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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Spielberg Brings About The Robopocalypse

Spielberg Brings About The Robopocalypse
His next job. Post-War Horse, of course.
Source: Deadline


Spielberg Brings About The Robopocalypse

Steven Spielberg likes robots. He brought the world A.I., is the executive producer of the Transformers franchise and has also shepherded upcoming Hugh Jackman/robo-boxing pic Real Steel to the screen. And since he’s been watching Drew Goddard’s progress working on the script since at least March, we’re not entirely shocked to report he’s committed to directing technological terror tale Robopocalypse once work is finished on War Horse.

The novel of Robopocalypse, written by Daniel H Wilson, follows mankind’s attempts to stay alive when the ‘bots we created to serve us do the expected thing and decide to take over. It’s prime material for Spielberg to explore humanity's relationship with machines once again (or just blow stuff up a la War of the Worlds), and has been churned out almost concurrently with the screenplay version, with Wilson handing in chunks of his manuscript for Cloverfield writer Goddard to turn into a script. Oh, and storyboards are apparently already in progress, so Spielberg will have a running start when he does turn his attention to the film.

After a long period of deciding what he’ll work on next, it’ll be a busy old time for the director, with Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn due to arrive in December 2011 with War Horse a scant five days later. He’s scheduled to start filming Robopocalypse around January 2012 for release in 2013 via Disney’s Touchstone banner.

But what this really points to is that the famously cautious Spielberg has learned the techno-uprising is on the cards for real and is planning ahead to placate his robot overlords. Everybody start being nicer to your computers, who are, after all, shiny and lovely and full of memory and stuff.

Source: EmpireOnline

Martin Freeman Confirmed As Bilbo!

Martin Freeman Confirmed As Bilbo!
Richard Armitage & more cast as Dwarves
Source: Deadline


Martin Freeman Confirmed As Bilbo!

Peter Jackson and company might still be planning to shift the Shire after all the union problems with The Hobbit, but now we know who will be playing the lead. And it’s someone who has been rumoured, discounted due to scheduling, talked to us about it and then finally found space in his busy working life to head off to Middle-earth. Ladies and gentlemen, your new Bilbo Baggins is… Martin Freeman. You may start with the “told you so” at your leisure.

New Line and Warner Bros. made the big announcement early today, and it would appear that Freeman has had Jackson’s seal of approval almost from the start. "Despite the various rumours and speculation surround this role, there has only ever been one Bilbo Baggins for us," the director says as part of the official statement. "There are a few times in your career when you come across an actor who you know was born to play a role, but that was the case as soon as I met Martin. He is intelligent, funny, surprising and brave – exactly like Bilbo and I feel incredibly proud to be able to announce that he is our Hobbit."

But that’s not all… There are other characters in the story after all, and the statement was loaded down with other casting news. Spooks/Robin Hood’s Richard Armitage appears to be on a hot streak, as he’s in Captain America and will also play Thorin Oakenshield, leader of the Company of Dwarves who are on a quest to wrest the Lonely Mountain from Smaug. "Richard is one of the most exciting and dynamic actors working on screen today and we know he is going to make an amazing Thorin Oakenshield. We cannot wait to start this adventure with him and feel very lucky that one of the most beloved characters in Middle-earth is in such good hands,” says Jackson of the decision.

And then there’s Being Human’s Aidan Turner, who is Kili and EastEnders’ Rob Kazinsky, who has signed on as Fili. “Rob is an extremely talented young actor with a huge career in front of him. I'm thrilled that he has agreed to take on the role of Fili. Besides his talent as an actor, Rob is also a champion sword fighter and I'm looking forward to seeing the damage he can do to a horde of marauding Goblins," is how Jackson sums him up. And Turner? "Aidan is a wonderfully gifted young actor who hails from Ireland. I'm sure he will bring enormous heart and humour to the role of Kili."

The last of the confirmed castings include Graham McTavish as Dwalin, John Callen as Oin, Stephen Hunter as Bombur, King Kong veteran Mark Hadlow as Dori and Peter Hambleton as Gloin.

