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Empire Movie News


Podcast #135: Daniel Radcliffe, Laura Dern

Fri, 31 Oct 2014 16:03:25 GMT

Podcast #135: Daniel Radcliffe, Laura Dern

The Halloween / Marvel slate announcement special!

The Empire Podcast - Daniel Radcliffe and Laura Dern

This week has been HUGE for movie news, so consider the podcast you're about to listen to a bumper Marvel slate reveal special, as well as a Daniel Radcliffe special (for Horns), and a Laura Dern special (for The Fault In Our Stars), and a two five-star-film-reviews-in-one-podcast special (for Nightcrawler and Mr. Turner). You're going to love it. We insist.

Plus, the team mangle the pronounciation of Terminator: Genisys and talk about scary moments in scary movies for what seems like a long time, but is only actually a short time. The long time you're thinking of is the time taken to talk about the new Marvel news (which is, as previously mentioned, HUGE).

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.








New Poster And Trailer For The SpongeBob Movie

Fri, 31 Oct 2014 16:03:25 GMT

New Poster And Trailer For The SpongeBob Movie

Sponge Out Of Water

“Utterly terrifying!” was the verdict of one member of Team Empire at first viewing of this new The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water trailer. They may have a point. It would not be difficult to make one of those Mary-Poppins-as-horror type YouTube re-edits out of this. Seriously, this is an animation that features the line: “Welcome to the apocalypse! I hope you like leather.”



Nonetheless, the spongey superhero – a bath-time Bruce Banner – is more beloved that EVERYTHING ELSE IN THE WORLD PUT TOGETHER among its devoted fanbase, who will be counting the minutes before his next adventures commence.

This one – the second movie treatment for Ol’ Spongepants – looks more crammed full of sugary mayhem than an explosion at a hundreds and thousands factory. The Spongeplot takes Robert and pals to the surface of the sea and a quest among the humans to replenish their stock of Krabby Patties. {SpongeBob: Sponge Out Of Water Poster} There awaits Antonio Banderas, auditioning for Pirates Of The Caribbean 6 as some kind of bearded buccaneer, and perils galore including car chases, cannon fire and (hopefully biodegradable) six-pack yokes.

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out Of Water splashes down on March 20, 2015.








Exclusive New Clip From What We Do In The Shadows

Fri, 31 Oct 2014 16:03:24 GMT

Exclusive New Clip From What We Do In The Shadows

Time for some new fangled technology

Somewhere in the admittedly fairly broad space between F. W. Murnau's Nosferatu and J. Tribbiani's Friends lies What We Do In The Shadows, a new comedy-horror from Kiwi writer/directors Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi. The Kiwis are the first to explore the relationship between vampiric souls and the internet, unless there was a bit we missed in Count Orlok's long and pestilential journey across medieval Europe where he gets wi-fi installed. Click 'yes please' on the new clip below for a closer look.



The movie's four flat-sharing vamps, Wellington's most ancient and untidy bloodsuckers, are 862-year-old Vladislav (Clement), 379-year-old Viago (Waititi) and spring chicken Deacon (Jonathan Brugh), 183. Then there's 8000-year-old basement-dweller Petyr (Ben Fransham), who has probably seen better days. About three million of them.

Helping this posse of the undead get down with the kids is Stu (Stu Rutherford), friends with the newly vampified Nick (Cori Gonzalez-Macuer), who's helpfulness and IT support quickly makes him a firm favourite with the boys. {What We Do In The Shadows} What We Do In The Shadows will be doing its riotously funny thing in your local cinehouse from November 21. For more Shadowy business in the meantime, click here to watch the first six minutes of the film or here for the trailer, or pick up the new issue of Empire for much more on the film.


Lucy Liu Starring In Snakehead

Fri, 31 Oct 2014 15:48:14 GMT

Lucy Liu Starring In Snakehead

A human trafficking drama

Lucy-Liu-Snakehead

She’s usually found tracking down criminals as Joan Watson on US TV’s Sherlock Holmes show Elementary these days, but for a new indie drama, Lucy Liu will be stepping to the other side of the law, albeit for desperate reasons, in Snakehead.

Evan Jackson Leong is set to direct the film based on his script, which follows a Chinese immigrant who arrives on the streets of New York without a cent to her name, desperate to reunite with her daughter. So when the bosses of the local human smuggling ring – known as “Snakeheads” – decide to train her in their illegal ways, she sees an opportunity and is soon rising to the top of Chinatown’s smuggling business.

“I was drawn to this story and character not only because it ties into my history as a Chinese American but also as a New Yorker,” Liu tells Variety. “After reading Evan’s script, the hidden world of human smuggling was exposed to be right here in everyone’s backyard and the reality is at the same time fascinating and grotesque. This combination undoubtedly lays a landscape for a cinematic experience not to be forgotten.”

Shooting will have to wait until early next year thanks to her busy filming schedule on Elementary.








