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Empire Movie News


Fox Sets T.S. Nowlin To Adapt Third Maze Runner Book

Thu, 05 Mar 2015 00:24:34 GMT

Fox Sets T.S. Nowlin To Adapt Third Maze Runner Book

The franchise's writer finds The Death Cure

TS-Nowlin-Third-Maze-Runner

With the success of the first film based on James Dashner’s book series, 20th Century Fox have long since set the machine in motion for The Maze Runner to become a franchise. The sequel, Scorch Trials, is set for release later this year and now the studio has set the films’ writer, T.S. Nowlin, to adapt the third of Dashner’s tomes, The Death Cure

The first movie found Dylan O’Brien as Thomas, who wakes up in a mysterious elevator transporting him into a massive maze filled with other boys. With no memory of exactly who he is, and plagued by strange dreams about a mysterious organization known as WICKED, he soon discovers that something is very, very wrong.

Only by piecing together fragments of his past with clues he discovers in the maze can Thomas hope to uncover his true purpose and a means of escape. But with the obstacles ever changing and a surprise twist in the arrival of a young woman (Kaya Scodelario), it won’t be an easy task. 

Before we discuss the following books, we have to offer a spoiler warning for anyone who hasn’t read the books (or cheated and peeked ahead on Wikipedia). As for the second, it’s set in the ruined wasteland outside the maze and beyond as Thomas, after discovering that his captivity was part of an experiment to cure a terrible sickness from solar flares, and that people known as Cranks are the enemy. In The Death Cure, some of his memory starts to return, and begins to realise that the people behind WICKED really are not to be trusted. 

Nowlin co-wrote The Maze Runner’s script with Noah Oppenheim and Grant Pierce Myers and was the lone scribe on the sequel. He’ll also tackle The Death Cure alone, while we wonder whether the studio will also consider Dashner’s latest, The Kill Order, a prequel, as something to work on once the trilogy is complete.

The Maze Runner: Scorch Trials, once again directed by Wes Ball, will be out here on September 18.








Bruce Willis Heads For Misery On Stage

Thu, 05 Mar 2015 00:24:34 GMT

Bruce Willis Heads For Misery On Stage

He'll make his Broadway debut with the Stephen King adaptation

Bruce-Willis-Misery-stage

For years, the words “Bruce Willis” and “Misery” have largely referred to his feelings about hitting the contractual press tour for his latest film. But he’s set to change that definition by making his first foray into Broadway theatre performance with a new stage version of Stephen King’s Misery.

Willis will take over the role of Paul Sheldon, played in the film by James Caan. In case you haven’t seen Rob Reiner’s Oscar-winning take on the story, Sheldon is a novelist whose car crashes on a snowy road. Rescued by Annie Wilkes, a nurse who claims to be his “number one fan” Paul comes to realise that he’s actually trapped with a lunatic who demands that he brings her favourite character from his books – Misery Chastain – back to life. When Sheldon refuses, Annie goes to increasingly violent lengths to convince him. 

William Goldman, who wrote the script for the film, has also penned this version of the play, which will mark just the latest attempt to turn the story into a stage production following shows off Broadway, in London, Greece and Athens. Theatre stalwart Elizabeth Marvel is playing Wilkes in the show, which Will Frears is directing for Warner Bros.’ theatrical arm. The aim is to have the show up and running in the autumn, though no venue has been set yet. 


Zachary Quinto Joins Hannibal

Thu, 05 Mar 2015 00:24:33 GMT

Zachary Quinto Joins Hannibal

But how will he fit into the show?

Zachary-Quinto-Hannibal

Fannibals will have noticed that there is a healthy portion of Empire’s TV special in the current issue devoted to their favourite show, and we don’t mean The Great British Bake-Off. No, we’re referring to Hannibal, which has been scooping up guest stars as it continues work on its third season. The latest to hop aboard the series is Zachary Quinto.

Quite what the Star Trek actor will be up to in the series remains to be seen; Entertainment Weekly’s story only mentions that he’ll be a patient of Gillian Anderson’s shrink Dr. Bedelia Du Maurier. Which, given that – spoiler alert in case you haven’t seen the end of Season Two – she was last spotted getting on a plane with Mads Mikkelsen’s Dr. Hannibal Lecter, probably means he’s not in for a particularly easy time of it. 

