Rise of the Planet of the Apes director Rupert Wyatt talks CGI chimps and why this movie is about the loss of scientific innocence. Plus a Star Trek alum joins Torchwood, the next Supernatural gimmick episode, and Fringe finale hints!
Spoilers from here on out!
Top image from Rise of the Planet of the Apes.
Lost's Nestor Carbonell will reportedly reprise his Dark Knight role as the mayor of Gotham City. Interestingly, that same report casually lists Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Marion Cotillard as being in the cast, so their casting has apparently become fairly widely accepted. That said, it's worth stressing once again that there's still been no official announcement of their involvement. [Variety]
Speaking of wild speculation, the site My Entertainment World, which claims to offer "a resource for the special needs of motion pictures," has posted this supposed synopsis for the movie, which shockingly (and, we're pretty certain, falsely) reveals the main villain is neither Bane nor Catwoman:
DARK KNIGHT RISES, THE (aka MAGNUS REX & FOX HILLS GREEN) - Mid June, 2011 - India & London, UK & New York, NY & Pittsburgh, PA; Details Are only Available By Subscription.. STORY: As Batman deals with his new status as a wanted vigilante, Dr. Hugo Strange, a villainous psychiatrist, concocts a plan to destroy him and become the new Batman. (Posted: June 17, 2010. Revised: April 14, 2011)
The most likely explanation here is the site just made up that synopsis based on all the rumors about Hugo Strange, assuming those reports had some basis in fact. So yeah - even if this ends up even remotely resembling what's in the actual movie, we're guessing it's just total coincidence. Feel free to dismiss this for the time being. [Reelz Channel]
Meanwhile, another weird Bat-rumor: one Pittsburgh film critic believes the town's Civic Arena will actually be detonated during the filming of this movie — it'll be imploded, but on screen it'll look like an explosion, and it'll be a "key scene" in the movie. But the town's film office has denied that anybody's asked them about blowing up a local sports arena. [CBS Local]
A website called the Baseline Studio System, which often has fairly accurate synopses for upcoming films, lists this as the plot synopsis for the Superman reboot:
A young reporter named Clark Kent roams the world covering various news stories. When he is compelled to use his secret powers to intervene in a crisis in West Africa, he returns to Smallville to learn more about his origins and the hero he was born to be.
Meanwhile, the Lindsay Lohan casting rumor just won't die — and the latest version is that she's in line to play Lana Lang. [Digital Spy]
Chris Evans confirms the existence of a Captain America song, and explains how it fits into the film:
There is a Captain America song, but I don't sing it. Initially in the film, when he becomes Captain America, long story short the serum is destroyed and they can't reproduce the experiment so I'm the only super soldier there is. The U.S. government won't allow me to go to war because it's too risky and they can't afford to lose me, but they use me as a propaganda tool and they send me on a USO Tour. So there's a whole Captain America song, and they try to make him a little bit of a celebrity to try and sell bonds. There is a Captain America song, and there was a week of shooting, and I had that song in my head. I couldn't stop humming it! It was so annoying. But it's a funny sequence actually.
Chris Evans discusses the challenges of playing Cap in his new Avengers role:
You want to play a character that has conflict – that's what makes a character appealing to an actor, getting to find an arc and a reason, something to chew on. And that's a lot. If you woke up one day and it was 50, 60 years in the future and everyone you knew had passed away and the entire world around you is different - you don't have a friend, you don't know anybody, you don't know anything - that'd be a lot to take in. It's exciting as an actor to try and tackle that.
The movie is reportedly looking for over 2,000 extras for its Cleveland-based filming, although no word yet on specifics. [newsnet5.com]
Director Rupert Wyatt explains how he and the rest of the creative team approached this movie and how it departs from the previous entries in the series:
The original was made in 1968, that's over 40 years ago. We're telling a story that has never been told before in many ways, which is a real-world contemporary narrative set in 2011 about how the apes started the revolution. Now I know there has been a different take on how that happens with the earlier films, but this is actually setting up perhaps a more scientific approach to why that happened. I think it was the writers when they first started writing this for the studio, they could have decided, "Let's go with the original mythology." To be perfectly honest with you, I think that would be a terrific approach as well. You could do that, but that's actually in a way replicating what's already been done before. So why not try something different?
He also explained why the apes in this movie are CGI, rather than the more traditional men in suits:
It was a narrative issue, frankly. Our story is an origin story. It takes place in the modern day. For the most part in the film it deals with real apes – real orangutans, real gorillas, real chimpanzees. The other films in the franchise don't do that. They deal with humanoid apes, so therefore you can have a human play a chimpanzee in an ape suit. But that was just never the case. There was no way that we could ever physically achieve that because we're talking about chimpanzees as we know them.
