Stan Lee drops hints about his Avengers 2 cameo. Guillermo del Toro talks about the chances of making a Hellboy 3 and Haunted Mansion. Constantine casts a female lead. Zachary Quinto mulls returning as Sylar for Heroes: Reborn. Plus, behind-the-scenes looks at Arrow and The Flash. Spoilers now!
Top image: The Flash
Amazing Spider-Man 3/Venom/Sinister Six
Roberto Orci has officially left Sony's franchise, meaning that he won't work with Alex Kurtzman on the Amazing Spider-Man 3 script as previously planned. No clue if the split means the film will be delayed — as was already rumored — but Orci said he was "not officially involved in it." As for Sony's Spider-Man universe as a whole, Orci said:
I don't know what their plans are for that franchise. I don't ever want to say never, but we have to figure out what their scheduling is in terms of when they want each movie. I've read probably as much as anyone else. There's a love for the Sinister Six, the idea of Venom — there's an idea of Spider-Man's going to be one of these characters that's part of our business. He's such a popular character. Spider-Man's not going to go away any time soon. When it all happens and how and all that has yet to be determined.
I don't want to say anything about what they should do [in Spider-Man 3]. I don't want them to think I'm spilling the beans about something.
If the third Spidey movie is delayed, Sony could easily release the standalone films ahead of Amazing Spider-Man 3 to give them more time. [ IGN]
Avengers: Age of Ultron
Speaking about the Marvel movies and how good they are for the comics business, Stan Lee dropped this hint about his cameo in the film:
People that had not been big stars before like the fellow who plays Thor (Chris Hemsworth) - he's wonderful! I was with him yesterday - I did my cameo of course [for Avengers: Age of Ultron]
So whatever it is, it looks like Lee's cameo will feature Thor. [ Digital Spy]
Even though Ron Perlman is determined to get the film made, Guillermo del Toro is less certain about the project. Said del Toro in his Reddit AMA:
Well, you know, we don't have that movie on the horizon. But the idea for it was to have Hellboy finally come to terms with the fact that his destiny, his inevitable destiny, is to become the beast of the Apocalypse, and having him and Liz face the sort of, that part of his nature, and he has to do it, in order to be able to ironically vanquish the foe that he has to face in the 3rd film. He has to become the beast of the Apocalypse to be able to defend humanity, but at the same time he becomes a much darker being. It's a very interesting ending to the series, but I don't think it will happen.
... I think that the first movie made its budget back, and a little bit of profit, but then it was very very big on video and DVD. The story repeated itself with the second already, it made its money back at the box office, but a small margin of profit in the release of the theatrical print, but was very very big on DVD and video. Sadly now from a business point of view all the studios know is that you don't have that safety net of the DVD and video, so they view the project as dangerous….Creatively, I would love to make it. Creatively. But it is proven almost impossible to finance. Not from MY side, but from the studio side. If I was a multimillionaire, I would finance it myself, but I spend all my money on rubber monsters.
Similarly, del Toro's in a sort of limbo with Disney's Haunted Mansion. From the same AMA:
[T]wo weeks ago, I went back to Disneyland with the executives with whom I am developing the screenplay. It's a hard screenplay to crack. We've done it a few times. We are on our third or fourth draft, with 2 different writing teams, and I think the main thing is to try to combine everything that is great about the ride into the movie, and to make it a really intense but with a sense of fun - just like the ride."
It is a movie I would love to direct, but I would be happy to just produce it if the timing is not right.
As for how far along the production is, it's supposedly got a lead in the Hatbox Ghost, with Doug Jones as the frontrunner for the part. Said del Toro:
We have developed 50-60 pieces of art. We've developed maquettes of the Hat Box Ghost, over the body and face of Doug Jones, but we have not succeeded yet in cracking the screenplay. I have to believe that Disney will make this movie as soon as we crack the screenplay, but until then we cannot tackle it... We always feel like we are very close, but not yet.
Star Trek 3
Roberto Orci wants to be clear that, even though its been reported in the trades, he's not technically the director of the film just yet:
Well, I don't want to count my chickens before they hatch. The studio has yet to even read the script. I'm in the middle of writing it, with the talented team of [John D.] Payne and [Patrick] McKay. They are true Star Trek fans, as well. So, I can't even think anything about the future until I give them a script and they greenlight it. Until that happens, everything else is just a rumor.
