Harry Potter star David Bradley has been cast as the very first Doctor Who in a new TV movie celebrating the 50th anniversary of the cult sci-fi drama. The first image of the actor, who portrayed Hogwarts caretaker Argus Filch in the Potter films, as the late William Hartnell have appeared online and Doctor Who executive producer Steven Moffat has now opened up about film tribute An Adventure in Space and Time, which will debut on the BBC later this year (13).
The project chronicles the birth of the Doctor Who franchise and how veteran thespian Hartnell became a TV sensation overnight back in the 1960s.
Moffat tells Entertainment Weekly magazine, "It's the story of this unexpected Indian summer William Hartnell had at the end of his career.
"He thought he was all washed up, and then suddenly he's this huge star, and he goes through the experience of that and the experience of leaving it."
And Moffat feels sure the film will be tough for outgoing Doctor Matt Smith to watch: "It's quite relevant to this time in Doctor Who. I bet Matt Smith will cry when he watches it."
Smith announced earlier this summer (13) that he would be handing over the keys to the Tardis to a new time lord when he departs the sci-fi show after it's annual Christmas special in December (13).
"It's just terrifying. I won't go into any details, but it does feel absolutely chilling. One false move and the show's over." Doctor Who executive producer Steven Moffat on replacing Matt Smith as the TV time lord. Actor Smith will quit as The Doctor after this year's (13) upcoming Christmas episode.
Britain's Prince Charles has been offered a role on cult sci-fi series Doctor Who after showing off his impression of a Dalek's voice during a royal set visit in Wales. The heir to the throne and his wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, travelled to the BBC's Roath Lock studios on Wednesday (03Jul13) as part of their summer tour and met with members of the Doctor Who cast and crew, including writer Steven Moffat and current Time Lord, Matt Smith, in celebration of the show's 50th anniversary.
During the visit, the Prince even tried using a voice modulator to mimick the sound of the Daleks, uttering the TV cyborgs' famous "exterminate" phrase and jokingly telling the crowd, "You are now our prisoners."
His playful efforts impressed Moffat and he has invited the Prince back to the set to be a part of the show for real.
He tells the BBC, "I haven't thought about how I could weave a meeting between the Doctor and the royal family, but Prince Charles's attempt at being a Dalek was great. There would be a part in the show for him if he wanted it."
Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman are to reprise their characters for a planned Independence Day sequel. Director Roland Emmerich recently admitted Will Smith had become "too expensive" to lead the cast for the follow-up, but he is hoping to persuade the actor to return for a cameo role, revealing the star of the new blockbuster will play his character Steven Hiller's stepson.
Sci-fi legend Richard Matheson, whose 1954 novel I Am Legend helped kick off the apocalyptic science fiction now in vogue with movies like World War Z, Oblivion, and Will Smith’s own 2007 I Am Legend film adaptation, has died. He was 87.
Stephen King, who dedicated his apocalyptic 2006 novel Cell to Matheson, once wrote, "Without Richard Matheson I wouldn’t be around." Though there had been "end of the world" or "last man standing" visions in sci-fi before I Am Legend — most notably H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds — Matheson rooted his stories in very real-world situations. His characters are common men from ordinary neighborhoods who are confronted with extraordinary, life-altering circumstances over which they have absolutely no control. I Am Legend imagines the last survivor of a war against humanity led by the undead: proto-zombies who actually come across more like blood-sucking vampires. Published in 1954 at the height of Nuclear Age fears about "The Bomb," it imagined the tenacity of one person to survive against implacable odds through skill and luck, even if he's essentially doomed, subject to whims of contingency and fate. With Will Smith in the lead role, it became a blockbuster smash in 2007, grossing more than $585 million worldwide.
But I Am Legend's influence on the modern zombie genre is its greatest legacy. George A. Romero candidly admits that his 1968 Night of the Living Dead was inspired by Matheson's novel. And now, once again, this time with economic collapse, we've come to feel we've lost control of our lives due to circumstances beyond our making. No wonder movies and TV shows that capture our collective powerlessness, yet offer glimmers of hope, like World War Z and The Walking Dead, are smash hits.
