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Taika Waititi Directing Thor: Ragnarok

3 October 2015 11:54 AM, PDT

One we can file under surprising and surprisingly welcome decisions: Marvel has What We Do In The Shadows co-writer/co-director/actor Taika Waititi in negotiations to direct Thor: Ragnarok. He’s certainly not the first person we’d have guessed the company would pick to tackle the third instalment of the films about Chris Hemsworth’s Norse god warrior – his previous work before Shadows was Eagle Vs. Shark and a batch of shorts. But his vampire film proved he could handle effects, albeit on a much smaller scale than the Marvel movies, and he’s got a keen sense of humour, which will be particularly helpful for Loki’s schemes. Plus, Marvel has seen great results with unexpected choices before, including the Russo brothers, James Gunn and Shane BlackCraig Kyle and Christopher Yost are currently credited with the script for the new Thor film, which promises big changes in »

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James McAvoy In Talks For M Night Shyamalan's Latest

3 October 2015 11:50 AM, PDT

Back in August, it looked like we were headed for a Signs reunion, as Joaquin Phoenix was in talks to star in M. Night Shyamalan’s next film. That’s no longer happening, but the director is already lining up a likely replacement, with James McAvoy now his leading man of choice.This new one is being kept a closely guarded secret, but it will, as is often the case with the director, shoot in Philadelphia (he likes to stay close to home with most of his movies). And, like The Visit – budgeted at Blumhouse’s standard $5 million, which Shyamalan put up himself – it’ll be another less expensive effort. The spirit of mystery, of course means that we have no idea what McAvoy will be up to. What we do know is that Shyamalan will start the cameras rolling this November and we can expect the film next year. »

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Marvel Calls Up Damage Control

3 October 2015 11:45 AM, PDT

What was rumoured a while ago has now emerged blinking into the bright light of reality: Us network ABC, home to Marvel series Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Agent Carter, is developing a new companion show based on the comic book company’s title Damage Control.Originally published in 1989 the comic follows the power-free duties of the team who are tasked with cleaning up after super-suited types have finished doing battle or otherwise interacting: there are lost ray guns to return to rightful owners, weddings to re-schedule after the intended venue has been vaporised and even the odd parrot to be tracked down when it has been turned to stone. Given the crowded nature of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which has been known to crossover with the TV side of things, we can expect them to be busy.Unlike S.H.I.E.L.D. and Carter or any of the Netflix shows, »

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Brendan Gleeson And Jeremy Irons Join Assassin's Creed

3 October 2015 11:31 AM, PDT

It’s father’s day for console game adaptation Assassin’s Creed. Which is to say that Brendan Gleeson and Jeremy Irons have jumped aboard the film to play a pair of dads.Macbeth director Justin Kurzel has his Bard starring pair Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard back for this one, which writers Bill Collage, Adam Cooper and Michael Lesslie have adapted from the high-selling UbiSoft title. Fassbender is starring as an everyman kidnapped by a mysterious, high-tech organisation and forced to relive the memories of his assassin ancestors as he locates powerful artefacts. Gleeson is Fassbender’s father while Irons plays Cotillard’s pop.They join a cast that already includes Michael Kenneth Williams, Ariane Labed, Carlos Bardem, Javier Gutiérrez and Denis Ménochet, with Kurzel currently cranking the cameras ready for a December 30, 2016 release.Gleeson, most recently seen Stonehearst Asylum, will next crop up in Suffragette, out October 12 and »

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Alexander Payne's Downsizing Set Up At Paramount

3 October 2015 11:29 AM, PDT

In development for several years already, Alexander Payne is finally ready to push ahead with sci-fi comedy Downsizing, with Nebraska distributors Paramount stepping in to handle the film.Payne wrote the script with Sideways partner Jim Taylor, and the plot will see an Omaha man (Matt Damon) low on money who decides that life would be a lot cheaper and easier if he underwent a procedure to shrink himself. Travelling through life as a tiny person, he meets a woman (Reese Witherspoon). In a previous incarnation, the film also boasted Sacha Baron Cohen and Paul Giamatti in the cast, but the Hollywood Reporter’s story on the new development doesn’t mention them, so we’ll assume for now they’re no longer aboard, but could always make new deals. While the idea of an Alexander Payne VFX film does somewhat boggle our minds, we’re excited to see what he’ll do with technology. »