Apparently, he’s slated to appear in at least one episode of the new season, which leads us to think he’s probably not playing some key character in Thomas Harris’ stories, particularly since Richard Armitage is already aboard for an arc as Francis Dolarhyde, AKA The Tooth Fairy. Still, crafty series creator Bryan Fuller (who worked with Quinto on Heroes) could still have something up his blood-soaked yet stylish sleeve.

Hannibal will be back on US screens this summer and should be stalking the UK around the same time via Sky Living. For more on the show, pick up the latest Empire








Luke Evans Will Be Beauty And The Beast's Gaston

Thu, 05 Mar 2015 00:24:32 GMT

Luke Evans Will Be Beauty And The Beast's Gaston

He'll be beastly (but not the beast)

Luke-Evans-Beauty-And-The-Beast

We’ve recently seen him play a righteous type in the Hobbit films, a conflicted hero in Dracula Untold, and before that, a right wrong ‘un in Fast And Furious 6. Now he’s sticking with the villainous trend for Disney’s new, live-action take on Beauty And The Beast, entering negotiations to play Gaston opposite Emma Watson.

With a script that has most recently seen work from Steven Chbosky, Beauty And The Beast will once more unspool the tale of the young woman who is romanced by a cursed prince turned into a beast, and ultimately chooses the hairy creature over her jealous suitor, Gaston (Evans). He, in turn, deals with the rejection somewhat awkwardly, gathering a mob of townspeople to hunt down and try to kill the creature. 

Bill Condon is wrangling the Mouse House’s latest attempt to rework one of its classic fairy tale films, following in the footsteps of Alice In Wonderland and Cinderella. He’s set to start shooting later in the year, with no specific release date set as of yet. 

Evans is back on our screens later this year in Ben Wheatley’s High-Rise (more on that here), and is squeezing in work on Message From The King opposite Chadwick Boseman before heading back into Wheatley world for gang crime thriller Free Fire


Daniel Von Bargen 1950-2015

Wed, 04 Mar 2015 23:22:38 GMT

Daniel Von Bargen 1950-2015

Gruff character actor dies aged 64

Daniel-Von-Bargen-obit

He could be terrifying in horror movies and terrifyingly stern in his numerous turns as an authority figure, but prolific, talented character actor Daniel Von Bargen turned his hand to many different roles. It has now been confirmed that he has died at the age of 64.

Von Bargen, born in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1950, and studied at Purdue University in Indiana. Theatre was one of his driving passions; he enjoyed a long residency at the Trinity Repertory Company in Rhode Island and appeared in productions for the American Repertory Theatre in Massachusetts, which saw him head for New York, appearing both on and off Broadway. 

Film-wise, he became known as a reliable character actor, able to be threatening and commanding and picking up a variety of roles as police officers and military men in films such as Silence Of The Lambs, Basic Instinct, Rising Sun, Six Degrees Of Separation, Philadelphia, Crimson Tide and O Brother Where Art Thou. He also embodied scary types, including the sorcerer Nix in Lord Of Illusions.

On TV, he paid his dues with guest star appearances and smaller roles, but had a big impact on the likes of Seinfeld, playing George Costanza’s inept boss during the show’s final season and on Malcolm On The Middle as Commandant Edwin Spangler. His talent for authority shone on the small screen too, and he appeared in series as varied as The West Wing, Judging Amy and The X-Files, where he undercut his usual role playing a terrorist. In his personal life, he struggled with diabetes and had lost a leg to the condition. Shortly before he was due to be admitted to hospital to have toes on his other leg removed in 2012, he attempted suicide with a firearm, but survived.

"I feel a huge wave of sorrow and relief at the passing of this remarkable man, Dan Von Bargen, says friend and fellow actor Bob Colonna on the Trip Down Memory Lane website. “I treasure the years when I worked with him at Trinity Rep and in a couple of TV films. I admire his excellent body of work in the movies. And I mourn for the darkness and pain that were his final years. God bless him. He was a hell of a guy." And he will be missed. 








