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Empire February 2021

NEWS! Empire brings you world-exclusive movie news and first-look pictures of the films you want to watch and care about. REVIEWS! Empire delivers the most independent and authoritative movie reviews in the world - period. ACCESS! Empire's incredible insider-access brings you the interviews with A-list Hollywood stars that no-one else can get. All served with an irreverent sense of humour and unparalleled movie knowledge...

United Kingdom
12 Issues

in this issue

1 min
this month

RIGHT, THAT’S 2020 officially done, right? The year that most of us have longed for the end of is now in the rearview mirror, disappearing out of view. I wrote in this very magazine last month of my belief that 2020 will, in spite of everything, be remembered as a good, maybe even great, year for film. This issue we tested that theory further by compiling our annual review of the last 12 months. Any year that ends with Tilda Swinton interviewing Bong Joon-ho (p90), Aaron Sorkin writing an essay for us (p82) and five electrifying horror directors jumping on Zoom together (p84) is a damn good one, in my book. It was a year that also brought us the second season of The Mandalorian, the show that made everyone…

2 min
talk to us

SPOILED FOR CHOICE Looked for a film I remember watching a lot in my teens the other day, Blink (1994). Was available online on DVD for £30. Which got me thinking. Growing up, access to films was reduced to a couple of channels and a smoky video store. And the occasional trip to the cinema. Nowadays, it’s on tap. And each film is no doubt, in terms of technically, acting and storylines, better than Blink. RYAN GASCOYNE, VIA EMAIL Ryan, there are Empire writers old enough to remember the pre-VHS days, when the only time you saw a film was in the cinema, and never again! Have a Picturehouse membership, so you can still appreciate the big-screen experience. Picture house Empire’s star letter wins a Picturehouse Membership, plus one for a friend! Valid for one…

8 min
no./1 disney’s biggest bombshells, digested

WE WERE EXCITED! Disney were not shy about revealing new footage at their Investor’s Day presentation on 10 December; it’s not every day you get four shiny new Marvel trailers in one go. The first Loki trailer gave us lots of tantalising glimpses of what Tom Hiddleston’s God Of Mischief will be up to in a show Kevin Feige called a “crime thriller”. Most intriguingly of all, the end of the teaser sees Loki returning to Asgard via Bifrost: who - or what - will await him upon his return? WandaVision’s second trailer looked appropriately wild, too; in contrast, The Falcon And The Winter Soldier promises to be a much more grounded show, focusing on Steve Rogers’ BFFs, Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) and Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie). Cap’s bequeathed shield was…

2 min
no./ 2 inside robert rodriguez’s hero factory

ROBERT RODRIGUEZ LIKES to keep it in the family. In 2005, his son Racer, then seven, had a ‘Story By’ credit on The Adventures Of Sharkboy And Lava Girl. Today, Rodriguez returns to the kids’ superhero genre with standalone sequel We Can Be Heroes; the grown-up Racer is now a producer, while his siblings have credits in set design, composing and editing. “Sharkboy captured a specific time in their lives and they want to pass that on,” the director tells Empire of his filmmaking progeny. “It felt like we were mentoring the next generation, like in the movie.” Rodriguez’s mentorship extended beyond his own family: the young cast, playing the tween team named ‘The Heroics’, were asked to be part of the creative process. “We’d have drawing sessions so we were…

1 min
no./ 3 horrific body swaps

BARNEY/MILLIE FREAKY What if a teenage girl swapped bodies with a murderer? That’s the devilishly entertaining premise served up by Freaky, which sees brutal kills, and Vince Vaughn twerking. Freaky Friday, this ain’t! TASYA/COLIN POSSESSOR Even the Cronenbergs have got in on the on R-rated body-swap craze. In Brandon Cronenberg’s thriller, it’s Andrea Riseborough who possesses the minds of unwitting victims, in order to carry out assassinations. 13 Going On 30, this ain’t! EDDIE/VENOM VENOM 2: LET THERE BE CARNAGE Venom returns next year, with Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) and the symbiote swapping bodies - now joined by Woody Harrelson’s Carnage. That one episode of Star Trek: Voyager, this ain’t!…

7 min
no./ 3 inside the big wb drama of 2020

AND THERE WAS us thinking Godzilla Vs. Kong would be cinema’s bloodiest battle in 2021. In early December, Warner Bros. shocked the film world by announcing that all of its upcoming blockbusters - a slate that includes The Matrix 4 and Dune, as well as the King of the Monsters’ impending showdown with Skull Island’s resident über-ape - would be released simultaneously in cinemas and on US streaming service HBO Max. The resulting drama was enough to make Kong himself blush. AMC, the US cinema chain which owns Odeon, confirmed, “We have already commenced an immediate and urgent dialogue with the leadership of Warner.” Reports surfaced that many of those involved in the movies heading to HBO Max were given little advance warning, with The New York Times claiming major agencies…