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Andy Serkis' Star Wars: The Force Awakens Character Revealed

10 hours ago

No, this is not the final look for Andy Serkis’s gravel-voiced character in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The picture, as you’ll have guessed, shows him in his performance-capture rig. But we do at least now know his character’s name thanks to Vanity Fair and the official Star Wars site: Supreme Leader Snoke.We’ll have to wait to see what Snoke actually looks like once Ilm have worked their industrial light-based magic on his performance, but it’s safe to say that Snoke is probably not the friendliest sort. It’s not mentioned in the piece on the site, but we’d wager a hefty bag of credits that he’s the top dog in the First Order, born from the ruins of the Galactic Empire. That's his voice talking over the original teaser for the film.The image is a shot that was never »


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Rick Baker Retires

13 hours ago

First the garage, now the whole workshop. Rick Baker, the legendary Hollywood make-up and special effects wizard, has officially announced his retirement. Fresh from a sale of some of his career memorabilia, Baker shared the news with Californian public radio station Kpcc that he was putting away the prosthetics for good."I said the time is right, I am 64 years old, and the business is crazy right now,” he explained. "I like to do things right, and they wanted cheap and fast. That is not what I want to do, so I just decided it is basically time to get out.”Baker, of course, is the make-up artist behind some of the most memorable, marvellous and maquetted cinematic creations of the past four decades. He emerged as the heir apparent to Jack Pierce in the mid-‘70s, collaborating with fellow SFX guru Carlo Rambaldi on King Kong in 1976 and going »


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Henry Cavill Exits Stratton

15 hours ago

Are you fit, able to walk nonchalantly away from giant explosions, and available at very short notice? If so, you may want to contact Simon West. The director will be on the lookout for a rapid replacement for his Stratton lead Henry Cavill, who’s quit the production a week before shooting was scheduled to start.According to ScreenDaily, the Man of Steel had been unsuccessfully lobbying for changes to the shooting script. “[Cavill] told us he has decided not to shoot this script at this time,” said Guy Collins, co-founder of the film’s financiers Gfm Films. "He had a different vision of what the film should be to us and the production team and wanted to delay production until September and shoot a different story and script.”An action-thriller about an Sbs special forces trooper co-opted into MI6 to tackle a global terrorist cell, Stratton was aimed as a potential franchise-launcher. »


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Will Forte Signs Up For Keanu

15 hours ago

That acclaimed dramatic turn in Nebraska clearly wasn't enough to make Will Forte stray from the comedy path. Following his hit TV show The Last Man On Earth (co-created with Phil Lord and Chris Miller) and a recent outing to the Wild West in Adam Sandler's The Ridiculous Six, he's joining the double-act Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele for Keanu.Peter Atencio, who directs Key & Peele's sketch show and has also worked on The Last Man On Earth, is calling the shots on the story, which involves the comedy duo acting like gangstas to retrieve a stolen kitten. It hasn't yet been specified why the film is called Keanu, but we'd lay money on that being the kitten's name. Let's hope he's not too sad a Keanu if he's been kidnapped.Forte will play a pot dealer obsessed with black culture, although Peele is actually the only black person he knows. »


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New Ant-Man Poster Dodges Bullets Online

16 hours ago

Not content with starring on the cover of the current Empire, Marvel’s latest – and sometimes smallest – hero, Ant-Man, has decided that bullet-dodging seems like a fine hobby. Okay, so it’s all part of a mission, but it’s been captured for posterity on a new poster for the film. Michael Douglas stars as the super scientist Hank Pym, the man who creates the technology that powers the Ant-Man suit, while Evangeline Lilly is Hope Van Dyne, his estranged daughter. Paul Rudd's Scott Lang is the thief who Pym takes under his wing to become the new, modern Ant-Man. And they’ll need to act quickly, because Pym’s business and technology has been appropriated by the less-than-moral Darren Cross (Corey Stoll), who has his own plans for the suit’s special abilities.{Empire Superhero Issue Ant-Man Exclusive Stills}With Peyton Reed calling the shots, Ant-Man also features the likes of Judy Greer, »


