Sunday, December 30, 2012

JUSTICE LEAGUE Movie Characters Revealed?

And the unconfirmed Justice League movie details keep on coming.

Two weeks after the movie's plot was supposedly revealed, along comes a list of the roster for the DC Comics superteam with a few supporting character cameos as well.  Cosmic Book News cites an unnamed "DC Entertainment source" for their information, so there's no telling if these details are indeed legitimate.

Here's their rundown of the Justice League members for the 2015 film:

Superman -- "Superman is essentially the same character from Man of Steel and Zack Snyder is consulting regarding the writing of the character."

Batman -- "The strategist of the group.  Batman doesn't really want to be involved with these superpowered beings he considers too powerful.  Easily the most complex written."  The article also links to another article about a possible Batman movie reboot in 2016.

Wonder Woman -- "She has only been in Man's World a few short months.  The Wonder Woman script Michael Goldenberg is developing will be set before the Justice League movie."

Green Lantern -- "Will be Ryan Reynolds' character (Hal Jordan) from the Green Lantern movie, but will be freshly written with a more serious tone."

The Flash -- "The most popular hero in civilian eyes who loves media attention, but when called upon is very serious."  Sounds more like Wally West in terms of personality, unless Barry Allen is being depicted with Wally's persona.

Martian Manhunter -- "Alien who has lived on Earth in secret for over a hundred years who has knowledge of Darkseid and his reign."

Aquaman -- "Will be the King of Atlantis who has a key role in the film."  The article also links to another article about a possible Aquaman movie based on Geoff Johns' current "The New 52" series.

Additional characters include:

Alfred Pennyworth and Lois Lane in minor cameo appearances. 

"There will also be a heavy military presence in the film which in future rewrites could include characters featured in Man of Steel or even Amanda Waller (Angela Bassett) of which neither are included in the first draft."

Darkseid's Elite (No specific characters named) will "go up against the Justice League early on in the film."

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Okay, Peter Parker is Dead...Now What?

Yep, here we are again with another dead Marvel superhero.

It's been almost two years since Marvel Comics got mainstream media attention for killing off the Fantastic Four's Human Torch, so time for someone else to die, right?  Well, Marvel's spinning Wheel of Death landed on none other than Peter Parker, the amazing/spectacular/sensational Spider-Man, in this week's The Amazing Spider-Man #700.  Yes, even though Marvel just killed off the Ultimate universe's version of Peter Parker in June of 2011.  Regardless, there's stilll plenty of media coverage and Twitter trending over the idea that Spider-Man died.

Just as Marvel did with the Fantastic Four's 50th anniversary year, they decided the best way to celebrate Spidey's 50th anniversary was to kill the character off.  Oh, and do it in the most ignoble way possible, by swapping Peter's body with the dying villain Doctor Octopus so that Doc Ock can pummel Peter to death with his own fists.  So Peter is dead and Amazing Spider-Man ends, replaced by a new Marvel NOW! series called The Superior Spider-Man starring Otto Octavius still in Peter Parker's body.

Will it last?  No, of course not.  Any comics fan that's been paying attention at least since the Human Torch died knows these sort of big hero deaths don't stick, especially when they're Marvel characters.  This goes double for a major superhero who just so happens to have a sequel to a major motion picture arriving in theaters in 2014.  What, do you honestly think Marvel is going to keep Otto around as Spider-Man while Peter Parker is still alive and web-swinging on the big screen?

And if the so-called "final issue" of Fantastic Four #588 is anything to go by, The Superior Spider-Man will probably run a year of two issues per month before The Amazing Spider-Man #724 arrives to replace or accompany it.  That is, unless Marvel decides to simply relaunch The Amazing Spider-Man again with Vol. 3 #1.

This storyline by continuing writer Dan Slott is designed to take Peter off the board for a while and see what stories can be made of a supervillain living the life of the superhero nemesis he replaced and allowed to die.  Peter's traditional supporting cast and fellow superheroes will turn their heads and wonder each time Otto does something very non-Peter Parkerish, eventually leading someone to finally piece things together and figure out what Otto did.  As for Peter's spirit or consciousness or what have you, it's backed up in an Octobot somewhere or survives in some part of Comic Book Limbo, waiting patiently to come back and make Spider-Fans happy once again.
So just enjoy the ride because we all know it's only temporary.  The notion of Doctor Octopus staying inside Peter Parker's body longer than a year?  Now that would be amazing.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

DOCTOR WHO Series 7B Trailer Debuts for 2013

It seems the Eleventh Doctor has another companion with the habit of dying on a fairly regular basis.  And no, it's not Kenny McCormick from South Park.

Last seen in "Asylum of the Daleks," the mysterious Soufflé Girl known as Clara Oswin Oswald returned to Doctor Who in last night's Christmas special, "The Snowmen," only to end up dead once again by the end of the episode.  But...Jenna-Louise Coleman's character is about to go on several adventures with the Doctor in the spring of 2013, right?  Well, that's just impossible.

The "Coming Soon" trailer for the remaining eight episodes of Series Seven shows us otherwise.  Premiering at the end of "The Snowmen," the new trailer features Matt Smith's Doctor bursting in with his trusty Sonic Screwdriver flashing.  "Ha-ha!  Miss me?"  "Who the hell are you?"  "I'm the Doctor.  I'm an alien from outer space.  I'm a thousand years old, I've got two hearts and I can't fly a plane!"  Shots of Mark Gatiss' submarine story "The Crimson Horror" with guest-star Liam Cunningham.  The Doctor with a cybernetic facial implant, presumably from Neil Gaiman's Cybermen story "The Last Cyberman."  The Doctor wearing the robes of a monk, presumably from the story "The Bells of St. John."  The Doctor and Clara on the aforementioned plane the Doctor can't fly.  The Doctor and Clara riding a motorcycle along Westminster Bridge in London.  "Running away with a spaceman in a box, anything could happen to you."  "That's what I'm counting on."

