Empire Movie News

Initial Test Footage From Sony's CG Popeye

Sat, 20 Sep 2014 18:17:25 GMT

Initial Test Footage From Sony's CG Popeye

Genndy Tartakovsky shows off the Sailor Man

You may recall that Fox debuted a traditional teaser trailer for its Charlie Brown ‘toon recently. Sony is going one step further releasing a mini-featurette on the new Popeye film that includes an animation test...

Narrated by and partly featuring director Genndy Tartakovsky, who made Hotel Transylvania for the studio, the piece explores his lifelong obsession with the spinach-loving Sailor Man and his various adventures. Here, he talks a little bit about the challenges of bringing a character that has largely existed in 1930s and ‘40s cartoons, comic strips and other 2D animation – aside from the 1980 Robert Altman live-action film – to the colourful world of CG.

Tartakovsky cautions that this is no trailer, nor is it even a clip from the film. The voices are temporary and it’s really designed to give a feeling of his plans for bringing Popeye to life. No, there’s no spinach-gobbling here, but there is plenty of the squishy, physics-defying animation the director has become known for. It could certainly be an interesting take on the character, but we’ll have to wait to see more.

The film doesn’t have a set release date, but appears to be arriving next year.

Max Borenstein On To Write Godzilla Sequel

Sat, 20 Sep 2014 17:46:26 GMT

Max Borenstein On To Write Godzilla Sequel

He's back with the big beasts


Max Borenstein clearly has a thing for gigantic beasts raging around. He was one of the main credited writers on Legendary and Warner Bros’ Godzilla and was recently announced as penning the former company’s stab at the King Kong mythology, Skull Island. So it probably shouldn’t be too surprising that he’s set to write the Godzilla sequel taking aim at a 2018 release date.

Given the distance of the release date, not much is known about the film yet, though with the first outing’s Gareth Edwards once more in the director’s chair, plenty of hints have been dropped, including that classic God-botherers Mothra (huge insect) Rodan (giant Pteradon) and Ghidorah (alien dragon) will be the big threats this time around.

Of course, one of the biggest complaints about this year’s first new spin of the giant creature was the distinct lack of much action from the Big G himself. Hopefully that will be rectified in the sequel. Despite his seemingly busy schedule, Borenstein will have time to write both Skull Island – which recently scored Jordan Vogt-Roberts to direct and Tom Hiddleston to star – and Godzilla 2, as Edwards himself is busy working on one of the Star Wars spin-off movies.

Nick Frost Heads To Doctor Who

Sat, 20 Sep 2014 17:46:25 GMT

Nick Frost Heads To Doctor Who

For this year's Christmas episode


While the current incarnations of Doctor Who have been bigger and flashier than the classic versions, the team always tends to pull out extra stops for the annual Christmas episode. And in terms of guest stars, this year is no different with Nick Frost, Michael Troughton, Natalie Gumede, Faye Marsay and Nathan McMullen set to appear.

No details have been revealed about what will happen in the show itself, though Peter Capaldi’s Doctor and companion Clara (Jenna Coleman) will no doubt be facing something unusual and, in keeping with most of the previous specials, unusually festive. It’ll be interesting to see whether writer/producer Steven Moffat goes with a dark Christmas tale this year, especially as Capaldi’s Doctor seems to be one more likely to deliver coal in stockings rather than lots of presents. Troughton, incidentally, is the son of second Doctor actor Patrick. 

“I'm so thrilled to have been asked to guest in the Doctor Who Christmas Special, I'm such a fan of the show,” Frost tells the Beeb. The read-through was very difficult for me; I wanted to keep stuffing my fingers into my ears and scream 'No spoilers!' Every day on set I’ve had to silence my internal fan-boy squeals!"

“Frost at Christmas – it just makes sense! I worked with Nick on the Tintin movie many years ago and it's a real pleasure to lure him back to television for a ride on the TARDIS,” says Moffat. The show will air, unsurprisingly, on Christmas Day on BBC One. Frost, meanwhile, can be heard in The Boxtrolls, which is on screens now. He’ll show up in road trip comedy Unfinished Business on March 6 next year.

