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Empire Movie News


First Official Image Of Jared Leto's Joker Revealed

Sat, 25 Apr 2015 01:40:04 GMT

First Official Image Of Jared Leto's Joker Revealed

He's having a laugh

We’ve had weeks of teases and haircut pictures, but now, on the 75th anniversary of the character’s first appearance in comics (April 25th, 1940, fact fans), Suicide Squad director David Ayer has posted the first proper look at Jared Leto as The Joker. Take a look, why don’t you?

Boasting what looks like a cross between a punk and mid-‘90s rock aesthetic, the Leto-Joker certainly has the deranged visual aspects of the character down pat, including a lot of body art. We’re not sure he really needs the “damaged” tattoo on his forehead, but it’s The Joker… he plays by his own rules. Naturally, he'll have to undergo the traditional trial by fire from those who prefer earlier, funnier Jokers, but we'll wait and see what he's like in actual footage. 

Leto is a prime part of Suicide Squad, which also features Will Smith as Deadshot, Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flagg, Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang, Cara Delevingne as Enchantress, Viola Davis as Amanda Waller, Jay Hernandez as El Diablo, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Killer Croc, Karen Fukuhara as Plastique, Scott Eastwood as Steve Trevor and Jim Parrack as Jonny Frost, with Common and Ike Barinholtz in roles yet to be confirmed. 

Ayer is in production now on the film, which finds a shadowy government agency recruiting imprisoned supervillain and the like for near-impossible missions. Suicide Squad will be out on August 5, 2016. 


Podcast #158: Paul Bettany, Charlie Cox

Fri, 24 Apr 2015 15:52:01 GMT

Podcast #158: Paul Bettany, Charlie Cox

The Vision vs. Daredevil

Two British actors masquerading as American superheroes are on this week's Empire Podcast, namely Paul Bettany (The Avengers: Age Of Ultron's The Vision) and Charlie Cox (Daredevil's, um, Daredevil). Also, the team finally tackle that question of questions: what are the best running scenes in cinema?

By the way, our Daredevil spoiler podcast is up on Monday, April 27, and our Avengers: Age Of Ultron spoiler special is up on Monday, May 4.

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 Jurassic World Clip Stomps On To The Web

Fri, 24 Apr 2015 15:52:01 GMT

New Jurassic World Clip Stomps On To The Web

Chris Pratt's on the run

If you’re looking to go into Jurassic World without having seen too much, you might want to avoid the new trailer (roaring away at the bottom of the page) and almost certainly this new clip, which showcases the big threat of the movie. But if you’re happy to watch more, enjoy. 

Jurassic World finds John Hammond’s dream of a fully functioning dino-park realised thanks to a massive conglomerate that has stepped into the T-Rex-shaped breach and injected a load of dosh to get the place up and running under the smooth business aegis of Bryce Dallas Howard’s Claire. 

By now, things are operating smoothly, with attractions galore and tourist hotspots all around. But as time has gone on, even the biggest and baddest dino displays have become a tad passé. So, in an attempt to drum up fresh interest, Claire and the other executives have given the thumbs up to a particularly smart dinosaur called Indominus Rex. One that doesn’t really understand its place in the world and that has already made a quick lunch of the twin born alongside it. And because this is a Jurassic Park film, it’s not long before the screaming starts and the new menace stomps across the theme resort like an out of control toddler with much more dangerous teeth. 

The clip showcases just that, with animal behavioral specialist Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) having to dash for his life as Indominus decides he’d make a tasty morsel. Director Colin Trevorrow definitely seems to want to pay homage to Steven Spielberg’s first two movies and their spirit appears alive and well here.

We’ll see if that’s the case for sure when Jurassic World arrives on June 11 in the UK. 








Jason Statham Gets Gnarly In New Spy Clip

Fri, 24 Apr 2015 15:21:04 GMT

Jason Statham Gets Gnarly In New Spy Clip

'This arm has been ripped off and reattached with THIS arm.'

Jason Statham has destroyed more villainous goons than we’ve had hot (and cold) dinners - and we're greedy buggers. He’s back repeating the trick in Paul Feig/Melissa McCarthy espionage action-comedy, Spy. This time, however, he’s playing things for laughs. A new clip from the film showcases his rather insecure agent and comes off like Alan Partridge channelling Daniel Craig's 007. Job done.

“This arm has been ripped off completely and reattached with this fucking arm,” he barks, desperately asserting his badass credentials in a way that would raise at least one Chev Chelios eyebrow.

