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Star Trek Cast Still Hasn’t Seen The Sequel Script

SpockWe can add another piece to the flurry of information about the next installment in the rebooted Star Trek franchise.  E! spoke with John Cho, Zoe Saldana, Zachary Quinto, and Anton Yelchin on the red carpet at the Children’s Defense Fund’s 21st Annual Beat The Odds Awards (cochaired by JJ Abrams and his wife) last week.  With the knowledge that the sequel to the 2009 film will begin filming next month, it’s unsurprising that the questions focused around the quickly approaching production.  What is surpising, though, is that none of the cast from the first film appear to have received a script for the new one!

John Cho laughed off the fact that he hasn’t read the script yet, jokingly saying, “”I’m sure before we finish shooting, I’ll see one. […] Maybe we’ll get a clue tonight.  I’d be curious to know whether I’m in it.  That’d be the greatest gift bag of all time.”  Anton Yelchin also hasn’t read the script and told E! that, as far as speculations about the film are concerned, “Your guess is as good as mine.”  Abrams (who has read the script) approached questions about the screenplay’s location with his usual snark: “”It’s out there somewhere. I’m sure there’s one in a safe somewhere.”

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Watch The Doctor Blow Up In This Doctor Who Christmas Special Prequel

The annual Doctor Who Christmas Special is drawing closer, and if you’re like me, you’ve already got your TARDIS blue feetie pajamas laid out and ready to go. You never really know what to expect from a Christmas with the Doctor, but apparently at some point this Christmas he’s going to blow up.

That’s what happens in this new, extended clip from the Christmas episode. For some reason they’re calling this a “prequel” to the Christmas Special, but I’m not really sure how that could be true. Whatever it is, in the following teaser video the Doctor makes a call and things aren’t going very well. Watch…

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NASA Closer To Finding Earth’s Twin

The universe may be vast, but the conditions under which life as we know it could exist are actually very specific.  It can’t be too close to a star or too far away.  There has to be at least the potential for water and the ratio of gasses much be just right.  A good deal of our gazing out into the cosmos focuses on tracking down planets that fit the complex matrix of conditions.  Today, NASA announced that its Kepler mission has confirmed the existence of the very first planet in a “habitable zone”.

This new planet – Kepler-22b – is 2.4 times the radius of Earth, making it the “smallest yet found to orbit in the middle of the habitable zone of a star similar to our sun”.  We don’t know much of anything about the terrain or gaseous make-up of Kepler-22b, but finding a planet similar to Earth’s size in the sweet spot of a habitable zone is itself cause for celebration.  Kepler-22b also follows an Earth-like, 290-day orbit around its star, which is smaller and cooler but in the same class as our own sun (G-type).

Kepler identifies potential planets by tracking variations in the brightness of stars that are caused by other celestial bodies passing in front them.  Once an identical blip is detected at least three times, researchers qualify the body as a potential planet.  In February 2011, NASA announced 54 habitable zone planet candidates and Kepler-22b is the first of those to be confirmed as a planet.  NASA also says that the increased numbers of smaller planet candidates proves that Kepler is fulfilling its mission of identifying planet candidates that are both Earth-like in size and potentially habitable, which puts us closer to finding “Earth’s twin”.

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Camera That Filmed Star Wars Sold For $625k

Celebrity auctions are unequivocally awesome and there have been some fantastic ones lately.  Christie’s will be auctioning off a giant lot of Elizabeth Taylor’s movie memorabilia, art, and jewelry December 13-16 and they’ve already started an online portion of the auction, which is full of just as many fantastic, shiny baubles as you’d imagine. 

Classic movie fans have been keeping a close eye on the collection of Debbie Reynolds, which she is  “making available to the public” in a series of auctions.  The legendary actress has been collecting costumes and memorabilia for decades, amassing a collection that includes Marilyn Monroe’s dresses from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and The Seven Year Itch, Charlie Chaplin’s bowler hat, and even entire sets from scenes.  In the second part of the Reynolds auction series that was held this weekend, a new world record was even set.  Saturday’s auction brought in $625,000 for the camera that filmed Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope – the highest price ever paid for a movie camera.

The pricey piece is a Panavision PSR 35mm motion picture camera, and it was sold in “a complete package with two 1000ft magazines, a Panaspeed motor, matte box, follow focus, a Moy geared head, Italian-made Elemack camera dolly and lens.”  It’s the camera George Lucas used for principle photography on the first film of the , making it an historic piece of science fiction and cinematic memorabilia.  It’s not just a bit of memorabilia, though.  The camera is fully functional, so the proud new owner of the camera could follow in Lucas’s footsteps if he or she so desires.

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Benicio del Toro Won’t Be In Next Star Trek, But Now More Likely That Khan Will

Star Trek news is flying fast and furious lately, so much so that it for some of you it’s probably becoming hard to keep track. At the end of this post we’ve put together a comprehensive update for you, to help keep it all in line. Right now what you need to know though, is that Benicio del Toro is out.

Del Toro had been in talks with Paramount Pictures and Star Trek director JJ Abrams to join the cast of the Trek sequel as the film’s big bad villain. Just exactly what kind of villain he was supposed to play was a mystery (rumor has it that he was going to be Khan), but whatever or whoever the villain is, Benicio won’t be the guy playing him. Vulture says Del Toro backed out of the film last Wednesday, unable to come to an agreement on how much he’d be paid for the project.

The timing here is interesting. Del Toro dropped out of the film shortly before that awful Khan is the villain rumor started circulating. Trek director Abrams has denied that rumor, but Abrams has been known to lie to keep a secret before, and there was a secondary confirmation of the rumor earlier today in the Vulture story. It’s starting to seem increasingly likely that the next Star Trek will abandon any pretense of taking the franchise in new directions, and simply reuse it’s most famous characters.

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Peter Weller Joins Cast Of JJ Abrams’ Star Trek Sequel

It looks like Robocop may be entering the bridge of the starship Enterprise as JJ Abrams has tapped Peter Weller for a role in Star Trek: Next. Details on what the role might be, whether a new character or one from the franchise’s long history, are not being disclosed. Weller joins returning castmates Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto, along with Alice Eve.

It’s probably the Robocop aspect coming into play, but does anyone else think Borg when they envision Weller in the Trek universe? The news on what Weller will be doing in the film is vague, but even my limited understanding of the Trek canon precludes me from believing he’ll be a part of the Borg Collective. Some kind of executive in Starfleet, or a multiplanetary corporation would be a better guess.