Thursday, 30 June 2016

Jeff Bridges joins Kingsman: The Golden Circle

Matthew Vaughn is gathering quite the cast around Taron Egerton's returning Eggsy and Mark Strong's Merlin for for Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014) sequel Kingsman: The Golden Circle. Now Jeff Bridges (True Grit) has announced via Twitter that he is set to join them.

Like several others (including the potential return of Colin Firth's seemingly deceased Harry Hart), Bridges posted the image of a poster for the movie that includes a hint about his character. Nothing has been announced beyond the fact that Eggsy will be going up against the devious machinations of Julianne Moore's (Still Alice) Poppy.

With Sophie Cookson back as Roxy and Edward Holcroft once more playing Charlie, Egerton's main man will be joined this time by Channing Tatum (21 Jump Street), Halle Berry (Cloud Atlas), Pedro Pascal (Game Of Thrones) and Elton John as Eggsy teams up with the American equivalent of the Kingsmen, the Statesmen, to fight the new threat.

Jane Goldman is once again sharing script duties with Vaughn and the film will be with us on 16 June next year.

Dwayne Johnson shares our first look at Hobbs' new style for Fast 8

Filming on Fast 8 is currently in full swing, with the cast back together and having the typical amount of fun, as the Tweet lower down the page will testify. And that includes Dwayne Johnson as Luke Hobbs, who will hopefully enjoy a little more screen time in this one. Johnson has posted a new look at the man to Instagram, signaling that things might be changing for Hobbs in the new movie.

Johnson posted the following with the picture: "When you strip a man of all he has. All that's important to him. You force him to return to his roots.. and sometimes that's a very dangerous and twisted place. If I was going to return for another Fast & Furious I wanted to come in and disrupt the franchise in a cool way that got fans fired up and their blood pumping to see a new version of Hobbs and his 'Daddy's gotta go to work' mentality and set the table in a cool way for where the character goes in the future. Maybe it's a spinoff movie. Maybe it's more #FF movies. Or hell maybe Hobbs just gets on his motorcycle and rides off into the sunset never to be seen again." Does this mean bad things ahead for the man mountain cop?

We will find out when Fast 8 arrives on 14 April next year, bringing back the likes of Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Nathalie Emmanuel, Jason Statham and Kurt Russell, with new recruit Scott Eastwood (Fury) helping the fight against the villainous Cipher (Charlize Theron).

First look at Katherine Waterston in Alien: Covenant

Shooting is currently underway on Ridley Scott's Prometheus (2012) follow-up, Alien: Covenant. Now the movies' official Twitter feed has recently posted our first look behind the scenes.

The image sees Katherine Waterston's (Inherent Vice) character, Daniels, in what looks like a chamber of the film's titular ship. And that "nowhere to run" caption speaks ominously towards the danger that no doubt lurks nearby.

Alien: Covenant finds the colony ship heading for a remote planet, a place that the crew initially thinks is an uncharted paradise but turns out to be dark and full of terrors. And the only inhabitant is synthetic life form David (Michael Fassbender), who claims to be the lone survivor of the Prometheus mission. This latest image follows the mission patch that arrived online last month.

Scott, working this time from a script by Michael Green (Green Lantern) and Jack Paglen (Transcendence), has Katherine Waterston (Inherent Vice), Demián Bichir (The Hateful Eight), Jussie Smolett (Empire), Amy Seimetz (You're Next), Carmen Ejogo (Selma), Callie Hernandez (Machete Kills), Billy Crudup (Watchmen) and Danny McBride (Eastbound & Down) aboard this one. Alien: Covenant will land here on 4 August next year.

"You'll see now, how happy we can be."

20th Century Fox have recently released their first trailer and one sheet for Luke Scott's feature debut Morgan.

If Ex Machina (2015) taught us anything, it is that making sentient artificial beings is usually not a good idea. Couple that with the disturbing humming trope and you have the recipe for terror with Morgan.

Morgan, directed by Ridley Scott's (Prometheus) son Luke, finds Kate Mara (The Martian) as a corporate troubleshooter sent to a remote, top secret lab location, where her assignment is to investigate what seems to be a troubling accident. But when she arrives, she discovers that the incident has been trigged by a seemingly innocent, humanlike being, who holds both a promise for the future of technology and an incalculable danger.

Alongside Mara are Toby Jones (Captain America: First Avenger), Rose Leslie (Honeymoon), Boyd Holbrook (Gone Girl), Anya Taylor-Joy (The Witch) and Paul Giamatti (Sideways).

Morgan will be out this year.

New trailer for Deepwater Horizon arrives online

Lionsgate have recently released their latest trailer for Peter Berg's (Lone Survivor) Deepwater Horizon.

Mark Wahlberg (Lone Survivor) is certainly no stranger when it comes to real world stories of peril on the sea following The Perfect Storm (2000), and Deepwater Horizon represents another ocean set tale of heroism against incredible odds.

Peter Berg is in the director's chair for this one, which charts the events on the BP oil rig in the 48 hours leading up to the 2010 disaster and the day itself. The behind the scenes tale will highlight stories of real life heroism around the incident, which were not made public at the time but appeared in the script's source material, a New York Times article entitled Deepwater Horizon's Final Hour. The newspaper's piece chronicled how 11 people were killed and 16 injured when the rig blew, and gushed oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Matthew Michael Carnahan (World War Z) has adapted the screenplay for the film, which J.C. Chandor (All Is Lost) had originally signed to direct.

Along with Wahlberg's Williams, we meet his colleagues, including Kurt Russell (Death Proof), Dylan O'Brien (The Maze Runner) and Gina Rodriguez (Jane The Virgin). The new footage certainly shows off the dramatic moments of the pressure building and what happened as the crew scrambled to either repair the damage or evacuate when it became to great for the massive rig to survive.

Hudson (Almost Famous), Ethan Suplee (The Wolf Of Wall Street) and John Malkovich (Burn After Reading) also in the cast, Deepwater Horizon will be in UK cinemas on 30 September.

First trailer and one sheet for The Space Between Us arrives online

Entertainment Film Distributors have recently released their first trailer for Peter Chelsom's (Hector And The Search For Happiness ) The Space Between Us.

Matt Damon might have had to survive for months on Mars in The Martian (2015), but in The Space Between Us, the Red Planet is all that Asa Butterfield (Hugo) has known.

Directed by Chelsom from Allan Loeb's (Just Go With It) script, the story finds Butterfield as Gardner Elliot, the unexpected extra crew member on a mission to Mars carried there by his mother Sarah (Janet Montgomery). When she dies in childbirth, he is raised on the planet by the science team and grows to be a teenager knowing little of Earth but what he reads and watches and raised by the small crew around him.

He does have one other connection to the blue marble that his parents called home – Tulsa (Britt Robertson), a young woman he strikes up a friendship with over video chats. When the science team in charge of the mission, led by Gary Oldman's (The Dark Knight Rises) Nathaniel Shepherd brings Gardner home for tests, he breaks out of the lab to see Tulsa and goes on a romantic adventure. There is just one problem... His body just isn't suited to life on our planet.

With Carla Gugino (Watchmen) and B.D. Wong (Jurassic World) also in the cast, The Space Between Us arrives in cinemas on 19 August.

