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Juan Carlos Fresnadillo Off Highlander

2 December 2012 9:14 AM, PST

The director’s chair on Summit’s planned remake of Highlander has become something of a revolving door. The latest to be spun back out into the unforgiving weather outside is Juan Carlos Fresnadillo.He came aboard in September last year, jumping ship from a developing remake of The Crow to try his hand with the clan MacLeod. But after more than a year of trying to concoct a version everyone could agree on, he’s throw in the towel and exited amicably, at least according to Deadline.Fresnadillo joins Justin Lin on the Former Directors list, which means that the search will continue apace this week. At least the film itself is in slighty better shape, as in addition to a script written by Art Marcum and Matt Holloway (and polished by Noah Oppenheimer under Fresnadillo’s supervision), it has Ryan Reynolds attached to star as Connor MacLeod.Whether »


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The Empire Podcast #39 Is Here!

30 November 2012 5:38 AM, PST

A interview triple bill for you on this week's Empire Podcast with actor Jake Gyllenhaal (End Of Watch), director Ben Wheatley (Sightseers) and producer Stephen Woolley (Great Expectations) all dropping by to talk a whole load of glorious waffle with the team.Elsewhere, the Star Wars Episode VII news round-up continues apace, Star Trek Into Darkness gets a synopsis and Susan Boyle biopic casting suggestions are made.Then there are reviews of Rise Of The Guardians and The Hunt (as well as Great Expectations and Sightseers) and your questions answered, including one of the biggest asked so far: what's the best musical ever? Well, exactly...So for all that and a whole lot more, click play on the SoundCloud file below, or subscribe to the Empire Podcast via our iTunes page (though you'll need to wait a moment) or this handy RSS feed.  »


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Empire Joins The Ee Rising Star Jury

30 November 2012 1:00 AM, PST

Empire is pleased to announce that we’ve been asked to join the star-marking jury that will decide the shortlist for this year’s Ee Rising Star Award.The award, which honours a young actor or actress who has demonstrated exceptional talent and ambition and has begun to capture the imagination of the British public, has become an integral part of the Ee British Academy Film Awards over the last few years, and the winner will be announced at next year’s awards on Sunday, February 10.Chris Hewitt, News Editor and host of the Empire Podcast, was our representative on the Ee Rising Star Award jury, which thrust together a smattering of film journalists, from the mighty Mark Kermode to Charles Gant to Metro’s Larushka Ivan-Zadeh, Grazia’s Paul Flynn and Shortlist’s Jonny Pile, and figures from the film industry, including Touching The Void director Kevin Macdonald, casting director Nina Gold, »


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Monsters University Teaser Posters Land

29 November 2012 7:06 PM, PST

Before you look at the new Monsters University teaser posters below, know this: you are about to have serious letterman jacket envy. Damn you, Mu, damn you.Frustratingly, even if you head over to the still-really-rather-impressive Monsters University website, there's no way you can order yourself a proper letterman jacket. Disney! Pixar! Have you no mercy? Anyway, here are the posters in question, one with Mike & Sully in their dorm and another complete with some appropriately-titled books littering the floor. Would you read 'Scareonomics' if it was in your local library? It's a pretty safe bet... Monsters University arrives Stateside on June 21, 2013, with the UK looking at July 12 as the date for their Monsters University school diaries.  brightcove.createExperiences(); »


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New Iron Man 3 Pictures Soar In

29 November 2012 5:29 PM, PST

If you've been reading the latest issue of Empire - out now, fact fans! - you may well recognise the following four Iron Man 3 stills, now released onto the internet by Marvel HQ.The pictures don't reveal a huge amount of plot, but it's great to see certain photos close up, especially War Machine in his new Stars and Stripes-inspired armour, complete with rectangular arc reactor window. Note the "Lt. Col. James Rhodes" tag on his chestplace.Then there's Pepper Potts holding Iron Man's broken helmet in her hands; Tony, erm, looking at something and the ever-beautiful Rebecca Hall looking rather distressed despite the nice Adidas trainers she's sporting.Take a look at the stills for yourself below, and let us know in the comment box just how excited you are about Tony squaring off against Sir Ben Kingsley's Mandarin come April 23.Of course, this is just »