"Where do you wanna go, eh?  What do you wanna see?"  The Doctor and Clara in the middle of a crowd of various aliens.  Actor Dougray Scott as a professor in Neil Cross' ghost story.  Clara walking with a resistance group featuring actors Tamzin Outhwaite and Warwick Davis.  The return of Strax the Sontaran, Madame Vastra and Jenny Flint.  Creepy-looking new monsters with strange gas-mask faces.  Creepy-looking new monsters with no eyes that look like the Gentlemen from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  A quick shot of Dame Diana Rigg in "The Crimson Horror."  Creepy-looking new monster that looks like a ghost.  The first look at the slimmer, redesigned Cybermen, who take a mace away from Clara.  "Is that her?"  "The woman twice dead."  "She's rather pretty, isn't she?"  "She's not possible!"  Clara menaced by a creepy-looking new monster in a glass cell.  Clara's throat is grabbed by a Cyberman.  "Right then, Clara Oswald...Time to find out who you are..."

(Sigh...)  At least three full months until we start finding out what all this means.  Well, here's the trailer to tide us over for a little while...

Monday, December 24, 2012

Hugh Jackman Confirms X-Man Cameo in THE WOLVERINE

He's the best there is at what he does...and what he does is brood over dead love interests.

During a recent interview with Parade to promote his upcoming film Les Misérables, actor Hugh Jackman was asked to give the magazine a scoop on next year's film The Wolverine, directed by James MangoldJackman responded, "You want to get me into trouble, don’t you?  [laughs]  Okay, the movie takes place after X-Men: The Last Stand.  My character is at his lowest.  He is supposed to be able to heal himself, but he may encounter someone who has worked out a way to really hurt him.  And there is a cameo from one of the past X-Men in it."

For those who remember the 2006 movie, Wolverine was forced to kill his fellow X-Man and love interest Jean Grey after Jean went all Dark Phoenix and murdered both her boyfriend Cyclops and her mentor Professor Charles Xavier.  When last we saw Wolverine, it was presumed he remained with Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters as a teacher.

Well, chances are good that the X-Man getting a cameo in The Wolverine is indeed Jean Grey.  Two months ago, the site We Got This Covered posted rumors of Famke Janssen flying into Sydney to shoot a cameo, where The Wolverine was filming, which lines up nicely with the tidbit that Jackman revealed to Parade.  It's possible Jean appears in some form of flashback scene or perhaps a hallucination.

Jackman also recently signed on to reprise Wolverine once again in the upcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past to be helmed by returning director Bryan Singer.  Interestingly, he hints that his appearance will be more than just another cameo, saying on his Twitter account "Great to be back where it all began with Bryan Singer and 'X-Men: Days of Future Past.'  And to work with the new cast for more than four hours this time."

The Wolverine is scheduled to arrive in theaters on July 26, 2013.  X-Men: Days of Future Past arrives July 18, 2014.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

ARROW Casts BSG's James Callis as The Dodger

So when do Caprica Six and Starbuck appear?

Following up on Tahmoh ("Helo") Penikett's recent appearance, the CW series Arrow is adding another Battlestar Galactica alum to its TV universe based on the DC Comics character Green Arrow.  TV Guide reported today that actor James Callis, best known as BSG's neurotic genius Dr. Gaius Baltar, is guest-starring in the upcoming episode "Dodger" as -- Surprise! -- The Dodger.

The character, created by Judd Winick and Mike Norton, first appeared in 2008's Green Arrow and Black Canary #7 as a thief who eventually becomes an ally for Oliver Queen.  Operating out of London, England, Dodger steals and/or sells anything from information to advanced technology.

According to TV Guide, Arrow's version of The Dodger is an elusive international jewel thief who "imposes his plans on the innocent, forcing them to carry out his crimes under duress.  When the Sherwood Ruby goes missing in Starling City, the ensuing investigation leads Oliver (Stephen Amell) and Diggle (David Ramsey) straight to The Dodger, but apprehending him won't be as easy as they may have thought."

Sherwood Ruby?  Well, of course.

It's also worth nothing that "Dodger" is the same episode to feature the debut of Colton Haynes as Roy Harper, just announced last week.  The episode is currently scheduled to air on the CW on February 20, 2013.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Jamie Foxx Discusses Electro in THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2

You get the impression that actor Jamie Foxx is excited about playing the supervillain Electro in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 when he keeps talking about that film during promotion for his current film, Django Unchained.

Foxx gave an interview to Blackfilm where he discussed costume changes to the Marvel Comics character, who first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #9 in 1964.

When asked if he was ready to don Max Dillon's traditional green and yellow costume, Foxx replied, "It won’t be green and yellow.  It will be a different color. They (the producers) want something for the future.  They want to have it more grounded and not as comic bookie, so it won’t be green and yellow.  They want to try new things, like a liquid rubber and things like that, and there are all these bolts and stuff in my arms when they are hanging me upside down and trying to figure out what happened.  How did he become this way? So, it will be some new stuff.  In the script, this villain, for the first time, will be written really, really well.  Andrew Garfield and Marc Webb both commented on how great the script is, so it should be an exciting time."

In another interview to MTV, Foxx gave considerable detail on how Electro's character and background will be portrayed in the film.  "You'll see that in his whole life, no one is talking to him.  People have stolen his ideas at the big company.  He's a nobody.  At a certain point, Spider-Man bumps into him and says, 'You're my guy.  You're my eyes and ears on the street.'  And he says his name -- No one has ever said (Max) Dillon's name."

This apparently makes a big impression on the future villain.  "He goes 'Wow!'" continues Foxx, "and when Spider-Man leaves, he sort of thinks that, 'I am Spider-Man's partner!'  He's cutting out Spider-Man's face and pasting it on all his boards...Everything goes bad with his mom.  She doesn't remember his birthday.  He has something tragic happen and when it turns on, he lights it up."

Foxx also remarked again on changes to the character's original comic book costume.  "Marc Webb and all of those guys, they're smart.  They know that it has to make sense in 2013, so the suit is really slick.  It's actually black.  It's a new age."

The sequel to The Amazing Spider-Man is currently slated to arrive in theaters on May 2, 2014.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

TRON 3 Reloading Return to The Grid

Greetings, programs!