"That's... definitely bigger than the last one."

As Dubai's Burj Khalifa plummets from a blazing sky into the London Eye, amid the gravity defying fury of a 3,000 mile wide claw shaped alien mother ship, Jeff Goldblum tiredly absorbs it all and deadpans, "They like to get the landmarks."

If his David Levinson – one time TV network IT engineer, now Director of the Earth Space Defense program – exudes a wonderful, war of the worlds weary sense of 'seen it all before', his creator and chief catastrophiser Roland Emmerich remains gleefully destructive. With new technology, new toys and new ideas, the modern era's master of disaster has returned to the scene of his greatest triumph.

With perhaps the exception of The Matrix (1999), no blockbuster hijacked 1990s multiplexes quite like Emmerich's supersized alien invasion epic, Independence Day (1996). And this much belated sequel thankfully proves size still matters.

Allowing the same blend of multiplex rattling spectacle and no small amount of silliness, Emmerich has gone all out to recapture the thrills of the original and, for the most part, succeeds. While the occasional call backs clunk – Jessie Usher (When The Game Stands Tall) as the orphaned stepson of Will Smith's Captain Steven Hiller fails to sell the line, "Get ready for a close encounter, bitch!" – other riffs prove sonorously nostalgic. And we are not just talking about another death defying dog. Whether it is Goldblum reliving his co-pilot jitters in yet another spacecraft, Bill Pullman pulling on his flight suit once more as PTSD stricken former president Thomas Whitmore, or Brent Spiner making a welcomely deranged return as surprisingly not dead Dr. Brakish Okun, you will likely thrum with the same joy you felt during the first film. Assuming you are old enough, of course.

For the next generation moviegoer, Emmerich and his co-writer/producer Dean Devlin have provided next generation Earth defenders. Joining Usher are Liam Hemsworth (The Hunger Games) as the obligatory maverick Jake Morrison, Maika Monroe (It Follows) replacing Mae Whitman as Whitmore's daughter Patricia – now an ex-fighter pilot herself – and former model and actress Angelababy (Hitman: Agent 47).

There are further female power players too, with Sela Ward (The Day After Tomorrow) as President Lanford and Charlotte Gainsbourg (Nymphomaniac) as a French psychiatrist.

But old and new faces never fully mingle. Aside from a first act trip to the moon and some cursory father and daughter interaction between the Whitmores. Instead we find the kids heading off to engage in an all too brief skirmish amid some surprisingly placed paddy fields on the alien mothership, while their elders are back at Area 51 in Nevada, using new intel to hatch another outlandish plan to destroy the unwanted invaders. Who, by the way, are now revealed to be a 'hive' led by a 'queen'. Which certainly sounds a lot like another science fiction sequel we know. Only this alien queen is the size of Godzilla. After all, this is Roland Emmerich we are talking about.

For all the ensuing absurdity, Emmerich and Devlin have put a considerable amount of thought into how to present their new world. The concept of integrating alien technology is convincing – their assertion that the invasion brought about world peace perhaps less so. The script can be culturally insensitive, too – the presentation of a Central African warlord (Deobia Oparei), who joins the core alien battling gang, machetes and all, feels like something that should have been left in the 1990s. Still, it is an intriguing and appealing science fiction proposition – a place that could be utopia if it weren't ravaged by the cultural trauma of a largely orphaned generation, or living in perpetual fear of interstellar reprisal.

Independence Day: Resurgence is less effective, though, in fully reviving the one crucial element that made its predecessor stand out from other science fiction adventures. Namely its classic disaster flick style opening. Starting in a world so different to ours somehow makes the moments prior to the aliens' arrival less effective. It hardly helps that virtually every character on screen is expecting it, but you are so distracted by all the rotorless helicopters, anti gravity tugs and space jets – not to mention an extensive amount of world building exposition – you don't really feel the build-up to the destruction, or the great release of tension when it hits. We are no longer witnessing the attempted annihilation of our world. It is very much another planet.

Which is why the film needs Pullman, Spiner, Judd Hirsch and Goldblum. Those all to familiar faces, reliving 1996 with us and for us. Goldblum, perhaps more than anyone else here, is essential. While the tornado of digital effects swirls around us, he brings things neatly down to earth, allowing us to revel in the sheer giddy spectacle of it all, and thereby forgive the majority of its shortcomings. As he says on seeing the new enemy ship, "That's... definitely bigger than the last one."

As spectacular as you would hope from a sequel to Independence Day, and as amusingly cheesy. You will enjoy yourself enough that you won't even miss Will Smith.

Monday, 27 June 2016

New one sheet forThe Legend Of Tarzan arrives online

Warner Bros have recently released their latest one sheet for Harry Potter veteran David Yates' The Legend Of Tarzan.

This latest adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs' famous tale finds Tarzan (Alexander Skarsgård) putting his vine swinging days behind him to settle down in Victorian London with wife Jane (Margot Robbie). But after a decade of life as a proper English gentleman, he is summoned back to the Congo where he was raised – something we see in flashbacks – ostensibly to serve as a trade emissary of Parliament. Unknowingly, he and his wife are also pawns of a deadly plan for revenge on the part of Belgian Captain Leon Rom (Christoph Waltz). But when he kidnaps Jane so he can manipulate her husband, Rom doesn't realise the power he has unleashed...

We are promised a blend of backstory and lots of the trademark Tarzan action in this one, which also features Samuel L. Jackson (Django Unchained), Djimon Hounsou (Blood Diamond) and Jim Broadbent (Moulin Rouge!). The Legend Of Tarzan lands in our cinemas on 8 July.

First look at Brian Cox as Winston Churchill arrives online

Albert Finney (The Gathering Storm), Michael Gambon (Churchill's Secret), Rod Taylor (Inglourious Basterds), Richard Burton (The Gathering Storm), Simon Ward (Young Winston)... plenty have embodied Winston Churchill's bulldog spirit before. Next to take on the mantle of Britain's great wartime leader is Brian Cox (The Bourne Supremacy) in Churchill. The film has recently gone into production, as witnessed by this first look at the man himself.

The gesture in the image is not as it seems. Behind the fug of cigar smoke is Winston's wartime 'V for Victory' sign, the most recognisable symbol of his dogged defiance.

Jonathan Teplitzky's (The Railway Man) film is set in the build up to D-Day, May 1944, with tensions at a new high as the Allies prepare to invade France and send the Nazis reeling. Winston is feeling the pressure as he builds up to the momentous day and parlays with General Eisenhower (John Slattery), King George (James Purefoy) and his trusted secretary (Ella Purnell). His loving wife Clemmie, played by Miranda Richardson (The Hours), is on hand to offer support.

"I'm looking forward to bringing this iconic but complex figure to life," says Cox. "It's the role of a lifetime for me and I'm so pleased to be taking this journey with both Jonathan and our great cast." He is currently shooting Churchill in Scotland.

John Sayles set to direct Django Lives

We learned back in October last year that John Sayles (Lone Star) had agreed to at least write the script for Franco Nero's return to the iconic character of Django with a film called Django Lives! Now comes more detail and news via Showbiz 411 that Sayles will also direct the movie.

