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Empire Movie News


Felicity Jones Joins A Monster Calls

Thu, 24 Apr 2014 00:33:00 GMT

Felicity Jones Joins A Monster Calls

Juan Antonio Bayona's new fantasy pic

Felicity-Jones-Joins-A-Monster-Calls

Last month, news broke that The Impossible’s director Juan Antonio Bayona would be headed into fantasy territory for an adaptation of A Monster Calls. He’s putting the cast together, with word that Felicity Jones has landed a major role.

Writer Patrick Ness has adapted his own novel for the film, which was itself based on an original idea by Siobhan Dowd. A Monster Calls follows a boy who tries to deal with his mother’s serious illness and bullying from classmates by escaping into a fantastical world full of beasts, heroes, warriors and more. His fairy tale life envelops courage, loss and faith and helps him handle his troubled existence.

Jones is set to play his mother, and Bayona is apparently looking to land Liam Neeson as the titular monster, though according to Deadline he’s still in early discussions and a deal is nowhere near complete. As for Jones’ more recent jobs, she’s on our screens now in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, will be seen alongside James Franco and Jonah Hill in True Story, is playing Jane Hawking in Stephen Hawking biopic Theory Of Everything and is attached to star as the title character in the based-on-the-Bard drama Rosaline.








Jackie Earle Haley Investigating Criminal Activities

Thu, 24 Apr 2014 00:32:59 GMT

Jackie Earle Haley Investigating Criminal Activities

He's directing the indie crime drama

Jackie-Earle-Haley-Investigates-Criminal-Activities

Jackie Earle Haley has done plenty of illegal things in the service of cinema, but only ever on screen. Now he’ll be encouraging others to break the law in the safe environs of the frame as he makes his film- directing debut with indie crime thriller Criminal Activities.

Haley has gathered a solid cast for his first time calling the shots, with John Travolta, Michael Pitt, Dan Stevens and Rebecca Da Costa on board to star alongside the director himself. The script follows four young men who reunite at a former classmate’s funeral. During the service, one of them drops some insider knowledge about a Wall Street stock and the group sees a chance to become millionaires. Unfortunately, the deal goes bad and they lose their investment, which is particularly bad news for one of them since he borrowed his share of the dosh from a mobster. See kids: even if you do think you’re on to a winner on the stock market, you don’t want to go borrowing cash from major criminals.

Once he’s rounded up the rest of his cast, Haley will kick off shooting in Cleveland this June.


New Trailer For Sin City: A Dame To Kill For

Thu, 24 Apr 2014 00:32:59 GMT

New Trailer For Sin City: A Dame To Kill For

Power is a fragile thing...

We saw the first trailer for Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez’ hard-boiled noir sequel Sin City: A Dame To Kill For early last month. Here comes the new, shorter promo, which features a batch of new footage and the expected blend of slinky hyper-sexuality and violence. 

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is among the newcomers to the City this time, starring in The Long Bad Night as Johnny, a gambler who loses more than he expects when he wins against the wrong opponent. And once again we have Mickey Rourke as Marv, whose stories (Just Another Saturday Night and the titular A Dame To Kill For) are set before the first film’s The Hard Goodbye. The title story will see him pitted against femme fatale Ava Lord (Eva Green) and teamed up with private eye Dwight McCarthy (Clive Owen and Josh Brolin; who play the troubled antihero before and after some facial tinkering.) 

{New Sin City 2 Images}

Miller once more adapted the stories, from his graphic novels for a session in front of green screens. All returning for a second shot are Bruce Willis as Detective John Hartigan, Rosario Dawson as Gail and Jamie King as Goldie and Wendy. And there are other new faces, including Ray Liotta, Jeremy Piven and Dennis Haysbert. Sin City: A Dame To Kill For crashes in on August 29.








Lupita Nyong'o & Scarlett Johansson In Talks For The Jungle Book

Thu, 24 Apr 2014 00:32:57 GMT

Lupita Nyong'o & Scarlett Johansson In Talks For The Jungle Book

Jon Favreau rounds up friends old and new

Lupita-Nyongo-&-Scarlett-Johansson-In-Talks-For-Jungle-Book

With her first Oscar under her belt for an amazing performance in 12 Years A Slave, people have been wondering where Lupita Nyong’o would head next in her career. According to The Hollywood Reporter, she’s in talks alongside Scarlett Johansson for Disney’s new live action/CG version of The Jungle Book.

Jon Favreau, who is tackling the updated adaptation of the Rudyard Kipling tale, is looking to cast Nyong’o as Rackcha, a mother wolf who initially adopts the human orphan Mowgli. Johansson, on the other hand, would bring her famously hypnotising pipes to voice Kaa, the snake who charms victims before killing and eating them.

