Joss Whedon reveals the greatest challenge of writing The Avengers — and some new toys give our first look at an important vehicle. Do we know the fate of a major Walking Dead character? The Crow reboot rises from the dead. Plus literally everything you need to know about Chuck's series finale!
Spoilers from here on out!
Top image from The Dark Knight Rises.
Liam Neeson came as close as he's probably ever going to get to confirming that, yes, he's back as Ra's al Ghul in the third Batman movie:
"I can tell you nothing about Dark Knight Rises, seriously. I was on set for maybe an hour-and-a-half and the director didn't tell me anything of what it's about. So, I'm being very honest when I say I have no idea what's going to happen."
It's certainly possible that Neeson is simply describing a visit to the set that had nothing to do with filming a part - that sort of thing is known to happen - but OK, yeah, it does look like Neeson has a cameo in the film. And probably a very brief cameo at that, assuming the "I was only there for ninety minutes" thing is accurate. [Showbiz Spy]
Christian Bale discusses his approach to the role, citing the portrayal of Batman in Frank Miller and David Mazzuchelli's 1987 miniseries Year One:
"Suddenly, I found Batman has so many issues, he's not a healthy individual, this is somebody that is doing good, but he's right on the verge of doing bad. He's got that killer within him that he's desperately trying not to let off his leash. And that's what I always return to."
Director Joss Whedon reveals the biggest challenges in writing the screenplay:
"It was an up-all-month job. Finding the characters' voices was not only easy, but glorious fun — it doesn't suck to write Tony Stark — yet finding the structure was just brutal. I haven't had that much trouble making a screenplay work since Serenity, and embarrassingly, for the exact same reason: there's just too many characters."
There's some more at the link. [Comic Book Movie]
Here's the latest subtle variation on what Tom Hiddleston has been saying about Loki for the last few months:
"He knows who he is now, and what his powers are. In order for The Avengers to come together, Loki has to be more menacing, and all of his malevolence is founded in a completely delusional dream."
Here's a rather low-res look at some of the tie-in toys, including our first proper looks at the movie's take on the Quinjet and the Helicarrier. [Marvelous News]
Here's a behind-the-scenes featurette.
The movie has launched another in-universe tie-in website, capitolcouture.pn, that's mostly focused on Elizabeth Banks's fashion-conscious Tribute chaperone Effie Trinket. (The .pn domain is a reference to the movie's setting, the country of Panem, which is a huge boon for the Pitcairn Islands.) Here are some excerpts from the website's profile on Trinket:
With a keen eye towards cutting edge trends and a willingness to break boundaries, Capitol-born style icon and District 12 Escort Effie Trinket has been a fashion pioneer since her very first Hunger Games. She has been known to take the iconic building blocks of contemporary Capitol fashion such as sleeves, hairpieces and bold colors and craft stunning looks that go on to influence all of Panem's fashion-forward citizens. Whether she is chauffeuring her latest Tributes or walking the boulevards of the Capitol, Effie maintains an exquisite profile that demonstrates her spirit and the pride she takes in her work...
Who knows? Maybe Katniss Everdeen volunteered for this year's Games just to bask in the glow of such an inspirational fashionista. After all, that girl Katniss may have charisma, but a little style never hurt anyone.
There's some more stuff along those lines at the link. [Capitol Couture]
Here are two promo photos of Mark Strong as Matai Shang, the ruler of the Therns, and Dominic West as Sab Than, the ruler of Zodanga. [Comic Book Movie]
Ayelet Waldman, novelist and wife of screenwriter Michael Chabon, tweeted this totally unbiased early review:
Just saw John Carter. It was AWESOME. Seriously. Best action movie I've seen ... maybe ever? Lush and gorgeous. Great love story. FAB!!!!
Here's another TV spot for the found footage superhero movie. [Coming Soon]
Here's a bunch of TV spots for the upcoming sequel to Journey to the Center of the Earth.
