Did George Lucas play a bigger role in developing the new Star Wars movies than we thought?

The head of Marvel Studios hints at the direction of The Avengers 2 and why a Doctor Strange movie might happen. Robert Kirkman reveals which character is crucial to The Walking Dead's immediate future. Mark Ruffalo discusses his Hulk future.

All that plus, the latest Catching Fire poster reveals Johanna Mason, Steven Moffat and Jenna-Louie Coleman talk Doctor Who, G.I. Joe: Retaliation has a bunch of new videos, an Arrow guest star reveals her role in Oliver's story, and a Game of Thrones production video takes you behind the scenes!

It's spoilers all the way down!

Top image from Catching Fire.

Star Wars: Episode VII

A lengthy, informative Business Week article on the sale of LucasFilm to Disney suggests that Lucas had a bigger hand than previously reported in actually putting together the current Star Wars creative team and developing the stories for Episodes VII through IX:

Lucas and Kennedy hired screenwriter Michael Arndt, who won an Oscar for Little Miss Sunshine, to begin work on the script for Episode VII. They enlisted Lawrence Kasdan, who wrote the screenplays for The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, to act as a consultant. Lucas started talking to members of the original Star Wars cast, such as Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford, about appearing in the films. In June 2012, he called Iger.

Once Lucas got assurances from Disney in writing about the broad outlines of the deal, he agreed to turn over the treatments — but insisted they could only be read by Iger, Horn, and Kevin Mayer, Disney's executive vice president for corporate strategy. "We promised," says Iger. "We had to sign an agreement."

When Iger finally got a look at the treatments, he was elated. "We thought from a storytelling perspective they had a lot of potential," he says.

Check out the link for more. [Business Week]


The Avengers 2

Marvel Studios head honcho Kevin Feige discusses writer-director Joss Whedon's recent comments that the sequel would "go deeper, not bigger":

"I don't know exactly what he meant when he said "deeper". But, similar to Iron Man 3, we're not saying, "Now it's gotta be even bigger and more aliens come and there's a giant monster!" The most exciting thing to us about the Iron Man franchise is Tony Stark and his journey. The most exciting thing to us about the Avengers franchise is the interaction amongst those characters. It's putting them in situations that you wouldn't expect to see them in. It's that kind of fun; and the relationships between the characters in the Avengers, which I loved. Almost whatever the heck else is happening is gravy in that franchise, because all I care about is Bruce and Tony, Tony and Steve, Widow and Bruce – and how Thor fits into it, because he's always the outsider amongst outsiders. So I think that's where the value lies. And going deeper amongst those characters in those relationships."

[SFX via Comic Book Movie]


Doctor Strange

From the same interview, isn't yet ready to commit to a Doctor Strange movie, but he does say that if the cinematic universe is going to get into magic, it'll be through the Sorcerer Supreme:

I'm not looking at Phase One as grounded and Phase Two as cosmic and Phase 3 as magic. The films are all so eclectic and different from each other that you can't overarchingly categorize them like that. If and when we enter the magic arena, it will be through Doctor Strange. Sure, obviously. And that's to me what's exciting about Doctor Strange.

There are still some more tidbits at the link. [SFX via Comic Book Movie]


Hulk

Bruce Banner actor Mark Ruffalo offered a pair of tweets about the prospects of a new Hulk solo movie:



X-Men: Days of Future Past

Young Professor X actor James McAvoy says he's received the script, and it's totally on his to-do list to read the thing:

"The X-Men script? It's in my inbox... I've still got to read it. I'm very excited about it but I've just been doing so much of this (interviews) and working at night (in Macbeth in London's West End) so I'm starting work at 9 and don't finish until midnight so I'm not being flippant... I honestly can't wait to read it and find out what I'm doing but I've just got no time right now."

[Hey U Guys]

James Flemyng says he likely won't reprise his X-Men: First Class role Azazel:

"I don't think I will be back. Initially I was gutted, but then, I remembered I had to get up at two in the morning, I had to be painted red and be slightly out of focus and posed a lot, and that was sort of it. Now I don't have to do that. I've had twins so I'm quite glad to stay at home. It's filmed in Canada and it takes about seven months so I'm quite glad to be at home."

[Independent.ie]


Catching Fire

Did George Lucas play a bigger role in developing the new Star Wars movies than we thought?

Here's one of the latest character posters, featuring our first look at Sucker Punch's Jena Malone as Johanna Mason. Check out more right here. [Coming Soon and /Film]


After Earth

Did George Lucas play a bigger role in developing the new Star Wars movies than we thought?

Here's the latest poster for M. Night Shymalan and Will and Jaden Smith's post-apocalyptic movie. [Coming Soon]


G.I. Joe: Retaliation

Here's a pair of character featurettes on Bruce Willis's Joe Colton and Byung-hun Lee's Storm Shadow.


Friday Night Lights star Adrianne Palicki discusses her role as Lady Jaye:

I love the character and she's very well-written. She's a tough girl. She's got a little bit of a chip on her shoulder. She's like the only chick around all these guys so she kind of has to hold her own. She's the intelligence in the group; she's the weapon specialist. So there's a lot to carry with that.

