The Vortex: The Bourne Legacy, Batman's New Vehicle, and More
In this edition of The Vortex, I have a pile of movie news to share with you, and a healthy dose of pop culture and tech stories, as well. One of the biggest developments this week was a raft of images, both official and otherwise, from the set of The Dark Knight Rises, including looks at Batman’s new vehicle and Selina Kyle/Catwoman. Then we had a couple of casting announcements: actors reprising roles for the upcoming Bourne movie, and Mike Myers signing to appear in another Austin Powers movie. On top of that, I found a collection of cool bits and pieces of pop culture, including a Calvin & Hobbes/Back to the Future mash-up T-shirt. All that and more lies below in The Vortex!
Remember – if you like the kinds of short tidbits I collect in The Vortex, don’t hesitate to follow me on Twitter – I tend to only use it for posting links to interesting stuff I find online, usually related to the topics I cover here on the blog. If you aren’t on Twitter yet, I’d recommend signing up – even though I used to be skeptical about it, I’m now convinced that it can be an informative social networking tool, if used correctly. With that bit of shameless self-promotion out of the way, on to The Vortex!
I’d argue the biggest story of the week were the set photos and spy video from The Dark Knight Rises, and one official image released by Warner Bros. The photos were mostly of Batman’s new vehicle, which appears to be a hovering gunship, a craft many fans are dubbing the “Batwing” or “Batjet”. Check out these spy shots:
And here’s a short video of the thing in action, flying low through Gotham’s streets:
If you look closely, you can see Batman in the cockpit. It’s still unclear when in the film’s story the Batwing comes into use, but other set photos also betray the presence of at least one Tumbler (although there are three driveable models being used on the shoot), and the Batpod.
I’m very excited about the design of the Batwing – it actually reminds me of the hovering Batmobile that’s being used in the current run of the Batman & Robin comics. As cool as it is, I hope Christopher Nolan can feature the Batwing in the movie without sapping too much from the story.
Plus, we also got our first look at Catwoman. Check it out above – it inspired a very divided response online, with some people loving the realistic look, and others claiming it was silly.
It was announced two days ago that Mike Myers is returning to the Austin Powers series. No word on whether Powers director Jay Roach will return for this fourth film, but everyone expects appearances from Myers’ characters Dr. Evil and Fat Bastard. Austin Powers in Goldmember was released back in 2002, so I’m curious about what they’ll do in this movie. I’m wondering if the formula of spy-movie parodies crossed with raunchy humour is still relevant, especially considering the new direction the Bond films have taken since Goldmember.
Check out this cool idea for a T-shirt, with a graphic mash-up of Calvin & Hobbes with Back to the Future. Obviously, Calvin is Marty McFly and Hobbes is Doc Brown. I wouldn’t mind having one of these!
Universal Pictures announced a number of returning cast members this week for the fourth Bourne film, The Bourne Legacy. Joan Allen (Pamela Landy), Albert Finney (Dr. Albert Hirsch) and Scott Glenn (CIA Director Ezra Kramer) will all appear in the film, but the extent of their appearances is unknown.
As some of you may know, The Bourne Legacy follows the widespread repercussions of Jason Bourne’s campaign against the CIA, and his takedown of the elite officers running the assassin programs Treadstone and Blackbriar. Jeremy Renner is in the lead role as a former member of Treadstone, and Rachel Weisz has a supporting role. Edward Norton will be playing the villain. I think it’s a great direction to take for the series – a sensible way to make a sequel without altering the storyline that made the first three films so fantastic.
An iOS app developer named Hothead Games will be releasing an iPad version of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the eponymous galactic encyclopedia from Douglas Adams’ radio and book series. Hothead will release the Guide as a free app, and include the option to pay small fees for “expansion packs” of extra content. I’ll definitely be downloading at least the basic version – I’ve always wanted my iPad to give directions on how to mix a Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster!
Here’s an awesome rendering of the city of Minas Tirith from The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King – in cake! Someone named Clara Wood snapped these shots of the huge city of Gondor in all its frosted glory. I wonder if you can eat the White Tree of Gondor on the top?
A very cool trailer for the film Coriolanus appeared online this week. It’s a modern adaptation of Shakespeare’s play about a controversial Roman general who is banished from the city and must ally with his enemy to take power. The film is the directorial debut of the star, Ralph Fiennes (Voldemort from Harry Potter), and also features Vanessa Redgrave, Brian Cox, Gerard Butler and Jessica Chastain. I’ve just posted a still from the film above, because the Weinstein Company has been removing most copies of the trailer. I’d encourage you to poke around a bit online and find the trailer if you can!
Like the past two installments of the column, I’ve got three new trailers from the iTunes site for you to check out. Click the image or the link to take you to the trailer!
Drive is a new thriller starring Ryan Gosling, and directed by Nicolas Winding Refn. Gosling plays the otherwise unnamed Driver, who works as a movie stunt driver by day and pilots getaway vehicles for criminals by night. Driver tries to stay uninvolved in the crimes he’s hired to help with, but he becomes interested in his neighbour, a young mother named Irene (Carey Mulligan), and is forced to protect her when gangsters pursue her and her son. Lots of buzz for this one – but it will likely only get limited release.
The Ides of March is another starring role for Ryan Gosling, this time as a sought-after press secretary for a presidential candidate (George Clooney). Clooney also directs this story of political intrigue meant to mirror the fan following created by Barack Obama during the 2008 election. The plot involves Gosling’s character discovering some damaging information about his candidate that might compel him to defect to the other side. I’ve always liked Clooney’s directing, and the trailer has a gripping, tense atmosphere that makes me excited to see this one.
In Time, a sci-fi actioner starring Justin Timberlake, has also caught my eye. Timberlake plays a working-class man named Will Salas living in a future society where people stop aging at 25. The catch is, they must work to buy “time”, or life, that refills the digital meter on their arms. Salas conspires to steal a large stash of time to redistribute, Robin Hood style, to the people. Amanda Seyfried stars as a wealthy girl Salas takes as his hostage. This could either be a smart chase film or a bit stupid – it will all come down to the script, namely the dialogue.
One of my favourite new directors, Duncan Jones (Moon and Source Code) revealed in an interview that he’s looking to make a third sci-fi film, after which he’ll take a break from the genre. He flew down to New Zealand to speak to the visual effects people at WETA, who have established themselves as one of the best effects houses in the business. Jones says he’s looking at making an homage to Blade Runner, with a futuristic, dystopian city as the setting.
Mark this one down for a good idea for a movie or TV show: the story of Nancy Wake, a decorated WWII secret agent. Originally from New Zealand, she took on all sorts of dangerous assignments for the Allies, and in later life could be found in the lobby of the hotel she lived in, sipping on gin and tonics. She died on Aug. 7, but I’d love to see her amazing life adapted into something.
Here’s a cool map, available for sale in print form, designed by illustrator Matt Busch. It depicts all the archaeological treasures that Indiana Jones uncovered over the course of the series, including the movies, comics, novels and Young Indy TV show.
That does it for this edition of The Vortex! Leave your reaction to any or all of these stories in the comments below, and feel free to browse the previous editions of The Vortex below!
“The Vortex” is a regular column on Professionally Incoherent listing interesting stories that didn’t make it into full posts by themselves. It’s basically a list of things I’m excited about that I think you might be excited about. Check back often for new installments!