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Big Headed For TV

Tue, 30 Sep 2014 22:50:47 GMT

Big Headed For TV

Rush Hour will also become a show

Big

Well-known movie titles spawning TV series have clearly become a big thing across the pond. On the heels of Fargo’s success comes news that not one but two films will be reborn on the small screen. First up: word of a show based on the 1988 Tom Hanks comedy Big.

The original finds Hanks as Josh, a lad who just wishes he could grow up faster. He makes a wish at a Zoltar sideshow machine and he’s soon dealing with being a boy in a grown man’s body. Cue giant piano floors and funny feelings about ladies.

Quite how the film will be converted for TV remains to be seen, though according to Deadline, “the series will be loosely based on the movie and will explore what it means to be an adult, what it means to be a kid, and how in today’s world those two things are more confused than ever.” And it’s in the hands of people who know how to create entertaining blends of comedy and emotion, since the show will come from Kevin Biegel and Mike Royce, who last brought the late, lamented sitcom Enlisted to screens across the pond.

In related TV news – partly related because it’ll be co-created by Bill Lawrence, Biegel’s old Scrubs/Cougar Town boss – Warner Bros. TV is looking to turn Brett Ratner’s Rush Hour films into a series.

Lawrence will work with Blake McCormick (another Cougar Town veteran) to write a series that takes the basic concept from the films – a by-the-book Hong Kong police officer is assigned to follow a case in Los Angeles, where he reluctantly joins forces with a cocky, talkative black LAPD officer. Can the concept work on a weekly basis? We may find out next year…


Tetris Movie In The Works

Tue, 30 Sep 2014 22:50:47 GMT

Tetris Movie In The Works

We're not kidding

Tetris-Movie

The list of seemingly silly titles we can crack wise about when a new brand-mining film is announced grows shorter with every day. Add to the roster Tetris, which is now kicking off a journey to the big screen via Threshold Entertainment.

Yes, the game first unleashed upon the world in 1984 by Soviet game-designer Alexey Pajitnov and perhaps made most famous by Nintendo’s Game Boy, is looking to become the next potential block-buster. (Sorry).

It sounds a little ridiculous given the seemingly limited narrative opportunities – and the fact it has been spoofed more than once. Yet CEO Larry Kasanoff tells the Wall Street Journal that his company has big plans for the idea, including a story in place that has yet to be revealed. “This isn’t a movie with a bunch of lines running around the page,” he says. “We’re not giving feet to the geometric shapes.”

And his ambitions are bigger than one film. “Brands are the new stars of Hollywood,” he says. “We have a story behind Tetris which makes it a much more imaginative thing. We certainly have the canvas for location-based entertainment based on the epicness.” Tetris: The Theme Park, anyone? There are no studios, writers or directors attached yet, so we’ll see if this becomes the next Lego Movie or labours in limbo alongside Asteroids. All involved will no doubt be hoping that Adam Sandler's latest, Pixels, gets the nostalgia juices flowing ready for this one.

Oh, and EARWORM.








Alec Baldwin And Kevin Spacey Set For Boss Baby

Tue, 30 Sep 2014 22:50:47 GMT

Alec Baldwin And Kevin Spacey Set For Boss Baby

From DreamWorks Animation

Boss-Baby-DreamWorks

DreamWorks Animation has been suffering a little of late, with more misses than hits. It’ll no doubt be hoping for better things from one of its more reliable talents, Madagascar co-director Tom McGrath with Boss Baby, which now boasts the vocal chops of Alec Baldwin and Kevin Spacey.

With Austin Powers co-writer Michael McCullers loosely adapting Maria Frazzee’s picture book, Boss Baby finds a seven-year-old boy becoming jealous of the attention lavished upon his smart-talking, briefcase-sporting baby brother (Baldwin).

Looking to win back his parents’ affection, the older discovers a secret plot by the CEO of Puppy Co. (Spacey) that threatens to destroy the balance of love in the world. It turns out that the brash baby executive that has finagled his way into the family like a cuckoo is the focus of the plan – and the brothers will have to work together to stop the scheme and prove love is an infinite force.

McGrath is directing alone this time, aiming at a March 18, 2016 release in the States.


David Fincher Will Direct The First Season Of HBO's Utopia

Tue, 30 Sep 2014 22:50:47 GMT

David Fincher Will Direct The First Season Of HBO's Utopia

He'll be busy next year...

David-Fincher-Utopia

Out and about plugging his latest film, Gone Girl, David Fincher has also been talking up his plans – announced earlier this year – to produce an adaptation of Channel 4’s conspiracy series Utopia. He’ll be even more involved than we thought, as he’s aiming to direct all the episodes of the HBO version’s first season.

