Another week and another Batman sequel casting rumor. We have that plus news on Iron Man 2 in 3D, that Arnold Terminator cameo, Bill Murry in Ghostbusters III and more including new images and vids from Transformers, Avatar and more. Plus there is tons of TV news, images and video previews, including Dollhouse, Terminator, Fringe, Heroes, Doctor Who, Battlestar and more.
More Rumors on The Dark Knight Sequel Casting
At the rate we’re going it seems like we’ll be getting a new Batman casting rumor every week. Michael Caine (Alfred) talked to MTV and the actor says he was told by a Warner Bros. executive that the studio would be pursuing Johnny Depp to play the role of The Riddler and Philip Seymour Hoffman as The Penguin:
“I was with [a Warner Bros.] executive and I said, ‘Are we going to make [a sequel to "The Dark Knight"]?’ They said yeah. I said, ‘How the hell are we going to top Heath? And he says ‘I’ll tell you how you top Heath — Johnny Depp as The Riddler and Philip Seymour Hoffman as The Penguin.’ I said, ‘Shit, they’ve done it again!’” [Laughs]
MTV later caught up with Hoffman and asked him about the rumor, resulting in the actor saying the following: “No one has talked to me about it ever — never,” replied Hoffman. “It happened, like, five years ago, too. It was a rumor back then and it’s still a rumor. [laughs] It’s just in the press. It’s funny.” When pushed about whether he’d be interested, Seymour said “I don’t know. I think I’m more interested in seeing someone else do it. I don’t know if I’d be a good Penguin to be quite honest. [laughs].” In other news, "The Dark Knight" has now grossed $55M in IMAX theaters, breaking the record held by "The Polar Express" which grossed $45M in the theaters in 2004, although that film’s total take is nearing $70M thanks to annual re-releases. Speaking of re-releases, WB will be re-releasing "The Dark Knight" on IMAX screens in January 2009. At the moment a conventional theater re-release is "uncertain".
Iron Man 2 in 3D IMAX?
While at a press conference promoting the upcoming release of "Iron Man" on DVD and Blu-ray Hi-Def (September 30, 2008), Jon Favreau expressed interest in doing "Iron Man 2" in 3D and in IMAX. Favreau cited "The Dark Knight’s" IMAX scenes for the additional focus on the medium, calling the scenes a game changer. Favreau believes the decision to shoot in 3D will ultimately come down to cost, but that if they can make it happen, he’ll gladly do it. You can listen to the full hour-long interview where Favreau talks about the script and characters for the sequel including introducing Mandarin and turning Terrence Howard’s character into War Machine at this link, or click here for the 5-minute segment where he talks about the budget and answers the questions pertaining to IMAX and 3D.
More on that Arnold (Voice) Cameo in Terminator Salvation
A batch of photos showing Arnold Schwarzenegger chatting with Christian Bale on the set of "Terminator Salvation" have turned up on the internet (photo below–click here for more or click here to watch the video) and confirming previous reports, Latino Review is reporting through a tipster that Arnold will appear in the film in a cameo role:
“…I have various contacts in WB and from what I’ve been told the fans are in for a treat. The premise of Arnie’s involvement is to have a fully rendered digital face of Arnie replacing the recently cast Roland Kickinger (The Younger version of Arnie). It seems the Director McG will in no doubt try all he can to ensure the Governator has some sort of involvement and as a result Arnold was on set providing key ADR (Voice over) for the visual effects guys…”
DJ Caruso Interested in Directing Thor
In an interview with IESB, director DJ Caruso ("Eagle Eye") revealed that he has had talks with Marvel about "Thor" and has expressed interest in directing the film:
“…I would definitely tackle it and I sort of wrestled with it before and I was always a fan of Thor growing up as a kid. I know that they [Marvel] have a script, but there’s something, there’s a fear I have about Thor and depending on what Thor story you want to tell, whether you want to bring Thor into the modern world or if you want to go back to Asgard…”
Deal Close for Live-Action/CGI Hybrid TMNT
Earlier this month, "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" co-creator Kevin Eastman wrote on his blog that talks were underway on a new live-action version of "TMNT". However, the post was removed shortly after writer Steve Murphy labeled it as "complete nonsense", causing Eastman to offer up an apology. The truth however, is that a new film in the series is being planned, but Eastman is not involved in the project. MTV caught up with co-creator Peter Laird, who revealed that a deal is close for a live-action/CGI hybrid TMNT film:
As it stands now, there is no intention of doing another live-action film like the first three, with actors and stuntmen in actual Turtle suits, contrary to what was said by Kevin. We have pretty much decided that the next “TMNT” movie should be what we’ve been calling a “hybrid” — that is to say, live-action humans and sets combined with very realistic CGI Turtles (and possibly some other CGI characters).
