Chris Pine reveals how Benedict Cumberbatch gets inside Kirk's head in Star Trek Into Darkness. Robert Downey, Jr. explains why Iron Man 3 will get darker. Fringe's Seth Gabel discusses his upcoming Arrow villainy. Plus lots of Person of Interest and Once Upon a Time hints!
Spoilers from here on out!
Top image from Pacific Rim.
Even if the name John Harrison is still part of some elaborate bluff regarding the true identity of the Star Trek sequel's villain, everyone now seems more than happy to discuss his plan, starting with the master of secrecy himself, director J.J. Abrams:
"In Benedict Cumberbatch we have a much more emotionally and intellectually challenging villain than we had in the last film. Eric Bana did a great job, but Nero was a much simpler, raving sort of furious dude. The first movie was an origin story. The characters were all new to each other, so all they needed was a scary threat to face. It didn't need to be complex or nuanced. Just by default, given the number of characters and the structure of it, we could only go so deep. By necessity, it had to stop at a certain level. It had a ceiling. And now there is no ceiling. He was within Starfleet and has now turned against the organisation and is hell-bent on revenge. He's responsible for a very violent, horrific attack in London and then one in the States. He believes he and others were wronged and is focused on destruction. He's an incredibly brilliant strategist who is aware of various truths that Kirk is not privy to."
And star Chris Pine offers some of the most concrete thoughts yet on just what the character means for Captain Kirk:
"He is Kirk's shadow of death, his Achilles' heel. He is a big mirror reflecting all of Kirk's insecurities back at him. He is just as intelligent and logical as Spock, but is also one very very bad motherfucker. He's sort of superhuman, pretty much unbeatable. Brainy and brawny. He manipulates situations. He's incarcerated when Kirk is talking to him and yet he still gets Kirk to do his work for him. He pushes him into a corner where the only route to salvation is cooperation. There is a real Hannibal Lecter quality to him."
Star Robert Downey, Jr. discusses how writer-director Shane Black and Ben Kingsley's villainous turn as the Mandarin have both darkened the film's tone:
"I think Shane's gone for a dark feel in this movie. It's a lot grittier and goes back to its comic-book roots. It's shaped into a really special movie — and Shane as been instrument in that... I always think there's something more terrifying about a villain who's a genius, as opposed to just relying on strength or ability. We all know what a fantastic actor Ben Kingsley is, and he pulls off the evil genius with real terrifying results.
Young Professor X actor James McAvoy discusses what to expect from his character in Bryan Singer's follow-up to X-Men: First Class, including the all-important question of just when and how he goes bald:
"I thought the biggest thing that X-Men: First Class gave the franchise was a real palpable sense of humor that wasn't just for a couple of moments. It was running through the thing. And I hope that continues. I don't know how easy it will be for me to be a part of that as my character's going to be in a pretty fucked up place. It's a shame because I like the fact that Charles Xavier was witty and funny and a bit of a lecherous old guy trapped in a 30-year-old's body... [Screenwriter] Simon Kinberg and I had a chat about it and we came up with a whole bunch of ideas about how, why and where he might go bald. It's got to be linked to the plot though. In the comics, he lost his hair as soon as his powers awakened, and we clearly didn't follow the source material. It can't just be that he looks in the mirror at the end of the film and goes 'Oh fuck, I'm losing my hair.' Although that could be quite funny with all this shit going on... he goes ‘Arge, I'm really stressed...'"
The same article also reveals that neither Rose Byrne nor Caleb Landry Jones have been asked to reprise their respective roles of Moira McTaggart and Banshee, but both would like to come back if asked. [Total Film via Comic Book Movie]
Here's a new hi-res image of stars Idris Elba and Rinko Kikuchi from Guillermo del Toro's giant monster movie. Click on the image for a much better look. [/Film]
Producer Eric Fellner offers this update on the filming of Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg, and Nick Frost's apocalyptic conclusion to the thematic trilogy that began with Shaun of the Dead and continued with Hot Fuzz:
Well I can tell them that they're all very wet and very cold because they're doing four weeks of night shoots and the weather's brutal. So I bought Edgar a furry hat to try and keep him warm. They're just digging in and doing it. The work is fantastic; very, very funny. There's these great scenes with Nick with these barstools, he's beating the shit out of people; Simon, very funny. Great cast with them: Rosamund Pike, Paddy Considine, Eddie Marsan and Martin Freeman. Martin was slightly shocked apparently the other day; I just heard this second hand. He had to go to New Zealand for the premiere of The Hobbit. Nira [Park], the British producing partner with Edgar was telling me that he called because he got to the airport and apparently his face is painted on all of the Air New Zealand planes. So he got there and saw this plane and his face was painted on the outside of it. So I think he's slightly shocked at the moment. But it's going brilliantly, and it's going to be funny and Edgar's on very good form.
Author Lois Lowry says the long-planned film adaption of her seminal young adult novel appears to be happening at last, and Jeff Bridges is still on board to star as the title character:
"I've just heard within the past couple of days that The Giver, which they've been trying to make into a movie for 15 years, is finally on the road. Things have ratcheted up, and they have producers and money and a director and a star. They hope to start shooting it in the spring. As we speak, they're interviewing young boy actors for the role of Jonas."
