Arrow promises non-stop returning and new villains for the next five episodes. Captain America: The Winter Soldier sets up a major plot twist in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Syfy is turning Brian Wood's acclaimed comic DMZ into a TV series, while The CW has a new show about strangers who must prevent an apocalypse together. Spoilers ahead!
There are new names auditioning for roles: Emmy Rossum (Phantom of the Opera) and Kate Mara (House of Cards) have reportedly auditioned for Sue Storm. Christian Cooke has tested for Ben Grimm.
The Hollywood Reporter has also reported that Doctor Doom will be the villain in the reboot, but that the studio is looking for a big name. Most interestingly, it's saying that Fox is considering switching Doom's gender for the film. Nothing's set in stone, however. Fox could just be keeping all its options open. [Hollywood Reporter]
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Disney CEO Bob Iger said that the plot of The Winter Soldier will "set critical events in motion" that will lead to Avengers: Age of Ultron. He also hinted that the movie's storyline will have major effects on the Marvel movieverse as a whole, including Agents of SHIELD. That's not wholly surprising, since the film has SHIELD as a major part of the plot, so it wouldn't make sense for the show to be completely unaffected. [Coming Soon]
The Bruce Willis-starring film about a resort staffed by synthetic humans whose memories are reset every night will be shopped to buyers at EFM by German/U.K. sales and finance banner K5 International. Ambyr Childers will play a staff member who suffers a glitch that allows her to retain all the memories of the abuse of the staff by the resort's guests. Newly added to the cast is Thomas Jane, although his part hasn't been announced yet. With Willis playing the resort's owner, that pretty much leaves staff member or patron, right? [The Hollywood Reporter]
Batman Vs. Superman
Ben Affleck's apparently sharing his costume with ALL of his friends. We've heard from Kevin Smith and Jennifer Garner – now, it's Matt Damon's turn:
I've seen a picture, I have seen a picture. It's excellent. And I've talked to him about the storyline, and it's great. Look I've known him for thirty-something years, I'd be the first guy being like 'Buddy, what are you doing?' but I think the movie is going to be great.
In a shareholder letter, Disney CEO Bob Iger said that details about Episode VII "should" be coming soon:
It's hard to believe it's already been a year since we acquired the extraordinary Star Wars franchise, but we're well on our way to expanding that epic saga to thrill fans and introduce its iconic characters to a new generation with fantastic new storylines. After months of public speculation and anticipation, we announced the official release date for the next feature film, Star Wars: Episode VII, will be December 18, 2015. So far we've kept the details to ourselves, but we're thrilled with the story and committed to making an incredible movie, and we should be releasing more information as production moves forward in the coming year.
None of that's really anything we hadn't heard before, but the "should be" does sound like they're still settling on the details of the film. [Slashfilm]
Stephen Amell posted some Q&A videos to his Facebook page. In addition to saying that he likes it when he's not the only one in costume and apologizing for holding a phone upside down in an episode, Amell said that we will learn what all of Oliver's tattoos mean. We already know that one of them established his bona fides with the Russian mob, but there's more to that story. Amell also said that episode 15 was the hardest to shoot, since there were so many big scenes that required a lot of work "especially when you have no depth perception, which will make sense when you see the episode." Looks like something's happening to one of Oliver's eyes in that one. [Zap2It]
From next week on, EP Andrew Kreisberg promises nothing but evil:
[Episodes] 14 through 18 are villain, villain, villain. Great, big villains one after the other. You're going to see a couple of returning favorites and a couple of amazing new ones.
This preoccupation with making good villains seems to be a response to a criticism Kreisberg's heard and why he was so willing to bring the League of Assassins and Nyssa into the show:
DC has been really amazing about letting us open that playbook. Although a lot of people associate Ra's al Ghul with Batman — which is true, that's where he started — he really encompasses a lot more than that. I think now that the Dark Knight movies are completed and that storyline has been wrapped, it's allowed us to open it, and put it through the 'Arrow' lens, and do it in a new way.
