Filming has begun on the annual Doctor Who Christmas special, which will see current star Matt Smith regenerate into new lead Peter Capaldi. For the uninitiated: one of the rules of the long-running British sci-fi series is that the Doctor can dodge death by altering every cell in his body, allowing the show to continue even as Ryan Gosling steals Smith away to embark on a promising film career.
The Scottish Capaldi will be the 12th actor to take on the role of the traveling Time Lord. At 55, he ties first Doctor William Hartnell as the oldest man in the part. But what else should we know about the new captain of the TARDIS? Read on to meet the new man of mystery behind the universe's ultimate man of mystery.
He's an Oscar Winner!The next actor to whisk us across time and space is the only one who can boast an Oscar! Peter Capaldi won the Live Action Short Film Academy Award in 1995 for directing Franz Kafka's It's A Wonderful Life. Confident from his win, he claims to have taken one disappointing meeting in Los Angeles before getting on the next plane back across the pond.
He's Totally Punk Rock!While in art school in Glasgow, Capaldi was the lead singer of a post-punk band called The Dreamboys. The drummer? Future chat show host and Doctor Who superfan, Craig Ferguson. Ferguson introduced Capaldi on his show as a guest with whom he's "dropped acid." Wouldn't you have liked to have partied with those guys?
He Has ExperienceCapaldi has already been seen in Doctor Who, playing a desperate father dealing with a ready-to-pop Mount Vesuvius right outside his front door in Season 4 episode "The Fires of Pompeii." He also played a significant role in the third season of Who spinoff Torchwood. Tissues required for that one.
The Cumberbatch ConnectionHe costars with Hollywood's current Brit obsession Benedict Cumberbatch in the upcoming Julian Assange flick The Fifth Estate. But they've also played the same suspicious angel in two different adaptations of fantasy author Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere. Capaldi's was a charmingly low-budget 1996 miniseries, while Cumberbatch's is a 2013 radio play co-starring James McAvoy.
He's Most Likely Not in Harvey Weinstein's RolodexCapaldi tells reporters that he based his breakout role as the fabulously foul-mouthed Malcom Tucker in comedy series The Thick of It and spin-off film In The Loop on blustering Hollywood heavyweights, particularly Weinstein.
His Last Role Was Creepily PropheticCapaldi was last seen by American audiences in the Brad Pitt-fronted summer blockbuster World War Z, credited as a "W.H.O. Doctor." We know that acronym stands for World Health Organization, but still, hmmmm...
He's a BeatleSort of. He played George Harrison in the 1985 TV movie, John and Yoko: A Love Story.
He's a Grown-Up Fanboy.During the initial, classic run of Doctor Who, UK magazine The Radio Times published a fan letter from 15-year-old Capaldi congratulating them on a recent special edition focusing on the show. Now he's all grown up and essentially becoming his childhood hero, giving faith to Whovians everywhere.
Oh My God, He Totally Knows Brangelina!After fighting zombies with Brad, Capaldi joins Angelina Jolie on the darker side of one of our favorite fairy tales. He spent six hours in makeup every day for his upcoming role as King Kinloch in Maleficent, the origin story of Sleeping Beauty's evil witch.
The Silver Fox EffectThe Doctor is regenerating in December, but his companion is staying put. Jenna Louise Coleman, who plays the Time Lord's current best pal Clara Oswald, is 28 years Capaldi's junior, making their age difference the largest in the show's history.
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British director Kevin Macdonald is bringing Elvis Presley back from the dead for a new biopic produced by Sir Mick Jagger. The Last King of Scotland filmmaker has signed up to take charge of Last Train to Memphis, based on Peter Guralnick's 1995 biography of the same name, which documents the King's early years.
Jagger, who is also working on a new James Brown movie with The Help director Tate Taylor, will co-produce with Victoria Pearman through their Jagged Films company, while Crossroads screenwriter John Fusco has been hired to adapt the script, according to industry publication Variety.