Utopia, in case you didn’t see the Channel 4 original, set things in motion with the discovery of a manuscript for a legendary graphic novel known as The Utopia Experiments, long shrouded in mystery. When a small group of previously unconnected people unite in their shared interest, things take a much darker turn.

Because they are by no means the only ones interested in the manuscript. Targeted swiftly and relentlessly by a murderous organisation known as The Network, the terrified group are left with only one option if they want to survive: they have to run.

“I like the characters – I love Dennis Kelly’s honesty and affinity for the nerds,” Fincher tells The Guardian. “I mean, I’ve always been a bit of a junior conspiracy theorist ‘cos I don’t have time to connect them all! But it’s nice to see that somebody has.” Unlike House Of Cards, where he shot the first two episodes, established the series’ look and then handed off the job to other directors, he’s going to replicate Cary Fukunaga’s True Detective trick and shoot all of Utopia’s initial run across 2015, working from a script by Gone Girl novelist (and screenwriter) Gillian Flynn. Gone Girl itself lands on Friday.








Tak3n Trailer Smashes Online

Tue, 30 Sep 2014 22:50:46 GMT

Tak3n Trailer Smashes Online

It ends here

Blimey. Now we know why Team Taken – please don’t make us keep calling it Tak3n – were keeping quiet about the plot for the third outing of The Bryan Mills’ Special Skills ‘N’ Kills Jamboree – they’re going dark. Check out what we mean in the first trailer for the film. 

In this one, Bryan (Liam Neeson) is seemingly happy, in a good place with daughter Kim (Maggie Grace) and closer than ever to reconciling with ex-wife Lenore (Famke Janssen). But then something terrible happens – Lenore is taken away for good and Bryan is the prime suspect in her murder.

Pursued by the CIA, the FBI and the police (seems like a lot of manpower to us, but then, this is Mills), across Los Angeles, he goes on the run to track down the real killers and introduce them to his particular brand of vengeful, rage-driven justice. At the same time, he also has to protect Kim…

{Taken 3 Posters}

With Forest Whitaker, Jon Gries, Leland Order, Sam Spruell, Dougray Scott and Andrew Howard all aboard, the sequel will land in the UK on January 8.


Teaser Trailer For Inherent Vice

Tue, 30 Sep 2014 20:01:54 GMT

Teaser Trailer For Inherent Vice

Paul Thomas Anderson does Thomas Pynchon

So far, all we’ve seen from Paul Thomas Anderson's Inherent Vice is the briefest of footage snippets and a couple of stills, including a new one last week. All that changes now, because the first teaser trailer for the film has landed. 

 

Adapted from Thomas Pynchon’s 2009 novel, the film follows private eye Doc Sportello (Joaquin Phoenix), whose life is disrupted by the appearance of his ex-old lady from out of nowhere. She brings a tale of her current billionaire land-developer boyfriend whom she just happens to be in love with, and a plot by his wife and her boyfriend to kidnap that billionaire and throw him in an asylum.

Set at the tail end of the psychedelic 1960s with paranoia running rampant, Doc knows that “love” is another of those words going around at the time, like “trip” or “groovy”, that’s being way too overused – except that this one usually leads to trouble.

Soon he’s wrapped up in a tale that includes surfers, hustlers, dopers and rockers, a murderous loan shark, LAPD Detectives, a tenor sax player working undercover, and a mysterious entity known as the Golden Fang, which may only be a tax dodge set up by some dentists... Yeah, Doc’s probably going to wish he just ignored this one. {First Inherent Vice Poster}

Featuring a stellar cast that also includes Reese Witherspoon, Josh Brolin, Owen Wilson, Jena Malone, Martin Short and Benicio Del Toro, Inherent Vice premieres at the New York Film Festival on October 4, although UK audiences will have to wait until January 30 next year.








Billy Elliot Beats The Equalizer

Tue, 30 Sep 2014 18:29:58 GMT

Billy Elliot Beats The Equalizer

Live screening of stage musical scores at the UK box office

Billy-Elliot-Musical-box-office

Denzel Washington might be a former Special Forces badass who takes on all comers in The Equalizer, but there’s one challenge he couldn’t handle – a ballet dancing boy. Yes, Billy Elliot The Musical – Live! bested Event Cinema records to score £1.9 million.

The live stream from Victoria Palace Theatre, which included a specially choreographed finale feature 25 former leads from the show on September 28 took first place ahead of previous theatre-based champion, the NT Live performance of War Horse, which galloped home with £1.6 million. It even beat out the hugely successful showing of Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary episode The Day Of The Doctor, which took in £1.82 million last year.