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Director David Leitch Enters The Coldest City

3 October 2015 11:24 AM, PDT

In demand since they broke into directing full time with John Wick, stunt co-ordinators-turned-shot-calling pair David Leitch and Chad Stahelski have decided that the best way to make the most of their career bump is to divide and conquer. So Stahelski is staying aboard John Wick 2 to make that alone, while Leitch is moving to make Charlize Theron spy thriller The Coldest City, to which they became attached back in May.Dead Space/Wasteland writer Antony Johnston is behind the graphic novel source material for the film, which Kurt Johnstad is adapting. Theron will be a skilled intelligence operative that is called into action when an undercover MI6 spy is killed just before the fall of the Berlin Wall. She’ll have to track down a list he was smuggling to the West in order to prevent her and her colleagues becoming endangered by the release of crucial information. »

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Paddy Considine Added To Peaky Blinders

3 October 2015 11:23 AM, PDT

With the third series kicking off production this week, Peaky Blinders creator Stephen Knight hasn’t finished causing problems for Cillian Murphy’s Tommy Shelby. Paddy Considine has come aboard to show to play someone who will be a serious thorn in his side.According to Knight, who talked to Deadline, the new series will find Tommy expanding his crime syndicate internationally, which brings with it new challenges and threats. Among the other new additions are Dina Korzun and Jan Bijvoet, who play refugees who desperately need Tommy’s help. “I am genuinely thrilled at the prospect of Season Three. I think it will be the best yet,” Knight says. “Lots of things familiar, but lots of things are new. It’s still a Birmingham story and it always will be. Now, it has international consequences. I can’t wait to see it myself.” And in case you were wondering, »

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Drew Goddard Says MGM Wants A Cabin In The Woods Sequel

3 October 2015 11:20 AM, PDT

The Martian's writer Drew Goddard has been hitting the promotional trail for it and, like quote-factory Ridley Scott, he’s also been asked about other projects he either has or could be attached to. He gave a surprising answer to a question about his directorial debut, The Cabin In The Woods: it seems MGM wants to go back to the cabin.Talking with Den Of Geek, Goddard had this to say about the studio’s seeming excitement for more of the horror-tweaking concept that he and Joss Whedon came up with, wrote and produced together: "the studio wants to do it. They've come to us."There’s just one small matter to be solved. How do you make a sequel to a film that – without getting into spoilers – would seem to rule out any follow-ups? The story of a group of unwary friends headed to a spooky cabin in the woods, »

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Fox TV Plans Lethal Weapon Series

3 October 2015 11:15 AM, PDT

Proving that there are seemingly no films that companies can’t consider for the TV-reboot machine, Warner Bros. TV and Fox in the Us are teaming up to work on a Lethal Weapon series.Writer/producer Matt Miller is in charge of developing the new show, which has a pilot order from Fox. He’ll weave elements from the original series in with new twists – the show will follow the exploits of a former Navy Seal and Texas police officer who moves to La after the death of his wife and young child, and is paired with an Lapd detective who has to avoid stress at all costs because he has a heart condition – in the hopes of capturing some of the success of the film franchise. It’ll also offer two new actors the unenviable task of filling roles that aren’t quite Riggs (Mel Gibson) and Murtaugh (Danny Glover »

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John Ortiz Heading For Kong: Skull Island

3 October 2015 11:12 AM, PDT

The boat headed for the fog-shrouded titular destination in Kong: Skull Island is getting a little more crowded. John Ortiz and Shea Whigham are the latest additions to the cast for the monster adventure. Jordan Vogt-Roberts is the director in charge of this particular voyage, working from a script that was most recently re-written by Jurassic World’s Derek Connolly. Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, John Goodman, Samuel L. Jackson, Jason Mitchell and Corey Hawkins head the cast for the film, which is keeping its plot mostly quiet, but will presumably see a team of explorers headed to King Kong’s home and explore the origins of the giant ape.Overseers Legendary Pictures project recently switched the project from Universal to Warner Bros. in the hopes of building towards a Godzilla Vs. Kong conflict pic. But that’s for the future – right now, Kong: Skull Island will need to prove there »