New Trailer For Avengers: Age Of Ultron Smashes In

Wed, 04 Mar 2015 18:43:49 GMT

New Trailer For Avengers: Age Of Ultron Smashes In

And our first (brief) look at The Vision

With just a few weeks to go before Avengers: Age Of Ultron arrives in cinemas, you're probably in one of two camps. Camp One: desperate to see more footage, ideally in a trailer form. Camp Two: desperate to see no more footage, ideally until the film comes out. If you're in Camp One, congratulations! Here's the new Avengers: Age Of Ultron trailer. If you're in Camp Two, well, good luck staying in Camp Two.

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

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

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


First Trailer For Self/Less

Wed, 04 Mar 2015 17:57:20 GMT

First Trailer For Self/Less

Ben Kingsley and Ryan Reynolds find immortality has side effects

What would you do if you were inordinately wealthy, but your body was starting to fail you thanks to the grasping claws of cancer? If you’re Damian Hill (Ben Kingsley), you turn to the best science your piles of dosh can buy to try to achieve immortality. The first trailer for Self/Less has arrived for your viewing needs. 

At first it all seems to work out for Damian who, encouraged by the velvet voice of Matthew Goode’s Allbright, agrees to undergo a radical procedure that will inject his consciousness into what he’s told is a living empty shell. And when he wakes up in the body of a much younger, stronger and more handsome fellow (Ryan Reynolds), all appears well. He’s able to enjoy his great wealth with this youthful frame, running, partying, sailing, driving and bedding the sort of partners he hasn’t seen for years.

But – and you could see this coming – there’s a catch: turns out the body he’s occupying isn’t as blank and fresh as he thought, and it has a past, with a family it cared for. As the original personality starts to re-emerge, Damian discovers that the corporation behind the process has been spinning some serious lies, and will kill anyone who threatens their profit margin by letting the truth leak out. {Self/Less Poster}

Tarsem Singh is directing this one, working from a script by Alex and David Pastor. With Natalie Martinez, Victor Garber, Derek Luke and Michelle Dockery among the cast, Self/Less is awaiting a firm release date but should be out this year.








Teaser Trailer For Ian McKellen's Mr Holmes Lands

Wed, 04 Mar 2015 17:57:19 GMT

Teaser Trailer For Ian McKellen's Mr Holmes Lands

Long in the sleuth

There have been many clues surrounding the curious case of, um, Mr Holmes - the Sherlock Holmes film that sees Gods & Monsters collaborators Bill Condon and Ian McKellen working together again - with stills, posters, scenes and cameos all revealed, but no actual trailer. Finally, here is that actual trailer, a teaser for the newly-announced June 19 release.

 

The cinematic adaptation of Mitch Cullen's novel Slight Trick Of The Mind, Mr Holmes finds the fictional investigateive genius a retired 93 year-old in 1947. Confronting the dimming of his acute mental abilities, he’s recently returned from a trip to Japan in search of a plant with curative properties, which also saw him witness first-hand the devastation of nuclear warfare. Retreating to a seaside Sussex farmhouse with only his housekeeper Mrs. Munroe (Laura Linney) and her young son Roger (Milo Parker) for company, Holmes comes to rely on the lad as he revisits the case that made him give up his detective work and confront his declining health.

With Hattie Morahan, Patrick Kennedy, Hiroyuki Sanada, Roger Allam, Colin Starkey and Philip Davis also in the cast, Mr. Holmes arrives in British cinemas on June 19.


Peanuts Movie Character Posters Online

Wed, 04 Mar 2015 16:08:54 GMT

Peanuts Movie Character Posters Online

Charlie Brown and the gang get face time

So that you don’t forget that there is film starring Charles M. Schulz’s Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the rest of the Peanuts kids coming our way later this year, Fox has released a new set of character posters. Check them out in all their yellow glory below. {Peanuts Character Posters}

The film, which bears the somewhat unwieldy title Snoopy And Charlie Brown: The Peanuts Movie in this country, finds Charlie Brown in typically anxious mode as he embarks on a small-scale quest to find something he believes is truly important to him. Snoopy, meanwhile, has much bigger ambitions, taking to the skies in pursuit of his aerial arch nemesis, The Red Baron.

