Matt Damon has a top-secret role in Christopher Nolan's Interstellar!

A former James Bond might be the top choice to play the new Alfred to Ben Affleck's Batman. Two young actors have supposedly read for roles in Star Wars: Episode VII. Vin Diesel offers some deep thoughts on Guardians of the Galaxy and Riddick. Spoilers on the way!

Top image from Guardians of the Galaxy.

Star Wars: Episode VII

I’d bust out the grains of salt for this one, but there are now two new actors rumored to be in the running for roles in the new Star Wars movie. The bigger of the two names is Alex Pettyfer –- who made a forgettable foray into sci-fi fare with the starring role of I Am Number Four but also did a decent job as a vapid stripper in Magic Mike, so I guess that’s something –- who has reportedly read for some unknown role, which theoretically could be Luke Skywalker’s son, but really could just as theoretically be a space- and time-displaced Winston Churchill, so it’s probably best to keep speculation to a minimum until we have anything more to go on.

The other rumored name is British actress Rachel Hurd-Wood, who played Wendy Darling in a 2003 adaptation of Peter Pan and actually got nominated for a Saturn Award for her supporting turn in Perfume: The Story of a Murderer. She’s reportedly the first of multiple contenders to read for the part of the daughter of Princess Leia and Han Solo, although, again, I really don’t think we can rule out this whole time-displaced Churchill idea for her either. In any case, this is all unsourced rumors, so take with all the grains of salt. [Latino Review]


Man of Steel 2

With Ben Affleck officially ensconced as the new Batman, the question now becomes just who will take over the roles of his supporting cast. The rumored top contender to succeed Michael Caine as Alfred is none other than Timothy Dalton, the former James Bond who more recently proved he’s still quite the formidable foe (not to mention a terrific actor) in Hot Fuzz. This would presumably portend a somewhat more action-oriented interpretation of the Alfred character than either Caine or Michael Gough provided, and this might even mean this new take on Alfred will incorporate his occasional comics and animation backstory as a Cold War-era spy. Still, that’s all just speculation based on a single, uncorroborated rumor, so let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves. [Cosmic Book News]


Guardians of the Galaxy

Vin Diesel talks some more about how excited he is to play Groot, even if he still hasn’t technically been cast yet, as far as anyone can tell:

“The idea of bringing that physicality to a CGI character always tantalized me. To strip away everything is insane. In this case, the voice plays heavily into it, too. I don’t know what kind of dialogue will be in it, but even if it stayed true to character, there's so much one can do with ‘I am Groot.’ It’s the kind of challenge very few actors ever get.”

[Huffington Post]


Interstellar

Adding to what is already an all-star cast even by Christopher Nolan’s standards, Matt Damon has reportedly joined space exploration epic in an undisclosed role. The “undisclosed” bit isn’t unusual in a Nolan film, admittedly, but Damon reportedly is only filming for about two weeks in Iceland, whereas the rest of the cast – which includes Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Castain, and Michael Caine (obviously) – will be filming for closer to four months. Two weeks likely means Damon’s role is significantly more than a cameo, and his stature probably means his part falls into the “small but pivotal” category. [The Playlist]


Riddick

Franchise star Vin Diesel explains how this new Riddick film came to be, and why it’s necessarily such a departure from its predecessor, the relatively big-budget Chronicles of Riddick:

When we were doing The Chronicles of Riddick, back in 2003, David [Twohy] and I put together three leather binder, and each leather binder had a lock. They were those binders that you could lock. And we gave them to the head of the studio with one key. On the first binder, it said [COR] I, the second binder said [COR] II and the third binder said [COR] III. At that production level, the amount of money that we were spending at that point, we were thinking of going directly to the Underverse for [COR] II, and then to Furya for [COR] III. When years and years started to go by and we weren’t delivering the next chapter, we had to make a very conscious decision to find a way to tell the next chapter, continue the story and continue the mythology, even if it meant we weren’t going to get the size budget we had just had on The Chronicles of Riddick.

Luckily for us, there was an outcry from social media to make this one rated R, which did two things. It ruled out all possibilities of a studio backing it. As you know, rated R movies are few and far between, nowadays. We’re all seeing less and less rated R movies, and less and less of them are being made. We had to take a more independent route, so I went to Europe, to a film market, and presented what this film was going to be, and got foreign money to start this movie and to be the bulk of the financing for the movie. And then, it was up to us to take that somewhat limited means, especially in comparison to where we were on Chronicles, and tell a story with those limited means. Thank god, the audience wanted it rated R because that justified, in some ways, taking a more independent route.