What was so powerful about Matheson's vision, though, was that it could be as intimate as it was epic. I Am Legend imagines a global extinction event. But his 1956 novel The Shrinking Man, turned into the 1957 film The Incredible Shrinking Man, one of the greatest sci-fi films ever made, imagines the world of just one individual coming to an end. A blast of nuclear radiation causes a family man to start mysteriously shrinking. He has to take up residence in a dollhouse, is menaced by the family cat, and, in its most iconic moment, chased by a tarantula. Matheson's short story "Duel," about a motorist pursued relentlessly by a faceless truck driver, became the basis for Steven Spielberg's famous 1971 TV movie. He himself wrote the script.
That theme of one man's life coming to a stand-still because of something totally out of the blue also led Matheson to write the script for one of the most famous Twilight Zone episodes ever, "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet," in which William Shatner plays an airplane passenger who starts seeing gremlins on the jet's wing and slowly has a nervous breakdown.
Though his stories are bleak on the surface, Matheson suggested that we can discover ourselves and our place in the universe even in the midst of unspeakable terror. With his passing, it helps to remember the closing monologue he wrote for The Incredible Shrinking Man, in which the titular character is on the verge of shrinking into nothingness, yet also infinity: "So close, the infinitesimal and the infinite … but suddenly I knew they were really the two ends of the same concept. The unbelievably small and the unbelievably vast eventually meet, like the closing of a gigantic circle. I looked up as if somehow I would grasp the heavens, the universe, worlds beyond number, God's silver tapestry spread across the night …. All this vast majesty of Creation, it had to mean something. And then I meant something too. Yes, smaller than the smallest, I meant something too. To God, there is no zero. I still exist."
Follow Christian Blauvelt on Twitter @Ctblauvelt | Follow Hollywood.com on Twitter @Hollywood_com
More: Ray Bradbury Dies at 91: Remembering a Sci-Fi Legend A Tribute to the Late Chinua Achebe Ruth Prawer Jhabvala Dies: Remembering the Literate Heart of Merchant/Ivory
From Our PartnersStars Pose Naked for 'Allure' (Celebuzz)20 Grisliest TV Deaths of 2012-2013 (Vulture)
Soul sensation Adele stepped back into the spotlight on Friday (21Jun13) to salute her record label boss at a New York City gala. The British singer has made only a handful of public appearances since giving birth to her son Angelo James last year (Oct12), but she made an exception to fete Columbia Records chairman Rob Stringer.
Adele appeared at the star-studded UJA-Federation of New York event at The Pierre hotel in Manhattan to hand Stringer the Music Visionary Award.
Accepting his prize, Stringer recalled meeting the Rolling in the Deep hitmaker in 2007 before she found fame: "Your career is defined by the people you work with. Six years ago, that young lady walked into our office with her manager and said, 'Yeah, this'll do,' with a cigarette in her mouth. It's fantastic to have her here... She doesn't get out much."
Neil Diamond, Jay-Z and John Legend were among those in the audience, while Haim and John Mayer performed songs to honour their label boss.
Celine Dion, Daft Punk, Patti Smith, Simon Cowell, Pharrell Williams, One Direction, Tony Bennett, Barbra Streisand and Steven Tyler also appeared in a video compilation thanking and congratulating Stringer.
Will Smith has been ruled out of starring in the planned Independence Day sequel because he is "too expensive", according to director Roland Emmerich. The actor appeared alongside Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman in the 1996 alien invasion blockbuster, and film bosses are plotting a follow-up for 2015.
However, moviemaker Emmerich has revealed Smith will not be reprising his role as Captain Steven Hiller because of financial issues.
He tells the New York Daily News, "Will Smith cannot come back because he's too expensive, but he'd also be too much of a marquee name. It would be too much.
"We have like maybe half of the people that you... would know from the first film (in the script) and the other half (are) people who are new."