According to Showbiz 411, Sayles has come up with a concept that finds Django 50 years after his first outing (the original Django premiered in 1966), and working as both a horse handler and extra on the set of D.W. Griffith's (1915) The Birth Of A Nation. It sounds like Sayles is blending two halves of his career, merging pulp action with social commentary.

There is no official word on the film yet, but it certainly seems to be coming together well. The current plan is for Sayles to start shooting the film with Nero in September. "John Sayles is a master of literature," said the actor and producer when Sayles was first attached. "His Lone Star (1996) is one of the greatest modern Westerns ever shot. He knows how to be exquisitely cultivated and people-oriented at the same time, exactly like another master I've worked with, Mr. Orson Welles. And that says a lot." We wonder if Quentin Tarantino will ask for a cameo?

Michael Keaton back for Spider-Man: Homecoming

It was announced in April that Michael Keaton (Birdman) had entered initial talks to play a crucial villainous role in Spider-Man: Homecoming. That deal never happened, but news now arrives via Deadline that he is finally closing a deal to co-star.

So it is certainly good news for those of you who were hoping that the former Batman and Birdman might change his mind. Sony Pictures and Marvel have yet to make the official announcement about him, but most reports say he is playing the Vulture, part of Spider-Man's extensive rogue's gallery. And if other rumours are to be believed, he won't be alone in causing trouble for our friendly neighbourhood web slinger...

Spider-Man: Homecoming will eschew the usual origin story, but will keep Tom Holland's (The Impossible) Peter Parker a school student dealing with a life that includes teenage drama as well as stopping villains. Jon Watts (Cop Car) is calling the shots, with John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein (Vacation) on script duty. Robert Downey Jr. is also set join as Tony Stark, news that is even more welcome given his easy chemistry with Holland in Captain America: Civil War. Marisa Tomei (The Wrestler) is once more Aunt May, with Tony Revolori (Dope) and Laura Harrier (The Last Five Years) as Peter's schoolmates and singer/actress Zendaya in an unknown capacity.

This latest Spider- Man standalone is still set for release on 7 July next year.

Jeff Bridges and Taylor Kitsch join for real life firefighter drama

Though it was once called No Exit, director Joseph Kosinski's (Tron: Legacy) new fireman drama currently has no title but already boasts Josh Brolin (Gangster Squad), Miles Teller (Whiplash) and James Badge Dale (World War Z). Now news arrives via Variety that Kosinski is adding to his cast, with Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart) and Taylor Kitsch (John Carter) as the latest recruits.

Written by Ken Nolan (Black Hawk Down), the drama will follow the story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, a group within the Prescott Fire Department in Arizona specialising in battling wildfires. They were sent into action in June 2013 against the Yarnell Hill Fire, which threatened the Arizona town of Yarnell.

In the searing heat and changeable weather conditions, the fire turned especially deadly, and 19 of the 20 men were killed. It represented the the greatest loss of life for firefighters in a wildfire since 1933, the deadliest wildfire of any kind since 1991, and the biggest loss of firefighters in the United States since September 11. The film recently sold rights at this year's Cannes Film Festival and is currently in pre-production.

Bridges, meanwhile, will next be seen in indie drama Hell Or High Water, while Kitsch has animated film Bling, is attached to Xavier Dolan's (Mommy) The Death And Life Of John F. Donovan and is developing his directorial debut, Pieces.

Jeff Goldblum and Karl Urban join Thor: Ragnarok

Marvel Cinematic Universe overlord and president Kevin Feige has announced that Jeff Goldblum (The Grand Budapest Hotel) and Karl Urban (Star Trek Into Darkness) are set to join Thor: Ragnarok.

While the likes of Tessa Thompson (Creed) and Cate Blanchett (The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button) had all been at least rumoured if not confirmed, Goldblum and Urban certainly come as something of a surprise. But now they are all official, listed by Marvel alongside returning regulars Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Idris Elba, Anthony Hopkins and fellow Avenger Mark Ruffalo as the Hulk/Bruce Banner.

We also know who the newcomers will be playing, with Goldblum as Grandmaster, one of the Elders of the Universe, Thompson as Valkyrie, Urban as Skurge also known as The Executioner and Blanchett as the scheming Hela.

"The continuation of the epic Thor franchise will be powerful and unique, and with the additions of Cate, Jeff, Tessa, Karl, and Mark to the cast we have the makings of his most dangerous and heroic adventure yet," Feige says. "The sheer, raw talent each of these actors brings to the screen can't be quantified. Having any one of them join the Marvel Cinematic Universe would be an honor, and having all of them is incredible."

Taika Waititi (What We Do In The Shadows) is preparing to direct the film from a script that has seen work from Stephany Folsom, Craig Kyle and Christopher Yost (Thor: The Dark World). The cameras are set to start rolling this year in Australia for an 27 October 2017 release in the UK, ahead of the film's 3 November debut in the US.

"I suffer from short term memory loss. It runs in my family... At least I think it does."

Walt Disney Pictures and Pixar Animation Studios' have recently released their latest trailer for Andrew Stanton (Finding Nemo) and Angus MacLane's Finding Dory.

Finding Dory follows the further adventures of the forgetful blue tang voiced by Ellen DeGeneres, who this time starts remembering fragments about her family and decides to track them down at a marine institute in California. Which naturally entails another quest and meeting some new characters along the way. While Albert Brooks returns as Marlin, Dory will also encounter the likes of cranky octopus Hank (Ed O'Neill), misguided beluga whale Bailey (Ty Burrell), whale shark Destiny (Kaitlin Olson) and Diane Keaton and Eugene Levy, who play Dory's mum and dad.

It will be interesting to see how Finding Nemo (2003) director Stanton and co-director MacLane tackle another story set in the watery world of fish and other sea life, and where this latest Pixar outing will fall in the ranks of their other sequels including Toy Story 3 (2010), Cars 2 (2011) and Monsters University (2013).

Finding Dory will swim into UK cinemas on 29 July.

Sunday, 26 June 2016

New trailer for Free State Of Jones arrives online

STX Entertainment have recently released their latest trailer for Gary Ross' (The Hunger Games) The Free State Of Jones.

After spending a few years in development (not to mention taking time out to direct The Hunger Games), Gary Ross has finally had the chance to work on one of his passion projects, Free State Of Jones.

Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club) stars in the American Civil War drama, playing real life advocate Newton Knight. A Mississippi man who had been a loyal Confederate recruit, he defected from the army and took a group of like-minded troops with him to create the Free State of Jones. Knight later married a slave (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), creating one of the first ever publicised mixed race unions in the South, fought against the Confederates from within his new state and led a daring raid to free children who were still enslaved following the end of the conflict.

Of course, it wasn't quite that easy, as his former military masters decided to hunt him and his new community down, forcing Knight to take up guerilla tactics against the army.

STX Entertainment is backing this one, which Ross wrote as well as directed. The cast also features McConaughey's Mud (2012) co-star Jacob Lofland, Keri Russell (Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes), Mahershala Ali (House Of Cards), Sean Bridgers (The Woman) and Christopher Berry (12 Years A Slave).

Free State Of Jones arrives in the UK on 9 September.