She also plays down the reports of massive reshoots:

A lot of that was false: We did like two days of reshoots. They added one scene. It wasn't really a big deal - it was like the normal reshooting situation. Actually we lucked out because it was only two days. But I think it adds to the film completely.

[EW]


Maleficent

Producer Joe Roth discusses the upcoming, Angelina Jolie-starring take on the Cinderella story:

We flipped it on its head. Linda Woolverton wrote that, who also wrote Alice in Wonderland, and she also wrote Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King. So, I'm trusting her imagination and understanding of telling a story that the curse on Sleeping Beauty wasn't made by someone who was completely evil, and that she also had a story.

Was the casting crucial then, so that audiences would feel sympathy for that character?
Yes. It would have been really difficult to make Maleficent without Angie (Angelina Jolie). And I think that movie will be Elle Fanning's coming out. People will be like, "Oh, I remember Elle Fanning when she was in Maleficent. That was where I first saw her."

[Collider]


Doctor Who

Steven Moffat discusses the premise of the upcoming mid-series debut episode, "The Bells of St. John":

It's the traditional Doctor Who thing of taking something omnipresent in your life and making it sinister, if something did get in the Wi-Fi, we'd be kind of screwed. Nobody had really done it before, so I thought, ‘It's time to get kids frightened of Wi-Fi!

[Doctor Who News]

New companion Jenna-Louise Coleman discusses the on-screen relationship between Clara and Matt Smith's Doctor:

When I started on Doctor Who Matt said to me "Watch Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy films!" We were talking about our dynamic and trying to figure it out, realising we were a double act . . . It's trying to find each other's rhythm... So watching things like Spencer Tracy films really feed into that. Matt always said it's about physically finding our rhythm... In a way the whole thing is like a dance, and the moment we started dancing together and finding that rhythm is when it worked.

[Doctor Who News]


Game of Thrones

Here's a new behind-the-scenes video on the making of season three, entitled "Down to the Smallest Detail." [Making Game of Thrones]


The Walking Dead

Comics creator Robert Kirkman discusses the direction of the rest of the season:

The rest of the season really is about what Andrea is doing and how she's handling this situation. The scene where she stands over him in the bed is really the beginning of her plan and what she's going to be doing and why she's doing what she's doing. The fact that she wasn't able to kill the Governor is really going to play in to a lot of the upcoming story for the rest of the season. Andrea is in a really horrible position. She has relationships with people in Woodbury. She knows there are good people there. She knows that the Governor is instigating a war between those people and other people that she has a relationship with that she also knows to be good people. She's kind of stuck in the middle and can't help either group win because that would mean the destruction of other good people but she's going to have to do something to try to make this situation resolve in a way that not too many people get hurt. So that's really what she's going to be trying to do moving forward.

He also discusses whether more deaths lay ahead (no points for guessing the right answer to that one) and whether this current arc will be resolved by season's end:

I'm afraid there may be a casualty or more still to be experienced by the end of this season. We'll see.

Will this Woodbury vs. the prison storyline be resolved by the end of the season? Season 1 was the set up and going to the CDC, season 2 was about the farm, and season 3 has been the prison and Woodbury. Should we expect a new setting next season?
That would certainly appear to be settling into a cycle. I don't want to give anything away because we have some really cool stuff planned for the finale, but I will say that there is a resolution to the storyline at the end of the season, as people would expect. It becomes a whole complete story that you've been able to experience over the course of season 3. And It will set things up nicely for season 4. There are new places to go in season 4, but whether or not that means a new setting or new story direction or simply new characters I can't really nail down any specifics.

There's more at the link. [EW]


Once Upon a Time

Here's a quintet of sneak peeks for this Sunday's episode, "The Miller's Daughter."






Arrow

Celina Jade discusses her role as Shado, the daughter of Yao-Fei, in the island flashback sequences:

"She will team up with Slade and Oliver to get on the rescue mission to save her father and escape the island. Somehow they have to come up with a way to leave the island... First of all, she's not Japanese. In the comics, Shado was the daughter of the Yakuza. Here... she's a lawyer fighting to free her father from being banished to the island by the Chinese government...

She also hints at her character's relationship with Oliver:

"Shado is an excellent martial artist. She's also trained in archery. We'll see more of that in upcoming episodes where she teaches Oliver a signature move... Slade's a little bit surprised by her marital arts skills," Jade says. "Her fighting might even be better than Slade's. Slade's been having trouble teaching Oliver how to do martial arts. Shado comes from different sort of training, so she'll have a go at teaching Oliver how to fight. In the end, they're on the same team. They want to save Yao-Fei and get off the island... We'll see some romantic tension between the two. Because Shado is a lawyer, she reminds Oliver of Laurel [Katie Cassidy]. There's a good relationship there."

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


Lost Girl

Episode twelve is reportedly called "Hail, Hale" while the thirteenth episode and season finale is called "Those Who Wander." [SpoilerTV]


Orphan Black

Here's a behind-the-scenes video focused on one of the characters in BBC America's upcoming clone series, "Fiercely Loyal" Felix.


Additional reporting by Amanda Yesilbas and Charlie Jane Anders.