Deadline also reports that Stephen Fry, Saoirse Ronan and Bill Nighy are also in the running for roles (with Nighy on the list as a possible Smaug voice), though none of them are set yet. And though we’re all expecting Ian McKellen as Gandalf and Andy Serkis as Gollum, they’ve yet to make deals. But can anyone else really be the wizard? And we’re pretty certain Serkis would resist someone trying to get into his performance capture suit.

That rumbling you hear is the avalanche of Hobbit casting still to come heading our way. Get ready, people…

Source: EmpireOnline

Tron Evolution Game Preview

Tron Evolution Game Preview
Olivia Wilde et al discuss the spin-off
Source: Exclusive


Tron Evolution Game Preview

Here's a bit of Friday fun for you, a preview featurette on Tron Legacy game tie-in, Tron Evolution. Featuring some of the same voice cast as the film and a few extra bonus actors besides, it gives you just a little taste of what we can expect from the game.

The game's intended as a bridge between the original, 1982 film and the new film, and gives you some idea just how much the world of Tron has changed and expanded during that time. Plus, you'll get Olivia Wilde's Quorra to guide you through the whole thing and look good doing it. Check out the full featurette with Wilde, original Tron star Bruce Boxleitner, Smallville's John Glover and Supernatural's Jensen Ackles below.

Tron Evolution is out on PC, PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii on November 26, so you've got loads of time to finish it before Tron Legacy comes out on December 16.

Source: EmpireOnline

Star Wars: Clone Wars Season 3 Trailer

Star Wars: Clone Wars Season 3 Trailer
With a personal message from Yoda...
Source: Exclusive


Star Wars: Clone Wars Season 3 Trailer

Here's a little Friday treat for you: a personal message for Empire (and Chris Hewitt) from Jedi master Yoda, and - even better for fans - a trailer for season 3 of the Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series.

We're told that this season of the series will be darker than the last, with things building towards the events we've already seen in Revenge of the Sith. Says George Lucas, " “We’re going back to the roots of Star Wars. Much of season three is going to explore the mythological aspects of the universe and the Force, in ways that we haven’t seen before. When I first wrote the original Star Wars, it was rooted heavily in archetypal mythologies. It’s always been an important part of the story, but we’re taking it further and revealing more.” Check out the trailer here.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars season 3 starts on Sky Movies Premiere/HD this Saturday October 23, with a double bill of the first two episodes from 5.30pm.

Source: EmpireOnline

Will Colin Farrell Have Total Recall?

Will Colin Farrell Have Total Recall?
Sony is chasing him for the remake
Source: The Hollywood Reporter


Will Colin Farrell Have Total Recall?

Who can possibly replace Arnold Schwarzenegger? No, we don’t mean as Governator of California (though his term is up this year and the election to replace him arrives in a couple of weeks), we mean in his iconic film roles as the remake machine chunters onwards. The latest twist in the hunt for a New Arnie focuses on the reboot of Total Recall, with word that Colin Farrell is being considered the top contender for the part.

But it would appear he’s not the only contender – since this is Hollywood and even when big name actors are up for parts, there’s usually some competition. Or at least a name of alternatives should they pass. So who is also being looked at? Step forward hot talents Michael Fassbender and Tom Hardy.

Len Wiseman is behind the camera for the new film, which Sony wants shooting next March. It’ll update Philip K Dick’s We Can Remember It for You Wholesale, the inspiration for the 1990 Paul Verhoeven film which saw Douglas Quaid (Arnie) haunted by dreams of the Red Planet after a trip to have some holiday memories of the place implanted, and driven to discover just what the truth of the matter is. Turns out that it’s a lot more complicated than even he suspects.

