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Empire Movie News


Things Get Musical In An Into The Woods Featurette

Thu, 23 Oct 2014 22:18:34 GMT

Things Get Musical In An Into The Woods Featurette

Streep, Depp and the rest talk up the film

The promotional materials for Rob Marshall’s Into The Woods have so far not so much hidden as obscured the idea that the new film, adapted from Stephen Sondheim’s stage musical actually contains music itself. The trailers have yet to include any of the songs, but a new featurette lets the cast show off their pipes at last.

Riffing on the stories of the Brothers Grimm, Into The Woods is about a childless baker who attempts to lift a family curse by journeying woods-ward to confront Meryl Streep's harpy. Along the way they encounter classic characters like Rapunzel, Cinderella, Jack (of beanstalk notoriety) and Red Riding Hood, played by newcomer Lilla Crawford.

James Corden is the Baker, with Emily Blunt as his wife, Anna Kendrick as Cinderella, Chris Pine as Cinders' handsome prince, a furry Johnny Depp as the Big Bad Wolf, Mackenzie Mauzy as Rapunzel, Annette Crosbie as Grandma, Daniel Huttlestone as Jack, Frances de la Tour as the Giant and Tracey Ullman as Jack's mother.

As the likes of Streep and Blunt explain, the story blends the various fairytales into something new as everyone heads into the trees to seek what they wish – love, magic, you name it. With any luck, any new trailers will let the film fly its musical flag. Into The Woods will arrive in the US on Christmas Day and heads over here on January 9, 2015. 


Judge Dredd: Superfiend Trailer Arrives

Thu, 23 Oct 2014 22:18:34 GMT

Judge Dredd: Superfiend Trailer Arrives

Death is coming...

We’ve known that a new, strictly unofficial web series spun-off from – yet not plot-related to – 2012’s Dredd is one the way for a while now. Pictures arrived earlier this week, and now here’s the trailer for the insane-looking animated series. 

Backed by Dredd co-producer Adi Shankar as part of his “bootleg” universe, it has been created by the Junquera Brothers and aims to channel more of the satirical, fantastical tone conjured by Judge Dredd’s 2000AD incarnation.

The plot finds Mega City One and our favourite lawman in particular under threat from Judge Death, appearing from a parallel dimension and holding the quaint belief that all life is a crime and the appropriate punishment is a variety of torments and murder. He’s not exactly what you’d call the life and soul, though he does seem to be enjoying himself.

The full, free web series kicks off on October 27, but if this puts you in the mood for more, at least you don’t have long to wait now.








Chiwetel Ejiofor Joins The Martian

Thu, 23 Oct 2014 22:18:33 GMT

Chiwetel Ejiofor Joins The Martian

Sebastian Stan and Mackenzie Davis also set for Ridley Scott's latest

Chiwetel-Ejiofor-The-Martian

Ridley Scott is set to start shooting the film next month, and the casting announcements for his latest, sci-fi pic The Martian, are arriving at speed. The latest name to join the impressive ensemble are 12 Years A Slave’s Chiwetel Ejiofor plus Captain America: The Winter Soldier's Sebastian Stan and actress Mackenzie Davis.

Matt Damon is starring in the film as NASA astronaut Mark Watney, left stranded on Mars after his crewmates on the Ares 3 mission are forced to evacuate by a dust storm.

To stave off death on the Red Planet, Watney tries to rustle up water and grow crops. Meanwhile, his fellow astronauts are kept in the dark about his survival during their voyage back to Earth on the Hermes spacecraft. NASA struggles to find some way to rescue Watney, while the Hermes astronauts add their efforts once they finally discover he’s alive. Jeff Daniels will play the NASA boss who must decide how much to tell Watney’s colleagues about his dire straits, while Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Kate Mara and Michael Peña are all now listed as aboard the film, with Sean Bean recruited a couple of days ago.

According to EW, Stan and Davis' roles aren't known, but Ejiofor is on board as Venkat Kapoor, the director of the Mars mission who will no doubt be scrambling like his colleagues to find a way to save Watney’s stranded spaceman. The Martian reunites Ejiofor with his American Gangster director, and Scott’s working from a script by Drew Goddard, itself courtesy of Andy Weir’s book.

Ejiofor has worked on John Hillcoat’s Triple Nine and post-apocalyptic drama Z For Zachariah. He’s attached to the remake of The Secret In Their Eyes and has been rumoured for a role in the next Bond film.