Amber Heard Joins Magic Mike XXL

Sat, 20 Sep 2014 17:46:23 GMT

Amber Heard Joins Magic Mike XXL

She's snagged a lead role


With the cameras set to start cranking soon and the male strippers ready to gyrate once again, Magic Mike XXL director Gregory Jacobs seems committed to balancing out the cast’s gender mix for the sequel. Andie MacDowell and Jada Pinkett Smith have just been announced and Amber Heard will also be along for the new film.

With Channing Tatum back co-writing and starring, Magic Mike XXL promises to be a very different film from the original, taking the likes of Tatum’s Mike plus Alex Pettyfer, Matt Bomer and Joe Manganiello on a road trip that adventure. Heard’s character has yet to be revealed, though she has snagged one of the main roles.

One veteran of the original who won’t be boarding the bus is Matthew McConaughey – Jacobs let slip that he’s not returning a few days ago and now The Wrap reports it’s for a mundane reason: his schedule on Gus Van Sant’s Sea Of Trees will clash with Mike’s shoot. The director is working alongside Steven Soderbergh, who made the original but is stepping back to “only” act as cinematographer, producer and editor this time. Magic Mike XXL is scheduled to stride into our cinemas on August 7 next year.

Anthony Mackie Says Our Brand Is Crisis

Sat, 20 Sep 2014 17:46:21 GMT

Anthony Mackie Says Our Brand Is Crisis

Set to join Sandra Bullock and Billy Bob Thornton


After spending several months in development, political drama-comedy blend Our Brand Is Crisis is now gearing up at top speed. David Gordon Green is calling the shots with a cast that already includes Sandra Bullock and Billy Bob Thornton aboard, and Anthony Mackie is set to join them.

Produced by Argo duo George Clooney and Grant Heslov, Crisis is adapted from Rachel Boynton’s 2005 documentary, which saw President Clinton’s former advisors James Carville and Stan Greenberg applying what they had learned in the trenches of American politics to a campaign in Bolivia, and the effects it has on the process.

Thornton’s role is still being kept under wraps, but we do now know that Bullock will be “Calamity” Jane Bodine, a charismatic retired American political consultant known for quoting famous people when she’s making points. Peter Straughan wrote the script and Green will kick off shooting shortly.

Mackie is a man in demand at the moment. He has romantic comedy Playing It Cool and Paul Bettany’s directorial debut Shelter in the can and has worked on John Hillcoat’s crime thriller Triple Nine and Seth Rogen’s new, untitled Christmas-set comedy. And he’s attached to several other potential films including A Girl And A Gun and a Jesse Owens biopic.

Supergirl Headed To The Small Screen

Sat, 20 Sep 2014 17:46:21 GMT

Supergirl Headed To The Small Screen

US network CBS picks up a show from the pages of DC


Much like the current blockbuster landscape, there is a glut of superhero-based shows hitting the airwaves as the new goggle-box season kicks off across the pond. In addition to the established Arrow, we have Agent Carter, The Flash, Batman prequel story Gotham and Constantine among them. Now US network CBS is looking to get into the action, commissioning a series based on Supergirl from prolific producer Greg Berlanti.

The writer/show-runner, who has already ushered Arrow on to screens and is part of the team introducing The Flash, is teaming up with former Chuck producer Ali Adler (who also worked on short-lived Michael Chiklis superhero show No Ordinary Family) to bring the show to life.

It’ll follow Kara Zor-El, Kal-El’s cousin, who escaped Krypton as he did and ended up on Earth. Initially unwilling to acknowledge her powers, she starts to come into her own in her mid-20s and accept her heroic destiny. Her story was told in the 1984 Supergirl film, though that really wasn’t much of a high mark for all involved. With luck, the series will be able to dig a little deeper.

And for more info on several of the new TV shows arriving, check out the current Empire (on shelves for only a few more days), which has an extensive preview about various heroes and their adventures.