Statham, who plays a temper-fuelled spy called Rick Ford, has been on Feig’s wishlist since Lock, Stock and more specifically, those two Crank movies. “When people read the Statham role they assumed I’d go for someone like Will Ferrell, but I felt that it had to be the real guy,” the writer/director told Empire.

McCarthy, meanwhile, is Susan Cooper, a CIA analyst whose excited dreams of being a field agent have long since died down to the mundane task of guiding more adept field operatives such as Jude Law’s super-smooth spy guy. But when he falls off the grid and their entire organisation is jeopardised by a wrongdoer (Rose Byrne), her handlers’ only choice is to send Susan in. But it won’t be easy. And thanks to the horrible cover identity they’ve saddled her with, it won’t be pretty, either.

Head here for a look at the movie’s full trailer or catch it in cinemas from June 5.


Exclusive First Look At Victor Frankenstein

Fri, 24 Apr 2015 13:33:11 GMT

Exclusive First Look At Victor Frankenstein

James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe's weird science

Victor Frankenstein is back and this time – unlike Mel Brooks' version – it’s not pronounced “Fronkensteen”. James McAvoy is donning the scientist’s garb in the new iteration of Mary Shelley’s Gothic tale and, alongside co-star Daniel Radcliffe’s Igor, he’s arrived to meet his public in two exclusive shots from the new issue of Empire. Click on the thumbnails for a closer look. {First Look At Frankenstein} Note the heavyweight leather jerkin and goggles adorning McAvoy’s not-entirely-good doctor. The monster he’s creating – the film’s big reveal – is akin to something terrible birthed from the Industrial Revolution, a steampunk messiah that may just destroy its own creator. Note, too, Radcliffe’s ramrod posture as he remains in character for this between-takes snap. Clearly Dr. Frankenstein’s unique brand of chiropractic is working on his hitherto hunchbacked factotum.   

For the June issue of Empire - onsale on April 30 - the team's bravest soul, clutching flaming torch in one hand, Dictaphone in the other, headed down to the Longcross, Surrey set of the monster movie to get the scoop.

“As much as the monster is his creation, Igor is his creation as well,” explained McAvoy on set. “That was quite exciting. It’s funny, the script, but also really dark, in a cool way."

Overseeing all this is Paul ‘Gangster No.1' McGuigan, directing from a script by Chronicle's Max Landis. Alongside McAvoy and Radcliffe, Victor Frankenstein will boast the acting talents of Mark Gatiss, Jessica Brown Findlay and Andrew Scott when it hits our screens on October 2, 2015.








New Posters For M. Night Shyamalan's The Visit

Fri, 24 Apr 2015 10:42:53 GMT

New Posters For M. Night Shyamalan's The Visit

Update: The trailer has crept online too.

UPDATE: The trailer has arrived. Watch out for grandma! 

Once going by the name Sundowning, M. Night Shyamalan’s latest thriller has switched to the slightly-easier-to-sell The Visit. The UK teaser poster was released following the reveal of the US version and you can find both lurking lower down the page. 

Shyamalan has this time teamed up with low budget kingpin Jason Blum for the story of a sibling pair who is sent to their grandparents’ remote Pennsylvania farm for a weeklong visit.

But when they arrive, they and their mother (Kathryn Hahn) discover that something is very, very wrong with the elderly couple, and we don’t just mean that they’ve run out of Werther’s Original. 

{The Visit Posters}

That original title refers to a psychological phenomenon associated with increased confusion and restlessness in patients with some form of dementia, which can present with agitation and mood swings. From the sounds of it, this will be more than just an awkward visit to relatives. The Visit also stars Ed Oxenbould, Olivia DeJonge and Benjamin Kanes and heads for UK screens on September 11. We predict a trailer won’t be far behind.








Exclusive: Charlie Cox Talks Daredevil Season Two

Fri, 24 Apr 2015 10:12:02 GMT

Exclusive: Charlie Cox Talks Daredevil Season Two

Expect Matt Murdock to return this time next year



Daredevil has landed and if you’re anything like as binge-y as Empire, you’ll have seen and most probably relished its gritty take on the Marvel hero. Its star, Charlie Cox, stepped into the Empire Podcast booth this week and we quizzed him on the likely timeline for the second season, as well as his dream line-up for it.

“I have to be careful because we just got commissioned so I have no idea who is going to turn up,” prefaced the Londoner, revealing, unsurprisingly, that he expects a new villain - or villains - to step into the Hell’s Kitchen underworld. “Based on the show we’ve created, which is very grounded in reality, I’d like to see Punisher maybe show up, a little bit of Elektra maybe. I wouldn’t mind Black Widow making an appearance, and you can’t think about Daredevil for too long without thinking of Bullseye. I don’t know when or if or how that would happen, but it’d be cool if it did."