Hugh Jackman Finds Lion

Fri, 31 Oct 2014 15:32:44 GMT

Hugh Jackman Finds Lion

Nicole Kidman and Dev Patel also set for real-life tale

Hugh-Jackman-Nicole-Kidman-Lion

It’s reunions all over the place for new drama Lion. Dev Patel and Hugh Jackman will be sharing the screen once again after recently working together on Neill Blomkamp’s Chappie and it’ll mark the first time Jackman and Nicole Kidman have paired up for a film since Australia.

These are early days for the project, which has yet to secure a director, but it's based on a real-life story chronicled in a Vanity Fair article. Patel will be a street kid from Calcutta who finds a new home with an Australian couple, played by Jackman and Kidman. Quite how the lion element fits in remains a mystery for now.

The Weinstein Company is hoping for big things from this one, sending the script out to potential buyers in advance of this year’s American Film Market, looking to lock down some hefty deals with distributors. The cast should certainly help that.

As mentioned, Patel and Jackman are part of the cast for Chappie, while Patel will also be seen in The Second Best Marigold Hotel, period drama The Man Who Knew Infinity and Soviet-era thriller Child 44. Jackman will next be Blackbeard in Joe Wright’s Pan while Kidman will get her villain on in Paddington, which wanders to our cinemas on November 28.


Kelly Reilly Joins True Detective

Fri, 31 Oct 2014 15:02:00 GMT

Kelly Reilly Joins True Detective

Abigail Spencer, Michael Irby and Leven Rambin also set

Kelly-Reilly-True-Detective-S2

The cast for the second season of True Detective is several steps closer to completion. Colin Farrell and Vince Vaughn are confirmed (and Taylor Kitsch said recently that his deal is done), and now the show has added yet more names, with Kelly Reilly, Michael Irby, Abigail Spencer and Leven Rambin all reportedly signing on.

Set in California locales, and once more written by Nic Pizzolatto, the new season sees Farrell as Velcoro, a compromised detective whose allegiances are torn between his masters in a corrupt police department and the mobster who owns him. Vaughn will play Frank Semyon, a career criminal in danger of losing his empire when his move into legitimate enterprise is upended by the murder of a business partner. Rachel McAdams is reported to be close to a deal to play police detective Ani Bezzerides.

Irby is playing Elvis Ilinca, McAdams’ police partner, but the other new arrivals’ roles are shrouded in secrecy for now. Justin Lin is set to direct the first two of what will be eight hour-long episodes and the new season is scheduled to start shooting later this autumn in California.








Gal Gadot In Talks For Ben-Hur

Fri, 31 Oct 2014 15:02:00 GMT

Gal Gadot In Talks For Ben-Hur

UPDATE: She's no longer in talks

Gal-Gadot-Ben-Hur

UPDATE: Looks like her Wonder Woman gig has proved too conflicting for Ben-Hur. Scheduling issues means she's dropped out of talks for the Biblical epic. 

Though her Justice League duties – including the long-awaited solo Wonder Woman film that has just been confirmed – will keep her busy in the coming years, Gal Gadot isn’t just relying on superhero work to push her career along. She’s now in talks for a lead role in Ben Hur.

Taken once again from Lew Wallace’s 1880 novel, the new version aims to chronicle the younger days of Judah Ben-Hur (Jack Huston) and Messala (Toby Kebbell), best friends growing up in Jerusalem before the Roman Empire takes over. Ben-Hur is a Jewish prince and Messala the son of a Roman tax collector who is packed off to be educated in Rome for five years. Upon his return, he mocks our hero for his religion, and, after an accident he pins on his friend, has him sold into slavery. Cue a quest for revenge that culminates (in the 1959 Charlton Heston film, at any rate) in the iconic chariot race.

Morgan Freeman is already aboard to play Ildarin, the man who teaches Ben-Hur how to be a master at the reins for the races. If she makes a deal, Gadot will be Esther, a female slave that wins Ben-Hur’s heart. And she’s not the only person circling a role. Game Of Thrones’ Pedro Pascal in in talks to play Pontius Pilate, who is expected to have a bigger role in this version of the story.

Timur Bekmambetov is the director chosen by MGM and Paramount to wrangle the new take to the screen, working from a script that was most recently re-written by John Ridley. Ben-Hur is currently scheduled to arrive here on February 19, 2016.


Fede Alvarez Finds A Man In The Dark

Fri, 31 Oct 2014 15:01:59 GMT

 Fede Alvarez Finds A Man In The Dark

A new horror with Sam Raimi and the Evil Dead team

Fede-Alvarez-A-Man-In-The-Dark

They helped Sam Raimi resurrect the Evil Dead franchise for a new outing, and now writer/director Fede Alvarez and co-writer Rodo Sayagues are back in cahoots with him for some more horror. They’ll all developing A Man In The Dark alongside Raimi’s Ghost House partner Rob Tapert.

A Man In The Dark appears to blend The Bling Ring with a horror concept as three teens are on a winning streak of perfectly executed home robberies. But their latest target – a reclusive blind man who has millions of dollars stashed – is going to be much more of a challenge. He’s a psychopath, and soon the trio find themselves fighting for survival.

