of discussion about who was going to live and who was going to die and what kind of tone the show was going to take. This year the same thing was introducing Woodbury. We were always asking the same questions: How self-sufficient do we make it? What are the citizens like? What kind of power does the town have?

He also discusses his approach to the show's action scenes, including a hint about a sequence in the fourth episode:

Well, I really like to reveal everything — reveal the zombies' geography and reveal the choice of how to kill the zombie — all from the hero's point of view. So if you follow Rick when he has to deal with a zombie, you'll see I reveal it when Rick sees it. You want it to feel like a funhouse with lots of surprises.

You've said that Alfred Hitchcock was one of your big influences. Any particularly Hitchcock-esque moments that you've worked into this season?
I think I channel more De Palma, who channels Hitchock, so it's kind of the same thing. In Episode 4, we take the time to show Rick's plan and how he's executing, which I think is Hitchcockian. Just when the episode is about to get boring all of a sudden, wham, it gets relentless. There's got to be a build — that's a Hitchcockian structure.

[AMC TV]


Once Upon a Time

In one of the most inevitable casting updates ever — not that I'm complaining, but still — Lost and Alcatraz alum Jorge Garcia will reportedly play a character called "The Giant" in a second season episode. The current speculation is that this ties in with the show's upcoming take on the Jack and the Beanstalk story. Let's hope so, because otherwise casting him as The Giant just seems a bit rude. [TV Line]

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Here are some set photos. Check out the links for some additional info on the most recent filming. [YVR Shoots and Vancity Filming]


American Horror Story

We covered some of this in our post yesterday, but in case you were still worried that removing ghosts and Dylan McDermott's ass from the American Horror Story playbook would render the second season boring, your worries are officially over, as the season includes "aliens, Nazis, and a serial killer named Bloody Face who wears a mask made out of his victims skin along with black nightie and opera length gloves." Series co-creator Ryan Murphy has this to offer:

"I don't think people tune in to the show because they want My Dinner With Andre. I think they want to be scared. I'm just writing what I would like to see. I'm scared of aliens and I'm scared of Nazis and I'm scared of nuns. So it's the perfect stew of horror and fear. Every year of the show is a different miniseries, and there will be several chapters. You need as your leading man or leading lady an institution to haunt."

There's still more at the link, including co-creator Brad Falchuck's assertion that this season is "our version of a workplace drama" after last year's "family drama." [EW]

Because these things just keep on coming, here's another cryptic teaser. [Shock Till You Drop]


Arrow

Torchwood star John Barrowman revealed his mysterious new recurring character on The CW's Green Arrow show is referred to only as "The Well-Dressed Man." He added:

"More is going to be revealed about him, but he'll be pivotal to the program. I'm glad I'm going into another kind of realm of sci-fi and fantasy. It's time to create another cool character."

[Comic Book Resources]


Additonal reporting by Amanda Yesilbas and Charlie Jane Anders.