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Hailee Steinfeld On For McG's New Film

29 November 2012 10:21 AM, PST

We knew that McG was planning a new, untitled (though formerly called Three Days To Kill) thriller with Kevin Costner in the lead. We knew Costner’s character had a daughter. And now we know who will be playing that daughter: True Grit’s Hailee Steinfeld. She’s snatched the lead opposite Costner in the tale of Ethan Runner, a Secret Service agent who discovers that he’s dying. He agrees to go on one final mission before he carks it, and starts taking an experimental drug that could prolong his life. Unfortunately, it also gives him crazy hallucinations, which make his job that much more complicated.And that’s before he also decides he wants to reconnect with his estranged sprog. The script comes from Luc Besson and his From Paris With Love co-writer Adi Hasak, so you know McG will have plenty of madcap action to work with. »


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Reese Witherspoon Set To Go Wild

29 November 2012 10:20 AM, PST

After letting other people adapt his work for a while, novelist Nick Hornby switched sides a few years ago and began working on films based on novels he didn’t pen himself, including An Education and the upcoming Brooklyn. He’s also now adapting Cheryl Strayed’s memoir Wild for Reese Witherspoon to produce and star in.Wild finds Strayed as a woman traumatised by the death of her mother and the breakdown of her marriage. Looking to find a way to fight waves of unhappiness, she decided to take on an impulsive challenge: an 1100-mile solo hike along the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mohave Desert to Washington State.Though she had almost no experience in such a big hiking attempt, she found the mission a life-changer. "I loved Cheryl Strayed’s memoir. It’s moving, funny, painful and brave, and the moment I’d finished it I wanted »


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Jennifer Lee Directing Disney's Frozen

29 November 2012 10:19 AM, PST

When Empire got a chance to chat with the creative team behind Wreck-It Ralph earlier this year (expect word from them closer to the film’s February 8 UK release date), we talked to co-writer Jennifer Lee. We were also shown imagery from another upcoming project by the Mouse House, Frozen. Little did we know the two would combine, as Lee is aboard Frozen as co-director.She’s working with Tarzan co-director Chris Buck to bring the comedy adventure to life. Loosely based on Hans Christian Anderson’s The Snow Queen, Frozen focuses on Anna (voiced by Kristen Bell), who has to undertake a daring journey to find her sister Elsa (Idina Menzel), who has put the land under an icy spell.Anna gets help from mountain man Kristoff and his sidekick reindeer Sven for a quest that combines adventure with songs from Avenue Q’s Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez. »


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Forest Whitaker Up For Black Nativity

29 November 2012 10:18 AM, PST

For a while there, it looked like director Kasi Lemmons was going to score Samuel L Jackson for one of the main roles in her latest, Black Nativity. But he never made a deal and with the casting on shakier ground, Fox Searchlight was all set to shelve the project shortly before production could kick off in October. But call the heavenly choir, for according to Blackfilm, there is good news: Forest Whitaker is stepping in to take the part instead.Lemmons adapted the script from Langston Hughes’ 1961 gospel Broadway musical, which follows a black teenager from Baltimore dispatched by his single mother to stay with the grandparents he’s never met in Harlem. A troubled type, he learns the importance of faith, family, and quite possibly funk, thanks to his grandfather’s Christmas Eve sermon and stylized, dream-sequence re-tellings of the classic nativity story.Whitaker is on to play Reverend Clarence Cobbs, »


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Derek Connolly Writing New Pixar Film

29 November 2012 10:17 AM, PST

Though Sundance success Safety Not Guaranteed has played well in the Us, we in the UK don’t get to see it until Boxing Day. But the film’s creative team, including director Colin Treverrow and writer Derek Connolly, have been reaping the rewards for months. Treverrow has been courted for several films (and was even rumoured as a possible Star Wars candidate) and Connolly has been working with a little company called Pixar on one of their still-bubbling projects. Though the film he’s writing for Teddy Newton (who directed the short Day And Night) is being kept under wraps by the secrecy-loving Emeryville gang, he’s enthusiastic about the experience so far. "It's totally different, the way they do things up here,” he tells Variety. “You're here everyday. You don't go away for three months and come up with a script. You're involved with a director and it's very collaborative. »