Backers Good Universe are set to tout this one at the American Film Market next week, no doubt talking up the success that the team had with the Evil Dead franchise. They’re still working up another Evil Dead, but it hasn’t quite crawled out of development limbo just yet. Still, a claustrophobic horror thriller sounds like something they can do well in the meantime, and if it captures half the horror of The Bling Ring it will be terrifying indeed.








Seth Rogen In Talks To Be Steve Wozniak

Fri, 31 Oct 2014 15:01:59 GMT

Seth Rogen In Talks To Be Steve Wozniak

He could star with Christian Bale

Seth-Rogen-Steve-Jobs-Film

Could Seth Rogen be following Jonah Hill into high-profile dramas? He may not have cracked the superhero genre, but he is now the target of talks for the role of Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak in Danny Boyle’s new film about Steve Jobs.

With Aaron Sorkin behind the script and Christian Bale set to play Jobs, the film will chronicle three key moments in the Apple man’s life and career, specifically when big products were being launched upon the world, including the first iPod.

Jessica Chastain is, according to The Wrap, also in talks, but when we spoke to Chastain today she denied all knowledge of the film, so chalk that up as a rumour for now.

Rogen isn’t exactly a stranger to dramatic work given Take This Waltz and 50/50, but if he does land the Wozniak part, it has the potential to lift him to another level. And it doesn’t hurt that while he’s hardly a dead ringer for the genius behind the Apple I, he’s enough of a match.

He’ll next be seen in The Interview (out February 6), which represents his latest co-directing (with Evan Goldberg) and starring gig. Chastain, meanwhile, is part of Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar set for launch on November 7, and is co-starring in A Most Violent Year, due January 23.








Neil Marshall Will Tell Tales Of Halloween

Fri, 31 Oct 2014 10:55:51 GMT

Neil Marshall Will Tell Tales Of Halloween

He's part of a new horror anthology

Neil-Marshall-Trick-Or-Treat

Horror and, to a lesser extent, romance, have brought omnibus films back from the dead in recent years, with the likes of V/H/S and The ABCs Of Death proving successful (if not always reliably great). There’s another portmanteau batch of terror on the way, with directors including Neil Marshall, Darren Bousman, Axelle Carolyn, Paul Solet and Adam Gierasch aboard to scare us all with Tales Of Halloween

And they’re not alone, with John Skipp, Andrew Kasch, Mike Mendez, Dave Parker, Ryan Schifrin and Joe Begos making up the rest of the 11 directors who will oversee 10 segments between them. It’s all thanks to a brainwave from Carolyn, who had the idea to gather the group from the loose connection of horror directors who hang in LA and call themselves The October Society.

“It’s so great to be working with such a unique and talented group of directors,” Marshall tells Deadline. “Many of The October Society have been friends for years, so when Axelle had the idea of combining our talents for an anthology based on our mutual love of Halloween and all things scary, it was a no-brainer.”

Naturally they waited until today to announce the project, which will be scaring up deals at the American Film Market next month, with shooting also set for November.








First Look At Pride And Prejudice And Zombies

Fri, 31 Oct 2014 10:25:09 GMT

First Look At Pride And Prejudice And Zombies

Switchblade sisters

Until recently, the adaptation of Seth Graeme-Smith’s Jane Austen-meets-horror genre-mash book Pride And Prejudice And Zombies spent its time lurking in development limbo. But thanks to finally locking in a script and a director (Burr Steers) and a rash of casting, it’s in production and Entertainment Weekly has grabbed a first look image. {Pride And Prejudice And Zombies EW pic}

The picture shows the Bennett sisters Elizabeth (Lily James), Lydia (Ellie Bamber), Mary (Millie Brady), Jane (Bella Heathcote), and Kitty (Suki Waterhouse) tooled up and ready to fight the “Sorry Stricken”, AKA the risen dead, who cause trouble for the family. And they thought finding marriageable mates was hard enough…

Still, they’re clearly all ready for combat, particularly our heroine, Elizabeth. “Even in the original story, Elizabeth’s a fighter and beyond her contemporaries in her ambitions and her ideas of women,” she tells EW. “She’s a badass warrior. She’s a ninja.”

With Steers re-writing a script that has been through the word processor of David O. Russell (who considered directing), the film also has Sam Riley (as Mr. Darcy) Jack Huston (Mr. Wickham) and more, including Matt Smith, Lena Headey, Sally Phillips and Douglas Booth. It’ll arrive on screens next year, finally.


Alex Garland's Ex_Machina Trailer And Poster Land

Thu, 30 Oct 2014 14:55:51 GMT

Alex Garland's Ex_Machina Trailer And Poster Land

Oscar Isaac and Alicia Vikander set heads to 'trip'

Alan Turing’s story is, of course, explored in The Imitation Game (landing on November 14) but the British maths genius’ legacy also fuels Alex Garland’s Ex_Machina. The Turing Test — a quiz devised by Turing to test whether humans can tell whether they’re talking to a machine or another person – is at the heart of Garland’s sci-fi, which has a new trailer and two posters to share with you. The former has a disruptive, schizoid soundscape like no other...

