Empire Movie News

American Sniper Tops US Box Office Again

Sun, 01 Feb 2015 20:43:09 GMT

American Sniper Tops US Box Office Again

Project Almanac appears third


This past weekend can sometimes be a tough one for films in the States, as the Super Bowl eats up audiences on the Sunday that might otherwise be tempted out to the cinema. Still, that was clearly no challenge for American Sniper, which is continuing to break records and gross lots of money. The Bradley Cooper film earned $31.8 million, a new record for the Super Bowl weekend and is past $248.9 million in the States alone, according to studio estimates.

Clint Eastwood’s latest is looking like a possible challenger for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 as the highest-grossing film of 2014 and has snuck past The Matrix Reloaded to take the position as second-biggest R-rated release in US history. The rest of the charts, a mixture of newcomers and current releases, had a tough time in its wake though Paddington is proving to be an appealing family film, adding $8.505 million to its domestic box office total, which now stands at more than $50 million.

Project Almanac, directed by Dean Israelite and produced by Michael Bay, spun a tale of time-travelling teens that might end up challenging the cuddly bear in the final figures. The sci-fi story earned $8.5 million on its first weekend. Kevin Costner’s latest, the self-funded drama Black Or White overcame middling reviews to debut in fourth with $6.4 million. And sliding down the charts we find The Boy Next Door in fifth, taking home $6 million. 

Sixth place went to The Wedding Ringer, itself falling from fourth place with $5.7 million, while The Imitation Game slipped one place to seventh with $5.1 million. Taken 3 dropped to eighth and $3.6 million, while George Lucas’ fantasy animation Strange Magic struggled in ninth with $3.4 million.

Finally, arriving after a prolonged delay and greeted largely by jeers, crime thriller The Loft flopped into 10th on its first weekend, making just $2.8 million despite opening on 1,841 screens.

To see Bradley Cooper march past time travelling teenagers in the full chart listings, head to Box Office Mojo.

Geraldine McEwan 1932-2015

Sun, 01 Feb 2015 20:43:07 GMT

Geraldine McEwan 1932-2015

The versatile actress has died aged 82


She’s possibly most famous for taking over a beloved character and making it her own with Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple, but Geraldine McEwan has enjoyed a long career on stage and screen. She died at the age of 82 on Friday following a stroke in October.

Born in Old Windsor, she got her start acting early, making her debut at the age of 14 at the city’s Theatre Royale. She quickly graduated to London’s West End, and went on to join the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-Upon-Avon in 1961. There, she appeared in leading roles in plays such as Much Ado About Nothing Hamlet and Twelfth Night and ended up touring he world with various productions.

On the West End stage, she originated a leading role in Joe Orton’s Loot and appeared on Broadway in The School For Scandal, The Private Ear And The Public Eye and The Chairs, which won her a Tony nomination. Alongside contemporaries such as Albert Finney, Christopher Plummer and Laurence Olivier, she worked with the Royal National Theatre on plays including A Flea In Her Ear, Oh Coward! and The Browning Version, finding herself at the Olivier Awards in 1976 nominated in two separate categories.

She left her mark on television with more than just Marple – McEwan won praise for her work in The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie, the 1985 take on Mapp & Lucia and Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit, for which she won a TV BAFTA. More recently, she has appeared in Red Dwarf and Mulberry. On the big screen, she contributed memorable character work to films such as Henry V, Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves, Love’s Labour’s Lost, Vanity Fair and The Magdalene Sisters.

McEwan is survived by her son Greg and daughter Claudia. Our thoughts are with her family. 

James Franco Directing In Dubious Battle

Sun, 01 Feb 2015 20:43:07 GMT

James Franco Directing In Dubious Battle

Bryan Cranston, Vincent D’Onofrio and Robert Duvall all set to star


Continuing his crusade to adapt all the books on his shelves, James Franco has corralled an impressive cast for his latest starring/directing gig. He’ll oversee Selena Gomez, Vincent D’Onofrio, Robert Duvall, Ed Harris, Bryan Cranston and Danny McBride in a film version of John Steinbeck’s In Dubious Battle.