Ramis Provides An Update On Ghostbusters III
Harold Ramis sent in an e-mail to the Chicago Tribune about the recently announced "Ghostbusters III", and clarified that Bill Murray is a go for the movie:
“yes, columbia is developing a script for GB3 with my year one writing partners, gene stupnitsky and lee eisenberg. judd apatow is co-producing year one and has made several other films for sony, so of course the studio is hoping to tap into some of the same acting talent. aykroyd, ivan reitman and i are consulting at this point, and according to dan, bill murray is willing to be involved on some level. he did record his dialogue for the new ghostbusters video game, as did danny and i, and ernie hudson. the concept is that the old ghostbusters would appear in the film in some mentor capacity. not much else to say at this point. everyone is confident a decent script can be written and i guess we’ll take it from there.best, harold”
Director John Moore Upset Over Max Payne R-Rating
Director John Moore expressed his frustrations over the MPAA’s recent decision to give his film "Max Payne" an R-Rating, claiming that the organization treated WB’s "The Dark Knight much more favorably:
We’re suffering from what I call Batman blowback. The Motion Picture Association of America gave The Dark Knight a PG-13 rating and basically sucked Warner Bros. cock…The MPAA changes their rules willy-nilly and it depends on who’s seeing your actual movie at the time. It’s very difficult to get a hold on what’s acceptable. The only thing you can use is current standards. So I go and see The Dark Knight and I say, “Gee, that’s pretty gnarly for PG-13,” but I felt good about Max Payne after coming out of the theater. I thought Max wasn’t going to have a problem. And that’s not the case. They’re coming down on us pretty hard.
Moore is currently in the process of cutting and editing the film in order to hit the original target rating of PG-13. "Max Payne" hits theaters on October 17th.
Fraser Talks JJ Abrams’ Superman
Recently Warner Brothers announced they were doing a rethink on the Superman franchise, which sounds like they are going back to the time before Bryan Singer’s "Superman Returns" was released, when Warner went through through several different variations of the property. From 2002-2004, J.J. Abrams was working on a version with Brendan Fraser in the lead role. Fraser, who had read the script and got as far as shooting test footage–boy I’d love to see that video–before the wheels started to fall off the project, talked to Voices From Krypton about the aborted project and had some interesting things to say, especially in regards to J.J. Abrams:
"In my view, and I say this with respect, it’s far superior than Bryan Singer’s [Superman Returns film]. J.J. had a vision that was larger. It spanned galaxies. It was Lord of the Rings. I mean, it was that huge. It was like a Third World War on Earth involving different planets and universes, and brotherhoods – sibling rivalry and the collision of enormous powers. I mean, come on, it wasn’t smacking you over the head with a symbolic hammer till you weren’t paying attention. That’s how good J.J. is."
Avatar (first set photo)
Gatchaman (click image, then "Our Films", then "Gatchaman", then click "View Images" for higher-res images)
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (Devastator Concept Art–click here for some set photos)
Feast II: Sloppy Seconds
- Kevin Smith is developing a space comedy and hopes to have Seth Rogen star in it, according to an interview with SCI FI. Smith also cleared up the situation a bit with /Film, telling the site that the space film and his previously announced project "Ranger Danger" are completely different from each other.
- 20th Century Fox is looking into the possibility of more "X-Men" spinoffs, including a young X-Men project as well as a film based on the character Deadpool (played by Ryan Reynolds in "X-Men Origins: Wolverine"). The studio is also considering a revival of the "Daredevil" property. [Variety]
- New Line Cinema has acquired the film rights to "The Thirteenth Hour", a time-travel novel by Richard Doetsch. Described as a cross between "The Bourne Identity" and "The Time Traveler’s Wife", ‘Thirteenth’ follows a man accused of brutally murdering his wife who is given a chance to save her by going back in time in one-hour increments.[Variety]
- Sam Raimi has given the go-ahead on a 3D movie based on "Evil Dead: The Musical". The movie will be co-directed by the musical’s original director, Christopher Bond, and choreographer, Hinton Battle. [Screen Daily]
- AICN has debunked a report that suggested Will Smith was offered the role of Captain America. According to the site, Smith has never been entertained as a choice.