Edgar Wright tweeted a photo of him and Simon Pegg apparently beginning work on writing the post-apocalyptic third movie in their unofficial Blood & Ice Cream Trilogy that began with Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. [First Showing]
Mirror, Mirror star Lily Collins has reportedly left the Evil Dead remake, for which she was originally cast in the lead role. She reportedly departed due to scheduling concerns. [/Film]
In news that I'm sure you were all dying to hear (pun semi-intended), Relativity Media and the Weinstein Company have settled their lawsuit that was holding up production on this new version of The Crow, which was at one point going to star Bradley Cooper in the title role, because of course it was. Cooper has since dropped out, but there's now plenty of time to find another wildly inappropriate Hollywood star to take on the main role. [Coming Soon]
Just in case anyone was wondering, Hannover House says they don't have the rights to make their proposed animated Terminator movie - though they would like to get them if Megan Ellison's Annapurna Films would be agreeable - and Arnold Schwarzenegger isn't currently involved in any capacity. [PR Newswire]
The Hunger Games star Liam Hemsworth has reportedly been cast as the star in Rabbit-Proof Fence and Salt director Phillip Noyce's next film. Hemsworth would reportedly play a young man "haunted by unresolved issues between himself and his late wife, uses the money his wife left him to build a time-travel device so he can see her a final time." [Moviehole]
Game of Thrones actress Lena Headey is reportedly joining Ethan Hawke in this low-budget scifi thriller, about which no plot details are currently known. [Variety]
Filming has started on this low-budget scifi film from How to Make a David Lynch Film director Joe McClean. The cast includes Kyle XY's Matt Dallas, Saw 3D actress Rebecca Marshall, and indie film actor Barry Finnegan. Here's the synopsis:
In the near future, a new device has emerged to detect the time of death of every man's life through DNA analysis. A modern day palm reading, the device has ignited fear and paranoia throughout the world. The film follows an aspiring filmmaker, Dillon (Barry Finnegan), who chronicles the hysteria and stumbles upon the mystery behind Life Tracker Limited, the company behind the device. With the help of his friends, Scott (Matt Dallas) and Bell (Rebecca Marshall), they embark on a thrilling journey to find the real story behind the science, testing their friendship and faith along the way. Are the predictions true? Is a person's lifespan ingrained in one's DNA? The race is on to uncover the truth.
Here's a bunch of promo photos for episode ten, "Forced Perspective", which airs this Friday. [BuddyTV]
And here's a sneak peek for the episode.
Executive producer Jeff Pinkner previews what's ahead in upcoming episodes:
"One of the things that we're finding fun is exploring things that have come before, which are new in this timeline. I think we're going to spend a lot more time with the Observers. I think we're going to potentially revisit some sort of greatest hits of the past. The storytelling, it's just going to get deeper and richer and more tense as the season goes along."
There's plenty more at the link. [Huffington Post]
Star Joshua Jackson says that he's hopeful a fifth season will happen, and he says there's some possibility that the show could move to a cable network. He also says there should be time to do a proper series finale if this is indeed the last season:
"I don't know how many hours it would take to implement the [writers' end game], but we have plenty of hours left. I think if we found out [about the show's future] in the next several weeks, there would be no problem getting to what the ending is supposed to be."
Fired Walking Dead showrunner Frank Darabont is now working on a new show called L.A. Noir (no, nothing to do with the video game) for TNT, and he reportedly wants Jon Bernthal for the lead role. That's significant because Bernthal plays Shane on The Walking Dead, and it's unlikely he could do both shows at once. Couple that with rumors that a cast member asked to be let out of his or her contract out of loyalty to Darabont — a request that AMC supposedly granted — and this might well mean that Bernthal is about to leave the show... and that Shane is going to die after all. Obviously, this is all speculation and rumor right now, so take this all with all due skepticism until we hear more. [The AV Club]
The two new characters who will make their debut in the midseason premiere are reportedly played by Terriers and True Blood actor Michael Raymond James and Cadillac Records actor Aaron Munoz, who is playing a character called Tony. According to Robert Kirkman, the two may well pose a threat to the main characters. [ShockTillYouDrop]
The third episode of season five will reportedly feature an "intense" flashback to what happened to Terry in 2003 while he was serving in Iraq. [E! Online]
Here's another trailer for this Friday's two-hour finale, "Chuck vs. Sarah" and "Chuck vs. the Goodbye."
Zachary Levi says that the Intersect will take over Sarah completely, and leave her at the mercy of Nicholas Quinn:
"Before we're able to get it out of her head, the damage is done. She's kidnapped by Quinn and kind of reprogrammed...It's almost a reset of sorts, where the 'Will they? Won't they?' dynamic kind of comes back into play, particularly in the second half of the finale. You find our heroes almost like you found them in the beginning of the show. That leads to a tremendous amount of emotion and a tremendous amount of fight and yearning...There's a ton of homage to the pilot, to the origins of these characters and their journey together."
