Has the first actual Man of Steel plot synopsis been discovered?

Illustration for article titled Has the first actual Man of Steel plot synopsis been discovered?

We are never, ever getting rid of Transformers movies. Oz, the Great and Powerful may have hit the ultimate legal roadblock. Plus everyone is talking Torchwood: Miracle Day, chief dwarf Richard Armitage discusses The Hobbit, and Misha Collins address his Supernatural future.


Spoilers from here on out!

Top image from Rise of the Planet of the Apes.

Man of Steel

A scan of the latest issue of the industry publication Production Weekly reveals this supposed plot synopsis, which sounds an awful lot like the 2003-04 comics series Superman: Birthright:

Clark Kent is a freelance reporter in his early 20's, traveling all around the world covering various news stories. However, Kent is forced to fly back into action to attain a fleeing assassin instead of covering an ethnic conflict between the Ghuri and Turaaba clans in West Africa. Upon his return to form, Kent returns to Smallville to learn more about his origins and become the hero he was born to be.

Assuming this is legit - and one obvious possibility is that someone just cribbed plot details from Birthright as a placeholder, even if that does seem like a weird thing to do - then the production also lists four scenes in the Smallville section of the film: "HOMECOMING", "FUTURE DISCUSSION", "SHIP DISCOVERY", and "FUNERAL." There's a lot of ways that those could be understood - "ship discovery" might be a flashback to Kal El's arrival, while "funeral" might well refer to the death of Jonathan Kent, but that's just speculation. For a good breakdown of how the plot of Birthright might translate to Zack Snyder's film, check out the link. [Movies.com]

The Dark Knight Rises

Here are some set photos that show Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard, and Alon Aboutboul (who is reportedly playing a mad scientist) arriving on set at the Senate House of the University of London. [Daily Blam]

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Here are some more promo images. [IGN]

Transformers 4

Producer Don Murphy is pretty certain the series will continue with at least another three films:

What happens next? Certainly not a reboot. We haven't lost the Transformers. They didn't grow up or become expensive like Toby Maguire. I don't know what happens next. I'm pretty sure there will be a second trilogy. I am pretty sure it will kick ass. And I am pretty sure some of you will hate it because it wasn't all bots."


Since we've already had a crazy rumor about Jason Statham, how about we just get him and his Crank directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor to take over. That's pretty much the only way to up the ante on three movies worth of Bayhem. [TFW2005]

The Hobbit

Richard Armitage, who plays dwarf king Thorin Oakenshield, discusses the movie and his legendary sword, the Orcrist:

"There's going to be quite a lot more humour. The book is so focused on the dwarves, so I think it's a chance for Peter [Jackson] and Fran [Walsh] to really look at that whole race in more detail, their heritage and what they're like as characters.

"[The Orcrist is] bloody heavy! But it's absolutely beautiful to look at. Every time they bring something new out everyone gasps. The armour that the dwarves emerge from the mountain wearing at the end of the film will be the armour of all armour."


[Total Film]

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II

Here are four more posters. [ComingSoon.net]

Oz, the Great and Powerful

Mad Men actress Abigail Spencer has reportedly been cast as "a young woman who is a willing subject of Oz's magic tricks which the erstwhile magician is performing in Kansas." [Heat Vision]


That is, assuming the movie still happens. The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that, while the original L. Frank Baum novel is in the public domain, any visual depictions of the Oz characters could potentially infringe on Warner Bros.'s 1939 adaptation. There's a full write-up at the link, but here's the upshot: any Oz adaptations have to avoid including any elements that originated with the 1939 movie as opposed to the original book. Parsing that divide might prove to be just too much trouble for Sony, so this movie might be a casualty of that decision. [The Hollywood Reporter]

The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn

Illustration for article titled Has the first actual Man of Steel plot synopsis been discovered?

Here's a new image. [Animatie]


Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and Thor composer Patrick Doyle will score Pixar's latest, a fantasy film set in the Scottish Highlands. Doyle talks a little bit about his approach:

"I want to make it accessible but to honor the Celtic traditions if I can. It's a real fable set in Scotland. I could possibly use the bagpipes as a drone or something that gives atmosphere, but I will resist instantly using them until I see what's going on... they are extremely loud."


[The Scotsman]

Batman: Year One

Illustration for article titled Has the first actual Man of Steel plot synopsis been discovered?

Here's a first look at the Eliza Dushku voiced Catwoman in the animated adaptation of Frank Miller's classic graphic novel. [TV Guide]

Doctor Who

The Edinburgh International Television Festival is screening "Let's Kill Hitler" on August 26, and they've released this description:

In the desperate search for Melody Pond, the TARDIS crash lands in 1930s Berlin, bringing the Doctor face to face with the greatest war criminal in the Universe. And Hitler. The Doctor must teach his adversaries that time travel has responsibilities - and in so doing, learns a harsh lesson in the cruellest warfare of all.


[Blogtor Who]

For those wondering what Steven Moffat was talking about a couple days ago when he told the French press that there would be "a change in the mode of distribution" for the show...well, as one might have guessed, that was just a faulty translation. What he actually said is "there will be a change in the scheduling of the show", though what that means isn't all that much clearer. [Life, Doctor Who, and Combom]


Torchwood: Miracle Day

Russell T. Davies explains the origins of the story:

"It's one of those ideas that's been ticking away in the back of my mind for many years. It could have been a Doctor Who episode, but I thought it was better as an interesting way to present Torchwood to both new and old viewers. Jack's immortality is fascinating, but it could be hard to introduce to a new audience. You don't want to roll back four years and say he's immortal because he was exterminated by the Daleks in a completely different series! We came to pole vault over that problem by giving it to the entire world. I wish I could tell you it was planned. It was pure accident."


