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Podcast #145: Ethan Hawke, J.C. Chandor

23 January 2015 1:00 AM, PST

Ethan Hawke drops by the Empire Podcast studio this week to talk about the critically-acclaimed Oscar frontrunner Boyhood, which is now out on Blu-ray and DVD, while writer/director J.C. Chandor was here to explain why the title of his latest, A Most Violent Year, doesn't actually reflect the amount of violence in the actual movie.As well as those interviews with those lovely people, you can look forward to all the news, reviews and nonsense from the guys who still aren't quite sure how to say "Kyril Bonfiglioli" out loud.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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Sophie Turner Is X-Men: Apocalypse's Jean Grey

22 January 2015 6:33 PM, PST

Much as he did with X-Men: Days Of Future Past, Bryan Singer is letting his own voice – or rather, his fingers, given the medium – do the announcing on follow-up X-Men: Apocalypse. He’s taken to twitter to reveal that Sophie Turner, Tye Sheridan and Alexandra Shipp have all been cast in the new mutant adventure.Mere hours after hearing from the film’s villain, Oscar Isaac about how Singer and his team will bring the character of Apocalypse to life, we now know who will be playing younger versions of three classic mutants in the 1980s-set movie.Keeping up his current track record of hiring from the cast of Game Of Thrones after Peter Dinklage appeared in Days Of Future Past, Turner will be Jean Grey, previously played by Famke Janssen. Mud’s Sheridan is on as the new Scott Summers, Aka Cyclops, taking over the role from James Marsden, »


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Marvel Wants Chiwetel Ejiofor For The Doctor Strange Cast

22 January 2015 6:32 PM, PST

Marvel already has its Doctor Strange, in the shape of one Benedict Cumberbatch. Now the task for director Scott Derrickson and his team is to build a cast around their leading man. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Kevin Feige and co. are reportedly interested in Chiwetel Ejiofor for a role.It’s apparently very early days on the idea, so don’t go adding him to the cast list just yet. And even if the 12 Years A Slave star does sign a contract, Marvel is keeping typically quiet on which role he might play. So far, speculation has pointed towards him taking on the Ancient One, a semi-immortal mystic who mentors the hero. There’s also the chance he could be a villain – anyone who loved him in Serenity knows he plays a classy bad guy.With shooting still a ways off, don’t expect to hear anything immediately. So far, »


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Scorsese Secures The Finance For Silence

22 January 2015 4:14 PM, PST

It seems a strange world where someone like Martin Scorsese can't secure the funding for absolutely anything he likes. The reality, of course, is that he has to scratch around like everyone else, but after 20 years, his historical drama Silence is finally happening. Production companies Fabrica De Cine and SharpSword Films have stumped up the cash, with Paramount handling Us distribution.Silence was ready to go, bar the money, earlier this month, with the locations scouted and Liam Neeson, Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver and Tadanobu Asano set to star.The screenplay, based on Shusako Endo's novel, is by Scorsese regular Jay Cocks, and tells the story of Father Rodrigues (Garfield), a 17th century Portuguese Jesuit heading to Japan with a fellow priest (Driver) to discover whether Rodrigues’s mentor (Neeson) has left the church. Their mission is complicated by the fact that religious persecution is rife in the country, necessitating »


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Karl Urban Eyed For Aquaman Role

22 January 2015 4:14 PM, PST

He’s part of Warners and DC’s big push to get the Justice League and others on to screens to start competing with Marvel, and from the sounds of new rumours, Aquaman will be a big event for the studio. Warners is reportedly hoping to score Karl Urban’s services in an unspecified role, though one that could see him going up against Jason Momoa’s hero.The new information comes from Latino Review’s sources, which means that it has to stay in the rumour decompression chamber for now, despite the site’s increasing reputation for superhero scoops. We already know that both Gangster Squad’s Will Beall and 300: Rise Of An Empire’s Kurt Johnstad have been working on different script concepts and now there’s another link to the latter film, with its director Noam Murro joining Mud's Jeff Nichols on the list of potential megaphone folk. »


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Hannibal Season 3 Trailer Served Up Online