Mark Pellegrino, genre television's most terrifying character actor, reveals that he will be reprising his role as an agent from the first episode of Chuck for the finale:
"I never thought that my character would see the light of day again. I didn't even have a name [in the pilot], did I?! I was just ‘Fulcrum Agent,' so it was interesting. The stuff that I'm in is pretty shocking and funny at the same time. I think the fans will enjoy it."
Yvonne Strahovski offers some clues about what's ahead in the finale:
Yeah, I guess I can say that something is taken away from Chuck. That's very cryptic isn't it? It'll make sense when you watch it. Something is sort of taken away and it causes us to name an episode "Chuck versus Sarah." I'll put it that way.
What can fans look forward to as the series winds up?
It's definitely going to keep people sort of sitting on the edge of their seats, wondering how this is going to finish up, or is it going to finish up in a good or a bad way. It's quite heartfelt and there is sort of an element of tragedy somewhat leading up to the finale. It will all make sense when you watch it.
Also, just when I thought I could retire the Chuck label once and for all, Strahovski goes and says she'd be up for doing a movie:
There are always more stories to tell. I'm sure that if that idea came up, I'm sure most if not all of the cast members would probably be up to doing something like that. We love each other. We're such a close-knit group and the crew as well. So, it's a real community that we've created amongst ourselves and the fans. So, I think if it was in the cards, I think we'd all be up for it.
There's pretty much zero chance that's ever going to happen...but we'll be talking about this idea forever now, won't we? [Live Feed]
Here's a group interview with stars Zachary Levi, Yvonne Strahovski, Adam Baldwin, and Joshua Gomez, in which they discuss the big finale. [ChuckTV]
And here's a ton of interviews with the entire cast. [ChuckTV]
Here's the description for episode fourteen, "Wolf and Cub", which airs on February 9:
REESE STRUGGLES TO PROTECT A TEEN BENT ON AVENGING HIS BROTHER'S MURDER – The Machine identifies Darren, a teenager whose brother was just murdered, as the next POI. Meanwhile, Finch is growing concerned that the son of his former business partner is dangerously close to finding out about The Machine.
Executive producer Adam Horowitz says this of how the Mysterious Stranger fits into the next few episodes:
"[His agenda] becomes clearer as we realize he has designs on Emma - both romantically and for another reason related to the curse and more specifically to Henry's story book."
Horowitz also explains what's up ahead for David and Mary Margaret:
"[They will] begin an affair that they know is wrong but is also, somehow, right. Regina quickly makes sure that the cost of this true love trying to work itself out is dire."
Also, the February 19 episode will reportedly see David coming clean to his wife about his relationship with Mary Margaret, which will be complimented by a big romantic embrace between fairy tale alter egos Prince Charming and Snow White. [TV Addict]
Ginnifer Goodwin says the secrets of what happened between Snow White and the Evil Queen will be revealed soon. [E! Online]
Episode sixteen will reportedly feature these two guest characters:
Robin Steinkeller is a very rare birdlike creature and although she is frail, she can produce an extremely valuable egg that many would go to great lengths to get. Oh but we should mention they'd have to get past her vicious alley-cat-like husband, Thomas, who won't stop bullying his wife until she gives him what he desperately wants.
Here's a promo for the new series from Heroes creator Tim Kring.
And here's a behind-the-scenes video featuring star Kiefer Sutherland.
Here's a promo and sneak peek for episode three, "All Out of Blood."
Here are two sneak peeks and the synopsis for this Friday's episode, "Friends and Enemies."
Fleeing across the galaxy with criminal fugitives, a disguised Obi-Wan, Cad Bane and Moralo Eval are tenaciously pursued by Anakin and Ahsoka, who have no idea they're chasing their friend.
Here are some promo photos for the February 2 episode, "Bringing Out The Dead."
Here are some promo photos for episode thirteen, "Medallion", which airs February 2. [multipleverses.com]
Emmanuelle Vaugier will appear as The Morrigan in the fifteenth episode of season two. [SpoilerTV]
Additional reporting by Natalie Baaklini and Charlie Jane Anders.