The machine in question is Alicia Vikander’s artificial intelligence, Ava, pride and joy of an enigmatic tech CEO Nathan (played by Oscar Isaac). Domhnall Gleeson’s Caleb, a coder for Nathan’s Google-like search giant Bluebook, wins the opportunity to spend a week with the two of them, a kind of human guinea pig for his boss’s experiment at his Alaskan mountain retreat. {Ex Machina Posters} “It’s an old-fashioned science-fiction,” Garland explains in Empire's new on-set report. “You’ve got two guys, a female robot and another woman, and it’s what happens to those four people over the course of trying to establish whether this machine is conscious or not. And the examination of the machine’s consciousness leads to an examination of their own. Hence it gets trippy and psychedelic.”

“Trippy and psychedelic” sounds good to us. The fourth corner of this eerie rectangle remains largely under wraps, even in the trailer.

Ex_Machina makes it UK bow on January 23. US readers will be seeing it from April 25, thanks to a newly-signed distribution deal with A24.


Alex Garland's Ex Machina Trailer And Poster Land

Thu, 30 Oct 2014 13:54:31 GMT

Alex Garland's Ex Machina Trailer And Poster Land

Oscar Isaac and Alicia Vikander set heads to 'trip'

Alan Turing’s story is, of course, explored in The Imitation Game (landing on November 14) but the British maths genius’ legacy also fuels Alex Garland’s Ex Machina. The Turing Test — a quiz devised by Turing to test whether humans can tell whether they’re talking to a machine or another person – is at the heart of Garland’s sci-fi, which has a new trailer and two posters to share with you. The former has a disruptive, schizoid soundscape like no other...

The machine in question is Alicia Vikander’s artificial intelligence, Ava, pride and joy of an enigmatic tech CEO Nathan (played by Oscar Isaac). Domhnall Gleeson’s Caleb, a coder for Nathan’s Google-like search giant Bluebook, wins the opportunity to spend a week with the two of them, a kind of human guinea pig for his boss’s experiment at his Alaskan mountain retreat. {Ex Machina Posters} “It’s an old-fashioned science-fiction,” Garland explains in Empire's new on-set report. “You’ve got two guys, a female robot and another woman, and it’s what happens to those four people over the course of trying to establish whether this machine is conscious or not. And the examination of the machine’s consciousness leads to an examination of their own. Hence it gets trippy and psychedelic.”

“Trippy and psychedelic” sounds good to us. The fourth corner of this eerie rectangle remains largely under wraps, even in the trailer.

Ex Machina makes it UK bow on January 23. US readers will be seeing it from April 25, thanks to a newly-signed distribution deal with A24.








Orson Welles' The Other Side Of The Wind Nears Cinemas

Thu, 30 Oct 2014 13:39:05 GMT

Orson Welles' The Other Side Of The Wind Nears Cinemas

His lost, final, unfinished film could hit screens next year

Orson-Welles

In January 2011, word arrived that Orson Welles' final unfinished film The Other Side Of The Wind was slowly emerging from a messy rights issue and could be on its way to completion. Skip to today, and The New York Times reports that an LA production company has reached a deal.

Royal Road spent five years chasing down rights holders and had to negotiate a deal between the various competing parties: Welles’s long-time companion and collaborator, Oja Kodar; his daughter and sole heir, Beatrice Welles; and an Iranian-French production company, L’Astrophore.

“I am going to sign the contract,” Kodar tells the Times. “The catalyst is the hundred-year anniversary and everybody is moving in a kind of wave. When I finally see it on the screen, then I will tell you that the film is done.”

Wind stars John Huston as a Welles-ish, Hemingway-esque film director, throwing a party on the occasion of his 70th birthday. The narrative flashes backwards and forwards through events in his long life, and encompasses the points of view of journalists at the party who are intent on unravelling the director's macho persona. Peter Bogdanovich co-stars (much of the film was shot at his house, where Welles lived for two years), and the cast also includes Dennis Hopper, Claude Chabrol and Welles' long-term partner Oja Kodar.

Shooting and editing on The Other Side Of The Wind took place sporadically over several years, taking in Arizona, France, Holland, England, Spain, Belgium and MGM studios. Welles called it "96% complete" in 1972, and "on the brink of completion" in 1976. By 1979 Welles had edited about 40 minutes of the film, but then hit legal trouble over rights ownership. The unfinished negative has been in a vault in Paris ever since, with occasional rumblings of its re-surfacing.

The Showtime network had many of the rights problems ironed out by the late 1990s, but faced opposition from the Welles estate. Bogdanovich has been trying to assemble the film for years, and will now get his chance alongside long-time Steven Spielberg producer Frank Marshall.

“We will set up a cutting room and Peter Bogdanovich and I will assemble the film,” Marshall says. “We have notes from Orson Welles. We have scenes that weren’t quite finished, and we need to add music. We will get it done. The good news is that it won’t take so long because of all of the technology today.”

The Royal Road team will be raising funds and finding distributors for the film at this year’s American Film Market, due to kick off next month. If all goes well, the company is looking to screen it next year around May 6, the 100th anniversary of Welles’ birth.