Set in a fictionalized valley in California, the story explores themes Steinbeck continued to develop: group behaviour, social injustice, man’s inhumanity to man. A labour conflict between migrant apple pickers and the local growers’ association is the backdrop against which Jim Nolan (Franco) becomes involved in the labour movement and rapidly matures as he learns what it means to do organizational fieldwork. 

Franco’s As I Lay Dying collaborator Matt Rager has written the script, adapting the 1936 tome. The film is scheduled to start shooting next month, though there’s no word yet on which characters the rest of the cast will play. The film’s international distribution rights will be up for sale at the Berlin Festival next week.

As for Franco, he’ll next be on our screens in Seth Rogen’s The Interview, which arrives on Friday. He’ll also be seen in a variety of films including Queen Of The Desert, True Story and Sundance success I Am Michael

Elijah Wood Joins The Trust

Sun, 01 Feb 2015 20:43:06 GMT

Elijah Wood Joins The Trust

He'll co-star with Nicolas Cage


Elijah Wood is a brave man. There was a time when co-starring in a Nicolas Cage film meant you had a shot at something like The Rock or Con Air. These days, it’s much more hit-and-miss, as for every Joe there are such stinkers as Left Behind and Rage. Still, Wood is taking that gamble, signing on to co-star in The Trust.

He’s taking over a role that had originally been earmarked for Jack Huston (who will presumably be busy with Ben-Hur), and will see the pair as dodgy cops on the look out for a fresh payday. When they discover a mysterious safe that has unusual safeguards, they naturally covet the contents, which leads them even deeper into the criminal underworld, threatens their lives and leaves them questioning their next move…

Alex and Ben Brewer are handling the directing chores, working from a script that the former wrote with Adam Hirsch. While they’d hoped to shoot last year, the cameras should be finally whirring in the coming months.

Wood, who has become almost more prolific as a producer than an actor recently, co-starred in The Last Witch Hunter alongside Vin Diesel. That one is set to arrive here on November 6. 

Game Of Thrones Launches Season 5 Trailer

Sun, 01 Feb 2015 20:43:05 GMT

Game Of Thrones Launches Season 5 Trailer

They could be heroes (and villains)

Following an IMAX screening of two season four episodes a couple of days ago, HBO played a trailer for the next batch of episodes, due to hit in April. Naturally, it arrived online in slightly echoing, out-of-focus leaked fashion, but is now officially up for you to start hunting for clues as to where the next season will take the various characters.

As already announced, at least one plot line – Bran Stark and co. – won’t be in this season as the focus shifts to more of Tyrion (Peter Dinklage), who along with Varys (Conleith Hill) has arrived in Pentos and start thinking about who they might support to take the Iron Throne: Varys is pointing Tyrion in the direction of Daenerys (Emilia Clarke), who is busy trying to consolidate her rule. 

Elsewhere, Cersei (Lena Headey) and Jamie (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) are mourning their father, Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen) is continuing to exert influence on Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) and Kit Harington’s Jon Snow continues his military campaign.

There are also quick glances at some of the new characters showing up this year, including Keisha Castle-Hughes’ Obara Sand and plenty of what we’ve come to expect from the show: clashes, cunning, casual nudity and some stylish cinematography. Game Of Thrones should be back on UK screens via Sky Atlantic on or around April 13. And in related Thrones news, George R.R. Martin’s publisher HarperCollins has warned the world not to expect the sixth book, The Winds Of Winter, this year. Keep on waiting...

Jamie Foxx Planning A Sleepless Night

Sun, 01 Feb 2015 20:43:04 GMT

Jamie Foxx Planning A Sleepless Night

Michelle Monaghan is also set for the remake


If a film is a success in France, chances are it’ll end up squarely in the sights of an American studio for a remake. In this case, Warner Bros. was quick to scoop up the rights to Sleepless Night, a ticking-clock crime thriller, with Jamie Foxx expressing interest in starring. But the studio decided not to move ahead and now Open Road has leapt on the chance to produce it with Foxx and Michelle Monaghan starring.