 Directed by Ice Age: Continental Drift’s Steve Martino and produced by Paul Feig, the film also features input from Schulz family members Craig and Bryan, with extra script work from Cornelius Uliano. It’s been crafted using the latest CG tech, but aims to bottle some of the look and feel of the comic strip and its ‘toon spin-offs. We’ll find out how successful it is on a plot level when the film arrives here on December 21. 








Adam Scott Joins Krampus

Wed, 04 Mar 2015 12:47:36 GMT

Adam Scott Joins Krampus

David Koechner and Allison Tolman also find festive horror

Adam-Scott-Krampus

Cast your mind back to last May when we learned that Trick ‘R Treat writer/director Michael Dougherty was planning to haunt another holiday with festive horror comedy Krampus. He’s been busy rounding up actors for the film, with Adam Scott, David Koechner, Allison Tolman, Emjay Anthony and Stefania Owen all signed on.

Krampus, co-written by the director with Todd Casey and Zach Shields, will keep the focus on the Pagan demon that punishes the wicked and makes a meal (literally) of naughty children. Anthony, last seen as Jon Favreau’s son in Chef, will be the main target of the creature as the hero of the film. Scott and Koechner will be fathers whose children have gone mysteriously missing, with Owen as Scott’s daughter. There’s no word on what role Tolman, who won plaudits for her role in the Fargo TV series, is playing.

Scott, who recently wrapped up work on Parks And Recreation, is returning to big screens on April 10 with Hot Tub Time Machine 2. He’ll next show up in indies The Overnight and Sleeping With Other People plus Boston crime drama Black Mass, which stars Johnny Depp. Koechner was part of the cast for Cheap Thrills and has Scouts Vs. Zombies and Hell & Back making their way through post-production. Owen was part of the cast for Sex And The City prequel The Carrie Diaries and appeared in The Lovely Bones








Community Season Six Trailer Online

Wed, 04 Mar 2015 12:47:36 GMT

Community Season Six Trailer Online

The Age Of Yahoo is upon us

Alhough it looked for a moment as though cult sitcom Community might never achieve the hashtagged fan dream of six seasons and a movie, the show has survived thanks to a pickup by Yahoo!, which has moved the show to its Screen service online ready for launch later this month. Now the Avengers-spoofing trailer for the sixth season has arrived. 

From the evidence of this, Greendale Community College is just as wacky and weird as ever, with plenty of the usual madness on display. The trailer naturally foregrounds the bigger comedy concepts and pop culture references that show creator Dan Harmon and his team have become adept at whisking into a satisfying whole. Hopefully the new episodes will also retain the emotional underpinning that has been a key component. 

With remaining regulars Joel McHale, Alison Brie, Gillian Jacobs, Jim Rash, Dani Pudi and Ken Jeong on full display here, there’s also a chance to briefly meet new faces Keith David and Paget Brewster, the latter introduced to the group by Rash’s Dean Pelton as “the new Shirley”, referencing the departure of Yvette Nicole Brown.

"The corset loosens a little bit," Harmon said of the series’ new home earlier this year. "There's a little, tiny bit more Britishness to the comedy. It's a little freer." While Yahoo! will kick off the first two of the 13-episode run online on March 17, UK viewers will be able to watch on TV via Sony Entertainment Television from March 18. 








First Photos Of Joseph Gordon-Levitt In Oliver Stone's Snowden

Wed, 04 Mar 2015 12:47:36 GMT

First Photos Of Joseph Gordon-Levitt In Oliver Stone's Snowden

From Russia, with love

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps and Savages might have put a bit of a dent in Oliver Stone's ratings, but it's hard not to feel the buzz around his upcoming project, Snowden, which has just started shooting. To celebrate the start of proceedings, the film's marketing folk have released these two images of Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a US Army reserve by the name of Edward Snowden.

{Gordon Levitt As Snowden }

Yes, Oliver Stone is getting political, gathering together Nicolas Cage, Zachary Quinto, Melissa Leo, Tom Wilkinson, Rhys Ifans, Shailene Woodley, Timothy Olyphant and Joely Richardson (as well as Joseph Gordon-Levitt) to create his based-on-truth drama about the infamous NSA whistleblower. 