- Universal has signed a deal to create a live-action film based on Sid and Marty Krofft’s ’70s children’s show "Sigmund and the Sea Monsters". [Variety]
- Paramount held a press screening in London for their 2009 slate and the gathered press were treated to footage of "Watchmen" (which Paramount is distributing overseas) and "G.I. Joe", in addition to "Star Trek" which you can read about on TrekMovie here. Head over to AICN to read the trailer/footage descriptions. It was also announced that a full trailer for "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" (May 26, 2009) will be attached to "Star Trek" (May 8, 2009).
- Darren Aronofsky, who’s prepping his upcoming "Robocop" reboot, says they’re "deep" into the project, but the screenplay isn’t complete yet. He also added that he doesn’t "think it’s set anywhere that’s recognizable," putting in doubt whether Detroit will be the focus of the film. [MTV]
- Stephen J. Cannell, creator of the cult ’80s TV series "The Greatest American Hero" confirmed that a feature film based on the series is in the works: "We’ve written a screenplay, and we’ve hired a director, and we’re in the midst of putting this together for the future," he said. More at the link. [SCI FI Wire]
- Production on "Kick-Ass" has begun and Mark Millar (who co-created the comic) has written a blog about the first two days of filming. Check out a photo of Nicolas Cage in character below (click to see more). [MillarWorld.tv]
- Katee Sackhoff (Starbuck on "Battlestar Galactica") has been cast in the NBC drama "Lost and Found". The series is about a cop who is put in charge of handling cases that nobody else wants. [Yahoo]
- Julie Andrews has joined the cast of Fox’s family fantasy comedy "Tooth Fairy". Andrews will play Lily, a high-ranking, acerbic supervisor with the Tooth Fairy Department charged with overseeing Derek’s (Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson) stint as a tooth fairy. [THR]
- Ewan McGregor, Jeff Bridges and Kevin Spacey are all in talks to star in the psychic war movie "Men Who Stare at Goats". McGregor is in talks to play the desperate reporter who discovers that George Clooney’s (who has already been cast) Army veteran has psychic powers. Bridges may play the founder of the psychic research program. Spacey’s role is unknown. [io9]
Dollhouse Shutdown for Two Weeks
Production on Joss Whedon’s Fox drama "Dollhouse" has been shutdown for two weeks. While Joss says that just like the decision to reshoot the pilot, this shutdown is entirely his decision and has the full support of the network, it’s hard not to be at least a little concerned. The shutdown is a result of Joss’ need to work on two pilots, resulting in some of the writing going un-supervised. The break will allow Whedon to spend more time in the writers room, working on some of the later scripts. "Dollhouse" isn’t set to premiere on Fox until January 2009 so this shutdown decision will not affect its premiere.
“We have tremendous confidence in Joss and his team, and we wholeheartedly supported his desire to take some time to focus on upcoming scripts before resuming filming,” a 20th Century Fox spokesman said. “It’s not often in television production that you have the luxury of extra time, but in this instance we did. And this is a show we all believe in and we want to give it every opportunity to succeed.”
Shooting is scheduled to resume on September 25th. For more "Dollhouse" news, check out an interview with co-star Amy Acker (Dr. Claire Saunders) at this link.
Fringe Ratings, Orci Answers Questions and More
The 90-minute series premiere of the new J.J. Abrams Sci-Fi series "Fringe" drew 9.13M viewers and a 3.2 Adults 18-49 rating on Fox, second on the night among viewers and first overall among A18-49. Speaking of the episode, executive producer Roberto Orci is offering up some answers to questions that have already arisen among fans about the pilot. Read them over at TV Guide. Popular Mechanics has also put up a feature straightening out how realistic some of the things that happened in the pilot are. Read it here. There’s also an official podcast out which you can listen to here. And lastly, while there were some changes between the leaked pilot and the final aired pilot, those changes were minimal. Check them out for yourself at this link. Episode two of "Fringe" airs this Tuesday night at 9pm. Before that, however, be sure to check out the September 14th repeat of the premiere, which will include the first four minutes of episode two (September 16th at 9pm) as well as an extended scene from the 20th Century Fox movie "The Day the Earth Stood Still" and a preview of the two-hour November TV movie "24: Redemption". I’ve attached a new promo from the series below (and you can check out a behind-the-scenes video at this link).
Tennant Interested in Doctor Who Feature Film
According to a report in the British Daily Telegraph, David Tennant is in negotiations to play the lead role in a new film version of "Doctor Who". Tennant is currently contracted for five more episodes of the series, and has reportedly agreed to star as the lead character in the fifth season (which returns in 2010) if the big-screen role can be added to his new deal. In a separate report, outgoing showrunner and writer, Russell T. Davies said he would like Catherine Zeta-Jones to play the Doctor’s companion in the film version.