Both actresses are in negotiations for the roles and no deals have been struck yet, but if they sign on, they’ll join Idris Elba, who is voicing lethal tiger Shere Khan. Favreau is still looking for an actor to play Mowgli, is working from a script by Justin Marks and looking to shooting this year for a 9 October, 2015 release date in the US before the film heads over here on 16 October. The Mouse House wants to push its Book into the world before Warner Bros.’ attempt, which has Andy Serkis set to direct.

Given that it’ll feature mostly voice duties and possibly some performance capture, the role would give Nyong’o space to book other films, though she’s still deciding what to do next. Johansson is at work on Avengers: Age Of Ultron and will be seen in Luc Besson’s action thriller Lucy, which arrives here on August 22.


William Hurt Leaves Midnight Rider

Wed, 23 Apr 2014 23:46:51 GMT

William Hurt Leaves Midnight Rider

As the producers scramble in the wake of a tragedy

William-Hurt-Leaves-Midnight-Rider

Midnight Rider, the new biopic of musician Greg Allman, has already been reeling from the tragic death of camera assistant Sarah Jones during location shooting in Georgia. Now, as the filmmakers figure out how to continue work, star William Hurt – who was playing Allman – has decided to leave the film.

The film is based on Allman’s biography and chronicles his career as a rock and blues singer-songwriter, keyboardist, guitarist and his founding of The Allman Brothers Band. Bottle Shock director Randall Miller has been attempting to relocate the shoot for the film to Los Angeles. But following the fatality when a train collided with film equipment on a bridge in February, he’s faced opposition from unions and actors to the idea. Jones’ death also spurred a series of tributes from other crews in both film and TV.

Hurt, who was among the cast on the bridge when the accident happens, was to have led a cast that also includes Bradley Whitford, Eliza Dushku, Joel David Moore and Charles S. Dutton. Despite a source telling Deadline that the filmmakers are now looking to recast several roles, the biopic’s future remains cloudy.








First Images From Jurassic World

Wed, 23 Apr 2014 23:46:48 GMT

First Images From Jurassic World

Bryce Dallas Howard is ready for her close-up

The dinosaurs are back, though they’re not quite finished in the make-up trailer to be seen just yet. Still, with filming underway for a couple of weeks now on Jurassic World, the first pictures have begun to emerge from the set via Entertainment Weekly. {Jurassic World images}

Jurassic World, which features Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Vincent D’Onofrio, Irrfan Khan, Nick Robinson and Ty Simpkins dealing with the requisite assortment of angry, hungry terrible lizards, has been rolling its cameras under the direction of Colin Trevorrow, and while EW’s report didn’t specify any plot details, we do know that the new film re-visits Isla Nublar (and heads elsewhere) more than two decades after the events depicted in Steven Spielberg’s first trip there. Trevorrow was a little more forthcoming to us, outlining the broader themes: “It’s about alpha dominance and the fact that humans have been the alpha species for a very long time", he explained, "and so now we’ve brought back another that happened to be the alpha species during its time, and we have to co-exist, so what is that relationship?”

He’s also gone on to talk about potential sequels, so if you’re after the full scoop on the film, you can head here. You’ll also want to look out for the new issue of Empire, which hits all good and evil newsagents today, and features our exclusive chat with Trevorrow alongside a wealth of contributions from a variety of directors. Jurassic World itself hits our cinemas on June 12 next year.


Sony Toys With Barbie Franchise

Wed, 23 Apr 2014 23:46:47 GMT

Sony Toys With Barbie Franchise

Mattel's powerhouse product steps up

Sony-Toys-With-Barbie-Franchise

Not content with being one of the most iconic toys on the planet with a range of jobs, outfits and worlds, plus a series of animated adventures, Mattel’s Barbie has her sights set on movie stardom. Sony has put together a fast-track deal that could see production starting on a Barbie movie before the year breathes its last.

Clearly hoping for a franchise to rival other toy-based megaliths like Transformers, Sony jumped at the chance to secure the rights after Mattel decided to finally open up a pitch process for a variety of producers, which led to a deal with Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald. They brought in writer Jenny Bicks to cook up a contemporary tale that casts the title character as a sort of modern day Mary Poppins, who swoops into peoples’ lives and uses her personal and professional skills to make them better. The hope is to find a young cast to play Barbie, Ken and others and find bigger names to surround them.

With He-Man from the new version of Masters Of The Universe still making his way slowly through development, all involved want Barbie to hit screens at lot more swiftly. It’s here we’d make some joke about “if Barbie can get a movie gig, what’s to stop this stress ball we just found on our desk making a 17-picture deal at Universal?” but with the recent announcements about It’s A Small World and Peeps, nothing is safe to crack wise about. Nothing.