Producer Eric Fellner discusses Blackadder and Love, Actually writer Richard Curtis's upcoming time travel movie, which stars Midnight in Paris star Rachel McAdams, Harry Potter actor Domhnall Gleeson, and the always welcome Bill Nighy:
Yeah, I mean Richard's unique. He's made…
Just a few.
Just a few. He's never written a script that hasn't been made. His films have done billions of dollars and he's only had one film that wasn't a success, which is a shame because I really liked it, The Boat that Rocked. But again it's not an expensive film, it's a small film. It's a romantic comedy about two people meeting and falling in love and having a family and that's it. Has a bit of time travel in it, but who doesn't? And it's a beautiful thing. We screened it two nights ago in Los Angeles and the preview was…the numbers were amazing. People absolutely adored it.
Here's an interview with producers Steven Moffat and Caroline Skinner. [Life, Doctor Who, and Combom]
Showrunner Jonathan Nolan discusses what's ahead in the second half of season two, especially now that Reese has been captured:
I think it is very unlikely that Finch will try as least as hard as Reese to rescue his friend and erstwhile partner. But you have a full team here. You have Carter (Taraji P. Henson) and Fusco (Kevin Chapman) and other people who might be interested in the fact that Reese — or someone who might be Reese — might be locked up.
We did see Reese going to great lengths to rescue Finch at the beginning of the season and, in the mid-season finale, expressing out loud how important this partnership has become to him. What can you say about Reese's character growth this season and how he is changing?
I feel like the promise of the show from the beginning and what Greg and I, the writers and the actors are interested in are four very wounded, very broken characters that are rebuilding themselves. Reese probably the most — but for reasons you will discover; Finch in his own way — there is a lot of damage there. So watching Reese over the course a season and a half and collaborating with Michael and Jim on these performances in which every tiny glimmer of connection you get means so much, and the ways in which we see Reese as this wounded animal who slowly is rebuilding his trust and his connections to the world, we love to do that right to the point where we smash it all to pieces. That is our favorite thing to do. Our writers are sadists, I think.
There's a bunch more at the link. [xfinityTV]
Grindhouse and Conan actress Rose McGowan will reportedly return to the realm of network fantasy she previously explored for five years on Charmed, as she is set to guest star as a young version of Barbara Hershey's Cora, the mother of the Evil Queen, in an upcoming flashback. [Deadline]
Prince Charming actor Josh Dallas discusses the reaction to Cora and Hook's arrival in Storybrooke:
No, it's shocking. It's shocking and exciting, and it's not what you're expecting for their welcome - particularly for Hook. I've tried not to give any of this away, but he gets thrust into the group, as it were, quite violently.
Might there be some thumping of chests with Charming and Hook?
There might be…. I mean, Charming doesn't take kindly to people who are liars and manipulators - he finds that a real weakness in people - and Hook is one nasty character. Of course, they haven't met yet, properly, but I think there's going to be some interesting things for sure between the two of them.
He also discusses what's ahead for Charming and Snow White:
With all great, epic love stories, there are always obstacles thrown in front of the lovers, all of the time - and particularly with our show. And I think certainly in the case of Snow and Charming, that will continue to happen throughout the series. But at the moment, now that they've gotten back together and they're both in Storybrooke, there is time to breathe and think about where they are, who they are, what their relationship was and what it can be now, where they belong….
"Do they expand their family? And what are the ramifications if any of another ‘true love' baby?"
Yeah. There are all those kind of questions going on. Of course, there are things happening in Storybrooke that the Charming family has to deal with first. Besides Cora and Hook showing up, we have something else that's happening that needs the family's attention. There are things that are going on that prevent them from kind of really taking that time [to relax], but they find their way around it and start talking about their future.
There's more at the link. [TV Line]
Episode 17 is reportedly called "Goodbye Stranger." [SpoilerTV]
Here's the description for January's midseason premiere, "Burned":
OLIVER HANGS UP HIS HOOD - Oliver's (Stephen Amell) confidence is shaken after being beaten by the Dark Archer and he takes a break from being Arrow. However, when Laurel (Katie Cassidy) calls Arrow for help investigating a firefighter's suspicious death, he reluctantly agrees but his hesitance while fighting almost costs him his life. Meanwhile, Tommy (Colin Donnell) throws a benefit for the firefighters and Thea (Willa Holland) tries to lift Moira (Susanna Thompson) out of her depressive state.
Seth Gabel, best known for playing Lincoln Lee on Fringe, discusses his upcoming villainous guest role on Arrow:
I play The Count, who's based on Count Vertigo of the comic book series. Instead of having superpowers, the powers are manifested in a drug called Vertigo, that I sell on the street. I'm essentially this street thug/drug kingpin, taking over the streets of Starling City. The way I justified being a super-villain, if you will, is that the character cares so much about money and power that he's willing to do whatever it takes to acquire those things. In being totally consumed by money and power, I can completely ignore any questionable ethics, along that process, and just completely throw myself into doing whatever acts will achieve the acquisition of those things, whether it's evil, wrong or whatever.
With as much fun as you had shooting your guest appearance, are you hoping that the character will return?
Oh, definitely! It's very possible that I'll make future appearances, and it's something that I would absolutely love doing.
Additional reporting by Charlie Jane Anders.