Much In Store for Sarah Connor Chronicles, Including a Visit to Original Terminator Set
In an interview with SCI FI Wire, Josh Friedman, the creator and executive producer of Fox’s "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" (Monday’s at 8pm), revealed that over the course of the season the series will showcase more visitors from the future, more scenes set in the post-apocalyptic future, a visit to one of the locations from the original "Terminator" movie and a re-use of an iconic prop as well.
"There are some people who [ask], ‘Why do people keep coming back?’" Friedman acknowledged. "Well, first of all, I think, … there’s not a lot of people that come back from the future. We’ve had really only one person, one group of … four people, [who] came back, but only one of them … survived [Brian Austin Green’s Derek Reese]. That was only one event, one timetable event. I know that originally in the mythology, it was all, like, it’s very difficult for people to come back. …
There’s a really cool thing. There’s an episode coming up where we use a set that’s been redressed–I won’t say [what]–but it’s a really famous set from the first movie and a very famous location from the first movie, [which] we use as a very significant location in one of the next few episodes. I won’t say what it is, just because it’s more fun that way. … Our location scout called us up and said, "You’re not going to believe where we can shoot." It’s like, yeah! We’re shooting there. We definitely do stuff. We have Arnie’s original gun from the first movie in our show this year. The actual prop, yeah.
Smallville Going On A Midseason Break
The CW’s "Smallville", which premieres its eighth season on September 18th, will be going on a midseason break after the tenth episode to make way for "Reaper". The break will allow for the network to make a decision on a renewal, and give writers the time to give the series a fitting ending should it not be picked up for a ninth season. Via the blog Operation Save Clark Kent:
The break means that the network can decide if they want more Smallville and if they do- the writers can adjust their back half of the season for this instead of having to randomly end things leaving no one satisfied if they don’t get their expected pick up.
Quinto Compares Spock to Sylar
Zachary Quinto, who stars as Sylar on the NBC series "Heroes" (season three premieres on September 2nd from 9-11pm ET) told reporters that there are similarities between his character on the show and Spock of "Star Trek":
"I think there’s elements of the characters that echo each other, but I think they echo each other through very different, opposite ends of the spectrum," Quinto said during a conference call with reporters. "Each of the characters employs a stillness and a sort of rich internal point of view that informs the way that they behave and the way that they relate to people around them."
Quinto added that it’s "great fun to have characters that are rich and that are full of challenge and full of rewards, " and that when he’s acting, he doesn’t distinguish good or bad: "…I don’t really approach a character as to whether or not it’s good or bad. I just approach a character as to where it lives in me, and I think for numerous reasons both of these characters– these very different characters–find life in me."
Eureka (more at this link)
Fringe (more at this link)
Pushing Daisies (more at this link)
Sanctuary (Promotional Photos–more at this link)
Smallville (many more at this link)
Knight Rider ("Behind The Green Screen"–Watch an interview with Deanna Russo here–more here and here)
NBC Monday Promo ("Chuck"/"Heroes"/"My Own Worst Enemy")
Sarah Jane Adventures (Season 2 trailer)
True Blood (more videos here)
- This year’s "Simpsons" Halloween special will parody the hit film "Transformers". as well as "It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown". The writers have also already prepared for next year’s installment, which will spoof zombie movies a la "28 Days Later". [SCI FI Wire]
- Before work begins on the third, and final, film in the "Hellboy" franchise, Universal is looking into the potential of developing a TV series based on the comic character. [Newsarama]
- iTunes has begun offering HD downloads of its catalog of TV shows (which include a return of the once-departed NBC shows), and some episodes are available to download in HD for free. They include "Battlestar Galactica", "Eureka" and "Heroes". Click for direct links to the downloads. [TUAW]
- The season one finale of "Primeval" aired last night at 9pm ET on BBC America. Meanwhile, the second season of the British import debuts next week, September 20th, at 9pm.
- NBC will be televising a new Muppets special that will star Whoopi Goldberg, Tony Sirico and Steve Schirripa from The Sopranos, Richard Griffiths and Madison Pettis, alongside Kermit, Fozzie, Gonzo, Miss Piggy and the rest of the Jim Henson Muppets gang. The movie is entitled "Letters to Santa — A Muppets Christmas" and will be set on Christmas Eve when “Kermit and company mistakenly avert three letters en route to Santa Claus." [THR]
- Seth McFarlane, creator of the Fox comedy "Family Guy", teased that the title of the upcoming "Empire Strikes Back" spoof will be "Something Something Something Dark Side". McFarlane expects the movie to be released on DVD before it airs on Fox. He also told the press he has other sci-fi knockoffs planned, including one where Stewie beams the cast of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" into his room. [SCI FI Wire]
- ABC will be broadcasting "Batman Begins" in HD on Monday, September 15th from 8-11pm ET.
