Director Marc Webb says The Amazing Spider-Man is all about creating a new, more realistic universe. That means practical effects instead of CGI, but it also means choosing the right villain. And he explains why the Lizard was the only possible choice.
Plus Ridley Scott gives the clearest explanation yet as to how his new film Prometheus relates to Alien.
Chris Hemsworth explains why Thor and Captain America come to blows in The Avengers.
The Dark Knight Rises composer Hans Zimmer reveals why he needs a hundred thousand people chanting to create the music for Bane.
Read the first official description of Alfonso Cuaron's long-delayed, "stranded astronaut" epic Gravity!
Spoilers from here on out!
Top image from The Avengers.
Chris Hemsworth explains why Thor and Captain America won't necessarily get along:
"They're used to being leaders and if you put them all in a room, it's going to be about who runs the show. They all have some friction, absolutely, but it's about the journey of the team. There's a couple of shots in the trailer of Thor and Captain America duking it out and that gives you an idea of how well they get along at the beginning..."
That last quote would seem to suggest the Thor-Cap battle in the trailer doesn't involve a Skrull or something else impersonating the characters, and is in fact that oldest of superhero team-up tropes: when two superheroes meet for any reason, they must immediately beat the crap out of each other over a tiny misunderstanding. Hemsworth also suggests Thor has slightly different priorities in defeating Loki than the other Avengers:
"Thor has a different opinion about how this should be taken care of, because it's his brother. I think it's heartbreaking, because he feels very responsible for why Loki has spiralled off. He keeps trying to appeal to whatever good was once there."
Scarlett Johansson says Black Widow has plenty to do in the movie, though she admits she can't be certain about that until she sees the final cut:
"There are a lot of people to serve in that, for sure. The Widow has a great story. I think Joss did a great job of weaving together all these characters' stories. It was no small feat for him. You never know in a big film like this. There could be six hours squashed down in 90 minutes or whatever it's going to be, and you wonder what might be sacrificed."
This is just a random IMDB credit, which is pretty much right at the bottom of the crazy rumor totem pole, but actor and stuntman J.J. Perry - who previously worked on Wolverine, Iron Man, and director Joss Whedon's own Serenity - is listed as "Vampire in post credits scene (uncredited)." There is supposed to be a post-credits scene, and I suppose this could be Marvel's big push to get the ball rolling on a Doctor Strange, which would be the most logical fit for a vampire. Still, I'd take this all with a very massive grain of salt for now. [Comic Book Movie]
Composer Hans Zimmer discusses the plans to create a chant featuring hundreds of thousands of people - most of which are submissions from the general public via the site UJAM. Part of the chant was heard during the recently revealed prologue, though he says that was actually only made with a few of his closest friends, and the full-on chant will be exponentially more epic. Assuming that is, he gets loud enough chanting:
"It's nice to have the whole world join in on a chant. My only problem is that they're so well-behaved on the chanting right now. If anybody goes onto UJAM right now, I need a little bit more. If you want to be heard, get a little louder, get a little more aggressive."
He also says the chant isn't Bane's main theme, but it is crucial to the character:
"It's not necessarily his through-line; it will be an aspect of it. Right now we're all focusing on the chant because that's all you guys are hearing. It's a very small part of the score, but I think there is something wonderful about finding a way of having the people who really care for this movie be participants in this movie."
Here's a new piece of viral marketing, which appears to show the "strike zone" map that Bane has made for his attack on Gotham. You can see a small version on the left, and there's a slightly more detailed version here. [Hollywood Hills]
Director Marc Webb explains why Dr. Curt Connors and the Lizard are crucial to the movie's themes:
"He's the literal embodiment of the theme of the movie, which is we all have a missing piece. He has no arm. Peter has no parents, and he fills that void with Spider-Man. Curt is not as strong as Spider-Man on the inside, but he wants to get back his arm and fill that void, and essentially he becomes a big bully."
He also explains why his movie isn't simply a remake of Sam Raimi's trilogy:
"I don't have a problem saying that word. It's not a remake, we're not making Sam's movie again. It's a different universe and a different story with different characters. There are certain mythological obligations people have in any story, but it's so radically different in terms of tone and what Peter Parker experiences that I'm very comfortable with the movie occupying a different space."
The Empire article that featured these quotes also describes three scenes from the movie, all of which show Andrew Garfield in action. The first is an early scene that shows Peter Parker swinging around out of costume, and the entire thing is done practically, with the only CGI coming in later to erase the wire Garfield was on. There's another sequence that they say somewhat recalls Raimi's approach to Spider-Man swinging, as a now costumed Peter Parker swings across a bridge and runs along the side of a passing truck. And here's the description of the final scene they saw, which takes place fairly late in the movie:
The third one, though, shows that Webb hasn't abandoned CG. Far from it. The sequence – which is from the third act so we'll be sure to tread carefully – features Spider-Man in pursuit of The Lizard (here seen just once, in very rough animatic form, from a distance as he scales a building), while being pursued himself by cops. Following an excellently staged fight with the cops, and an emotionally charged confrontation with, erm, A Major Character, the sequence follows a wounded Spider-Man as he tries desperately to swing across New York in order to save the day.
Considering cops are mentioned, you would think that "A Major Character" is probably Denis Leary's Captain George Stacy, though I suppose Emma Stone's Gwen Stacy could always just show up for a quick confrontation, the way one does. [Via Moviehole]
Webb also showed a brief scene in which Gwen tends to Peter's wounds, which is said to include "rat-a-tat dialogue that wouldn't be out of place in a screwball comedy." The scene also features Peter saying, "You should see the other guy - the other guy in this case being a giant mutant lizard", which would rather suggest that Gwen is aware of Peter's secret identity, unless Peter is engaging in one hell of a double bluff. [Comic Book Movie]
And here are some scans of new photos featured in Empire's 2012 preview issue. [Comic Book Movie]
When asked point-blank if he is directly linking this movie to Alien, director Ridley Scott flatly denied it. When pressed, he softened his stance just a bit:
I mean, you could actually say, and there's a quote I did, a pretty good quote: By the end of the third act you start to realize there's a DNA of the very first alien, but none of the subsequent aliens. To tell you what that is is a pity, and I'm not going to tell you, because it's actually pretty good, pretty organic to the process and to the original. But we go back, we don't go forward.
