Just how does Cobie Smulders' Agent Maria Hill fit into S.H.I.E.L.D.?Kick-Ass star Aaron Taylor-Johnson discusses the prospect of playing Quicksilver in Age of Ultron. Steven Moffat explains why John Hurt is so essential to restoring Doctor Who's essential mystery. Check out new Elysium, The World's End, and Kick-Ass 2 clips. George R.R. Martin confirms a Game of Thrones casting rumor. Spoilers!

Top image from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

The Avengers: Age of Ultron

Writer-director Joss Whedon explains why the villainous Ultron is so integral to his vision for the franchise:

“I was pitching Ultron before I took the job on the first movie. I was like, ‘I don’t know if I want to do this, but for the second one, you should totally do Ultron.’ Because he’s been a thorn in their side as much as any other character over the years and particularly back in my history. He was great. He’s somebody who can juice things up and he’s a real problem for the Avengers. That’s not always easy to find. It’s not like the Vulture is really going to give them a hard time for 20 minutes.”

[Total Film]

Kick-Ass star Aaron Taylor-Johnson has at least confirmed that he’s been offered the role of Quicksilver, though his latest interview makes it sound like it’s not an absolutely done deal just yet:

For me, it’s always about character, so if you haven’t got the basis of something to grab hold of in the personality, you’re lost. It doesn’t matter if he’s got a fucking great power it’s always about what’s going through that guy’s mind. That character — him and his sister have been abandoned by his mother and father, they’re from Eastern Europe and they look out for each other, they’ve struggled through life. There’s already so much there, and then there’s thousands of comic books to go dive into to get that character, and that’s what you work on really. That piece is such an ensemble that you have to find how that character can really stand out, not only amongst movie stars but iconic superheroes. He’s such a small piece that you don’t just jump onto a job like that and put the suit on, you really need to have some backstory and a mindset for that character, so we’ll keep working on it and we’ll see.

[Bleeding Cool]

How I Met Your Mother’sCobie Smulders, who plays S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Maria Hill, says she doesn’t actually know if she will return for the sequel, but she’s optimistic:

“I don’t know much about Ultron. I have some reading to do, but I’m excited. This is the mystery of Marvel. I don’t know how Maria Hill is affiliated with the Avengers sequel but we’ll see. I’m excited to read the script if it comes my way.”

[Crave Online]


Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Maria Hill actress Cobie Smulders discusses how the Captain America sequel handles its title character and whether this film will address where S.H.I.E.L.D. was during the events of Iron Man 3:

“Oh yes, very much. It’s an entirely different movie [from The Avengers] too. It’s very much reality based and they try to bring the character into the world of now. He was very much affiliated with S.H.I.E.L.D. so watching that dynamic play out is what the movie is… He’s working very closely with Romanoff, with Scarlett [Johansson], so that’s the pairing to focus on.”

[Crave Online]


Thor: The Dark World

Kat Dennings says she expects Darcy Lewis’s role to be expanded in the sequel and that she did participate in the recent reshoots, although she won’t know the precise nature of her role until editing is finished:

Yeah, yes. I mean I don't know how they edit anything, so who knows. I was careful in the first one to underplay everything in case they cut me out of it, but we're about to do some reshoots, so we'll see… It's been hard, but it worked out, thank God," the actress reflected. "I shot the second Thor movie at the same time as the show [Two Broke Girls], so I would fly to London in between shooting. But I'm very happy I did it… She's actually one of the most fun characters I've ever played. I love her a lot and they always give her really fun things to do, so it's great."

[IGN]


Elysium

Here’s another clip.


The World’s End

Here’s a behind-the-scenes featurette.


Kick-Ass 2

Here’s a bunch of new clips. [Coming Soon]


Blade Runner 2

Pop singer Katy Perry says she would like to play Rachael in the sequel, on the grounds that, hey, she sort of looks like Sean Young, a little, if you haven’t looked at photos of either of them in a while and maybe weren’t wearing your glasses at the time. That wasn’t exactly the argument she made, admittedly. [Metro]


The Legend of Conan

Paradox Entertainment CEO Fredrik Malmberg discusses the concept for the latest, Arnold Schwarzenegger-starring Conan movie, for which his company holds the rights:

"The idea is that this takes place AFTER Conan has been king. But this is the legend of Conan where he has been gone and people say, 'do you remember the good ol' days when Conan was around?' And now it's time for him to come back. In the stories and you can also see it when he's sitting on the throne and the narration on that last scene of the movie..."with a troubled brow" ...you can tell he's not really happy being king. So, it's time for him to go out and do battle… The idea for this particular film is that he will be the lead, a lot of people ask if we're going to introduce a son of Conan and passing the torch? The idea is to not. No, this is Conan's movie. This is Arnold's movie!"