Insidious: Chapter 3 Teaser Trailer Arrives

Thu, 23 Oct 2014 17:42:37 GMT

Insidious: Chapter 3 Teaser Trailer Arrives

Back to the beginning...

The first two Insidious films focused on the beleaguered Lambert family led by Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne, and saw spectral forces follow them between homes. Now here comes the third chapter, which spins the clock right back to before they encountered the ghostly terrors and focuses on a new group of characters. 

Stephanie Scott is the lead here, playing a young woman who is just home from hospital after breaking both her legs. Her dad (Dermot Mulroney) is trying to help her settle back, and she has an instant connection with neighbour Hector (Ashton Mojo), who clearly has a crush on her. But when she thinks he’s playing cute by knocking on her wall, she discovers to her horror that it’s something else… 

{Insidious: Chapter 3 Poster}

This first glimpse of the new horror outing – which sees regular writer (and actor) Leigh Whannell taking over the director’s chair from James Wan – is very much on the teasing side of things, with just a hint of the scare tactics lurking within. Sensible, given that the film doesn’t arrive until May 29 next year.








Ethan Hawke Playing Chet Baker

Thu, 23 Oct 2014 17:27:04 GMT

Ethan Hawke Playing Chet Baker

He's on to be the legendary jazz trumpeter

Ethan-Hawke-Chet-Baker

Jazz seems to be very in at the moment, with Don Cheadle at work on a Miles Davis film and Whiplash bringing the intensity of jazz drumming to screens. Ethan Hawke is looking to get in on the act, playing trumpet iconic Chet Baker in Born To Be Blue.

Robert Budreau has written and already begun directing the film, which will primarily shoot in Sudbury, located in Ontario. Hawke, who has been involved with the development on the project, will be playing Baker at a later stage of his life, having come through years of drug abuse to stage a comeback.

Carmen Ejogo and Callum Keith Rennie are on board to co-star in the movie, which will be out touting for buyers at this year’s American Film Market next month.

Hawke was most recently seen in Boyhood, and has Shakespeare adaptation Cymbeline plus the thriller Regression awaiting release. He’s also been at work on Ti West’s revenge Western In A Valley Of Violence.


Exclusive Clip From Edwyn Collins' The Possibilities Are Endless

Thu, 23 Oct 2014 17:11:31 GMT

Exclusive Clip From Edwyn Collins' The Possibilities Are Endless

A meet cute with Submarine's Yasmin Paige

When rocker Edwyn Collins suffered a huge stroke in 2005, he was left able to say only three things: “yes”, “no”, “Grace Maxwell” (the name of his wife) and “the possibilities are endless”. Filmmakers Edward Lovelace and James Hall have plumped for the latter as title for their docudrama-memoir about the one-time Orange Juice frontman – and not just because No was taken – which we’re happy to share a new clip from below.

The Possibilities Are Endless combines the documentary form with dramatised remembrances. This one conjures up the sparks that flew when Collins (played by his son, William) met the love of his life Grace (Submarine’s Yasmin Paige) for the first time in a chippie. It’s set to his 1994 hit ‘A Girl Like You’ and you can watch it in full by clicking below.

If you’re not an Orange Juice or Nu-Sonics fan and don’t have Collins’ solo albums on your iPod, this is a British musician of real significance. The Scotsman arrived on the ‘80s alternate rock scene in a starburst of energy and magnetism. That stroke initially robbed him of those things, leaving him in a state of confusion, but as the film charts, through his recovery and with the help of his wife, he hauled himself slowly back to songwriting – as well as new creative pursuits.

This one is shaping up to be an equally moving companion piece to the upcoming Stephen Hawking biopic The Theory Of Everything, and not in a reductive way. Both are against-the-odds tales in which the human will proves itself capable of overcoming almost everything; both will inspire and break your heart a little. Catch The Possibilities Are Endless in cinemas from November 7.


Official Avengers: Age Of Ultron Trailer Arrives

Thu, 23 Oct 2014 16:40:28 GMT

Official Avengers: Age Of Ultron Trailer Arrives

Tony and the assembled heroes face a techno-threat

We’re fairly certain there will be some Hulk smashing going on in the halls of Marvel after the first trailer for Avengers: Age Of Ultron leaked online on Wednesday. In response to the unauthorised early arrival, the company has acted swiftly and smartly to bring out a high-definition official version. 