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Podcast #163: Simon Pegg

16 hours ago

Simon Pegg appears on the Empire Podcast for a record-breaking fourth time this week, talking about everything from his new Star Trek script (Star Trek: Beyond) to his latest, the Brit rom-com Man Up, which just so happens to be out in UK cinemas today.Elsewhere, the team tackle The Rock - figuratively speaking - with his new disaster movie San Andreas crashing into cinemas, and come to terms with Tilda Swinton possibly playing The Ancient One in the upcoming Marvel movie Doctor Strange.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. »


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Exclusive Point Break Featurette

21 hours ago

The film itself features extreme sport enthusiasts who use their daredevil skills to plan and execute complicated, dangerous heists. So naturally, the new Point Break needed input from some experts in the field. Have a look at how the various athletes contributed to the film’s big set pieces.Taking its cue from the original, this new action-thriller finds Luke Bracey taking over the Johnny Utah role once occupied by Keanu Reeves, while Edgar Ramirez slips on the wetsuit as Bodhi, formerly played by Patrick Swayze. Once more, Utah is an FBI agent in way over his head, working undercover the thrill-seekers who also like to pull off staggering crimes.According to director Ericson Core, the people involved with making sure Bodhi and co look good while staying safe were all risking ther lives for the stunts. The experts include big wave rider Laird Hamilton (who consulted on the 1991 version, »


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Vin Diesel Teases New York As Fast & Furious 8's Main Locale

22 hours ago

Fast & Furious 7 is still roaring away at the box office and the eighth instalment of the car-happy franchise has only just been announced. But it’s never too early for Vin Diesel to get the hype train rolling (and jumping its tracks, then slamming into reverse before driving through a mountain) for the new film, so he’s hit Instagram to offer a new tease.  #TorettoTuesdayA photo posted by Vin Diesel (@vindiesel) on May 26, 2015 at 12:26pm PDTYes, New York, New York, the city that never sleeps will probably have more trouble getting a good rest with Dom Toretto and the gang tearing through its streets. And if they can manage to pull off car chases in traffic-heavy cities such as London and Los Angeles, they should be fine in the Big Apple. But what could that blood splatter on the eight mean? While the original ending of Fast »


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Saoirse Ronan And Dakota Fanning Vie For Fantastic Beasts

23 hours ago

With Eddie Redmayne looking like a lock as lead, J.K. Rowling and David YatesFantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them is pitching its casting net again to fill some of its other major roles. According to The Wrap’s sources, Warner Bros. is now running the rule over a shortlist of actresses for the parts of Tina and her older sister, Queenie.Being lined up to see who can do the best magic – we’re pretty sure that’s how it works – are Saoirse Ronan, Dakota Fanning, True Detective’s Lili Simmons and Transparent’s Alison Sudol for the role of Tina, and Kate Upton, Katherine Waterston and The Great Gatsby’s Elizabeth Debicki for Queenie.It’s a strong shortlist with a blend of newish faces, like Inherent Vice standout Katherine Waterston, and more established names like Fanning and Ronan. Warner Bros. remain tightlipped on the news but »


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Joe Wright May Jump Into The Lifeboat

23 hours ago

Anne Hathaway has been busy putting together a new starring role. She’s been a producer on the adaptation of a book called The Lifeboat since at least 2013, but is in the process of locking down a director, with Anna Karenina’s Joe Wright now in talks.  William Broyles Jr., who knows a little bit about people stuck in difficult situations after writing Cast Away, is at work on the script. Charlotte Rogan’s historical novel focuses on Grace Winter, a young woman standing trial for murder in 1914. As part of her testimony, Grace recalls how she and her new husband survived the sinking of a transatlantic ship called the Empress and ended up stranded in a lifeboat. Trouble is, there were too many people aboard, and the survivors starting to think about getting rid of one or two of them. Was Grace part of a plot? Or an innocent victim of a whispering campaign? »


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American Ultra Red Band Trailer Shoots Online

