Empire Movie News

Interstellar Wins Best Film At The Empire Awards

Sun, 29 Mar 2015 20:17:45 GMT

Interstellar Wins Best Film At The Empire Awards

All the winners announced at Jameson Empire Awards 2015

magazine’s night of nights – the 25th Jameson Empire Awards – lit up London's Grosvenor House ballroom. There were speeches and songs, tears and laughter, winners, celebrations and revelry enough to make a dwarf rejoice. Which is handy because presiding over it all was Bofur himself, James Nesbitt, the returning host and master of ceremonies for a night that saw Interstellar, X-Men: Days Of Future Past, Paddington and The Bababook claim prizes voted for by Empire readers.

Christopher Nolan was in attendance to collect Best Film for Interstellar and a special Empire Inspiration award for a nine-film career filled with breathtaking visuals and impactful storytelling. There were also wins for Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl) and Andy Serkis, whose Best Actor award for Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes was recognition of his groundbreaking performance-capture work.

Here's the list of winners in full:

EMPIRE LEGEND (presented by Jameson Irish Whiskey)
Ralph Fiennes

Game Of Thrones
Christopher Nolan

Taron Egerton (Kingsman: The Secret Service)
Ellar Coltrane (Boyhood)
Daniel Huttlestone (Into The Woods)
Jack O'Connell (Unbroken)
Dan Stevens (The Guest)

BEST NEWCOMER - FEMALE (presented by Max Factor)
Karen Gillan (Guardians Of The Galaxy/Oculus)
Sophie Cookson (Kingsman: The Secret Service)
Carrie Coon (Gone Girl)
Essie Davis (The Babadook)
Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Belle)

BEST SCI-FI/FANTASY (presented by MediCinema)
X-Men: Days Of Future Past
Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes
Guardians Of The Galaxy
The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies

The Babadook
The Guest
Under The Skin

BEST COMEDY (presented by Absolute Radio)
22 Jump Street
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Inbetweeners 2
The Lego Movie

BEST THRILLER (presented by Corinthia Hotel London)
The Imitation Game
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Gone Girl
Kingsman: The Secret Service

BEST BRITISH FILM (presented by The Hollywood Reporter)
Kingsman: The Secret Service
The Imitation Game
The Theory Of Everything
Under The Skin

Andy Serkis (Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes)
Richard Armitage (The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies)
Bradley Cooper (American Sniper)
Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game)
Eddie Redmayne (The Theory Of Everything)

BEST ACTRESS (presented by Max Factor)
Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl)
Emily Blunt (Edge Of Tomorrow)
Felicity Jones (The Theory Of Everything)
Keira Knightley (The Imitation Game)
Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina)

BEST DIRECTOR (presented by Air New Zealand)
Christopher Nolan (Interstellar)
Peter Jackson (The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies)
Richard Linklater (Boyhood)
Matt Reeves (Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes)
Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game)

BEST FILM (presented by Viber)
Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes
The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies
The Imitation Game

Jameson Empire Awards Arrivals Gallery

Sun, 29 Mar 2015 19:31:29 GMT

Jameson Empire Awards Arrivals Gallery

Chastain! Gillan! Atwell! Cavill! Fans!

If you build it, they will come. What worked for Wayne's World 2 rang equally true for the Jameson Empire Awards 2015 with the red carpet rolled out at London's Grosvenor Hotel and an array of stars, filmmakers and movie luminaries striding it on their way into Empire magazine's night of nights.  

Manicams were out; movie lovers were in, with this year's carpet thronged on all sides by a fan phalanx. In attendance were Jessica Chastain, her Interstellar director Christopher Nolan, Karen Gillan, the Paddington ensemble, Hayley Atwell, Daniel Radcliffe, Olga Kurylenko, Andy Serkis, Mark Strong, a Westeros house's worth of Game Of Thrones cast members, Simon Pegg, Henry Cavill and Ralph Fiennes. Click on the images below for the full gallery. {Awards2015Arrivals}

 © Getty Images  

Spectre Opening Sequence Will Be 'Biggest In Bond History'

Sun, 29 Mar 2015 19:31:29 GMT

Spectre Opening Sequence Will Be 'Biggest In Bond History'