He is still writing the script, which he says is enough pressure:
If I'm lucky enough that Paramount loves the script and that we go forward, it'll be because I have loved Star Trek for so long and the idea of having seen one of the best guys in the business direct two of them already, and to have seen it from the vantage point of a producer too, I know where a lot of the challenges are and where a lot of the fun is. If we're lucky enough that everything goes right, then I'll start to feel the pressure. Once it's really happening, it's like, 'Oh, my God, the 50th anniversary! Holy, moly!' As a writer, I feel the pressure as the returning screenwriter to this franchise. I feel it at the story level. I can't speak for Payne and McKay, but they seem to be having a good time. They don't look as nervous as I feel, but maybe they're just good at hiding it.
Director Phillip Noyce talked about adapting the book to the movie and the outcry against color from the fans:
The basic story of the book is exactly the same story. There was some consternation on the internet when the first trailer came out and it seemed to promise that the whole movie was going to be in color. In the novel, people can only see black and white. All of their sensory perceptions have been restricted, but as people have been following the various trailers know by now, the movie sticks pretty closely to the color scheme set up by Lois Lowry. All the other changes that we made—and there's always going to be changes—we made in partnership with Lois Lowry, who was deeply involved in advising us as the script was written, and came to the set and advised us on costumes, on design elements. Of course, in any adaptation, there will always be changes, there always are, particularly because when you're in a visual media, you can sometimes insert things that could take a thousand words. So Lois kept a pretty close eye on what we were doing.
Almost half the movie… well, a good part of the movie is in black and white, and it changes from black and white to color according to the lead character's changing perception of the world, and that's exactly what happens in the book. That lead character Jonas, whose chosen to receive every memory is introduced to color by The Giver, Jeff Bridges' character, and then increasingly starts to see this full spectrum of color around him and the audience starts to see things in color as well. So his and our perception of the story gradually changes throughout the movie. The story and character influences everything.
The adaptation of the Melissa Marr novel looks like it's moving from major studio production to independent film, moving from Universal to Wild West Picture Show Productions, which is looking for a distribution partner. Pukeko Pictures will co-produce the film and handle visual effects, and they've enlisted Weta Workshop for design and physical effects. The book was adapted for the screen by Caroline Thompson (Edward Scissorhands).
The Last Witch Hunter
Rose Leslie (Game of Thrones) has joined the film as a witch and love interest for the lead character, played by Vin Diesel. The immortal witch hunter and the witch are forced to work together to stop an evil witch queen from unleashing a plague. [Hollywood Reporter]
At the link is video from a set visit. [Yahoo!]
Guardians of the Galaxy
Here's a Gamora featurette:
Doctor Who/Star Wars
At London Comic Con, Steven Moffat said that season eight will feature some "nasty and unpleasant scenes," establishing that the new Doctor isn't the one we knew. He also pointed out to everyone wanting a Sherlock crossover that Holmes has already been established as a fictional character in the Whoniverse, and Madame Vastra is the "real" Sherlock Holmes. [Radio Times]
Also, the rumor linking Moffat to Star Wars is "news to him." [Cinelinx]
The image from the season premiere that was released last week has engendered a bit of speculation from the Radio Times, which points out that the Doctor and Clara seem dressed to blend with Victorian England. Specifically, Clara looks a bit like one of the earlier incarnations that the Eleventh Doctor met. This matches what we know about the episode seeing the return of Madame Vastra, Jenny, and Strax. [Radio Times]
Joining the guest cast for the finale is Sanjeev Bhaskar (The Kumars at Number 12). Moffat said of the finale, "The danger is never deadlier than in a finale episode, and the Time Lord is going to need all the help he can get!" [Wales Online]
Game of Thrones
While fans and press may wring their hands about the possibility of the show running out of book material, HBO's not concerned. HBO Programming chief Michael Lombardo told the Television Critics Association:
We're not off on our own in respect to at least next season. Obviously George is an integral part of the creative team, so next season every move is being choreographed very closely with him. Certainly after next year we'll have to figure it out with George. The book's not finished at this point, but we're in conversations with him. We're not concerned about it.
David Bradley discussed how his character's background will be slowly revealed over the course of the season:
And with Setrakian it's quite simple and quite a straightforward agenda. But the fact that his past is only really revealed scene-by-scene and you don't — it's much more interesting to me rather than have a character revealed in the very first episode so I think, 'oh, I know what they're about. I know exactly what they're doing or what their life is about.' But with Setrakian you slowly discover, with the benefits of the flashbacks, and you realize what has made him what he is. And it's fun and it's a challenge and you can only take what's there on the page and do it as truthfully as you can and not think too much about what's happening way down the line and discover it along with everybody else.
