No, Carrie Fisher hasn't actually confirmed she's in Star Wars: Episode VII after all. Shane Black is taking Iron Man right back to his origins. Another Captain America costar might return for a flashback. Sam Mendes is leaving Bond behind... for now. Plus the latest details on Neil Gaiman's Cyberman-centric episode of Doctor Who!
It's nothing but spoilers from here on out!
Top image from Doctor Who.
Star Wars: Episode VII
I think we all knew this was coming, but a representative for Carrie Fisher has clarified to CNN that no, Fisher didn't really confirm her Star Wars return to Palm Beach Illustrated, even though it totally sounded like she did:
"She was joking. Nothing has been announced."
Let's just cut to the chase here, which is that, regardless of whether Fisher was actually joking — and I think we can safely assume she was joking about Leia being "in an intergalactic old folks' home", if nothing else — it's still probably more likely than not that, yeah, she and Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill are going to make some appearance in Episode VII. But until Disney and LucasFilm are damn good and ready to announce that, nothing — even confirmation from the actors themselves — is going to be "official." [CNN]
Iron Man 3
The interviews just keep on rolling out from writer-director Shane Black and Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige. First up, here's Black explaining how he adapted Warren Ellis's "Extremis" comics story for the film:
In the Extremis comic book, there's a type of thing that takes over and basically upgrades DNA. Sometimes you die. But if you live through the experience then you come out this changed thing. But the way they do it is the guy that does it is not some man chosen to be the super soldier — he's just a militia guy. There's an element of realism to it as well. So what we've tried to do is take this very science-fictiony concept of super people, and ground it in the type of people who volunteer for this being not necessarily super villains, but just people who upgrade.
I love the idea of a super villain that doesn't wear a cape, that doesn't wear a super suit. That goes around dressed as you are right now. As for the science of it, once again we've gone back to the comic books, and I think pretty much lifted the Maya Hensen idea, that she met [Tony] long ago and had the germ of an idea, which now has come to fruition full circle, but she's afraid because it's gotten out there. And we go from there. I think you'll be interested in the effect that we generate to demonstrate what Extremis does to a human being. It's a pretty interesting special effect. But we've deliberately stayed away from defining, ‘Oh it's nanites.' What we do keep from the comic is the idea that there's a slot in the brain that seems to have been dormant, but exists in human beings, almost as though it's waiting for human beings to find a way to fill it. It's been there forever.
Elsewhere, Kevin Feige explains how Iron Man 3 goes right back to the franchise's beginnings:
"In a way, The Avengers liberated us in the development process, because we knew we couldn't go bigger than Avengers. We didn't want to go bigger than Avengers. What are you going to do? Crack the Earth in two, and Iron Man's gonna have to put it together? No, that's not what it's about. We were much more inspired by the first half of the first Iron Man film. We said, ‘Let's put him, metaphorically, back in a cave with a box of scraps and see how he uses his brain to get out of it.' And that's very much in Shane's wheelhouse, taking cinematic tropes and conceits, and spinning them in an unexpected way."
There's more at the link. [IGN]
Finally, Feige explains how the film addresses the fact that Tony Stark could theoretically call the rest of the Avengers for help:
It's a good question, and it's sort of half and half. I am betting that like the comics you don't have to keep – if you are reading a standalone "Iron Man" comic, they don't spend every page explaining where every other Marvel hero is. The audience kind of accepts that there are times when they're on their own and there are times when they are together. I'm betting that movie audiences will feel the same way. That being said, there is a little bit of lip service here and there to that. There is also just the very nature of Tony wants to, once he barely survives that house attack you saw today, and even you saw it in the message he left for Pepper, he's basically saying "I'm going off the grid to try to figure something out."
He also confirms that Tony doesn't yet know that Agent Coulson is alive and well and about to star on S.H.I.E.L.D. [/Film]
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Dominic Cooper says there's a plan in place for him to return as Howard Stark, although it sounds like scheduling might prevent this:
Yeah, they mentioned that, they mentioned it to me. But I don't know how… I'm too busy. I'm trying to film, I'm filming at the moment, everyday, and I'm really trying to make it work but I think I'm stuck in Budapest, so at the moment its really, really tough, like I don't know how I'm going to achieve it.
I don't know how I'm going to get to… yeah, there was talk of it, and now I don't know whether I can, which will be really annoying because I loved being part of those. You know, I think it it was such an incredible time, and I think — you know the first one - they did such an incredible job of it. So, I will try my hardest to get Stark back into a flashback sequence or some description, but its proving rather difficult in terms of scheduling at the moment.
Skyfall director Sam Mendes has announced he won't be back for the next Bond film, though he does say he hopes to be involved with the franchise again in the future:
"It has been a very difficult decision not to accept Michael and Barbara's very generous offer to direct the next Bond movie. Directing Skyfall was one of the best experiences of my professional life, but I have theatre and other commitments, including productions of Charlie And The Chocolate Factory and King Lear, that need my complete focus over the next year and beyond. I feel very honoured to have been part of the Bond family and very much hope I have a chance to work with them again sometime in the future."
Executive producer Caroline Skinner previews the penultimate episode of series seven, the Neil Gaiman-penned "The Last Cybermen":
"One of the things that Neil was initially really excited about was being given one of the classic Doctor Who monsters and being able to bring a new twist and a new way of looking at them. Certainly when we watched them on set they felt very creepy and the redesign of the masks recalls to a certain extent some of the earlier ‘Moonbase'/‘Tomb Of The Cybermen' designs. What Neil's also done in that episode is actually used the notion of being able to write a story about the Doctor in conflict with the Cybermen in a new way, to really make it a huge episode for Matt. It's a brilliant performance, that one. It's interesting what Neil does – he always delivers such wonderful visual sequences, as he did with ‘The Doctor's Wife', but one of his real strengths is that he gets right to the heart of the characters as well. In many ways that episode is as much about Matt's Doctor in conflict with one of the most classic and famous Doctor Who monsters as it is about what the Cybermen look like."