Empire reports from Day Of The Dead in Mexico

The opening sequence of the 24th James Bond film Spectre, currently filming in Mexico City, is set during the national Day Of The Dead festival, as these new pictures demonstrate. It will, claims long-time Bond producer Michael G Wilson, be "the biggest opening sequence we've ever done, maybe the biggest sequence we've ever done". Coming from a series which has previously sent its hero off a cliff on a motorbike to freefall into a crashing plane, that's no mean feat. {Spectre In Mexico Stills}Speaking from behind the scenes on location, where Empire has spent the weekend watching the Bondian shenanigans unfold, Wilson went on to say that the traditionally explosive pre-title sequence wasn't just going to be a massive on-screen event, but that it was also logistically huge. "The whole vision that Sam Mendes has come up with is very exciting and amazing," he told us. "We've got 1500 extras in Day Of The Dead costumes and make up and we've occupied the centre of Mexico City for days. The only thing that's come close to it was putting on the carnival in Rio in Moonraker, and I think this is a much bigger operation."
The scene kicks off Spectre's story in predictably thrilling fashion, with exploding buildings, a pulse-quickening foot chase through the Day Of The Dead parade and a fight inside a helicopter, which will then perform what promises to be one of the most spectacular stunts in Bond history. The newly-released stills above give a flavour of what to expect, including rooftop gun battles and the mysterious Estrella, played by the recently-cast Stephanie SigmanEmpire witnessed the scene being put together, and can testify that jaws will be dropped come Spectre's October 23 release date.
Filming will soon shift to Morocco and back to Pinewood, having already visited London, Rome and various delightful ski resorts in Austria. Our full Mexico set report will appear in a future issue, but until then why not have another squizz at the moody Spectre teaser trailer that was launched on Friday?

Reporter: Neil Alcock

DreamWorks Animation's Home Invades The US Box Office

Sun, 29 Mar 2015 19:31:28 GMT

DreamWorks Animation's Home Invades The US Box Office

Get Hard jailed in second


There was some much needed good news for beleaguered DreamWorks Animation this weekend as its latest CG ‘toon offering, alien invasion comedy Home, scored a win at the US box office, opening in first place with $54 million, according to studio estimates. 

The company has suffered several embarrassing write-offs in recent years and has been selling facilities and downsizing staff at a fast pace. But Home, which scored a surprise victory over Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart’s latest, Get Hard, will help to bolster the company’s bottom line.

And perhaps it wasn’t that much of a surprise: after all, the new comedy from Tropic Thunder writer Etan Cohen, which sees Ferrell as a dim bulb Wall Street trader framed for fraud and sentenced to maximum security prison, has been beset by its own issues, with complaints about racist and homophobic comedy and terrible reviews. The movie opened to $34.6 million Stateside, and has made $39 million worldwide in its first weekend.

The Divergent Series: Insurgent slipped quickly from its prime position last weekend, earning $22 million across the last three days for an $86.3 million domestic total to date. Cinderella fell from second to fourth, adding $17.5 million, which pushed it across the $150 million border. Showing strong legs despite a much more limited release, horror pic It Follows scared up $4 million as it added cinemas and jumped into the top 10 at fifth place.

Kingsman: The Secret Service continues to do well, dropping one place to sixth with $3 million, while Run All Night was down from third to seventh and $2.2 million. The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel dipped one place to eighth, taking in $2.18 million, while faith-based film Do You Believe? couldn’t believe its bad luck, falling from sixth to ninth with $2.15 million. Finally, at 10th, we find Sean Penn and The Gunman, which has fallen down the charts and earned $2 million this weekend. 

To see a cute alien beat up two grown comedians in the full chart listings, head to Box Office Mojo

First Teaser For Patrick Stewart's Blunt Talk

Sun, 29 Mar 2015 19:31:27 GMT

First Teaser For Patrick Stewart's Blunt Talk

'Did he say Falklands sarcastically?'

Nearly a year ago, we learned that US TV was giving Patrick Stewart a platform on which to be funny again, via the Seth MacFarlane-produced cable sitcom Blunt Talk. The first full teaser for the show has arrived. 