Stone bought up two prime sources for his film: Time Of The Octopus, a novel by Snowden’s Russian lawyer Anatoly Kucherena, giving him access to the story of the whistleblower who reluctantly sought asylum in Russia and had to wait to see if the country would grant it. The producers also have the option on Guardian journalist Luke Harding’s book The Snowden Files: The Inside Story Of The World’s Most Wanted Man.

Pitched as a thriller, Snowden will chart the experiences of Snowden (Gordon-Levitt), the whistleblowing National Security Agency contractor who began leaking classified documents to former Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald in June 2013. Snowden, currently stuck in Russia after the US cancelled his passport, has become a polarising figure between those – such as the director himself – who consider him a patriotic hero, and those who feel he’s a traitor. 

After Laura Poitras’ Citizenfour won the Oscar for Best Documentary in February, and with Snowden blessed with US release date of December 25 this year, it seems Stone is aiming straight at The Academy with this one. A UK release date has not yet been announced.


Steven Spielberg's New Film Now Titled Bridge Of Spies

Wed, 04 Mar 2015 12:32:06 GMT

Steven Spielberg's New Film Now Titled Bridge Of Spies

Cold war thriller is untitled no longer

steven-spielberg-tom-hanks

Steven Spielberg completed shooting on his Untitled Cold War Thriller last year without ever settling on a name. That appears now to have changed, however, since screenwriter Marc Platt has casually revealed that it's actually called Bridge Of Spies. Tom Hanks stars in the film, which boasts a screenplay begun by Matt Charman and overhauled by the Coen Brothers.

The story is based on the true-life tale of James Donovan (Hanks); a lawyer who was pushed headfirst into the Cold War during the 1960s when he had to negotiate for the release of downed U2 spy plane pilot Gary Powers after the airman was shot down over Russia.

The title as it now stands refers to the popular Cold War nickname for what's now the Glienicke Bridge connecting Wannsee and Potsdam: East and West Germany at the time the film is set. Its official name then was the Bridge of Unity, but it garnered its alternate moniker due to its notoriety as a prisoner exchange point for Western and Soviet powers.

Hanks' supporting cast for the film includes Amy Ryan, Alan Alda, Austin Stowell, Billy Magnussen and the suddenly ubiquitous Mark Rylance. It's also just been revealed that Spielberg's regular honcho John Williams will be composing the score.

Filming took place in Berlin and New York, and Bridge Of Spies is out in the UK on October 9.


Steve Martin Joins Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

Wed, 04 Mar 2015 12:32:06 GMT

Steve Martin Joins Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

He's part of the cast for Ang Lee's latest

Steve-Martin-Joins-Billy-Lynns-Long-Halftime-Walk

Now that Ang Lee has found his main man in newcomer Joe Alwyn, he’s locking in the rest of the cast for his latest, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk. Steve Martin is set to co-star alongside Garrett Hedlund.

Adapted by Slumdog Millionaire writer Simon Beaufoy from Ben Fountain's book, the story follows the titular 19-year-old soldier (Alwyn), 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 of what Billy and his platoon endured in the heat of battle.

Deadline’s report on the casting makes no mention of what role Martin or Hedlund will play, though they’re apparently key parts of the story. Lee aims to start shooting this one in April.

Martin, last seen in bird spotting comedy drama The Big Year, is back on the big screen this month – well, his voice is, at least – in DreamWorks Animation’s Home, out March 20. Hedlund will be seen in Pan (July 17) and William Monahan’s Mojave, which has yet to find a release berth. 








Bryan Singer Adapting The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress

Wed, 04 Mar 2015 12:32:06 GMT

Bryan Singer Adapting The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress

He'll tackle the Robert A. Heinlein book

Bryan-Singer-Moon-Is-A-Harsh-Mistress

He might be deep in pre-production on his latest foray into the mutant world of the X-Men with Apocalypse but Bryan Singer is keeping one eye out for potential other projects. He’s now attached to direct an adaptation of Robert A. Heinlein’s science-fiction tome The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress.

Marc Guggenheim, best known at the moment for working on shows such as Arrow and The Flash, will write the script drawn from Heinlein’s 1966 novel.

