New Man of Steel TV spots have led to some wild speculation about Superman's dad, while producer Deborah Snyder explains the deeper significance of the suit and cape. Bryan Singer explains the big goals of X-Men: Days of Future Past. Plus John Williams plans his Star Wars return and Evangeline Lilly talks The Hobbit. Spoilers!
Top image from Man of Steel.
Star Wars: Episode VII
Legendary composer John Williams confirms he's been approached to score his seventh Star Wars movie:
"We've certainly talked about that, and I'm happy and willing to do it. [Director] J.J. Abrams, who will be the director, seems excited about the idea. I have to say that J.J. is a much younger man than I, but I will try to keep up with him as much as I can!"
Man of Steel
Here are some TV spots, which feature some nice footage of Russell Crowe as Jor-El.
Speaking of Jor-El, there's been some speculation that his interactions in these clips are evidence that he's actually alive, perhaps a prisoner of General Zod. I don't really buy this, as the Jor-El and Lara holograms have always been pretty life-like (give or take Marlon Brando's gigantic disembodied head), but the one moderately compelling evidence for that theory is Jor-El's line that "My son is twice the man you are" — which quite easily could be something pre-recorded or otherwise artificial, but still does kind of sound like something Jor-El is saying to (presumably) General Zod in the moment. I'd still bet it's just a hologram, but if you want a complete rundown of the speculation, go here.
Meanwhile, producer Deborah Snyder discusses the new Superman movie's overarching narrative:
Someone said to me it's the greatest adoption story in all of history. I think that's an interesting way of looking at it – maybe because I was just in the process personally of adopting my two children. The people of Earth adopt him and he adopts us, as well. A lot of the messaging in this film is about family, and who makes you who you are. Clark is on this journey of self discovery, trying to figure out who he is and where he fits in, and in the end he comes to see what Jor-El, his Kryptonian father, has sacrificed and given for him. And he also realises how his Earth parents made him who he is. All those themes and notions follow him throughout the whole film. That's something that resonated with me, even from when we started reading the script and started talking about doing this film.
She also discusses Amy Adams's interpretation of Lois Lane:
I think that our Lois is a little feistier and stronger. I think both characters are more realistic to us, to society now. Clark to me was always too good to really relate to. He was a little too much this perfect boy scout, and although Lois was feisty and strong she was still always the one being rescued. Not to say that she doesn't get rescued in our movie, but she rescues him right back, in so many other ways, emotionally. And in our film, in our last setpiece, she has a very strong position. There's something that she needs to accomplish in this plan in order for it to work. I like seeing that she's a really strong female character, and very proactive.
So she isn't just falling off skyscrapers?
No! (laughs) And her apartment is a little more realistic to her job, I think. With the Richard Donner films I was always like "Wow, that apartment – how could she afford that? It's amazing!"
And here's some discussion of Superman's costume, both in terms of the transition from the comics original and in terms of its in-universe function:
We went through so many iterations of the costume and yes, [director] Zack [Snyder] did try very hard to make the underpants on the outside of the costume work – there are nods to it, with the belt and with some of the side detail on the costume, and that just felt more appropriate to the movie we were making. The other thing that was important for Zack was that the costume not come out of nowhere. It had to have a reason. We were building a world. We go to Krypton and we see this world, and we see that everything has its place. If they're in space he wanted it to feel like a space suit, and he wanted it to feel like the underlayer that they would maybe put armour over. It's also a caped society, so when you go to Krypton he wanted to see variations of this costume. And knowing that it was a caped society he wanted that to be evident when we were on Krypton, so when Clark finally finds the costume and puts it on you've established where it's come from.
There's still more at the link. [SFX]
The Avengers 2
Joss Whedon says his script should hopefully avoid common superhero movie sequel pitfalls, such as when the new villain overly dominates the story at the expense of the supposed protagonists:
"Yes, that always makes me cranky. I'm very excited about the villain, and have a lot to say about him. But if you watch my shows, the one thing I've never been very good at is guest stars, because I've always been so interested in the ensemble. With The Avengers, I'm still most fascinated by them. How do these guys feel, and what's the way they conflict, and what's the unexpected way they connect? Forming a team is one story; being a team is a very different story. The other thing is, you don't try to top it. I know I will never make as pleasing a moment in a film as Hulk and Loki. You can't chase that dragon. If you try to do exactly the same thing, the chances you're going to do it better are very slim, and the only reason for me to devote three years to making another Avengers movie is the hope of making a better one."
During an appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Whedon explains one reason why he wants to use Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver in the sequel:
"There are new characters. I already said that we're going to have a brother/sister team, the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, who were great mainstays of The Avengers when I was reading the comics as a kid. Besides the fact that I grew up reading them, their powers are very visually interesting. One of the problems I had on the first one was everybody basically had punchy powers. [Quicksilver]'s got super speed. [Scarlet] can weave spells and a little telekinesis, get inside your head. There's good stuff that they can do that will help sort of keep it fresh."
Hugh Jackman explains why this latest film provides a definitive take on the character he's now played in seven movies.
X-Men: Days of Future Past
Bryan Singer says this latest entry is more than just a sequel to the various different strands of the franchise:
"It's not just another X-Men film; it's not just about the combined cast as there will be certain technologies and other stuff that we haven't seen before in the X-Men films. There are also issues of time and we're messing about with that. I think we've got it figured out. I pitched it to James Cameron when I was in New Zealand last year and he said, ‘Yes, that makes sense.' We wanted an opportunity to bring some of the favourite older and younger characters together. We also wanted to play with the notion of different times and stuff like the way that time affects destinies. It enables the film to not just be a sequel to First Class or X-Men 3 but to actually be its own thing."
Here's a new TV spot.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Lost alum Evangeline Lilly discusses her role as the newly created elf Tauriel:
"She's a very, very young elf. She's only 600 years old, unlike Legolas who's like, 1,900 years old and Thranduil who's about 3,000 years old. She doesn't have quite the wisdom and pose that those two boys do; she's a little more... gritty. A little more spontaneous, passionate perhaps. To play this character I need to have a certain amount of grace. But I'm also supposed to be an absolutely ruthless, deadly killer."
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Creator Joss Whedon says the primary focus of the show isn't to bring in lots of superheroes and other familiar characters from the comics:
It's not what the show is about. The show is about the six people who are in the show. And very week we'll meet somebody that they have to deal with. Some of those people will be very sympathetic, some of them will be evil, some will be from the Marvel canon, some will reference it — but it's not an Easter egg hunt. It really is just about the lives of these people as they're dealing with this super-world.
He also promises that Agent Coulson's resurrection won't be glossed over and the answer will be neither simple nor "a fanwank." He also discusses Coulson and his place in the show and this Marvel universe in general:
You know, he's just a guy. I mean, the whole point of this show is, they're just guys. They're not The Avengers, they're not the fancy ones. They're the people that got sort of hit in the blowback of this super-world. So he's kind of an everyman. He appears to be a very fierce everyman!
It looks like it's going to be sort of a small splinter group of S.H.I.E.L.D. that Coulson is leading. Will they be traveling a lot week to week?
Yeah, we really want to hit the idea that S.H.I.E.L.D. is a global organization, both in terms of what the show means and also just in terms of the visual palette of it. We want to be exciting and different every week. So yeah, they'll be on the road a good deal.
Here's the latest promo for season six.
Here's a promo for this Saturday's episode, "Endless Forms Most Beautiful."