22 January 2015 4:11 PM, PST

As regular viewers of the stylish, often gruesome TV drama Hannibal will know, the end of season two left several characters clinging to life while the man of the title – Mads Mikkelsen’s charming cannibal serial killer – made good his escape to Europe with Gillian Anderson’s Bedelia Du Maurier. Now we’re getting a taste of what’s to come in season three with a new trailer. As you might be able to guess from the footage, Hugh Dancy’s Will Graham is (spoiler alert!) not dead, though the status of the others left in a bloody mess after the showdown at Hannibal’s gaff is still up in the air, and from the looks of this, Graham is in mourning for one friend at least. Yet it also seems as though he’s ready to forgive Hannibal for his crimes... Yep, it’s the psychologically twisted show you know and love. »


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DreamWorks Cutting Back Its Film Slate

22 January 2015 4:09 PM, PST

It has been a tough few years for DreamWorks Animation. While some films – such as the How To Train Your Dragon outings – have been profitable, the company has faced a series of money-losing flops including the likes of Turbo and Mr. Peabody & Sherman. As a result, boss Jeffrey Katzenberg has announced a reduced slate, job losses and outsourcing of at least one film.“I don’t think we ever attained the creative capacity to maintain the highest level of quality while we went for the quantity,” Katzenberg tells Variety. “We achieved the production capacity but not the creative capacity to do it. We have fallen short on the creative side of it.”As part of the cutbacks, 500 jobs will go, some of the chief executives are stepping down and the company’s Pdi animation production company in Northern California has been shut down. Slate-wise, the focus from 2016 will be on »


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Simon West Directing A New Blob Remake

22 January 2015 4:02 PM, PST

The first Blob introduced Steve McQueen to the moviegoing world. Larry Hagman directed sequel Beware! The Blob in the '70s. The surprisingly excellent '80s remake starred Kevin Dillon and had a screenplay by Frank Darabont. And after years in development, another new version of The Blob is inching glutinously ever closer towards us. Simon West (Con Air, Expendables 2) has just signed up to direct the film.The Blob was previously growing under the Weinsteins' roof at Dimension, but is now taking shape at Goldcrest. Rob Zombie was attached to the Weinsteins' version for a while, and seemed to be talking about dispensing with any notions of big, red blobbiness. "That's the first thing I want to change," he said. "That gigantic Jello-looking thing might have been scary to audiences in the 1950s, but people would laugh now." He eventually moved on, however, presumably reasoning that another remake after »


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Zac Efron Knows Mike And Dave Need Wedding Dates

22 January 2015 4:02 PM, PST

Zac Efron appeared in two comedies last year: That Awkward Moment, which promised much but didn’t really deliver, and Seth Rogen frat house rivalry prank war Bad Neighbors, which was more fun. He’s looking to keep the laughter coming, signing up to star in Mike And Dave Need Wedding Dates.The plot finds two brothers desperate to find dates for a wedding, only to see their online ad go viral. We’re not sure we see Efron as a man who would have any trouble finding a date to anything – funerals, christenings, you name it – but that’s the wonder of Hollywood.It’ll see him reunite with Bad Neighbors writers Andrew J. Cohen and Brendan O’Brien, who have once again penned the script for this one. Funny Or Die man Jake Szymanski (who also has form with Efron via the site) is set to make his »


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Rose McGowan To Direct Pines

22 January 2015 4:01 PM, PST

Following her debut behind the camera with last year's short film Dawn (see clip below), Rose McGowan is making the jump to features. She'll direct the psychological thriller Pines, from a screenplay by Alex Mar.The story involves a troubled young woman who becomes involved with a dubious family of healers. It sounds like a subject that would especially chime with McGowan, who grew up in a religious cult. It's also clearly a subject that much interests Mar, whose 2010 documentary American Mystic took in three non-mainstream spiritual faiths."I felt like I was finally wearing pants that fit," said McGowan recently of her experience calling Dawn's shots. Are we witnessing the beginning of a new career? Time will tell. Pines is set for shooting next Autumn in upstate New York. »


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Oscar Isaac Talks His X-Men: Apocalypse Villain