Nathalie Emmanuel will return for Fast & Furious 8

Vin Diesel took to Instagram recently to announced the return of Nathalie Emmanuel for the latest Fast & Furious outing, Fast 8.

The British actress joined the ensemble cast in Furious 7 (2015), playing improbably attractive computer programmer Ramsey, a hacktivist who created the God's Eye device.

Executive producer and lead actor Diesel announced Emmanuel's return in the slightly odd Instagram video, which sees the pair drive around wordlessly on a golf buggy listening to Sade's By Your Side.

F. Gary Gray (Straight Outta Compton) is directing the latest physics defying franchise instalment, which began filming earlier this month. The returning likes of Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Jason Statham, Lucas Black and Nathalie Emmanuel are joined this time around by Scott Eastwood (Fury) and Kristofer Hivju (Game Of Thrones).

Dom and the gang will face their deadliest threat yet from Charlize Theron's (Mad Max: Fury Road) mysteriously named Cipher, a woman in the deep, dark criminal underworld they first became exposed to in the last film. This time, of course, they won't have Paul Walker's Brian O'Connor, and Vin Diesel paid tribute to his late co-star recently on Instagram.

Fast 8 is scheduled to arrive in the UK on 14 April next year.

Elizabeth Rodriguez joins the new Wolverine

With the cameras now rolling on what is currently called Wolverine 3, director James Mangold (The Wolverine) is continuing to build the cast around star Hugh Jackman. Now news arrives via The Wrap that Elizabeth Rodriguez, normally found dealing with the early days of the zombie apocalypse on Fear The Walking Dead, is aboard in a mystery role.

Jackman has said more than once that this will be his last hurrah as Logan, and so we are expecting big things from his swan song in the role. The new movie, written by David James Kelly, is being kept mostly quiet, though most reports have pegged a futuristic Old Man Logan inspiration.

Patrick Stewart recently confirmed he will be back as the older Professor Xavier, while Boyd Holbrook (Gone Girl), is the main villain, Richard E. Grant (Dom Hemingway) a mad scientist and Stephen Merchant (I Give It A Year), Eriq La Salle (ER) and Elise Neal (Hustle & Flow) also on board. As for Rodriguez, she is in negotiations for what The Wrap is labelling a "small, but crucial" role in the film.

The new Wolverine is currently scheduled to arrive in the UK on 2 March 2017. In addition to her Fear The Walking Dead duties, she has also worked on indie crime drama 11:55.

Margot Robbie set to join Domhnall Gleeson in A. A. Milne biopic

Whilst Winnie the Pooh has been an icon of pop culture for decades, less has been shown about his creator, A. A. Milne. Director Simon Curtis (My Week With Marilyn) is looking to change all that. Following the recent announcement that Domhnall Gleeson (Ex Machina) was set to play Milne, news now arrives via Variety that Margot Robbie (The Wolf Of Wall Street) is talks to join him.

If she signs up, the Australian actress will play Milne's wife, Daphne de Sélincourt. The story centres on the writer's relationship with his son Robin, who became the inspiration for Christopher Robin and whose toys provided the characters for Milne's most famous work, including Pooh himself, Tigger, Eeyore and Piglet.

It wasn't always the easiest time for the pair, but working on creating the residents of Hundred Acre Wood helped with that.

Robbie has the kind of slate that would make even Tigger a bit weary. She is currently on our screens in Tina Fey (Date Night) comedy drama Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, has The Legend Of Tarzan coming on 8 July and David Ayer's (Fury) Suicide Squad on 5 August. Beyond that, there is crime thriller Terminal, ice skating drama I, Tonya, as well as word of a Harley Quinn standalone movie in development at Warner Bros.

Ridley Scott set to produce a new film by The Martian's Andy Weir

Ridley Scott and his The Martian (2015) filmmaking team – writer Drew Goddard and producer Simon Kinberg – recently reunited for an entirely new project. And now news arrives via Deadline that there is a second Martian team-up happening, again with Scott and Kinberg, but this time with author Andy Weir, who has come up with an original screenplay.

Weir, whose book was adapted into the $630.1 million, Academy Award® nominated hit last year, had originally been working on a new book called Zhek, which was to have headed off into big science fiction concepts such as aliens and telepathy, but he has switched to something more based in extended real science again, set in a base on the moon.

This screenplay, however, is a mystery for now, and seems unlikely to adapt either of the new book concepts. And it appears that Scott will just produce this one. It is not like he doesn't have plenty of projects to keep him busy. Especially since he recently added another potential, the aforementioned new film alongside Kinberg and Goddard, which will be a Western based on S. Craig Zahler's Wraiths Of The Broken Land.

Milla Jovovich set for James Franco's Future World

Milla Jovovich has usually found time to fit in other films around her schedule making Resident Evil outings, but with the zombie battling franchise finally wrapping up, she will have even more space on her schedule. News arrives via Deadline that she is set to join James Franco's (As I Lay Dying) new film, dystopian indie drama Future World.

Taking a break from literary adaptations, the ever eclectic Franco has come up with a new idea, which Bruce Thierry Cheung (The Color Of Time), Jay Davis and Jeremy Cheung have turned into a script. Franco and Bruce Chung are directing, with the former also playing a role.

Future World will tell the story of a boy of noble birth trying to survive in a ruined civilisation ravaged by heat, disease and war. He will have to make a perilous journey through the wasteland to find medicine for his ailing mother, with his faithful bodyguard for company. And there is the looming threat of the warlord of the world, who has just obtained control of a beautiful, lifelike robot assassin. Which certainly sounds like the sort of role Jovovich can play easily given her cinematic track record, though her exact character isn't specified in Deadline's report.

Singer and actor George Lewis Jr. is also in the cast, playing someone called Ratcatcher, but there is no word on when this one will start shooting. Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, meanwhile, will be out here on 24 February next year.

Noomi Rapace set for Bright

Eyebrows raised back in March when Max Landis' (Chronicle) spec script Bright snagged not only director David Ayer (Fury) but his Suicide Squad star Will Smith (I Am Legend) alongside Joel Edgerton (Warrior). Now news arrives via Variety that the project has another lead in the shape of Noomi Rapace (Prometheus).

Landis' script, which is said to blend a modern day cop thriller with a story that features orcs, fairies and other magical creatures sharing the world with humans, is still mostly under wraps, though there is talk of a magic wand discovered that draws attention from various groups and gangs.

And while it was speculated that a big studio would swoop in and buy the rights, the big winner turned out to be Netflix, which ponied up $3 million for the script and offered a $90 million budget to make the movie itself. Ayer has worked on the script since he came aboard, and is planning to shoot this autumn.

Rapace, who last appeared in Child 44 (2015), will next be seen in science fiction thriller Rupture, action outing Unlocked and What Happened To Monday?, none of which have confirmed UK release dates as yet.