The series, which comes from MacFarlane and Bored To Death creator Jonathan Ames, has shot two seasons of 10 episodes each for its initial order. Stewart, who is also on board as a producer, is Walter Blunt, a Piers Morgan-alike British blowhard who scores a job on an American cable news network. Intent on delivering his wisdom and guidance on how our colonial cousins should think and live, he’s endlessly besieged by network executives, his dysfunctional staff and various other characters. His one supporter is the alcoholic manservant he had shipped over from the UK.

From the looks of this, it’s Stewart giving free reign to his comic side, working alongside the likes of Jacki Weaver, Adrian Scarborough, Dolly Wells and Timm Sharp. Blunt Talk will start airing on US channel Starz this summer, with no word on a UK airdate just yet. But someone will pick it up, surely? The Power Of Sir Patrick Compels You!

Simon Helberg Set For Florence Foster Jenkins

Sun, 29 Mar 2015 19:31:26 GMT

Simon Helberg Set For Florence Foster Jenkins

He's joining Stephen Frears' latest


Simon Helberg is probably best known at the moment for playing nerdy engineer Howard Wolowitz in sitcom The Big Bang Theory (or if you’re into deep geeky cuts, Moist from Dr. Horrible’s Sing-A-Long Blog). He’s had a few parts in movies, but it set for a bigger role in Stephen Frears’ new film, Florence Foster Jenkins, which will see the actor sharing the screen with Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant

The film will chronicle the life of Florence Foster Jenkins (Streep), an heiress and socialite whose driving passion was opera. Specifically, she wanted to get on stage and sing, but was held back by the fact that she could barely warble a correct note.

Yet while Florence was convinced that the voice she heard in her head was mellifluous and lovely to all, her partner/manager, aristocratic actor St. Clair Bayfield (Grant) became determined to protect that delusion, convincing everyone around them to support her. He ended up organising a Carnegie Hall concert for her in 1944, which racked up ticket sales of more than 3,000. Jenkins died a month later. Helberg is set as pianist Cosme McCoon, who accompanied her on stage.

Frears is getting set to direct the film with no release date set right now. Helberg last worked on romantic drama comedy We’ll Never Have Paris, which he co-wrote, produced and directed alongside his wife, Jocelyn Towne. For more on Florence, listen to Streep talking about it during a recent visit to the Empire Podcast

Audra McDonald Joins Beauty And The Beast

Sun, 29 Mar 2015 19:31:25 GMT

Audra McDonald Joins Beauty And The Beast

She'll be Garderobe


Bill Condon has been building quite the ensemble for Disney’s new live-action Beauty And The Beast and he’s just upped the movie’s theatre cred by one. Tony winner Audra McDonald has joined the cast to play living wardrobe Garderobe.  

Emma Watson and Dan Stevens are aboard as the titular pair, starring in the story of a young, literary-minded young woman (Watson) who agrees to take her father’s place imprisoned in a castle, where she’s romanced by a cursed prince turned into a beast (Stevens).

Our heroine ultimately chooses the hairy creature over her jealous suitor, Gaston (Luke Evans). He, in turn, deals with the rejection somewhat awkwardly, gathering henchman Le Fou (Josh Gad) and a mob of townspeople to hunt down and try to kill the creature.  

Garderobe is one of the people turned into enchanted objects who initially help Watson’s Belle adjust to life in the castle. She joins Emma Thompson, who was recently hired to play teapot Mrs. Potts. Given that Condon and composer Alan Menken are aiming to use the songs from Disney’s 1991 cartoon version with additional tracks added, we’d expect to hear McDonald warbling 'Human Again' in the film.

Condon will be cranking the cameras this May at Shepperton Studios, with the movie targeting a March 17, 2017 release in the States with no confirmed UK date as of yet.

Alessandra Ambrosio Joins Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2

Sun, 29 Mar 2015 19:31:23 GMT

Alessandra Ambrosio Joins Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2

Supermodel will meet the heroes in a half-shell


There has been little buzz around the fact that Paramount is pushing ahead with a sequel to last year’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. But the studio, looking to capitalise on the $485 million worldwide box office of the reboot, has the cameras rolling with Earth To Echo’s Dave Green directing. We know that Will Arnett will be back as smarmy cameraman Vernon Fenwick and The Hollywood Reporter brings word that Victoria’s Secret supermodel Alessandra Ambrosio is set to join him as the character’s new girlfriend.