The Equalizer, meanwhile, took in £1.89 million from UK audiences. The success of Billy Elliot’s initial showing means that there will be encores in 250 cinemas across the UK running from October 2-5 before it hits Blu-ray and DVD on November 24.


Dominic Cooper Boards Marvel's Agent Carter

Tue, 30 Sep 2014 16:57:17 GMT

Dominic Cooper Boards Marvel's Agent Carter

The young Howard Stark is officially back

Dominic-Cooper-Board-Agent-Carter

There is some good news today for fans of Agent Peggy Carter, and, more specifically of the younger Howard Stark as played in Captain America: The First Avenger and the One-Shot by Dominic Cooper. The actor has made a deal to co-star in the TV series that will find them continuing the good fight.

With Hayley Atwell returning as Peggy herself, Marvel’s Agent Carter will track the character as she deals with post-war America in 1946. Peacetime has not been the best time for Carter, marginalized by her colleagues and balancing administrative work with much more important, stealthy duties at the Strategic Scientific Reserve, helping to build what will eventually become S.H.I.E.L.D. We glimpsed something of her world in the short Carter adventure, which accompanied Iron Man 3's Blu-ray.

Shea Whigham is set to play Roger Dooley, chief at the SSR and boss of agents Carter, Thompson (Chad Michael Murray) and Sousa (Enver Gjokaj). He joins a cast that also includes James D’Arcy and now, officially, Cooper as Howard Stark, AKA Tony’s dad and a key part of the SSR.

Agent Carter is set to fill the gap between the two halves of Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s second season and will be broadcast in 2015.








Hear Lorde's Single From Mockingjay - Part 1

Tue, 30 Sep 2014 16:11:00 GMT

Hear Lorde's Single From Mockingjay - Part 1

Yellow Flicker Beat hits the web

Like many of their fellow YA adaptations, the Hunger Games films thus far have prided themselves on boasting soundtracks with a decent crop of artists providing catching tunes. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 is no exception, with Lorde offering up Yellow Flicker Beat online for your listening use.

The track’s certainly catchy and seems to capture Katniss’ (Jennifer Lawrence) spirit, though there’s no indication how it factors into the film (most likely during the end credits). The first part of Mockingjay, adapted by Danny Strong from Suzanne Collins’ third novel, finds Katniss and the other rebels finally taking their fight to the Capitol and its PR-happy leader, President Snow (Donald Sutherland). But the fight against the all-powerful rulers will not be an easy one, and everyone involved will have to sacrifice if the Districts are to be finally free.

With Elizabeth Banks, Woody Harrelson, Julianne Moore, Josh Hutcherson, Natalie Dormer, Liam Hemsworth, Elder Henson, Wes Chatham, Mahershala Ali, Evan Ross and Philip Seymour Hoffman all part of the cast and Francis Lawrence calling the shots, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 will be out on November 21, with the second part following on November 20, 2015. 








Netflix To Simultaneously Release Crouching Tiger 2

Tue, 30 Sep 2014 16:10:59 GMT

Netflix To Simultaneously Release Crouching Tiger 2

Streaming service makes big deal

Netflix-deal-Crouching-Tiger-Sequel

If you’ve been reading our Future Of Film series (coughity plugginton), you might have seen our piece a couple of weeks ago about streaming services becoming movie players. Clearly inspired by that*, Netflix is taking its first steps into a larger world, partnering up with The Weinstein Company to release martial arts sequel Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend on the site the same day it hits US cinemas next year.

Of course, premiering films via digital services is not new; indie movies have been tapping that well for a while. But the impact is more in the size of the film and the debate over release windows. There is already some controversy, according to Variety, with a couple of cinema chains across the pond refusing to offer screens for the release.

The movie itself, now in production under the direction of Yuen Wo-Ping, adapts the fifth book of Wang Du Lu’s Crane-Iron Pentaology, Silver Vase, Iron Knight (the original Crouching Tiger drew from the fourth tome). Michelle Yeoh is back as Yu Shu-Lien, with Donnie Yen as Silent Wolf. With a script by John Fusco, the cameras are rolling now in New Zealand. The schedule calls for the movie to arrive on August 28, 2015 in the US simultaneously on screens big and small. And it’s just one of the movies Netflix has a hand in, with the company continuing its push into original content for both movies and TV.

Whether it arrives in UK cinemas and the British arm of Netflix at the same time remains to be seen – but it’s definitely an interesting development.

*Hey, we can dream, right?