Olga Kurylenko joins Adam Driver in Terry Gilliam's Don Quixote

It has been a long, frustrating ride for Terry Gilliam and his efforts to bring Miguel De Cervantes' 17th Century Spanish classic Don Quixote to our screens. The one time he actually managed to get the project on its feet, The Man Who Killed Don Quixote stumbled quickly thanks to a quagmire of bad luck, bad health and bad weather. But like the driven hero of the story, he won't stop trying and now comes word via The Hollywood Reporter that Olga Kurylenko (Oblivion) is now aboard

Having evolved through the years with various leading actors (most famously Johnny Depp), the film boasts a current script by Gilliam and co-writer Tony Grisoni (Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas). Adam Driver (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) is set to play Toby, an arrogant advertising executive who was once an idealistic young film student. When he unexpectedly comes across a copy of his student film about Quixote, he visits the Spanish village where it was set and is horrified to see the impact his work has wrought. And that is before he meets the man who now believes he is Don Quixote himself, and that Toby is Sancho Panza... Gilliam has former Monty Python cohort Michael Palin (Monty Python And The Holy Grail) on board to play Don Quixote. Kurylenko, meanwhile, will play the wife of Toby's boss.

"I want to get this film out of my life so I can get on with the rest of my life," the director told a press conference, remarking he has made other movies in the time since he first dreamt up Quixote, but it just won't leave him alone. "When they finish, Quixote comes creeping back through the back of my skull. It just won't go away. I can see the film so clearly, and I think we've written a good script, and I hate the idea of that work going for naught."

And we can thank a certain big space franchise for this latest iteration finally coming together. "It's a funny thing along the way there have been so many version of this story in my mind and it changes with each cast," Gilliam says. "Finally we have the perfect cast. Driver is the guy I've been looking for all these years. Thank god for Star Wars, Adam Driver is bankable!"

He will be on set next month for a shoot that will take in Spain, Portugal and the Canary Islands and that Gilliam is looking to have ready for release next year. He could certainly use some luck.

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Woody Harrelson joins George Clooney’s Suburbicon

George Clooney (The Monuments Men) is gearing up for his next directorial project, Suburbicon, and is currently putting together his typically starry cast. Now news arrives via The Wrap that Woody Harrelson (The Hunger Games) is the latest A-lister to sign up.

The Wrap reports that Harrelson will join a cast that already includes Matt Damon (The Martian), Julianne Moore (Still Alice), Josh Brolin (Gangster Squad) and Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis), who all came on board at the end of last year. Clooney will direct from a script by Joel and Ethan Coen, no less.

Harrelson is no stranger to Coen brothers material, having appeared in No Country For Old Men (2007). All the key cast have appeared in Coens films, in fact, and Clooney is a regular collaborator, having appeared in four of their films, most recently Hail, Caesar!. The Coens had planned to direct Suburbicon themselves, before handing the reins to Clooney.

We don't know much about the film, except that it is a small scale noir crime drama comedy, set in the 1950s, in the vein of the Coen brothers' Blood Simple (1984). It sees a perfect family broken apart by a home invasion, and will apparently show "the best and worst of humanity". Which certainly sounds like classic Coen material.

Steven Spielberg set to produce Emily Carmichael's Powerhouse

Not every filmmaker navigating the jump from web work and short productions scores the support of people such as Steven Spielberg (Bridge Of Spies), co-writer/director Colin Trevorrow (Jurassic World) and Simon Kinberg (The Martian). But that is exactly what has happened to Emily Carmichael, with news arriving via The Hollywood Reporter that she is set direct Powerhouse for Amblin Entertainment.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the collaboration came about because Trevorrow saw Carmichael's short film The Hunter And The Swan Discuss Their Meeting after it won the grand jury prize at the 2012 Science Fiction Fantasy Short Film Festival. He extended an invite for her to visit the set of his latest film, The Book Of Henry, where they jointly came up with the characters for the new movie. The actual story is being kept quiet, but Carmichael is writing the script based on those original ideas.

"Emily Carmichael is the next great writer-director of the kind of movies I love," says Trevorrow. "Her ability to find warmth and humanity in genre storytelling is a superpower in itself." Carmichael's previous work has included short stories, web series, comic strips and other short movies, but this will certainly be a huge step up for her.

Ellen Page joins The Third Wave

Zombies have seen a spike in interest these past few years, but most movies tend to tackle the initial outbreaks or what happens in the midst of the chaos. Now news arrives via The Hollywood Reporter that Ellen Page (Juno) has agreed to star in a film that looks at what happens after an undead pandemic has been largely handled, called The Third Wave.

The Third Wave is set after the virus that turned many humans into zombie-like creatures has been cured. But those who were affected and are now either human again or dealing with their symptoms face problems in society, and even within their own families. The events that happened during the plague weigh heavily, and civil unrest is fomenting, with the government forced to take action.

Sam Keeley (What Richard Did) is also aboard the film, which has David Freyne writing and making his directorial debut after selling the concept via an eponymous short film. "The Third Wave brings an entire new perspective to the zombie genre, which I love," Page says in a statement carried by The Hollywood Reporter. "David Freyne truly shifts his lens on society's role in the apocalyptic world. I'm so grateful for this opportunity to share his thoughtful approach to horror with audiences." The cameras will be rolling in Ireland later this year.

Page, who was last seen here in Freeheld, is attached to a remake of Flatliners and has provided a voice for animated adventure Robodog.

New Tetris movie will be a science fiction thriller

Much to the surprise of almost everyone, the Tetris movie is still in development. Word comes via Deadline that the producers, a blend of Chinese and US financiers, still seem convinced it can work on screen despite its unlikely narrative appeal.

In its brief development history – it was first announced in 2014 and then Brett Ratner (Hercules) was attached as another producer, but is not mentioned in Deadline's update – the film has been touted as a science fiction thriller and then a The Social Network (2010) style drama about Soviet game designer Alexey Pajitnov's struggle to receive proceeds for his work after its launch in 1984. From the looks of the current iteration, it appears we are back in the science fiction realm, with co-producer Larry Kasanoff claiming it is "not at all what you think, it will be a cool surprise", with an ensemble that includes Chinese cast members (to help with funding) and plans for a potential trilogy.

The producers are talking with sales agents about drumming up rights sales and distributors and the cameras could be rolling next year for a presumed 2018 launch. Will it happen? Probably. The bigger question will be, are we in for a The Lego Movie (2014) level surprise or something closer to Pixels (2015)... As always, watch this space.

Josh Duhamel set to return for Transformers: The Last Knight

Following the recent announcement that Michael Bay's fifth instalment in the Transformers franchise will be called Transformers: The Last Knight, today comes news that Josh Duhamel will be returning to the movies.

Duhamel worked on the first three films, playing Lieutenant Colonel Lennox and he has recently boarded the new one, which will feature Mark Wahlberg's Cade Yeager in his latest appearance since Transformers: Age Of Extinction (2014).

Bay – who welcomed Duhamel back via Twitter – kicked off shooting earlier this month, but the actual story remains a closely guarded secret, though we can pretty much guarantee a lot of explosions, robots transforming, sleek new vehicles and slow motion tracking shots of heroes and helicopters.

Transformers: The Last Knight is due to hit our screens on 23 June next year.

Fan Bingbing joins Jason Statham in shark thriller Meg

Finally emerging from the depths of a long, choppy development, giant shark creature feature Meg is swimming towards production with Jason Statham (The Expendables) in the lead role. And now the filmmakers have found his co-star, with news arriving via The Hollywood Reporter that Fan Bingbing (X-Men: Days Of Future Past) has signed up.