New Re-Release Poster Of Guys And Dolls

Thu, 30 Oct 2014 13:39:05 GMT

New Re-Release Poster Of Guys And Dolls

Sit down, we're rocking the quote

Joseph L. Mankiewicz was a Hollywood chameleon who ranged from thoughtful thrillers (The Quiet American), to acid character dramas (All About Eve) and Renta-ghosty romances (The Ghost And Mrs. Muir) with equal aplomb. Perhaps his most beloved film, though, remains his starry stab at the musical genre, 1955’s Guys And Dolls. It’s been spruced up and will be back on the big screen in time for all your Christmas sing-along needs*, and there's a new poster to help spread the word. {Guys And Dolls Poster} Adapted from Frank Loesser’s Tony-winning musical, Guys And Dolls is the story of New York bad boy Nathan Detroit (Frank Sinatra), in deep with the gambling community and feeling the cops breathing down his handmade-suited neck. His fiancée (Vivian Blaine) also wants a ring on her finger. So what does he do? He makes a $1000 bet with Sky Masterson (Marlon Brando) that he can’t wow Jean Simmons’ straightlaced temperance enthusiast over dinner in Havana.

Plot, schmot, though. It’s all about the songs as Sinatra’s pipes get a thorough workout with a winning version of ‘Sue Me’ and Brando takes on ‘Luck Be A Lady’ and pulls off a creditable draw. Best of all, arguably, is Stubby Kaye’s effort.

Park Circus, the fine people who brought you spiffing re-release posters for classics like Night Of The Hunter and Some Like It Hot, are behind this one. Guys And Dolls is back in UK cinemas in its restored form on December 19.

* check your local cinema for sing-along regulations








First Look At Simon Pegg In Absolutely Anything

Thu, 30 Oct 2014 13:39:05 GMT

First Look At Simon Pegg In Absolutely Anything

Terry Jones' sci-fi jamboree makes its bow

Before he boffins up again as Mission: Impossible 5’s scampish Q-alike Benji Dunn, Simon Pegg is teaming up with the Python crew for a whole different kind of motion picture experience. Terry Jones’ Absolutely Anything promises, well, absolutely anything. On the agenda is sci-fi lunacy, a Douglas Adams-y plot, a Monty Python reunion and a dog called Dennis. These first-look stills from the film offer a closer look. {First Look At Absolutely Anything} “It’s about a man called Neil”, Jones told Empire, “a teacher in a sink secondary school, who gets given magic powers by aliens.”

That man, Neil Clarke, is played by Pegg. He’s following up Star Trek, The World’s End and Shaun Of The Dead with apocalypse-grade action of a whole other stripe.

“He can make anything happen”, elaborated the director, “[but] he doesn't realise it until his colleague says, ‘What would you do if you could do anything?’ and Neil responds with, ‘I'd make an alien spaceship hit class 4C and vaporise them.’ Then there's an explosion in the school, and they run to 4C’s classroom, open the door and there's a vast hole in the ground.”

Those extra-terrestrials will be voiced by writer/director Jones alongside old pals John Cleese, Terry Gilliam and Michael Palin, while Robin Williams also stepped into the voice booth to provide vocals for the main man’s dog, Dennis. Neil will ultimately face a choice that comes down to between man’s best friend and the woman (Catherine, played by Kate Beckinsale) our man loves.

Set in North London, Absolutely Anything shot earlier this year and will be on the big screen in the summer of 2015.








Marvel Announces Phase Three Film Slate Up To 2019

Thu, 30 Oct 2014 13:39:05 GMT

Marvel Announces Phase Three Film Slate Up To 2019

Black Panther, Captain Marvel and more on the way...

Marvel-Phase-Three

Shareholders meeting? Schmareholders meeting! Unlike Warner Bros./DC, when Marvel Studios wants to make an announcement about its upcoming slate, it does so with a little panache, taking over the El Capitan Theater in Los Angeles to announce the full slate for its Phase Three film schedule, which includes films stretching into 2019.

With Ant-Man (which was only briefly mentioned) wrapping up Phase Two in mid-2015, the focus at Tuesday’s media/fan event was firmly on the third Phase, which kicks off in 2016 with the third Captain America film. Initially teased on the theatre’s big screen with the subtitle Serpent Society, it was quickly revealed to be Civil War, with Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans appearing on stage to adopt boxing poses and confirm that the latest Cap outing will indeed pit Steve Rogers against Tony Stark in a moral conflict that spills over into a real clash in the wake of the events of Avengers: Age Of Ultron. The film’s logo carries a May 6, 2016 date, though it may hit the UK earlier.{Marvel Phase Three Films}

Following that, Doctor Strange will make his full debut in the Marvel universe. While there is still no confirmed casting for the lead – Benedict Cumberbatch is the current rumoured front runner, though Marvel president Kevin Feige wouldn’t be drawn on the matter – Sinister director Scott Derrickson is working away ready for November 4, 2016 release date, a little later than originally thought.

