Reports of Emperor Palpatine's death may have been exaggerated...

At least, that's what the latest Star Wars: Episode VII casting rumor might have us believe. Could Jim Carrey have an unexpected, villainous cameo in The Amazing Spider-Man 2? Judy Greer reveals what it's like going ape for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Plus another DC Comics character comes to Arrow. Spoilers right now!

Top image from Arrow.

Star Wars: Episode VII

While it’s all well and good to talk about bringing back the main trio from the original trilogy plus fondly remembered supporting players like Lando Calrissian, Chewbacca, and… I don’t know, I guess we’re down to the droids and Wedge Antilles after that, really… anyway, for all the talk of bringing back old heroes, there’s been relatively little discussion of bringing back old villains.

However, a new rumor states that Ian McDiarmid—who, at 69, is still going to need lots of old-age makeup—is going to return as Emperor Palpatine in the sequel. Considering McDiarmid tended to be one of the few consistently good things about the last attempt to make a new Star Wars trilogy, his return should be welcome, although it does raise some thorny continuity questions considering his character did rather spectacularly die, what with being thrown down a miles-long shaft in a space station that was subsequently blown up quite comprehensively. The tie-in novels long ago solved this problem, of course, with the introduction of clones of the Emperor — although what comments there have been from LucasFilm about the new movies have generally indicated a desire to distance themselves from the books, so it isn’t necessarily a safe assumption that the Emperor in Episode VII would be a clone. Then again, it’s also not a safe assumption that the Emperor is going to appear in Episode VII at all, so take this with a grain of salt until we hear something more substantial. [Jedi News]


Captain America: The Winter Soldier

New cast member Anthony Mackie describes some of his action scenes as Falcon:

“I did a lot of the action, a lot of flying around, I would say once you see how I fly, it blows your mind. For me, one of the coolest things about the movie is that whole effect and I was the one playing him! I was like a kid in a candy store.”

Co-director Anthony Russo talks about the overall feel and look of the film:

“We had a strong vision for the movie, a specific direction to move in that was different from everything they've done up to this point, and the Marvel team were very supportive. The film is shot handheld, there's aggressive camera work in it, Cap fights very differently than he did in his previous films, but we were able to re-set him in a way, because time has passed and he's embraced the modern world. Now he's working for S.H.I.E.L.D., he wants to be the best operative he can be [and] study different forms of fighting… There are a lot of clips we pulled from '70s thrillers, some of our favourite films to show to the creative team. We're big fans of De Palma and the way he would eke out tension in scenes. We grew up cinephiles and film fanatics, and for us this was a chance to try our hand at stuff that inspired us as kids.”

[Empire Online]

Here’s an interview with directors Joe and Anthony Russo. [IGN Movies]


The Amazing Spider-Man 2

There’s a report going around that Jim Carrey recently visited the set of Marc Webb’s second Spider-Man movie, and there’s a fan photo supposedly taken near the set that is being put forward as proof. While none of that seems especially controversial — it’s not unheard of for actors to just visit movie sets, and Jim Carrey seems like the kind of guy to randomly pop up on the set for no particular reason — the bigger leap is in suggesting Carrey actually has a role in the film, and the even bigger, positively gargantuan leap is that he’s playing Cletus Kasady, the human host for the Carnage symbiote. This is apparently based on two factors, the first being that Carrey showed up during filming at the location of the Ravencroft Institute, which is where the criminally insane Kasady was imprisoned in the comics, and the second being that Carrey was supposedly up for the role of Kasady in Sam Raimi’s canceled Spider-Man 4.

Now, even the linked report suggests that tying Carrey to the Carnage role based on all this is adding 2 and 2 to make 5, although I’d say this is closer to adding 2 and 2 to make 5 million. Either way, it’s possible that Carrey has some small role — almost certainly a cameo — in the upcoming film, even if Cletus Kasady does seem unlikely, if only because it seems difficult, if not impossible, to introduce Carnage without first going to the trouble of bringing back Venom as well, even though that character appears marked for a long-simmering spin-off movie. But yeah, it seems way more likely that Carrey was just randomly visiting the set, as Jim Carrey is wont to do. [Yahoo!]


Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The great Judy Greer discusses the creation of her character Cordelia, the ape love interest of Andy Serkis’s Caesar:

"I saw her! Dan Lemmon, who is one of the guys working on the look of the apes, and is the boss of me, he showed me a picture of her. And it was on my first day of actually shooting. I couldn't believe it. It took my breath away seeing her. She's so beautiful and regal and very feminine. I really felt like I was looking at a lady… Andy Serkis is the master [of motion capture], but Terry Notary is the godfather, so he taught me everything I know. I got there late in the process, so I learned a lot on set from my amazing fellow apes. They were helping me out – when we were waiting around for setups, I'd be, 'Can we practice quad walking? Can I get my half-crutches? Is this good?' 'No, keep your butt down!'"