One of my favorite films of 2010 was Tron: Legacy, the stylish sequel to the 1982 cult classic Tron by director Joseph Kosinski that no one ever expected to happen.  The film had its critics, but still managed to pull in over $400 million worldwide with a reported production budget of $170 million, so a second sequel certainly seemed like a good possibility.

Earlier this week, Tron: Legacy star Garrett Hedlund, who played Kevin Flynn's son Sam, gave an exclusive to NextMovie that he would be reprising the role of Sam Flynn in Tron 3.  "Disney's very excited," Hedlund commented on the project.  "That's about that.  You know, yeah, I'm very excited, Disney's very excited."  The article also mentioned that Jesse Wigutow, who wrote the screenplay for Eragon, was in negotiations with Disney to rewrite Tron 3 for a possible production start in 2014.

Meanwhile, Kosinski was interviewed by MTV about the project and gave the following remarks.  "We've got an idea for the next movie that's really exciting to me," he said.  "I mean, obviously, the only reason to go back would be if we could do something spectacular and really push the ideas forward that we had established in Legacy.  We have an idea and an approach and a way into it that I'm really excited about, and now it's about execution on the level of the script.  So working hard on that in the background, and hopefully that'll all come together.

"It's still the same plan in that Tron 3 would deliver on the promises set up at the end of Legacy in different ways," continued Kosinski.  "You look at what happened in the closing scenes of Legacy.  I think it sets a clear direction for what could happen in the next chapter."

Kosinski also played the Star Wars card in seperate interview with Collider, with comparisons to that film series' original trilogy.  "I’ve said it would have to be our Empire Strikes Back for me to come back and for me to pull the whole team back together.  I think we do have that idea.  We do have the idea that feels big and really blows the doors off this franchise.  It’s hinted at promises of something for two movies now, for thirty years, so it’s time to deliver on that.  But the script’s got to be at a level that makes it worth going back for, because it’s a lot of work to make a movie like this and it’s a multi-year project.  So we’ve got our writer Jesse Wigutow on it right now writing, and fingers crossed if it all comes together, as we hope it will, there could be another Tron in the next few years, and it’s going to be awesome."

Concerning the time frame between Legacy and Tron 3, Kosinski remarked, "I think time has passed.  It feels like we’re kind of real-time in step.  So however much time has passed since Legacy came out would also have transpired in the real world.  So it will still be contemporary.  So let’s say if the Tron sequel comes out in 2015, then four or five years have passed since the last movie."

One of the highlights of Tron: Legacy was the incredible score by Daft Punk, so the subject of their return naturally came up as well.  "When it comes to building the team up for soundtrack they would absolutely be my first call," said Kosinski.  "As to whether or not they would do it, it depends on what they’re doing at the time.  They are very methodical in how they pick their next project, and they would only do it if they felt that they could dedicate themselves a hundred percent to that.  I know they have another album coming out, I’m sure that’s going to be their next big project, which I assume is going to be followed by a massive tour.  So, you know, hopefully if they’ve got the time and the creative willingness to dive back in."

Here's hoping the project continues moving forward, preferably without taking another 28 years...


Thursday, December 13, 2012

JUSTICE LEAGUE Movie Plot Revealed?

Apokolips?  Wow.

Last week, Latino Review revved up the fan forums with an article claiming that the villain for the long-awaited Justice League movie adaptation would be none other than Darkseid.  This made sense, of course, especially since DC Comics featured Darkseid as the villain for the first story arc in the relaunched Justice League monthly series that also ushered in "The New 52" era.

Well, the movie news site is back with a follow-up rumor, this time claiming that the movie's script by Will Beale will focus on the classic crossover storyline from Justice League of America #183-185 by Gerry Conway, George Pérez and Dick Dillin way back in 1980. 

The three-issue saga was one of a series of annual team-ups with original superteam the Justice Society of America, but with the various New Gods characters added in as well.  The storyline centered around the New Gods seek the aid of both the JLA and the JSA after the people of New Genesis have been kidnapped and enslaved by the minions of Apokolips, the world that is New Genesis' dark counterpart.  Heroes from all three groups race to various locations to stop this, only to discover that the ultimate plan is the revival of their late leader, Darkseid.  The Big Bad is restored to life, of course, and the heroes discover his plot to transport Apokolips into the Earth-2 universe to replace/destroy the homeworld of the Justice Society.

While I can't imagine the Justice Society characters will be part of such a crowded film, it'll be curious to see who makes the Justice League roster in addition to Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash and Green Lantern.  If this movie plot turns out to be legit, this also could be a way to potentially spin the New Gods off into their own film.

Before all this though, Justice League still needs to find a director in order to make the planned 2015 release.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

ARROW Casts Colton Haynes as Roy Harper

Looks like John Diggle could be out of his sidekick job in 2013.

TV Guide announced yesterday that former Teen Wolf TV series star Colton Haynes has landed the role of Roy Harper on the CW series Arrow.  Harper is described by The CW as "a handsome, street-savvy, teenager from 'the Glades,' the harsh, poverty-stricken portion of Starling City."

Of course, DC Comics fans know that Harper debuted as Green Arrow's sidekick Speedy way back in More Fun Comics #73 in 1941, then changed to the more adult identity of Arsenal in New Titans #99 in 1993, and became Red Arrow in Justice League of America (Vol.2) #7 in 2007.  The character currently co-stars as Arsenal once again in the series Red Hood and the Outlaws.

Haynes will reportedly first appear as Roy Harper in the February 20th episode "Dodger," in a recurring role as Thea Queen's love interest after the two meet "in an unexpected way."  The article also mentions that Harper is "destined to become a significant part of her life and an important player in the larger world of Arrow."

Executive producer Greg Berlanti commented on the casting, saying "We were big fans of Colton from Teen Wolf and we are thrilled he's joining Arrow."

It's not yet known if Harper will take on the alias of Speedy, which has already been referenced on the show as Oliver Queen's nickname for his younger sister, or the other identities of Arsenal or Red Arrow.  As Smallville proved, however, sometimes these things take a little time...

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS: The Cumberbatch Maneuver

I don't know whether to be impressed by all this or just plain exhausted.