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Under The Dome Has A New Home

29 November 2012 10:16 AM, PST

Word about a TV adaptation of Stephen King’s novel Under The Dome first broke back in 2011, with news that Green Lantern co-writer Michael Green would be adapting it for DreamWorks’ goggle-box department. Since then it has been pitched to, and developed at, Us cable channel Showtime. But it has now jumped ship for network television, ending up at CSI home base CBS.Comics creator (and Lost writer) Brian K Vaughan is currently in charge of shepherding the project to screens. It’ll tell the story of Chester Mill, a small New England town that is suddenly and inexplicably cut off from the outside world by an impermeable barrier. As apocalyptic conditions develop inside the dome, the residents must fight to survive and discover what happened to make it appear and, more importantly, how they can get rid of it.“This is a great novel coming to the television screen »


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Sightseers Is Off To Sundance

29 November 2012 10:15 AM, PST

As we write this, UK cinemagoers are able to see Ben Wheatley’s latest film, crazed caravan trip pic Sightseers, wherever it’s playing. But Us audiences are going to have to wait a little longer. Still, those headed to the Sundance Film Festival in January are in luck, as Sightseers has been selected as part of the fest’s Spotlight strand, alongside a batch of other films.Yesterday brought the Dramatic, Documentary and Next films from the Us and around the world and today it’s the turn of Spotlight, Park City At Midnight and New Frontier titles.A blend of the quirkier films or, like Sightseers, films that might have premiered around the world but are new to the Us, the strands represent Sundance’s mission to bring a wide variety of movies and the people who make them to a wider audience.Among the films also listed are comedy Ass Backwards, »


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Four New Hobbit Posters Online

29 November 2012 7:49 AM, PST

As if anticipation levels weren't already into the stratosphere, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey has four beautiful new IMAX posters online. It offers a handy reminder to those who want to witness Peter Jackson's 48Fps epic on the biggest screen possible, that such a thing will be possible at 12.01pm on December 12. The rest is all elvish to us.There's a distinct Drew Struzan look to this cool and seriously collectable bunch, with Gandalf, Bilbo and Gollum all fronting up. There's also a new one-sheet from Japan that assembles the whole company of dwarves, as well as some of the most nefarious elements of the tale.{Japan Hobbit Poster}There one more of 'em over at Imp Awards, so head over there to peruse them all. Here's the trailer, too, for all your other Hobbit viewing needs. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will also be out in non-imax formats from December 13 in the UK. »


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Hugh Jackman Set For X-Men Return

28 November 2012 8:41 PM, PST

The latest X-Men adventure, Days Of Future Past, is shaping up to be somewhat of a school reunion - provided the institution in question is Professor Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters. Hot on the heels of word that Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart will be back for the new movie comes the news that Hugh Jackman is also in talks to bring Wolverine back to hang out with the gang once more.Of course, unlike Stewart and McKellen, Jackman has never really left the X-universe, since he had X-Men Origins: Wolverine, popped up for a memorably sweary cameo in First Class and has The Wolverine headed our way next year. With the other two returning, a Jackman presence seems that much more appropriate.We’re guessing he’ll have more to do in the new movie than First Class, with Bryan Singer directing from a Simon Kinberg script. It »


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Pacific Rim Launches Viral Site

28 November 2012 12:12 PM, PST

If giant monsters come raging out of the ocean and start attacking, are you prepared? Are You? Don’t lie. Lies make the baby Mothra cry. But if you want to be prepared for the huge creatures known as Kaiju, you’ll want to monitor the site set up by the Pan Pacific Defense Corps, as featured in Guillermo del Toro’s massive monster mash Pacific Rim.Yes, the viral (though hardly stealthy, since everyone knows what it’s for) campaign has kicked off in earnest with the site featuring a countdown to... something (possibly the trailer) and a couple of video releases. The big one is above, with a faux news report about a monstrous attack on San Francisco that gives the world at large its first tiny glimpse of the monsters. The poor old Golden Gate Bridge really can’t catch a break when it comes to being broken on screen, »


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Clooney & Greengrass Plan A Heist