Seeker Finds A Writer

Wed, 23 Apr 2014 23:31:17 GMT

Seeker Finds A Writer

Callie Kloves will adapt the YA novel

The young adult juggernaut continues to careen through our multiplexes. With The Hunger Games and Divergent doing excellent business, and the likes of Fallen and Daughter Of Smoke And Bone on the way, Sony have taken a punt on the yet-to-be-published Seeker by Arwen Elys Dayton. Mark Gordon (Source Code) is producing, and Callie Kloves has been tapped to write the screenplay.

Since it has yet to see the light of day, the only information we have about Seeker thus far comes from the marketing blurb. That gives us the story of Quin Kincaid, a young girl who's spent her childhood in a brutal training regime to become one of the prestigious Seekers of the title.

The seeking itself seems to be something to do with rare artefacts and arcane knowledge, but Quin learns too late that her punishing studies have been more than just academic. Somehow she's to use her hard-won new qualification to become an assassin. The globe-trotting narrative takes in Scotland and Hong Kong as Quin tries to flee her destiny.

Hannah Minghella (Goosebumps) is among Gordon's producing colleagues for the studio, and Seeker marks Kloves' second high-profile screenplay gig of recent months. She's also behind Andy Serkis' Jungle Book

Seeker is, of course, the first instalment of a trilogy, so franchise ahoy! The novel is set for publication by Random House sometime next year.


Mark William Shakespeare's 450th Birthday With This Exclusive Image From Bill

Wed, 23 Apr 2014 16:35:50 GMT

Exclusive New Image From Bill

Get another look at the new Shakespeare comedy

Today - according to many sources, but not Wikipedia so frankly we don't know what to think - marks the 450th birthday of the greatest writer the world has ever known, one Mr. William Shakespeare.

And to mark the occasion, we thought we'd bring you a lovely birthday present - the second still from Bill, the comedy feature film from the cast of Horrible Histories and Yonderland that will tackle the true origins of Stratford-upon-Avon's finest son.{Exclusive New Image From Bill}

In the shot, we find Mathew Baynton as a young Shakespeare - or Bill, if you please - showing off his musical talents, while a horde of Spanish assassins from the court of King Philip II (including Horrible Histories/Yonderland stalwarts Simon Farnaby, Jim Howick and the movie's co-writer, Laurence Rickard; Ben Willbond, who also co-wrote, and Martha Howes-Douglas complete the ensemble, but aren't pictured) look on in amazement.

"There's this period where no-one is entirely sure what Shakespeare did," Rickard tells Empire. "And it gives you great licence to play around. He's done everything from contemporary dance to playing lute in a band. He's never found his calling..."

Until, as Trailer Man is wont to say, now. Empire's been on the set of the movie, due out next year, and feels confident enough to say that it will more than deliver for fans of both the brilliant BBC sketch show and the fantastical Sky sitcom, and anyone who loves a bit of the Bard.

"It's a hundred different brands of idiocy, really," laughs Rickard of the movie. "We staunchly defend the idiocy."

Happy birthday, Bill.{First Look At Bill}

Bill is out on February 20, 2015








Exclusive: Jurassic World Sequels Planned

Wed, 23 Apr 2014 15:34:08 GMT

Exclusive: Jurassic World Sequels Planned

Plus Colin Trevorrow on Omar Sy

Jurassic World logo

Among the panoply of filmmakers to have contributed to Empire’s latest and 300thest issue – Coppola! Spielberg! Whedon! Fincher! – a less familiar name, Jurassic World’s Colin Trevorrow, chips in with a fascinating status report from his dino disaster movie. The big news? That Universal has further Jurassic movies planned and Trevorrow is keen to direct them - “if they’ll have me”. Warning: minor spoilers follow.

“We definitely talked about [sequels] a lot,” the director/co-writer revealed. “We wanted to create something that would be a little bit less arbitrary and episodic, and something that could potentially arc into a series that would feel like a complete story.”

With those story arcs already in place, Trevorrow hinted at the characters likely to participate in them across further films. One of them is cast newbie and Untouchable star Omar Sy. “He’s essentially Chris Pratt’s best friend,” he said of the Sy character. “They work together and have some pretty cool action scenes together. I wanted to create a relationship there that could be memorable and potentially carry on to future films.”

Before anyone points and shouts ‘Spoilersaurus!’, Trevorrow did say “could” rather than “will”. There’s still a chance, albeit a slender one, that Pratt’s ex-military man will still end up on a pterodactyl’s water biscuit.

While it’s well-known that Jurassic World revisits the Isla Nublar 22 years after the events depicted in Jurassic Park – the film’s shoot is currently underway in Hawaii, before heading to New Orleans – the specifics of what exactly has come to pass, dino-wise, in the intervening period are remaining under wraps. Trevorrow, though, was happy to confirm that he’ll be using animatronic dinosaurs and elaborated on the movie's broader set-up.

“It’s about alpha dominance and the fact that humans have been the alpha species for a very long time", he explained, "and so now we’ve brought back another that happened to be the alpha species during its time, and we have to co-exist, so what is that relationship?”