Swiss director Baran bo Odar is aboard to make the film, with Andrea Berloff adapting the 2011 original for American audiences. Foxx is set to play a cop with connections to the criminal underworld that finds his family – specifically his son – in danger when he double-crosses some very bad people. The title refers to him scouring a nightclub and, presumably some of a city, to find his kidnapped child. Open Road is looking to sell off the international rights at the Berlin Film Festival market, which kicks off next week. 

Foxx has several project on the go, including Harmony Korine’s The Trap and crime drama Mean Business On North Ganson Street. He’s also attached to a Mike Tyson biopic. Monaghan, last seen in The Best Of Me, will show up in Adam Sandler’s video game character comedy Pixels, which lands in the UK on August 14. 

Peter Berg In Talks To Take Over Deepwater Horizon

Sun, 01 Feb 2015 20:43:03 GMT

Peter Berg In Talks To Take Over Deepwater Horizon

J.C. Chandor has left the film


You might have heard All Is Lost/A Most Violent Year director J.C. Chandor talking up his preparations for his most ambitious film yet, Deepwater Horizon, on the Empire podcast a couple of weeks ago (if not, find it below). Now, though it appears that creative differences have reared their heads and Chandor has manned the lifeboats before shooting has begun. According to Deadline, Lone Survivor’s Peter Berg is in talks to replace him

Summit Entertainment has been moving quickly to find a new shot-caller for the based-on-reality drama, which will star Mark Wahlberg as the second-in-command on the BP oil rig in the 48 hours up leading up to the disaster and the day itself. The behind-the-scenes tale will highlight stories of real-life heroism around the incident, which were not made public at the time but appeared in the script’s source material, the New York Times article titled Deepwater Horizon’s Final Hour. The paper’s piece chronicled how 11 people were killed and 16 injured when the rig blew.

Berg would seem to be a natural choice for this one, since it would reunite him with Lone Survivor’s Wahlberg and writer Matthew Michael Carnahan, who adapted the script and worked on The Kingdom with the director. He’ll need to sign on and get to work swiftly if he does agree, though – the cameras are scheduled to start rolling in April. 

Rose Byrne Back For X-Men: Apocalypse

Sun, 01 Feb 2015 20:43:01 GMT

Rose Byrne Back For X-Men: Apocalypse

Moira MacTaggert will return


She might have skipped X-Men: Days Of Future Past (having your memory wiped will do that to you, not to mention the already overstuffed cast that didn’t leave much room for her story) but Rose Byrne’s CIA agent Moira MacTaggert is set to come roaring back into Professor Xavier’s life in X-Men: Apocalypse.

Entertainment Weekly got word from Apocalypse screenwriter Simon Kinberg, who revealed that she will be back despite finishing First Class with no memory of Charles or the rest of the mutant team. “She’s a significant character in the movie,” says Kinberg. "They are, essentially, strangers to her when she meets them. It’s certainly a rich relationship that we started to dig into in First Class, and would like to mine more in this one.”

With the new film set in the 1980s and seeing Xavier (James McAvoy), Magneto (Michael Fassbender) and Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) facing off against massively powerful mutant Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac), the story also sees younger versions of Jean Grey, Scott “Cyclops” Summers and Ororo “Storm” Munroe, to be played by Sophie Turner, Tye Sheridan and Alexandra Shipp respectively.

Bryan Singer is set to kick off work on the film shortly in Montreal, ready for a May 19, 2016 release in the UK. Byrne will next be seen in Paul Feig’s latest comedy, Spy, which hits here on 5 June. 

Ted 2 Trailer Slides Online

Fri, 30 Jan 2015 13:12:57 GMT

Ted 2 Trailer Slides Online

Can Ted prove he's a person?