 

The promo, which was scheduled to be launched during an episode of the company’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. on US TV next Tuesday, hit before the big unveiling, and Marvel’s first response to the unexpected early debut was typically witty.

In case you’ve somehow forgotten, Age Of Ultron finds Tony Stark trying his hand at creating an international peacekeeping force of droids controlled by the self-aware A.I. Ultron. While his idea is to supplement the Avengers and let his super-powered comrades enjoy some much-needed time off, he ends up causing them more trouble than anticipated. And that’s before two new powered types - Wanda “Scarlet Witch” Maximoff and Pietro "Quicksilver” Maximoff show up… {Avengers: Age Of Ultron Teaser Poster}

The film, which once more boasts Joss Whedon’s writing and directorial touch, stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Chris Hemsworth, Samuel L. Jackson and Cobie Smulders back together again alongside an array of new and old friends including James Spader (as Ultron, via performance capture), Paul Bettany, Don Cheadle, Elizabeth Olsen, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Andy Serkis and Thomas Kretschmann. It’ll be out in the UK on April 24 next year.








Quicksilver Rumoured For X-Men: Apocalypse

Thu, 23 Oct 2014 15:23:06 GMT

Quicksilver Rumoured For X-Men: Apocalypse

He should be dashing back on our screens

Quickislver-Rumoured-For-Apocalypse

As production creeps closer, more and more is being confirmed about the next X-Men instalment, Apocalypse. Bryan Singer, working again alongside Simon Kinberg, is finessing the script ready for an early 2015 shoot. And with the focus truly on the First Class crew, Singer’s second unit director Brian Smrz says that we can expect Evan Peters’ swift mutant Quicksilver to return.

“Well, there will be another Quicksilver scene, which I’m looking forward to; that’ll be fun,” Smrz tells Newsarama, while discussing the fact that he and the rest of the team are about to start kicking off pre-production on the film.

The new film will be set a decade after Days, in the 1980s, and chronicles what happens when the powerful mutant Apocalypse – as glimpsed in the credits sting for Future Past – causes trouble for our heroes. James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Nicholas Hoult and Jennifer Lawrence are all contracted to return, with several of the other younger mutants expected to crop up. And thanks to his burgeoning popularity, even winning over those who objected to his look, Quicksilver may one day win the chance to do more, though for now it’s simply on Smrz’ wish list. “I’d love to do a Quicksilver as a solo film because there’s a lot to enjoy with that character.”

X-Men: Apocalypse is scheduled to arrive on May 19, 2016 here, followed by a May 27 bow in the States.








Christian Bale Back In Talks For Steve Jobs Biopic

Thu, 23 Oct 2014 15:23:04 GMT

Christian Bale Back In Talks For Steve Jobs Biopic

UPDATE: Aaron Sorkin confirms his casting

Christian-Bale-Steve-Jobs

UPDATE: Bloomberg has talked to a highly-placed source (one Aaron Sorkin), who confirms Bale is aboard. “We needed the best actor on the board in a certain age range and that’s Chris Bale,” Sorkin says. “He didn’t have to audition. Well, there was a meeting.” You can see him use an extended sports metaphor in the Bloomberg video here. But we sort of wish he'd announced it like this.

He was talked about back when David Fincher was considering directing the film, and it would appear that Sony is still interested in Christian Bale. The actor is now in talks for the Steve Jobs biopic that the studio is looking to make.

Danny Boyle remains in the director’s chair for the film, which Aaron Sorkin has been busy writing. Sorkin’s script, which is based on Walter Isaacson’s bestselling authorised biography of the man, focuses on three big moments in Jobs’ corporate life, including the launch of the Mac, the NeXT (which was introduced after he was removed from the company) and the iPod, launched in the years after his triumphant return.

When Boyle took over the megaphone in April, there was some suggestion that he'd try to land Leonardo DiCaprio for a reunion of The Beach’s team. But DiCaprio has decided to throttle back on acting duties after working on Alejandro González Iñárritu’s The Revenant and passed on the gig, leaving the way clear for Boyle and producer Scott Rudin to once again talk to Bale.

He’s not yet confirmed, but it’s looking much more likely this time, with a shoot pencilled in for next year, ahead of 20th Century Fox's The Deep Blue Goodbye, which has hit a negotiation bump thanks to Bale's wariness about committing to sequels. 