28 May 2015 10:05 AM, PDT

What do you get when you cross Jason Bourne with Pineapple Express? No, you do not get a pineapple grenade. You get American Ultra, which finds Jesse Eisenberg as a stoner with a slightly violent past. Check out the trailer, which is restricted largely thanks to some sweary language from the likes of John Leguizamo and Topher Grace.  The film, written by Chronicle/Victor Frankenstein’s Max Landis, finds Eisenberg as Mike Howell, an easy-going stoner content to work a boring job in a convenience store and live a happy life with girlfriend Phoebe (Kristen Stewart). He’s so settled that he’s about to propose to her, but then his life becomes very complicated. As in bullets-flying-and-cars-going-boom complicated.Mike, you see, is a government asset, a trained killer who has been in sleeper mode, but is now considered a liability and targeted for termination. Yet it’ll take more »


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Sam Neill Finds The Hippopotamus

28 May 2015 10:04 AM, PDT

Stephen Fry’s comic bestseller The Hippopotamus is the latest tome targeted for big screen adaptation and the producers are now rounding up a cast. Sam Neill and Roger Allam are both on board for the new film, which has John Jencks set to direct.Blanche McIntyre and Tom Hodgson wrote the script, which finds Allam as disgraced poet Ted Wallace travelling to his friend’s country manor to investigate some unexplained miracle healings. There he discovers that the truth is slightly sleazier than anyone suspected: the perpetrator is horny teenager David Logan, who is styling himself as a sexual healer with an eager clientele.To make matters more complicated, David’s dad Michael (Neill) has decided he should share his son’s gift with the world, blissfully unaware of what is actually going on. Can Ted debunk the “miracles” in time to save his pal from a raft of mockery? »


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Fox Rounds Up An Urban Cowboy TV Remake

28 May 2015 10:03 AM, PDT

The original film helped cement John Travolta’s reputation as a movie star and brought both country music and, er, bar-based mechanical bulls more mainstream recognition. Now 20th Century Fox TV and Paramount TV are hoping that a series based on 1980 drama Urban Cowboy will stay on the ratings bull for a while. Hustle & Flow’s Craig Brewer is attached to write and direct the pilot, and oversee the potential series as executive producer. It’ll chronicle the star-crossed relationship of Bud Davis and Sissy (played in the film version by Debra Winger), who meet in a Texas bar, fall in love and marry quickly. Yet their relationship is filled with the push-and-pull of their differing outlooks on life, which causes them endless emotional friction. Though the movie was praised for the depiction of the romance and the world around it, the series should offer possibilities to explore it even more deeply, »


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Chris Pine Circles A Key Role In Wonder Woman

27 May 2015 10:54 PM, PDT

Back in April, word arrived that Scott Eastwood was joining Suicide Squad, and the chatter then pointed to him playing key Wonder Woman character Steve Trevor. Now comes Variety to clear all that up, with news that the man most likely to take the role is Star Trek’s Chris Pine.The once and future (and alternate universe) Captain Kirk is reportedly in negotiations to join the stand-alone Wonder Woman film that Warner Bros. has in development for 2017 starring Gal Gadot. Trevor, in case you don’t know his comic book history with the lasso-happy Amazon, was an intelligence officer in the Us Army during World War II whose plane crashed on Paradise Island. There, he was nursed back to health by princess Diana, and love blossomed between the two. Diana returned to his more mortal existence with him, taking on the mantle of Wonder Woman and her everyday alter ego, »


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St. Paul's Explodes In New London Has Fallen Posters

27 May 2015 9:16 PM, PDT

Lock up your valuables, Londoners, wrap the cat in cotton wool and retreat to the nearest panic room, cupboard or safe place because the unlikely Olympus franchise is heading your way. And by the looks of these two new posters for sequel London Has Fallen, it’s taking most of the tourist attractions with it. Click below for a closer look. Whichever dastardly forces are at play in the Olympus Has Fallen sequel clearly have an even bigger, more nefarious plan in place than the North Koreans in the first instalment – and they basically blew up Washington.Again, it’s left to Gerard Butler’s secret service guy, Mike Banning, to save the day, possibly with a little help from one of his MI6 counterparts (Charlotte Riley), when Aaron Eckhart’s President Benjamin Asher is targeted in London at the funeral of the Prime Minister. Other world leaders are also in jeopardy. »


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Cop Car Trailer Joyrides Online