Little else is known about the film, besides the fact that Josh Appelbaum and Andre Nemec have once again written the script, which, one assumes finds Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello and Michelangelo (and, most likely Megan Fox's April O'Neil) back to battle the forces of evil. Reports have pointed to classic ‘toon/comics franchise mutants Bebop and Rocksteady making an appearance.

Ambrosio, who until recently has been best known for her runway work, has cropped up on the likes of Gossip Girl and Entourage (of course), and had a tiny, wordless cameo in 2006’s Casino Royale. She’s also appearing in the new Will Ferrell/Mark Wahlberg comedy Daddy’s Home, which should be out here this year. As for the second Turtles outing, that’ll hit our screens on June 3, 2016. 

Vincent D'Onofrio In Talks For Magnificent Seven

Sun, 29 Mar 2015 19:31:22 GMT

Vincent D'Onofrio In Talks For Magnificent Seven

He's in line to be the villain


So far, Magnificent Seven remake director Antoine Fuqua has largely been hiring either the conflicted heroes or someone who needs their help, with Denzel Washington Ethan Hawke, Chris Pratt and Haley Bennett set for the cast. Now he’s on the trail of the film’s main villain, with Vincent D’Onofrio in talks to co-star.

The movie will once more see a small town – in this case built around a gold mine – threatened by a ruthless baron (D’Onofrio, assuming he takes the role) and his gang of thugs. When they kill several people in their attempt to take the place over, a young widow (Bennett) hires a bounty hunter (Washington) to dispatch the bad guys, supplying him with the necessary funds to hire six gunmen to help him in his mission. Which is where Pratt, Hawke and others come into play. Fuqua is busy rounding up the rest of the cast for the film, aiming to kick off shooting within a month. 

John Lee Hancock and True Detective’s Nic Pizzolatto are among those who have contributed to the screenplay, adapted from the classic Seven Samurai, which became the first crack at a Magnificent Seven in 1960. The new version is locking down a 2016 release date, but nothing is in the calendar yet.

D’Onofrio has been on a run of playing several bad or at least morally complicated guys. He’ll be seen opposite Pratt in Jurassic World (out June 12) and is the Kingpin in Marvel/Netflix’s Daredevil, which hits the streaming service on April 10 in one 13-episode block.

Bill Hader Finds The BFG

Sun, 29 Mar 2015 19:31:21 GMT

Bill Hader Finds The BFG

He'll be part of Steven Spielberg's Roald Dahl adaptation


Having entered the post-production phase on his latest, Cold War thriller Bridge Of Spies, Steven Spielberg is now splitting his time between finishing that and gearing up to make Roald Dahl adaptation The BFG. He’s just hired Bill Hader to play one of the giants.

In case you hadn’t heard, The BFG tells of the world’s only friendly giant and his friendship with young Sophie. He makes it his mission to collect good dreams and gift them to children while destroying nightmares and keeping his nasty fellow gigantic brethren from eating “human beans”. 

Spielberg’s take on Dahl’s classic tale has been adapted by E.T. screenwriter Melissa Mathison, with Mark Rylance starring as the title character and 10-year-old newcomer Ruby Barnhill hired in December to play Sophie. Hader will, as mentioned, be one of the less-than-friendly giants. The new film will be shooting this year, ready for a July 22, 2016 release.

Hader will be seen in more family friendly fare this year, voicing Fear in Pixar’s Inside Out (July 24) and Forrest for the company’s The Good Dinosaur (November 27). He’s also part of the cast for Judd Apatow’s latest, Trainwreck, which was written by and stars Amy Schumer, and is set to hit our screens on August 28.