Pete's Dragon Finds Two Young Stars

Sat, 20 Sep 2014 17:46:20 GMT

Pete's Dragon Finds Two Young Stars

Oakes Fegley and Oona Laurence score the leads


Of all the films from its archives that Disney could unearth to be given a fresh coat of remake paint, we were surprised to see Pete’s Dragon among them. Still, it’s moving forward with Ain’t Them Bodies Saints director David Lowery overseeing the project and has just secured two young stars in Oakes Fegley and Oona Laurence.

Fegley, who has appeared on Boardwalk Empire and has small roles in the upcoming This Is Where I Leave You and Fort Bliss, will be the titular Pete, an orphan who arrives in a small town with his magic dragon, attempting to escape his abusive adoptive parents. Laurence, meanwhile, is a newly created character, Natalie, who also befriends our hero. The young actress won a Tony on Broadway for her work in the Matilda musical and will be seen in boxing drama Southpaw alongside Jake Gyllenhaal.

Lowery and co-writer Toby Halbrooks are on board to write a new take on the story, with a modern frame and, apparently, stripping away the musical element of the original. The plan is to film live-action and create the dragon via CGI, which should surprise exactly no one.

Gary Whitta Hired To Write Mark Millar Adaptation

Sat, 20 Sep 2014 17:46:20 GMT

Gary Whitta Hired To Write Mark Millar Adaptation

From Star Wars to Starlight


Though his first two produced scripts, Book Of Eli and last year’s After Earth didn’t exactly score a lot of critical or, in Earth’s case, commercial love, Gary Whitta is still winning big jobs. He’s at work on one of the Star Wars spin-off films with Godzilla’s Gareth Edwards and has just landed the gig scripting the adaptation of Mark Millar’s Starlight for Fox.

Created by Millar and artist Goran Parlov, the new title, which hit stores in March, is a blend of Flash Gordon and The Dark Knight Returns. Its follows a Gordon-like space hero who saved the universe from a diabolical villain 35 years ago, but returned home to Earth to discover no-one believed his tales of derring-do.

Dining on ashes, he shrugged off the disappointment, fell in love and got married. Now, decades later, older and with kids of his own, he’s called back to action when his old rocket shows up with a warning that the enemy has returned.

Simon Kinberg, who has been helping to shepherd both Fox’s superhero efforts and Disney’s new Star Wars universe as a writer and producer, will be overseeing the work on this one alongside Steve Asbell.

Whitta’s Star Wars effort is scheduled for December 16, 2016, but there’s still no word on which character it’ll focus on. Obi-Wan, perhaps? Boba Fett? 2-1B’s medical school days?

David Ayer May Send The Suicide Squad Into Battle

Sat, 20 Sep 2014 17:30:46 GMT

David Ayer May Send The Suicide Squad Into Battle

Fury director considering DC Entertainment film


His current film follows the heroic, conflicted crew of a World War II tank. But for a potential new project, Fury director David Ayer could be focused more on villains. He’s considering directing an adaptation of DC's Suicide Squad for Warner Bros.

The studio and its comics partner has had Justin Marks at work on a script for a couple of years now, quietly developing the idea, but going even quieter when the focus switched to the Justice League films.

But with Supes, Bats and co. chugging away healthily, talk has turned back to the Squad, who were first drawn together – and often called Task Force X – by Robert Kanigher and Ross Andru in 1959, with John Ostrander forming a more modern version.

The comics' concept finds villains such as Deadshot, King Shark, Captain Boomerang and Harley Quinn given a chance for redemption by undertaking dangerous missions for the government.

Though it’s clearly early days and yet to be officially confirmed by Warners, the studio has a lot of release dates to fill and Suicide Squad could be a solid counterpoint to the square-jawed, mopey heroics of the Justice League.

Ayer’s Fury, which stars Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf and Logan Lerman, is set to arrive here on October 24.

Liam Neeson Is Up For Suspension

Fri, 19 Sep 2014 14:46:50 GMT

Liam Neeson Is Up For Suspension

Based on Joss Whedon's long-in-gestation script?

The legend that is Liam Neeson is a guest on this week’s Empire Podcast (listen here or press play on the SoundCloud file below), and dropped an interesting tidbit about an upcoming project. “I’ve just signed up to do a film called Suspension, hanging from a bridge in New York – the George Washington Bridge,” Neeson told us.

