Guess who's playing a villain in Arrow and Hunger Games: Mockingjay!

Peter Jackson gives details about the filming of The Hobbit's barrel scene. Will James McAvoy be in X-Men: Apocalypse? Samuel L. Jackson may be joining Tarzan. Plus, find out more about the 12 Monkeys TV show, and Lafayette's new boyfriend on True Blood. Spoilers now!

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay

Here's the first of the Robert Knepper-related news for today: the Prison Break star is set to play the character of Antonius in the final two Hunger Games movies. What's that? There's no such character in the books? That is true, Knepper appears to be playing a character created just for the movies. Antonius is apparently a minister to President Snow, and, given that the movies have taken to showing incidents in the Capitol that Katniss isn't aware of, this new character follows that tradition. [Slashfilm]


The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Peter Jackson explained how they filmed the famous barrel scene and that they actually lost three barrels doing it:

We had these big V8 water-jet things that we built on a circle – it was like a theme park – about as big as this room. And we were worried because we thought, how fast can we actually grind, wind the engine up, because we could sort of wind it up at speed and, you know, we'd better be careful, you know, because we don't know quite, it's gonna be unpredictable and it was. And we had stunt guys doing it, round and round, and testing it and everything else, but you know, these are actors, they're a little bit fragile (laughter). But by the end of the first day, the guys were just yelling, "Faster! Faster! Get it faster, faster, faster!" And we had it on max, we had the thing going on maximum pretty quickly.

But one of the things that doesn't really get referenced in the barrels is we also did another shoot on a different river in New Zealand, called the Awatere River in the North Island. And that was a shoot where – that's a particular river, it's like a gorge or a canyon, a rocky canyon that stretches about a mile and right at the head of the canyon is a big dam, and four times a day they open up the sluice gates and they just let this enormous torrent of water out, and they let it out for 10 minutes and then they close the gates again. And so we got a lot of the really kind of hair-raising barrel stuff in the Awatere. It would be too dangerous to put a stunt guy down. I mean, we didn't even dare put anyone in the barrels. We sent the barrels down completely empty and we put the digital Dwarves in later. But that got some of the more dramatic footage, was this – and it was just, it was great because we could set up the cameras when it was dry in between the dumps and we set up about six cameras right the way down the length of the gorge, and then we were there for about three days and every single, you know, four times a day on the dot, these things would open for 10 minutes. And we had a team up, throwing the barrels in, at the top. And we had another guys – you didn't know what the hell was gonna happen to them, you had just to – they just were filmed on the way down and we had a team at the bottom recovering the barrels. We lost three of them. I mean, to this day, we don't know where three of those barrels have gone.

More at the link. [Comic Book Resources]

In an interview, Luke Evans discussed his character, Bard the Bowman, and how his role's been expanded for the films:

But they added lots of new story; parts of Bard's storyline have been now fleshed out. And we now get to understand a little more about his background, and his family life, and where he lives, and the problems he deals with on a daily basis. And also, you see his animosity towards the dwarfs when he finds out exactly why they are in Lake-town is that they want to take back Erebor, their mountain, which has got a dragon sleeping in it.

I thought it was very nice and clever how they made Bard's storyline a little bit more active. He's a bit more vocal than he is in the book, just so that you get to know him a little bit more before he does that amazing thing in the third movie, which we don't obviously want to spoil. But it's a big deal.

. . . He's way more than just a Bowman. He's a family man and he lives in this incredibly sort of controlled, corrupt state, which is Lake-town. And he's sort of the people's hero in a way. They see him as one of their own. So when he speaks they sort of listen. And he has probably more respect than the master of Lake-town, which is why the master of Lake-town does what he does in the second movie and gets him put in prison because he seems like a troublemaker and he's stirring up the mutiny.

More at the link. [First Showing]


X-Men: Days of Future Past

While James McAvoy isn't confirming that he'll be in the just-announced X-Men: Apocalypse, he did point out that he's under contract for another X-Men film. He also talked about the many different Xaviers at play in these films:

The personal pleasure for me in 'First Class' was presenting a Charles Xavier to the fans, but also a new audience, who's very different from the Charles that you expected. But he was still very sort of 'Everything's going good!' In the second movie I get to present another version of Charles Xavier who's still very different from the Charles that used to exist, but he's also remarkably different from the Charles in 'First Class' as well. So what's great is that even though it's a sequel, even though it's a franchise, I keep getting to reinvent Charles Xavier and that's amazing. I've got to do it twice now, because the Charles in this film is unrecognizable from the Charles in the last film as well unrecognizable from the Charles played by Patrick Stewart, who I then get to face up to. That's sort of theatrical almost, it's like we're playing a game with the audience saying 'Look at the many faces of Charles-Patrick-Stewart-Xavier-McAvoy. It's really good fun.

[Coming Soon]


Tarzan

Samuel L. Jackson is reportedly in talks to appear in David Yates' re-imagining of Tarzan. If all goes well, he'll join Alexander Skarsgard and Christoph Waltz in the cast. [Coming Soon]


Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Here's the poster, which seems to be based on the images of the ape army from the official website.

Guess who's playing a villain in Arrow and Hunger Games: Mockingjay!S


The Legend of Hercules

Below are a few pictures from The Legend of Hercules. More at the link. [MTV]

Guess who's playing a villain in Arrow and Hunger Games: Mockingjay!S

Guess who's playing a villain in Arrow and Hunger Games: Mockingjay!S

Guess who's playing a villain in Arrow and Hunger Games: Mockingjay!S

Guess who's playing a villain in Arrow and Hunger Games: Mockingjay!S


Arrow

And here the second bit of Robert Knepper news: the actor will play the villain William Tockman, AKA the "Clock King." Knepper's version of the Clock King will appear in episode fourteen, the same episode which will see Alex Kingston return as Dinah Lance. [TV Line]

Following on last night's midseason finale, here's Colton Haynes explaining why Roy ends up in the hands of Brother Blood, and his concerns over Roy's possible costumes:

Roy is a bit of a rebel on the show, but I still get the feeling that he's looking for someone to mentor him. Is that part of what gets him involved with Brother Blood?