Akiva Goldsman Overseeing More Transformers Films

Sun, 29 Mar 2015 19:31:19 GMT

Akiva Goldsman Overseeing More Transformers Films

He'll produce and oversee writers for new movies


Since Marvel (and later Disney) struck success with their cinematic universe, all the other studios have been trying to leap on that bandwagon, with Sony spinning a Spider-Man web, Universal planning a monster-verse and the Mouse House itself crafting a galaxy of Star Wars movies. The latest arrival to the multi-film party is Paramount, which has Akiva Goldsman joining the team to oversee more Transformers films

According to Deadline, he’ll work with Transformers stalwarts Michael Bay, Steven Spielberg and Lorenzo di Bonaventura on setting up a writer’s room-style process that will hire scriptwriters to start developing potential new sequels and, because this is a thing that has to happen apparently these days, spin-offs. Bumblebee: Origins, anyone?

It’s hardly surprising that Paramount would want to do this – for all their fluctuating quality levels, the Transformers franchise has been a robust box office performer for the studio, with even last year’s Age Of Extinction earning almost $1.1 billion around the world and breaking records in the lucrative Chinese market. But is the world ready for more films that have brought middling storylines from the man who last made A New York Winter’s Tale? Someone thinks so.

And the piece points to Bay appearing likely to return to the franchise once he’s completed work on true-life Benghazi drama 13 Hours, with Goldsman eschewing an active writing role in favour of working with others on development so that a script is up on its feet by the time Bay (assuming he’s not telling porkie pies again) is ready to return to Optimus & co.

The Jameson Empire Awards 2015 Live Blog

Sun, 29 Mar 2015 19:15:55 GMT

The Jameson Empire Awards 2015 Live Blog

All the winners and presenters as it happens!

Welcome to the 2015 Jameson Empire Awards, coming to you live from London's glamorous Grosvenor House Hotel. Here is the ceremony as it happened; keep an eye on the site overnight for all the photos and video that are fit to publish.

Hugh Jackman Hints Wolverine 3 Will Be His Last Mutant Movie

Sun, 29 Mar 2015 19:15:53 GMT

Hugh Jackman Hints Wolverine 3 Will Be His Last Mutant Movie

Will he hang up the claws?

There have been rumours before that Hugh Jackman is ready to step down from playing Logan/Wolverine for the X-Men movies. But on Instagram this weekend, the actor dropped the biggest hint yet that his days as the fast-healing mutant hero are numbered.  



A photo posted by Hugh Jackman (@thehughjackman) on

While he’s been rumoured as cropping up in X-Men Apocalypse – because let’s face it, would it really be a proper X-Men movie without him? – the post appears to point to his reunion with The Wolverine’s director James Mangold for a third solo Wolverine outing, which is bubbling away in the development tanks for a potential 2017 release. That, of course, would follow Apocalypse, which is about to start shooting next month ready for it to arrive next year.

Jackman has said in the past that he’s been considering handing over the mantle of the hairy hero, not wanting to stay in the role forever. Given how long he’s been associated with Logan, starting with 2000’s X-Men, it’ll be a little strange to consider Wolverine on screen without him. But at least it appears we’ll have a few years yet to see him call people “Bub”.

Jackman will be seen this year as Blackbeard in Joe Wright’s Pan (out July 17) and is shooting the Eddie The Eagle film alongside Kingsman’s Taron Egerton for director Dexter Fletcher. 

Southpaw Trailer Hits

Sun, 29 Mar 2015 16:10:16 GMT

Southpaw Trailer Hits

Punch it, Louis Bloom

If you saw the excellent Nightcrawler, you’ll know that Jake Gyllenhaal lost weight to play the sunken, ghoulish Louis Bloom. Now, for his next cinematic trick, he’s piled on pounds of muscle and become a brawler for Southpaw, the story of a boxer who must fight not only his opponents, but to hold on to his life as it starts to fall apart. 

Gyllenhaal is Billy Hope, the reigning junior middleweight boxing champ whose trademark “Southpaw” stance is a brutal, powerful style of fighting. He’s driven by an ever-present need for fame, money and love even while blessed with a wonderful family in Rachel McAdams as his wife Maureen and Clare Foley as daughter Alice. But then tragedy strikes and he faces losing everything. He’ll have to start punching his weight, and not just in the ring. Can he make a comeback? 

Hope is a role that was originally written – by Sons Of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter – with Eminem in mind. But it’s since been through a punishing bout in development hell, swapped studios, lost the rapper, who decided to focus on his music, and had The Equalizer director Antoine Fuqua climb aboard. He brought that movie’s writer, Richard Wenk, on to take a fresh crack at the script and Gyllenhaal stepped into the ring.

