Extras! JJ Abrams admits lens flares are moronic, Homeland: The musical, Nick Fury might be dropping by, Cruella gets the live action treatment, Rosamund Pike is a go, and Lightsabers could be real?! Plus much more!

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Welcome to The Extras! A daily dose of all the smaller movie related news, clips and just plain cool stuff that you might have missed!

Let’s kick off today’s Extras with Ender’s Game TV spot for a little bit of pew pew action and what sounds eerily like a quote from Talledega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. “Remember, Ender, if ya ain’t first, ya last!”

As if the world isn’t filled with enough real life villains like Kim Jong Un, Robert Mugabe and, according to my Facebook timeline, David Moyes, now Disney are still trying to make the cartoon ones real as well. Production is already quite far along on Maleficent, which sees Angelina Jolie as the witch from classic fairytale “Sleeping Beauty”, and now the house of mouse is looking to give the live-action treatment to another cackling lady in the form of 101 Dalmations‘ puppy-fur loving villainess, Cruella De VilCruella will be penned by Aline Brosh McKenna, who also wrote Kenneth Branagh’s live-action Cinderella pic.

And here are a couple of nuggets for all you trivial pursuers out there. Did you you know that Ben Affleck actually started off his movie career with a tiny uncredited role in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie? Learn all about him and some more in ShockTillYouDrop’s list of 15 of Today’s Stars Who Started in Horror.

This new and final poster for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire wants you to remember who the enemy is. Er… bad photoshop copy-paste jobs?

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Rosamund Pike, one-time Bond girl and all the time taller than Tom Cruise in Jack Reacher girl, has signed on to join the voice cast of Thunderbirds reboot, titled Thunderbirds are Go! Pike will voice the character of International Rescue agent Lady Penelope, and will be joined, among others, by David Graham, a voice actor in the original 60’s series “who is reprising his role as chauffeur and International Rescue agent Parker.”

While the original series was famous for it’s use of puppets, the new show will be “a mix of CGI animation and live-action miniature sets.”

While Kevin Reynolds has had a pretty successful career (Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Count of Monte Cristo, Hatfields & McCoys), he is probably best known for directing US box office damp squib Waterworld. I guess he had a great time making that movie though, as he’s once again tackling a story about a messiah who does funny stuff with water. Reynolds has signed on to direct The Resurrection, a biblical drama said to be tonally “similar to Ridley Scott’s Gladiator in tone, only family-friendly and with more mystery”. Whatever that means.

The film will be set “in the 40 days following the death of Jesus Christ. The protagonist is an agnostic Roman Centurion who’s assigned by Pontius Pilate to look into the rumors that the Jewish Messiah has risen. He sets out to find the missing body of Christ in order to squelch an imminent uprising in Jerusalem. The investigation brings the character in contact with several famous Biblical characters, including the Apostles. As he digs deeper, he begins to rethink his assumptions about this supernatural event.”

Thanks to Dwayne Johnson and his constant Twitpiccery, we now have our first look at Joseph Fiennes and John Hurt from the set of Brett Ratner’s Hercules. It’s unknown who Fiennes plays, but Hurt will be playing the King of Thrace, who enlists Hercules’ (Johnson) help in defending them against a warlord.

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Scientists at Harvard University have accidentally invented the technology that could be used to make lightsabers. Did you hear me? [email protected]#ING-SABERS! Now all we need are hoverboards and my geeky life will be complete.

Speaking of all things light-related in sci-fi… We’ve heard all the jokes and seen all the memes and parody videos and Star Trek and soon to be Star Wars director JJ Abrams’ love of lens flares in his movies. And guess what? JJ Abrams has seen and heard them as well, and he’d like you to know that he’s sorry for destroying your retinas, and admits that he may just have a problem.

“I know I get a lot of grief for that. But I’ll tell you, there are times when I’m working on a shot, I think, ‘Oh this would be really cool… with a lens flare.’ But I know it’s too much, and I apologize. I’m so aware of it now. I was showing my wife an early cut of Star Trek Into Darkness and there was this one scene where she was literally like, ‘I just can’t see what’s going on. I don’t understand what that is.’ I was like, ‘Yeah, I went too nuts on this.’”

“This is how stupid it was,. I actually had to use ILM [Industrial Light & Magic] to remove lens flare in a couple of shots, which is, I know, moronic. But I think admitting you’re an addict is the first step towards recovery.”

So who’s going to be JJ’s sponsor on his road to recovery? You’ll probably have to keep him away from all torches and spotlights.

Dear Warner Bros, while you’re all faffing about giving each other piggy back rides or whatever it is you do at your board meetings, fans have been busy showing you just how Wonder Woman could actually work in a feature film. The latest lesson coming via this concept trailer from director Sam Balcomb for Rainfall Films. It has a decent, realistic costume that still harks back to the comic book design, nice dark tone and more slow-mo than a John Woo-directed Karaoke music video.

Looks like Forrest Whitaker is about to have a Powell movement. The Oscar winning actor will be adding the name of retired US Secretary of State Colin Powell to the increasingly long list of real world people he’s brought to life on screen. The biopic, simply titled Powell, was written by Ed Whitworth, who also wrote the Ronald Reagan/Mikhail Gorbachev movie Reyjavik, and will not be dealing with Powell’s life story but rather “the behind-the-scenes story of how the then-Secretary of State addressed the U.N. and made the case for war in Iraq”.

That’s some pretty heavy material, as Powell was one of the people pressing the case based on the fact that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction, a claim that has since been shown to be untrue.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. may not yet have been released on our local TV screens yet, but I know that some of you tricksy hobbitses have probably already got your hands on it. Now, we’re definitely not advocating this, but if you do find yourself in possession of tomorrow night’s episode 2, make sure you watch all the way to the very end of the credits for a special surprise. A surprise I will now spoil for you, by saying that it will probably be Samuel L Jackson doing a cameo as Head of S.H.I.E.L.D. Nick Fury. We know this because on some keen eyed fans spotted the fact that on ABC’s original Facebook post telling fans to stay tuned, an attached image of the S.H.I.E.L.D. logo had the eagle wearing an eyepatch.

And while we’re talking about TV series to do with US government organizations, let’s turn our attentions to Homeland. The multiple award winning drama series – which will soon be returning to our screens for season 3 – is a tense, dramatic, and unflinching portrayal of shifting allegiances and moral ambiguity.

Which of course means it’s just perfect to adapt into a Broadway musical! And take it way, Brody…1, 2, 3…

Last Updated: October 1, 2013

Kervyn Cloete

A man of many passions - but very little sleep - I've been geeking out over movies, video games, comics, books, anime, TV series and lemon meringues as far back as I can remember. So show up for the geeky insight, stay for the delicious pastries.

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