27 May 2015 5:05 PM, PDT

Hot on the heels of his Clown, Jon Watts' next thriller is already almost upon us. Cop Car stars Kevin Bacon as a lawman with a very particular set of problems, and the trailer has just pulled up.As you'll just have seen, the film involves two boys who find a police cruiser apparently abandoned in the woods and unwisely decide to take it for a joyride. Understandably it turns out their owner wants it back, but perhaps not entirely for reasons of the boys' safety. What, we wonder, is in that trunk?"There’s a certain type of person that will take that time to grow that kind of a mustache..." ">says Bacon. But he's keen to stress that Cop Car is "not the darkest place I've gone" on film, referring, obviously, to those Union Jack shorts in the Ee advert.Cop Car has been gaining enthusiastic passengers »


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Patricia Highsmith's Ripley Heads For TV

27 May 2015 5:02 PM, PDT

With this year marking the 60th anniversary of Tom Ripley's debut, it seems fitting that a significant new screen project should be in the works. Much filmed already, this time he's heading to television, with Television 360 and Endemol Shine Studios joining forces to adapt all five of Patricia Highsmith's macabre crime novels.Not the alien-fighting kind, Highsmith's Ripley is a con-artist and serial killer, living the high life courtesy of a stolen inheritance, a wealthy father-in-law and a lucrative sideline in art forgery. Suave and sophisticated, he's completely without conscience and can't even remember his bodycount (it's actually a modest ten, with a handful of other deaths indirectly attributable to him). The books he appears in, published between 1955 and 1991, are The Talented Mr. Ripley, Ripley Under Ground, Ripley's Game, The Boy Who Followed Ripley and Ripley Under Water. The first was adapted as Purple Moon with Alain Delon »


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Jackie Earle Haley Joins Birth Of A Nation

27 May 2015 5:01 PM, PDT

First announced last year with Nate Parker and Armie Hammer heading the cast, Birth Of A Nation has added two more to its roster. Jackie Earle Haley and Sons Of Anarchy's Mark Boone Jr. have both signed up for the film, which Parker has also written and is directing.Birth Of A Nation is, for obvious reasons, not a remake of the notorious D.W. Griffith film - although that title is clearly no accident. Rather, it's the story of Nat Turner's slave rebellion in Virginia in 1831 and the events that made him one of the most controversial figures in America in the years leading up to the Civil War."It isn’t a story about a black guy that killed white people," says Parker. "This is a story about an American hero that fought for ideals that America was supposed to be built on: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, »


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Woody Harrelson And Laura Dern To Meet Wilson

27 May 2015 5:01 PM, PDT

Nine years on from the last comic-to-screen adaptation of Daniel Clowes' work, things are finally coming together for Wilson. Woody Harrelson and Laura Dern are in talks to star in the film, which Clowes himself has scripted and Craig Johnson will direct. Sam Raimi is among the producers.The 2010 graphic novel revolves around the titular misanthrope: an opinionated loner who loves his dog but finds people harder to get along with. He tries though, often haranguing total strangers on a variety of subjects. But when his father dies, leaving him completely starved of human relationships, he sets out to find his junkie ex-wife, learns he has a teenage daughter he never knew about, and tries for a last haphazard stab at family life. Harrelson will play Wilson, with Dern his ex-wife. Clowes' previous excursions into film were Ghost World and Art School Confidential, both of which had Terry Zwigoff calling the shots. »


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Jason Reitman Finds Beekle For DreamWorks Animation

27 May 2015 3:53 PM, PDT

He's had trouble with his recent films as a director for adults – both Labor Day and Men, Women & Children faltered critically and commercially – so Jason Reitman will be hoping for more success with a family audience, sealing a deal to write and direct Beekle for DreamWorks Animation. Reitman will adapt The Adventures Of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend, Dan Santat’s Caldecott Medal-winning story of an imaginary friend who searches for a child to connect with. With luck, it’ll let him recapture the comic tone he showed to such successful effect in Juno and Thank You For Smoking, albeit with a PG or U rating. "I was book shopping with my daughter, when a little tooth-shaped character in a paper crown stole our hearts," Reitman explains. "His name was Beekle, and I'm honoured to now be adapting Santat's charming story into a feature film. I'm particularly proud to be working with DreamWorks Animation, »


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