He also discusses his big fight sequence with wrestler-turned-actor Dave Bautista, who plays Diaz in Riddick and is currently filming his role as Drax the Destroyer in Guardians of the Galaxy:

First of all, David Bautista came in and was just great. I remember when he was auditioning, I immediately saw something. I immediately saw some potential… This was done a little bit differently [than with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in Fast Five] because we were still focusing on the Johns (Matt Nable) and Dahl (Katee Sackhoff) characters, and all the characters who are part of the mercs. But, I remember that day. I got spoiled on Fast Five. I started to get self-conscious about fight sequences because, invariably, the other person would get hurt, and you never want anyone to be hurt on a film, let alone you being responsible. The great thing about working with these guys who have spent their lives choreographing fights for wrestling is that that’s their specialty. Their specialty is selling taking hits. Their specialty is selling explosive hits without really making a contact, or really doing too much damage. So, I was able to exploit that for the Fast Five fight, as well as with David Bautista. He’s the only character in Riddick that our protagonist fights to that degree, in part because he was conditioned to do that. He was such a great choice to have that fight sequence with.

There’s still plenty more at the link, even if it does mostly consist of Vin Diesel’s alternately profound and incoherent musings. [Collider]


Divergent

Here’s a behind-the-scenes video detailing the movie’s dystopian world and its basic story. [Coming Soon]


Transformers 4

Here’s a bunch more set videos, the first of which includes a glimpse of Frasier star Kelsey Grammer, who is reportedly playing the movie’s villain. Check out the link for more, including a ton of high-res set photos of various cast members, including Grammer and Stanley Tucci. [Comic Book Movie]


World of Warcraft

Moon and Source Code director Duncan Jones’s attempt to translate the long-running fantasy world from computer games to the big screen will reportedly start filming on January 13, 2014. [@ProdWeek]


Game of Thrones

Dutch actor Michiel Huisman, whose previous roles include the drug-addicted musician Sonny on Treme and the scoundrel music producer Liam McGuinnis on Nashville, has reportedly joined the show’s fourth season in an unknown recurring role. [TV Line]


Person of Interest

Here’s the complete official description of the third season premiere, “Liberty,” which airs September 24:

IT'S FLEET WEEK IN NEW YORK CITY, MAKING THE HUNT FOR ONE U.S. NAVAL OFFICER AMONG A SEA OF SAILORS EVEN MORE DIFFICULT, ON THE THIRD SEASON PREMIERE OF "PERSON OF INTEREST," ON A NEW NIGHT, TUESDAY, SEPT. 24

“Liberty” – The Machine, now completely self-governed with its whereabouts unknown, resumes giving Finch its “irrelevant” numbers for people in danger, which include a U.S. naval officer in town for Fleet Week. However, with so many sailors flooding the streets of New York City, finding the officer in time presents an even bigger challenge for Reese and Shaw. Meanwhile, Carter has been demoted to a patrol officer as a result of her being set up by the corrupt police crime organization HR, and sets a plan in motion to eradicate them for good. Also, Root tests the boundaries of her new asylum surroundings, on the third season premiere of PERSON OF INTEREST, Tuesday, Sept. 24 (10:00 – 11:00 PM ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.

[SpoilerTV]


Sleepy Hollow

Here’s a promo. [KSiteTV]


The Vampire Diaries

Australian actor Rick Cosnett has reportedly been cast as Dr. Wes Maxfield, a new antagonist for Caroline and Elena. The character is described as “a brilliant — and somewhat cocky — professor at Whitmore College, and after meeting him, Caroline (Candice Accola) and Elena (Nina Dobrev) begin to think he's hiding a dark and dangerous secret.” [TV Guide]


The Originals

Todd Stashwick, who played the drug dealer Drexel in one episode of Revolution, has been cast in a recurring role as Father Kieran. Co-creator Julie Plec describes the role:

“Kieran is a tortured Priest with a dark past. Once a powerful and pragmatic diplomat between the humans and the various supernatural factions in New Orleans, he returns home looking for answers about a personal tragedy but finds a very different landscape than when he left.”

[EW]

Chicago Fire’s Alexandra Metz has reportedly landed a guest arc as Katie, described as “a beautiful and mysterious witch with a hidden agenda that will have shocking ramifications for the supernatural community of New Orleans.” [Deadline]


American Horror Story: Coven

FX has set a premiere date of Wednesday, October 9. It’s also released this official synopsis:

"Coven" tells the secret history of witches and witchcraft in America. Over 300 years have passed since the turbulent days of the Salem witch trials and those who managed to escape are now facing extinction. Mysterious attacks have been escalating against their kind and young girls are being sent away to a special school in New Orleans to learn how to protect themselves. Wrapped up in the turmoil is new arrival, Zoe (Farmiga), who is harboring a terrifying secret of her own. Alarmed by the recent aggression, Fiona (Lange), the long-absent Supreme, sweeps back into town, determined to protect the Coven and hell-bent on decimating anyone who gets in her way.

And here’s the latest promo. [TV Guide]

The fifth episode of the season will reportedly be called “Burn, Witch, Burn.” [SpoilerTV]


Additional reporting by Katharine Trendacosta and Charlie Jane Anders.