As some of you already know, I've been a big supporter of the theory that the villain for the upcoming J.J. Abrams movie Star Trek Into Darkness would be original TV series character Gary Mitchell since October of 2010 when Badass News quoted an anonymous source naming Mitchell, Harry Mudd, Trelane, the Talosians or the Horta as the film's chief antagonist.  Working off the basis that the source was actually legit, Mitchell seemed to me like the best pick because of the character's friendship with Captain Kirk and the growing godlike powers he acquires that would make for a dramatic, visually exciting movie.

A year later, speculation centered around the return of Star Trek II nemesis Khan Noonien Singh instead, with actor Benicio Del Toro turning down the role and a number of other candidates being rumored before Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch was ultimately cast.  Khan speculation continued to build, until Star Trek actor Simon Pegg was interviewed six months later and said no, it wasn't Khan and called the rumors "a myth."

The Cumberbatch mystery abruptly shifted to Gary Mitchell, where I was already waiting and tapping my foot impatiently, when Karl Urban was interviewed a month later and said of Cumberbatch, "He’s awesome, he’s a great addition, and I think his Gary Mitchell is going to be exemplary."  This, of course, was in complete contradiction to comments from co-writer/producer Bob Orci who claimed Mitchell, Janice Rand, Charlie X, Ruk the android from "What Are Little Girls Made Of?", and the Borg were definitely not in the sequel.

"Aha! Told you so!" came the smug, validated cries from Team Khan, who loved to point out that Gary Mitchell couldn't possibly be in the Star Trek sequel because he recently appeared in the first two issues of the ongoing Star Trek comic book series from IDW Publishing, which has Bob Orci as a creative consultant, and was killed off.  Right, because the movie producers couldn't possibly decide that their movie continuity needs were more important than adhering to a comic book retelling of a classic TV episode if they wanted.

So what the hell was going on?  Was Cumberbatch playing Khan, Mitchell or someone else entirely?  And were Star Trek fans being deliberately fed misinformation?  Looking back, it certainly seems that way.

Months passed with details of Cumberbatch's character, along with the characters of co-stars Alice Eve and Peter Weller, still under lockdown greater than classified national security intel.  Last week, we finally saw two versions of a one-minute teaser trailer that sent Team Khan and Team Mitchell at one another again with Team Garth of Izar desperately trying to be taken seriously.

And then yesterday, the above still image of Cumberbatch as Khan-or-Mitchell in the Enterprise brig (behind a wall of transparent aluminum?) was released with an official caption that named him as the character "John Harrison." 

Excuse me, who?

Well, maybe this Harrison, an extra in the original TV series who, depending on the episode, wore all three colored Starfleet uniforms of command, science/medicine, and operations/security.  "Aha!  Harrison was in the episode 'Space Seed' with Khan as a red-shirted operations officer!"  Shut up, Team Khan.

Oh, and J.J. Abrams also decided to invite a bunch of journalists to a screening of the film's first nine minutes Sunday night, people who certainly don't know their way around a computer.  Well, one of those people spends all of two seconds on Twitter to announce that guess what?  Even though Alice Eve has the exact same hairstyle and blue Starfleet uniform as Dr. Elizabeth Dehner from the Gary Mitchell episode, she's playing Carol Marcus, who was Kirk's ex-wife in Star Trek II.  "Aha!  Told you--"  Shut up, Team Khan!

Yes, speculating speculation is speculative and you really have to credit J.J. Abrams, Bob Orci and everyone involved with this production for keeping Trek fans guessing and adding to the overall buzz.  At this point, the villain could be anything from Khan, to Gary Mitchell, to both Khan and Gary Mitchell (Holy crap if that happens...), to something else entirely.  Oh, and we still don't know who Peter Weller is playing.

Oy.  I think I need to start checking the Doctor Who 50th anniversary message boards for a while...

Saturday, December 8, 2012

FANTASTIC FOUR Film Reboot Set for 2015

Of course it's for 2015.  Everything else is going that way, so why not?

ERCBoxOffice posted yesterday that 20th Century Fox's scheduled reboot of its Fantastic Four film franchise is scheduled for March 6, 2015.  The movie will be directed by Josh Trank, who helmed this year's superpowers/"found footage" film Chronicle, and adds to an increasingly crowded geek calendar year that includes Star Wars Episode VII, Justice League and The Avengers 2.

Trank's film is expected to relaunch the FF in a different direction from their previous depictions in 2005's Fantastic Four and 2007's Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, both directed by Tim Story.  And with the addition of comics writer Mark Millar as Fox's Marvel Adaptations Consultant back in September, it seems Fox is making their opening move to establish their own Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Millar commented on Trank, saying "Hiring Josh Trank for Fantastic Four…It could just not be more different than the first Fantastic Four movie from what I’ve seen so far.  Even just as a fan, I’m very, very excited by the level of talent they have on the directors side of things."

The March 2015 date announcement is interesting though, because it shows Fox is really anxious to get Fantastic Four on the board as fast as possible, but also that they realize the summer is already booked up with two huge superhero flicks and a Star Wars movie.  Makes you wonder what they're planning for Christmas 2015 instead...

Thursday, December 6, 2012


So...Shall we begin?

It's been a bit of a wait, but we finally have our first official look at Star Trek Into Darkness, the sequel to 2009's Star Trek from director J.J. Abrams.  Until now, the most we've been given is this plot synopsis:

In Summer 2013, pioneering director J.J. Abrams will deliver an explosive action thriller that takes "Star Trek Into Darkness."

When the crew of the Enterprise is called back home, they find an unstoppable force of terror from within their own organization has detonated the fleet and everything it stands for, leaving our world in a state of crisis.

With a personal score to settle, Captain Kirk leads a manhunt to a war-zone world to capture a one man weapon of mass destruction.

As our heroes are propelled into an epic chess game of life and death, love will be challenged, friendships will be torn apart, and sacrifices must be made for the only family Kirk has left: his crew.

A one-minute teaser trailer was released this morning, showcasing the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise facing Benedict Cumberbatch's still-unrevealed character who may or may not be Khan Noonien Singh from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan or Gary Mitchell from the classic Star Trek TV episode "Where No Man Has Gone Before."  Maybe-Khan-or-Mitchell is featured in this menacing voiceover:

"You think your world is safe.  It is an illusion, a comforting lie told to protect you.  Enjoy these final moments of peace, for I have returned...to have my vengeance."