As for that agenda, Bradley explains that it's revenge:
Just plain revenge for what's happened to his wife at the hands of the Master. And when he sees that TV screen and that darkened airplane he's the only one, he's the only person in the world possibly who knows what this means. And his mission is not only to see it through this time because he's aware that he's failed before and he's allowed the situation to happen where his wife has been a victim of it and the idea that he keeps her heart in a jar, there's something kind of — it seems a bit of a sick thing to do but for him it's his only way of keeping contact with his late wife and finding the fuel to avenge her death.
He kind of hopes it won't happen again that he'll never hear from the Master again, but then as soon as he realizes he knows he's got to do it again then he's got this fear of failure. So it's not like he's superhuman and knows exactly what to do and — he's never in control of the situation. He tries to be. He tries to but even he has his doubts. And I love the doubts that make him human when he's talking to the heart and saying I don't know if I can do it again. I can't fail again. That's something — failure is not an option. So as ruthless as he is in his pursuit he's got this doubtful voice in the back of his head saying he's not going to do it, that he's not going to see it through or he might die or might — he's bringing these people on with him knowing full well that he's putting them in danger but it's his only way. He needs help. He can't do it all on his own and he realizes that. So he's a very complicated man. And the fact that he still has this will to see this thing through and to finish it is a testament to his energy and that's what helped him to live so long. He wants to stay alive to do this.
And Ephraim loses his wife to it too.
Yes. Absolutely. And if he can avenge her death that will be his life's work completed and I think he would be just happy to die in the pursuit of that. And I believe he does at some point but I haven't got that far in the books.
More at the link. [Spinoff Online]
Guillermo del Toro spoke about Lance Henriksen's work as the Master on the show:
The thing that we know is that The Master, the character, is he encompasses many voices. So, he's a character made of many voices over the centuries. He overtakes bodies and he stays alive that way. We wanted to meld several voices, and one of the voices that we wanted to use was Lance, because of its power and authority and the way it sounds, and then mix it with other voices as the base for The Master's voice, for the authority and the power it has.
He also talked about the design of the vampires:
In terms of creature creation we really went into it trying to, little by little, reveal the biological traits and the design traits of these creatures to make sense to an audience, not just from a looking terrifying, looking good point of view, but to make them feel organic. T make them feel like almost a different breed in the evolutionary history of this planet. You get to see them as a species, in a way, the more you advance in the plot and in this series. So, designing it took approximately six months of just purely conceptual and sculpture and draftsmanship design, and executing it took a very long, long time. But it was as complex and as demanding as designing creatures for a feature film.
This show has wasted no time finding a new female lead to replace Lucy Griffiths, who played the character of Liv in the pilot. Liv is being replaced by Zed, a psychic who teams up with Constantine to battle various evil forces. And Angelica Celaya has already been cast as Zed. [Deadline, Entertainment Weekly]
Gil Bellows (Ally McBeal) has joined the cast as the son of Abraham Enzmann, the founder of the Ascension mission who is "determined to continue his father's work." The six-episode miniseries takes place 50 years into a mission to populate a new world, when a murder forces the crew to reevaluate their mission. [TV Line]
As opposed to Ali Larter, who can't return, and Jack Coleman, who is definitely going to, Zachary Quinto's a bit more more unsure of whether he'll come back. Saying:
I've been in touch with Tim [Kring, creator] and he told me they were doing this and we left the door open for me to be involved, the trouble is really my availability. I don't know that it would really even be possible. And it's a challenge for me because that experience and role and opportunity really changed my life completely and sent me on a path that I might not have otherwise have been on, but at the same time I'm very interested in forward momentum, I'm very interested in expanding and defying people's expectations of me….I don't know that going back to such a definitely iconic character would necessarily do that. So it's a larger question that I haven't had to answer because no one's actually given me an offer. We'll see. I'm glad they're doing it and I know that whether or not I'm involved that the fans will enjoy it.
Beauty and the Beast
Actor Ted Whittall said on Twitter that he's unlikely to return for the show's third season:
— Ted Whittall (@twhittall) July 7, 2014
— Ted Whittall (@twhittall) July 7, 2014
There are also behind-the-scenes photos from Arrow. First up is this one, from Stephen Amell himself. [Facebook]
Go to the link for more set photos of Oliver and Laurel. [Candagraphs]
And then this one, which showcases a new look for Quentin Lance. [via SpoilerTV]
Here's a set photo from William Sadler, showing himself in costume as Simon Stagg:
The Flash set dec. pic.twitter.com/EyYMgxqeeQ
— William Sadler (@Wm_Sadler) July 12, 2014
Here are promos and a sneak peek at episode 2.o5, "Put the Damage On":
Additional reporting by Charlie Jane Anders and Ryan Plummer