New Look At Oscar Isaac In A Most Violent Year

Tue, 30 Sep 2014 13:21:27 GMT

New Look At Oscar Isaac In A Most Violent Year

J. C. Chandor's Once Upon A Time In America

The richly talented J.C. Chandor’s latest feature film, A Most Violent Year, takes him back onto terra firma after the oceanic All Is Lost, and back to Manhattan, the scene of his terrific debut Margin Call. This one is set a few blocks from Wall Street’s snake pits in the world of big oil, and a new image from the film shows its protagonist Abel Morales (Oscar Isaac) and his wife (Jessica Chastain) in action.{New Look At Oscar Isaac In A Most Violent Year}

Set in New York’s murderous months of 1981, A Most Violent Year pitches its superb cast into a murky milieu that encompasses corruption, crime and murder. Isaac’s crude-dude is an immigrant who has to navigate these perilous waters with all the canniness and savvy at his disposal. But with his wife in the Lady Macbeth role, his scruples slowly fall away and the allure of criminal shortcuts becomes too great to resist.

As Tony Montana showed us, for every great crime empire that starts out this way, another ends in a career-limiting hail of bullets. The film’s first teaser trailer doesn’t give much away to suggest that Morales will fare the same, but don’t bet on him being voted into high office either. Along for the ride in supporting roles are Albert Brooks, David Oyelowo, Alessandro Nivola and Catalina Sandino Moreno.

The film makes its US bow on December 31 before a UK release on January 23, a release that plonks it right into the midst of awards season. Don’t be surprised to see Chandor adding to his Margin Call Oscar acclaim with another Best Original Screenplay nomination.


Emma Watson Heads For Colonia

Tue, 30 Sep 2014 13:21:27 GMT

Emma Watson Heads For Colonia

Daniel Brühl co-starring in the political thriller

Emma-Watson-Colonia

Since her days at Hogwarts came to an end, Emma Watson has largely played small parts in ensemble movies and, of course, given inspiring speeches at the UN. But she’s moving back towards lead roles again and has signed to star in Colonia alongside Rush’s Daniel Bruhl.

German director Florian Gallenberger is putting the fact-based film together based on his own script. Colonia follows a young couple called Lena and Daniel (Watson and Bruhl) who become mixed up in the 1973 Chilean military coup. When Daniel is abducted by General Pinochet’s secret police and carted off to a mysterious area in the south known as the Colonia Dignidad, Lena kicks off a quest to track him down.

Though the man in charge of the Colonia, Paul Schafer, describes it as a charitable religious mission, it’s in fact in the grip of a cult – and Lena joins up so she can try to find Daniel.

Watson was last seen in Noah and has just worked on Alejandro Amenabar’s psycho-thriller Regression with Ethan Hawke. Bruhl will be seen in Michael Winterbottom’s The Face Of An Angel, which screens at the London Film Festival next month. He’s also worked on Woman In Gold and is shooting John Wells’ untitled culinary comedy alongside Bradley Cooper.








Pierce Brosnan Feels The Urge

Tue, 30 Sep 2014 08:44:40 GMT

Pierce Brosnan Feels The Urge

He's playing the creator of a designer drug

Pierce-Brosnan-Feels-The-Urge

After attempting to recapture his Bond days with action thriller The November Man, Pierce Brosnan is taking aim at a character on an even dodgier moral keel. He’s set to play a drug creator in Urge.

Aaron Kaufman, who has worked as a producer with Robert Rodriguez on the likes of Sin City: A Dame To Kill For, is looking to make the movie as his directing debut. He wrote the script with Jason Zumwalt and Jerry Stahl and wants the cameras rolling next month kicking off in New York.

The plot follows a group of friends on holiday at a swanky island destination, who throw caution to the wind and take up the offer of a new designer drug that causes them lose the ability to control their urges. So, like many already existing drugs and booze, then? Hopefully this will offer a new twist to the tale, and that Brosnan will get to be charming and calculating as the man behind the narcotic.

Brosnan has a few films on the way, clanking through post-production including rom-com How To Make Love Like An Englishman, thriller The Coup, adventure fantasy The Moon And The Sun and action pic Survivor. The November Man, meanwhile, arrives here on November 7.


Jon Hamm Looks Into Black Mirror

Tue, 30 Sep 2014 08:44:40 GMT

Jon Hamm Looks Into Black Mirror

Rafe Spall and Oona Chaplin also on for festive special

Jon-Hamm-Black-Mirror

You might not expect the scathingly satirical and often disturbing techno-fear series Black Mirror to be a likely candidate for a Christmas special. But that’s exactly what Charlie Brooker and the team are planning for this festive season, and they’ve roped in Jon Hamm, Rafe Spall and Oona Chaplin to headline the cast.

