We might actually, honestly know the three finalists for the new Star Wars directing gig!

J.H. Wyman reveals the title of Fringe's final episode. Peter Jackson discusses Gollum's technological evolution. Get your first look at John Malkovich as a zombie-hunter, in a new Warm Bodies trailer. There are two brand new Monsters University posters. New companion Jenna-Louise Coleman talks Doctor Who. Michael Bay's production company is turning a subplot from Back to the Future into the next Chronicle, because why not!?

Spoilers from here on out!

Top image from Fringe.

Star Wars: Episode VII

We're entering a slightly more serious stage of the Star Wars director search, at least inasmuch as we're past the point where we're just naming random famous directors and saying, "Yeah... they'd be good." The favorite is reportedly X-Men: First Class director Matthew Vaughn, whose recent exit from the director's chair from the follow-up X-Men: Days of Future Past would seemingly leave him open to direct the thing. The two other names supposedly in contention are Iron Man's Jon Favreau — who according to rumor is actively campaigning for the job — as well as Fight Club and The Social Network director David Fincher, who actually got his start in the movie-making business with a small ILM gig on Return of the Jedi. For Fincher, the exact rumor is that he "might be game for one of these new films", which perhaps means he could handle a later movie if he doesn't get the Episode VII job.

None of these should be considered anything close to confirmed, but they at least broadly make sense — Vaughn and Favreau both have directed successful films that we can kind of broadly put in the same "action sci-fi/fantasy blockbuster" space that Star Wars occupies, with their respective early efforts Stardust and Zathura showing some flair for the kind of imaginative landscapes you'd expect from a Star Wars movie. Fincher is a bit more of a leap, since he hasn't done anything really remotely like this since Alien3 (unless you count The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, which I don't particularly), but he's been trying to get a 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea movie going for a while now, and he's previous spoken about his fondness and reverence for the Star Wars trilogy. Basically, they're all solid choices, without any overriding connections to other franchises that would preclude their involvement in this (like, say, J.J. Abrams). That's not the same thing as saying any of them are actually going to do it, but at least they make sense as candidates, which is an achievement in and of itself. [Deadline]


The Hobbit

Director Peter Jackson discusses how advances in technology have created a better Gollum — but not too much better, lest it conflict with The Lord of the Rings movies:

"Gollum certainly benefits from a much more intricate muscle system. "Obviously with a CGI character you're building a character in much the same way as a real creature is built. You build the bones, the skeletons, the muscles. You put layers of fat on. You put a layer of skin on which has to have a translucency depending on what the character is. Gollum is a much more sophisticated performer now than he was 10 years ago. We've deliberately made him look the same. I really wanted ‘The Hobbit' to very much have a consistency with the first three movies.

[Hero Complex]

Composer Neil Finn discusses how he approached the writing of "Song of the Lonely Mountain", which plays over the closing credits for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey:

"They talked a lot about how the movie really, in many ways, is a tale of the dwarves, as much as it's called The Hobbit. I'd get a little melody and I'd think, ‘Would a dwarf sing that?' And you go, 'No, it's too floral. It's not earthy enough.' Even though there's aspects of brotherhood and kinship in the song, I had a line about love and Peter and Fran [Walsh, co-writer and co-producer] sort of looked at me and said, ‘No, not love. There's something not quite right about that.' It's not a love song."

You can also listen to the soundtrack at the link. [Rolling Stone]


Warm Bodies

Here's the latest trailer for the zombie romance movie starring X-Men: First Class's Nicholas Hoult, featuring supporting turns from John Malkovich — of Being John Malkovich fame, naturally — and Children's Hospital star Rob Corddry. [Coming Soon]


Monsters University

[gallery 5964987] Here's a pair of posters for the Monsters, Inc. prequel. [Film School Rejects]


Almanac

Michael Bay's Platinum Dunes production company is producing a Chronicle-style found footage time travel movie that is basically the Grays Sports Almanac concept from Back to the Future Part II all over again. At least, that's what one inside source is claiming over at Bleeding Cool:

The lead character, David, is a smart kid in high school but he's finding dating hard. He's drawn to Jessie, the typical popular girl, and decides that he'll try to attract her by winning the science fair, and the college scholarship that will net him... David's late father was a scientist and so he looks through his Dad's stuff for ideas – and he finds two things of note. One gives him the ability to time travel... and the other is a sports almanac. Two more of David's friends travel back through time with him to abuse the almanac. Timelines get messed with, we learn more about David's Dad's research and there's apparently a couple of pretty big twists...

Check out the link for more. [Bleeding Cool]


Doctor Who

Here's new costar Jenna-Louise Coleman discussing how she's approached playing the Doctor's newest companion. [Life, Doctor Who, and Combom]


Fringe

Showrunner J.H. Wyman reveals the show's hundredth and final episode will be called "An Enemy of Fate", and he dropped these big if cryptic teases about what to expect:

"It's definitely the biggest season finale we've ever had. It's the most expensive…. It's massive, really big. I wanted to go out like, ‘Wow, how did they do that?' I wanted to make sure I handled [the action element] and the emotions with equal import."

[TV Line]


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

In case you're worried Joss Whedon's S.H.I.E.L.D. show won't be as Joss Whedon as his previous shows — and all right, fine, nothing could possibly be as Joss Whedon as Dollhouse, for better or worse — here's ABC president Paul Lee to put your worries to rest:

"It's very Joss Whedon. We're optimistic, because Joss is a genius and we love the idea and we love what we've seen. But it's early days, and it's a long way to go between now and a successful series. But we are very excited about it."