The teaser poster effectively foretold this event and the day has arrived at last: the first trailer for Seth MacFarlane’s Ted 2 is upon us. Prepare to look upon jokes about semen, legal briefs, Samuel L. Jackson and more… 

Naturally inclined to indulge in more toy bear-comes-to-life madness after the 2012 film was a massive success at the box office, the sequel sees co-writer director/voice of Ted MacFarlane and human sidekick Mark Wahlberg back for a lot more body fluid humour in the story of Ted’s attempt to prove he’s a person in the eyes of the law.

Our furry hero, see, has married his girlfriend Tami-Lynn (Jessica Barth) and now the pair wants to have a baby. There are just two tiny impediments to this plan: Ted has no... how to put this tastefully… swimmers... and so will need the help of Wahlberg’s John as a donor. And to become a parent, he needs to be recognised as a legal person, so he consults a lawyer (Amanda Seyfried’s Samantha L. Jackson) and gets some help from a legendary civil rights legality crusader, played by Morgan Freeman. But lest you think it’s all suddenly a high-minded courtroom drama, there’s plenty of lowbrow humour to be found plus vehicular mayhem and another scrap between the thunder buddies. Oh, and Patrick Stewart on narrator duty. {Ted 2 Teaser Poster}

Ted 2 also features the likes Of Liam Neeson, Patrick Warburton, Dennis Haysbert, Michael Dorn, Richard Schiff, Martin Klebba, Sam Jones and Ron Canada. It darkens our cinematic doorway on July 10. 

Jay Roach Rounds Up Mad Dogs

Fri, 30 Jan 2015 13:12:56 GMT

Jay Roach Rounds Up Mad Dogs

He'll direct the action comedy


In recent years, Meet The Parents director Jay Roach has turned his attention more towards political subjects as with HBO TV movies Recount and Game Change and the Will Ferrell/Zach Galifianakis comedy The Campaign. While his latest film, Trumbo is a lot more serious, he’s looking to get back into funnier territory with Mad Dogs.

Wes Jones is attached to use Six Days Of The Condor author James Grady’s eponymous book as the launching pad for a conspiracy-tinged script about three dysfunctional people working low-level jobs in US intelligence. When their bosses become convince that they’re crazy, the trio is packed off to a government psychiatric hospital for espionage types, where they soon begin to fear that the higher-ups want them dead. Clearly they know too much and have to plot an escape plan, but they also need to figure out exactly what it is that has gotten them into hot water...

Grady’s work was previously turned into one of the landmark conspiracy thrillers with 1975’s Three Days Of The Condor. This probably won’t help to anchor a genre, but it could at least be good for a laugh.

Roach’s Trumbo, about blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo will be out in the US this year but appears scheduled to arrive over here in 2016. The director and Jones are already busy collaborating on a project, The Brink, an HBO political comedy starring Jack Black and Tim Robbins about the American government and military trying to head off a geopolitical crisis.

Insurgent Super Bowl Ad Launches

Fri, 30 Jan 2015 13:12:56 GMT

Insurgent Super Bowl Ad Launches

Tris is The One

If you saw the latest poster for The Divergent Series: Insurgent that arrived online yesterday (if not, it’s sitting lower down the page), you might have been forgiven for thinking that director Robert Schwentke and his team were going for a full-on Matrix tribute. The new advert for the film, ready to be aired before the Super Bowl in the States this weekend, will definitely give you that feeling.

The latest, brief teaser goes heavy on Matrix-style gravity-defying imagery, slow-mo and things shattering as Shailene Woodley’s Tris takes on an apparently virtual Jeanine (Kate Winslet). And as she falls from an imploding building, the title pages make it clear: Tris is the one. 

Adapting Veronica Roth’s second book, Insurgent finds her on the run in future Chicago as she and Four (Theo James) evade the power-hungry Erudite leadership. They’ll have to track down what Tris’s family gave their lives to protect, and Tris must face up to her choices as she unlocks the truth about the past and the future of their world. {Main Insurgent Poster}  With Octavia Spencer, Jai Courtney, Ray Stevenson, Zoë Kravitz, Miles Teller, Ansel Elgort, Maggie Q, Mekhi Phifer and Naomi Watts among the cast, The Divergent Series: Insurgent will be out here on March 20.