But as the Heat Vision blog points out, all three have busy schedules, with various projects vying for their attention that could yank them from availability. So we’ll likely have to wait to find out who’ll be getting their ass to Mars…

Source: EmpireOnline

Unknown Trailer Online

Unknown Trailer Online
Liam Neeson has been replaced!
Source: Yahoo Movies


Unknown Trailer Online

Oh, the Taken jokes we could make. But we’ve sworn off them (at least until the sequel arrives) so we’ll just make mention of the fact that the trailer for Liam Neeson’s latest thriller, Uknown, has arrived online and you can watch it below.

Neeson stars in the movie – which was once titled Uknown White Male – as Dr Martin Harris, a man visiting Berlin for a medical conference with his wife Elizabeth (Mad Men’s January Jones). But everything starts to go wrong when he gets into a cab driven by Gina (Diane Kruger). One crash later and Harris wakes up after four days in a coma, only for him to discover that Elizabeth no longer recognises him, a stranger (Aiden Quinn) has assumed his identity and there are people watching him.

If we’re honest, the movie’s fighting an uphill battle: despite the cast, this trailer comes across as very much Thriller 101, right down to the fact that the footage gives an awful lot away and the hints at a conspiracy seem awfully cookie cutter. Oh, and it comes from Dark Castle Entertainment, which has had more misses than hits.

But we’ve not seen the whole thing, so perhaps there’s some brilliant spin on the whole identity issue and the reason behind Harris’ situation that’ll have us clapping as we leave the cinema? See what you think after watching the trailer below.

Uknown is released on January 7 in the US, but doesn’t have a solid date set for over here yet.

Source: EmpireOnline

Norrington Leaves The Crow Remake

Norrington Leaves The Crow Remake
Creative differences strike again...
Source: Comics2Film


Norrington Leaves The Crow Remake

Stephen Norrington’s run of shoddy luck sitting in the director’s chair is continuing as Comics2Film reports that he’s pulled the eject cord on his planned remake of The Crow after some creative differences.

Just this week, we reported on the rumours of Mark Wahlberg being offered the role and when the site got in touch with Norrington to confirm or deny the move, he let slip that he’s off the project. "I don't know about that story but I can tell you I'm no longer involved with The Crow.”

So what’s the story? It would seem that another actor – also a star – had become attached to the project, attracted by Norrington’s new vision for the film, which aims to take the story in a different visual and thematic direction from Alex Proyas’ 1994 original.

But despite the apparent meeting of minds, this unnamed performer then demanded that Norrington ditch the script he’d been developing with Nick Cave and start over with another writer.

"As I had gotten involved explicitly as a writer-director my exit was inevitable. I was bummed. I had developed a genuinely authentic take that respected the source material while moving beyond it, and Nick Cave came in and added more depth," Norrington says. "I think the fans would have been pleasantly surprised."

From the sound of it, Wahlberg isn’t the one who demanded the change and forced the director’s hand. "I will say I think Wahlberg could be cool if they take a gritty blue-collar approach," Norrington says of the rumour. "He's a truthful actor. I think he could really ground the supernatural stuff."

As for Norrington himself, he’s putting 18 months of Crow development behind him to focus on other projects, including an untitled indie blend of animation and live action and The Lost Patrol, which he signed on to make for Legendary Pictures in January. Maybe his luck is about to change. Or maybe the cinematic karma from The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen will keep haunting him…

Source: EmpireOnline

Don Coscarelli Directing John Dies

Don Coscarelli Directing John Dies
With Paul Giamatti and Clancy Brown
Source: AICN


Don Coscarelli Directing John Dies

The Phantasm and Bubba Ho Tep director has been cryptically tweeting about a new project recently, and AICN now have the scoop that Don Coscarelli is, as we speak, directing John Dies at the End, based on the novel by David Wong.

Anyone who's been following the protracted saga of Bubba Nosferatu might not be surprised to learn that Coscarelli has Paul Giamatti obeying his orders on the new film, seemingly as a framing device: a reporter hearing the story from the lead character. Clancy Brown is also on-hand as a supernatural expert, and BD put Phantasm's Tall Man Angus Scrimm on set too, although he's not mentioned by AICN.