Departing Doctor Who Matt Smith has posted a heartfelt video thank you to fans of the sci-fi show online as he prepares to bid farewell to the TV character. The actor holds up handwritten notes to the camera while standing on a street in Detroit, Michigan following a night shoot and then breaks his silence by yelling out his thanks.
He says, "Doctor Who land, listen, this is a message to say thank you for all your support over the past four years.
"To (writer) Steven Moffat, all the brilliant cast and crew, who have just made the whole journey a marvelous one... thank you."
Smith's signed thanks included cryptic notes to "THE CRAZY GINGER ONE" and "THE IMPOSSIBLE GIRL IN THE SHORT RED DRESS" and he added: "TO THE FANS, TO YOU I OWE THE BIGGEST THANKYOU."
The actor concluded the video by yelling "Thank you" while holding a piece of paper with the phrase written on it.
Smith will depart the series at Christmas (13). His replacement has yet to be named.
A host of big names have joined the race to play the next Doctor Who following Matt Smith's announcement he's stepping down as the TV Time Lord later this year (13) - but series producer Steven Moffat is refusing to name names. Smith will vacate the Tardis after wrapping the show's 50th anniversary episode, which will air in November (13), handing over the keys to a new Who.
Speculation about a makeover for the sci-fi show began when John Hurt was introduced as The Doctor in the most recent season finale and now fans have taken to blogs and webchats to discuss all manner of options.
Hurt will return for the 50th anniversary episode, but executive producer Moffat is refusing to name Smith's successor.
He says, "Somewhere out there... is someone who's about to become The Doctor."
Fans seem to like the idea of a black Doctor Who, with Homeland's David Harewood and Idris Elba mentioned as potential possibles, while there's growing interest in a female taking over the lead - Dame Helen Mirren, Olivia Colman and Fiona O'Shaughnessy appears to be early frontrunners.
Meanwhile, bookmakers William Hill have made former Harry Potter star Rupert Grint and Russell Tovey from Being Human their joint 10/1 favourites to be named the next Doctor.
Even the Daleks are at least relieved about this development: the Time Lord know as the Doctor will continue to flit about the universe in his TARDIS for an 8th season (or series, if you're British), the BBC confirmed Saturday evening. Doctor Who is set to celebrate its 50th anniversary on the very date of its original broadcast with a spectacle special involving the story developments in its season finale, "The Name of the Doctor." The iconic and beloved sci-fi stalwart has been traveling through time and space, saving the universe since November 23, 1963.
Matt Smith, the 11th and current regeneration of the Doctor also recently confirmed his continued involvement in the series season during an interview with UK-based TV Magazine. The wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey lord of time and his companions will "come back and shoot the Christmas special over the summer, then we go on to the next series, which will either start filming at the end of this year or at the start of 2014." Previous commentary from Smith had fans worried that the 50th anniversary would be the last days of our bowtie-wearing, fez-loving iteration.
Also set to return is current showrunner, Steven Moffat, who has helmed the series since the fifth season — following the departure of Russell T. Davies and the tenth (and arguably one of the best) Doctor, David Tennant. Moffat told fans at the BAFTAs that he'd already begun crafting the travels of the upcoming and that "series eight is absolutely, definitely confirmed. It is real and it's happening – it's [taking up] most of my time at the moment." Also returning is current companion/Impossible Girl Clara (a.k.a. Jenna-Louise Coleman), who announced her return during an interview with Radio 5. Put away your sonic screwdrives, guys — all is well in the Whoniverse.
Follow Alicia on Twitter @alicialutesFollow Hollywood.com on Twitter @hollywood_com
More:'Doctor Who' Finale Recap: The Name of the Doctor'Doctor Who' Recap: Nightmare in Silver'Doctor Who' Recap: The Crimson Horror
From Our Partners:Zoe Saldana Strips Down For Magazine (Celebuzz)33 Child Stars: Where Are They Now? (Celebuzz)