From the looks of this, Fuqua has gone all out in the fighting scenes and hired a capable cast that also includes Forest Whitaker, Naomie Harris, Tyrese Gibson and Beau Knapp to handle the rest. The film will hit UK cinemas on July 31. 

First Spectre Teaser Trailer Arrives

Sat, 28 Mar 2015 00:00:13 GMT

First Spectre Teaser Trailer Arrives

And James Bond will return to IMAX

With a poster reveal and behind-the-scenes video already online, it was clearly time for the first teaser from James Bond’s new adventure, Spectre, to hit the web. Which is why we’re not completely surprised to be bringing you the following footage.

Yes, here is Daniel Craig once more throwing himself around the world on the track of a mystery, one tied to the events of Skyfall and the eponymous pile he once called home. In the brief tease, we re-visit Jesper Christensen's Mr. White, get glimpses of some of the other characters and, finally, meet Christoph Waltz's shadowy sort.

So what do we really know about the plot so far? Here’s the official synopsis… “A cryptic message from Bond’s past sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister organisation. While M battles political forces to keep the secret service alive, Bond peels back the layers of deceit to reveal the terrible truth behind SPECTRE.”

In related Spectre news, the film will, like Skyfall before it, be released in IMAX cinemas globally, featuring digitally re-mastered visuals and audio to fit the bigger format.

With Sam Mendes back directing a script that has been written by John Logan, Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, Spectre sees Ralph Fiennes, Ben Whishaw and Naomie Harris, as M, Q and Moneypenny respectively, with new recruits Waltz as the enigmatic Oberhauser, Dave Bautista as Mr. Hinx, Monica Bellucci as Lucia Sciarra, Lea Seydoux as Madeline Swann, Stephanie Sigman as Estrella and Andrew Scott as Denbigh. It’ll hit UK screens on October 23 before heading across the pond and elsewhere on November 6. 

New Terminator Genisys TV Spot Lands

Fri, 27 Mar 2015 17:18:07 GMT

New Terminator Genisys TV Spot Lands

J.K. Simmons discovers that it's not quite his apocalypse

As Arnold Schwarzenegger explains in the new issue of Empire, Terminator Genisys is untethered from the fiddly business of having to dot all the 'i's and cross the 't's of previous films in the franchise. But swerving that timeline tangle doesn't mean that the sci-fi actioner won't be paying homage to Terminator lore. This new TV spot distills a fair few of them into 30 seconds of cybernetic showcasing. 

There's a first proper look at J.K. Simmons as Detective O'Brien, a corner of officialdom a lot more willing to take all the doomsday prophesying at face value than, say, Dr. Silberman in Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Never mind rushing and dragging, here's J.K. scarpering. 

For those not already in the know, Genisys 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.

Except when Reese arrives, he discovers that the timeline has been altered and this Sarah (Emilia Clarke) was orphaned years ago by a Terminator attack. She has been raised by an Arnold Schwarzenegger-style ‘bot that has been living and ageing among humans. 

With Matt Smith also among the cast and Thor: The Dark World’s Alan Taylor calling the shots, Terminator Genisys is set for UK release on July 3. The film centrepieces Empire's May issue, onsale now. 

The First Look At Ryan Reynolds' New Deadpool Is Here

Fri, 27 Mar 2015 16:47:12 GMT

The First Look At Ryan Reynolds' New Deadpool Is Here

With great power comes great irresponsibility

Clearly more than a little enthusiastic about getting to portray what he hopes we’ll all embrace as a proper version of snark-tastic Marvel antihero Deadpool, Ryan Reynolds has been the new movie’s biggest champion, sharing insights into pre-production via social media. Today he brings a first look at the Merc with a Mouth in full gear and in action… Sorry… inaction… posing on a bearskin in front of a roaring fire. Por qué? Because he’s Deadpool, that’s por qué. {Deadpool First Look}

Deadpool, as you may already know, features former Special Forces warrior-turned-mercenary Wade Wilson, who undergoes a rogue experiment as part of the Weapon X plan that leaves him brutally scarred but also boasting Wolverine-like healing powers. Armed with his new abilities and his pitch-dark sense of humour, he hunts down the man who nearly destroyed his life, while taking on other bad guys as he does so. 