The two leads are as-yet-unknowns Chase Williamson and Rob Mayes, playing slackers who gain psychic powers after taking a drug called Soy Sauce. Some who dabble in it return from their trips somewhat altered, sparking an epidemic / invasion which our heroes are singularly unequipped to deal with. Superficially then, it's They Live meets Harold and Kumar.

Giamatti is also producing the film, along with Coscarelli, Dan Carey and Brad Baruh.

Source: EmpireOnline

Tea Leoni Joins Tower Heist

Tea Leoni Joins Tower Heist
She'll take the female lead
Source: Variety


Tea Leoni Joins Tower Heist

Brett Ratner's tall tale continues to pick up great cast members, with Tea Leoni now joining Tower Heist, alongside Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, Dave Chappelle, Michael Pena, Gabourey Sidibe and Alan Alda.

Leoni will play the female lead, although given the above list, that might translate to "token female". Having previously played against Jim Carrey (Fun With Dick and Jane), Adam Sandler (Spanglish), Ricky Gervais (Ghost Town), and Will Smith and Martin Lawrence (Bad Boys) we think she'll more than capably stand her ground in the action comedy.

Formerly known as Trump Heist, Tower Heist sees the blue-collar workers at not-Trump Tower (Stiller managing Sidibe and Pena) undertaking a complicated plan to steal back their pension fund from Madoff-style Wall Street tycoon Alda. Murphy is their safe-cracker ally (with his own agenda).

Shooting starts shortly, for a November 2011 release.

Source: EmpireOnline

Zombies Storm Stronghold

Zombies Storm Stronghold
They want to get medieval on our brains
Source: Variety


Zombies Storm Stronghold

We’ll say this for the undead – they might be shambling, shuffling moaning undead bastards with a single-minded craving for brains (single-minded? Brains? Anyone? Ahem…), but they’ve got one hell of an agent because they are everywhere right now. And they’ve even managed to go back in time, at least as part of the graphic novel Stronghold, which 2000AD’s Rebellion Publishing is aiming to foist on to the big screen.

Paul Finch originated the title, which follows Welsh rebels turning to some very dark, druidic magic to help them in their mission of breaking the reign of English tyranny. The druids summon an undead army that marches on the English, and one young knight goes against orders to rescue his love – who just so happens to be the daughter of his enemy – from the slavering medieval zombie horde.

Tom Fickling is hard at work on the adaptation, which veteran video game director (and 2000AD co-owner) Jason Kingsley is planning to use as his filmmaking debut.

Kingsley has his eye on a shoot next year, and is in business with Amber Entertainment, with Ilene Maisel producing. “We think that the zombies are great fun. I've known Ileen for many years, and we think this project is a great way to get into business with Amber," he tells Variety. Let’s hope he’s right – the undead marketplace is awfully crowded right now. And lots of creatures storming medieval backdrops with a hero fighting them? Anyone else think of Army of Darkness? No pressure...

Source: EmpireOnline

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Alien: Sigourney Weaver Screen Test

Alien: Sigourney Weaver Screen Test
Exclusive peak behind the legend
Source: Exclusive


Alien: Sigourney Weaver Screen Test

Sigourney Weaver looked like a fully-fledged movie star before she even landed the role in Alien - and we have proof! Her screentest for the part is part of the new, insanely comprehensive Alien Anthology Blu-ray and DVD, and below there's an exclusive peek at it.

In 1978 when Alien was coming together, Weaver's film experience consisted of a single short appearance as Alvy's date in Annie Hall and a small role opposite F. Murray Abraham in a film called Madman. So it's no wonder that she had to audition and screentest for a major role in Ridley Scott's haunted-house-in-space movie; what is surprising is how damn good she was right out of the gate. Y'know, this lady could be going places.

The Alien Anthology is finally out on October 25, although you can see a marathon run of all the movies this Saturday night by entering our competition here.

Source: EmpireOnline

Sam Raimi Directing Day Of The Triffids?