Bosses at Fox 2000, the studio behind the new movie, have issued an open casting call for actors between the ages of 18 and 22 to portray a young Elvis, who was most recently played by Jonathan Rhys Meyers in 2005 TV movie Elvis.
The screenwriter of the much-anticipated Freddie Mercury biopic fears the project will be shelved after Sacha Baron Cohen's decision to walk away from the film. Cohen reportedly fell out with the remaining members of Mercury's band Queen, who have script and director approval, and now revered writer Peter Morgan has opened up about the doomed movie.
He tells the BBC, "It's probably not going to happen."
The film, which was originally scheduled for a 2012 release, has faced a slew of delays, but rocker Brian May assured fans last year (12) that the movie "should be ready" to hit screens in 2014.
A source close to the film has contradicted Morgan's remarks, insisting the project is "still very much alive".
Earlier this year (14), Anglo-Indian actor James Floyd revealed he was keen to reprise his portrayal of rocker Mercury in the movie biopic.
The young star played the tragic singer, who died in 1991, in British TV movie The Best Possible Taste, and he admitted he had been approached to play the young Mercury again in the new film project.
After Dark Films
It seems a bit odd to take on a movie review of Courtney Solomon's Getaway, as only in the loosest terms is Getaway actually a movie. We begin without questions — other than a vague and frustrating "What the hell is going on?" — and end without answers, watching Ethan Hawke drive his car into things (and people) for the hour and a half in between. We learn very little along the way, probed to engage in the mystery of the journey. But we don't, because there's no reason to.
There's not a single reason to wonder about any of the things that happen to Hawke's former racecar driver/reformed criminal — forced to carry out a series of felonious commands by a mysterious stranger who is holding his wife hostage — because there doesn't seem to be a single ounce of thought poured into him beyond what he see. We learn, via exposition delivered by him to gun-toting computer whiz Selena Gomez, that he "did some bad things" before meeting the love of his life and deciding to put that all behind him. Then, we stop learning. We stop thinking. We start crashing into police cars and Christmas trees and power plants.
Why is Selena Gomez along for the ride? Well, the beginnings of her involvement are defensible: Hawke is carrying out his slew of vehicular crimes in a stolen car. It's her car. And she's on a rampage to get it back. But unaware of what she's getting herself into, Gomez confronts an idling Hawke with a gun, is yanked into the automobile, and forced to sit shotgun while the rest of the driver's "assignments" are carried out. But her willingness to stick by Hawke after hearing his story is ludicrous. Their immediate bickering falls closer to catty sexual tension than it does to genuine derision and fear (you know, the sort of feelings you'd have for someone who held you up or forced you into accessorizing a buffet of life-threatening crimes).
After Dark Films
The "gradual" reversal of their relationship is treated like something we should root for. But with so little meat packed into either character, the interwoven scenes of Hawke and Gomez warming up to each other and becoming a team in the quest to save the former's wife serve more than anything else as a breather from all the grotesque, impatient, deliberately unappealing scenes of city wreckage.
And as far as consolidating the mystery, the film isn't interested in that either, as evidenced by its final moments. Instead of pressing focus on the answers to whatever questions we may have, the movie's ultimate reveal is so weak, unsubstantial, and entirely disconnected to the story entirely, that it seems almost offensive to whatever semblance of a film might exist here to go out on this note. Offensive to the idea of film and story in general, as a matter of fact. But Getaway isn't concerned with these notions. Not with story, character, logic, or humanity. It just wants to show us a bunch of car crashes and explosions. So you'd think it might have at least made those look a little better.