“It takes a while to work on these movies before they're ready to come to you in theatres," said Feige. "Doctor Stephen Strange, brilliant neurosurgeon, bit of an arrogant fellow who gets in a car accident and ruins what he thinks are the tools of his trade: his hands. In the Marvel Cinematic Universe version of the supernatural, that involves everything from quantum mechanics to string theory. The idea of this film is to open up a whole new corner of the cinematic universe. We want to enter, through Strange, the world of parallel dimensions."{Marvel Phase Three Announcement}

2017 kicks off the era of three Marvel movies a year, as Phase Three really lives up to its name. First out of the gate will be Guardians Of The Galaxy 2, which writer/director James Gunn announced via video message (he’s in Tokyo at the moment) would arrive a month earlier than anticipated, pencilled in for a May 5, 2017 slot.

That’s to make more room for the next Thor film, subtitled Ragnarok, which, according to Feige, sees the return of both Chris Hemsworth’s hero and Tom Hiddleston’s Loki. Because, let’s face it, Asgard just isn’t as fun without the trickster.

Later in 2017, Black Panther finally makes his debut, and Team Marvel had freshly-cast leading man Chadwick Boseman on hand to share the stage with Downey Jr. and Evans. You can read more about the Panther’s solo film here.

Moving on to 2018, another long-awaited (and demanded) character will also get her due: Captain Marvel, in the form of Carol Danvers, is headed to screens for July 6, 2018. There’s no casting yet, but Feige had this to say: “This film has been in the works almost as long as Doctor Strange or Guardians Of The Galaxy, and one of the key things was figuring out what we wanted to do with it. Her adventures are very earthbound, but her powers are based in the cosmic realm.”

She’ll be joined in November of that year by The Inhumans, a storyline that has been rumoured for a while and got more credibility a couple of months ago. There’s more about them here.

And, finally, the Avengers will be back (with whatever line-up the team has following the fallout of Age Of Ultron and Phase Three’s various cataclysms) for a two-part tale called Avengers: Infinity War, due in May 2018 and May 2019. As the title suggests, it’s what the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been building to, with Infinity Stones such as the Tesseract (from the first Captain America and Avengers films), the Aether (Thor: The Dark World) and the Orb (Guardians) among the items Thanos (voiced by Josh Brolin in Guardians) is looking to collect to use with the Infinity Gauntlet, which will make him so powerful it’ll need the Avengers and two films to deal with.

The only bad news was for fans hoping for solo films about the Hulk, Hawkeye (some people love him) and Black Widow. “Black Widow couldn’t be more important as an Avenger, but, like Hulk, the Avengers films will be the films where they play a primary role,” said Feige. “Her part in Avengers: Age Of Ultron is very, very big and further develops her character. The plans we have for her through the rest of the Avengers saga are very big and she is a linchpin, in fact, to those films. So instead of taking her out there or doing a prequel which we haven’t done yet, we’re continuing the forward momentum of the continuity of the Cinematic Universe, of which Widow is a key part.”

So that’s it for the Marvel Cinematic Universe for now. What do you make of the announcements? Are you excited? Do you wish other characters had gotten their due? Let us know below and on Twitter.

 


Chris Columbus Hears Melody

Thu, 30 Oct 2014 13:23:51 GMT

Chris Columbus Hears Melody

A CG film to kick off a new animation studiio

Chris-Columbus-Hears-Melody

It can be tough to launch an independent animation studio at a time when Pixar, Disney, DreamWorks, Blue Sky/Fox, Illumination and Sony Pictures Animation are all churning out content and enjoying big box office successes. But Power Rangers producer Haim Saban thinks he can muscle into the marketplace, partnering up with video maven Jeremy Zag and director/producer Chris Columbus for a new animation company called Zag Animation Studios.

The company initially plans to kick off producing family fare in 2017, looking to put out one CG animated film and one blend of live-action and CG a year. Columbus, a man with no little history of launching big franchises, is set to start things rolling with CG ‘toon Melody. There are two other films in development, fellow ‘toon Abominable and live-action effort Ghostforce.

"After all of these years, it's fantastic to start a new venture that brings together talented artists from around the world under Jeremy's excellent leadership and Haim's brilliant international business experience," said Columbus in a statement picked up by Variety.

Like people such as Disney/Pixar’s John Lasseter or Phil Lord and Chris Miller over at Warner Bros.’ ever-expanding animation department, Columbus will act as overseer on the films he doesn’t direct. Can this new company succeed where other start-ups have faltered? There does seem to be more room for smaller companies such as Toonbox, which had a hit this year with The Nut Job, but we’ll find out for sure in a couple of years…








Michael Bay Clocks 13 Hours

Thu, 30 Oct 2014 13:08:20 GMT

Michael Bay Clocks 13 Hours

The director plans a Benghazi drama

Michael-Bay-Clocks-13-Hours

He was back in battle with the Transformers this year, but Michael Bay has his eye on a much more real-life conflict for a potential future film. He’s in negotiations to tackle 13 Hours, which will be set during the fateful attack on an American compound in Benghazi, Libya in 2012.