New Hobbit Behind-The-Scenes Clip With Benedict Cumberbatch

Thu, 23 Oct 2014 13:04:51 GMT

New Hobbit Behind-The-Scenes Clip With Benedict Cumberbatch

Smaug steps into the light...

If you’ve ever wondered just how much of Benedict Cumberbatch there is in Smaug, we have a Thursday treat for you. This fascinating extra from The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug’s forthcoming home-formats release pulls back the curtain on an off-set performance that’s as much physical as it is vocal. Sure, Cumberbatch may not have spent a decade sitting on a pile of treasure or gone full Stanislavski by hanging out with other wryms to interrogate their motivations in life but be in no doubt, Smaug is as much a meticulously prepped and fully-formed Cumberbatch performance as John Harrison or Sherlock.

This marriage of technology, as rendered by the tech wizards at Weta Digital, and acting craft is why directors like Peter Jackson and James Cameron are so keen to shift the ‘capture’ terminology from ‘motion’ to ‘performance’. The facial rigging originally pioneered for Avatar transports emotions and expressions from the face of Cumberbatch and directly onto the visage of the Lonely Mountain’s resident fire-burping sibilant. It is, as Queen liked to say, a kind of magic.

Of course, with a bunch of unwelcome dwarves and a Hobbit barging in on his dragon nap, the emotions that play on those features are largely from the furious end of the spectrum. That said, the exchange between Bilbo and Smaug, running through the scales from mock-playful to teasing to menacing to purely incandescent, is one of the highlights of The Hobbit saga to date.

The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug Extended Edition is available on Digital HD now, with the Blu-ray and DVD follow suit from November 3. Meanwhile its sequel and the concluding part of the saga, The Battle Of Five Armies, hits UK big screens on December 12 and their US counterparts five days later.








Steve Carell and Charlie Kaufman Share IQ 83

Thu, 23 Oct 2014 11:32:12 GMT

Steve Carell and Charlie Kaufman Share IQ 83

Dumbing down for a sci-fi satire

Steve-Carell-Paranoia-Thriller

Michel Gondry and Vincenzo Natali have struggled to adapt, respectively, Ubik and Neuromancer in recent years, and now another cult sci-fi classic looks likely to beat both to the screen. Steve Carell is starring in IQ 83, based on the 1978 novel by Arthur Herzog (the political speech writer who also wrote The Swarm and Orca). Charlie Kaufman has signed on to write the screenplay.

IQ 83 centres on Dr James Healey (Carell's role), leader of a group of scientists involved in DNA research and accidentally responsible for unleashing a pandemic that reduces people's intelligence. Healey has to rush to contain the outbreak and find a cure, as the masses devolve into packs of fools. But he's quickly ceasing to be the intellectual he recently was, having been afflicted himself.

Carell's presence perhaps suggests a broadly comedic take on Healey's serious novel, but the intention for the film is more along the lines of a biting social satire on a Fox News-loving America. Kubrick's Doctor Strangelove is being mentioned as a touchstone.

Producer Andrew Lazar (American Sniper, Get Smart, Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind) has had the project developing for twenty years, but has never yet cracked a workable script. Kaufman will be starting the whole thing over from scratch, and there's confidence that the writer of Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, Being John Malkovich and Adaptation is the perfect man for the job.

Walter Parkes (Men In Black, Sweeney Todd) is also among the producers, but there's no director or start date yet. Herzog's novel isn't in print here in the UK, but is published in the States by iUniverse.


Nick Frost Finds The Finger

Thu, 23 Oct 2014 08:12:07 GMT

Nick Frost Finds The Finger

A new US TV sitcom

Nick-Frost-Finds-The-Finger

While he’s stayed busy in the cinema and on UK TV, Nick Frost hasn’t had as much success cracking the world of US network telly. He’s linked to a pilot for Fox called Sober Companion, which is still in limbo, but he’s also attached to a new show, The Finger.

Ben Karlin, who boasts work on The Daily Show, The Colbert Report and Modern Family on his CV, is aboard to co-write the pilot with Frost and oversee the show. Frost will star as Nick Ferguson, the world’s most famous – or perhaps that should be infamous – jewel thief, who plans to quit the criminal world and settle down to a quiet life, mostly because he wants to spend more time with his nine-year-old son. But he soon discovers that playing within the law and running a sandwich shop might not be as easy as pulling off gem heists.