The new episode will be a 90-minute special featuring three interwoven stories that will all be linked by Hamm’s character, with a promise that the show will be weirder than ever. Sounds about right for Christmas…

“I am beyond thrilled to be a part of the Black Mirror Christmas Special – I have been a massive fan of the show since its inception,” says Hamm in Channel 4’s press release. “Its dark humour and intelligent observation of our society and values hooked me deeply as a viewer and I'm honoured that Charlie and the rest of the creative team have asked me to participate in wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas.”

Brooker himself appears pleased with the casting: “I'm revoltingly happy that Jon, Rafe and Oona are participating in the horrible pageant that is Black Mirror. As far as I'm concerned their presence is a huge Christmas present that's arrived early."

There’s no transmission date for the special yet, but it kicks off shooting this week. And if you’re a Hamm fan, check out his most recent visit to Empire’s Pod-booth… 

P.S. You can check out our podcast photo gallery here and subscribe to the Empire Podcast via our iTunes page or this handy RSS feed. You can subscribe to the magazine here if you like it in paper form, or here if you prefer things digitally.

 








Matt Bomer Joins The Nice Guys

Tue, 30 Sep 2014 08:44:39 GMT

Matt Bomer Joins The Nice Guys

Only the Magic Mike star is playing a not-so-nice fella

Matt-Bomer-nice-Guys

More often found playing a charming con man that helps the FBI out on US telly drama White Collar, Matt Bomer is using the end of the series to drum up more film work. He’s now locked down a nastier criminal role opposite Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe in Shane Black’s The Nice Guys.

Exactly how Bomer’s character will fit into the plot remains to be seen, but we do know some of the details of the new film. Black co-wrote the script with Anthony Bagarozzi, and the story is set in the 1970s. Gosling will be wayward, troubled private eye Holland March, who crosses paths with hired muscle Jackson Healy (Crowe). These unlikely allies must prowl the mean streets of Los Angeles to solve the case of a missing girl, which soon develops links to the death of a porn star. As they unravel the cases, they discover a massive conspiracy with tentacles in the highest levels of power.

Margaret Qualley, who was recently seen in HBO drama The Leftovers, is the daughter of a corrupt chief justice, and who just so happens to be the spitting image of a porn star named Misty Mountains. Black is aiming at a June 17, 2016 release date.

Bomer, who is about to start work on Magic Mike sequel Magic Mike XXL, is also attached to play Montgomery Clift in Monty Clift and has been lending his voice to DreamWorks’ ghost ‘toon B.O.O.: Bureau Of Otherworldly Operations.


Elizabeth Banks And More Join Magic Mike XXL

Tue, 30 Sep 2014 08:44:39 GMT

Elizabeth Banks And More Join Magic Mike XXL

Donald Glover among the new recruits

Elizabeth-Banks-More-Magic-Mike-XXL

As filming finally gets properly under way on the sequel, Warner Bros. has announced the full cast for Magic Mike XXL. We’ve already learned about one or two of the new recruits, but Elizabeth Banks, Community’s Donald Glover and American Football player-turned-TV-host Michael Stahan are all aboard.

They’re joining Mike veterans Channing Tatum, (who also co-produces again with writer Reid Carolin), Matt Bomer, Joe Manganiello, Kevin Nash, Adam Rodriguez and Gabriel Iglesias alongside previously announced new arrivals Amber Heard, Andie MacDowell and Jada Pinkett Smith. There are no details on which characters the new actors will be playing.

With the new casting announcement comes some fresh plot info, which reads thus: “Picking up the story three years after Mike bowed out of the stripper life at the top of his game, the film finds the remaining Kings of Tampa likewise ready to throw in the towel. But they want to do it their way: burning down the house in one last blowout performance in Myrtle Beach, and with legendary headliner Magic Mike sharing the spotlight with them.

On the road to their final show, with whistle stops in Jacksonville and Savannah to renew old acquaintances and make new friends, Mike and the guys learn some new moves and shake off the past in surprising ways.”

Gregory Jacobs is taking over the directorial reins from Steven Soderbergh, but his old collaborator is still around, acting as cinematographer, editor and producer. Magic Mike XXL is expected to hit UK cinemas on August 7 next year.


Keegan-Michael Key Set For Vacation Reboot

Tue, 30 Sep 2014 08:29:10 GMT

Keegan-Michael Key Set For Vacation Reboot

And he'll be married to Regina Hall...