Sam Raimi Directing Day Of The Triffids?
Rights go to his production company
Source: Deadline


Sam Raimi Directing Day Of The Triffids?

Mandate Pictures have won the movie rights package to Day of the Triffids in an auction that ended at seven figures. They'll be working in tandem with Sam Raimi and Robert Tapert's Ghost House Pictures, with the word on the street being that Raimi wants to direct the Triffids himself.

As previously reported, the deal was being shopped around by producers Michael Preger and Don Murphy. Preger has acquired the rights to John Wyndham's novel over a period of years, and was also behind John Carpenter's 1995 Village of the Damned (based on the 1960 film, which is based on Wyndham's The Midwich Cuckoos).

Also present at the auction were Warner Bros, who wanted to set up a Triffids project with Harry Potter director David Yates. Mandate won out though, paying the most they've ever laid out for a "project package". The "original film", directed in the UK in 1962 by Steve Sekely starring Howard Keel, is apparently a childhood favourite of Raimi's. Nobody's mentioning whether or not he's read the book.

Day of the Triffids, should you be unaware, is the story of Bill Masen, the almost-lone sighted man in an England gone blind following a devastating meteor shower, leading fellow survivors to safety through a country overrun by giant killer plants. The 1962 film was the first adaptation (not including radio versions), and the BBC have attempted it twice, in the early 80s, and last Christmas (Preger was behind that one too).

Nobody's yet quite nailed it for the screen (least said about last Christmas' adaptation of the ending, the better), so we're looking forward to seeing how it turns out in Raimi 3D crash-zoom Triffid-cam. But with Oz, the Great and Powerful and Warcraft still spinning, when will he find the time?

Source: EmpireOnline

Depp Could Be The Thin Man

Depp Could Be The Thin Man
And he wants Rob Marshall to direct...
Source: Vulture


Depp Could Be The Thin Man

It would seem that Johnny Depp is not only in a remake mood, but has also been enjoying working aboard Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides with director Rob Marshall. Why so? Because he’s apparently pestering him to work on a new version of The Thin Man for Warner Bros.

Dashiell Hammett wrote the detective novel in 1934, which finds private eye Nick Charles giving up his hard-boiled life to settle down into a world of dedicated alcoholism after marrying wealthy socialite Nora. But his old job comes calling when he’s drawn into investigating a murder, with his wife along for the ride.

While the novel itself never generated a sequel, it became the source material for a series of movies from Warners, with William Powell as Nick and Myrna Loy as Nora. And NBC turned it into a short-lived TV show in the 1950s.

The role of heavy-drinking, easy-quipping Nick sounds like a natural fit for Depp, and while there’s no script in place yet, Vulture reports that the actor is looking to develop it via his Infinitum Nihil production company, and he’s thinking Marshall could be the man to make it.

Interesting trivia point here: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, who recently directed Depp in The Tourist, is on record as saying that one of the big influences on that film as it developed was the Thin Man movies. Sounds like Depp got a little extra inspiration…

Source: EmpireOnline

Shield Creator Tackles Tom Clancy Novel

Shield Creator Tackles Tom Clancy Novel
Shawn Ryan adapting Without Remorse
Source: Vulture


Shield Creator Tackles Tom Clancy Novel

Shawn Ryan is not to be confused with Jack Ryan, Tom Clancy's most famous character. For one thing, he's bald. For another, he created The Shield, which is more than Cold War hero Jack ever did. That said, Ryan is now on course to develop the story of another Clancy hero, as he signs on to script Without Remorse.

The story is one of Clancy's novels which focuses on hulking ex-Navy SEAL / Vietnam veteran / CIA agent John Kelly (aka John Clark) as he tries to take revenge on the Baltimore drug ring responsible for murdering his girlfriend. The novel is set during the 70s and the Vietnam War, but there's no word yet on whether the film will stay in that period.