It’s a heck of a rogues’ gallery to work with and a reminder of how nicely poised Netflix’s first foray onto superhero turf is. Season two has now shifted ahead of Defenders on Netflix’s giant studio call sheet. “We’ll begin shooting in the second half of the year,” Cox revealed. “It’ll be the same timeline as the last show, so season two will come out about this time next year. Again, I’m imagining all this, but they’ll probably do Iron Fist or Luke Cage at the same time, followed by the other one [of the two] in the first half of 2016 and then maybe Defenders in the second half of 2016 or the beginning of 2017.”

Before any of that, of course, there’s the small matter of A.K.A. Jessica Jones, in which Krysten Ritter and David Tennant do battle, to air and a screenplay or two to write. Cox, unsurprisingly, is champing to get back into the red suit. “What’s exciting is to have a season where [Matt Murdock] is really embodying his alter-ego before we get to the Defenders."

For more from Cox on Daredevil and much more on the show itself, look out for the Daredevil spoiler special, up on Monday, April 27 .


Podcast #157: Paul Bettany, Charlie Cox

Fri, 24 Apr 2015 09:56:26 GMT

Podcast #157: Paul Bettany, Charlie Cox

The Vision vs. Daredevil

Two British actors masquerading as American superheroes are on this week's Empire Podcast, namely Paul Bettany (The Avengers: Age Of Ultron's The Vision) and Charlie Cox (Daredevil's, um, Daredevil). Also, the team finally tackle that question of questions: what are the best running scenes in cinema?

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.


Paul King To Direct Bestseller Wonder

Fri, 24 Apr 2015 08:08:06 GMT

Paul King To Direct Bestseller Wonder

Where to for Paddington 2?

A folk hero in these parts, Paul King’s every move is scrutinised through a pair of specially-enhanced binoculars the likes of which garlanded explorer Montgomery Clyde in Paddington. Unfortunately they weren’t quite powerful enough to spot his signature on the contract for an adaptation of R.J. Palacio bestselling novel Wonder.

Wonder tells the story of a ten-year-old boy, August Pullman, who’s been keep away from school due to a craniofacial deformity caused by a rogue gene. He’s described in its pages as having had "a mushed-up face” from the moment he appeared from the womb and has grown up understandably sensitive to the opinions of others. When he finally arrives in fifth grade, the doorway opens to a different, bigger and potentially more painful life.

According to The Hollywood Reporter’s scoop, King will be directing for Lionsgate, a studio with something of a track record for successful young adult adaptations, and thus hopefully offering the Englishman a fraughtness-free introduction to the Hollywood studio system.

There are obvious parallels here with Bunny And The Bull’s agoraphobic unwilling to foray out into the world and Paddington, the ultimate furry outsider, and at first glance it seems a perfect marriage of director and material. With luck, King will be allowed to bring his trademark Heath Robinson creativity and visual inventiveness to the party. It’d be a strange hire if he wasn’t.

Where this leaves his possible involvement in a Paddington sequel - and let's not forget that neither Paddington 2 nor King's involvement in it have been officially confirmed - remains to be seen. It's hard to imagine anyone but King directing that (surely guaranteed) movie, and it's possible he fancies a less CGI-heavy palette cleanser before returning for a second instalment of everyone's favourite Peruvian marmalade devotee. Time will tell.

What we do know is that on Wonder he'll be working from a script by Steve Conrad (The Pursuit Of Happyness), who took on the job after an earlier draft by Jack Thorne for Kill Your Darlings director John Krokidas ended in the ‘creative differences’ bin. Mandeville Films’ David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman are producing.


Dance-Fuelled Clip From Girlhood

Fri, 24 Apr 2015 07:37:09 GMT

Dance-Fuelled Clip From Girlhood

Rihanna fans step this way

It didn’t involve Richard Linklater in any capacity and it didn’t take 12 years to make but Girlhood shares more than a little with its Oscar-nominated near-namesake. For one thing, it’s coming-of-age themes involve a central character – Karidja Touré’s Marieme – trying to make sense of an often-baffling, sometimes plain painful world; for another, music is a key ley line, both in the film and its protagonist’s life. This clip, in which Marieme and her friends soar to a slice of Rihanna’s ‘Diamonds’, gives a flavour of both.

Described by Empire as “an empathetic, powerful, almost documentary-like drama”, Girlhood depicts Marieme’s life on a Parisian banlieue. In another time and place you can see her crossing paths with Vinz, Hubert and Saïd from La Haine, but her crew can be an intimidating bunch in their own right. The character is enriched by other relationships, including one with her younger sister and another with a boy who may just steal a heart become guarded by hard teenager years.