Since this is a teaser, we're given a number of fleeting images, including Kirk and Bones fleeing from something and jumping off a cliff into an ocean below, Khan-or-Mitchell leaping into view from a very great height and aiming a weapon, a ship (The Enterprise?) emerging from an ocean, Enterprise crewmen falling down corridors after the starship is tilted downwards, Kirk punching Khan-or-Mitchell while Spock looks on, Alice Eve (as Dr. Elizabeth Dehner?  Janice Rand?) screaming in terror, Scotty comforting a crying Uhura, panicked people on the street as nearby buildings collapse, and the final money shot of the Enterprise or some other Starfleet vessel cannonballing into a bay.

Interestingly, there's also a Japanese trailer that has a few minutes of extra footage at the end.  Khan-or-Mitchell has a bonus voiceover where he says "Is there anything you would not do for your family?" followed by an image of Spock's hand reaching out to touch Kirk's despite being separated by protective glass the way the characters did in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan when Spock died saving the Enterprise from destruction.  Intentional red herring or tipoff clue?  You can view this Japanese version here...

Star Trek Into Darkness is scheduled to arrive in theaters on May 17, 2013.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Will The Governor Maim Rick on THE WALKING DEAD?

Okay, massive SPOILER WARNING territory here for those who haven't read the first forty issues of The Walking Dead comic book series by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore and Charlie Adlard.  Oh, and those who haven't yet watched Sunday's episode may want to do that first as well.

As fans of AMC's The Walking Dead television series know, the first eight episodes of Season 3 have just ended with main protagonist Rick Grimes traveling to the town of Woodbury with a small party in order to rescue their fellow zombiepocalypse survivors Glenn and Maggie.  In the episode "Made to Suffer," the katana-wielding Michonne helps with the rescue operation then abruptly breaks off from the group to satisfy her own agenda.  The rest of Rick's group flees Woodbury, losing expendable prison survivor Oscar in the process, while Michonne sits and waits for The Governor, the secretly-deranged leader of Woodbury, inside his home.

She soon discovers that The Governor's young daughter Penny is a turned Walker he keeps tucked away in his private man cave, surrounded by aquarium tanks full of bobbing and still-bitey Walker heads.  The Governor enters just as Michonne is about to end Penny's zombie afterlife and he begs Michonne not to kill his undead daughter.  Michonne promptly thinks "To Hell with that" and shoves her katana blade through the back of Penny's head, causing The Governor to lose it and attack her.  The brutal man cave fight knocks over a couple of aquariums, with freed Walker heads chomping away, and Michonne uses a piece of broken glass to stab The Governor in his right eye.  Andrea, the survivor with the absolute worst taste in love interests, then arrives with her gun and allows Michonne to escape while Andrea tends to her blinded, even less sane honeybunny.

After his eye is bandaged up, The Governor makes an announcement to the people of Woodbury, warning them of the "terrorists" that attacked their town.  He reveals that his men managed to capture Rick's new number two, Daryl Dixon, and offers up his own number two, Merle, as a traitor who also deserves to die.  Cliffhanger!

So with all this in mind, it's time to consider The Walking Dead #28, dated May 2006.  In this key issue of the comic series, the captured Rick, Glenn and Michonne are in The Governor's office and learn they're going to be fed to zombies because hey, why not.  The Governor wants to know where Rick and the others are residing and doesn't believe their lies about the prison riot suits they're wearing.  He tells Rick that the situation is serious and he always get what he wants. To prove his point, The Governor takes out his knife and cuts off Rick's hand.

As Rick is about to black out, Michonne jumps on The Governor and proceeds to bite his ear off before being recaptured by the Governor's bodyguards.  Rick is taken to Dr. Stevens and wakes up in a hospital bed to find that his right hand is missing and the remaining nub is covered in bandages.

Now, there's no assurance here that Rick will definitely lose his hand on the TV series.  One of the great things about The Walking Dead TV version is that it has its own continuity that uses the comic source material as a guideline instead of a steadfast Holy Bible.  This leaves the television show more unpredictable, as in the case in the middle of Season 2 when the group finally found the missing Sophia as one of a barnful of Walkers stashed away on Hershel's farm.  If the TV version followed the comic exactly, Sophia would still be alive through Season 8 at least.

However, you have to wonder where the show's writers are going with The Governor now that he's probably even more insane after Michonne cost him his precious zombie daughter and his right eye (the left one in the comics).   And don't forget, there's Daryl's brother Merle Dixon in play as well.  Presuming Merle escapes the mid-season cliffhanger, he may want to take some revenge on Rick for handcuffing him to a pipe back in the Season 1 episode "Guts," which cost Merle his right hand.

Yeah, this could go just about any direction but until The Governor is finally dealt with once and for all, Rick may want to keep both hands in his pockets whenever possible...

The Walking Dead returns for the rest of Season 3 on February 10, 2013 on AMC.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Dane DeHaan Confirmed as Harry Osborn for AMAZING SPIDER-MAN Sequel

Peter Parker has a new best friend...or rather, a new version of his best friend.

Marc Webb, director of this year's The Amazing Spider-Man and the upcoming untitled 2014 sequel, posted on Twitter this morning that actor Dane DeHaan has landed the role of Harry Osborn, son of Green Goblin Norman Osborn.  DeHaan is probably best known as the emotionally troubled telekinetic Andrew Detmer from Chronicle but also can be spotted in last year's season of True Blood and the recent historical drama Lincoln.

As Spider-Man movie fans know, the role of Harry Osborn previously belonged to James Franco in Sam Raimi's original trilogy.  Harry started off as Peter's closest friend, only to mistakenly blame Peter for the death of Harry's father Norman.  After learning that Peter is Spider-Man, Harry attempts to take revenge but ultimately learns the truth of Norman's death and ends up helping Spider-Man save Mary Jane and dies in the process.