There's more at the link. [TV Guide]

Mekhi Phifer more or less reveals that his character, CIA agent Rex Matheson, survives the season:

They've written basically the whole season, and I haven't been killed yet! We'll see what happens, but I'm having a great time, I'm loving the character and I'm loving everybody here. It's exciting to finally shoot here in the UK. I've never shot here before, so this is a great thing.


He also reveals that Alexa Havens's Esther Drummond might have a crush on Rex, and he has another potential love interest in Arlene Tur's Dr. Vera Juarez. He also describes his relationship with Jack and Gwen:

Well when I first come, they hate me, and vice versa! I don't like them either. But then something happens when we get back to the States that forces us to become a team and my character becomes a part of Torchwood ultimately. We're all working together to figure this whole thing out. That's the development of the characters - we get to like each other more and more. I haven't read all the scripts, but I've seen in some of the scripts that we spend a lot of time together.


He also said he would be up for returning to the show. [Digital Spy]

Arlene Tur explains how her character Dr. Vera Juarez reacts to the world's mysterious immortality:

She's very cautious of it because it's not at all scientific. Nothing that she's learned in all of her studies to become a cardio-thoracic surgeon tells her that this exists or that this is real or how to deal with any of the things she's getting involved with. So, at first, she's doubtful, as anybody would be. She's cautious, but then her eyes are opened by the Torchwood team to things that are possible and things that exist. It's a revelation for Vera.


She also reveals that a lot of the second episode is set on a plane. She says that her character doesn't get too many action scenes, but she gets plenty of "intellectual action." [Collider]

Here's an interview with Bill Pullman.

And here are some promo photos for the first two episodes. [Blogtor Who]


Here's an interview with Jasika Nicole and John Noble.

Here's a brief casting note for the fourth season premiere:

They're casting for the guest role of "Danzig," who is 35 to 45, Caucasian, and an FBI agent with roguish charm.


You know, if this doesn't end up being Glenn Danzig playing himself as a roguish FBI agent...then what was the point of renewing this show in the first place? [TWoP Forums]

The Walking Dead

Frank Darabont says the character Michonne will make her debut in the third season. He also offered this update on the possibility of Stephen King and his son Joe Hill cowriting an episode:

I'm keeping my fingers crossed. It's just a matter of… They want to do it together. I'm proud to say that they're both addicted fans of the show. In fact, Steve started harassing me by email, because I sent him the first one as soon as we had a lab pressing a disc. Like a decent Blu-ray. Then he started harassing me for the next one. Because Joe would drive up from wherever he lives, because he lives an hour away, and they'd sit and watch it together. [Laughs.] He'd say, "C'mon, where's the next one?" "It's in the lab, Steve. We're still mixing the sound. I'll get it to you. I promise."



Robert Kirkman offers this tour of the season two set.


The final thirteen-episode season will premiere on Friday, October 21. [ChuckTV]

Terra Nova

Here's a promo.


Those hoping that Misha Collins would allay all concerns by commenting on his move from regular to recurring guest star status... well, sorry about this:

"I am not going to be a series regular on 'Supernatural' next year. I don't really know what my role on the show is going to be. I know that I'm going to be in the first two episodes at this point, but I don't know beyond that what the season holds for me."




Something big is apparently going to happen in season 4.5 - but the cast isn't actually revealing what will happen. Here's the latest cryptic clue from Jo Lupo actress Erica Cerra:

"It's something we haven't done. It will be a new mission."

She also says she's particularly fond of an episode that heavily features hallucinations. [TV Fanatic]


Here are some promo photos for the second episode of season 4.5, "Reprise." [SpoilerTV]

Warehouse 13

Here's the second webisode.


Here are some more cast photos. [KSiteTV]

Falling Skies

Here are some promo photos and a trailer for the next episode, "Silent Kill." [SpoilerTV]

The Nine Lives of Chloe King

Here's a promo for episode 5, "Girls Night Out."

Additional reporting by Gordon Jackson and Charlie Jane Anders.




Resolved: Origin stories are b-o-o-o-o-ring.

Everyone knows about Superman's backstory, even people who'd never read a comic book if you put a gun to their heads. It's been touched upon in countless adaptations, from cartoons to movies to TV drama (including a show that just wrapped up a ten-year-run explaining exactly who Clark Kent is and where he came from). At this point another version of the story is totally redundant.

You know why the first X-Men movie works so well? No origin story. You get a basic concept — there are mutants with superpowers in the world, Professor X recruits the good ones and Magneto picks up the bad ones — and you're off; you hit the ground running with half the principals already in costume. Even Tim Burton's Batman, for all its flaws, starts out in media res: Bruce Wayne is a billionaire playboy who dresses up as a bat and beats up criminals. Most people who start reading a particular comic book series don't even start with the origin story; they do so because the characters look cool, and they keep following because the stories are compelling. Not because of the gut-wrenching traumas the characters suffered in the course of discovering their powers. It's a real testament to Pixar's intelligence that we never learn how Mr. Incredible got so strong, or how Elasti-Girl became flexible. For the story they needed to tell, it was irrelevant.

I'm not saying that origin stories are unnecessary or should be avoided, but filmmakers should stop pretending that it's always the most important or even interesting aspect of a hero. Most superhero origins are lazy and dumb, and serve primarily as an excuse to get the characters into a goofy costume and fighting bad guys. Insisting that every character has to have some sort of "wound" that compels them to be who they are is lazy and dumb as well, and it doesn't elevate the genre to art or myth. When it gets in the way of entertainment and storytelling, it should be jettisoned.