That was pretty much that: apart from a declaration that, since he gets “dizzy on a thick carpet”, he wouldn’t be doing all his own stunts (“It’s not that I want to do a Tom Cruise thing. Tom loves all that stuff. I can’t do that.”), Neeson said nothing else about the project, which has yet to be officially announced.

So, what is Suspension? Well, a little bit of digging around suggests that it’s an unmade Joss Whedon script. Sold on spec in 1993 for $1 million, it’s a Die Hard-alike in which terrorists attack the George Washington Bridge, only for an ex-con called Harry Monk to gum up their works and then some. Neeson, we’d imagine, would play Monk, who teams up with the cops to deliver some justice from a great height.

But apart from that, not much else is known at this point in time, with no director, studio or release date in place (at least publicly). We don’t even know if this is the Whedon script, but the fact that the Neeson movie takes place on the George Washington Bridge seems a coincidence too far. So, Whedonites, get excited – as well as Avengers: Age Of Ultron, looks like you’ve got something else to look forward to over the next year or so.

As for Neeson, this seems to be right up his street. The Northern Irish icon is drawn to the high-concept, and concepts don’t get much higher than this. He’s just started shooting his performance-capture work on Juan Antonio Bayona’s A Monster Calls and has Martin Scorsese’s Silence lined up as well, so we’re not sure when he’ll squeeze in Suspension. But if it is a Whedon script, we hope he does, and soon.

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 The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 Stills

Fri, 19 Sep 2014 12:58:47 GMT

New The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 Stills

Katniss and co are ready for action

There are just a couple of months to wait now for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, which will start to wrap up Katniss’ (Jennifer Lawrence) battle against the corrupt Capitol and its despotic rule over the outlying Districts. To remind us all of that fact, Lionsgate has released some new imagery. {New The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 Stills}

The first part of Mockingjay, adapted by Danny Strong from Suzanne Collins’ third novel, finds Katniss and the other rebels finally taking their fight to the Capitol and its ruthless President Snow (Donald Sutherland). But the fight against the all-powerful ruler will not be an easy one, and everyone involved will have to sacrifice if the Districts are to be finally free. And to complicate matters for Katniss personally, Peeta is now a prisoner of the Capitol and is being forced to serve their propaganda purposes.

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


Podcast #129: Liam Neeson, The Riot Club Stars

Fri, 19 Sep 2014 11:26:01 GMT

Podcast #129: Liam Neeson, The Riot Club Stars

Take them on, on your own

The Empire Podcast - Liam Neeson and The Riot Club

The Empire Podcast breaks new ground this week, as just one person interviews five different people, all at once. Give a warm Empire welcome, then, to Max Irons, Sam Claflin, Douglas Booth, Holliday Grainger and Jessica Brown Findlay, all dropping by to talk (in a rather posh fashion) about The Riot Club. Oh, and some guy called Liam Neeson (whoever he is) turns up in honour of A Walk Among The Tombstones.

In the non-interview portion of the podcast, the team review both of the aforementioned films, and discuss such worthy topics "What's the best slap in cinematic history?" and whether the original Ben-Hur goes on for a bit too long.

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.

Astrid Berges-Frisbey Is King Arthur's Guinevere

Fri, 19 Sep 2014 10:09:05 GMT

Astrid Berges-Frisbey Is King Arthur's Guinevere

She'll join Charlie Hunnam at the Round Table


While Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur film promises to be loaded with testosterone thanks to its knight-heavy ensemble, there will be at least one balancing female presence in the group. Deadline reports that Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tidesmermaid Astrid Berges-Frisbey has been cast as Guinevere.

Ritchie is currently filling his cast for the film, which Warner Bros. is hoping could launch a new franchise spanning as many as six instalments. Charlie Hunnam appears to be locked in as Arthur, with Idris Elba still seemingly in talks to play his mentor, Bedivere.