DeHaan joins returning actors Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone, along with Shailene Woodley as the new Mary Jane Watson and Jamie Foxx, presumably as the villain Electro.  No word yet, however, if the character of Norman Osborn will be included in the sequel, but Norman was hinted at in The Amazing Spider-Man with a reference as the CEO and founder of Oscorp, and the ultimate goal of Dr. Curtis Connors' research was to cure Osborn of his unnamed terminal illness. 

An official press release was provided following the announcement of DeHaan's casting:

Dane DeHaan will join the cast of the next installment of The Amazing Spider-Man, along side Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx and Shailene Woodley as Columbia Pictures prepares to begin production on the next chapter of the blockbuster franchise, it was announced today by Doug Belgrad, president of Columbia Pictures, and Hannah Minghella, president of production for the studio.

The screenplay is by Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci and Jeff Pinkner based on a previous draft by James Vanderbilt. The film will be directed by Marc Webb and produced by Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach.

The casting of DeHaan as Harry Osborn was confirmed this morning in a tweet by Webb (@MarcW) who wrote "Meet Harry Osborn. So excited to have him on board. @danedehaan."

"Dane is an exciting and extraordinary young actor and he is a fantastic addition to our cast," Webb said.

The new film in the Spider-Man saga is set for release in 3D on May 2, 2014. Production will begin in early 2013 in New York.

Webb, Garfield and Stone previously teamed on this summer's blockbuster The Amazing Spider-Man, which has taken in more than $751 million worldwide.

DeHaan caught moviegoers' attention with his performances in four 2012 releases: Steven Spielberg's Lincoln, opposite Daniel Day-Lewis and Lukas Haas; John Hillcoat's Lawless, alongside Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy, and Jason Clarke; Bradley Rust Gray's Jack & Diane, with Juno Temple and Riley Keough; and one of the year's biggest sleeper hits, the adventure thriller Chronicle, directed by Josh Trank. He began his film career with director John Sayles and actor Chris Cooper in Amigo.

DeHaan next stars in Place Beyond the Pines alongside Bradley Cooper and Ryan Gosling. In addition he will star in Atom Egoyan's Devil's Knot, with Reese Witherspoon and Colin Firth, about the fate of the West Memphis Three; and John Krokidas' Kill Your Darlings, with Jack Huston, Daniel Radcliffe, Ben Foster, and Kyra Sedgwick, set in 1944 amidst the Beat Generation.

Mr. DeHaan first came to industry attention with his portrayal of Jesse in the third season of the critically applauded drama series In Treatment, starring alongside Gabriel Byrne. This was followed by a guest arc in the fourth season of the popular horror series True Blood.

In 2010, he received an Obie Award for his performance in Annie Baker's The Aliens, directed by Sam Gold. The Rattlestick Theater production was cited as "Play of the Year" by The New York Times. Mr. DeHaan made his Broadway debut in with American Buffalo, Robert Falls' 2008 staging of the classic David Mamet play.

The sequel to The Amazing Spider-Man is currently scheduled to arrive in theaters on May 2, 2014.

Friday, November 30, 2012

ARROW Casts Deathstroke Without the Mask

Deathstroke fans, you're finally going to be able to see and hear Slade Wilson without his mask on the CW series Arrow.

Entertainment Weekly announced that the role of Deathstroke has been recast with Spartacus star Manu Bennett, who plays Crixus on the Starz action series that ends in 2013. 

The DC Comics supervillain appeared previously in the November 7th episode "Damaged" and was played by stuntman Jeffrey C. Robinson.  During a flashback sequence of Oliver Queen's early days being marooned on the island of Lian Yu, Deathstroke is introduced as part of a mercenary group led by Eddie Fyers to locate the hooded archer Yao Fei, and tortures Oliver without actually saying anything.

It's not known when Bennett will appear as Slade Wilson's alias Deathstroke, so it may be a little while before Oliver connects Wilson to the island mercenary who tortured him.  Another mystery is whether Bennett will be sporting Wilson's traditional eyepatch in present day scenes after it was hinted in the pilot that Oliver may have taken Deathstoke's right eye before leaving Lian Yu. 

EW claims that Wilson and Oliver will form "an uneasy alliance" during additional Lian Yu flashbacks, while their insider simply commented, "You’ll just have to keep watching Arrow."

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Karen Gillan Shares Life Post-DOCTOR WHO with Craig Ferguson

Karen Gillan may be gone from Doctor Who, but it looks like she'll always have a place on CBS' The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson.

On her twenty-fifth birthday, the actress returned for third appearance on the late-night talk show to promote the Doctor Who Series Seven, Part One DVD set that was recently released.  A clip of her final on-screen appearance in the episode "The Angels Take Manhattan" was shown, which featured the sad graveyard scene where Gillan's character Amy Pond allows herself to be touched by a Weeping Angel and disappears back in time.

As Ferguson displayed the DVD set to the audience, Gillan remarked that star Matt Smith complained about her being too heavy for him for the set's cover image of the Doctor carrying an unconscious Amy Pond.  "He's a thin gentleman," quipped Ferguson with a cheeky smile.  "I mean, very attractive but he's kinda got that 1970s David Bowie thing going on."

Gillan then shared what was going on in her life since leaving Doctor Who.  After filming Oculus, a "kind of horror" movie, in Alabama, she's obtained a legal visa to remain in the States and has moved to Los Angeles.

The actress later sang a Gaelic song with Ferguson's robot sidekick Geoff Peterson and was warned by Ferguson about the Los Angeles sun affecting her pale skin.  "Yeah," replied Gillan, "I'm gonna get more freckles and then they'll join up and then I'll be completely ginger."

If you'd like to check out the full segment, you can view it below thanks to YouTube user Someoddstuff...

Monday, November 26, 2012

SHERLOCK Series 3 Delayed Until Late 2013

Well, at least Elementary is doing well on CBS...

Fans of the BBC series Sherlock are going to have to wait a bit longer for the return of the modern-day Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson.  Entertainment Weekly reported today that the start of production for the show's third series of three 90-minute episodes has been pushed back from January to March 2013 in order to accommodate the schedules of stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman.