Effects man/second unit director-turned-big-chair-occupier Tim Miller is calling the shots for this one, working from a script by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick. He convinced 20th Century Fox and the world at large he was the man for the job via a test footage short (viewable below) that featured Reynolds providing the voice and some motion capture for Deadpool. 

Production is now underway in Vancouver, with Ed Skrein T.J. Miller, Gina Carano and Morena Baccarin among the cast. Deadpool will wisecrack his way into cinemas on February 12 next year. Assuming you haven’t keeled over from all the sexy in that first image. 

New Quicksilver And Scarlet Witch Avengers: Age Of Ultron TV Spot

Fri, 27 Mar 2015 16:47:10 GMT

New Quicksilver And Scarlet Witch Avengers: Age Of Ultron TV Spot

Meet the twins

Ultron's one thing - big bad robot who likes doing big bad things - but Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch... who are they? Really? Perhaps a minute-long TV spot isn't the perfect answer to that question, but it's the best around for now, featuring some new quips and clips from the upcoming Marvel superhero mash-up, Avengers: Age Of Ultron. So remember, if you're avoiding all kinds of spoilers, you're best off clicking away... now. Still here? Press play ASAP.

The plot, as you’ll likely know by now, finds malevolent machine intelligence Ultron (voiced and performed by James Spader along with a team of CG experts) posing a terrible threat to Stark, Cap, Banner and the rest – not only is it powerful enough to reduce large swathes of the world to rubble, it also helps sprout the lingering seeds of discontent between the Avengers themselves, which could well tear them apart from within.

Back on heroic duty again are Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders), Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Falcon (Anthony Mackie). They’ll need all the resources at their disposal to tackle Ultron plus troublemaking powered twins Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson).

Joss Whedon is back marshalling this one, and the film also features the likes of Don Cheadle, Andy Serkis, Paul Bettany (whose character, The Vision, finally shows his face properly, if briefly, at the end), Hayley Atwell and Thomas Kretschmann. Avengers: Age Of Ultron will be out in the UK on April 23.

Antonio Banderas Empire Podcast Interview Special

Fri, 27 Mar 2015 15:29:43 GMT

Antonio Banderas Empire Podcast Interview Special

Prepare yourself for one hell of a voice

Antonio Banderas and his beautiful voice take centre stage in this appropriately-named Antonio Banderas interview special Empire Podcast. In town to talk about the delightfully bonkers The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, we took the time to not only ask about his character in it, Burgerbeard, but also much, much more, from Expendables 3 to The Skin I live In, not forgetting a certain Puss In Boots...

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.

Shrek To Return For Puss In Boots 2?

Fri, 27 Mar 2015 14:43:18 GMT

Shrek To Return For Puss In Boots 2?

Antonio Banderas drops a heavy hint

Shrek Forever After may have proclaimed itself ‘the final chapter’ back in 2010, but the jovial green swamp-dweller may not be finished on the big screen. According to Antonio Banderas, the man behind DreamWorks Animation’s feline-focused spin-off, a return for Mike Myers and Shrek is on the table for Puss In Boots 2. "I heard some rumours that Shrek my be coming back,” Banderas tells the Empire podcast.

Puss In Boots was of course, a Shrek-free affair that spun out of the series to the tune of $550 million worldwide. A sequel has been germinating for some time already, although, as Banderas points out, “the process for these movies are way longer than people think”.

"They are restructuring the script now," he reveals. "We started… but that’s the process. A lot of people participate in the creation of the script and the story and the narrative, everything. And they include you! They take you to California and you read the script with them, give them your ideas, and a couple of months later you see a new script where everything has been touched [up]."

We respect ourselves far too much to suggest that a Shrek return is ogre-due, but Banderas is certainly keen. "That would be great,” he enthused, launching into full Puss-In-Boots voice. "Shrek doing a cameo… in MY movie? Uh, huh! Yeah, I’d like that.”

Click here for the full Empire podcast interview and much more from Banderas on Puss In Boots, SpongeBob Squarepants: Sponge Out Of Water, Zorro, The Skin I Live In and much else besides.