Catch it for yourself when Girlhood arrives in UK cinemas on May 8.








New Images Of Matthew McConaughey In The Free State Of Jones

Fri, 24 Apr 2015 06:50:48 GMT

New Images Of Matthew McConaughey In The Free State Of Jones

Chaaaarge!

After spending a few years in development (and taking time out to direct the first Hunger Games film), Gary Ross has finally had the chance to work on one of his passion projects. New images from the film, The Free State Of Jones, are now online. {Free State Of Jones Pics}

Matthew McConaughey stars in the American Civil War drama, playing real-life advocate Newton Knight. A Mississippi man who had been a loyal Confederate recruit, he defected from the army and took a group of like-minded troops with him to create the Free State of Jones. Knight later married a slave (Gugu Mbatha-Raw’s Rachel), creating one of the first ever publicised mixed race unions in the South, fought against the Confederates from within his new state and led a daring raid to free children who were still enslaved following the end of the conflict.

STX Entertainment is backing this one, which Ross wrote as well as directed. The cast also features McConaughey's old Mud co-star Jacob Lofland, Keri Russell, Mahershala Ali, Sean Bridgers and Christopher Barry. It’ll land in US cinemas on March 11 next year, but doesn’t yet have a confirmed UK date.








Tyler Perry On For Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2

Fri, 24 Apr 2015 06:50:47 GMT

Tyler Perry On For Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2

He'll be Baxter Stockman

Tyler-Perry-Teenage-Mutant-Ninja-Turtles-2

When he’s not busy writing and directing his own films or ruling his multi-media empire, Tyler Perry likes to pop up unexpectedly in genre films. We’ve seen him in Star Trek and he was used to great effect in Gone Girl. His next role will find him acting with those heroes in a half-shell as he’s joined the cast of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2.

Little is known about the plot or even how many of the actors who performed/voiced the heroes will return, but we do know that villains Bebop and Rocksteady will be causing trouble for the turtles. Megan Fox and Will Arnett are returning as April O’Neil and cameraman Vernon Fenwick, with model Alessandro Ambrosio as Vernon’s girlfriend and Stephen Amell as vigilante-turned-turtle pal Casey Jones. 

Perry is on board as scientist Baxter Stockman, who in the original comics created machines called Mousers, designed to destroy sewer rats. He’s had several different encounters with the turtles, including robbing banks and encountering them in the sewers to seeing his devices appropriated by Shredder to help destroy Leonardo and co. And there have been storylines that see him turned into a cyborg, left stranded between dimensions and mutating into a fly, so we’ll have to find out which the new film picks from, or whether the character has a new origin story.

Dave Green is directing this time, working from a script by Josh Appelbaum and André Nemec, who penned the first movie. It’ll be out on June 3, 2016. 


Riz Ahmed And Sam Claflin May Join Star Wars Anthology: Rogue One

Fri, 24 Apr 2015 06:50:47 GMT

Riz Ahmed And Sam Claflin May Join Star Wars Anthology: Rogue One

For director Gareth Edwards

Riz-Ahmed-Sam-Claflin-Rogue-One

Last weekend, the latest proper details emerged about the first of what are now known as the Star Wars: Anthology films, with Gareth Edwards revealing some information about Rogue One. Today brings news that Riz Ahmed and Sam Claflin are at different stages of talks to join the cast. 

Rogue One, which already has Felicity Jones officially aboard – she’s apparently playing a Rebel Alliance soldier – is set in between Episodes III and IV and features a plot to steal the secrets of the first Death Star. “It’s basically in an era where there are no Jedi, where they’re all but extinct. It’s about the fact that God’s not coming to save us. We’re on our own and we have to do this ourselves,” Edwards has said of the movie. “The absence of Jedi is omnipresent in the film, it hangs over the whole movie. It comes down to a group of individuals who don’t have special powers but have to bring hope and justice to the galaxy.” 

Ben Mendelsohn is close to a deal, reportedly to be a villain, while Ahmed and Claflin are circling more heroic roles, but nothing has naturally been confirmed yet. We do know, however, that the film will be with us on December 16, 2016.

Ahmed, last seen in Nightcrawler, is shooting London-set noir City Of Tiny Lights. Claflin, who was in The Riot Club, returns to the world of The Hunger Games as Finnick Odair for Mockingjay – Part 2, out on November 20.