Jurassic World, which is set for release on June 12 next year, also stars Vincent D’Onofrio, Irrfan Khan, Nick Robinson, Ty Simpkins and some massively angry ‘sauruses. For much more on the movie – and many other movies – pick up a copy of Empire’s June issue from Thursday.

Empire Magazine 300th Issue - The Director's Cut


Roberto Orci Wants To Direct Star Trek 3

Wed, 23 Apr 2014 11:41:18 GMT

Roberto Orci Wants To Direct Star Trek 3

And he's splitting up his writing partnership with Alex Kurtzman

Roberto-Orci-Wants-To-Direct-Star-Trek-3
Photo: Art Streiber

After writing as a unit for more than a decade and turning into something of a production company powerhouse/hive mind, Star Trek scribes Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci have decided to call it quits. No, snark fans, they’re not quitting the biz but merely focusing on separate film projects, which in Kurtzman’s case means negotiating to direct Amazing Spider-spin-off Venom and in Orci’s, lobbying to sit in the big chair for Star Trek 3.

The directorial news is not that surprising. Kurtzman, after all, already has one credit under his belt with indie People Like Us and both have worked on more than enough huge movies to learn a thing or two. But while we can see Sony handing the lower-risk Venom on to a relative newcomer in the director’s chair, it might be a harder sell for Paramount to pull a Starfleet and give control of one of its franchise jewels to a man who, like Chris Pine’s Kirk, has no experience directly running the show.

Star Trek 3, which Orci is writing with Patrick McKay and John D. Payne, has been the subject of much speculation over who might direct it now that J.J Abrams is a bit busy in another galaxy far, far away. Attack The Block’s Joe Cornish was seriously considered but long appears to have turned down the idea. Orci would be a bigger risk, but in his favour has his franchise writing credits and vast experience running TV shows.

Talking of the small screen, it appears that while the pair – who have mutually and amicably decided to separate their creative partnership – will split their developing film projects between them, they will likely keep the TV side of their business united.








See The Opening Of How To Train Your Dragon 2

Wed, 23 Apr 2014 10:08:22 GMT

See The Opening Of How To Train Your Dragon 2

DreamWorks Animation puts its WonderCon clip online

At WonderCon this past weekend, DreamWorks Animation and 20th Century Fox brought out writer/director Dean DeBlois and actor Jay Baruchel to introduce How To Train Your Dragon 2. Then, to even more excitement from the crowd, the pair unveiled a cut-down, five-minute version of the film’s opening, which the company has now put online via Yahoo. 

The second (of a planned trilogy) Dragon outing takes place five years after the original. The island Vikings of Berk have well and truly adapted to life with dragons. People and giant creatures share their world happily and even indulge in crazy sports like dragon racing.

Our hero Hiccup (Baruchel), meanwhile, has matured – a little – and become restless, exploring the world with best friend and loyal dragon Toothless, mapping as they go. It’s on one of his missions that Hiccup stumbles upon a potential new threat and an important part of his life…

With most of the main cast returning for the sequel, How To Train Your Dragon 2 includes the voices of Jonah Hill, Gerard Butler, Kristen Wiig, T.J. Miller, America Ferrera, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Craig Ferguson, with new recruits Cate Blanchett, Kit Harington and Djimon Hounsou. It’ll arrive in our cinemas on July 4.








Adam Rifkin Chewing On Peeps

Wed, 23 Apr 2014 09:37:20 GMT

Adam Rifkin Chewing On Peeps

Producer buys sweet brand as next movie

Where next after the unlikely pitch-hitter of The Lego Movie? Looking for the next colourful and popular intellectual property to turn into a blockbuster narrative animated classic, producer Adam Rifkin has hit on the sweetie brand Peeps. His producing partners Brent Tinter and Brian E. Rochlin are supporting him in his dream.

Peeps are sugar-coated marshmallows much loved in America and Canada. They come in day-glo colours and are shaped mostly like cute animals (chicks, bunnies and so on), with seasonal variations for Hallowe'en, Valentine's Day and Christmas. Pennsylvania manufacturer Just Born makes something like $2bn a year from them. Scientists have ascertained that Peeps do not dissolve in acetone, sodium hydroxide or sulphuric acid, which sounds like a gambit from The Unbelievable Truth but seems to be legit.

As is the way of these things (see butter sculpting and so on), there is also an odd culture around Peeps involving diorama contests: the winner of a Washington Post competition this year recreated the setting of Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech. This is the crux of the film's pitch, which sees a lone Peep getting separated from his comrades just before a contest, and having to make his way through the fantasy-lands of several alien dioramas before he can get back to his own. So, yeah.

We live in a world where we don't have a Thundercats movie. Just saying.

Rifkin's previous credits include Underdog and the rather good Detroit Rock City. As a writer he also gave us Mousehunt and, perhaps significantly here, Small Soldiers. He'll be writing the Peeps screenplay himself before taking the project out for studio deals.