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Another day, another Star Wars Episode VII casting rumor. First, there was fevered speculation over whether Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford would return to J.J. Abrams' continuation of George Lucas’ saga. Still no official confirmation there, but it seems likely. Then the rumor mill went really crazy, suggesting that Ryan Gosling is being considered (he wasn’t interested) and that so is Jonathan Rhys-Meyers (he might be). The source of much of this speculation? Online fanboy haven Latino Review, which has also suggested of late that both Ian McDiarmid will return as the Emperor and Ewan McGregor as the Force Ghost of Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Random House; Everett
Well, now Latino Review has a new rumor: that Magic Mike’s Alex Pettyfer and Peter Pan’s Rachel Hurd-Wood have auditioned, for the parts of Luke’s son and Leia’s daughter respectively. This being Latino Review, there might be nothing to it. But both Pettyfer and Hurd-Wood do look somewhat like the characters they’d play, if they remain anything like how they are in the Star Wars Expanded Universe. These are the two roles they might be playing:
Ben (pictured above on the cover of Aaron Allston's Legacy of the Force: Fury) was Luke’s only child with his late wife Mara Jade. He’s earnest and eager but has a long way to go to be as seasoned as his father. The Expanded Universe has explored the Star Wars timeline to about 40 years after the events of Return of the Jedi, and Luke became a father relatively late. This means that, in the novels, like the most recent entry, Troy Denning’s Crucible, a book that may be the end of the post-ROTJ EU as we know it, Ben’s only about 16. Assuming that Abrams is working on a film that fits into the existing canon (and, yes, the EU is canon according to Lucasfilm itself) Pettyfer would seem to be a bit old for the part — though 23-year-olds plays 16-year-olds all the time. Of course, Abrams has also shown with Star Trek Into Darkness that he doesn’t give a damn about canon, and if Disney is looking for a wholesale reboot they may not be either. Why not make Ben a twentysomething character?
Random House; Everett
If Hurd-Wood is indeed playing Han and Leia’s only daughter — and last surviving child, period — she’s facing an age discrepancy too. She’s only 23, and Jaina’s about 33 in Crucible. It seems unlikely she’d be playing older than her own age, so they could be adjusting Jaina for the movies as well. Not to mention that she will face a big challenge: Jaina’s one of the single most compelling characters ever to come out of the Expanded Universe. She’s such a formidable warrior — not to mention Rogue Squadron pilot — that she’s been dubbed “Sword of the Jedi.” Most famously, she dueled and defeated her even more formidable brother Jacen, after he’d turned to the Dark Side, become the Sith Lord Darth Caedus, and assumed leadership over the Galactic Alliance. And she was able to do that because, while Luke trained under Yoda, Jaina not only received instruction in the Jedi arts she trained with Boba Fett as well. Basically, in any just universe, Jaina should be the star of Episode VII. And by all accounts this movie will have a female lead. If Jaina is the star, there’s another possibility who Pettyfer could be in talks to play…
Jaina’s love interest in the novels, and eventual husband, is Jagged Fel, an ace starfighter pilot who also becomes the noble leader of what’s left of the Empire. When Jaina and Jag marry, it’s symbolic closure to the Rebels versus Empire days of the Original Trilogy. Pettyfer could be playing this character, as well, though Jag seems a less likely import from the novels.
Another possibility too is that Pettyfer is playing Ben Skywalker, but Hurd-Wood is playing his love interest. In the Fate of the Jedi series, Ben sparred, and eventually fell in love, with this tattooed young Sith apprentice. She’s about his age and possesses flaming red hair like his deceased mother Mara Jade — and like Hurd-Wood. The two characters approach life from radically different points of view, which could make for built-in screwball chemistry, something the saga could sorely use. Or it could be that Hurd-Wood is playing a young Mara Jade in flashbacks! Or that she’s really set to play Hapan Queen Mother Tenel Ka Djo. Or that Pettyfer is set to play the young host body of the reincarnated Emperor. No, wait that’s gotta be Jonathan Rhys-Meyers. Discuss! Discuss! DISCUSS!
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Sharon Stone has taken aim at actresses who refuse to bare all in sex scenes, insisting it just isn't natural to cover up. The actress has never been afraid of nude scenes in her films and can't understand her peers, who sign up for a little movie lovemaking only to make sure they're buried in the duvet.
She tells WENN, "I feel that it's so disappointing in films when you see the comforter taped to someone's chest. It takes you out of the scene and doesn't protect you from something within the scene.