Noam Murro Says Blink

Fri, 30 Jan 2015 13:12:55 GMT

Noam Murro Says Blink

On to direct a new thriller


He managed to channel Zack Snyder’s OTT style with 300: Rise Of An Empire, but for his next film, Noam Murro is looking to get back to something original. He’s signed on to direct a thriller called Blink.

Hernany Perla’s script follows what happens when a man is left paralysed after a famous and still-unsolved bank robbery. When criminals kidnap him and hold him hostage, determined to pry the secrets of the incident out of his head, he’s forced to outwit his captors. The twist is that he can only control his eyes, and he’s got to figure out the big mystery of the heist.

Atlas Independent wants this one up and shooting in the summer, so expect the casting announcements to come thick and fast. The central role promises to be a challenging one, at the very least.

Murro is also attached to direct the comedy drama All Families Are Psychotic, but that one will likely have to remain sitting in development for now, as Blink is on a much faster track.

Rachael Taylor Join's Marvel's A.K.A. Jessica Jones

Fri, 30 Jan 2015 13:12:54 GMT

Rachael Taylor Join's Marvel's A.K.A. Jessica Jones

She'll play Trish Walker


The rate of casting announcements for the second of the Marvel/Netflix series, A.K.A. Jessica Jones, is increasing. With David Tennant now set as the villainous Purple Man, the forces of good got a boost with word that Rachael Taylor will play Jones’s best friend and confidante, Patricia “Trish” Walker on the show.

Trish, a former model and child TV star, hosts a syndicated radio talk show and is Jessica's (Krysten Ritter) closest friend. Jessica will need all the help she can get, as after suffering serious PTSD following her brief run as a superhero, she sets up a detective agency and ends up helping people with extraordinary abilities.

The character is a star and a powerhouse, and required an actress who is both,” says show-runner Melissa Rosenberg. “Rachael is all that and more!”

“Rachael's ability to embody a character that must balance both the darker and lighter elements of our series will provide a perfect emotional anchor for Jessica Jones,” says Jeph Loeb, executive producer/Marvel Head of Television. “Rachael blew us away with her grounded, humanising take on Trish, adding yet another layer to the complex, emotional story we’re telling with this series.”

With Mike Colter on board to play Luke Cage, A.K.A. Jessica Jones will debut on Netflix later this year. The first out of the gate, Daredevil, hits the small screen streets on April 10. 

Terminator Genisys Super Bowl Spot Online

Fri, 30 Jan 2015 13:12:53 GMT

Terminator Genisys Super Bowl Spot Online

Watch out for back-flipping buses...

This weekend sees the biggest event in the American Football sporting calendar: the Super Bowl. And with it comes a raft of expensive adverts for all sorts of things, including some of the big movies hitting cinemas in the coming months. Once relegated to airing during the game itself, the TV spots now arrive in advance. Here’s the effort from the Terminator Genisys team.

It’s essentially a cut-down selection of footage from the recent trailer, arranged so as to cram in as much about the story as is possible in a 30-second commercial. The story branches off from the original in that it still sees Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) volunteering to go back in time and save John Connor's (Jason Clarke) mother, Sarah (Emilia Clarke), only to discover that the timeline has been tinkered with and things are very different. This is not the be-permed, everywoman Sarah we met in 1984’s The Terminator. Instead, this Sarah lost her parents to a Terminator attack but was raised to be a warrior by an ageing version of Arnie’s T-800. And Kyle will need her help when an Asian model of the morphing metal T-1000 (Byung-hun Lee) threatens his life.

The spot has plenty of Arnold Schwarzenegger as the older Terminator - there’s a new picture of him below - with Clarke and Courtney present and correct. Still no glimpse of Matt Smith or J.K. Simmons, though. {Terminator Genisys Old Arnie Still}

Terminator Genisys will use a portal to arrive in our cinemas on July 3.