CinemaCon 2015: Universal Gears Up Fast & Furious 8

Fri, 24 Apr 2015 06:50:46 GMT

CinemaCon 2015: Universal Gears Up Fast & Furious 8

Toretto and co get a release date for their eightquel

Vin-Diesel-CinemaCon

With Fast & Furious 7 still burning rubber at the box office (it’s creeping up past $1.16 billion globally), Universal was understandably happy to announce to the assembled business owners at CinemaCon that the eighth instalment of the franchise is on its way. Cinemagoers will have to wait a little while, though, as the film isn’t scheduled to hit cinemas until April 14, 2017.

Still, with Vin Diesel on hand to announce the news, there was predictable excitement, even if he couldn’t do it while pulling donuts across the stage in a concept sports car that doesn’t even hit the market until 2018. He did, however make a big promise. “I swear to you and to my brother upstairs (the late Paul Walker) we are going to make the best movie you’ve ever seen.” He’s not one for hubris, is Vin.

On the Fifty Shades Of Grey front – because you knew the studio would have to talk about it too, given the success of the first – the sequels now have release dates. Fifty Shades Darker will be out on February 10, 2017 with Fifty Shades Freed following on February 9, 2018.   

In related release date news, Universal also announced a few changes to the schedule, with Warcraft shifting from its March 2016 date to June 10, 2016, in what we’re hoping is a sign of confidence in the film’s ability to play with the summer big shots. Pacific Rim 2, from Guillermo del Toro (more on him shortly) is moving from a planned April 2017 date to August 4 the same year. Got to make room given the director’s busy schedule.

The Mummy, the first picture aiming to take full advantage of the studio’s monster franchise, is switching from June 24, 2016 to March 24, 2017, while the second, still-untitled creature feature follow-up jumps from April 2017 to March 2018. Looks like Universal’s team is aiming to turn March into Monster Month for the next few years, assuming things work out for the movies.

Producing maven Jason Blum and director M. Night Shyamalan introduced footage from their new low-budget horror thriller The Visit, which shows the scary things that happen when a couple of kids spend time with their grandparents. And we mean more than being made to listen to old stories. You can get your own taste of the film here

Also on hand? Del Toro himself, a man who knows how to work a crowd, be it the fans of Comic-Con or the mostly corporate types here. “That was a long walk for a fat man,” he quipped of his stroll from the wings to the stage as he brought new footage from Gothic haunted house thriller Crimson Peak, which looks suitably terrifying and boasts a quote from Stephen King (who has already seen a version of the film, the swine) praising GDT’s work. 

Pitch Perfect 2, which Universal hopes will perform as successfully as the original, had an extended clip and there was impressive footage from Everest, with director Baltasar Kormákur commenting, “We set out to make a film as authentic as possible. I wanted to make a big scale adventure film and a drama with the heart of an indie.” He might have done just that, based on what we saw. 

Comedy was well represented by Seth MacFarlane, here to pimp Ted 2 and asking cinema owners to appreciate one segment of the audience. “More stoners in the audience mean more popcorn sales. Maybe don't give them such a hard time...” But Amy Schumer, representing Judd Apatow’s latest, Trainwreck, which she wrote and stars in, trumped him by bemoaning his jokes and then switching tracks to express how proud she is of her own film. A trailer also played for the new Tina Fey/Amy Poehler team-up Sisters (though the pair were sadly not present).

Switching things up again, Ice Cube, Dr. Dre and director F. Gary Gray introduced a look at NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton, with Cube admitting he thought no company would have balls to make the film.

And the tone changed again, becoming altogether more family friendly as Illumination Entertainment boss Chris Meledandri strode on stage to introduce footage from Minions. As well as more moments with the little yellow fellows, Meledandri was there to preview the freshly titled The Secret Life Of Pets, which features a voice cast including Louis C.K., Kevin Hart, Eric Stonestreet, Jenny Slate, Dana Carvey and Albert Brooks. 

To wrap things up, co-writer/director Colin Trevorrow arrived to hype Jurassic World before Chris Pratt bounded out to show an extended sizzle reel for the movie, which the studio is naturally pinning its hopes on to keep the big summer bucks rolling in. You can see more from the film right here.


