Extras! Spielberg gets presidential againm, Batman (maybe) gets a new car and cowl, Chris McQuarrie blazes stars, Mark Wahlberg knows a little Italian, and World War Walking Dead?! 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!

While I know Darryn is still a huge fan, I honestly haven’t seen an episode of The Simpsons since Bill Clinton was still giving lesson on how cigars should be smoked, but I like watching how the show stays topical. Case in point, this new The Hobbit-inspired opening that will be part of the episode airing on 3 November.

Speaking of all things Hobbity, before Elijah Wood eventually landed the role of everybody’s favourite hairy-footed imp, lots of other actors actually auditioned for the role of Frodo. One such actor was Jake Gyllenhaal. Can you imagine what The Lord of the Rings would have been like if he got the role? Well, no need to imagine, Jake will tell you: It would have been the worst.

“I remember auditioning for ‘The Lord of the Rings’ [the role of Frodo] and going in and not being told that I needed a British accent. I really do remember Peter Jackson saying to me, ‘You know that you have to do this in a British accent?’ We heard back it was literally one of the worst auditions.”

They say clothes maketh the man….eth, or something like that, and according to some rumours Ben Affleck may just have found his wardrobe. Apparently his Batcowl for the upcoming Batman vs Superman will be based off the costume used in the graphic novel Batman, which is more grey-ish, and has a worn, homemade quality to it. Here’s a pic for those of you not familiar.

And along with his new duds, Bats will also be getting new wheels courtesy of General Motors, who have apparently revealed that “the new Batmobile would not look like the Tumbler”, aka the crazy Bat-tank-thing from Chris Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy.

They say you should save the best for last, and while there’s no guarantee that this IMAX poster for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is actually the last one, it sure as hell is the best. You’re going to want to click to enlarge this one, then you’re going to have to stoop drooling on your keyboard.

hungergamescatchingfire_imaxposter

The last time Dreamworks, Steven Spielberg and Doris Kearns Goodwin got together, it resulted in a whole lot of statues of naked golden men on a few people’s mantles. And now it looks like they’re trying to replicate the success they had with Lincoln by taking on a couple more presidents. Dreamworks and Steven Spielberg have picked up the rights to adapt another of Kearns Goodwin’s books, “The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism,” this time dealing with 26th and 27th US Presidents in Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft.

This book tells “the riveting story of two longtime friends who become bitter political opponents. Roosevelt’s fighting spirit and impulsive temperament stood in counterpoint to Taft’s deliberative, conciliatory disposition. Yet, their opposing qualities proved complementary, allowing them to create a rare camaraderie and productive collaboration until their brutal fight for the presidential nomination in 1912 divided them, their families, their colleagues, and their friends. It split the Republican Party in two and altered the course of American history.”

Ron Howard has just barely got off the Formula 1 track and he’s already… Rush-ing (yuk yuk) to his next project, the maritime survival story In the Heart of the Sea. The film, which stars Chris Hemsworth, Cillian Murphy, Ben Whishaw, Brendan Gleeson, and Benjamin Walker, tells the story of the Essex, a whaling ship in early 19th century that was rammed and sunk by an angry sperm whale in the South Pacific, resulting in the surviving crew being set adrift in three tiny boats for 90 days, having to cope with hunger, disease and eventually cannibalism.

And thanks to Mr Howard’s Twitter account, we now have our first behind the scenes look at the film’s watery set.

Mark Wahlberg has signed on to produce The Roman, a new look at the early life of Julius Caesar. The film, written by Travis Baker and Richard Tanne (Cinema Cool), is said to be “an origin story in the vein of Batman Begins,” whatever that means. Maybe Caesar had a secret cave under his Roman villa filled with all kinds of gadgets and a manservant?

The film will apparently be dealing with a rarely discussed d period of his life, when Caesar, still just a young Roman general, was kidnapped by pirates and enslaved on their prison island, only to eventually – a few thousand years old spoiler alert! – escape and return to crucify his captors, before going on to claim more power in the military and senate.

 Yeah, I’m pretty sure Batman never crucified anybody.

Before it first aired, one of the biggest potentials Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. had, was in seeing how the TV series would be interacting with the world established in the movies. Now the show is here, and we can see elements popping up, but nothing major yet. This is very deliberate according to Marvel’s Jeph Loeb, who says that they’re approaching this overlap “carefully”. But he does realize that sooner or later the things happening in the movies will play a huge influence on the show, just as they have on the comics they’re based on (Agent Coulson is now a character in the comics, and there is now a new black Nick Fury), and that’s something that Loeb is excited about.

“Wouldn’t that be fun? … Look, it’s never been done before, which is kind of incredible when you think about how many dramas and how many big movies have been out there. There certainly have been television shows that have been spin-offs from movies, but to have an ongoing, ever-changing mythology which is happening first in the comics, and then in the motion pictures, and the movies are coming out at a rate of two a year — these giant tent-pole films that are reaching a billion dollars at the box office, which means that that mythology is being shared around the world. For us to tell stories that exist with not only similar characters, but often shared characters — beginning with Clark Gregg as Agent Coulson — sometimes we have to be very careful. We have to dance between raindrops. But other times, if we know something is going to happen: Can we use that? Can we make that have an impact on the show? And I think we’ll see some of that in a very interesting way.”

Got invited to a Halloween party tonight that you really just don’t have the energy to go to? You need a cat piloted decoy Chewbacca.

Writer director Chris McQuarrie is most well known for Way of the Gun, Jack Reacher and the upcoming Mission: Impossible 5. You know, pure action thrillers. Which shows you just how far out of his wheelhouse he’ll be going for his next project. Across the universe and back again, to be exact, as he’ll next be directing Star Blazers, a live-action adaptation of 1970’s anime Space Battleship YamatoHere’s the story’s synopsis:

In the futuristic Star Blazers, Earth’s atmosphere has been obliterated by a distant alien race, and the survivors have one year before radiation will reach theirunderground refuge and wipe out the human race. The survivors get a shot of hope in the form of alien technology that can deliver a small crew across the universe and back with the means to stave off extinction.

You know all that running around and globetrotting that Brad Pitt did in World War Z? Yeah, all of that could have been avoided if the right people for the job was just called the first time around, instead of some guy in a scarf whose biggest talents are crazy logic jumps and leaving a string of dead bodies wherever he went (seriously he was like Jessica Fletcher on steroids) .

Last Updated: October 31, 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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