Keegan-Michael-Key-Vacation-Reboot

Though he’s still best known for his comedy work alongside Jordan Peele on US TV, Keegan-Michael Key has been making a name as a reliable laugh-grabber in supporting film roles. The team behind the new sequel-reboot Vacation clearly think he’d add to the mirth, hiring him to appear alongside Regina Hall.

John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein are making their joint directorial debut with the film, which finds the grown Rusty Griswold (Ed Helms) taking his wife (Christina Applegate) and his children on a cross-country trip to replicate the one his father took years ago. The plan is to end up at Walley World.

This being a Vacation film, of course, nothing is quite as simple as it sounds. Key and Hall are on board to play family friends of the Griswolds who appear to be annoyingly perfect. They join a cast that also includes Leslie Mann and Chris Hemsworth as Helms’ sister and brother-in-law respectively.

Key has appeared (alongside Peele) in TV’s Fargo and was last seen on the big screen in Let’s Be Cops. In addition to his acting work, he’s also developing his own reboot, working up a new version of the Police Academy films. Hall was most recently part of Think Like A Man Too.


New Interstellar TV Spots Land

Tue, 30 Sep 2014 08:13:58 GMT

New Interstellar TV Spots Land

With some fresh footage...

With that November 7 release date rushing to meet us like a landing craft ploughing through an atmosphere, it’s time for the promotional campaign for Interstellar to ramp up. And though we’re fairly certain director Christopher Nolan would be happy with zero TV spots so that we all go in unsullied, several have shown up. As with all things Interstellar, beware of potential spoilers lurking within. 

The new spots share some footage, but also each include fresh looks at the film, particularly the mission led by Matthew McConaughey’s Cooper to journey through wormholes and find new planets for humanity to colonise. 

Interstellar’s plot finds Earth dying from overpopulation and the catastrophic ravages of climate change and other pollution. In order to find a new home for the human race, NASA has quietly been building a ship that can exploit wormholes to journey farther than we’ve ever travelled. 

But the cost of the trip could be high on those who take it – because time works differently when you’re dealing with complicated space phenomena… 

With Anne Hathaway, Michael Caine, Jessica Chastain, Casey Affleck, John Lithgow, Ellen Burstyn, Mackenzie Foy, Wes Bentley, David Oyelowo, Elyes Gabel and Bill Irwin among the cast, Interstellar arrives, as mentioned above, on November 7. For more on the movie, check out the current issue of Empire, which features an exclusive look behind the scenes at Nolan’s latest and brings you everything you could possibly want to know from Nolan and his team. 








Kevin Smith Lands Financing For Clerks III

Tue, 30 Sep 2014 07:58:27 GMT

Kevin Smith Lands Financing For Clerks III

Tusk helped, apparently...

Kevin-Smith-Clerks-III-Funding

Clerks and Clerks II still stand among Kevin Smith’s most recognisable and best-loved films. But despite that appeal, the journey to wrap up the story with Clerks III has been a long, hard road, littered with unrequited possibilities (a stage version! Smith’s swansong!). Now, however, it appears that Smith's latest film, Tusk, has opened a door to score the funds he needs to get Dante, Randal, Jay and Silent Bob back on our screens.

That’s despite the apparent failure of the new horror film at the box office. Tusk has been in US cinemas for 10 days now and has so far made roughly $1.4 million. Even Smith has said it’s effectively “gasping for air” urging his considerable Twitter following and fan base to check it out.

But that that not prevented someone noticing the movie and getting in touch with the writer/director, who recounted his new stroke of luck on the Hollywood Babble-On podcast on Friday.

“A year and change ago I was desperately trying to get Clerks III made for the 20th anniversary and that desperation — I must have reeked of it because I couldn't f–king find money and shit,” Smith says. “But it was Tusk, people going ‘Holy f–k, what else do you have?’ and I was like 'Clerks III' and they're like ‘Done'. So, everybody that's like, ‘He failed, he failed,’ I'm like ‘Thank you, I failed into doing Clerks III.”

The Weinstein Company has the rights to distribute the film, but didn’t want to cough up an estimated $6 million budget to make it. With that hurdle out of the way, Clerks III could conceivably kick off shooting next year, once Smith finishes work on Yoga Hosers.


Matt Bomer Finds The Nice Guys

Tue, 30 Sep 2014 01:03:40 GMT

Matt Bomer Finds The Nice Guys

Magic Mike man is playing a not-so-nice guy

Matt-Bomer-nice-Guys

More often found playing a charming con man that helps the FBI out on US telly drama White Collar, Matt Bomer is using the end of the series to drum up more film work. He’s now locked down a nastier criminal role opposite Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe in Shane Black’s The Nice Guys.