You know, this movie will almost certainly be terrible, but there’s a wonderfully nonzero chance that it will be absolutely amazing. You can’t say that about every reheated genre flick. [Coming Soon]


Doctor Who

Steven Moffat says the 50th anniversary special in general and John Hurt’s Doctor in particular will help remind viewers of the character’s inherent mystery:

"We've sort of got to the point, especially if you're a fan, you sort of think you've made a list and you've got everything. And you look at it and think okay, you think you know everything about the Doctor? What's his name? Who is he married to? Who were his children? Did he have any other grandchildren? What was his job? You know nothing about the Doctor... So occasionally we have to remind the audience. He could be lying to you. He is so reticent on information, he hasn't introduced himself in 50 years. So I had that idea [of Hurt's Doctor] kicking around for a while to shock everybody and say this man, who is defined by the secrets he keeps, has got a big one… If you're going to introduce a new Doctor from his past, it's got to be a screen legend. Whoever turns around, you've got to go, 'Wow! That's amazing that they're the Doctor!' It can't just be some bloke."

[Crave]

Rumors based on the latest betting odds mean less than nothing and are generally best ignored, but I’m willing to make a slight exception when a rumor involves Peter Capaldi, better known as the world’s most gloriously, terrifyingly profane Scotsman, The Thick Of It’s Malcolm Tucker. For whatever reason — boredom on the part of gamblers, most likely — Capaldi has surged to the top of William Hill’s current list of contenders. Then again, this is the same list that purports Billie Piper, Daniel Radcliffe, and Hugh Grant to all be 25/1 chances to take on the role, so this really shouldn’t be taken as an indicator of anything. Still, Capaldi is awesome enough to at least be worth mentioning, and his prior guest role on the show would make “The Fires of Pompeii” the answer to one hell of a trivia question, considering that’s also where Karen Gillan made her pre-Amy Who debut. But yeah, grains of salt and all that. [Radio Times]


Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Cobie Smulders discusses her cameo in the pilot as Maria Hill:

"Like Maria Hill's a very highly trained S.H.I.E.L.D. official, I'm a very highly trained not teller of news to anybody," Smulders jokes. "Literally, even when I'm talking to friends, I'm like, 'Can I just tell you that I came from the S.H.I.E.L.D. set? Can I even say that? No.' Obviously when I did it, it was told to me not to say anything. As I was doing press for Safe Haven, a movie that I did a while ago, people kept asking about S.H.I.E.L.D. — at that point I had signed on, but I hadn't done it — so I was like, 'You know, it's a great project. If Maria Hill can be part of the universe, great. Clark's involved and he's the best.' It's nice that it's something I can finally talk about… [Joss Whedon] thought that it would be cool if Maria Hill — and it's so true — was able to basically tell the audience that Coulson is alive. It's the best job ever."

She also notes that Maria Hill alludes to a greater secret surrounding Agent Coulson’s apparent resurrection, and she acknowledges the possibility that the agent might really be a Life Model Decoy:

"That's what everybody thinks. I thought about that as an option for sure. But that was also the cool thing about it — that she's in on that serious secret. What does that mean? I don't even know, but it was so cool."

[TV Guide]

Elsewhere, Cobie Smulders says she really doesn’t know whether she would sign on as a series regular for the second season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. once her How I Met Your Mother duties are completed:

“I don’t even know. It was announced and then all these questions come out. They are an amazing cast. They have amazing story lines and if they want to write one that involves me, I’d be happy to do it, but we’ll see.”