The show, which has been bought by US network ABC, is planned as a single-camera comedy, but we’ll have to wait and see if this one is picked up. Frost will be back on the small screen in this year’s Doctor Who Christmas Special, and has fantasy film Syrenia and comedy Unfinished Business set to hit next year, with Business new on March 6.








Steve Coogan Heads For Happyish

Thu, 23 Oct 2014 08:12:06 GMT

Steve Coogan Heads For Happyish

Replacing Philip Seymour Hoffman in the dark comedy show

Steve-Coogan-Happyish

Philip Seymour Hoffman’s tragic death rocked the film world in February this year, but it also had repercussions for the TV universe. Hoffman had been part of a pilot for a new show on US cable channel Showtime called Happyish, which has just been ordered to series when he passed. Now the dark comedy is headed back to the pilot stage, with Steve Coogan taking over the lead.

He’ll be Thom Payne, a 44-year-old British expat working in the States whose ordinary life is thrown into disarray when his boss is replaced by a 25-year-old wunderkind who spouts terms like “viral” and “social marketing”. The new arrival makes him question whether he’s satisfied with his situation.

According to Deadline, producers Shalom Auslander, Ken Kwapis and Alexandra Beattie had been developing the project for years before finally getting the green light to make the show. Given the long break between the pilot and the new shoot (planned for December), most of the cast has moved on to other jobs, though Kathryn Hahn, who co-starred in the original version, is reportedly talking about coming back. “Steve’s range is astounding – he is a comedy legend, a gifted satirist, and he possesses the unique combination of talents this role demands,” Auslander tells Deadline. Standing in for Hoffman? Hardly the easiest task in the world...

Coogan will be back on the big screen in Night At The Museum: Secret Of The Tomb, which arrives here on December 19.








Margot Robbie Set To Do The Taliban Shuffle

Thu, 23 Oct 2014 07:56:36 GMT

Margot Robbie Set To Do The Taliban Shuffle

She's in negotiations for Tina Fey's new film

Margot-Robbie-Taliban-Shuffle

Margot Robbie is fielding plenty of offers at the moment. With a potential role in the Warner Bros. Suicide Squad film quickly coming together with David Ayer in charge, the Wolf Of Wall Street actress is also now considering a part in The Taliban Shuffle, which already has Tina Fey attached.

The story has been adapted from Kim Barker’s wartime memoir, subtitled 'Strange Days In Afghanistan And Pakistan'. It charts her time as a journalist in Kabul in 2002, where with no foreign languages among her skillset and precious little idea how to get between Pakistan and Afghanistan, she was thrown in at the deep end. Slowly but surely, she grew to love the region, even as she became increasingly worried about its future.

Fey is playing Barker, and if she makes a deal, Robbie will be set as a blonde, competitive on-air news anchor that becomes friends with her, yet turns out to be ruthless in finding a story that will make her career. In her favour on this one is the fact that John Requa and Glenn Ficarra are on board to direct, having just worked with Robbie on Will Smith conman drama Focus. But she has to juggle schedules as Suicide Squad, assuming she scores the job, would shoot in early 2015 and she also needs to be available to promote Focus.

That one is due here on February 27, 2015, and Robbie will also be seen in David Yates’s take on Tarzan, arriving in 2016.








Nathalie Emmanuel Heads For Maze Runner Sequel

Thu, 23 Oct 2014 07:56:36 GMT

Nathalie Emmanuel Heads For Maze Runner Sequel

She'll be part of The Scorch Trials

Nathalie-Emmanuel-Heads-For-Maze-Runner-sequel

She’s currently best known as Missandei on HBO’s Game Of Thrones, but Nathalie Emmanuel is looking to expand her film CV after a run on British TV. She’s landed a key role in The Maze Runner’s sequel The Scorch Trials.

The follow-up to the successful first film, which is still doing decent business at the box office, adapts James Dashner’s second novel. Director Wes Ball is gearing up to start shooting shortly.

Any further discussion of course ventures into Spoiler Territory, so those who haven’t read the books or seen the first film should think about avoiding the following paragraphs. The Scorch Trials picks up what happens after Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) and the other survivors of the Glade and its surrounding maze go on the run on an Earth that has been ravaged by solar flares.

Emmanuel, who will play the leader of a group of young women who escaped a different maze, isn’t the only Thrones actor on board for this second outing. There’s also Aidan Gillen, who is playing Janson – he’s also known as Rat-Man – one of their biggest foes likely to be seen in the film (or films, given current trends in young adult franchises) based on final book The Death Cure. And Giancarlo Esposito and Rosa Salazar recently jumped aboard the film.