Kelly, as Clark, appeared in the Jack Ryan books Rainbox Six and Patriot Games, and was previously played by Willem Dafoe (Clear and Present Danger) and Liev Schreiber (The Sum of All Fears). Of course it would involve wild speculation to suggest that we'd like to see Schreiber back in the role, since this script is only in the earliest of days.

Will this tie in with the planned Jack Ryan reboot? We'd be amazed if it doesn't in some fashion, since both are running at Paramount, but only time will tell. In the meantime, get your Cold War on and leave us your thoughts below.

Source: EmpireOnline

Drive Angry Team For Hellraiser Remake

Drive Angry Team For Hellraiser Remake
Not so teen after all?
Source: Collider


Drive Angry Team For Hellraiser Remake

News moves quickly around these parts. Since yesterday, Collider have picked up confirmation that Patrick Lussier and Todd Farmer will be the force behind Dimension's Hellraiser remake. It'll be the next project for the 3D-friendly duo who brought us the My Bloody Valentine redo and the upcoming Drive Angry. They also worked on the abandoned (for the time being) Halloween 3D for the Weinsteins.

Roommate director Christian E Christiansen had been in the running for the gig, but ultimately lost out to the Drive Angry team, as did Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan, who brought us the last four Saw films and The Collector.

Collider do confirm, however, that drafts of the script so far have all focused on "young adults encountering Pinhead", some with a Hellboy-ish fantasy vibe, and some more along Elm Street lines. Whether that will remain the case under the new creative team remains to be seen. The word is that Dimension is still keen on the "young adult spin", and given her presence in Drive Angry, the rumour of Amber Heard's casting may yet prove true.

More on this as it comes. Drive Angry is out in the UK on February 18 next year.

Source: EmpireOnline

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Full Scream 4 Trailer Online

Full Scream 4 Trailer Online
Meet the new sacrificial lambs...
Source: Coming Soon


Full Scream 4 Trailer Online

Do you like scary trailers? Well tough, because most of the new, full-length Scream 4 trailer goes for witty rather than terrifying. That said, it nevertheless promises sufficient scares to prove that Ghost Face (whoever he, she or they is/are these days) has still got it. And so, for that matter, does director Wes Craven.

The story this time sees Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) having put her life together thanks to her writing in the ten years since she was last menaced by a knife-wielding lunatic. Only, of course, Ghost Face is back back back. Cue mortal peril for Sidney and her mates Dewey (David Arquette) and Gale (Courtney Cox). But this time the rules have changed: virgins can be killed, the killer's more extreme than ever and unexpected is now a cliche. Oh, and Rory Culkin has really big hair.

Scream 4 doesn't have a confirmed UK release date yet, but it's due out in the US on April 15 next year and hopefully we'll see it around the same time.

Source: EmpireOnline

World Exclusive: Red Download

World Exclusive: Red Download
Warren Ellis' comic book


World Exclusive: Red Download

Comic-book writers are notoriously offish about Hollywood adaptations of their work. Alan Moore refuses to watch his, while Frank Miller was so fed up with seeing his work butchered for the big screen he decided to do it himself.

Happily for Warren Ellis fans, comedy actioner Red doesn't follow in the footsteps of The Spirit. Even the writer was pleased with the results of a movie that brings together the most venerable action cast since The Expendables. More good news, too, in the shape of these exclusive pages from Ellis' original comic book.

Red, in both book and movie form, sees ex-government assassin Frank Moses forced to come out of retirement when people inexplicably start trying to kill him. Putting the band back together Blues Brothers-style, he's joined by Helen Mirren, John Malkovich and Morgan Freeman in taking it to the man.



As you can deduce from all the bloody bits, Ellis' book is a little more explicit in its violence than Robert Schwentke's version. At 66 pages, it's also just the kernel of the hunter-turns-hunted-so-turns-back-to-hunter-again storyline that will be hitting screens on October 15. Bruce Willis' Frank Moses will definitely have tongue planted a lot more firmly in cheek than the squared-faced Moses here seen beating eight shades of heck out of a CIA assailant in this scene.

Source: EmpireOnline