22 January 2015 8:14 AM, PST

He’s a man who designs and builds robots in this week’s Ex Machina, but Oscar Isaac is set to have something of the cybernetic about himself when he takes on the titular villain role in X-Men: Apocalypse, which starts shooting later this year.The actor told Yahoo that while he doesn’t have too much information to go on, he does think there will be some prosthetics involved in bringing the powerful mutant menace to life. “It’ll be a mix of practical and digital," he revealed. "I haven’t had a script so I haven’t had a chance to look through the script and see what the exact requirements are, but I think it’ll be a mixture of physical, aided with some robotic technology.” Apocalypse, of course, is a supremely ancient mutant who awakens in the 1980s to cause trouble for the likes of James McAvoy’s Professor Xavier, »


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Melissa Benoist Will Be TV's Supergirl

22 January 2015 8:07 AM, PST

Comic-book heroes – particularly from the DC universe – have rarely been more successful on TV. Word arrived in October that Us network CBS (the home of the CSI franchise and other crime procedurals) was looking to get in on the action by commissioning Supergirl. We now know that Melissa Benoist will be playing Kara Zor-El in the show.The plot will follow Kal-El’s cousin, who escaped Krypton as he did and ended up on Earth. Initially unwilling to acknowledge her powers, she starts to come into her own in her mid-twenties and accept her heroic destiny. It’s the brainchild of Greg Berlanti, the man behind two of the bigger superhero shows on TV right now, Arrow and The Flash and Ali Adler, who worked on Chuck and short-lived super-powered domestic drama No Ordinary Family."As you can tell from the strength of the female characters we have on television, »


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Margot Robbie Betting On Dangerous Odds

22 January 2015 8:06 AM, PST

With her profile on the rise thanks to The Wolf Of Wall Street and plenty of upcoming jobs, Margot Robbie has reached the stage where her name aligned to a potential new film project is enough to have studios competing to win the rights. Such is the case for based-on-truth illegal gambling drama tale Dangerous Odds.World Trade Center writer Andrea Berloff has adapted Marisa Lankester’s memoir about her days as a thrill-seeking young woman who found her way inside the sports betting empire run by Ron “The Cigar” Sacco. After falling for his business partner, they moved shop from Los Angeles to Vegas and then the Dominican Republic, where Lankester’s own career took off as a combination of top model and gambling mogul.But the corrupt world didn’t always treat her well: her life eventually became a nightmare of imprisonment and sexual assault, and she eventually escaped to live in Switzerland, »


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First Trailer For Catch Me Daddy

22 January 2015 8:05 AM, PST

Arriving with a truckload of praise and one or two awards for lead Sameena Jabeen Ahmed, Catch Me Daddy is shaping up to be one of the more promising British dramas to happen along for a while. The trailer is now online via StudioCanal.Directed by Daniel Wolfe and based on the script he wrote with brother Matthew, Catch Me Daddy finds Ahmed as Laila, a girl on the run from her family who is hiding out in West Yorkshire with her drifter boyfriend Aaron (Conor McCarron). When her brother arrives in town with a gang of thugs in tow, she is forced to flee for her life and faces her darkest night.Ahmed has already scored Most Promising Newcomer at the British Independent Film Awards, and both she and the team were nominated for several others, including the Golden Camera at last year’s Cannes. With the likes of »


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Glasgow Film Festival Line-Up Announced

21 January 2015 5:50 PM, PST

Scottish film fans and people who just happen to be in the Glasgow area in late February but who really like movies rejoice! The line-up for the Glasgow Film Festival, a jamboree of films, events and Q&As now in its eleventh year, has been announced. In a coup for the festival, Noah Baumbach’s While We’re Young will get its European premiere to kick things off on February 18. The curtain comes down a fortnight later with the Cannes-approved during-ski drama Force Majeure.Lending some indie cachet and star power to the festival, Baumbach’s latest reunites him with his Greenberg star Ben Stiller in a drama about two middle-aged types (Stiller and Naomi Watts) who try to veer away from fuddy-duddydom by hanging out with young hipsters played by Adam Driver and Amanda Seyfried. Click here for the trailer.Other notable premieres include Wim Wenders’ Oscar-nominated doc Salt Of The Earth »