A veteran of the likes of Hollyoaks and Misfits, Emmanuel will also pop up in a small role in Fast & Furious 7, which drives onto screens on April 3 next year.


New Into The Woods Images Stalk Online

Thu, 23 Oct 2014 07:56:35 GMT

New Into The Woods Images Stalk Online

Chris Pine and co. are feeling musical

One batch of atmospheric stills from Stephen Sondheim musical adaptation Into The Woods has already emerged online (see lower down the page), alongside a poster and the first teaser trailer. Now here comes Entertainment Weekly with a new set of images in its latest Winter Preview issue. {New Into The Woods Imagery}

Riffing on the stories of the Brothers Grimm, Into The Woods is about a childless baker who attempts to lift a family curse by journeying woods-ward to confront Streep's evil harpy. Along the way they encounter classic characters like Rapunzel, Cinderella, Jack (of beanstalk notoriety) and Red Riding Hood, played by newcomer Lilla Crawford.

James Corden is the Baker, with Emily Blunt as his wife, Anna Kendrick as Cinderella, Chris Pine as Cinders' handsome prince, Johnny Depp (who appears to be on a run of moustache action, between this, Mortdecai and his cameo in Tusk) as the Big Bad Wolf, Mackenzie Mauzy as Rapunzel, Annette Crosbie as Grandma, Daniel Huttlestone as Jack, Frances de la Tour as the Giant and Tracey Ullman as Jack's mother. {Into The Woods People Stills}

You can see more of EW’s pictures on its website, although they are a mixture of new behind-the-scenes glimpses and pictures that are already online mingling with new material. With Rob Marshall overseeing the music and the cast, Into The Woods will arrive in the US on Christmas Day and heads over here on January 9, 2015.


Magic Faraway Tree Film Planned

Wed, 22 Oct 2014 18:21:42 GMT

Magic Faraway Tree Film Planned

Sam Mendes is producing an Enid Blyton adaptation

Enid-Blyton-Faraway-Tree-Adaptation

Generally, the adaptations in Sam Mendes cinematic career to date have been heavier dramas or the violent likes of Road To Perdition. But for a new producing job, he’s shepherding a much more whimsical story to the screen, overseeing work on a film of Enid Blyton’s book The Magical Faraway Tree.

Blyton’s series of four novels, The Enchanted Wood, The Magic Faraway Tree, The Folk Of The Faraway Tree and Up The Faraway Tree, which were published between 1939 and 1951, are set in an enchanted forest that is home to the titular trunk. When a group of children discovers it, they go on a series of adventures in and around the lofty tree, which is tall enough to reach the clouds and big enough to hold small houses.

Mendes and Pippa Harris’s Neal Street Productions has secured the rights to all four books, presumably to set a franchise in motion if the first film works. “As a child I was captivated by The Faraway Tree books, and the magical worlds created by Enid Blyton,” Harris tells Variety. “Re-reading the books today with my daughter, they completely retain their power to enchant. To be able to adapt these books for the big screen, and introduce them to a new audience is a great honour.” There’s no word on a writer, director or any casting yet, but expect that to start to emerge soon.


Natalie Dormer Ventures Into The Forest

Wed, 22 Oct 2014 18:21:42 GMT

Natalie Dormer Ventures Into The Forest

She's set for the supernatural thriller

Natalie-Dormer-The-Forest

She’s already got a couple of films demanding her attention, but Natalie Dormer is lining up more work. She’s now signed on to the lead for supernatural thriller The Forest.

Set in the same location as Gus Van Sant’s new Matthew McConaughey-starring drama Sea Of Trees, The Forest finds a young American woman searching for her vanished twin sister in the Japanese forest of Aokigahara. It’s a place at the foot of Mount Fuji where people traditionally end their lives. But though she’s seeking answers, what she actually discovers is a forest full of the angry souls of the dead who have perished there before. We’re guessing there will be running and screaming before the final credits roll.

Jason Zada is directing this one from a script currently undergoing work by Nick Acosta and Sarah Cornwell with Dark Knight trilogy writer and prolific producer David Goyer overseeing the project alongside Lava Bear Films.

As for Dormer, she’ll be part of the cast for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, which arrives on November 20. She’s also gearing up to make horror thriller Patient Zero and will be back on smaller screens for the new season of Game Of Thrones, due next April.