[TV Line]


True Blood

The sixth season premiere is reportedly entitled "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood." Some of the guest roles in the episode reportedly include "two Caddo Parish sheriff deputies, for a scene in which they politely pay Sam a visit at his house; and a male Authority guard, who sees something he can't believe in the AHO Control Room." [SpoilerTV]


Once Upon a Time

Lana Parilla discusses what's ahead for the Evil Queen, starting with the seemingly remote possibility of a reconciliation with her son Henry:

It's going to be very difficult to get her son back, if ever. We don't know if that will ever happen. That's a sad reality and a really scary one for her. But before she gives up, I think she's going to do everything she can in staying on the sober path, of not using magic and really confronting these demons and taking responsibility for things and owning up to things and truly doing the right thing. I don't think it's a phase, I don't think it's something she's just trying out. I think she's been woken up a bit. That woman that she once was, before she became the Evil Queen, still is in her somewhere. I think she's getting in touch with that part of herself again. It's that part of her that Henry really wants as a mother; although, it may be too late.

How will Regina and Mr. Gold continue to butt heads?
They have a very interesting relationship. [Robert Carlyle] and I always talk about it. They're really two peas in a pod. They really don't have anyone but each other at the end of the day. As much as they hate each other, as much as they're enemies, it's almost like there's this love too that's probably unspoken and never really expressed. They never really seem to hurt each other, even though they've tried. They try so many different ways. In Storybrooke, something has shifted for Regina. She is really lost. She just continues to keep losing everything from Daniel to Henry to her parents to everything. What's left? With Mr. Gold, he teases her a lot. I mean he really just rubs her face in all of this.

There's a bunch more at the link. [TV Guide]

Episode fifteen will reportedly feature a character called Tamara, who is described as "African American, late 20s to mid 30s, beautiful, artistic, relaxed, friendly, charming and smart. She's also ambitious, fearless and a born leader, and she won't stop until she gets what she wants." [SpoilerTV]


Touch

We might actually, honestly know the three finalists for the new Star Wars directing gig!

Here's a poster for the second season, which is still happening next year despite all the times I've explained to Fox that it really, really doesn't have to go through with this. [SpoilerTV]

Oh, and here's an official update on the cast and plot for next season:

Lukas Haas ("Inception," "24," "Witness") and newcomer Saxon Sharbino have joined the cast of TOUCH as series regulars and Greg Ellis ("Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End," "24") will appear in a recurring role when the critically acclaimed series returns for its second season Friday, Feb 8th (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.

In Season Two, the story setting shifts from New York to Los Angeles, where single father MARTIN BOHM (Kiefer Sutherland) and his gifted son JAKE (David Mazouz) are on the run from the mysterious and possibly sinister research facility Aster Corps, which had shown tremendous interest in exploiting Jake's ability to perceive the hidden patterns that connect people around the world. After arriving on the West Coast, the father-son team met distraught mother LUCY ROBBINS (Maria Bello) and now are determined to help find her missing – and equally gifted – daughter AMELIA (Sharbino). During their search, their paths will cross with Aster Corps genius CALVIN NORBURG (Haas), as well as TREVOR WILCOX (Ellis), a journalist and old friend of Martin's.

[SpoilerTV]


Arrow

New Zealander actor Manu Bennett has reportedly been cast as Slade Wilson, better known as the fearsome assassin and warrior Deathstroke. Bennett, who has played Crixus in the various Spartacus series on Starz and is set to play the Orc chieftain Azog in The Hobbit movies, will take over the part from stunt actor Jeffrey Robinson, who played Deathstroke in a masked, non-speaking capacity a few episodes back. The multi-episode arc will reportedly find Deathstroke in flashbacks forging a loose alliance with Oliver Queen during their time stuck on that island. [EW]


The Vampire Diaries

Here's a sneak peek from this Thursday's episode, "We'll Always Have Bourbon Street." [TV Line]

And here's an extended promo for the episode.


American Horror Story: Asylum

View gallery »

Here are some promo photos for the next episode, "Unholy Night", which guest stars Deadwood's Ian McShane as a psychotic, depraved Santa Claus. Supposedly, the show isn't quite balls-out crazy enough to say this is the real Santa Claus, but I'm not giving up hope just yet. [SpoilerTV]

And here's a promo for the episode. [Shock Till You Drop]

We might actually, honestly know the three finalists for the new Star Wars directing gig!

Dylan McDermott continues his American Horror Story transition from season one's Naked Ass to season two's Bloody Face by releasing this photo from the set. [EW]


Haven

Here's a promo for this Friday's episode, "Last Goodbyes."

View gallery »

And here are some promo photos. [SpoilerTV]


Beauty and the Beast

Here's a clip from the next episode, "Trapped." The synopsis is below. [KSiteTV]

JT (Austin Basis) suspects that Catherine (Kristin Kreuk) is the trigger of Vincent's (Jay Ryan) blackouts, so to disprove this theory, Vincent allows JT to inject him with endorphins and sedatives that force him into a fugue state. In flashback, Vincent recalls his time in Afghanistan when he received his first super soldier shot, and remembers who injected him with the DNA altering substance. He also recollects how the other soldiers experienced unpredictable side effects, including fugue states, and is relieved to know that Cat isn't causing his blackouts. Vincent shares his memory about Murifield with Cat, who experiences some recollections of her own. Then, as Cat and Tess (Nina Lisandrello) investigate the attempted murder of a teen pop star (guest-star Max Schneider), Evan suspects that Cat is deliberately protecting the vigilante who saved him in the subway.


Additional reporting by Amanda Yesilbas and Charlie Jane Anders.