Guinevere, of course, is Arthur’s queen and a controversial character since she also engages in an affair with his best mate and first knight, Lancelot. How much of that plays into this initial film – written by Edge Of Tomorrow producer Joby Harold, who has planned out the other stories – remains to be seen. Warners will no doubt lock her into a multi-film contract to ensure she’s available for potential future movies.

Berges-Frisbey is next set to be on our screens in science-flavoured indie I Origins, due on September 26. She’s also just worked on Claudio Cupellini’s chilly drama Alaska.

Big Eyes Trailer Arrives

Fri, 19 Sep 2014 09:53:33 GMT

Big Eyes Trailer Arrives

Tim Burton chronicles a real-life art scandal

Usually to be found around grotesque but strangely compelling creatures, or putting Johnny Depp in make-up and wigs, Tim Burton has made a very different sort of film for his latest, Big Eyes. Even Big Fish had touches of the fantastical, but this is a stylish and completely real-life tale. Check out the first trailer for the film, which stars Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz. 

Big Eyes chronicles the story of Walter and Margaret Keane, who became known in the '50s and '60s for crafting one of the first mass-marketed art sensations. Their ocularly enhanced pictures were sold in petrol stations and small stores around the US. In a sexist twist reflecting the age, it was Walter alone who became famous for the pictures, parlaying the fiction that he created them into TV talk-show stardom. But it was Margaret who actually did the work, and claimed her share of the profits when she and Walter divorced. To prove her ownership in court, the judge ordered a paint-off between the pair.

This has been a passion project of Ed Wood writing team Larry Karaszewski and Scott Alexander, who harboured dreams of directing it themselves. But after a long development process that saw versions, including one starring Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Reynolds, come and go, they put that aside when Burton boarded the project.

Big Eyes, which also stars Danny Huston, Jason Schwartzman, Krysten Ritter and Terence Stamp, will arrive here on December 26. 

Toby Kebbell In Talks For Ben-Hur

Fri, 19 Sep 2014 09:53:33 GMT

Toby Kebbell In Talks For Ben-Hur

He's up for the role of the villainous Messala


Toby Kebbell just can’t stay away from the dark side. After thrilling cinemagoers as driven simian Koba in Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes earlier this year, he’s recently finished a stint as Doctor Doom in The Fantastic Four. To follow those, he’s now in talks to play the main antagonist in Timur Bekmambetov’s take on Ben-Hur.

Kebbell entering talks comes on the heels of Boardwalk Empire veteran Jack Huston landing the title role and Morgan Freeman signing on in support.

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

Freeman will be the man to train our hero in the ways of the race. 12 Years A Slave’s John Ridley wrote the most recent draft of the script and Bekmambetov is aiming at a February 19, 2016 release here before the film heads to the states on February 26.

As for Kebbell, The Fantastic Four arrives here on June 18 next year (though the US release date has just changed, so watch this space), with Duncan Jones’ Warcraft set for March 11, 2016. He’s currently at work on Juan Antonio Bayona’s fantasy drama A Monster Calls.

Podcast #129: Liam Neeson, The Riot Clubbers

Fri, 19 Sep 2014 09:53:31 GMT

Podcast #129: Liam Neeson, The Riot Clubbers

Take them on, on your own

The Empire Podcast breaks new ground this week, as just one person interviews five different people... at once. Give a warm Empire welcome, then, to Max Irons, Sam Claflin, Douglas Booth, Holliday Grainger and Jessica Brown Findlay, all dropping by to talk (in a rather posh fashion) about The Riot Club. Oh, and some guy called Liam Neeson turns up in honour of A Walk Among The Tombstones (whoever he is).

In the non-interview portion of the podcast, the team review both of the aforementioned films, and discuss such worthy topics "What's the best slap in cinematic history?" and whether Ben-Hur goes on for too long.

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.

Ang Lee Directing Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk

Fri, 19 Sep 2014 09:38:04 GMT

Ang Lee Directing Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk

He's set for the novel adaptation


In development for at least a couple of years at Film4, the adaptation of Ben Fountain’s novel Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk has won not only additional support from TriStar but now a director. Ang Lee has made a deal to make the film as his follow-up to Life Of Pi.

