There's another new Star Wars casting rumor. Peter Jackson explains why he added elves to The Hobbit, and whether he'll direct an episode of Doctor Who. And Robert Kirkman says you will always know when it's a character's last moment on The Walking Dead. Plus, the first poster from Godzilla. Spoilers now!
Top image: Godzilla
The latest actor to join the ever-evolving list of possible cast members of Star Wars is Jack O'Connell. He was previously in seasons three and four of Skins and will be seen in next years 300: Rise of an Empire and Angelina Jolie's Unbroken. Bleeding Cool says they have two "very dependable voices" putting O'Connell in the running for a "key role," and that he's already met with J.J. Abrams. As usual, nothing's confirmed, and O'Connell's just the latest name. [Slashfilm]
Amazing Spider-Man Sequels
Even though Sony's announced plans to do Amazing Spider-Man 3 and 4, Andrew Garfield's only committed to do the third. And he's recently hinted that he may not be in the fourth:
I mean I'm under contract for another one after this… as far as a fourth one? That's not anything to do with me. But yeah, I think what we're doing here is we've established the world. And now we get to really play inside that world.
He also discussed what he liked about doing Amazing Spider-Man 2:
I think there was something missing in the first one because our focus wasn't on character as much we were trying to keep a number of plates spinning in the air – How can we reintroduce the character? How do we not upset this guy or this guy? That was a tough wasteland we had to move through. Now we could say, 'who is this guy?' How can we best serve Spider-Man?'
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Wondering why Legolas is going to be in this film, when he's nowhere in the book? Here's Peter Jackson's answer:
People always ask about Evangeline's character Tauriel and why we felt the need to create her. But in The Hobbit novel, [the dwarves] are captured by the elves and they escape in the barrels. And it's a memorable part of the book but the Elf King is not even named. He doesn't have a name. And it was only later on that Tolkien decided it should be Thranduil and he also decided he should have a son when Lord of the Rings was written 18-19 years later. He created the character of the son of the king.
So you've got material there but you can't have a scene in a film that's a memorable scene with just one person as the Elf. We wanted three Elven characters. That's the thing too, to create characters and have conflict with each other and they have different agendas. Thranduil, Legolas and Tauriel are all on different flight paths which makes it much more interesting ability for Fran [Walsh] and I to tell the narrative through their eyes.
World War Z 2
There's no script, or even writer, yet, but the sequel has a director. It won't be Marc Forster, who directed the first movie, but Juan Antonio Bayona, who directed The Impossible and The Orphanage. [Slashfilm]
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
The release date has been moved forward a week to July 11, 2014. This may be in anticipation of Universal moving Fast & Furious 7's date, following the death of Paul Walker. [Coming Soon]
Here's the new poster:
The Legend of Hercules
Here's the first TV spot for the Kellan Lutz-starring Hercules movie. (Not to be confused with the one with Dwayne Johnson.) [via Coming Soon]
NBC's pilot about a robot accused of murder and his public defender has cast its male lead: Patrick Heusinger, who played the bounty hunter Adam on Revolution. Heusinger plays a robot, who had been a valet to his owner/builder, and he is now accused of his murder. [Deadline]
Remember when Peter Jackson said he wanted to direct an episode of Doctor Who? Well, he's now saying that the discussions about it are "actually kind of serious." He went on to say:
I would be very happy to. I'd love to try my hand at television, because I've never had the discipline of having to shoot for those impossibly tiny schedules. I think I could do it okay now.
The Walking Dead
Following the midseason finale, Robert Kirkman spoke with Comic Book Resources about what's to come when the show returns and how the rest of this season will play off the comic. He gave this roundabout answer to the question about Baby Judith's ambiguous fate:
It's certainly shot in a way that facilitates what comes next. Unfortunately, I can't reveal what that "next" is. It's entirely possible that that baby is dead, and it's entirely possible that that baby isn't. We'll just have to wait and see. What I will say is that whatever changes we've made to that storyline is done to initiate some really cool stuff moving forward. There's always a reason to why things have been changed or kept the same, but that's a really tough one to answer. We are keeping things a little bit ambiguous on purpose [regarding] Judith's well being or lack thereof. We'll just have to see, but we definitely have a plan.