[Empire Online]


Tomorrowland

Screenwriter Damon Lindelof explains how to think about the still cryptic premise for Brad Bird and George Clooney’s sci-fi epic:

“When we first started talking about it, the movie we were referencing was Close Encounters, so people incorrectly deduced that it was about some sort of alien contact, which we've ruled out. But that movie was about discovery. It was about that level of excitement of, 'There's something out there, and it inspires me and I can't quite explain why it inspires me, but I need to know more about it. I need to get to it.' That became the driving, fundamental feel behind it. We're not trying to make a Spielberg movie, this is very much a Brad Bird movie, but I feel like that's the vibe… What does it evoke? When you close your eyes and think of three things that it makes you picture when I say Tomorrowland, those are the things that should be in the movie, not necessarily the theme park ride Space Mountain.”

There’s some more from Bird himself at the link. [Empire Online]


Kick-Ass 2

Here’s a featurette on the big showdown between Chloe Grace Moretz’s Hit Girl and Olga Kurkulina’s Mother Russia. [Film School Rejects]


Mortal Instruments: City of Bones

Novelist Cassandra Clare explains what led her to write the original book, the adaptation of which is set to be released next week:

I had just moved to New York when I conceived the idea, and it was September of 2001. It was literally two weeks before 9/11, and I sort of had to reevaluate my whole life in the light of what had happened. I was walking around New York and I was looking at the “missing” posters and the ashes and the sights of the city and was sort of grief-stricken. And I really did think, “Well, this is why we have superheroes, isn’t it? We imagine people out there with greater powers who can rescue us from things that seem impossible to fight off.” It sort of made me start thinking about superheroes and how they work, and then thinking about writing my own superhero story. But one of the things I definitely wanted to incorporate was that superheroes have super powers, and there’s an old quote that says, “Sufficiently advanced technology is akin to magic.” So I said, what about a race of people who are tasked with protecting us, but they are people – they are hurt and they get injured and they get bloody and bruised and they die young and they sacrifice themselves, and this is not such a fun job. It is tough to be a Shadowhunter – it is really hard. And then what if I take a completely ordinary girl and throw her into the mix of that. She’s being told, “Look, you have to become Superman, but without any of his powers.” How does that go?

What parts of the series’ mythology did you know would have to be condensed or altered to fit into a film?
Backstory, mostly. There’s a huge backstory. I mean, whenever people do the “What is it, Twilight meets The Hunger Games?” The this or that, and I guess it’s sort of like Harry Potter meets Game of Thrones – that’s the weirdest comparison. It’s a hero story, but it has a huge backdrop of backstory of millions of characters and an incredibly complicated magical system – and I knew that a lot of that was going to have to be condensed down. Because how do you introduce that much mythology without people kind of going into information overload? So the backstory is definitely trimmed down, and hopefully going forward, God willing, they’ll make more movies and they’ll be able to kind of introduce it more in increments. But I think that was the thing that I knew was going to have to be drastically reduced.

There’s still plenty more at the link. [Spinoff Online]


True Blood

Here’s a promo for the season finale, “Radioactive.”

Deborah Ann Woll discusses the consequences for her character Jessica and others who drank Bill’s blood:

"We'll see what that does to us moving forward. One thing I really like about our show is that when it comes to the blood of vampires or fae, we treat it like a drug, where it's not going to necessarily affect everyone the same way. Blood from different creatures at different ages or depending on how they live their lives are all going to affect you differently… Hell yeah, absolutely I did [think Jessica was going to die]. When I read about what I did to Andy's [Chris Bauer] daughters, my first thought was, 'I don't know how Jessica Hamby and Andy Bellefleur can be on the same show after something like that. One of them is going to have to go.' I was 90 percent sure that prophecy at the beginning just meant that I was going to bite it. They made me kill teenagers! They made me kill children. I was like, 'Oh boy, I think that's it.' It was a pleasant surprise and exciting to see Bill get there and save all of our lives."

[TV Guide]


Under the Dome

Star Dean Norris discusses what’s ahead for the town, including his character Big Jim and new addition Maxine, as played by Justified and The Following costar Natalie Zea:

You're going to see a side of Big Jim to really make you feel sorry for him and go, "Oh wow, he's much more humane and human than we'd peg him to be."

What can you tell us about Natalie Zea's character?

You're going to see that there's a connection between Big Jim and Natalie Zea's character. By the way, she's one of my favorite actresses. I was so happy when she got cast. I'm a big Natalie Zea fan and she knocks it out of the park.

How will her introduction affect both Barbie (Mike Vogel) and Big Jim?
They're going to have to deal with each other in a way that they didn't realize they had to before. That plays out toward the end of the series.

How will the town try to utilize the mini-dome in order to control the big dome?
The mini-dome becomes the source of power. The question is: When does Big Jim find out about the mini-dome, what does he do about it, what does he know about it and what is he going to do to take control of it?

[TV Guide]


Arrow

The show apparently isn’t forgetting the mountains of potential criminal charges against Moira Queen for her culpability in the Undertaking, and a familiar name from the comics has been picked out to represent her:

JEAN LORING is a savvy attorney from the DC COMICS UNIVERSE who would do anything for her clients. Jean makes her way onto “Arrow” as a longtime friend and legal counsel to Moira Queen, who is on trial for her role in the destruction of The Glades, but soon finds herself pulled into the scandalous lives of the entire Queen family.

Stargate SG-1 actress Teryl Rothery will play the part, and she has tweeted that she is set to appear in three to four episodes. [SpoilerTV]


Additional reporting by Amanda Yesilbas and Charlie Jane Anders.