28 November 2012 12:11 PM, PST

Though George Clooney is already set to make one exciting, talent-laden crime-centric project a reality with The Monuments Men, he’s been quietly putting the pieces into place for another. He and producing partner Grant Heslov are working with Argo writer Chris Terrio on an untitled heist movie – and Paul Greengrass is on board to direct.Clooney and Heslov have a history with Terrio, as they picked up the rights to Joshuah Berman’s original article about the Argo affair and hired Terrio to write it. That worked out well for all involved, as the film, under the direction of Ben Affleck, is now a serious Oscar contender and box office hit.According to the Hollywood Reporter, the deals for this new movie – which takes place in the New York crime world – were mostly made more than a year ago, but it’s had to wait for everyone to become available. »


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Charlize Theron Will Be Lady Vengeance

28 November 2012 12:10 PM, PST

If you thought that only two-thirds of Park Chan-Wook's Vengeance trilogy were headed for Hollywood, with Oldboy and Sympathy For Mr Vengeance, you’d best think again. Charlize Theron’s Denver & Delilah Films grabbed the rights to Lady Vengeance back in 2008 and began developing a new version of it. Now Theron has also made a deal to star.The original 2005 film (which arrived here in 2006) follows the first two, but doesn’t have a direct narrative connection, sharing instead themes and a few cast members. Lady Vengeance tells the story of a young woman who is put away in prison after taking the fall for a child killer who is still at large.Upon her release, she searches for her daughter and puts into motion a plan to take revenge on the real culprit.The Departed’s William Monahan is aboard to write the script and outlines what he plans »


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Sundance Sets 2013 Competition Pics

28 November 2012 12:09 PM, PST

It’s that time of year again. Log fires crackling, decorations being hung, the weather going a bit loopy. Yes, it all points to only one thing! The Sundance Film Festival folk are finally starting to announce their picks for the dramatic/documentary competitions and Next <=> (that's how they write it) sections for next month’s cine-palooza. Oh, or Christmas. So it points to two things.This coming fest, which takes place January 17-27, features the usual eclectic bundle of films from veteran fest entrants and some tantalising new talent.Among the titles we’re excited about are John Krokidas’ beat-generation true-crime tale Kill Your Darlings, featuring Daniel Radcliffe, Ben Foster, Michael C Hall and Elizabeth Olsen; David Lowery’s Ain’t Them Bodies Saints (pictured above), which features Rooney Mara, Casey Affleck, Ben Foster and Nate Parker; Kyle Patrick Alvarez’s C.O.G; Francesca Gregorini’s Emanuel And The Truth About Fishes »


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Toby Jones Has Leave To Remain

28 November 2012 12:08 PM, PST

While he deals with the déjà vu of someone getting more attention for playing the same role at the same time (competing Alfred Hitchcock projects instead of Truman Capote this time), we doubt Toby Jones is all that worried. He has plenty to keep him busy, including joining the cast of Bruce Goodison’s Leave To Remain.Goodison is switching from documentaries to fiction for this one, which will mix professional actors like Jones with young migrants and refugees for a coming-of-age tale.The plot will follow a group of teenagers from various countries who are looking to build a new life in London. Goodison researched the film for three years before putting the cast together, and he’s now shooting in the capital.Before we get to see the finished product, however, Jones will be returning to a very different capital – the Capitol – for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, »


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Daniel Bruhl Set For Wikileaks Film

28 November 2012 12:07 PM, PST

James McAvoy’s busy schedule means good news for Daniel Bruhl: the German actor has sealed a deal to take a role in Bill Condon’s still-untitled WikiLeaks film for DreamWorks. Benedict Cumberbatch is aboard to play Leaks founder Julian Assange, a man who went from freedom of information hero to governmental menace in a short space of time thanks to the release of diplomatic messages and other confidential information.Bruhl is replacing McAvoy (who had been in negotiations, but had to drop out due to filming commitments on X-Men: Days Of Future Past) as Daniel Domscheit-Berg, who was a German tech activist and Assange’s right-hand man. Though he was initially a crucial part of the WikiLeaks team – and served as the organization’s spokesman – he split with Assange and wrote a book about his experiences.DreamWorks has the rights to his tome, called Inside WikiLeaks: My Time With »


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