Adapted by Slumdog Millionaire writer Simon Beaufoy, the book’s story follows the titular 19-year-old soldier, who along with his squad has survived a tough battle in Iraq that made headlines and turned the troops into instant celebrities.

Shipped home for a promotional tour by the army, they’re scheduled to return to combat after the final engagement of the trip, a halftime show of a Thanksgiving Day American football game in Texas. As the game progresses, we see flashbacks to what Billy and his platoon endured in the heat of battle. The novel received rave reviews and is described as alternately heartbreaking and hilarious, so it should be something Lee can get his teeth into.

The director is still developing his planned 3D boxing film set around the Thrilla In Manila fight between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier, but budget issues surrounding the VFX and style of the film are causing delays. This could be a way for Lee to make something equally good while he sorts that movie out.

Rian Johnson Talks About His Star Wars Experience So Far

Fri, 19 Sep 2014 09:38:03 GMT

Rian Johnson Talks About His Star Wars Experience So Far

'It's the most fun I’ve ever had writing...'


We were definitely excited when Looper and Breaking Bad director Rian Johnson was selected to craft Star Wars: Episode VIII and, most likely, Episode IX. From the sounds of his recent reports on the new job, his experience working within the revitalised franchise is more positive than even he expected. Now the below doesn't have much in the way of new information about the films, unsurprisingly, but should reassure people that Johnson feels creatively inspired by the whole Lucasfilm vision.

A lifelong Star Wars fan, Johnson is enthusiastic about the work, which helps assuage some worries that directors with vision are being hired and then yoked into a system that negates what they can bring to the work. Chatting to Terry Gilliam on the TalkHouse Podcast, Johnson was positive about his time so far, even though it’s early days.

“I’m just starting into it, but so far it’s the most fun I’ve ever had writing. It’s just joyous,” he says. “The first movies I was making in my head were part of this world, so part of it is a direct connection – it’s almost like an automatic jacking-in into childhood in a weird way.”

And what has he faced so far? “I’m figuring it out as I go. I’m dancing on top of the avalanche a little bit. But it’s a challenge of remembering what inspires you about the original films, but I think you can probably go to the wrong place by feeling too responsible to it. You have to keep your head loose enough to tell a story you actually care about.”

He also has nothing but praise for his collaborators on this mammoth endeavour. “Kathleen and her whole creative team have been so insistent on all the filmmakers they’ve been hiring for these new movies: ‘We want you to take it and turn it into something that you really care about.’ And we’ll see how the process plays out. Because that just seems like their attitude towards it. It’s really exciting actually.”

For more from Johnson (and Gilliam), check out the first part of the podcast at the bottom of the page.

J.J. Abrams is currently shooting Episode VII, which features John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Gwendoline Christie, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Lupita Nyong'o and Max von Sydow, plus saga veterans Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew and Kenny Baker. The film will be out on December 18, 2015. If Disney keeps to its planned schedule, Episode VIII is set for 2017.

Fox Announces Deadpool Movie For 2016

Fri, 19 Sep 2014 09:22:52 GMT

Fox Announces Deadpool Movie For 2016

Tim Miller still attached to direct


After years strolling the halls of Development Limbo, it appears the merc with a mouth is finally getting his moment. Yes, 20th Century Fox has officially announced a Deadpool film for February 12, 2016.

The fan-favourite Marvel character has long been in demand for his own film following a less-than-pleasing big screen introduction in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Wade Wilson deserves better and there has been script after script written, with Zombieland Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick two of the primary contributors.

VFX veteran Tim Miller is now confirmed to direct the new film and, given the man’s enthusiasm for the role, Ryan Reynolds is likely to be back as Deadpool himself, though no deal is in place yet.

The announcement comes soon after test footage for the new film found its way online, with Reynolds telling the Niagara Falls Review it definitely helped the project’s case. "The movie has been in a state of limbo for a while. There was such an overpowering reaction to the footage, you sort of feel like, 'Oh, so we weren't crazy for our reasons for loving this character, for loving this role.' It's interesting to see the power of the Internet. It's awe-inspiring, actually. And it's neat that Twitter and Facebook and Instagram can move mountains when used in the right way."