How is this a thing that is happening? Honestly, we just don't know anymore.[[Poll1110]]








Rachel Weisz Says Miss You Already

Wed, 23 Apr 2014 09:37:20 GMT

Rachel Weisz Says Miss You Already

And Catherine Hardwicke is taking over the director's chair

Rachel-Weisz-Says-Miss-You-Already

Cast your mind back two years. We were wondering whether London could deliver the Olympics, anticipating the cinematic arrival of the Avengers and reporting that Toni Collette would be co-starring alongside Jennifer Aniston in comedy drama Miss You Already. Fast-forward to today, and there have been changes both behind and in front of the camera, because Rachel Weisz has stepped in to appear with Collette and Catherine Hardwicke will direct.

According to Screen International, Hardwicke is replacing Paul Andrew Williams, who had been developing the script with writer Morwenna Banks. Miss You Already chronicles what happens when two best friends face very different life challenges: one becomes pregnant and the other is stricken with breast cancer.

Hardwicke seems happy with her decision to join the film: “When I met Morwenna Banks, and read her script, I really felt her passion for this story – this is something she lived through. She managed to take real life and turn it into a powerful, laugh- and cry-out-loud screenplay,” she tells the trade mag. “Rachel and Toni are incredible forces of nature – both are fearless in their choices. They dig deep to breathe humanity and humour into their characters. I can’t wait to work with them to bring this intense friendship to the screen.” 

While the original incarnation of the film had been set for an autumn 2012 shoot, it’s now hoping to kick off in the UK in September.


New Images From The Equalizer

Wed, 23 Apr 2014 09:37:20 GMT

New Images From The Equalizer

Denzel Washington helps the hopeless

Though we can’t strictly describe these as the first images from The Equalizer, since the pic of Denzel Washington in the chair has been floating around for months and the poster arrived last week, here is at least a nice new selection of glimpses at the film, via USA Today. {The Equalizer}

Speaking to Washington and director Antoine Fuqua on the set, the paper gets to the core of why the star has wanted to play a new version of Robert McCall, as originally embodied by Edward Woodward for the 1980s TV series. Turns out, it wasn’t the show…

"The title doesn't mean anything to me. It's the material," says Washington. "It's a classic story, the innocent girl and the guy coming in to save the day and kick some butt. You'll get some popcorn and escape for a couple of hours." Respect the Woodward, Denzel!

The plot finds the retired government operative choosing to live a quiet, humble existence until he crosses paths with Chloe Moretz’ prostitute, who needs his help with some Russian mobsters. Utilizing his skills, McCall becomes a vigilante pledged to help the helpless. And the role allowed Washington to return to badass form.

"There's a switch that he turns on and that's just scary," says Fuqua. "There's a sustained intensity even in casual mode, like a panther. If it's turned against you, you're going to be in a bad place." Washington apparently did as many of the fight scene moves as he was allowed, which should lead to some visceral fisticuffs.

While studio backer Sony seems happy enough with the movie’s test scores to kick off work on a sequel, Washington is more cautious. “The audience will decide that. You can't make No. 2 before you make No. 1. It's called show business. We've handled the show part of it. We'll see how the business part goes."

The Equalizer will arrive in UK cinemas on October 10. For more from Washington and co., head here.








Andy Fickman Attending My Owner's Wedding

Wed, 23 Apr 2014 09:37:19 GMT

Andy Fickman Attending My Owner's Wedding

He's set for a new canine comedy

Andy-Fickman-Attending-My-Owners-Wedding

He may not have had a lot of success with critics on Parental Guidance, or with reviews or audiences on You Again, but director Andy Fickman is shrugging off past disappointments and looking ahead. He’s currently at work on Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 and has just signed on for a new, original comedy called My Owner’s Wedding.

With a script by Robert Cary and Jonathan Tolins, Wedding imagines the rom-com from a slightly unusual perspective. We’re introduced to two women who are both interested in the same man. But it’s his dog that sets about making sure his owner ends up with the lady he prefers. Yes, we’re getting some nightmare flashbacks to the likes of Look Who’s Talking Now, but no one has explained how the canine cupid will work his magic (no one say doggy style, please), so it could turn out to have 100% less Danny DeVito voicing a dog.

While Fickman is busying himself making Kevin James fall down a lot, he’s also had success on the stage, producing and directing a musical based on Heathers, which enjoyed healthy reviews in Los Angeles and is now playing off-Broadway in New York.


Star Trek Writers To Reboot Flash Gordon

Wed, 23 Apr 2014 09:37:19 GMT

Star Trek Writers To Reboot Flash Gordon

Update: Gordon's alive! At Fox!

Flash Gordon

Update: Well, we promised to keep you up to date with developments and here's the first... 20th Century Fox has now made a deal for the rights to make the new Flash, with Payne and McKay indeed on board to write the script. 