CinemaCon 2015: Fox Gets Its Ass To Mars

Fri, 24 Apr 2015 06:50:45 GMT

CinemaCon 2015: Fox Gets Its Ass To Mars

Presentation shows first footage of Ridley Scott’s The Martian

Ridley-Scott-Flashman-Books

An acrobatic dance troupe, a dance-themed remix of the Peanuts theme – Fox’s CinemaCon presentation certainly didn’t skimp on the spectacle. But while all the cabaret was appreciated, it was the arid wastes of Ridley Scott’s Mars that drew the most "oohs" and "aahs". Matt Damon appeared via the miracle of video message to introduce the first (unfinished) trailer for The Martian, which showed the evacuation of the Martian research team in a violent storm. Damon’s Mark Watney, however, is struck by flying debris, knocked out and wakes up alone and abandoned on the red planet. We see Jeff Daniels reporting his unfortunate death to a press gaggle and cut to Watney recounting his misfortune in a video log. Help, he says, is four years away and he’s in a module designed to last a month. “I’m left with only one option: I’m going to have to science the shit out of this!” It’s a great trailer, emotionally charged and fast-paced, paralleling Watney’s survival efforts with the rescue attempt staged by his former crew (against NASA’s wishes). It ends with the film’s tagline: help is only 140 million miles away.

Second only to the Martian footage was a first look at Alejandro González Iñárritu’s The Revenant. Shot entirely using natural light by cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, the film looks absolutely stunning, with the harsh Canadian wilderness used to full effect to create some truly spectacular icy visuals. Leonardo DiCaprio’s Hugh Glass is seen in skins and bushy beard, but even he paled by comparison to shots like the rising sun filtering through a rocky outcrop or sunset’s fingers reaching through the snowy treeline. This will be one to see on the biggest screen possible.

Also making its debut was some early footage from The Peanuts Movie, which covers all the familiar beats you’d expect from Charles Schultz’s creations. They’ve done a great job with the animation, which manages to keep the 2D, hand-drawn feel of the strips while still using three-dimensional characters.

Paul Feig’s Spy, which screened at CinemaCon on Tuesday night, was up next with 50 Cent swaggering out onto the stage. “Hello, I’m Melissa McCarthy,” he said. “The coolest thing about being a spy is the disguises I get to wear, like this 50 Cent costume.” Cue much hilarity before McCarthy (or 50 Cent in a McCarthy costume) appeared on screen and stars Rose Byrne, Jude Law and the Stath walked out to keep the skit going. Some footage followed, which showcased one of the highlights of the film: Jason Statham’s surprising comic talents.

Poltergeist, Hitman: Agent 47 and The Maze Runner: Scorch Trials all threw trailers up, as well as Paper Towns, based on the book by The Fault In Our Stars author John Green. Paul McGuigan’s Victor Frankenstein was also unveiled with a sequence that showed the monster (or the corpse that will become the monster) hauled above a pit on chains and suspended between the machine’s pylons as electricity courses into it. James McAvoy looked on with maniacal glee while Daniel Radcliffe’s Igor entreated him to stop. We then saw the monster walk up to Victor and roar as he tried to placate it. Thrilling stuff.

Josh Trank was sadly not here for Fantastic Four but the quartet of cast members were on hand to big up the new trailer, while lip service was paid to the raft of other comic book movies on Fox’s slate, including X-Men: Apocalypse, Gambit, Deadpool and the third Wolverine movie. David O. Russell’s matriarchal dynasty tale, Joy, was given the teaser treatment, with a montage of shots set against the cacophony of church bells. This left Kung Fu Panda 3 and Alvin And The Chipmunks: The Road Chip, in which the trio broke all the laws of nature and decency by singing Phil Collins to a captive audience.


Charlie Cox Talks Daredevil Season Two

Thu, 23 Apr 2015 20:31:45 GMT

Charlie Cox Talks Daredevil Season Two

Expect Matt Murdock to return this time next year



Daredevil has landed and if you’re anything like as binge-y as Empire, you’ll have seen and most probably relished its gritty take on the Marvel hero. Its star, Charlie Cox, stepped into the Empire Podcast booth this week and we quizzed him on the likely timeline for the second season, as well as his dream line-up for it.

“I have to be careful because we just got commissioned so I have no idea who is going to turn up,” prefaced the Londoner, revealing, unsurprisingly, that he expects a new villain - or villains - to step into the Hell’s Kitchen underworld. “Based on the show we’ve created, which is very grounded in reality, I’d like to see Punisher maybe show up, a little bit of Elektra maybe. I wouldn’t mind Black Widow making an appearance, and you can’t think about Daredevil for too long without thinking of Bullseye. I don’t know when or if or how that would happen, but it’d be cool if it did."

It’s a heck of a rogues’ gallery to work with and a reminder of how nicely poised Netflix’s first foray onto superhero turf is. Season two has now shifted ahead of Defenders on Netflix’s giant studio call sheet. “We’ll begin shooting in the second half of the year,” Cox revealed. “It’ll be the same timeline as the last show, so season two will come out about this time next year. Again, I’m imagining all this, but they’ll probably do Iron Fist or Luke Cage at the same time, followed by the other one [of the two] in the first half of 2016 and then maybe Defenders in the second half of 2016 or the beginning of 2017.”