He also explained that, if it's not clear that a major character's gone for good, they're planning a return:
It really all comes down to planning. Yeah, it's a little bit more difficult to do on television, but we never really lose track of a character without knowing exactly when we're going to pick them back up. That's really the key. Even before we had written Carol's exit from the show, we knew how and when she was going to return. With a character like that, we're not ever really going to have it be, "That's the last we'll see of them," without having it be set up as the definitive last time we'll see them. When we leave it hanging, it's with a return in mind. That's something work out in advance with characters like Merle, Carol and Morgan, but it's really all about planning. I'm happy to say that with Scott Gimple and everyone else we work with on the show, it's an idea we work hard at.
He also explained what the show's going look like when it comes back:
Coming into the back half of Season 4, we've stripped all of that away and put the characters back into the mode of, "I've got to hide and find food. Let's keep moving. I don't know where my friends are or if they're alive or dead." It's really that we're going to be coming back to the show in a time when characters are at their most vulnerable. That lets us do some really interesting things. Having it all stripped away and getting back to the core of survival in this world asks, "Will they rebuild again? Do they find another place? Are they going to find each other or stay separate for an indefinite amount of time?" These are all questions that are going to be driving the back half of the season and, I think, keep things very fresh and very interesting.
More at the link. [Comic Book Resources]
In advance of tonight's episode, Mark Pellegrino spoke about Jedikiah's intentions for the captured John:
It's an interesting thing that Jedikiah's captured John. I'm just speaking from an interpretive point of view here. It's true, canonically speaking, but it feels like it was accidental almost. Like, "I wish it didn't have to happen, but it happened." It happened just because he brought me to the surface and they were tracking me and they got to him. But it's a regretful thing. And now that John is in the clutches of Ultra, Jedikiah's got to negotiate some very strange territory. It's not just him at Ultra now; there's The Founder looking over his shoulder. So even if he wanted to protect John, he can't. And then there's the further complication of me loving somebody who's a Tomorrow Person, who's a possible chip in the game that Jedikiah's caught in between the Tomorrow People and Ultra.
. . . Jedikiah's shown himself to be a person of very strong will. In his life, he's acted against his emotions over and over and over again to do the thing that he thinks is right. I think he does have the strength to do something like [kill John], as much as it would break his heart. But he could, if it was for the greater good.
He also said that we will get a look at how deep Jedikiah's feelings for Morgan go:
You're going to see later on. You're going to see how deep his feelings are for her and how far they'll go. You may find it a bit… scary. [Laughs] It can change at a moment's notice. Jedikiah's willing to do a lot of things for love, for family and for what he thinks is right.
More at the link. [TV Line]
Daniel Henney (X-Men Origins: Wolverine) will be in three episodes in January. Henney will play Peter Garner, and the only information about that character is showrunner Eric Kripke's description of him as "handsome, charming and incredibly intelligent." [The Hollywood Reporter via SpoilerTV]
Here's a sneak peek at tonight's midseason finale. [via Coming Soon]
Person of Interest
Here's the synopsis for next week's episode, "Lethe":
FLASHBACKS TO FINCH'S PAST PROVIDE INSIGHT INTO HIS CREATION OF THE MACHINE, ON "PERSON OF INTEREST," TUESDAY, DEC. 17
Camryn Manheim and Saul Rubinek Guest Star
"Lethe" – Flashbacks to Finch's adolescence provide insight into his creation of The Machine. Also, the team receives the number of an already dying man, and Reese leaves the POI team behind in the aftermath of the war with the crime organization, HR, on PERSON OF INTEREST, Tuesday, Dec. 17 (10:01 – 11:00 PM ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Camryn Manheim and Saul Rubinek guest star.
Here's the promo for episode six, "Arrhythmia." [via SpoilerTV]
Additional reporting by Charlie Jane Anders and Emily Stamm