What do you mean, "Flash Gordon approaching?" Well, after some years of varying development hells, and a short-lived Sci-Fi Channel TV series in 2008, it looks as if the pulp space hero is in the initial stages of a journey back to the big screen. Their source is unclear, but the impetuous boys (and girl) at Film Divider believe that JD Payne and Patrick McKay, currently at work on the third modern Star Trek film, are also writing an ambitious new Flash Gordon adventure.

Flash Gordon made his debut in newspaper comic strips drawn by Alex Raymond in the 1930s, and was initially conceived explicitly as competition for the then very popular Buck Rogers. Gordon was a polo-playing Yale graduate who, with companions Dale Arden and Dr Hans Zarkov, initially headed into space to find the source of some meteors bombarding Earth. Their first encounter with Ming The Merciless - the alien gitface behind the meteors - would not be their last, and their continuing adventures on the planet Mongo would see them also encountering hawk-man Prince Vultan and the rulers of various jungle, ice and undersea kingdoms.

Gordon was immediately picked up for three Saturday morning film serials starring Buster Crabbe (also briefly Buck Rogers and Tarzan) between 1936 and 1940. Slightly more recently and perhaps most famously, of course, there was the 1980 movie camp-fest with the mad Queen soundtrack, starring Sam J. Jones as Gordon, Max Von Sydow as Ming, and a particularly mental Brian Blessed as Vultan. 

Payne and McKay's connection to JJ Abrams' Bad Robot includes adapting the novel Boilerplate as well as their work on the Star Trek threequel, but whether Flash has a home there, or elsewhere, or is merely a spec script the pair have developed on their own is unclear at the moment. They also have action scripts Goliath and Deadliest Warrior floating in development at, respectively, Temple Hill and Paramount.

Their take on Flash Gordon is apparently (predictably) to rescue him from his current reputation as something stupid but much loved (see Sam Jones' recent turn in Ted), and restore his reputation as a more serious adventurer. He is, after all, the metallist man alive, come to save us all, with his constant thrash. Oh no, wait, that's Thrash Gordon. That's someone else.

The world didn't seem quite ready for John Carter. Are we up for a new Flash Gordon? Give us your thoughts in the comments below, and we'll let you know when and if this story develops further. 








Len Wiseman Opens Black Chapter

Wed, 23 Apr 2014 09:21:46 GMT

Len Wiseman Opens Black Chapter

Paranormal espionage activity?

Len-Wiseman-Opens-Black-Chapter

You might think that between the Underworld franchise and his duties as producing director on madcap TV drama Sleepy Hollow, Len Wiseman would want a break from action with supernatural elements. You would be wrong, because he’s agreed to direct Black Chapter, which features just such a mix.

The Incredible Hulk/Suspect Zero writer Zak Penn is behind the script, which finds an FBI agent recruited for a top-secret military program in which spies learn paranormal abilities. It’s not as far-fetched as it might sound from that high concept pitch, since it’s inspired by real (and, in some cases rumoured) schemes from the past.

Black Chapter is a science fiction story that draws from our own history,” says Len Wiseman in a statement picked up by Deadline. “I’ve always been fascinated by the mysteries surrounding the CIA’s astral projection program during its MK-ULTRA era. What if those experiments had actually worked? Would we even know?”

Wiseman has Skydance Productions offering up some of the financing and co-producing the film, but there’s no word on whether he’ll make it his next project. He’s busy giving notes on the new season of Sleepy Hollow and has several other projects bubbling away in his development cauldron first.








Jessica Chastain Goes Blonde

Wed, 23 Apr 2014 09:21:45 GMT

Jessica Chastain Goes Blonde

She's in talks to be Marilyn Monroe for Andrew Dominik's latest

Jessica-Chastin-goes-Blonde

Andrew Dominik has been trying to make a film based on Joyce Carol Oates’ 2001 novel Blonde for more than four years now. It appears he’s close to making it happen, with The Wrap reporting that Jessica Chastain is figuring out a deal to play Marilyn Monroe.

Oates’ tome used biographical and historical sources to spin a new story focusing on the inner life of Norma Jean Baker, the woman behind the screen idol and tragic starlet. The portrait emerges of a fragile, gifted young woman with a knack for reinvention, who used those skills to overcome great odds.

The book was a finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, and Dominik was so taken with it that he wrote the script adaptation on spec. After floating in limbo for a couple of years, it was snatched up by Brad Pitt’s Plan B, which will produce the film with Worldview Entertainment.

Chastain can certainly handle a role of this complexity, and it would hardly be her first time working blonde, as anyone who saw The Help could attest. She has several films awaiting release this year, including Miss Julie, A Most Violent Year and Interstellar, which arrives on November 7. She’s also been at work on Guillermo del Toro’s new horror, Crimson Peak.