[Crave Online]


Game of Thrones

George R.R. Martin has confirmed that character actor Roger Ashton-Griffiths, whose credits include everything from Brazil to Gangs of New York, will play Mace Tyrell, the father of Loras and Margaery and the son of the Queen of Thorns. [Not a Blog]


True Blood

Here’s the description for episode nine, “Life Matters”:

A desperate Bill (Stephen Moyer) tries to ferry Warlow (Rob Kazinsky) away from the faerie plain, but Sookie (Anna Paquin) is having none of it. Meanwhile, Eric (Alexander Skarsgård) arrives at vamp camp, looking to inflict serious human damage. In Bon Temps, friends and family take emotional turns remembering a fallen neighbor. Bill feels the pull of Lilith’s (Jessica Clark) sirens.

[True Blood]


Under the Dome

Here’s a preview for the next episode, “Imperfect Circles.”

And here are synopses both for that episode and the one following, “Thicker Than Water”:

“Imperfect Circles” – Big Jim takes matters into his own hands when he feels his authority slipping away, and the dome displays its power when a life is taken just as a newborn arrives, on UNDER THE DOME, Monday, August 5 (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.

“Thicker Than Water” – Junior stands up to his father and is shattered when he discovers the truth about his mother’s past. Meanwhile, Julia learns firsthand the powers of the “mini dome,” on UNDER THE DOME, Monday, August 12 (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.

[KSiteTV]


Arrow

Executive producer Marc Guggenheim confirms the return of at least one villain from the first season, although it sounds like that’s only the beginning:

"Kelly Hu is absolutely coming back. She comes back in episode 2," Guggenheim said. "She not only comes back, but we were dead-set on not just bringing back China White, but bringing back China White and showing her in a new way and with a new dimension than just what we did last year. There's no point in bringing her back, just to repeat same-old, same-old. We do one new scene where you go, 'Ooh! That's a China White we didn't see last year.'… Part of the enjoyment of Season 2 for us is how do you combine the old — not the old — but the Season 1 villains with the new Season 2 villains. That's part of the fun of the show. It's part of the fun of any superhero show. The superhero mythos, the rogues' gallery. I think we've done a fairly okay job of rounding out his rogues' gallery, and it's about building onto that in Season 2."

He also confirms that John Barrowman will return as Malcolm Merlyn, although he hints that will probably just be in flashbacks. [Zap2It]


The Originals

Star Joseph Morgan says Klaus isn’t primarily concerned with his unborn child:

"At the moment, currently, if we take him at the point where we left off, where he was at the end of the backdoor pilot, I think he's absolutely more concerned with becoming king. He's for whatever will make him the most powerful, so he really is 100% behind that, but I don't know what's going to happen with the child. I've only read the first two episodes of the season so far. I think, I would hope he gets behind the idea a little more because I think there's something so appealing to me about playing this monster that has this tiny little baby that he cares more about than anything in the world. I think that's a really exciting idea for me. But right now, he's all about the throne."

He also says Klaus will feel some remorse for moving against Marcel:

"We absolutely will yeah. Even in what I've read so far, my sort of suspicions about the relationship, he's a little torn because Marcel meant a lot to Klaus back in the day and much in fact you could draw a parallel with the relationship he had with Stefan in Chicago. They were really—well, Stefan was more of a brother and Marcel, I think in a way, started out as more of a son to Klaus, so yeah, he's absolutely torn but he's also, I think, insulted by the way Marcel thinks he can run things now and he is very needy, Klaus, and he needs to be paid the right respect, the respect he feels he is due."

There’s a full video interview with Morgan at the link. [Gather]

Co-creator Julie Plec explains the fundamental difference between this show and The Vampire Diaries:

"The way we like to look at it is that we had an audience grow up with us [on The Vampire Diaries] for four years and it was a coming-of-age story with first love and struggles as vampires. Originals is a show that is not about struggling as a vampire, but reveling in it. It's about embracing vampirism."

[TV Guide]

And here’s another interview with Joseph Morgan and Charles Michael Davis.


Haven

Erstwhile Eureka star Colin Ferguson describes his upcoming return to Syfy:

"There is sort of a strange connection between Audrey and I; whoever she is, wherever she is, whenever she is. It's quasi-attraction, it's quasi-friendship, yet at the same time you're not sure if I'm trying to help her or hurt her. I'm in eight episodes and I am still alive at the end of the eight."

[BuddyTV]


Additional reporting by Amanda Yesilbas and Charlie Jane Anders.