Exactly how Bomer’s character will fit into the plot remains to be seen, but we do know some of the details of the new film. Black co-wrote the script with Anthony Bagarozzi, and the story is set in the 1970s. Gosling will be wayward, troubled private eye Holland March, who crosses paths with hired muscle Jackson Healy (Crowe). These unlikely allies must prowl the mean streets of Los Angeles to solve the case of a missing girl, which soon develops links to the death of a porn star. As they unravel the cases, they discover a massive conspiracy with tentacles in the highest levels of power.

Margaret Qualley, who was recently seen in HBO drama The Leftovers, is the daughter of a corrupt chief justice, and who just so happens to be the spitting image of a porn star named Misty Mountains. Black is aiming at a June 17, 2016 release date.

Bomer, who is about to start work on Magic Mike sequel Magic Mike XXL, is also attached to play Montgomery Clift in Monty Clift and has been lending his voice to DreamWorks’ ghost ‘toon B.O.O.: Bureau Of Otherworldly Operations.








Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight Will Shoot In Colorado

Mon, 29 Sep 2014 19:56:15 GMT

Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight Will Shoot In Colorado

And QT's Western will get 'widest 70mm release in 20 years'

Update: Winning out over the western landscapes of Utah and Wyoming, the state of Colorado has secured the deal to welcome Quentin Tarantino's Hateful Eight. They tempted the production with a $5m incentive package that will, permits approving, see Tarantino filming on a 900-acre ranch near Telluride. Fittingly, it's the biggest film to hit the state since True Grit in 1969.

Quentin Tarantino

There's news just in that Quentin Tarantino’s on-again, off-again Western, The Hateful Eight, will commence shooting in January – all in glorious 65mm. Harvey Weinstein, renewing his long acquaintance with the writer/director, is promising to pull out all the stops for the post-Civil War Western and afford it “the widest 70mm release for over 20 years”. Eat your pickled heart out, The Master.

Said Harvey and Bob Weinstein in a statement, “We are incredibly excited to begin production on The Hateful Eight, as we know this picture will be as innovative, brash and of course fun as all Quentin projects prior. There is, quite simply, no other filmmaker like him, and we are as proud as ever to continue this partnership that started over 20 years ago."

There are few plot details out there yet, unless you're one of the few people to have seen that leaked draft that had Tarantino threatening to abandon the film, but the winter shoot does present the intriguing prospect of a snowbound Western, a la The Searchers or McCabe & Mrs. Miller.

What we do know is that its marketing campaign has already swung into effect – quite possibly the quickest in Hollywood history – with a blood-splashed poster and a teaser trailer.

Neither flaunts the cast that Tarantino has assembled to top-line his tale of bounty hunters caught up in a bloody plot while seeking shelter from the storm. QT regulars Kurt Russell, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Bruce Dern, Walton Goggins and Samuel L. Jackson are all on board.
 
The Hateful Eight will arrive with us in 2015, which means Tarantino will need to shoot and edit pretty darn sharpish.


Babak Najafi In Talks To Direct London Has Fallen

Mon, 29 Sep 2014 19:56:15 GMT

Babak Najafi In Talks To Direct London Has Fallen

He may replace Fredrik Bond

Babak-Najafi-In-Talks-London-Is-Falling

Despite powerful forward moment after Olympus Has Fallen won victory in the Battle Of The White House Action Films last year, sequel London Has Fallen stumbled recently when director Fredrik Bond decided to quit. But it appears that star Gerard Butler and the producers already have their eyes on a replacement, with Easy Money II: Hard To Kill’s Babak Najafi entering talks for the job.

With Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Angela Bassett, Radha Mitchell and Morgan Freeman returning as Secret Service agent Mike Banning, US President Benjamin Asher, Secret Service Director Lynn Jacobs, Leah Banning and Speaker Trumbull respectively, the sequel’s plot will see the characters headed to London to attend the funeral of a British Prime Minister.

World leaders from far and wide are in attendance, but it turns out that it's all a dastardly scheme to get them in one place for a mass assassination and a seismic change to the world order. Only Banning, the Prez and a distrustful MI6 agent can put a stop to the madness.

Najafi, who scored at the Berlin Film Festival in 2010 with his debut film Sebbe, has also worked on action-packed US TV drama Banshee, and would launch into US studio filmmaking with this one. If he makes a deal, he’ll oversee a shoot split into two chunks to accommodate Butler’s work on Geostorm.