The plot finds a lunar colony deciding that it really doesn’t want to be ruled by Earth and the political/military fallout that comes with the choice to revolt. Heinlein was nominated for the Nebula award and took home the Hugo Award for best science fiction novel in 1967.

And given how popular his work has been as fodder for screen adaptations – think The Puppet Masters and Starship Troopers – this is a title that has aroused interest in the past, with DreamWorks hiring Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio at one point and then Phoenix Pictures and Paddington producer David Heyman taking a crack, to no avail.

20th Century Fox is behind this latest effort after picking up the rights, and the studio will be hoping Singer has a little more success with this latest effort. At least, that is, once he’s finished Apocalypse, which is scheduled to start shooting in April and is set for a May 19 release next year.


Game Of Thrones' Rose Leslie Joins Luther

Wed, 04 Mar 2015 12:16:36 GMT

Game Of Thrones' Rose Leslie Joins Luther

But Ruth Wilson won't be back



A new two-part Luther special is underway, no doubt boasting all the growly detective work we’ve come to expect and love from everyone’s favourite bellowing London copper. What it won’t have, according to The Wrap’s scoop, is Ruth Wilson’s whipsmart sociopath to provide a menacing yin to the big man’s righteous yang. Instead, Game Of Thrones’ flinty Ygritte, Rose Leslie, has signed on for the show’s return, alongside The Inbetweeners Movie’s Laura Haddock.

Leslie will play a new character called Emma Jones, although whether she’ll be filling the psycho gap remains to be. Wilson’s Alice Morgan was one of the best things in Luther’s previous three seasons, simultaneously sinister and alluring and occasionally even outmatching the careworn copper with a cool intellect that was always calculating, always running the numbers. Like an old-fashioned femme fatale or a flirtier Moriarty, she offered a chemistry the show’s creator Neil Cross will be looking to replicate.

The two-parter sees Luther looking for payback against his most deadly adversary to date. Says executive producer Elizabeth Kilgarriff: “Neil Cross has pulled out all the stops to make this the biggest, scariest story.”
Joining Leslie and Haddock are Michael Smiley and Dermot Crowley, returning to their roles as police hacker Benny ‘Deadhead’ Silver and DSU Martin Schenk respectively. Expect to be dusting off your best “LOOOOFAH!” later this year.


Jeff Goldblum Back For Independence Day 2

Wed, 04 Mar 2015 11:30:10 GMT

Jeff Goldblum Back For Independence Day 2

Liam Hemsworth and Jessie Usher also confirmed



Roland Emmerich’s Independence Day sequel has been lurking in the inky blackness of space for almost as long as that alien mothership in the first movie, but it’s finally taking shape and has an increasingly familiar hue to it. ID4’s neurotic boffin with daddy issues, Jeff Goldblum’s MIT grad David Levinson, is back for the director’s follow-up. Emmerich confirmed the news alongside the official announcement of Liam Hemsworth’s casting via the medium of Twitter, adding to news of an new lead in Will Smith’s absence.

Alongside Goldblum (who has been in informal discussions since last year) and Hemsworth comes Jessie Usher who will appear as the son of Smith's Captain Steven Hiller in the new film. The first Independence Day helped launch Smith as a movie star and Usher, an up-and-comer with TV and movie credits to his name, will be hoping that tackling a fresh phalanx of warlike space bastards will reap similar rewards.

Details on the sequel, which may end up being titled Independence Day 2 or ID Forever, are scarce at the moment, though it’ll no doubt feature a return engagement with the resource-coveting alien menace that humanity saw off last time. Hemsworth signed on as the son-in-law of Bill Pullman's former President Whitmore and there is still talk of Pullman returning too. As Hiller's son – assuming The Hollywood Reporter's story pans out – Usher will be a key part of the cast. Carter Blanchard has written the most recent draft of the script and the studio set a June 24, 2016 release date late last year.

Goldblum was last seen in Mortdecai, while Hemsworth is returning for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 and will star alongside Kate Winslet in The Dressmaker. Usher has appeared in films such as Beautiful Boy and When The Game Stands Tall and is the star of recent basketball-focused drama Survivor’s Remorse on US network Starz.