... I think Nyssa's one of the best characters we've ever had on the show. Not wrongly, it's been pointed out that sometimes our villains get short-shrift. We don't always do right by the villains coming onto the show. Some of that is just because our show is so dense with so many different characters. We've gotten away with just casting very cool people in the parts, and asking the audience to fill in the rest.
Kreisberg's co-executive producer, Marc Guggenheim, said that the show's not just dropping hints for this season's resolution, but for next season as well:
We're always not just thinking a season ahead, but into next season. There are little nuggets that we've actually already sprinkled throughout this season that won't pay off this year — it'll pay off next year. You'll see, 'There really was a plan. They really did know what they were doing.'
EP Julie Plec says that Sophie is most likely really dead:
It seems so, yes. In this particular case, the witches have taken their vengeance against a non-believer. I don't think there's much hope for her to recover, given that, more often than not, you need witch intervention to have a second chance at life.
Plec also said that Cami's being set up to make a choice about whether to join the leadership of the human faction. As for Hayley, we'll be taking a bit of a break from werewolves, but when they return, she'll have a lot to think about:
We've got another few episodes before we return to the werewolf world. But just this idea of [Hayley's] attention falling towards these people and her sense of family unity drawing her towards them and away from the Originals is a lot for Elijah to handle… She's going to be very determined to free [the werewolves from the curse]. And then ultimately, in success, there's that whole [question of], 'Who's my real family? Who do I belong with? Where do I belong the most?' And of course, her draw towards Elijah is both very alluring and also very forbidden. We'll see if she decides to stick around the Quarter or head out to the Bayou.
More at the link. [TV Line]
Here's the preview for "The Long Way Back to Hell":
Carlos Valdes will play "mechanical engineering genius" Cisco Ramon. In the comics, Ramon is the alter ego of the superhero Vibe. Of course, The Flash is following in the footsteps of Arrow, so who knows what spin there might be on that character. [Variety]
Dylan Sprayberry (Man of Steel) will join the show as recurring character Liam. Liam is a "cocky and handsome freshman with an enviable athletic prowess." He'll apparently be the perfect student, but be "utterly unprepared" for Beacon Hills. [Entertainment Weekly]
Syfy's developing a new series based on Brian Wood's comic. The team behind it is pretty impressive: former Mad Men executive producers Andre and Maria Jacquemetton and Gravity producer David Heyman will be in charge. The comic's title refers to Manhattan, which became a demilitarized zone following a second American civil war. [K Site TV]
The CW, continuing in their quest to fill their schedule with sci-fi and fantasy, has picked up a pilot from producer Basil Iwanyk. The Messengers will follow a group of seemingly unconnected strangers who are all "killed" by an energy pulse after an object crashes to Earth. When they wake up, they learn that they're believed to be responsible for preventing the impending apocalypse. [The Hollywood Reporter]
Star Wars Rebels
In the same letter that discussed the live-action movies, Iger also spilled a few details of the planned release for Rebels:
As with Marvel, the rich universe of Star Wars has tremendous creative potential for the entire company. While the world eagerly awaits Episode VII to open in theaters, we're introducing Star Wars Rebels to television audiences this summer with a movie and a series of shorts on Disney Channel, followed by a continuing series on Disney XD. Our success in building a robust pipeline of original Star Wars content for various platforms will be an integral part of our long-term strategy to leverage the franchise across a variety of our businesses, from theme parks to consumer products.
The choice to premiere the show on the more popular Disney Channel seems to indicate a fair amount in trust in the project. That seems like a good sign for its quality. [Slashfilm]
The Walking Dead
Go here for more photos from The Walking Dead's midseason premiere, "After." [Den of Geek]
Here's a first look at episode six, which is described thusly: "[W]ith Walker trapped and Peter nearly dying, drastic measures are taken to find a cure."
Here's an interview with Grey Damon about the the CW's new show about alien teenagers going to a human high school.
Agents of SHIELD
Here's the promo for episode 14. [via SpoilerTV]
Here's a trailer for the February 25th episode, "Captives."
Additional reporting by Charlie Jane Anders and Jason Krell