No, it really happens because Roy is always poking his head in everyone's business and getting involved in things behind the scenes. What happens is that Roy is snooping for information and eventually gets clocked over the head and taken. [Laughs] It's almost like it was in the episode last year, where he was kidnapped. He's getting himself into more trouble, and I think that could present itself in a way where Roy more sees the dark side of things. Which route is he going to choose? Is he going to wait in the wings where Oliver wants him to stay, or is he possibly going to join the dark side and get to do more than what he's done in the past?

. . . Looking down the road, everything we've talked about aside, the big question around Roy is whether he'll join Oliver fully and morph into some version of Speedy. Are you hopeful or worried about the possibility of being fitted for a costume?

I am looking forward to it, if it happens. That would be incredible. But I am a little nervous about it. Luckily, as we've all seen, I've gotten to keep my clothes on this season, which I'm so excited about, especially after Thanksgiving. But I've seen the costumes for all of the possibilities, whether it be Red Arrow, Speedy or Arsenal, and they're quite revealing! [Laughs] So I'm going to do my best to bribe Greg [Berlanti], Andrew [Kreisberg] and Marc [Guggenheim] and see if they can maybe make it so I won't have to be so scared to go to work in the cold every day.

[Comic Book Resources]

And Grant Gustin says he doesn't have a pilot for the Flash spinoff yet, but he has been measured for his costume. And despite not knowing what's in store for the spinoff, he did hint at Barry Allen's future on Arrow, saying:

A lot of good Barry/Felicity scenes. That's mostly what's happening. And then the beginning of an origin for Flash.

. . . [Barry will] find some confidence as his friendship with Oliver develops and with the team, in general, just because I think they're gonna help instill a lot of confidence in him that's lacking right now. I think that'll be the biggest change soon to come.

[TV Equals]

Finally, here's Stephen Amell's take on Oliver's reaction to the Felicity/Barry relationship:

I don't think he's particularly pleased with it, but he's also not jealous. And he would like Felicity, and everyone in his life, to be happy, so he certainly doesn't stand in the way of any blossoming young love.

[E! Online]


True Blood

Lafayette's going to have a serious boyfriend in season 7. The show's casting for Drake, a series regular who is a vampire described as a cross between Jim Morrison and James Dean. More importantly, the casting call also asks for a twenty-something that is comfortable performing in simulated, near-naked sex scenes with another man. [TV Line]

According to Anna Paquin, the bar battle that was brewing last season will be "resolved" quickly. And Stephen Moyer teased for the premiere:

Bill and Sam got together and kind of came up with this idea that each human should have their own vampire protecting them, so that's another theme that we will follow throughout the season.

[E! Online]


12 Monkeys

The Syfy pilot will be filmed in Detroit, and the Michigan Film Office described the plot thusly:

[12 Monkeys] follows the journey of a time traveler from the post-apocalyptic future who appears in present day on a mission to locate and eradicate the source of a deadly plague that will eventually decimate the human race.

[Crain's Detroit Business]


Once Upon a Time

According to executive producers Eddy Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, the midseason finale is more like a season finale, with the second half of the season more functioning as a new season:

Horowitz: The midseason finale is meant to tie up all of the arcs and loose ends from the first half of this season, while also endeavoring to carry over the story into what we are hoping is a compelling new mode of storytelling in the second half.

Kitsis: By the end of Episode 11, most of the loose ends are tied up. Like, 'Does Tink get her wings back?' — all these questions will be answered. It will feel very much like a season finale, and we are very much setting up what will be a season premiere in March.

And when that second half starts, it'll look more like season 1 – focused on action in Storybrooke and the Enchanted Forest. [TV Line]


The Vampire Diaries

Klaus will return in early 2014, and he won't be returning alone. [TV Line]

Here's another sneak peek at episode 5.10, "Fifty Shades of Grayson." [via SpoilerTV]


Grimm

Bitsie Tulloch (who plays Juliette Silverton) hinted that Sergeant Wu's close to finding out Nick's secret:

There's a big, big episode involving Wu coming up, and I can't give it away because it's too cool. But it's not what you'd necessarily expect to happen. I guess you could say his reaction will be a lot different from anybody else's…

[Sci Fi Now]

Below are preview photos of Alexis Denisof as the new villain, Viktor, cousin of Sean Reynard and Eric. Denisof describes the character this way:

His goal is the be the center and ruler of the entire universe and so he's eliminating all obstacles. It's not easy to rule the world and there are quote a few steps along the way….He's stepping into a very complicated situation.

He has his suspicions of the who, what, when, and where of the murder [of Eric], and he brings Adalind into his alliance to figure out the details of that.

. . . He's sort of a charismatic megalomaniac. I like the character because he's doing everything with confidence and panache. He's the poshest character I've ever attempted.

[Entertainment Weekly]

Guess who's playing a villain in Arrow and Hunger Games: Mockingjay!S

Guess who's playing a villain in Arrow and Hunger Games: Mockingjay!S

Guess who's playing a villain in Arrow and Hunger Games: Mockingjay!S


Bitten

Here's the first trailer for Syfy's werewolf series. [TV Equals]


Agents of SHIELD

Here's the promo for episode 11. [via SpoilerTV]

Additional reporting by Charlie Jane Anders and Jason Krell