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Simon Pegg Co-Writing Star Trek 3

21 January 2015 5:46 PM, PST

We can see the scene now: the Enterprise bridge is in flames, smoke gushing from damaged panels. The turbo lift doors crank slowly open and Scotty emerges. Looking around, he realises that with the rest of the crew dead or incapacitated, he’s now in command. Roll opening credits! Okay, so that likely won’t happen with Simon Pegg now on script duty for the third Star Trek film, but it’s certainly within his power...According to Deadline, the new Trek film has taken another twist, with Pegg hired to work on the script alongside Confidence scribe Doug Jung. They’re taking over from Patrick McKay, John D. Payne and Trek reboot veteran Roberto Orci, who was briefly attached to direct.Fast And The Furious director Justin Lin is currently in the command chair for the film, but the report says nothing about what the plot will be for this new outing. »


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Anthony Mackie Talks Up Captain America: Civil War

21 January 2015 5:14 PM, PST

Anthony Mackie clearly got a kick out of playing Sam “The Falcon” Wilson in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. And there are few more vocal cheerleaders for the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and his character. But he seems even more pumped than usual for Captain America: Civil War, as he told Collider during a press day for Kevin Costner drama Black And White.Mackie has read the most recent draft of the script and, while he couldn’t get too specific lest Marvel boss Kevin Feige spring out from a hotel couch and shoot him with a poison dart, he’s clearly ready to kick the hype machine into top gear. “Let’s just say it’s a wing-ding-doozy of a time,” he enthuses. “The great thing about it is, after seeing The Avengers I joked and said Captain America 2 was Avengers 1.5. Now with Avengers 2 coming out... Captain America 3 »


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Kaya Scodelario May Set Sail For Pirates 5

21 January 2015 5:13 PM, PST

It may not be sailing into cinemas this year or even next, but Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales clearly has the wind in its sails and is gathering up cast members. The latest potential recruit – because she’s still at the “early talks” stage – is The Maze Runner’s Kaya Scodelario.While almost nothing is concrete about the plot at this point, we do know that Kon-Tiki directors Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg are marshalling together a production that will include Johnny Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow (natch), Geoffrey Rush likely as Barbossa, Brenton Thwaites as a dashing British soldier and a murderous ghostly villain named Captain Brand. The likes of Javier Bardem and Christoph Waltz have been approached for that role, but there’s no confirmed casting yet. Orlando Bloom has also gone on record to say there have been discussions about him returning in some form. »


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Resident Evil: The Final Chapter Targets August Shoot

21 January 2015 5:07 PM, PST

Last August, it emerged that work on Resident Evil: The Final Chapter had been halted because director Paul W.S. Anderson and star/wife Milla Jovovich are expecting their second child. Now Jovovich has hit Facebook with a post (spotted by Coming Soon) that points to an August shoot for what is described as the final visit to Anderson’s Resident Evil universe.“I'm really proud of myself for not gaining the same amount of weight that I did with our first child (75 lbs.) because I have to be ready to start filming Resident Evil: The Final Chapter in August of this year,” the actress writes in typically candid style, “and I will also be nursing an infant simultaneously (get ready wardrobe department for Alice's new 'easy mama access' costume;)) so I don't want to be on any extreme diets to get ready to go back to 'action hero' mode!” Yes, »


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Ariel Vromen Prepares For Dive

21 January 2015 4:02 PM, PST

James Cameron's long-gestating free-diving project The Dive is finally coming together with director Francis Lawrence and star Jennifer Lawrence. So we predict a possible name-change in the not-too-distant future for the Dive that Ariel Vromen has just signed up for. His is a submarine drama, for which he's also writing and producing alongside Laura Rister (Lawless).The Iceman director's screenplay involves a retired naval officer traumatised by an earlier event, who starts working undercover for the DEA among cartel smugglers. It sounds as if he gets rumbled though, since his family are then kidnapped, and he has to face his fear of the ocean to deliver a fortune's worth of cocaine and confront a dangerous narcotics kingpin.The film is the first fruit of a five-picture deal between Untitled Entertainment and Fortitude International, who have put up all the finance. There's no cast attached yet, but Dive is expected »


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