William Shatner Confirms Contact With The Star Trek 3 Team

Mon, 29 Sep 2014 19:41:03 GMT

William Shatner Confirms Contact With The Star Trek 3 Team

He'd be delighted to do the film – depending on the plot...

Shatner-Star-Trek-3-Contact

Though we’re fairly certain all involved would prefer that word didn’t leak, rumours sprang up last week that Roberto Orci, J.J. Abrams and the Star Trek 3 team were working on a way to squeeze William Shatner into the new film. Now, speaking at the Wizard World Nashville convention event, Shatner has confirmed that he’s spoken to Abrams about the idea.

According to The Shat, Abrams called him from London with word of a potential way to fit Shatner’s Captain Kirk into the new movie, in much in the same way that Leonard Nimoy’s Spock has appeared in both the recent rebooted films. And Shatner’s response? “It depends on what you do with the character, but I would be delighted.”

This is, of course, by no means a done deal yet. Shatner would have to approve the plan and, given that it was supposed to be kept quiet (the actor didn’t even tell his wife, but someone got wind of it), Abrams may decide that it shouldn’t now happen. Shatner remains hopeful, even if he can’t quite conceive of how to make it work in the story. “How do you get me fifty years later into the movie? I mean how do you rationalize it. I know it’s science fiction, but even I couldn’t come up with an idea. So that’s the news on that.”

Though nothing has been 100% announced on the matter, Orci is currently assumed to be directing Star Trek 3 from a script he’s worked on with John D. Payne and Patrick McKay. Paramount wants the Enterprise flying again in 2016, in time for the original series’ 50th anniversary.








Podcast #130: Rosamund Pike, Lee Child, Antoine Fuqua

Mon, 29 Sep 2014 15:50:05 GMT

Podcast #130: Rosamund Pike, Lee Child, Antoine Fuqua

Hats entertainment

The Empire Podcast #130 - Lee Child, Rosamund Pike, Antoine Fuqua

It's a rare event when there are three interviewees on the Empire Podcast, so be sure to be especially generous with your five-star iTunes reviews this week after you listen to the wise and witty words of Jack Reacher author Lee Child, The Equalizer director Antoine Fuqua and the girl who puts the Girl in Gone Girl, Rosamund Pike. 

Then there's the all-imporant Q&A section of the podcast, where finally, 130 episodes in, a listener has the courage to ask us the question of questions: what's the best hat in cinema? We forget Oddjob's statue slicer, and only remember after the recording was over. Ah well.

P.S. You can check out our podcast photo gallery here and subscribe to the Empire Podcast via our iTunes page or this handy RSS feed. You can subscribe to the magazine here if you like it in paper form, or here if you prefer things digitally.








The Equalizer Shoots To The Top Of The US Box Office

Mon, 29 Sep 2014 09:11:12 GMT

The Equalizer Shoots To The Top Of The US Box Office

The Boxtrolls steal third

Equalizer-Tops-US-Box-Office

Denzel Washington proved he has what it takes to open a film once again, collaborating for a second time with Training Day’s Antoine Fuqua to drive the violent, bloody film version of The Equalizer to the top of the US box office charts with $35 million, according to studio estimates.

The success of the film is impressive given its mixed notices and the fact that it’s aimed more squarely at a more grown up audience than the usual key teen demo. This is Washington’s third most successful opening to date and bodes well for the sequel, which is already in the works at Sony.

Denzel and co. knocked The Maze Runner from the top of the charts, but the novel adaptation still held decently, dashing to $17.5 million in its second weekend and a $58 million US total. With strong global performances, the movie is creeping towards $150 million worldwide so far.

Laika’s The Boxtrolls gave the Portland-based animation studio its biggest opening weekend yet, taking in $17.2 million, which pushed Shawn Levy’s This Is Where I Leave You down to fourth with $7 million. Dolphin Tale 2 continued to tread water at fifth, earning $4.8 million, with $33.6 million in the bank so far. Idris Elba thriller No Good Deed was down a couple of places to sixth with $4.6 million, while A Walk Among Tombstones took a tumble on its stroll, falling from second to seventh place despite opening in a couple of extra screens.

At eighth, Guardians Of The Galaxy continued to snatch Marvel records, becoming the third-highest grossing Stateside release from the company behind The Avengers and Iron Man 3, snatching the spot from the original Iron Man, adding $3.7 million for a $319.1 million total to date. Let’s Be Cops was ninth with $1.5 million and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fell to 10th, taking in $1.4 million.

To see The Denz, as no one calls him, take on a group of kids and win in the full chart listings, head to Box Office Mojo.