It was hoped that Sherlock Series 3 would be broadcast by the BBC during the summer, but the article claims that it won't air until late 2013, with the PBS broadcast in America possibly not airing until early 2014.  Anticipation for the third season is high, especially after the cliffhanger ending in "The Reichenbach Fall" that featured Holmes somehow faking a suicide leap off the roof of a tall building after having his public reputation destroyed by his nemesis, Jim Moriarty.  The featured Series 3 stories remain a mystery, teased back in August with just three words -- "Rat," "Wedding" and "Bow."

Demand for Cumberbatch and Freeman is just as high, however, with Cumberbatch slated to portray Julian Assange in an untitled film about Wikileaks and Freeman currently filming The World's End, a new Edgar Wright comedy starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost.  Hopefully, the stars will figure out how to clear their calendars long enough to keep the return of Sherlock Holmes from being delayed once again.

Friday, November 23, 2012

DOCTOR WHO: Countdown to the 50th Anniversary

One year and counting.

365 days from now, on November 23, 2013, fans of Doctor Who will be celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the science fiction program's debut in 1963 with episode one of "An Unearthly Child."  That's a pretty impressive achievement for a low-budget BBC series originally developed to teach children about historical events.

Eleven Doctors and umpteen companions later, Doctor Who has finally become the worldwide phenomenon it deserved to be and Whovians all over the globe are anxiously awaiting next year's special.  After all, with stories such as "The Three Doctors" and "The Five Doctors" celebrating the show's tenth and twentieth anniversaries respectively, and charity short stories like "Dimensions in Time" and "Time Crash" featuring previous Doctors, it's going to be pretty disappointing if some form of multi-Doctor story isn't the basis of the 50th anniverary.
Last year at this time, I shared my thoughts on how the 50th anniversary special could work but one year later, we're still not much closer to knowing how it's going to turn out.  We've received all sorts of mixed messages over the past twelve months, some of them probably deliberately obfuscating, and Rassilon knows that showrunner Steven Moffat isn't going to reveal anything until he wants to.  Here's a rundown of what little we do know:
Peter Davison (The Fifth Doctor) -- Interviewed by Kasterborous at the end of October, Davison was asked if he would return for the anniversary.  "Every day I check the phone to see if Steven Moffat has called me.  I don’t know what’s happening next year, I have nothing to report.  I’m sure it will be something fantastic, but I don’t know what.  I think if [the classic Doctors] aren’t invited, I’m going to make my own rival video.  I’ll do my own 50th anniversary special.  Colin Baker’s prepared to work for nothing!"
Colin Baker (The Sixth Doctor) -- Spoke with Doctor Who TV two weeks ago and was asked about reprising the Sixth Doctor.  "No," he denied.  "As far as I know, neither of any of my erstwhile colleagues have been asked either."
Paul McGann (The Eighth Doctor) -- Made comments in July that were reported by Digital Spy about if he was involved in the anniversary.  "No," he responded.  "I mean, I know it's imminent but no, there's been no invites to or sounding out taking place but maybe it will happen, we don't know."  It should be noted that McGann has recently debuted an entirely new look for his Doctor sanctioned by the BBC in promotional materials for the Big Finish audio adventure "Dark Eyes."
David Tennant (The Tenth Doctor) -- Made very poor denials last week during press interviews for Nativity 2: Danger in the Manger.  Even if no one else returns for the anniversary, Tennant most likely will.
Matt Smith (The Eleventh Doctor) -- Interviewed by Collider at the beginning of November and asked about a special with several Doctors.  "Are they?" Smith replied.  "I don't know, you tell me."  On the related subject of Mark Gatiss' documentary on the show's genesis, Smith remarked, "Ah, the genesis of The Doctor, but that’s about William Hartnell isn’t it?  I mean, there’s that and we’ll obviously make a 50th anniversary episode special, and then they’ll be all sorts of live events I would’ve thought that surround that.  I think we’re going to make it a big year for Doctor Who on the BBC. I think that’s the plan."
In another interview with Den of Geek, Smith was asked about working with actors from the show's past.  "I think it’s a lovely idea.  Whether or not it’s something that’s in any way achievable nowadays, I just don’t know, because actors have other commitments, and they move on from the show.  But I’ve enjoyed, in the past, watching the multi-Doctor episodes.  If you’re a fan of the show, it’s just a cool thing, isn’t it?  Seeing them and going 'Aah, they’re talking to each other!  And they’re both the Doctor!'  Steven will come up with something brilliant, and of course I know what it is and I can’t say anything!  But whether or not that’s achievable, I don’t know."
William Russell (Ian Chesterton) -- In a piece last week by the Coventry Telegraph, Russell said it would be "a great idea" for his character Ian to return to the show and joked that he should send Matt Smith's Doctor back to school.
John Barrowman (Captain Jack Harkness) -- Spoke with TV Choice at the beginning of this month and asked about returning for the anniversary. "I haven’t heard anything.  There was a rumor online that said I’m not able to do it because of my schedule.  But actually, I haven’t been asked.  So it’s nothing to do with my schedule.  And to be honest with you -- I have time.  I’ve always said, if they come to me and ask me to do Doctor Who or Torchwood ever again, I would do it at the drop of a hat."

So again, we still don't know much more than what we started with, although it seems like everyone who should be involved in the 50th anniversary special thinks it's rather a good idea.  Time will tell, though...It always does...

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

David Tennant Denies Involvement (Wink, Wink) in DOCTOR WHO's 50th Anniversary

Rule One -- The Doctor lies.

If only one of the previous Doctors return for Doctor Who's 50th anniversary on November 23, 2013, you can pretty much bet David Tennant, the Tenth Doctor, will be that one.  As an admitted fan of the original series growing up, Tennant secured his status as The Ultimate Whovian with his checkmate moves of portraying the Tenth Doctor from Christmas 2005 through New Year's Day 2010 and marrying Georgia Moffett, daughter of Fifth Doctor Peter Davison.

So while it's no big shock to hear Tennant denying his involvement in Doctor Who's 50th anniversary, at least until an official announcement is made, it's interesting that's he's doing such a poor job with his denials.  While doing publicity for Nativity 2: Danger in the Manger, Tennant was once again asked about his involvement and gave the following response to BBC Radio 1:

"I nearly said something I shouldn’t!  I don’t have an answer to this question.  I keep being asked and I wish I had an answer.  I’ve nothing to say.  I don’t know and if I did have any involvement, I wouldn’t be able to talk about it anyway, would I?  Probably not."