In related Fox release date news, it appears that the Assassin’s Creed adaptation won’t be ready in time for 2015, and the studio has moved it from its August 7 release date in the States to an unspecified 2016 spot. That's not entirely surprising at this point; we'd have heard more about it if it had moved into full production and it would now struggle to make that date. The Fantastic Four is moving to take its place in the US, with no word yet on how that might affect the UK release, which was set for next June. The studio has also slotted in John Green novel adaptation Paper Towns for June 19.

Adam McKay Is Directing New Comedy

Fri, 19 Sep 2014 09:07:20 GMT

Adam McKay Is Directing New Comedy

From Parks And Recreation's Ben Schwartz


Writer/producer/directors such as Judd Apatow and Anchorman’s Adam McKay have a long history of finding other talent and shepherding their films to the screen. In this instance, McKay is partnering with Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg to direct a new, untitled comedy based on a pitch from Parks And Recreation actor Ben Schwartz.

As well as writing, Schwartz plans to co-star in the film, about which almost nothing is known. He’s had experience writing on other projects though, including an Emmy win thanks to the music and lyrics of Hugh Jackman’s Oscar hosting opening number, and he's also a respected comedian and fiendish improviser.

"Evan and Seth have been doing amazing things and we're so excited to work with them. Ben, not so much," McKay said in a typically funny statement carried by The Hollywood Reporter. "Most of my problems with him are personal ones, but I have to give it up. He did come up with a great idea."

As for Evan and Seth, they’re just as happy. “Every 2,000 years, the planets of our galaxy align in a perfect line that funnels the cosmic energies of the universe to flow into one perfect comedic collaboration. The time is now. This is that project. Nothing will ever be the same. McKay and Schwartz are real smart, well-endowed guys, and we couldn't be more excited to be working with them.”

Good Universe, which worked with Goldberg and Rogen on Bad Neighbours, is gearing up to back the eventual comedy. Schwartz will be back on the big screen in Shawn Levy’s This Is Where I Leave You, out here on October 24. He’s also part of the cast for Robert Zemeckis’ Philippe Petit film The Walk, landing on October 2 next year. And before that, he’s in Rogen and Goldberg’s latest directorial effort The Interview, scheduled for February 6 next year.

First Trailer For A Most Violent Year

Fri, 19 Sep 2014 09:07:19 GMT

First Trailer For A Most Violent Year

Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain will make it. Even if it kills them

Following his well-received debut with Margin Call and the excellent Robert Redford drama All Is Lost, we’ve been waiting with anticipation to see something from writer/director J.C. Chandor’s next film, A Most Violent Year. The first trailer has now arrived and can be watched below. 

Chandor’s latest finds him back in Manhattan, unspooling a story that takes place during the summer of 1981 when the city's crime has risen to extreme levels.

Isaac is Abel Morales, an immigrant who is trying to grow his heating oil business. But the dangerous streets of the big city cause more and more problems, and Morales finds that his ethics are malleable as he fights to keep his company going with the aid of his equally tough wife, Anna (Jessica Chastain). As the year progresses, their tactics become less scrupulous and the authorities start to take an interest…

Albert Brooks, David Oyelowo, Alessandro Nivola and Catalina Sandino Moreno are all part of the cast for A Most Violent Year, which lands in the US and here on December 31. Does it have awards potential? We'll see...

New Interstellar Poster Lands

Fri, 19 Sep 2014 08:51:50 GMT

New Interstellar Poster Lands

Matthew McConaughey looks to the stars

A couple of days ago, we brought you the world exclusive first look at the official poster for Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar, featuring a space suited-and-booted Matthew McConaughey exploring an alien world. Another new image has arrived online, this one very much set on our planet. Check out the pic below courtesy of Yahoo. {Yahoo Interstellar Poster}

Though a lot of the details are still under wraps thanks to Nolan’s lifelong quest to keep a little mystery alive in cinema, we do know the film finds the Earth dying thanks to overpopulation, climate change and general mishandling by its supposedly most intelligent occupants. McConaughey plays Cooper, assigned as the leader of an astronaut crew of scientists and engineers who must explore potential new homes for humanity as opened up by wormhole theories. You can actually learn more about the film in the new tie-in game, which seems a little too detailed for a Nolan film at this stage at the game, but take a look.