Chuck Hogan, who co-wrote The Strain trilogy with Guillermo del Toro and worked on the TV adaptation, is responsible for the script, which is sourced from Mitchell Zuckoff’s book. The focus will be on six members of a security team who fought to defend the U.S. State Department Special Mission Compound when terrorists attacked the place. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and one of the compound’s workers died in the initial assault and two contractors were killed during another attack on a nearby CIA facility.

The attack and the US administration’s response has since become a political talking point, and any film about the incident is sure to be controversial. Still, this appears to be Bay sticking to his mandate to make more nuanced films between his bombastic blockbusters, albeith with subject matter that still offers him a chance to film combat. Paramount is backing the film, which would presumably kick off shooting next year.


Ready For American Gigolo: The TV Series?

Thu, 30 Oct 2014 12:53:12 GMT

Ready For American Gigolo: The TV Series?

Jerry Bruckheimer's backing a small screen version

American-Gigolo-TV

Jerry Bruckheimer has been combing through the Paramount libraries again to dig up one of his movies for a new adaptation. In this case, he’s turning 1980 thriller American Gigolo into a TV drama.

The Paul Schrader film starred Richard Gere as Julian, a smooth male escort who makes a good living entertaining rich older ladies in Los Angeles. But around the same time he starts romancing – for real, not money – politician’s wife Michelle (Lauren Hutton), one of Julian’s clients is murdered.

Soon Julian is the prime suspect, and police detective Sunday (Hector Elizondo) starts badgering him for information about his clients. Is Julian being framed? And can he keep the relationship with Michelle going even as his life becomes more chaotic?

What form the show will take has yet to be decided, but Bruckheimer will be an executive producer and Schrader is aboard as a consultant.

“With its signature noir aesthetic, American Gigolo has remained a deeply entertaining, psychological thriller and I’m thrilled to partner with Paramount's Brad Grey and Amy Powell on remaking it into a television series,” Bruckheimer tells Variety. Expect hot young actors with great taste in clothes to be lining up in the hopes of landing the lead in this one.

Now we're just worried this will all lead to a Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo TV series...








First Terminator: Genisys Imagery Marches In

Thu, 30 Oct 2014 12:53:11 GMT

First Terminator: Genisys Imagery Marches In

And there's some surprising new plot info

We’ve heard a lot of talk that Terminator: Genisys will play with the timeline originally established by James Cameron in the first two films. Now, with Entertainment Weekly publishing the first proper looks at the new movie via its latest covers, there are also some intriguing story details to relate. {Terminator: Genisys EW Covers}

Naturally, we would caution that if you read ahead, you’re wandering into SPOILER TERRITORY, so be suitably advised. Genisys reportedly starts in 2029, with the war between the human rebels and Skynet’s malicious machines is in full swing. Present and correct – though played now by different actors – are John Connor (Jason Clarke) and Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) who are taking advantage of pushing back against the antagonistic artificial intelligence to send Reese to 1984 on his mission to save Sarah Connor from termination at the hands of a killer cyborg.

So far, so story as usual for the franchise. But when Reese makes it into the past, things are very different. Sarah Connor is not the same woman we met in The Terminator, played by Linda Hamilton. In an altered timeline, she’s portrayed by Emilia Clarke and is an antisocial recluse who has killer sniper skills, but little ability to interact with her fellow humans. And that’s because – twist alert! – she was orphaned at nine by a Terminator attack and has been living with an aging T-800 (Arnold Schwarzenegger) as protector since then.

“Since she was nine, she has been told everything that was supposed to happen,” producer Megan Ellison tells the magazine. “But Sarah fundamentally rejects that destiny. She says, ‘That’s not what I want to do.’ It’s her decision that drives the story in a very different direction.”

According to co-star Matt Smith, who plays a still-unnamed comrade to Connor, the plan was to honour the franchise while bringing something fresh. “It’s like going on tour again if you’re Pink Floyd – the audience always wants to hear some of the old songs. There are enough nods to the past that people will feel satisfied.” For more about the movie, head to EW’s site.

Thor: The Dark World’s Alan Taylor directed the film, and it’ll be demanding your movie-going money on July 3 next year. Apparently one of the flesh-free Terminators appearing in the film is very happy to be in the thing – check out that grin…

[[Poll1145]]


Final Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 Trailer

Thu, 30 Oct 2014 12:53:10 GMT

Final Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 Trailer

Burn, baby, burn

There is less than a month to go now until Katniss Everdeen and co. take the cinematic stage for the beginning of the end, or The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, as it prefers to be known. That means it must be time for what is being described as the final trailer for the movie, available for your viewing needs below.

As the story continues, Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) has been recruited to lead the rebel forces against those of President Snow (Donald Sutherland), working alongside the likes of Gale (Liam Hemsworth), Haymitch (Woody Harrelson), Beetee (Jeffrey Wright), Plutarch Heavensbee (Philip Seymour Hoffman, in what will be one of his final performances) and President Alma Coin (Julianne Moore). Katniss has now been brought to District 13, long thought destroyed and written out of Panem history but, it emerges, a power to be reckoned with.