Re-Release Trailer For 2001: A Space Odyssey

Wed, 22 Oct 2014 18:06:11 GMT

Re-Release Trailer For 2001: A Space Odyssey

Daisy, Daisy...

You may have seen that we put our feature about Five Films You Should See Before Interstellar – in which Christopher Nolan talks about his inspirations for his new sci-fi – online recently. Top of that list is Stanley Kubrick’s groundbreaking 2001: A Space Odyssey, and the film in conveniently headed back into the best place to see it: cinemas. Here’s the new trailer… 

Obviously, if you’ve never seen it, this is the ideal opportunity to have your mind rocked and your expectations met, as Kubrick’s thoughtful, trippy and huge film explores humanity’s fascination with the stars, alien intervention in human life, and much, much more. All set to some beautiful music.

And yes, it’s a chance to acquaint – or re-acquaint - yourself with the coldly logical computer HAL, one of the most iconic examples of artificial intelligence ever committed to celluloid. 2001 will be on limited re-release in a variety of locations around the UK from 18 November, and you can find full details here.


John Carter Could Return To Mars

Wed, 22 Oct 2014 18:06:10 GMT

John Carter Could Return To Mars

As Edgar Rice Burroughs Inc. takes the rights back from Disney

John-Carter-Rights-Revert

One unsuccessful – in box office terms, at least – attempt to bring something to the screen can sometimes soil a property for other filmmakers. But that doesn’t appear to be the case for Edgar Rice Burroughs’ John Carter Of Mars, as the writer’s estate is now trying to prove. With the rights back in its hands from Disney, the search is on for a new cinematic partner.

Despite Disney and director Andrew Stanton’s efforts with 2012’s John Carter, the Mouse House couldn’t generate enough interest in the property to kick off a franchise. And while the film is increasingly being seen less as a noble effort scuppered by confusing marketing, a push away from the core concept and differences of opinion, it seems to have opened the door for others to try again, with some salutary lessons to be learned. And it doesn’t hurt that Guardians Of The Galaxy has just used the oddball space adventure format to power a huge hit.

“John Carter Of Mars was the creative stimulus behind such movie classics as Superman, Star Wars and Avatar,” says Burroughs Inc. president James Sullos. “Edgar Rice Burroughs was 'the master of adventure' and his literary works continue to enjoy a world-wide following. We will be seeking a new partner to help develop new adventures on film as chronicled in the eleven Mars novels Burroughs wrote. This adventure never stops. Along with a new Tarzan film in development by Warner Bros., we hope to have John Carter become another major franchise to entertain world-wide audiences of all ages.”

The company will now start entertaining pitches by other companies and filmmaking teams to work on getting Carter’s ass back to Mars. The big question remains whether it really can work this time, especially in an era when so many of the elements it helped originate have been used by other movies and TV series. Warner Bros.' Tarzan, meanwhile, will be on our screens in 2016.








Kim Basinger Joins The Nice Guys

Wed, 22 Oct 2014 18:06:10 GMT

Kim Basinger Joins The Nice Guys

As a corrupt chief justice

Kim-Basinger-Nice-Guys

LA Confidential reunion klaxon! All right, so it’s just Kim Basinger and Russell Crowe from the crime classic that will share the screen once again, but it is for another period piece set in a dangerous time for the City of Angels. The actress has joined the cast of Shane Black’s new thriller, The Nice Guys.

Black co-wrote the script with Anthony Bagarozzi, and the story is set in the 1970s. Ryan 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. Her character just so happens to be the spitting image of a porn star named Misty Mountains. And Basinger is set as her mother, the crooked official who is in the pay of criminals. Matt Bomer is aboard in an unspecified role, while Keith David and Beau Knapp recently signed on to play villains.

Black is aiming at a June 17, 2016 release date. Basinger, last seen in Grudge Match, is part of Anders Morgenthaler’s drama I Am Here, which doesn’t yet have a UK release date set.


The Woman In Black: Angel Of Death Trailer Materialises

Wed, 22 Oct 2014 18:06:09 GMT

The Woman In Black: Angel Of Death Trailer Materialises

Tom Harper's horror sequel opens its doors to visitors

Bringing you some mild scares on a Wednesday, Tom Harper’s The Woman In Black: Angel Of Death has unveiled its first trailer today, sending audiences screaming back to the dank disrepair of Eel Marsh House (Downton Shabby, anyone?).