Jon Turteltaub Directing It's A Small World Movie For Disney

Wed, 23 Apr 2014 09:21:45 GMT

Jon Turteltaub Directing It's A Small World Movie For Disney

The ear worm ride is being adapted...

John-Turteltaub-directing-its-a-small-world-disney

When the practice of turning theme park rides into movies was freshly sparked with Pirates Of The Caribbean, we’d often joke that Disney was now achingly close to adapting sugary, singing, animatronic nightmare fuel It’s A Small World. We really have to learn to keep our gobs shut, because the Mouse House now has National Treasure director Jon Turteltaub in charge of the project.

The blame – or, depending how you see it, credit – for the new movement lies at the feet of The Internship/The Watch writer Jared Stern, who pitched the concept and will write the script. It’s early days for the idea and Deadline’s report carries no details on what the film would be about, but we’re guessing it’ll involve a lot of warbling characters that must unite to, oh, save the world from a terrible racist menace or something while singing a horrendous earworm of a song. Disney would like this one to spawn another franchise to match the Pirates films, and The Lego Movie’s Dan Lin is aboard to shepherd the film.

Turteltaub has some experience with Disney franchises, having delivered two National Treasure movies and developing a third. He had less success with The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, but has recently seen his stock rise again thanks to Last Vegas’ box office haul. Now click here and thank us for getting the song well and truly lodged in your noggin.








Robert Downey Jr. Reveals First Official Pic From Age Of Ultron

Wed, 23 Apr 2014 09:06:09 GMT

Robert Downey Jr. Reveals First Official Pic From Age Of Ultron

Genius billionaire playboy publicist?

While there have been pap-grabbed early set pics and imagery from Avengers: Age Of Ultron, it has fallen to recent Twitter arrival and Marvel Cinematic Universe Prom King Robert Downey Jr. to release the first official look at the superhero sequel. And it’s… Er… Well, just look.

Yes, it’s the sort of ordinary, nothing-to-see-here display that you can only imagine Downey Jr. getting away with, essentially punking anyone who thought he mighty deliver some massive spoiler. He’s pictured dressed in what is best described as Industrial Safety Chic alongside long-time executive producer Jeremy Latcham. What clues can we gain from the image? Well, given the sneaky yellow figure creeping up behind the pair, we feel confident in predicting that popular Marvel villain Ladder-Man will be making his debut in the film, causing no end of trouble for any of our heroes who are a bit superstitious of walking beneath him. Tremble at his terrible laddery powers! Or not.

The film will also find Downey Jr.’s Iron Man, Chris Evans’ Captain America, Chris Hemsworth’s Thor, Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk, Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow and Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye meeting and either befriending or battling the likes of Paul Bettany’s Vision, Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlet Witch, Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s Quicksilver and James Spader’s Ultron. Ladder-Man or no, Age Of Ultron will be out on April 24, 2015. 








Empire's New Directors' Cut Cover Is Here

Tue, 22 Apr 2014 17:23:27 GMT

Empire's New Directors' Cut Cover Is Here

Spielberg, Whedon, Fincher, Mann and more take over

In a way, the coverline of the 300th issue of Empire says it all. "Steven Spielberg, David Fincher, Joss Whedon, Francis Ford Coppola, J.J. Abrams, Bryan Singer, Michael Mann, Guillermo Del Toro, Edgar Wright, Danny Boyle, John Woo, David Lynch, Cameron Crowe and many more..." All of these megaphone wielders have taken over their own chunk of our tricentenary extravaganza, but the emphasis should really be on the "and many more..." because our official birthday is jam-packed.

Empire Magazine 300th Issue - The Director's Cut

As well as all those big names, there are also exclusive reports from Avengers: Age Of Ultron, Warcraft and Jurassic World, not forgetting Dumb And Dumber To, Sin City: A Dame To Kill For and the definitive report from this year's Empire Awards, on top of even more Hollywood helmers whose names we just couldn't fit on the front cover.

There's so much more: we were John McTiernan's first in-depth interview after his incarceration; we gathered art by David Lynch and Hayao Miyazako; we ventured on set of Macbeth The Scottish Film to talk to Michael Fassbender; we talked Frankenstein with Daniel Radcliffe, who's almost exactly the same age as the magazine. It's a stuffed issue that we're burstingly proud of.

On your local newsagents' shelves Thursday, April 24, this very special issue of Empire is definitely one you won't want to miss.

 


New Poster For Tom Cruise's Edge Of Tomorrow

Tue, 22 Apr 2014 11:57:53 GMT

New Poster For Tom Cruise's Edge Of Tomorrow

Emily Blunt tools up for sci-fi mayhem

There are no apologies to be made for being a little excited by Edge Of Tomorrow. Firstly, there's that stratospherically high concept of a man caught in a ultraviolent loop - Groundhog die! - in the face of an invasion by hordes of voracious space bastards. Then there's the fact that it's handled by Doug Liman, the talented director behind smart, pacy movies like Go, The Bourne Legacy and Swingers. Then there's the brutal Omaha Beach-style battle sequence we've seen in early footage that sees Tom Cruise meet his maker... again and again. 

