Peter Jackson reveals the key to making The Hobbit's monsters, including the nastiest Smaug imaginable. Ian McShane visits American Horror Story, and Ryan Murphy ponders season three. Plus set videos for Robocop, Zero Theorem, and All You Need Is Kill!
Spoilers from here on out!
Top image from X-Men: First Class.
Star Wars: Episode VII
Voice-acting god Mark Hamill took some time out to talk about that other role he's kind of known for, and how he feels about the possibility of playing Luke Skywalker again:
"[I] have questions about it. And really, they're not even at the stage where they're able to answer those questions because, as far as I know, is there a story yet?... I loved all those people, I really did. Until I know more about what they have in mind, I think it's better to let Lucasfilm make the announcements. If they were going to do a story where Luke was too young or too old for me to play, they would get an age-appropriate actor. There's so many good people."
X-Men: Days of Future Past
Now that it's official that he and Patrick Stewart are return as Magneto and Professor X for Bryan Singer's First Class follow-up, Ian McKellan can barely contain his excitement. Really, he can't, and it's rather lovely:
What a gas! I mean, Patrick Stewart and I have been have just been playing "Waiting for Godot" throughout England and in the West End of London. So, we've stayed in touch. We can't believe it [laughs]. I thought these were [Michael] Fassbender and [James] McAvoy's parts, but — no, no — we're back. We'll give them a run for their money. I mean, I haven't read the script, so I don't know how much we've got to do. But, to be back in that world, and for Bryan to be doing it — with all the success he's had in the meantime — it's wonderful. Wonderful.
Speaking of returning actors from the original X-Men trilogy, Hugh Jackman is reportedly now also in talks to reprise his role as Wolverine. Counting his amusingly profane cameo in First Class, this would be his seventh time playing the part, and the early indications are that he, along with Stewart and McKellan, would be featured much prominently than just a quick cameo this time around. [Heat Vision]
Some storyboards from the final sequence in The Wolverine were posted briefly at Comic Book Movie before being taken down at the request of 20th Century Fox. They were hard to make out, but appeared to show a big fight scene involving ninjas on motorcycles on ice. Wolverine rides a motorcycle and scrapes some ice with his claws. And, not surprisingly, there's a big explosion. Without having been able to see any details, it looked pretty much like you'd expect a big final action sequence to look. [Comic Book Movie]
The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Chronicle star Dane DeHaan addresses the recent rumors that he was up for the part of Harry Osborn. It's a diplomatic response, insofar as he refuses to say much of anything at all:
You know, I would love to be in Spider-Man. I have a lot of respect for Andrew Garfield as a person and an artist and a lot of respect for Marc Webb as a person and an artist. If that opportunity were to come along, I would be really flattered and humbled to be a part of it. But that's about it for now I guess.
Have you auditioned for it?
Well, I know there's a lot of names being tossed around and rumors and stuff, but again, it's a project I would love to do and if the opportunity would come along and the offer would come along, I would love to do it. Until then, I don't think it's worth speculating or creating rumors.
Dane DeHaan also addresses a possible return in the sequel. He says he's up for it but insists it's all up to screenwriter Max Landis, which is certainly true inasmuch Landis would have to come up with a way around the fact that DeHaan's character fairly unambiguously died in the first movie:
That's really up to Max [Landis] and whether he writes me into the script. My thoughts on Chronicle 2 are that I'm extremely proud of the first one and if I were to be involved in a second one, I would be very passionate and careful to make sure we stick to what Chronicle is and what Chronicle has become and try not to cash in on the commercial aspects of it, but really stick to the purity of what we did the first time.
I wouldn't count you out though.
You never know. It's up to Max. I had a great time making the first one.
Here are some set videos from the Toronto filming of Jose Padilha's Robocop reboot. Check out the link for some set photos and some additional context on the scenes, which show a stuntman dressed as Robocop riding around on a motorcycle. [Loading Doc Productions]
All You Need Is Kill
Without a Trace costar Marianne Jean-Baptiste, who is also set to appear in the Robocop reboot, will reportedly appear in Tom Cruise's time-looped soldier movie as a scientist named Dr. Whittle. [Variety]
And here's a set video of the recent helicopter landing in London's Trafalgar Square. [Bleeding Cool]
Here's the latest TV spot for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. [Coming Soon]
Director Peter Jackson explains how he has approached the movie's various monstrous creatures:
Prosthetic makeup is always frustrating. At the end of the day, if you want the character to talk, which a lot of the Orcs and goblins do, you can design the most incredible prosthetics, but you've still got eyes where the eyes have to be and the mouth where the mouth has to be. That human triangle, two eyes and a mouth, is very difficult to disguise, no matter what you do with the ears and heads and chins and noses.