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The Martian Rockets To The Top Of The Us Box Office

3 October 2015 11:08 AM, PDT

It had plenty of word-of-mouth thrust, was boosted by great reviews and the news of water on Mars didn’t hurt. Ridley Scott’s latest, The Martian, soared to the top of the box office charts in the Us this weekend with $55 million, according to studio estimates.With a healthy opening here and elsewhere in the world, the movie has passed $100 million already, though that successful launch wasn’t quite enough to send it beyond the stratosphere of Gravity’s early ceiling, which kicked off in 2013 with $55.7 million, meaning The Martian takes second place on the October opening record charts. Still, there’s a chance the final figures could adjust up and Matt Damon’s Mark Watney could science the shit out of the math to nudge the film ahead.Without any other major wide release competition (we’ll get to The Walk later), the charts stayed fairly similar except »

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Final Spectre Trailer Flies In

2 October 2015 10:11 AM, PDT

The film itself is mere weeks away, so here then is what Sony and Eon are calling the final trailer for James Bond’s new outing, Spectre. Have a look below. As per the official synopsis, a cryptic message from the past sends Daniel Craig’s Bond on a rogue mission to Mexico City and eventually Rome, where he meets Lucia Sciarra (Monica Bellucci), the beautiful and forbidden widow of an infamous criminal.  Bond infiltrates a secret meeting and uncovers the existence of the sinister organisation known as Spectre. Meanwhile back in London, Max Denbigh (Andrew Scott), the new head of the Centre for National Security, questions Bond’s actions and challenges the relevance of MI6, led by M (Ralph Fiennes). Bond covertly enlists Moneypenny (Naomie Harris) and Q (Ben Whishaw) to help him seek out Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux), the daughter of his old nemesis Mr. White (Jesper Christensen »

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First Image From The New Bridget Jones

2 October 2015 9:47 AM, PDT

Shock! And also horror. Move over Mark DarcyBridget Jones has a new love. His name is Ian Pad (though he trendily goes by iPad), and he’s clearly the best thing in her life (and arms) right now. Yes, it’s the first picture of Renée Zellweger as Helen Fielding’s heroine from the third Jones outing, called – currently, at least – Bridget Jones’s Baby.The original Bridget’s director Sharon Maguire is back to make this one, from a script that has seen work by Fielding and Far From The Madding Crowd’s David Nicholls. Plot-wise, details are still locked in Bridget’s diary, but word is that the new movie will be based on Fielding’s columns and not her third book, Bridget Jones: Mad About The Boy, which (spoiler) outraged fans by offing Mark Darcy and leaving Bridge to raise their kids alone.Instead, the »

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Empire Podcast 181: Anne Hathaway And Robert De Niro

2 October 2015 1:47 AM, PDT

This week's Empire Podcast sees a couple of rising stars making an appearance in the audio booth of destiny. Anne Hathaway and Robert De Niro are combining for the first time in The Intern and the pair swung by to chat about their collaboration, make the tea and help with the mail-out.Adding more high-calibre cinematic magic to the mix this week are The Martian and Macbeth. Our crack team of reviewers run the rule over them - spoiler: they're terrific - while there's an update on the ongoing saga of Pacific Rim 2 that may bring a tear to the eye of any kaiju listening. If indeed, those scaly death peepers are even capable of tears. Listen out, too, for a debate on the best movies to share a title. Is Spellbound the best in class? And can Chris even spell it? Find out below.P.S. You can check »

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Sony Plans An Animated Ghostbusters Film

1 October 2015 7:09 PM, PDT

Sony and producer Ivan Reitman appear to be going further with their plans for more Ghostbusters films. With Paul Feig’s take on the story finished shooting and at the editing stage, The Tracking Board has learned that the studio is developing an animated film based on the ghost-hunting gang.No writer or director is attached yet, and the actual eventual content of the film remains locked behind executive doors at Reitman’s Ghost Corps company for now. But the cartoon nature of the film possibly points to the surviving original cast of Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Ernie Hudson and Sigourney Weaver – who all have cameoed in Feig’s film – returning to their original roles for a movie the studio no doubt helps can lure in a younger crowd.Of course, that depends on whether this turns out to be a new take on the classic story or some new direction. »