Jon Turteltaub (National Treasure) is in the director's chair for the adaptation of Steve Alten's novel, working from the latest draft of the script written by Dean Georgaris (The Manchurian Candidate). The story will focus on an international underwater observation platform, spearheaded by Chinese scientists, that is probing the depths of the ocean. When it comes under attack from an unknown creature (which turns out to be a prehistoric shark related beast known as a Carcharodon Megalodon), the research station's submersible is left disabled and trapped at the bottom of the Mariana Trench. Chief oceanographer Dr. Zhang Suyin recruits former Navy captain and expert diver Jonas Taylor (Statham) for a risky rescue mission. Jonas has his own history with the creature, after being forced to abort his mission and abandon half of his crew years ago after an attack. Now he will have to confront his history and his fears as he takes on the deep sea leviathan once again...

Warner Bros want this one in cinemas on 2 March 2018, but there is no confirmed UK release date as yet.

"It's definitely bigger than the last one."

20th Century Fox have recently released their latest trailer for Roland Emmerich's Independence Day (1996) sequel Independence Day: Resurgence.

It has been two decades since the alien invaders tried to lay waste to mankind and deplete our planet's valuable resources. We managed to hold them off that time, but we always knew they would be back. Using recovered alien technology, the nations of Earth have collaborated on an immense defence program to protect the planet. But nothing can prepare them for the aliens' advanced and unprecedented force, and only the ingenuity of a few brave men and women can bring our world back from the brink of extinction.

Emmerich here blends Independence Day veterans Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Vivica A. Fox, Brent Spiner and Judd Hirsch with new arrivals Liam Hemsworth (The Hunger Games), Maika Monroe (It Follows), Joey King (White House Down) and Sela Ward (The Day After Tomorrow) for what he is promising an epic return engagement. The invaders have much bigger technology and some new tricks up their sleeve, but we have our typically plucky spirit, former President Whitmore (Pullman) in full speech mode and the brain power of David Levinson (Goldblum).

Independence Day: Resurgence is out in cinemas now.

"Don't let fear stop you from doing the things you love."

Universal Pictures have recently released their first latest trailer for Garth Jennings' (Son Of Rambow) Sing.

Having conquered the world with Despicable Me (2010) and Minions (2015), Illumination Entertainment are hoping you will fall for their animal adventures too. The Secret Life Of Pets is already out in cinemas and now the company are set to unleash the critter filled world of Sing.

Sing finds Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club) as Buster Moon, the dapper koala impresario who oversees a theatre that was once a grand entertainment venue, but is now falling on hard times, with peeling paint and dodgy plumbing. In a final attempt to restore the venue to its former glory, he decides to stage the world's greatest singing challenge, throwing the doors open to members of the public who think they have what it takes.

Five main contenders emerge – a mouse (Seth McFarlane) who is a crook with a smooth voice, a teenage elephant (Tori Kelly), a busy mother sow (Reese Witherspoon), who juggles the demands of her 25 piglets with her singing ambitions, a young, tough gorilla (Taron Egerton) and a punk rock porcupine with the proven pipes of Scarlett Johansson (Lucy). But who will win?

Son Of Rambow's (2007) Garth Jennings writes, directs and corrals the talent for this one, which also includes John C. Reilly (Carnage), Nick Offerman (Parks And Recreation), Peter Serafinowicz (Guardians Of The Galaxy) and Jennifer Saunders (Coraline).

Sing is set to arrive in the UK next January.

First teaser trailer for Beauty And The Beast arrives online

Walt Disney Pictures have recently released their first teaser trailer for Bill Condon's (The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn) Beauty And The Beast.

Given the technical complexity of bringing many of Beauty And The Beast's characters to life, and the fact that it won't waltz into our cinemas until March next year, it is not surprising that the first teaser is very much short on actual footage.

Bill Condon is directing Walt Disney Pictures' latest transformation of one of their beloved fairy tale animations to live action, with Emma Watson (The Perks Of Being A Wallflower) as Belle, the smart brave young woman who is sent to live with a monstrous beast (Dan Stevens). Naturally there are difficulties at first, but once we learn that the hairy creature is actually a cursed prince, the path is cleared for true love, romance and maybe a chance to reverse the evil spell.

Yet the path to happily ever after is littered with challenges, including a bitter, preening love rival in the shape of Gaston (Luke Evans) and winning over the Beast's talking furniture, including Ewan McGregor's (The Impossible) candlestick Lumiere and Ian McKellen's (The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug) clock Cogsworth.

The cast also includes Emma Thompson (Saving Mr. Banks), Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Belle), Stanley Tucci (The Hunger Games), Josh Gad (Love & Other Drugs) and Kevin Kline (The Last Of Robin Hood).

Beauty And The Beast will be in UK cinemas from 17 March next year.

New image from Pete's Dragon arrives online

The latest in Walt Disney Pictures' flurry of live action remakes and reboots, the tale of young orphan Pete and his winged friend looks starkly different to the 1977 original – in its aesthetics at least. Formerly lime green and goofy grinned, the story remains the same, but director David Lowery (Ain't Them Bodies Saints) had a distinct vision for his creature.

Click here for larger image

"When I went to pitch the movie to Disney, I said 'I want him to be a furry dragon'. Pete is supposed to be cuddling up with the dragon, so let's make him furry." But his decision to create a furry beastie has more reasoning behind it than simply Pete's (Oakes Fegley) comfort. "I wanted him to feel not like a Game Of Thrones or Harry Potter dragon", Lowery explains, hoping his "75% realistic" dragon will be one audiences want to take home.

"A lot of [Elliott] is a dog, because people relate to dogs, but I'm a big cat person. There's a seagull in there, and a tiger. Ultimately, it comes down to trying to make a 20 foot tall pet." Somehow we think asking for a pony is no longer going to cut it...

Pete's Dragon flies into cinemas 12 August.

New Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie image arrives online

It's taken about as long as a bottle of vintage bubbles to come to fruition but Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie is finally coming to screens next month. A new image of Eddy and Patsy (apparently disguised as David Niven) hitting the blackjack table has arrived via Empire online.

"A lot of people were making films out of TV shows," explains Jennifer Saunders of the film's genesis. "So it seemed possible. And it was actually interesting, because I'd never written a plot before. In a film, something has to happen over 90 minutes. You have to build a plot and all that other stuff. It's very difficult!"

Mandie Fletcher is calling the shots on this one, working from Saunders' script, with Edina and Patsy joined, as you might expect by Julia Sawalha's Saffy, Jane Horrocks as Bubble and June Whitfield as Mother.

The plot sees the PR duo try to claw their way back onto London's cutthroat fashion scene, but after a significant blunder that may or may not involve killing Kate Moss, they are forced to take shelter on the French Riviera and start over.

A cavalcade of cameos and guest appearances bolster the cast for this one, Emma Bunton, Chris Colfer, Dawn French, Kim Kardashian, Rebel Wilson and more on the roster. Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie will stagger into UK cinemas 1 July. Champers sweetie?

First look at Charlize Theron in Fast & Furious 8 arrives online

Regardless of whether it ends up being called Fast 8 or Furious 8, the next Fast & Furious film is now shooting. And the team have posted our first look at Charlize Theron's (Mad Max: Fury Road) villain, the mysteriously named Cipher, via Twitter.

