Access Week In Geek (July 16, 2010)

In this installment of Access Hollywood’s Week In Geek, the recasting candidate debates of The Incredible Hulk for “The Avengers” begin, the first glimpses of Ryan Reynolds as Green Lantern take the web by storm, Zac Efron joins the mystic order of the Jedi Knights and updates regarding who’s in and who’s out in the upcoming movie slate…

“HULK” UPDATES FOR “THE AVENGERS”
You gotta hand it to Marvel Studios for consistently keeping at least one of their upcoming films in the hot seat each week in the fanboy talkback community. The shot heard around the web this past weekend was the announcement that Edward Norton would not be reprising his role as The Incredible Hulk’s alter ego Bruce Banner in 2012’s “The Avengers.” Heated words were exchanged rather publicly on Hitfix.com between Marvel Studios’ Kevin Feige and Norton’s agent Brian Swardstrom, blaming the parting of ways on either creative tensions or financial disagreements. Norton himself chimed in too (positively) and shortly thereafter, the recasting rumors hit high speed.

Former “Dr. Who,” David Tennant, was suggested, but Mark Ruffalo became the rumored front-runner, according to Deadline Hollywood. Insiders, however, told The Hollywood Reporter’s Heat Vision blog, however, that plenty of I’s and T’s still needed to be dotted and crossed.

EXCITING FIRST GLIMPSE AT “GREEN LANTERN”
Warner Bros and DC Comics soared back into the big screen comic book movie game this week with Entertainment Weekly’s cover story featuring the first look at Ryan Reynolds in full costume as Green Lantern. The spread hinted that Reynolds will be seen on screen wearing an other worldly costume that will be created entirely by CGI artists. The story also revealed that Blake Lively’s long blonde locks have been darkened for her role as Carol Ferris (who has always been brunette in the comics).

Curious fans also got their first looks at Peter Sarsgaard as Hector Hammond (before and after his mutation into the film’s main villain), Tim Robbins on set as Sarsgaard’s father Senator Hammond, Angela Bassett as Amanda Waller, and even a peek of the alien Abin Sur (who bestows Ryan Reynolds’ Hal Jordan with the ring that gives him his super powers).

Surely there will be much more to come from Comic Con next week, where the cast and filmmakers will be in attendance.

As for Marvel Studios, they’ve wisely been releasing various teaser images of their upcoming heroes hitting the big screen next year like Captain America and Thor, however, they disappointed some fans this week with the announcement that both upcoming films would be presented in 3-D.

THIS WEEK’S CASTING CAROUSEL
Kevin Bacon will indeed be joining “X-Men: First Class” as an unconfirmed villain according to Variety.

Jennifer Lawrence has been cast as Mystique in the mutant prequel, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The “Winter’s Bone” actress will be playing a younger version of the blue-skinned shapeshifter that Rebecca Romijn Stamos portrayed in the previous “X-Men” films

Zac Efron will be become a Jedi Knight for Cartoon Network’s third “Robot Chicken” special featuring all “Star Wars” related material. Deadline says Efron will be lending his vocal talents to play none other than Anakin Skywalker in the old school stop motion animated special. The show, set to air in December, will also feature Anthony Daniels’ iconic voice as C-3P0, Ahmed Best reprising his role as Jar Jar Binks, and Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian.

TheWrap reported that “X2: X-Men United” villain Brian Cox has joined the cast of FOX’s “Rise of the Apes,” the “Planet of the Apes” prequel, as their main bad guy, joining James Franco, John Lithgow, Andy Serkis, and Freida Pinto.

SUPERGIRL TO SOAR BACK TO “SMALLVILLE”
Entertainment Weekly reported that Clark Kent’s Kryptonian cousin Kara will return for one episode in “Smallville’s” tenth and final season. Laura Vandervoort, who played Supergirl for 21 episodes in 2007 and 2008, will take some time off from her gig at ABC’s “V” to wrap up her character’s fate as The CW show ends its run. Also lined up to appear for what sure will be a super send off — John Schneider as Jonathan Kent. Clark’s adopted father on Earth was killed off so we will assume Schneider will be seen in flashback sequences.

LIEV SCHREIBER TALKS DOWN HIS RETURN TO “SCREAM” AND “WOLVERINE”
When asked if Cotton Weary — the character played by Liev Schreiber in the “Scream” series would be returning in the upcoming fourth installment, Liev told IGN at the “Salt” junket, “Cotton is dead!”

Liev brushed off any chance of rejoining former castmates Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox Arquette, and David Arquette, since his character was killed off in the third installment of the series. “I keep reading on the internet that I’m doing ‘Scream 4,’ but I don’t know where that comes from,” he told the website. “No one ever told me I was doing ‘Scream 4.’ No one ever mentioned anything to me.”

As for seeing his primal mutant Sabertooth go up against Wolverine again in FOX’s planned sequel to “X-Men Origins: Wolverine, ” Liev didn’t rule it out completely. “It’s not in my hands,” he revealed. “It’s a studio thing. People liked the character… And I’d love to do it again, but I think the storyline that they’re going to go with is in Japan. I think part of it, I don’t know — I try not to second-guess the studios, but I feel like sometimes when they make a sequel they have to have a new villain. I haven’t even seen the script.”

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