Scott then pretty much reveals the main link by suggesting this movie is all about the "space jockey" glimpsed in the original Alien, which he very strongly implies created the Xenomorphs:
And [Prometheus] does actually raise all kinds of other questions, because if someone could, a being, could be as monstrously clever to create something like we experienced in the very first one – I always figured it's a weapon, and I always figured that [the ship in the first Alien] was a carrier of weapons. Therefore, who is that, inside that suit? That wasn't a skeleton, that was a suit. And if you open up the suit, what do you get inside it? And why were they going, where were they going?
He also says the Xenomorph will definitely not appear in the movie, though considering how quickly he backtracked on the whole "is this directly linked to Alien?" question in the course of the same interview, I'd say there's at least a tiny chance he's not telling the whole truth. Anyway, there's a lot more at the link, including Scott's not entirely convincing attempt to lend some weight to the writings of renowned crank Erich von Daniken. [Filmophilia]
Here's a TV spot.
After endless budget talks and a desperate attempt to find any bankable actress willing to sign on, Children of Men director Alfonso Cuaron's new stranded astronaut movie is really happening, and here's the synopsis to prove it:
[Sandra] Bullock plays Dr. Ryan Stone, a brilliant medical engineer on her first shuttle mission, with veteran astronaut Matt Kowalsky [George Clooney] in command of his last flight before retiring. But on a seemingly routine spacewalk, disaster strikes. The shuttle is destroyed, leaving Stone and Kowalsky completely alone–tethered to nothing but each other and spiraling out into the blackness.
The deafening silence tells them they have lost any link to Earth…and any chance for rescue. As fear turns to panic, every gulp of air eats away at what little oxygen is left.
But the only way home may be to go further out into the terrifying expanse of space.
Here's a couple posters for Bryan Singer's ultra-gritty fairy tale adaptation.
Casino Royale star Eva Green is reportedly in talks to play Artemisia, who manipulates the Persian king Xerxes into attacking the Greeks. It's still not clear whether the movie is called 300: Battle for Artemisia, after the main character, or 300: Battle for Artemisium, after the site of the actual battle that the movie depicts. The latter would make more sense, but come on, this is a 300 prequel - logic is not a prerequisite. [Heat Vision]
The Social Network director David Fincher discusses one of his many long-simmering sci-fi projects, this one an adaptation of Charles Burns' graphic novel The Black Hole. From what he says, it seems the script has been rewritten since Neil Gaiman and Roger Avery worked on an initial draft:
"It's a really great script by Dante Harper, so the hope is that will win out. It's so weird. It's so great, because it would be great to see. It's a very tough… there's make-up FX and digital FX that are expensive and to do it right, you gotta do it just right, because it has to challenge your idea of the human body."
Fincher also discusses his plans for an animated adaptation of Eric Powell's Dark Horse Comics character:
"Eric's been working on it and Tim [Miller]'s been working on it, and Jeff (Fowler). People continue to work on it and refine stuff, but it's hard for me because I'm in Sweden, so I can't really make many production meetings, but the attempt is to in January really go out and try and figure out a price that makes sense. I don't know why you can spend $200 million on The Incredibles but you can't spend $50 million on The Goon — or $130 million on Kung Fu Panda and $50 million on The Goon."
Here's an interview with director Bill Condon in which he discusses the final Twilight movie. [Hollywood Hills]
Here's a bunch of promo images from the upcoming Christmas special, "The Doctor, the Widow, and the Wardrobe." [Blogtor Who]
Here's a promo for the midseason premiere, "Back to Where You've Never Been", which airs January 13.
And here's an interview with the cast (minus Anna Torv, for some reason), in which they discuss what their dream episodes would be.
Here's a promo for episode seven, "Chuck vs. the Santa Suit", featuring the return of the ever underrated Brandon Routh.
Omnipresent, all-purpose genre guest star Amy Acker continues to be, well, omnipresent, as she will reportedly appear in a "late winter episode" as a romantic interest for Leroy and his Seven Dwarves counterpart Grumpy. This is not to be confused with her other appearance on a network's first season fairy tale drama, as she's also playing a housewife with rapid-aging syndrome over on Grimm. Like I said, omnipresent. [TV Line]
Here's a poster for the latest J.J. Abrams show, premiering in January on Fox.
Here's a bunch of set photos from the making of episode eleven, "Adventures in Babysitting", which kicks off the second half of the season on January 6. You can also check out the synopsis below. [multipleverses.com]
"ONCE UPON A TIME" ACTRESS MEGHAN ORY GUEST STARS - Still reeling after what happened to Bobby (Jim Beaver), Dean (Jensen Ackles) becomes dangerously obsessed over finding a way to take down Dick Roman (guest star James Patrick Stuart). Meanwhile, Sam (Jared Padalecki) decides to help a teenage girl (guest star Madison Mclaughlin) look for her father (guest star Ian Tracey), a hunter who has gone missing. Sam traces his last steps to a truck stop where the help (guest star Meghan Ory) turns out not to be so friendly.
Channel 4 has reportedly ordered a fourth season of the show, which is now in development at Clerkenwell Films. [Broadcast Now]
Additional reporting by Marykate Jasper and Charlie Jane Anders.