Does this mean she is a master technical whizz, security conscious, or is it a comment on the fact that the Fast rogues are usually not all that complicated? We will find out for sure next year, but Vin Diesel and the gang have been busy, shooting scenes in Iceland, Cuba and New York. The returning likes of Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Jason Statham, Lucas Black and Nathalie Emmanuel are joined this time around by Scott Eastwood (Fury) and Kristofer Hivju (Game Of Thrones).

Dom and the gang will face their deadliest threat yet from Theron's Cipher, a woman in the deep, dark criminal underworld they first became exposed to in the last film. This time, of course, they won't have Paul Walker's Brian O'Connor, and Vin Diesel paid tribute to his late co-star recently on Instagram.

Fast 8 is scheduled to arrive in the UK on 14 April next year.

Friday, 24 June 2016

New Independence Day: Resurgence images arrive online

Empire online have recently released our latest look at Roland Emmerich's Independence Day (1996) sequel, Independence Day: Resurgence, courtesy of 20th Century Fox.

It has been two decades since the alien invaders tried to lay waste to mankind and deplete our planet's valuable resources. We managed to hold them off that time, but we always knew they would be back. Using recovered alien technology, the nations of Earth have collaborated on an immense defence program to protect the planet. But nothing can prepare them for the aliens' advanced and unprecedented force, and only the ingenuity of a few brave men and women can bring our world back from the brink of extinction.

Will Smith's Captain Steven Hiller may not be returning (rumour has it he was killed in an incident off screen), but Jeff Goldblum's David Levinson is very much back in action

Joining the old guard are Liam Hemsworth (The Hunger Games), Charlotte Gainsbourg (Melancholia), Joey King (White House Down), Sela Ward (The Day After Tomorrow) and Maika Monroe (It Follows) as Patricia Whitmore, daughter of President Thomas J. Whitmore (Bill Pullman).

Independence Day: Resurgence is out in cinemas now.

New quad poster for Love & Friendship arrives online

Artificial Eye have recently released their latest trailer and one sheet for Whit Stillman's (Last Days Of Disco) period drama, Love & Friendship.

Adapted from Jane Austen's novella Lady Susan, the 1790s set story sees Kate Beckinsale (Underworld) as widow Lady Susan Vernon, who heads to the country estate of her in-laws amid much speculation about her social life. There, she makes an attempt to find a husband and to help her daughter Frederica (Morfydd Clark) fall in love.

Chloë Sevigny (Zodiac) plays the heroine's confidante, Alicia and Stillman has also rounded up James Fleet (Sense And Sensibility), Jemma Redgrave (I'll Be There), Emma Greenwell (Shameless), Tom Bennett (Shadow Dancer) and Justin Edwards (The Duchess) to co-star.

Love & Friendship is out in cinemas now.

New trailer for Paul Feig's Ghostbusters arrives online

Sony Pictures Entertainment have recently released their latest trailer for Paul Feig's (Bridesmaids) Ghostbusters.

The film stars Melissa McCarthy (The Heat), Kate McKinnon (Saturday Night Live), Kristen Wiig (Bridesmaids) and Leslie Jones (Saturday Night Live) as the women who must defend New York against a surge in paranormal activity that McCarthy and Wiig's characters initially detect but are laughed out of academia for revealing. They eventually decide to recruit the others to form their own unit.

Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Michael Kenneth William (12 Years A Slave), Andy Garcia (Ocean's Twelve), Matt Walsh (Ted) and Neil Casey (Saturday Night Live) are also all part of the cast and we can expect cameos from original Ghostbusters (1984) stars Bill Murray, Ernie Hudson, Dan Aykroyd and Sigourney Weaver.

Ghostbusters arrives in the UK on 15 July.

"He likes that seat!"

Paramount Pictures have recently released their latest trailer and one sheet for Justin Lin's (Fast & Furious) Star Trek Beyond.

We are not given a huge idea of the plot just yet, save for the fact that Kirk (Chris Pine), Spock (Zachary Quinto), McCoy (Karl Urban), Scotty (Simon Pegg) and the rest of the USS Enterprise crew are once more in big trouble out in space.

There is, however room for Justin Lin to channel his past as the Fast & Furious (2009) director with a motorcycle moment and plenty of the heroes being thrown around and challenged. And with Pegg co-writing alongside Doug Jung (Confidence), the humour from the first two is clearly still intact.

With Star Trek veterans Zoe Saldana, John Cho, Anton Yelchin and Deep Roy returning alongside Idris Elba's (Prometheus), Joe Taslim (The Raid: Redemption) and Sofia Boutella (Kingsman: The Secret Service), Star Trek Beyond will be out here on 22 July.

New trailer and one sheet for Sausage Party arrives online

Sony Pictures Entertainment have recently released their latest trailer and one sheet for Greg Tiernan (Thomas And Friends) and Conrad Vernon's (Shrek 2) Sausage Party.

Seth Rogen and his band of pot smoking comedians are back – in animated form. The writer, actor and director has assembled something of a repertory group of comedians, appearing together in the likes of Pineapple Express (2008) and This Is The End (2013), and now the somewhat cheekily titled Sausage Party.

In the universe of Sausage Party, food products of all kinds are self aware and spend their days in the supermarket dreaming of when they might be picked by 'gods' – humans – to join with them in eternity. It is only when they are purchased and reach our homes that they realise the horrific reality behind their religion – they are doomed to be sliced, peeled, boiled and otherwise consumed.

Our hero here is a hot dog sausage called Frank (Rogen) who realises the truth and then sets out to warn his friends.

Rogen has written the script with his comedy partner Evan Goldberg, and producer Kyle Hunter (This Is The End). Dreamworks Animation alumni Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon are directing a voice cast that includes Rogen, Kristen Wiig (Bridesmaids), Jonah Hill (The Wolf Of Wall Street), Michael Cera (Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World), James Franco (127 Hours), Nick Kroll (The League), Paul Rudd (Ant-Man), and Edward Norton (Birdman), who voices a bagel.

Sausage Party will grace our screens from 2 September.

New one sheet for Assassin's Creed arrives online

20th Century Fox have recently released their latest one sheet for Justin Kurzel's (Macbeth) adaptation of best selling video game Assassin's Creed.

Movies spawned from video games have always had a troubled history, but Kurzel's latest is looking to finally break that paradigm.

Assassin's Creed finds Michael Fassbender (Prometheus) as Callum Lynch, an alienated, violent drifter who discovers that he is descended from a 15th century Spanish assassin named Aguilar. Recruited (read: disappeared after he has apparently been sentenced to death) by a corporation called Abstergo Industries, Lynch taps into his ancestral memories via a device called the Animus to gain the know-how to fight the Assassins' age old nemeses, the Templars, in a battle for the future of humanity.

In case you are wondering, and a fan of the games, this is not Desmond Miles, the familiar character from the virtual version, to allow for an original story (albeit taking heavy inspiration from the game) that can go where it pleases. Still, there will be plenty of the game's time hopping plot and action, even if it will have to overcome the hurdle of a film that feels like watching someone else play the title.