Before any of that, of course, there’s the small matter of A.K.A. Jessica Jones, in which Krysten Ritter and David Tennant do battle, to air and a screenplay or two to write. Cox, unsurprisingly, is champing to get back into the red suit. “What’s exciting is to have a season where [Matt Murdock] is really embodying his alter-ego before we get to the Defenders."

For more from Cox on Daredevil and much more on the show itself, look out for tomorrow's Empire podcast, followed by a Daredevil spoiler special.








First Trailer For Black Mass

Thu, 23 Apr 2015 19:14:25 GMT

First Trailer For Black Mass

'Just sayin' could get you buried real quick...'

Yesterday, the first look at Johnny Depp – looking very different from his normal self – as Boston gangster Whitey Bulger in Black Mass appeared online. That has been followed by some footage in the initial trailer for the film.

Giving the film a Goodfellas vibe, the video is anchored by Depp’s Bulger at a dinner with an associate. When they initially refuse, but then give up the “family secret” behind an excellent steak sauce, the crime boss launches into a diatribe about letting secrets leak and how it could be lethal. Turns out, he’s cranking the tension up only to release it, but it’s quite the speech.

With Out Of The Furnace’s Scott Cooper directing, Black Mass tells the story of Bulger, who masterminded a violent gang in Boston while also reportedly turning federal informant to take down rivals. It seemed to be working out well – particularly with corrupt FBI agent John Connolly (Joel Edgerton) helping to smooth things – but when the Bureau began making arrests, agents double-crossed Bulger and prosecuted him.

Bulger fled in 1994, was captured in 2011 in California and has since been sentenced to two consecutive life terms plus five years for his crimes. 

Boasting an ensemble that also includes Benedict Cumberbatch, Juno Temple, Dakota Johnson, Kevin Bacon, Adam Scott, Corey Stoll, Peter Sarsgaard and Julianne Nicholson, Black Mass will be out in the UK on September 25.


CinemaCon 2015: Sony Shows First Spectre Footage

Thu, 23 Apr 2015 15:22:08 GMT

CinemaCon 2015: Sony Shows First Spectre Footage

Plus Inferno, Concussion, Aloha and more

The CinemaCon audience thought they were being stiffed on all things 007 when, instead of Daniel Craig, it was Sony Pictures' chairman Tom Rothman who walked out to the Bond theme at the end of their upcoming slate presentation. However, Rothman had one or two surprises up his sleeve. As well as announcing Lord and Miller’s animated Spider-Man film, he also introduced a message video from director Sam Mendes, who shared the very first clip from Spectre with the gathered crowd.

Now, the footage seen was surprisingly plot- (and spoiler) heavy, so Mendes (and various knuckle-cracking security types) asked us not to reveal too much. What we can say, however, is that it was a scene in Bond’s apartment. The doorbell rings and it’s Naomie Harris’s Moneypenny. “Have you just moved in?” she asks, cocking an eyebrow at the Spartan décor. “I like what you’ve done with the place.” She mentions something Bond did in Mexico and that everyone at MI6 is talking about it. Then Bond shows her a very surprising message and that leads us into the stuff we’re not allowed to give away. Suffice it to say it’s a great scene and one that will likely land like a bombshell when it plays during the film. After that a few brief sizzle moments saw Bond and Monica Belucci’s Lucia, a plane crashing in the snow and a suitably Bond-esque car chase. It all looked incredibly exciting and we can’t wait to see more.

Bond wasn’t the only thing on display, however. Robert Zemeckis introduced an extended trailer for The Walk, which featured Joseph Gordon Levitt being trés Français as high-wire artist Philippe Petit. The footage mainly featured Petit and his accomplices setting up how they were going to break in to perform the stunt and definitely had a convivial heisty feel to it. The final shots were of Petit setting foot on (and later lying down on) the wire between the twin towers, with some spectacularly vertiginous downward shots.

Chris Columbus introduced the Pixels trailer, describing the film as “a big summer movie that doesn’t have anyone in spandex and is not a board game.” Ang Lee remotely introduced Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, which sees Joe Alwynn as a 19-year-old soldier about to be shipped back for another tour in Iraq. It’s also the first film ever to be shot in 120 frames per second – Hobbit eat your heart out. “In making this 3D movie we’re not only adding a dimension but also a highter frame rate,” said Lee. “I think the future is really exciting and I hope you come along with us in this new theatrical experience, this new way of dreaming.”

