Now that Ben Affleck is Batman, we’re dusting off those “Ben Affleck is directing Justice League” rumors. Star Wars could begin filming next January. Joss Whedon reveals what experiences from the first Avengers he hopes to avoid second time around. Check out a Gravity TV spot. Mockingjay adds another new cast member. Spoilers!
Top image from Gravity.
Star Wars: Episode VII
The latest rumor about the start of principal photography – and yes, this is the sort of movie where there are multiple rumors about when principal photography will start – is that filming will commence on January 21, 2014. This in turn would reportedly all but lock Episode VII into no earlier than a Christmas 2015 release date. [Latino Review]
Because Ben Affleck’s casting as Batman is, in all likelihood, way more about Ben Affleck the writer and director than it is about Ben Affleck the actor, the latest word is that Affleck not only will have significant creative input into Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel followup but also will be offered directorial duties on the eventual Justice League movie.
Ben Affleck, you may remember, was reportedly offered Justice League a little while back, and the thought is that Warner Bros. is trying to sweeten the pot by casting as Batman the guy who Ben Affleck already cast as the hero in The Town and Argo. The fact that guy happened to be Ben Affleck is just a happy coincidence for all Ben Afflecks involved. My goodness, I’m going to have to type “Ben Affleck” so many times over the next few years that those words are liable to lose all meaning. [Heat Vision]
The Avengers: Age of Ultron
Writer-director Joss Whedon reveals what lessons he learned from the original Avengers and how he hopes to apply them to the sequel:
"I want to be clearer about how I engage the audience, and where I take them. I want more control visually, more time to prep it. Not that I didn't dictate every shot - I did. But there's only so much you can do when you're making a summer film when the ball is already rolling as fast as it was when I got in. Why do it again if you can't do it better? I don't think you'd look at [ The Avengers] and go, 'This is a model of perfect structure.' You'd go, 'This is working.' I like it. I'm proud of it and I like its imperfections. The thing I cared about most - making a summer movie like the ones from my childhood - is the thing I pulled off."
Thor: The Dark World
Here are some character posters. [First Showing]
Here’s a TV spot for Alfonso Cuaron’s stranded astronaut movie, which stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney.
The Incredibles and Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol director Brad Bird’s latest has begun filming in Vancouver, and so Disney has released a press release to mark the start of production. It includes an official cast list and a brief synopsis, both of which are quite handy to have:
Principal photography has begun on Disney’s mystery adventure “Tomorrowland,” starring two-time Academy Award winner George Clooney (“Michael Clayton,” “Syriana”), Hugh Laurie (“Monsters vs. Aliens,” “Arthur Christmas”), Britt Robertson (“Under The Dome”), Raffey Cassidy (“Dark Shadows,” “Snow White and the Huntsman”) and Thomas Robinson (“The Switch”). The film is directed, produced and co-written by two-time Oscar winner Brad Bird (“Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol,” “The Incredibles”). Damon Lindelof (“Star Trek Into Darkness,” “Prometheus”) and Jeffrey Chernov (“Star Trek,” “Star Trek Into Darkness,” “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol”) are also producers. The screenplay is written by Brad Bird and Damon Lindelof from a story by Lindelof & Jeff Jensen and Brad Bird.
Bound by a shared destiny, a bright, optimistic teen bursting with scientific curiosity and a former boy-genius inventor jaded by disillusionment embark on a danger-filled mission to unearth the secrets of an enigmatic place somewhere in time and space that exists in their collective memory as “Tomorrowland.”
For the rest of the announcement, which includes a full rundown of the behind-the-scenes team, check out the link. [Comic Book Movie]
Australian actress Stef Dawson has reportedly become the second new addition to the Hunger Games franchise, joining Game of Thrones costar Natalie Dormer as one of the actors making their debut in the two-part Mockingjay adaptation. Dawson will reportedly play the District 4 victor Annie Cresta, who is in a relationship with Sam Claflin’s Finnick Odair. [The Hollywood Reporter]
Here’s another quartet of set videos.