Still if anyone can pull it off, it is Fassbender's Macbeth (2015) director Kurzel. With Marion Cotillard (Rust And Bone), Ariane Labed (Before Midnight), Jeremy Irons (Beautiful Creatures), Brendan Gleeson (In Bruges) and Michael Kenneth Williams (12 Years A Slave) in the cast, Assassin's Creed will be out in the UK on 26 December.

New trailer and one sheet for The Purge: Election Year arrives online

Universal Pictures have recently released their latest trailer and one sheet for James DeMonaco's The Purge: Election Year.

The Purge films have increasingly explored the political subtext of the idea fuelling them, and that is arguably pushed even further with the third entry, The Purge: Election Year.

Continuing the thesis that a warped alternate America would hit on the idea of setting aside a 12-hour period once a year where its citizens could do whatever they want without worrying about the law, Election Year follows Charlene 'Charlie' Roan (Elizabeth Mitchell), a United States senator whose family was slaughtered one Purge night, and who is running for president on the campaign pledge that she will end the tradition once and for all.

Naturally, those in power who rely on it to keep poorer folk occupied and/or killed, are none too happy about this, and plan to take her out during the next Purge period. Fortunately for Charlie, she will have some help from Frank Grillo's Sergeant who, after his experiences with the event a few years ago – The Purge: Anarchy (2014) – is ready to step in and protect her. But that won't be easy when there is a traitor in their midst...

The Purge: Election Year hits the US on 1 July 1 (just in time for the 4 July holiday) and makes its way across the pond on 15 July.

The first official Baywatch picture arrives online

While Dwayne Johnson (San Andreas), Zac Efron (That Awkward Moment) and the rest of the Baywatch cast have been regularly updating their various social media accounts with imagery from the film as it shoots, Paramount Pictures have recently released our first official look at the Los Angeles County Lifeguard crew.

With the film now wrapped, director Seth Gordon (Horrible Bosses) and his team moves into the post-production phase, honing the gags and the action beats into shape ready for next summer's release.

Baywatch, which updates the lifeguard series that captivated people in the 1990s, finds Johnson as a committed lifeguard who has to deal with the challenges of the beach and a cocky new recruit named Matt Brody (Efron). But they will have to join forces if they want to stop a nefarious criminal conspiracy that threatens their patch.

Also in the cast are Alexandra Daddario (Texas Chainsaw 3D), Kelly Rohrbach (The PET Squad Files), Ilfenesh Hadera (Billions) and Jon Bass, with former Miss World Priyanka Chopra (Quantico), who didn't get to join the line-up fun here, as the villainous Victoria Leeds. We can also expect a cameo from one David Hasselhoff, because it wouldn't be Baywatch otherwise.

The film itself is out in the UK on 12 May. The postcard version of the image is sitting below.

"30 Seconds to Mars is the name of a band, it's not a fact."

Universal Pictures have recently released their latest trailer and one sheet for Akiva Schaffer (The Watch) and Jorma Taccone's (MacGruber) Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping.

For those of you who have seen the first, red band trailer for the Lonely Island's latest film, you will know the tone that Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping is going for. And the latest trailer, which dials down the swearing but ramps up the violence against Seal (as himself), maintains that tone.

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping is a mockumentary behind the scenes look at Connor4Real (Andy Samberg), a hyped up, pumped up, and ambitious boy band frontman who has risen to megastardom on the back of his appeal to huge crowds of fans who he calls 'Confidantes'. But after finding success with his first solo release, his sophomore effort is falling somewhat short.

This second look at the film has more emphasis on the comic set pieces, including Connor staging a lavish event to propose to his special lady (Imogen Poots) that includes members of the press and actual wolves, which doesn't end well for one special entertainer (we did warn you about violence towards Seal).

With fellow Lonely Island creators Jorma Taccone and Akiva Schafferco writing with Samberg and taking on directorial duties, Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping promises a host of funny and famous people in other roles and cameos as themselves including Sarah Silverman (Take This Waltz), Bill Hader (Superbad), Maya Rudolph (Bridesmaids), Will Arnett (Jonah Hex), Will Forte (Nebraska), Tim Meadows (Mean Girls), Snoop Dogg, Joanna Newsom (Inherent Vice) and Pink.

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping will assault our senses on 28 August.

New trailer for The Colony arrives online

Signature Entertainment have recently released their latest trailer for Florian Gallenberger's (City Of War: The Story Of John Rabe) historical thriller Colony.

Originally going by the title Colonia, Emma Watson's (The Bling Ring) new movie is now just called The Colony.

America isn't the only country for which September 11 has painful significance. On 11 September 1973 a coup was launched against the regime of Salvador Allende by General Pinochet, plunging the country into a violent upheaval.

Colonia follows Costa-Gavras' Missing (1982) in charting the brutal aftermath of the Pinochet led coup. That film had Jack Lemmon trying to get to the bottom of his son's disappearance – this one sees Watson's Lena doing likewise when her partner, Daniel (Daniel Brühl) is abducted by Chilean the secret police. Lena tracks him down to Colonia Dignidad, an anti-communist sect run by Mikael Nyqvist's (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo) lay preacher Paul Schäfer. There she joins the cult to find Daniel.

Despite its banner talent, this one has had a tricky journey to the screen. Signature Entertainment has now picked it up and it is finally getting a day and date UK release on 1 July.

Elton John joins Kingsman: The Golden Circle

With cameras set to roll soon, Mathew Vaughn has been busy recruiting the cast for Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014) sequel Kingsman: The Golden Circle. Now news arrives via The Hollywood Reporter that Elton John is set to join them, with the Rocket Man himself confirming via Instagram.

Not normally a man seen cropping up in movies – although his music has been used in several films, including The Lion King and Gnomeo & Juliet – it is not yet clear how Sir Elton would fit into the Kingsman: The Secret Service sequel, though he could very well just be playing himself for a cameo role.

What we know for sure is that Taron Egerton and Mark Strong are back as Eggsy and Merlin, with Edward Holcroft returning to play Charlie. This time around, the big threat comes from Julianne Moore's (Still Alice) Poppy and our heroes will be interacting with their American counterparts The Statesmen, including Pedro Pascal's (Game Of Thrones) Jack and Halle Berry's (Cloud Atlas) Ginger. And if the teasing hints offered by this poster are true, we might also see – spoiler alert – the return of Colin Firth's seemingly deceased Harry Hart.

Vaughn wrote the script with Jane Goldman and is scheduled to bring Kingsman: The Golden Circle to UK cinemas on 16 June next year.

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Transformers 5 to be called Transformers: The Last Knight

Beyond the return of Michael Bay to the director's chair, all we have mostly heard about the fifth Transformers film is that it was developed in a writers' room overseen by Akiva Goldsman (I Am Legend). But now we have a title, with Paramount Pictures revealing that the latest outing for the robots in disguise will be called Transformers: The Last Knight.

Not much has been officially announced about the new film, which has Mark Wahlberg returning as Cade Yeager, but the title suggests we will meet a legendary Cybertronian warrior. Perhaps Optimus Prime will be assuming some other form?

While this is all speculation for now, the film itself kicked off shooting last week, so we can expect more announcements soon, particularly via the movie's Instagram page. Transformers: The Last Knight is scheduled to hit the UK on 23 June 2017.