"My Lovelace co-star Peter Sarsgaard said, 'When I'm in bed with someone and I get up to go to the bathroom, I don't take the comforter with me'."
Stone admits she had to explain her nudity onscreen to her father when he asked her, "Do you really have to be naked all the time?" after watching his daughter in Basic Instinct.
She recalls, "I'm like, 'Well, yeah! I'm playing a sociopathic sexual serial killer!'
"When it has common sense it doesn't make sense to do something else. It really is the costume of your character. What else are you gonna do? It seems foolish to do something else and if you do something else, that distracts the audience if your inauthentic.
"If you're inauthentically naked then it's distracting to the audience when you are naked."
Actress Naomi Watts called on her own experience of childhood grief to ensure her portrayal of Diana, Princess Of Wales does not risk upsetting the tragic royal's sons. The actress was cast as the late British princess in Oliver Hirschbiegel's upcoming biopic last year (12) but her immediate concerns were the feelings of Diana's sons, Princes William and Harry.
Watts' father, Peter, died of an apparent drug overdose when she was just seven years old and she was determined to make sure her part in the movie does not upset the royal brothers, who were aged 15 and 12 when Diana died in a car crash in Paris, France in 1997.
She tells British magazine Event, "I've thought about her sons, of course, and it's haunting that they lost their mother because I know what it means to lose a parent so young.
"I'm always thinking about those boys - I can't imagine growing up without a mother. Of course it was in my mind when I made the decision to do the film; how would they feel? I would hate to upset them. I hope they feel good about it. It's a piece of history that we are all interested in and at some point the story had to be told."
The high stakes thriller Paranoia takes us deep behind the scenes of global success to a deadly world of greed and deception. The two most powerful tech billionaires in the world (Harrison Ford and Gary Oldman) are bitter rivals with a complicated past who will stop at nothing to destroy each other. A young superstar (Liam Hemsworth), seduced by unlimited wealth and power falls between them, and becomes trapped in the middle of the twists and turns of their life-and-death game of corporate espionage. By the time he realizes his life is in danger, he is in far too deep and knows far too much for them to let him walk away.
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Scottish actor Peter Capaldi was flooded with relief when he was finally announced as the new Doctor Who on Sunday (04Aug13) as he hated lying to his family about the role. The World War Z star auditioned for the highly coveted job in secret at the home of executive producer Steven Moffat, and he felt terrible keeping the news from his young daughter Cecily as she longed to see her father as the Time Lord.
Speaking on BBC special Doctor Who Live, he said, "It's so wonderful not to keep the secret any longer. For a while I couldn't tell my daughter and she was looking at people linked to the show and was getting rather upset that nobody was mentioning me. I just had to say, 'Rise above it, darling'."
Capaldi discovered he had won the part while filming in Prague, Czech Republic but missed the important call as his cell phone was on silent, adding, "It was my dear agent, I returned the call and she said 'Hello Doctor' and I just laughed. And I haven't stopped laughing since."
Capaldi will take over as the 12th Time Lord on the popular British TV series after current Doctor Who Matt Smith steps down following the upcoming Christmas special.
Veteran rocker Peter Gabriel fears he will never get to work with Radiohead as frontman Thom Yorke was insulted by his version of their hit track Street Spirit (Fade Out). The former Genesis star recorded orchestral renditions of songs by artists including Neil Young, Lou Reed, and David Bowie for his 2010 album Scratch My Back, and the Radiohead cover was part of that project.
He had hoped the artists featured would return the favour by choosing one of his tracks to record, but the plan hit the buffers when several stars, including Bowie and Radiohead, backed out, and Gabriel fears the Creep hitmakers were offended by his efforts.
He tells Mojo magazine, "Thom Yorke's not got back to me. He was keen to do Wallflower. But then I think he or the others didn't like the version I did (of Street Spirit). I talked about it in another interview, and I think that further p**sed him off. So I think that might be one for the next life."