There's more at the link. [FirstShowing.net]
Elsewhere, Wyatt discusses the movie's tone:
Is it dark? I don't know if it's dark. Well, it's not literally dark [Laughs]. It's the story of evolution, in many ways, with this one character, Caesar. It's a transition from a certain world, which is a lot more brighter and innocent and more hopeful, to a world that is perhaps more cynical, violent and harsher. We definitely see that. It was always our intention to chart that visually as much as narratively. We tried to place it in the real world as much as we possibly could and make it as plausible as we could. In some ways, bearing in mind we're dealing with real apes, that certainly takes us away from the franchise of dealing with humanoid apes.
He also explains how this film fits in with potential follow-ups:
What we're doing is laying the groundwork for, hopefully, future films to come that'll deal with the actual conflict between apes and humans. We're leveling the playing field, in terms of the film and what the story is. I think, at its heart, the real focus is the breaking of the bond between humans and animals, and seeing how that comes about with the betrayal of a species' trust. I've said this before, but it's a very sad irony that our closest cousins, in a way, are exploited. There's something fundamentally wrong about that, but also understandable. If we were to take this science-fiction story, you would understand why this species would rise up when given the chance.
There's more at the link. [Film School Rejects]
Newly announced director Jon Chu explains this movie will be far grittier and closer to the original source material than the first movie:
"When I found out they were doing a second one, I [told Paramount] you've got to do this one the way we've always wanted to see - and they were like, what do you mean? And there's a reality to Joe, there's like a grittiness to Joe; when I would burn them and their arm would fall off, the story would revolve around the guy whose arm fell off. It was about how each figurine had their own special accessory that was a part of their identity. It was always that detail, that grittiness that I feel like if Joe had it in there, it would be a totally different movie and have a totally different feel. So I approached them about what that would be like, and they loved the idea. And they had a script that was close, and we're going now in and making it the way it should be. And the script they have is really good, actually, so we now want to build in a few more things that will make it even better."
So, if nothing else, he's certainly enthusiastic. Chu says he doesn't yet know which of the original cast will return, or whether the film will be shot in 3D - he'd prefer 3D, but the budget may not be there for that. [Box Office Magazine]
Here are some promo photos from the post-apocalyptic vampire-fighting movie. [Fangoria]
Here are some promo photos. [ComingSoon.net]
Here's a couple set photos, including one of costar Ewan McGregor as a giant-fighting knight. [The Daily Mail]
The adaption of Dean Koontz's series about a psychic who can see but not hear the dead has picked up a couple new cast members. First up, the great Patton Oswalt has reportedly been cast as "Oswald "Ozzie" P. Boone, an eccentric artist who designs sculptures, including a steel pendant that the titular clairvoyant hero wears around his neck." Actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw has also reportedly joined the film. [Variety]
Here's a new trailer for the opening episode, "The Impossible Astronaut." [Doctor Who News Page]
The latest crazy rumor is that episode 8 will be called "War of the Germans." Considering that title would almost certainly be considered offensive towards an entire country, it seems very unlikely the BBC would let their flagship program call an episode that. (It's also kind of a crap title, but that has never stopped the show before.) So yeah, there's really no chance an episode will actually be called that.
However, we do know from set reports that the episode does appear to feature Nazi soldiers heavily, so much so that Rory apparently has to make the infamous salute at one point. This episode also reportedly features the return of Caitlin Blackwood as Amelia Pond, as well as the introduction of Ezekiel Wigglesworth as young Rory. [Life, Doctor Who, & Combom]
Steven Moffat reportedly said there is "something big planned" for the show's 50th anniversary in 2013. This is just a slightly more concrete version of what he's been saying in recent weeks, as he's previously only confirmed there has been "some thought" about what to do. In any event, one might take this as indirect confirmation that Moffat is planning on staying around until at least 2013, although we don't have the original interview, so it's hard to judge the precise context.
Other tidbits include the fact that Matthew Graham's two-parter "The Rebel Flesh"/"The Almost People" is reportedly set in the 22nd century, and that the fez will make a return appearance. [Anglotopia]
John De Lancie has become the first* major Star Trek alum to appear on a Doctor Who show, as series writer Jane Espenson has confirmed he will make a guest appearance in "Miracle Day." [@JaneEspenson]
*Simon Pegg has appeared in both, but he was in "The Long Game" before he was cast as the new Scottie, so he wasn't yet a Star Trek alum when he did Doctor Who.