But even as the Districts start to make progress against the Capitol’s armies, Snow delivers a nasty propaganda surprise: Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) is alive and apparently aligned with the Capitol in asking the rebels to stop fighting. Naturally, Katniss wants to rescue her friend – but at what cost? 

{New The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 Stills}

The trailer recycles some of the footage from the most recent TV spot, but has our heroine delivering a tough message to President Snow: “If we burn, you burn with us…” Sick burn!

With Francis Lawrence directing, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 is out on November 21. And Katniss is gracing the cover of the latest Empire, out Thursday and featuring much, much more about the movie. 








Insurgent Character Posters Land

Thu, 30 Oct 2014 12:53:10 GMT

Insurgent Character Posters Land

As the film heads to screens in 3D next year

You may already have heard that the Divergent sequel, now labouring until the slightly unwieldy full title of The Divergent Series: Insurgent, will be arriving in cinemas in 3D. Today heralds the arrival of eight new character posters for the film, featuring Shailene Woodley’s Tris and friends (or, in some cases, enemies). {Divergent: Insurgent Character Posters}

The images are a little odd, but then they were designed to be seen in 3D (you can watch them in action at the film’s official site), and make the characters look like they’re running through rubble or have just stepped out of the shower.

Insurgent (we’ll spare you the full name again) finds Tris on the run in future Chicago as she and Four (Theo James) evade the power-hungry Erudite leader Jeanine (Kate Winslet). They’ll have to track down what Tris’ family gave their lives to protect, and Tris must face up to her choices as she unlocks the truth about the past and the future of their world. So, you know, just an average day for her since she embraced her Divergent destiny.

With Robert Schwentke directing this time out, and Octavia Spencer, Jai Courtney, Ray Stevenson, Zoë Kravitz, Miles Teller, Ansel Elgort, Maggie Q, Mekhi Phifer and Naomi Watts all aboard, The Divergent Series: Insurgent lands on March 20 next year.


Exclusive: New Poster For Kajaki

Wed, 29 Oct 2014 10:13:24 GMT

Exclusive: New Poster For Kajaki

True-life Afghan War drama gets a promo

As the last British soldiers leave Afghanistan, the poster for true-life war drama Kajaki. The True Story offers a timely reminder of the terrifying, arduous conditions in which they served. The film charts the events of September 6, 2006, when a detachment of Paras unwittingly entered an unmarked Russian minefield. {Kajaki Poster} Once in the minefield, getting out again was no small matter. In fact, as the men attempted to escape, the casualties started to mount. Any chance of rescue depended on keeping cool heads in the crisis.

Runs the film’s synopsis: “A small unit of soldiers is dug into a ridge overlooking the dam. A three man patrol sets out to disable a Taliban roadblock. In a dried out river bed at the foot of the ridge, one of the patrol detonates a land mine, blowing off his leg and setting into motion a desperate rescue mission. His fellow soldiers come to his aid, only to find themselves trapped in an unmarked minefield, a relic of the Russian invasion of the 1980s. With no way out, any movement risks certain injury and possible death. Out of this harrowing day came extraordinary tales of bravery, selflessness and heroism, but also tragic consequences, for leader Corporal Mark Wright and his comrades, who risked their own lives to help each other.”

Director Paul Katis headed out to Jordan, home of The Hurt Locker, for a six-week shoot that recreated the arid conditions of Helmand Province.

“The film is an honest and genuine retelling of an unbelievable true story that sets your pulse racing,” explains Katis. “It is also a heartfelt tribute to the young men who risk everything for us.”

See it when Kajaki. The True Story hits cinemas on November 28.








New Paddington Trailer Arrives Online

Wed, 29 Oct 2014 10:13:24 GMT

New Paddington Trailer Arrives Online

'Stranger danger. There's some kind of bear over there'

In the new issue of Empire - onsale on Thursday - we ask, 'Who exactly is Paddington Bear?' This tiny furry icon makes his long-awaited debut on the big screen next month in Paddington, and between that article and this new trailer, viewers should have a better notion of what the little Peruvian is all about. Click below for a closer look.

After a teaser that majored on Paddington's appetite for (entirely accidental) destruction, this promo sets the story in motion. There's the furry meet-cute with the Brown family at a certain train station, the arrival at Windsor Gardens and some London Transport-based predicaments to be faced. Worst, there's Nicole Kidman's crazed taxidermist, Millicent, on the prowl for a bear meeting Paddington's description to add to her collection.

"It’s a big story," explains Paul King, the man who has overseen all this, of the bear's origins. "He migrates from Peru, he loses his family [and] his home is destroyed in an earthquake. It’s a proper Finding Nemo-esque tragedy to kick things off. It’s about something quite primal: this quest to find a home." And then, of course, scour the place for marmalade. {New Paddington One-Sheet} With a supporting cast that also boasts Sally Hawkins, Hugh Bonneville, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent and Peter Capaldi as Mr. Curry (boo! hiss! etc.), our duffle-coated hero will be landing on cinema screens from November 28.