One of the things we're doing on ‘The Hobbit' — which is definitely technology that we have available now that we didn't have 10 years ago — we often shoot the Orcs as people in suits but they just have a leotard on their head with motion capture dots on it. A lot of the Orcs even though they're played by performers, the makeup is going to be CG makeup, which allows me to put their eyes further apart. They can open their mouths and scream in a much more dynamic way than they ever could.
He also drops this hint about the look of the dragon Smaug:
The trouble with redesigning dragons I've found is… you very quickly can go into science fiction territory, and I don't want to do that. I want to present the most venal, scary, decrepit, nasty dragon I possibly can.
Here's the latest international poster for Vin Diesel's third outing as Riddick. [MTV Movies Blog]
The Zero Theorem
Here's a video from the set of Brazil and 12 Monkeys director Terry Gilliam's new sci-fi movie in Bucharest, Romania. The movie stars Inglorious Basterds star Christoph Waltz as a mathematician in a corporate dystopia who is on the verge of solving once and for all whether life has any meaning. [Bleeding Cool]
It's time for the latest entry in our irregularly updated series, "Christopher Eccleston gets asked about the 50th anniversary and says pretty much what you'd expect." This time around, Eccleston actually somewhat defied expectations by not outright saying he won't be in it, instead saying this:
"Would I like to be involved? If I told you that, I'd have to shoot you... [On what he'd like to see in the special] I've not even thought about it. It's so long ago for me that I haven't even thought about it.
All things considered, this is an ever so slightly more positive comment than some of his previous comments, but at this rate he won't be willing to do it until around 2043. So prepare for one hell of an 80th anniversary special, I guess... [Den of Geek]
The Walking Dead
Here's one last promo for Sunday's midseason finale, "Made to Suffer."
Once Upon a Time
Here's a pair of sneak peeks for this Sunday's episode, "Queen of Hearts."
Here's a promo for next Wednesday's "Citizen Fang."
Here's a promo for next week's "Vendetta."
American Horror Story: Asylum
Here's a promo for the next episode, "Unholy Night", which just so happens to feature Deadwood's very own Al Swearengen, Ian McShane, as some sort of depraved, murderous Santa Claus. That... that might just be the greatest sentence ever written. In any event, I would celebrate this beyond awesome news by quoting an Al Swearengen line, but there isn't a single one that isn't hideously, wonderfully offensive.
And let's go to creator Ryan Murphy to find out just how Ian McShane's depraved, murderous Santa Claus — seriously, I will never get tired of typing that phrase — fits into all this:
The Christmas episode is a very interesting episode because when we were plotting out the season I really wanted to do a Christmas episode because I always thought, based on my research, that 1964 was a very interesting year in terms of the secular and the commercial. That episode has a scene where it's Santa Claus vs. Sister Jude.
And Santa is Ian McShane right?
Yes! I can't believe that he did it. We wrote it and I kept saying, "We need an Ian McShane sort of guy for this." He was a fan of the show so I'm like, "Well I wonder if he would do it?" So we sent him the first five pages, which is the darkest Santa Claus story of all time, and he thought it was great. He and Jessica have this amazing scene together.
So is he the devil?
No he's like this crazy psychotic. No more devil-jumping this season. No Ian McShane plays a crazy person who was victimized so badly in prison that he made a psychotic break and decides he's Santa Claus and he knows who's been naughty and who's been nice. But the next episode also has a lot of hilarious Lily Rabe/What does the devil want for Christmas?
Murphy also confirms that Dylan McDermott is indeed the modern-day Bloody Face, which seems like the perfect opportunity to really mess with some minds and reveal this Bloody Face as some pre-haunted house backstory for good old Ben Harmon. Speaking of links to other seasons, Murphy discusses his plans for season three:
Yes. I do. I have an idea and I went to Jessica and she was very excited about the idea and possibly where it would film and how we would make it. I did the same thing last year-we almost work a year ahead. It's a very dense script and it's a lot of prep time. I do-I know what next year is.
Last year, Billie Dean gave that speech in the finale about asylums, which was a clue to this season. Are you planning on putting clues in the finale this year?
I think so. We haven't decided what lead actors are coming back. I know what it is and I know that there will be clues in the final episode. Last year we didn't announce what it was about-we waited til the summer to do it. I think we'll announce it earlier this year.
There's still a ton more at the link! [EW]
Additional reporting by Amanda Yesilbas and Charlie Jane Anders.