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Joseph Gordon-Levitt Has A New Role In Sight

1 October 2015 7:05 PM, PDT

Joseph Gordon-Levitt returns to our screens this week with Robert ZemeckisThe Walk, in which he plays real-life high-wire man Philippe Petit. If producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron have their way, he’ll star in a new thriller called In Sight. Katie Lovejoy, who scored the job of adapting Ya novel The Selection for Warner Bros., is writing the script, about which we know... Exactly nothing. Deadline’s report makes no mention of plot details and only offers the genre: psychological thriller. But we’re guessing there was something compelling for Gordon-Levitt to consider it.The project was developed at the producers’ company and then offered to studios, with Sony taking serious interest, but Universal ultimately winning out. Now begins the slog through development, so we may not hear much about this one for a while.Aside from The Walk, Gordon-Levitt will be seen in Jonathan Levine »

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New Doctor Who Spin-Off Announced

1 October 2015 4:36 PM, PDT

In its current incarnation – that is, since it returned to our screens in 2005 – Doctor Who has spawned three main telly spin-offs in Torchwood, Totally Doctor Who and The Sarah Jane Adventures. Now, in the Peter Capaldi era, we can expect a fourth, with teen-centric series Class on the way next year.The Beeb has announced the new BBC Three show, which will be overseen by novelist Patrick Ness. Class, which will be set in a modern-day school in London, will span eight 45-minute episodes in its initial run."I'm astounded and thrilled to be entering the Doctor Who universe, which is as vast as time and space itself," said Ness in a statement. There's so much room there for all kinds of amazing stories and to work with Steven Moffat and producer Brian Minchin to find a place to tell one of my own has been an absolute joy."I »

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Zack Snyder Pitched A Watchmen Series To HBO

1 October 2015 4:34 PM, PDT

Zack Snyder is the man overseeing Warner Bros./DC’s movie universe at the moment, with the Justice League’s fledgling film days in full swing. But back in 2009, he tackled a much more controversial title, adapting Alan Moore and Dave GibbonsWatchmen graphic novel. And if he has his way, the darker take on DC superheroics could be back – on TV. Collider has heard that Snyder has apparently pitched some idea for a Watchmen series to HBO. No details were revealed about what form the story might take or where in the characters’ chronology the series could be set, but with Moore’s original tale and the more recent prequel run of comics (that sound you hear is Moore preparing a curse for everyone involved), there’s plenty of source material to draw from.But with no official confirmation of any meetings or plans, there’s no way of »

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Illustrated Poster For Scouts Guide To The Zombie Apocalypse

1 October 2015 10:29 AM, PDT

Who would you call to battle a rising tide of the undead? The police? The army? Simon Pegg? If none of them were available, you might have to turn to scouts, as is the case with Scouts Guide To The Zombie Apocalypse, which is aping Drew Struzan with its new poster. The movie finds three scouts, lifelong friends, who are trying to attend the party marked as the social event of the year. But instead of having fun, they must team up with a tough cocktail waitress to try and save their town from a zombie invasion. Can these unlikely heroes make it through the undead apocalypse? They’ll need all their scouting skills, but we’re sure success would lead to the best badge ever created. Aiming at a largely low-fi approach to the effects to give it that extra kick of nostalgia (with a few digital tricks added »

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Lionsgate Adapting The Kingkiller Chronicle For Movies And More

1 October 2015 10:26 AM, PDT

With Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy finished and Game Of Thrones unlikely to head to cinema screens any time soon, studios are naturally looking for fantasy source material to fuel the next big franchise. Lionsgate thinks it might be on to a winner, securing a big deal for Patrick Rothfuss’ Kingkiller Chronicle series.Rothfuss’ series, which kicked off in 2007, includes an anchor trilogy (with the third book likely next year) and three novellas set in the same world. The focus is told in three time streams: the present, in which the protagonist, Kvothe, is dictating his life’s story to a historian of sorts; the past, a first-person account of Kvothe’s life, and lastly, in chronologically cloudy parables and stories peppered throughout the books. It’s full of clever narrative tricks and meta subplots, and studios have been circling for a while, not least after Rothfuss took several meetings »

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