Meet The New Jurassic World Dino

Fri, 30 Jan 2015 13:12:52 GMT

Meet The New Jurassic World Dino

Indominus Rex, what big teeth you have...

Kept almost totally off screen in the trailers so far, Jurassic World’s big addition – and we do mean big –  to the dino family has now been revealed. Well, sort of. Some new imagery on the official site for the film offers some details on the giant creature known as Indominus Rex. {Jurassic World Indominus Rex Imagery}  Planned as the big new attraction at the sprawling dino theme park (because clearly Raptors, T-Rexes and huge aquatic beasts have become passé), the new beast is a genetic hybrid bred to be even more savage and imposing than the current residents. Which, as you might guess, doesn’t exactly lead to good things when it breaks loose. Other things breaking loose? Hell, customers’ bladder control, law and order...

Here’s the description from the official site for the dinosaur whose name means Fierce or Untameable King and who appears destined to live up to that: “We set out to make Indominus the most fearsome dinosaur ever to be displayed at Jurassic World. The genetic engineers at our Hammond Creation Lab have more than delivered. At first glance, Indominus most closely resembles a T. Rex. But its distinctive head ornamentation and ultra-tough bony osteoderms can be traced from Theropods known as Abeliosaurs. Indominus’ horns have been placed above the eye orbit through genetic material hybridized from Carnotaurus, Majungasaurus, Rugops and Giganotosaurus. Fearsome indeed.

“Indominus’ roar is estimated to reach 140-160db—the same as a 747 taking off and landing. And it can reach speeds of 30 mph… while confined to its enclosure. Come experience Indominus Rex for yourself beginning this summer. If you dare.” 

Those who will have to dare to face this thing include Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard, while Vincent D’Onofrio, Jake Johnson, Nick Robinson, Omar Sy, BD Wong and Ty Simpkins are also on board. Jurassic World is out here on June 12. We’ve a feeling Indominus might have a more prominent place in the Super Bowl TV spot that is roaring towards us even now.

Karl Urban Joins Pete's Dragon Remake

Fri, 30 Jan 2015 13:12:51 GMT

Karl Urban Joins Pete's Dragon Remake

He's replacing Michael C. Hall


It would appear that Michael C. Hall is allergic to dragons. Actually, there isn’t a given reason why he’s decided to leave the new Pete’s Dragon film, but it means good news for Karl Urban fans as the Star Trek actor has stepped in to replace him.

Ain’t Them Bodies Saints director David Lowery is busy putting the new version of the story together, working from a script he co-wrote with Toby Halbrooks. It’s Disney’s latest attempt to conjure a fresh take on one of its catalogue titles, this time the live-action/animation-blend 1977 film which saw a young lad befriend a magical dragon. 

The new movie will apparently deviate from the original, not by having the dragon turn evil and go all Smaug on the local town, but by stripping out the musical element and injecting an environmental message into the story.

Robert Redford, Bryce Dallas Howard (who is surely nervous about working with giant reptiles after Jurassic World) and Wes Bentley are on the roster alongside Oakes Fegley, who plays Pete. The film is scheduled to arrive in the US on August 12 next year, but there’s no set UK date yet.

First Look At The Enfield Haunting

Fri, 30 Jan 2015 12:26:30 GMT

First Look At The Enfield Haunting

Who you gonna Spall?

Amityville, the Black Hills of Maryland, Eden Lake… Enfield? Okay, the sleepy north London suburb isn’t as synonymous with horror as those other locales, but residents might beg to differ. The Enfield Haunting, a Sky Living drama capturing the spooky goings-on that took place in the Hodgson household in 1977, will, judging by these first-look stills, be both clammily scary and full of outlandish ‘70s fashions. Any malign presence undeterred by Timothy Spall’s demonic shirt/jacket/tie combo immediately has our fear and respect.

{The Enfield Haunting First Look Pics}

Spall stars as Maurice Grosse, a newcomer to the world of paranormal research and a man recovering from recent tragedy. He finds himself drawn in by the strange events of Green Street, EN3. Before you can say “Don’t go there!”, Britain’s answer to Peter Venkman begins investigating the poltergeisty phenomonon, as his wife, Betty (Juliet Stevenson), finds out to her increasing dismay.