- British comedian Russell Brand expressed interest, however unlikely it would be, to play the Doctor: "I’d make a good Doctor Who…I’d camp it up: ‘Ohhh, it’s bigger in here than it is on the outside–and I’m not talking about the Tardis’". [Now Magazine]
- There’s a reason that Nikki and Paulo were killed off so quickly on "Lost". Turns out Damon Lindelof and the show’s writers were as motivated as the fans to get rid of them: "‘Nikki and Paolo are not working. We don’t like them, the audience isn’t going to like them.’ By the time the audience starts complaining about Nikki and Paolo, we’ve already written a script where they get buried alive." [AMCtv]
- Check out an interview with the cast and crew of "Knight Rider", where they talk about how the show will differ greatly from the high-rated, but mostly panned, telemovie. "Knight Rider" premieres September 24th at 8pm on NBC. [SCI FI Wire]
- The "Battlestar Galactica" set of the CIC has been dismantled. This doesn’t mean we’ll never see the sets again, however, as the SCI FI Channel photographed all the sets in digital 3D and placed them in a computer allowing for the opportunity to revisit the sets in the future in a virtual setting. [13th Colony]
All Star Batman And Robin Comic Pulled Due To Curse Words Passing the Censors
Earlier this week, comic retailers were notified by DC Comics that all their copies of "All Star Batman And Robin" were not to be placed on shelves and instead immediately destroyed. The reason was unknown at first, but it now turns out that the comic, written by Frank Miller, contained some foul language that slipped past the censors. From Comic Book Resources:
Certain examples of obscene language in the book were, as has happened in the title before, blacked out, sometimes with little bits of the letters sticking out to give a clue as to what they may have been.
Except in the printing process, the lettering was of a richer black that the bars, rendering the blacking out pointless.
"Text every friend you’ve got, shitheads— Sell your poison somewhere else. This arcade belongs to the fucking Batgirl."
- Midway has announced the character lineup for their upcoming Xbox 360/Sony PS3 video game "Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe". The DC characters include Batman, Catwoman, Darkseid, Deathstroke, Flash, Green Lantern, Joker, Lex Luthor, Shazam, Superman and Wonderwoman. They’ll face off against Mortal Kombat characters Baraka, Jax, Kano, Kitana, Liu Kang, Raiden, Scorpion, Shang Tsung, Shao Khan, Sonya and Sub Zero. [Kotaku]
- Chuck Palahniuk ("Fight Club") told MTV that DC Comics has approached him about doing a comic book miniseries. The talks haven’t turned up anything, but Palahniuk says he’d like to create a ghost/monster series like the "Tales from the Crypt" comics he remembers reading from his childhood.
- A U.S. judge ruled on September 8th in favor of Warner Bros. Entertainment and author J.K. Rowling to stop the publication of an unofficial encyclopedic companion to the "Harry Potter" series. Judge Robert Patterson wrote in his opinion that publisher RDR Books "had failed to establish an affirmative defense of fair use" and that publication of "The Harry Potter Lexicon" should cease. [SCI FI Wire]
- Mark Millar spoke with Newsarama about his upcoming comic "Ultimate Avengers". Read the interview at this link. The project is due out in early 2009.
- Harper Collins is launching a new division for Sci-Fi. The imprint, called Angry Robot, will publish 2-3 books per month starting in July 2009. The books will be made available in mass market paperback format and online in digital form. [io9]
|Top 10 SF&F Broadcast Shows||HH Rating|
|1) Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (R)||2.0|
|2) Smallville (R)||1.2|
|3) Supernatural (R)||1.0|
|4) Reaper (R)||0.7|
8/24/2008 – Source: Nielsen Galaxy Report via SCI FI Wire
|Top 10 SF&F Syndicated Shows||Rating|
|1) Stargate SG-1||0.8|
|2) Star Trek||0.8|
|3) The Dead Zone||0.7|
|4) Stargate Atlantis||0.6|
8/24/2008 – Source: Nielsen Galaxy Report via SCI FI Wire
|Top 10 SCI FI CHANNEL Shows||Rating|
|2) Ghost Hunters International||1.6|
|3) Flu Bird Horror||1.6|
|5) Stargate Atlantis||1.2|
6) Dawn of the Dead
7) Resident Evil Apocalypse
|8) Scare Tactics||1.1|
|9) Snakehead Terror||1.0|
8/24/2008 – Source: Nielsen Galaxy Report via SCI FI Wire