While Daniel Radcliffe and James Watkins have since moved out, Jeremy Irvine has stepped in for a story that picks up 40 years after the first haunting, in the midst of World War II, when a group of evacuated children take up residence in the house during the Blitz. Unfortunately for them, the funereally clad lady of the house is still in residence and Nazi bombers prove to be the least of their worries. You can check out the trailer below.








James Wan Directing The Conjuring Sequel

Wed, 22 Oct 2014 18:06:09 GMT

James Wan Directing The Conjuring Sequel

He's headed back to horror

James-Wan-Back-For-Conjuring-2

When he was out promoting The Conjuring in 2013 and preparing to start shooting Fast & Furious 7, James Wan talked about how he was finished with horror films for a while and wanted to focus on other things. But it seems he’s happy to return to at least one of his scare franchises, as the director has made a deal to craft The Conjuring 2.

We guessed when news broke that the horror sequel was being pushed back to 2016 that Wan may have made a deal to return provided he could be given more time to work on other things, such as the extensive tour planned in support of the new Fast outing, which itself had to be delayed to 2015 after the death of Paul Walker.

And Wan hasn’t stepped entirely away from the terror genre that helped make his career: he produced this year’s Conjuring spin-off Annabelle, and his new deal includes an option to produce and develop sci-fi, horror and comedy films for New Line via his Atomic Monster production company.

No firm details have emerged about the Conjuring sequel, which currently carries the subtitle 'The Enfield Poltergeist'. From the sounds of that, it’ll see Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga back as paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, who spent time investigating Blighty’s spooks during their long career.

As for what this means for Wan’s future with the Fast franchise, that’s anyone’s guess, though Deadline points out that Universal’s option on him did include room to make another Conjuring.








Rupert Wyatt’s The Gambler Red Band Trailer Lands Online

Wed, 22 Oct 2014 18:06:08 GMT

Rupert Wyatt’s The Gambler Red Band Trailer Lands Online

John Goodman and Mark Wahlberg fill the swear jar

Sporting an air of clammy tension and an Elmore Leonard-y vibe, crime drama The Gambler wants your attention for a couple of minutes. It has a new trailer that Empire is pleased to debut. Click below to watch it in full.

Rupert ‘Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes’ Wyatt’s latest is a return to the jittery thrills of The Escapist. It draws a bead on literary professor Jim Bennett (Mark Wahlberg), whose weakness for the cards tables lands him in deep with all kinds of people you really don’t want to be in deep with. As gangsters and John Goodman's loan shark circle, and his girlfriend and family wonder how to tackle the crisis, Bennett looks likely to resort to extreme measures. {The Gambler Stills} The Departed’s William Monahan turned out the script, which reworked James Toback’s version for the James Caan-starring 1974 original. “This is a man who has everything – wealth, looks, education,” Wyatt tells USA Today of his protagonist. “But he's trapped in a gilded cage of privilege. He sets out on this journey to rid himself of all material possessions – to blow it all up – a quest to strip himself to get back to zero.”{First The Gambler Poster}

With Brie Larson, Jessica Lange and Michael K. Williams co-starring, The Gambler will be out in the US on December 19 with one eye on an Oscar run. It won’t be on these shores until May, 2015.








Exclusive First Look At Helen Mirren In Eye In The Sky

Wed, 22 Oct 2014 17:50:35 GMT

Exclusive First Look At Helen Mirren In Eye In The Sky

Gavin Hood's new drone warfare thriller

With Ender’s Game director Gavin Hood and a cast that includes, Helen Mirren, Aaron Paul, Alan Rickman, Barkhad Abdi and Iain Glen busy shooting in South Africa, we’re happy to bring you the first, exclusive imagery from drone drama Eye In The Sky.{Exclusive First Look At Eye In The Sky}

The hot button thriller follows the complicated chain of authority that is firmly yanked when a new wrinkle enters a drone mission. The focus is on a few characters involved, including military intelligence officer Colonel Katherine Powell (Mirren), remotely commanding a drone operation to locate terrorists in Nairobi.

When the team discovers that their targets are planning a suicide mission, the targets are marked for death instead. Then, just as pilot Steve Watts (Paul) is set to destroy the safe house, he spots a nine year-old girl entering the kill zone and must pass the request for confirmation of the next step up to the highest levels, including our own foreign secretary (Glen).

With production still underway, there’s no solid release date for Eye In The Sky yet, but it should arrive on screens next year.