Genndy Tartakovsky was on hand to introduce animated follow-up Hotel Transylvania 2, while producer Neal Moritz and director Rob Letterman showed some new footage from Goosebumps, featuring an assortment of R.L. Stein’s monsters in action, from the abominable snowman to a werewolf, a giant mantis and a gaggle of killer gnomes.

Cameron Crowe’s Aloha got a trailer, as did and mother-and-daughter Streep film Ricki And The Flash. Meanwhile Jonathan Levine’s previously untitled Seth Rogan, Gordon Levitt and Anthony Mackie comedy was revealed to now be called X-Mas. A buddy comedy about three guys who have always spend Christmas Eve together and band up for one final festive blowout before one of their number (Rogen) has a child.

Peter Landesman’s NFL drama, Concussion, about player head injuries saw a much older-looking, heavily accented Will Smith take centre stage as Dr. Bennet Omalu and looks like a very interesting role for the actor. The Jodie Foster-directed Money Monster showcased Jack O’Connell once again (there’s just no stopping him) as a victim of the financial crisis who takes TV personality Lee Gates (George Clooney) hostage on live television after a bad stock tip and threatens to blow him to smithereens in front of viewers if his demands, and stock portfolio, aren’t addressed.

A few brief, blink-and-you’ll-miss-them moments flashed by for Ron Howard’s Inferno, Angry Birds and The Smurfs, while we only got title cards for Ghostbusters, Pride And Prejudice And Zombies, Antoine Fuqua’s The Magnificent Seven, Uncharted, The Equalizer 2 and Resident Evil: The Final Chapter


Phil Lord And Chris Miller Working On Animated Spider-Man Movie

Thu, 23 Apr 2015 15:22:08 GMT

Phil Lord And Chris Miller Working On Animated Spider-Man Movie

As Sony rebuilds its web-slinging universe

Phil-Lord-Chris-Miller-Animated-Spider-Man

Having apparently developed superpowers of their own that let them split into multiple copies of themselves, writer/producer/directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller are attached to yet another project. Sony used its CinemaCon presentation to announce that the duo will develop an animated Spider-Man film for the studio.

The potential idea for a Lord and Miller Spidey ‘toon originally emerged back in January when various outlets reported on a summit to discuss the future of the Spider-Man universe. While the studio has since hatched a deal to let Disney and Marvel use the character in Captain America: Civil War and other potential MCU titles, work is already being done in another new version of the character, with a plan in place to take Peter Parker back to his high school days. Drew Goddard is reportedly in line to make the movie for 2017.

As for Lord and Miller, their version is said to be separate from the live-action incarnation and likely pushing the comedy angle, so there’s no word yet on whether whoever lands the lead in the new Spidey film will also lend their voice to the ‘toon. The pair, already slightly busy overseeing any new Jump Street film for Sony plus the Lego Movie franchise and The Flash for Warner Bros., will work on a treatment for the animated Spider-Man film with the idea that they might end up directing it. Sony has already set a July 20, 2018 release date for the movie.








Exclusive New Spooks: The Greater Good Clip

Thu, 23 Apr 2015 12:00:55 GMT

Exclusive New Spooks: The Greater Good Clip

Kit Harington goes full Bourne

Anything the Americans can do, we Brits can do just as well – only with a bit more paperwork afterwards. That’s always been the Spooks mantra and its cinematic incarnation, Spooks: The Greater Good, is looking to reclaim London’s espionage circuit from the pesky likes of Bourne and Bauer. Wisely, the lead role in this has been handed to Kit Harington, an actor whose tendency to serve as his own stunt double should lend authenticity to the film's action beats. Check out this new clip and see what we mean. 

Harington plays rogue agent Will Holloway, whose own murky past swiftly becomes the focus of Harry Pearce’s (Peter Firth) interest. An in-transit terrorist (Elyes Gabel) has been rescued in a daring London holdup and only the disgraced Pearce and roguish and unpredictable Holloway stand between his terror cell and a devastating assault on London’s populace. Oh, and there may be a mole inside The Grid. Quick, someone call Facilities. {Spooks: The Greater Good Posters} With Spooks veteran Bharat Nalluri on directing duty and Tuppence Middleton, Jennifer Ehle and show veteran Tim McInnerny in front of the camera, there’s a support cast will be contributing to the complex shades of grey Spooks has always prided itself on.

There’s an army of Spookies out there who’ll be counting down the days. If you’re one of them, here’s Ten Things You Need To Know About Spook: The Greater Good. The eleventh is that it’s out in cinemas on May 8.