James Bond 24
Series star Daniel Craig says he hopes the Skyfall follow-up will feature even more of the franchise’s trademark humor:
“Hopefully we’ll reclaim some of the old irony and make sure it doesn’t become pastiche. I can’t do shtick, I’m not very good at it. Unless it kind of suddenly makes sense. Does that make sense? I sometimes wish I hammed it up more, but I just can’t do it very well, so I don’t do it.”
The Good Dinosaur
Pixar’s upcoming movie about a universe in which dinosaurs were never wiped out eventually lived side-by-side with humans – which seems like it’s ignoring how crucial that extinction probably was to wide-scale mammalian evolution, but what the hey – has reportedly experienced some significant creative upheaval, as Pixar head John Lasseter has reportedly removed director Bob Peterson from the project. The move has reportedly been made in an effort to get the film back on schedule and meet its targeted release date, nine months from now. If true, this would be the third time in four movies that Pixar has had to swap directors mid-production, following on from Brave and Cars 2. [Blue Sky Disney]
Comics creator Todd MacFarlane reveals why his promised new film adaptation is taking some time to get going:
“The reality is I’ve got a lot of pressure. They want me to deliver the script by the end of the year, which would basically mean we’d be shooting next year. So that’s the goal right now. The thing that keeps slowing it down is that the negotiation I’ve done is that I write, produce, and direct. So I’ve got to push a lot of my other endeavors off to the side, so I can get tunnel vision on it, and so everybody in my company is now going, ‘We’ve got to find Todd the time to finish all this.’ I think it’s a sixty to seventy day shoot. I think it’s a quick shoot. It’s not going to be a giant budget with a lot of special effects. It’s going to be more of a horror movie and a thriller movie, not a superhero one. Anyway, I’ve got so many people phoning now, I’ve got to get it done.”
When asked about the rumor that Jamie Foxx wants to play the title character, MacFarlane responded:
“We’ve had some big names, like who you’re mentioning, come to the office and go we want to be in it. Sometimes they give me their pitch, and I give them my pitch, and I go we can get in it, here’s how it goes. And so those types of actors, Academy Award guys, they’re going, ‘As soon as that script’s done, we’re going.’ So once we get this thing done, we’ll get it off the ground with some big names.”
The Walking Dead
Glenn actor Steven Yeun offers this incredibly vague but effusive praise for the coming fourth season:
“We always come up here and say this new season is going to be awesome, but like for real, if you believe me right now, this season is going to be awesome. The scripts that we are getting are at a whole ‘nother level. Norman [Reedus], Andy [Lincoln] and I, and Lauren [Cohan], we sit down sometimes and just talk about what we’re reading, and I think this season is going to show you guys something that you’ve never seen before. It’s going to dive into things that you’ve never seen before, and stuff that’s never been seen on television before, so get pumped.”
Newly promoted series regular Manu Bennett previews what to expect from Slade Wilson in the second season.
The Vampire Diaries
Star Ian Somerhalder discusses the state of Elena and Damon’s relationship heading into the fifth season:
"He got the girl, at a great expense. It's gotta be so strange for this guy. He was so in love with Katherine for so many years, working off the naivety of a 23-year-old man. To be in love with this woman who really broke your heart, and then all of a sudden to find a woman who is identical in every way, shape and form, who is 160 years his junior. What I love about [their relationship this season] is that it's something the audience has really been wanting to see for a long time. But bear in mind that this is The Vampire Diaries, so people being happy for long doesn't exist."
Here’s an interview with costar Daniella Pineda.
American Horror Story: Coven
Here’s the latest cryptic teaser.
Beauty and the Beast
The fifth episode of the second season is reportedly called “Reunion.” [SpoilerTV]
Additional reporting by Amanda Yesilbas and Charlie Jane Anders.