The film also stars Jessica Chastain, Anne Hathaway, Topher Grace, Casey Affleck, Wes Bentley, Michael Caine and John Lithgow. Interstellar hits UK cinemas on November 7, and you can read much more about it in the November issue of Empire, which will hit shelves on Thursday, September 25. You have probably already seen the subscribers’ cover, and we’ll be unveiling the newsstand version early next week.

Sony Wants Channing Tatum To Be Struck By Genius

Fri, 19 Sep 2014 08:51:49 GMT

Sony Wants Channing Tatum To Be Struck By Genius

The story of a real-life brain mystery


Channing Tatum is not a man content to stick purely to action movies and goofy comedies; he’s brave enough to try new things in front of and behind the camera with the likes of Magic Mike's script and production work, and his role in Foxcatcher. Sony is looking to work with him on another real-life tale, Struck By Genius.

The studio has bought the rights to Jason Padgett’s memoir, which details how the hard-partying college dropout was mugged at the age of 31, leaving him with traumatic brain injuries. In a twist of medical fate, he became the first documented case of what is known as acquired savant syndrome, resulting in the ability to see geometrical shapes everywhere and turning Padgett into a maths whizz.

It’s early days for this one and development is only just kicking in, but Tatum is attached via his company, Free Association Pictures, and will produce alongside partner Reid Carolin even if he doesn’t end up starring.

In Tatum acting news, Foxcatcher is set for release on January 9 next year. Before that, he’ll be heard in The Book Of Life, due October 24, and also has Jupiter Ascending on the way, with the Wachowskis’ latest sci-fi outing scheduled for February 6.

New Teaser Poster For The Imitation Game Arrives Online

Fri, 19 Sep 2014 08:51:49 GMT

New Teaser Poster For The Imitation Game Arrives Online

Cumberbatch's Turing adjusts his valves

The Imitation Game, about mathematical genius Alan Turing, is all set to open the BFI London Film Festival early next month. But if you can't wait that long for your next fix of so-hot-right-now star Benedict Cumberbatch, check out this new teaser poster for the film below.

{The Imitation Game Exclusive Poster}

The story chronicles Turing's work during World War II to break German codes and, most importantly, their formidably tough Enigma code. He did so with the help of super-smart colleagues at Bletchley Park - played here by people like Keira Knightley and Matthew Goode - and sometimes despite the attentions of the authorities - embodied in the authoritative forms of Mark Strong and Charles Dance.


The Imitation Game will be opening the LFF on October 8, before hitting cinemas on November 14.{The Imitation Game}

Andie MacDowell And Jada Pinkett Smith Join Magic Mike XXL

Fri, 19 Sep 2014 08:51:48 GMT

Andie MacDowell And Jada Pinkett Smith Join Magic Mike XXL

She'll be part of the cast for the stripper sequel


Just yesterday, we were disappointed to learn that Matthew McConaughey is not currently part of the cast for stripper sequel Magic Mike XXL. Director Gregory Jacobs said then that there would be more casting announcements and it appears one of the deals has closed, as Andie MacDowell and Jada Pinkett Smith will be loading up on singles to stuff into thongs for the film.

All right, so we don’t know whether MacDowell will be in the audience or connected with one of the characters in other ways because very little about the plot and nothing about her character has been revealed. Less of a mystery on that front is Jada Pinkett Smith who, according to Deadline, is in talks to play a strip club owner.

What we do know so far is that star and co-writer Channing Tatum and his regular scripting/producing partner Reid Carolin are planning a very different experience for the Mike follow-up, which sees the strippers going on the road.

According to Variety, Alex Pettyfer is confirmed to return alongside Tatum, Joe Manganiello and Matt Bomer. Jacobs is set to kick off shooting shortly and the film will hit UK screens on August 7, 2015.