The third factor here is Matthew Macfadyen’s Guy Lyon Playfair. He’s the more sceptical mind of the two, trying to keep Maurice’s theories to more “plausible” areas. Considering the show is based on Lyon Playfair’s book This House Is Haunted, maybe he came round to Maurice’s way of thinking after all.

Also co-starring are Rosie Cavaliero, Eleanor Worthington-Cox, Fern Deacon and Elliot Kerley, with The Killing's Kristoffer Nyholm behind the camera. Catch The Enfield Haunting across three 60-minute episodes in the spring.

New Avengers: Age Of Ultron TV Spot

Fri, 30 Jan 2015 12:26:29 GMT

New Avengers: Age Of Ultron TV Spot

'You've meddled with something you don't understand...'

It might not be receiving the Super Bowl TV spot treatment, but Marvel has made sure we’re all still anticipating Avengers: Age Of Ultron with a new ad. Cue the heroes squabbling and the robotic drones causing havoc…

There is a lot here that we’ve seen in previous trailers, but some of those moments are expanded upon and you’ll find plenty of new footage lurking within the relatively short trail.

Among the highlights this time? Plenty of mystery about a strange medical procedure, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) accusing Tony (Robert Downey Jr.) of meddling in things he doesn’t understand, more Hulk versus Hulkbuster action and James Spader’s technological terror Ultron threatening to tear the team apart from the inside. And if the growing tension between them present here is any indication, he might just succeed...

With Scarlett Johansson, Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, Samuel L. Jackson, Don Cheadle, Elizabeth Olsen, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Stellan Skarsgård, Cobie Smulders and Paul Bettany all put through their paces by writer/director Joss Whedon, Avengers: Age Of Ultron lands in the UK on April 24, before heading Stateside on May 1. For some exclusive peeks behind the scenes of the film, pick up the latest Empire in traditional magazine and digital formats.

John Wick Duo Wanted To Direct Cowboy Ninja Viking

Fri, 30 Jan 2015 01:05:04 GMT

John Wick Duo Wanted To Direct Cowboy Ninja Viking

David Leitch and Chad Stahelski may corral Chris Pratt


They’ve made a huge impact Stateside with their directorial debut, Keanu Reeves vengeance thriller John Wick, and now studios are courting David Leitch and Chad Stahelski. Universal has them in early talks to direct genre-mash graphic novel adaptation Cowboy Ninja Viking.

Chris Pratt is attached to star in the film, and according to Variety, has met with the pair to give them his seal of approval. Cowboy Ninja Viking adapts the Image Comics title from writer A.J. Lieberman and artist Riley Rossmo about secret counter-intelligence agents with multiple personality disorders. Various suitable candidates for the 'Triplet' programme were brought together by psychotherapist Dr. Sebastian Ghislain, but when the project collapsed, the subjects went their own ways as hired assassins.

Pratt will play Duncan, the man with the titular personalities rattling around inside his brain to be brought out for use when he needs them. Universal wants this one to pick up speed, particularly as Pratt is a man in demand at the moment. He already has Antoine Fuqua’s Magnificent Seven remake on his schedule and is committed to Guardians Of The Galaxy 2, while other possibilities remain strictly in the rumour temple for now.

Leitch and Stahelski’s (only the latter got directing credit thanks to guild rules, but they worked together) thriller will finally arrive for UK cinemagoers on April 10. 

Podcast 146: Alex Garland, Paul Thomas Anderson

Thu, 29 Jan 2015 17:20:35 GMT

Podcast 146: Alex Garland, Paul Thomas Anderson

It's a kind of magic...

It's a directorial double-header this week, with Ex Machina's Alex Garland and Inherent Vice's Paul Thomas Anderson on the show to talk about their respective movies and a hell of a lot more (think, um, baths). Also, a franchise discussion bonanza - the question being: is anything sacred?

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.