Cary Fukunaga Updates On It

Wed, 04 Mar 2015 11:14:40 GMT

Cary Fukunaga Updates On It

The search for Pennywise continues



Cary Fukunaga has recently delivered True Detective's masterful first season and completed the Idris Elba-starring Beasts Of No Nation. But his long-gestating two-film adaptation of Stephen King's It remains in active development. Speaking to Brazilian newspaper O Globo, Fukunaga has revealed that King is an enthusiastic advocate of the latest screenplay, and that the difficult search for the perfect Pennywise continues.

The clown Pennywise is, for those unfamiliar, the form that the unknowable evil entity It takes the better to terrorise the group of childhood friends attempting to face it down. He was memorably played by Tim Curry in the so-so '90s TV version. Some forumites have suggested the leftfield casting of Tilda Swinton for the new iteration, and frankly, we can't now imagine anyone better.

Elsewhere in the Fukunaga interview, perhaps more interesting than non-casting stories is the news that the novel's timeframe has been updated. The dual narrative strands of the book follow our heroes in childhood in the '50s and in adulthood in the '80s: presumably the divide Fukunaga's two films will make. If the director is planning a modern-day take, that means the period-set childhood half will take place no earlier than 1985.

“It’s really good to know Stephen likes what we did," Fukunaga says. "I’ve been on this project for about five years. I had already read versions of the script but nothing felt right. Everybody tried to put too much into it, telling it from the perspective of the adult and the child in a two hour movie. It didn’t fit. So I decided to throw it all away and start from scratch. [Fukunaga and writers David Kajganich and Chase Palmer] changed names, dates, dynamics, but the spirit is similar to what he’d like to see in cinemas, I think."

Pre-production began on It last December, and that script now appears to be locked. But there's still no start date.


Independence Day 2 Adds Jessie Usher

Wed, 04 Mar 2015 01:26:10 GMT

Independence Day 2 Adds Jessie Usher

As Will Smith's son

Jessie-Usher-cast-Independence-Day-2

Back in 1996, Independence Day helped Will Smith’s career explode further on to the big screen. He’s not planning to be back for the sequel (as of right now, at least), but director Roland Emmerich has found someone to carry the torch. Jessie Usher will star as the son of Smith's Captain Steven Hiller in the new film.

Details on the sequel, which may end up being titled Independence Day 2 or ID Forever, are scarce at the moment, though it’ll no doubt feature a return engagement with the resource-coveting alien menace that humanity saw off last time. Casting-wise, it’s still being kept quiet, though Liam Hemsworth has been offered a role and looks set to sign on as the son-in-law of Bill Pullman's former President  Whitmore and there is talk of Pullman and Jeff Goldblum coming back for a second round. As Hiller's son – assuming The Hollywood Reporter's story pans out – Usher will be a key part of the cast. Carter Blanchard has written the most recent draft of the script and the studio set a June 24, 2016 release date late last year.

Usher has appeared in films such as Beautiful Boy and When The Game Stands Tall and is the star of recent basketball-focused drama Survivor’s Remorse on US network Starz. 


David Denman Set For 13 Hours

Wed, 04 Mar 2015 00:39:46 GMT

David Denman Set For 13 Hours

As a sniper

David-Denman-13-Hours

Michael Bay is continuing to build the cast he needs for true-life thriller 13 Hours. He’s just added actor David Denman to the ensemble as he prepares to kick off shooting next month

Written by Chuck Hogan, the script adapts Mitchell Zuckoff’s book 13 Hours: The Inside Account Of What Really Happened In Benghazi. The focus will be on six members of a security team who fought to defend the US State Department Special Mission Compound in Libya when terrorists attacked the place. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and one of the compound’s workers died in the initial assault and two contractors were killed during another attack on a nearby CIA facility. 

John Krasinski – who worked with Denman on the US version of The Office – is starring alongside James Badge Dale, Max Martini and Pablo Schreiber, with Denman recruited as an elite sniper named Boon.

In addition to The Office, Denman has also been seen in After Earth, Men, Women & Children and Smart People. He’s just worked on Joel Edgerton’s as yet untitled directorial debut and will report for duty on the 13 Hours set this April, with Bay scheduled to film in Malta and Morocco.