Check out the link for some cryptic thoughts on another episode, "Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS." [SFX]
Elsewhere, Skinner offers some general hints about the 50th anniversary special, which is due to start shooting on March 18:
"Marcus Wilson and I spend most of our time saying to one another: ‘Oh, good God, Steven Moffat's imagination is AMBITIOUS.' ‘Wow, we've got a lot of work to do.' ‘And how exactly are we going to do that?' ‘And that?' ‘And, oooh, that?!' But more succinctly, and in just four words: ‘It. Will. Be. Big."
Game of Thrones
Ygritte actress Rose Leslie discusses what to expect from the third season:
I was so happy to be holding a bow and arrow. I was so happy about it because I just thought it embodied Ygritte, as to who she is, being such a fiercely independent character. She's powerful and strong and I felt that a bow and arrow fitted her beautifully… I was able to kind of do some archery lessons before just so I didn't look like a right numpty [Editor's note: British slang for fool] when I was drawing back the bow… just so that I looked a little bit authentic. But it is really cool. Oh, I loved it!
She also discusses two new beyond-the-Wall actors, Rome's Ciarin Hinds as Mance Rayder and the British Office's Mackenzie Crook as Orell:
In Season 2, Mance Rayder — the name at least was certainly built up, wasn't it — to an extent where you were looking forward to finally meeting this character. And he is dominant and he is a leader, and especially from Ygritte's perspective… She has put all her eggs in one basket so to speak, when it comes to Mance Rayder.
What is it about Mance that makes her want to follow him, that she's so devoted to? Is it just because he chose the life of a free person, is he just so charismatic and strong, does he respect her?
I think it's an amalgamation of all those things that you mentioned, actually. He is strong and I feel that the kind of wildling community, because they are harsh and brutal, and of course, that is the environment that they have all been brought up in, you, as a wildling look up to that. And I think with Mance Rayder, because he is a turncloak and because he no longer wants to bend the knee, she has a huge amount of respect for him because she feels that he is now 100 percent on their side.
You have Mackenzie Crook from the original ‘The Office,' and he was in ‘Pirates'… Can you tell us anything about his character, Orell, because I imagine he's very delightful to watch.
Yes! He is absolutely incredible. He's such a lovely, lovely man. But, his character is incredibly different to who he is, obviously, which is a huge accolade to him. But Orell, oh, he's a nasty piece of work. He's vicious and he does not trust Jon Snow and not wanting to give too much away, he's incredibly loyal to who he is and his love of his people… and yeah, he's nasty!
There's still some more at the link. [Access Hollywood]
Elsewhere, Jon Snow actor Kit Harrington and Rose Leslie discuss Kristofer Hivju's work in the upcoming season as the new character Tormund Giantsbane:
Harrington I think you are going to love what he does this season. He brings this wonderful energy and eccentricity to that part [Hivju is playing Tormund Giantsbane]. He was such a joy to work with. I wasn't familiar with his work up onto working on Thrones. I hope to keep in touch with him. He is really, really good. He just is that character. He has got quite a big personality.
Rose Leslie: Yeah, definitely. He just sort of dominates the room.
Here's an interview with star Tracy Spiridakos. [BuddyTV]
Once Upon a Time
Here are some tidbits from the recent PaleyFest panel:
1. Snow White is going to go dark after she vows to kill Cora in last week's episode. Ginnifer Goodwin told the Paley crowd. "What she's going through is going to shake her self identity and self definition," she said. "If she's not the Snow White she read about in story books [while] in Storybrooke, then she doesn't know who she is. But I think that does a lot for her. She can get in touch with a more involved way of protecting herself and her family."
2. Episode 17, "Welcome to Storybrooke," will be a flashback to 1983, the first week of the curse. "We're going to get more insight into what it was like that very first week in 1983 and what it was like for the Evil Queen to win and to figure out modern clothing," says [co-creator Edward] Kitsis. This episode, airing March 17, will mark the return of Jamie Dornan as the town's hottie sheriff/The Huntsman.
3. An upcoming Belle-centric episode will explore the character's cursed persona, jokingly called "Racy Lacey" during the panel. "Lacey's very interesting," said Emilie De Ravin. "She's the opposite of Belle," added Kitsis.
There's a bunch more at the link. [EW]
Here's a promo photo for episode seventeen, "Goodbye Stranger", which airs March 20. Check out more photos here.
The android cop show from J.J. Abrams's Bad Robot production company — which actually isn't called Inhuman anymore, but it's a slightly better placeholder title than "Untitled J.J. Abrams Android Cop Show" — has reportedly assembled its cast. The show "is set in the near future when all LAPD officers are partnered with highly evolved human-like androids", and it "centers on one such pairing, cop John Kennex and his android partner Dorian (Michael Ealy)." The Unit's Michael Irby has been cast as LAPD Detective Richard Paul, "who blames Kennex for the death of fellow officers in the tragic mission that casts a pall over the department." Mackenzie Crook, who previously appeared in this article in the Game of Thrones item, has reportedly been cast as the eccentric LAPD robotics designer Rudy Lom. [Deadline]
Additional reporting by Katharine Trendacosta.