The series reportedly starts with Captain Jack already back on Earth and covertly keeping tabs on Gwen, apparently still too emotionally scarred from "Children of Earth" to make contact with her yet. [Anglotopia]
Here's a photo and a promo for episode 20, "6:20 AM EST." [Fringe Television]
Anna Torv gave this preview of the final episodes of the season:
They are really brisk – we move quite quickly. There's so much story coming up, and that's another thing I really love about the show. They have a really elegant way of keeping the audience in the dark, so you never really want to miss an episode because there's consistently dribbles of information. Then all of a sudden it's bang-bang-bang, one reveal after another. I like that the pace shifts around a bit because whenever you get lulled into a false sense of calm, we pick up and shock you.
When asked to compare this year's finale to that of the previous season, Torv said:
It's just as big. I couldn't believe where the finale goes – I'm quite speechless about it. I called Jeff Pinker & Joel Wyman [executive producers] and just said, "oh my god, what does this mean?!?!"
There's more at the link. [New York Post]
Here's a description for episode 22, "Chuck vs. Agent X":
CHUCK'S BACHELOR PARTY GETS OUT OF HAND WHEN SOME UNINVITED GUESTS ARRIVE – RAY WISE GUEST STARS – Chuck (Zachary Levi) and Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski) put aside spy work to have a weekend of debauchery, but Awesome's (Ryan McPartlin) plans for Chuck's big night don't go quite as expected. Meanwhile, Ellie's (Sarah Lancaster) investigation into her father's computer leads to a life-changing discovery.
The show will reportedly kill off somebody major the night before Sarah and Chuck's rehearsal dinner. Executive producer Chris Fedak says:
"Death is definitely a possibility. Remember: we killed Stephen Bartowski in our penultimate episode last year…"
There's also this detail about Chuck's bachelor party:
"We'll say this… one of the partygoers (someone who isn't a spy) may find himself being tortured by Ray's men."
Here are photos and a synopsis for episode 19, "Mommy Dearest." [multipleverses.com]
SAM AND DEAN MEET EVE - Sam (Jared Padalecki), Dean (Jensen Ackles), Bobby (Jim Beaver) and Castiel (Misha Collins) track Eve (guest star Julia Maxwell) to a small town in Oregon. The guys discover the townspeople have been converted to demons, but surprisingly, they all appear to be dying. When they finally do meet Eve, she decides to torture the brothers by bringing back their mother, Mary Winchester (guest star Samantha Smith), as a demon.
Here's the same for episode 20, "The Man Who Would Be King." [multipleverses.com]
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER BEN EDLUND WROTE AND DIRECTED THE EPISODE – Castiel (Misha Collins) tells Sam (Jared Padalecki), Dean (Jensen Ackles) and Bobby (Jim Beaver) about the war in Heaven and how he and Raphael became enemies. Bobby believes Castiel is hiding something, but Dean refuses to believe it.
Executive producer Bob Singer drops some hints for the upcoming western episode, "Frontierland", and how it fits in with the Eve arc:
It has to do with [Eve] the mother of all monsters and how you combat her, because clearly this a very powerful force at work here and a real challenge to the guys. But going back to when they got Samuel Colt's weapon, they now get something out of his journal that can be helpful to them in dealing with the mother. That's why they go back to the Old West.
Is there a satisfying conclusion to the Eve storyline?
Eve's story gets its rightful conclusion, and from there we go on to basically wrap up the season-long mystery, which was our plan for the year. Early on, we had decided to tell this 22-hour film noir mystery, and peel the onion away slowly.
He also reveals the two biggest high concept episodes the show wants to try:
Well, we've done the Western now, and we've done our meta episode… but from Year One, there have been two things we've talked about: How do you do a musical? And how do you do a cartoon? We haven't found a way to do either one of those yet, but I'm sure it'll come up in conversation for next season, an animated show or a musical. Musicals are really risky ground, but we do talk about it.
There's more at the link. [TV Line]
Here are some photos and a promo for episode 12, "Hangover." [SpoilerTV]
A TV Guide interview with Tom Welling includes this description of a scene in the April 29 episode:
As series star Tom Welling filmed a scene in the Phantom Zone with Justin Hartley (aka Oliver Queen, aka Green Arrow), the camera zoomed in on Welling's chiseled face, revealing a well-placed wisp of hair forming what looked a lot like pop culture's most iconic spit curl.
The interview itself mainly deals with Welling's overall work on the show, although he does rave about working with Michael Rosenbaum again. [TV Guide]
Additional reporting by Michael Ann Dobbs and Charlie Jane Anders.