In another response to the question from Red Carpet News, Tennant remarked:

"I can’t imagine there even are going to be any anniversary celebrations, are there?  Look at my agent getting twitchy!"

Honestly, the guy is just one step away from resetting "Wink, wink, nudge, nudge, say no more..." from Monty Python.

If you'd like to see the full interviews, you can view them below.  The Doctor Who discussion for BBC Radio 1 begins at around the 0:49 mark, while the Red Carpet News comments begin around the 1:25 mark.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Jeremy Renner Reprises Hawkeye for SNL AVENGERS Sketch

How useful is Hawkeye when he runs out of arrows?

That was the joke premise of the somewhat disappointing Avengers movie sketch on last night's Saturday Night Live, hosted by Avengers star Jeremy Renner.  Reprising his role of the Marvel Comics superhero Hawkeye for the four-minute sketch, Renner was joined by SNL regulars Bill Hader (Thor), Jason Sudeikis (Iron Man), Taran Killam (Captain America), Kate McKinnon (Black Widow), Bobby Moynihan (The Hulk), Jay Pharoah (Nick Fury) and Vanessa Bayer (Maria Hill).  (In an interesting aside, Killam is married to actress Cobie Smulders, who played Maria Hill in The Avengers.)

Opening with Maria Hill warning Nick Fury of the "Chintauri" (sic) invasion of Earth through the portal that Loki opened with the Tesseract, Nick Fury calls for the Avengers to assemble.  When Hill questions Fury using an archer, Fury replies, "Yeah, like a bow-and-arrow dude."

"Like...Super arrows?"

"Nah, normal arrows.  He's just really, really good at it."

Cutting to the Avengers in the midst of the New York City battleground, Captain America calls for Hawkeye to do his thing.  Hawkeye awkwardly pauses, explaining "I'm out of arrows."

"What?" asks Cap.

"I'm all out of arrows.  I don't have any more.  So...I guess I'm done, right?  I'll be in the car, stay safe..."

When Black Widow asks Hawkeye how many arrows he brought, he answers "All of them...Like, eleven."

Cap is naturally stunned.  "Eleven?  There are a hundred thousand aliens out there."

"And I killed eleven of them, you're welcome.  My arrow thing only holds eleven -- twelve if I really cram them in there but it's not safe.  Anyway, good luck."

The battle sort-of continues, with Iron Man returning with a plan to fend off the invasion.  "All right, here's what we do.  We can shut down the generator.  All we need is a direct hit through an arrow-sized core.  It's a little tiny hole, so take the shot, Hawkeye."

"He's out of arrows," sighs Cap.

"Aw, come on, Hunger Games!" says the irritated Iron Man.  "What are you doing?  Just pull arrows out of the aliens you already shot, Katniss."

"It's not sanitary," explains Hawkeye.

Later, after Hawkeye injures his bow-pulling fingers fist-bumping the Hulk, he apologies and says he wishes he could've been more help.  "Maybe you can," says Captain America.  "Hulk, grab him."  The Hulk proceeds to swing Hawkeye around in a circle, smacking each of the approaching Chitauri with the archer's body, saving the day.

If you'd like to see the sketch, you can view it below thanks to user Mafalda on MetaTube (feel free to ignore the mute commercial at the beginning)...

Friday, November 16, 2012

DOCTOR WHO: "The Snowmen" Prequel and Trailer Debut

Almost one month before Doctor Who finally returns for this year's Christmas special, to be called "The Snowmen," the BBC's annual Children In Need charity event debuted a four-minute prequel and one-minute trailer introduced by stars Matt Smith and Jenna-Louise Coleman.

Titled "The Great Detective," the prequel opens on a snowy night "in the time of Queen Victoria" with a voiceover narration by Doctor Who writer/actor Mark Gatiss.  We're reintroduced to the female Silurian Madame Vastra, last seen in the 2011 episode "A Good Man Goes to War," along with her assistant Jenny Flint (finally given a last name) and her henchman, the Sontaran named Strax, whose "countenance was too abominable to be photographed."

Their gang has a fourth member, described as a "shadowy figure whose assistance was only sought in the direst of emergencies."  Of course, it turns out to be the Doctor, who appears exceedingly depressed after being separated from his companions Amy and Rory Williams/Pond during the events of "The Angels Take Manhattan."  In an attempt to engage the grumpy Doctor, Vastra brings him news of a meteor shower of "unexpected timing and density" that she presumes is the result of alien intervention.  Jenny suggests investigating a professor threatening to split the world with a drill designed to penetrate the Earth's crust.  Strax, meanwhile, has declared war on the Moon and claims a race known as the Moonites won't suspect his assault.

Unfortunately, Mr. Grumpy Face isn't interested and informs them that "I don't do this anymore. I've retired."  The Doctor walks away and vanishes into the city streets, leaving Jenny to remark "I think he's means it."  "Yes, my dear," replies Vastra.  "I rather think he does."

As for the trailer to "The Snowmen," we open with Coleman's character Clara telling the story of a man known as The Doctor, who "lives on a cloud in the sky and all he does all day -- every day -- is to stop all the children in the world ever having bad dreams."  After a shot of guest star Richard E Grant, we find the now engaged and curious Doctor asking Strax "When you find something brand new in the world, something you've never seen before, what's the next thing you look for?"  "A grenade," suggests Strax.

We then cut to Madame Vastra who says "The Doctor doesn't help people," followed by The Doctor asking Clara her name, Richard E Grant being especially villainish, "Listen to me, the snow's feeding off your thoughts!", the revealed snow monsters with sharp pointy teeth, and ending with "It will build an army of ice.  It will be the last day of humanity on this planet..."

Christmas Day 2012.  As if you can resist this now.

If you'd like to see the prequel and the trailer, you can view them below thanks to the BBC's YouTube account...

"The Snowmen" Prequel: "The Great Detective"

"The Snowmen" Trailer