None of those qualities can disguise the fact that this new one-sheet for the movie is a little Sci-fi Action Movie Poster 101, with its regulation oranges and blues and pin-the-head-on-the-Cruise photoshopping. Nevertheless, it gives a nice flavour of the scale of the action, the crunch of the Bioshock tech and the scoop of the storytelling. Is that the Arc de Triomphe in the distance? And is that a whack-bat in Emily Blunt's hand? {Edge Of Tomorrow One Sheet} 
With Liman at the helm, Edge Of Tomorrow is adapted from Hiroshi Sakurazaka’s novel All You Need Is Kill, and was known by the same name for a long time.

The story finds Cruise as Bill Cage, a soldier happy to be working far from the front lines in a brutal war against powerful aliens. 

Cage, who has scored a plum job overseeing the army’s PR, makes a series of mistakes and ends up in full battle armour on the front line, where he promptly dies.

Caught in a Groundhog Day-style time loop, Cage finds himself back in time and, with the help and training expertise of special forces fighter Rita Vrataski (Blunt), he begins to figure out the secret to fighting the bad guys, smack-dab in one of the most important skirmishes of the conflict. {Edge Of Tomorrow} 
It helps that Rita has apparently been experiencing the same time-tripping effects, which seem keyed to the invaders’ tech. Can they make it work and save mankind? Find out when Edge Of Tomorrow lands with us on May 30.


Marc Webb Hints At J. Jonah Jameson In Amazing Spider-Man 3

Tue, 22 Apr 2014 11:42:24 GMT

Marc Webb Hints At J. Jonah Jameson In Amazing Spider-Man 3

'I like the idea very much of him coming up in the next film.'

Though it's not entirely clear in what order the next Amazing Spider-Films will arrive - there's a chance The Sinister Six spin-off could come before Amazing Spider-Man 3 - franchise helmer Marc Webb is keen to bring back a character much loved both in the comics and Sam Raimi's original trilogy: Daily Bugle dictator J. Jonah Jameson, first brought to the screen by J.K. Simmons.

Answering fans' questions during a Google + Q&A (which you can check out below), Webb said this about reviving the character in future Spidey installments: 

"I like the idea very much of him coming up in the next film. It was more easy to accept a new Spider-Man than someone who could outdo J.K. Simmons in that role. He is so iconic. That's something we've really talked about. Obviously I love that character because he poses such an interesting dilemma for Spider-Man. The answer is... I don't know, but I think you can expect to see him in the future."

His point on Simmons being impossible to top is a good one - who else could portray the blustering windbag with such oomph? Recasting the very same actor may be a tempting proposition, but it just couldn't happen... could it? Let us know who you'd like to see hairdryering Andrew Garfield's Friendly Neighbourhood Spider-Man in the comment box below.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is out now. Our Amazing Spider-Man 2 podcast spoiler special is out on May 5.








Vin Diesel Shares Photo Of Walker Brothers on Fast 7

Tue, 22 Apr 2014 11:42:24 GMT

Vin Diesel Shares Photo Of Walker Brothers on Fast 7

Caleb and Cody Walker make their on-set bow

As reported last week, Caleb and Cody Walker have volunteered their services to help Fast & Furious 7 overcome the tragic absence of their brother Paul on a number of sequences yet to be shot. Well, the pair are already in action and Vin Diesel has taken to his Facebook page to share a first look at them on set. Click on the image below for a closer look at the brothers Walker. {Walker Brothers On Fast 7 Pic}  
Alongside the snap, Lord Dominic of Toretto took the chance to share his emotions on hearing the news of Paul Walker's death in November and spread a little Diesel-powered love for the pair's no doubt painful gesture.

"When I heard the news, I left the production, grabbed a plane and took my family and Michelle back to LA... drove directly to his parent's house...

His Father said, Paul loved you Vin... I awkwardly and nervously said, aw come on... then he said... you don't have to get along every second to love each other... so true.

P.s. After spending time with his biological brothers, I must say to the parents, you raised some great kids."

With Walker's death still casting a long shadow over the production, other Fast 7 details remain firmly locked away in a place only cast members, director James Wan and screenwriter Chris Morgan have access to. What we do know is that it will introduce Tony Jaa and Kurt Russell to the franchise and unleash a vengeful Jason Statham on the boys and girls of Team Furious. 

Dwayne Johnson, Tyrese Gibson, Jordana Brewster, Michelle Rodriguez, Nathalie Emmanuel, Djimon Hounsou, Lucas Black and John Brotherton also appear. Fast & Furious 7 will be with us in the UK on April 10, 2015.