James Cameron thinks it’s easy to do a great Terminator film right now, and updates us all on the Avatar franchise. Rian Johnson talks about the films that influenced Star Wars: The Last Jedi. David Anders teases a Vampire Diaries return. Plus, a ton of new clips from the latest Agents of SHIELD, and production begins on Han Solo. Spoilers now!
James Cameron weighs in on the status of the franchise, with very convenient timing given recent reports he’s supposedly looking to “reboot and conclude” it all again:
It’s really just stumbled along, trying to find its voice again. There’s probably some degree to where it’s lost relevance, you know? Maybe the things that made it good back then are kind of a yawn now. It’s easy to remember fondly the things that kick off a franchise. It’s hard to keep a franchise vigorous, and relevant. I haven’t had my hand on the tiller since Terminator 2, and that was 1991. So what’s that? Twenty-six years? But look, I think it’s possible to tell a great Terminator story now, and it’s relevant. We live in a digital age, and Terminator ultimately, if you can slow it down, is about our relationship with our own technology, and how our technology can reflect back to us — and in the movie, literally, in a human form that is a nemesis and a threat. But also in those movies, in the two that I did, it’s about how we dehumanize ourselves. In a time when people are being absorbed by their virtual-social world, I mean, just look around. I always say: If Terminator was about the war between the humans and the machines, look around any restaurant or airport lounge and tell me the machines haven’t won when every human you see is enslaved to their device. So could you make a relevant Terminator film now? Absolutely.
In the same interview, Cameron offers an update on where the entire franchise is right now (and there’s going to be an awful lot of it):
The thing is, my focus isn’t on Avatar 2. My focus is on Avatar 2, 3, 4, and 5 equally. That’s exactly how I’m approaching it. They have all been developed equally. I’ve just finished the script to Avatar 5. I’m now starting the process of active prep. I’ll be working with the actors in the capture volume in August, so I’m booked in production every day between now and then. Our volume is up and running, and everything is designed, and so we’re going full-guns right now. I feel like I’ve been let out of jail, because I’ve been in the writing cave for the last two years. I’m actually enjoying life. I don’t enjoy writing. I wouldn’t wish writing on a dog.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Rian Johnson tells Empire about the films that helped influence The Last Jedi‘s tone for him:
‘Twelve O’Clock High’ was a big touchstone, for the feel and look of the aerial combat as well as the dynamic between the pilots. ‘Three Outlaw Samurai’ for the feel of the sword-fighting, and the general sense of pulpy fun. And ‘To Catch A Thief’ was a great film to rewatch, for the romantic scale and grandeur.”
Production has begun, as have the mandatory Han Shot First jokes.
— Chris Miller (@chrizmillr) January 30, 2017
The Space Between Us
The teen anxiety is off the damn charts in the latest clip from the sci-fi romance film.
Cameron Monaghan teases the future of Jerome following the midseason finale:
You know, I’m not sure. I haven’t been informed yet what the plan is.
I’m not exactly sure where they’re gonna go with it, but character-wise what’s great about Jerome is that a sane person, when they do something extreme, will try to wind it back; but every time he takes a step forward, he never takes a step back. he just pushes it further, he goes bigger, he goes more violent, more mean, and so obviously the next time he comes back he’s gonna be trying to top himself in any way he can.
The Vampire Diaries
David Anders is not so-subtly-hinting that he’s going to be making a return to the show during its final season.
I'm headed to ATL on the morrow.
Do the math.
— David Anders (@QuestionAnders) January 30, 2017
Alicia Witt discusses Lily’s history with Castiel:
It’s not a good history. She has been around for a very long time and is determined to rectify things.
She’s one of the coolest characters I’ve ever gotten to play. It’s especially fantastic because a lot of time when you see a character who is coming back, trying to get even for something and settle the score, you don’t necessarily see where they came from, especially not in one episode. But you do get to see what happens and you do get to see my character, Lily, back in the day, so that’s pretty awesome.
Episode 17 of the season is titled “Kapot” — the Russian word for a cowl or hood, so perhaps expect some modern-day Bratva-y shenanigans for Ollie to get embroiled in.
— Marc Guggenheim (@mguggenheim) January 30, 2017
NBC has released a “sneak peek” from the first episode featuring insight from the cast and crew, as well as a new promo narrated by none other than Bat-legend Adam West.
Agents of SHIELD
Finally, here’s not one, not two, but three clips from the latest episode, “Hot Potato Soup” — featuring one Koenig (Billy) facing torture, some Coulson/May wistfulness and another Koenig (Sam) geeking out over Quake fan-fiction.
Additional reporting by Gordon Jackson. Banner design by Jim Cooke.