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Empire August 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

AS I WRITE this, cinemas have been reopened five weeks and our world has started to steady on its axis. With the delay of restrictions lifting, we’re still in the land of social distancing, not-at-capacity audiences and no pick ’n’ mix (I mean, for the love of God!). We know that some of you have gone back to your favourite seat, bookings stretching into the weeks ahead. And we know others have been more cautious. But with the end of restrictions in sight and all of us promised the offer of a vaccine by September, you can feel… well, it. The anticipation, the moment when the plane starts to taxi down the runway and the engine bursts into life. In a matter of weeks (fingers crossed), our picturehouses will be…

2 min
talk to us

BODY HORROR You utter, utter bastards! I was reading The Ranking in the July 2021 issue when I saw the pic of Donald Sutherland from Invasion Of The Body Snatchers (1978). I first watched it on TV in the ’80s, and it scared the living shite out of me so badly that my mum had to take me to our cellar to prove there wasn’t a pod-person lurking there. So thanks for newly haunting my dreams with that unearthly screech from the finger-pointing alien pod-freak... PHIL SLOAN, NOW TERRIFIED, BEXLEY VILLAGE We can’t offer therapy, but we can offer a free Picturehouse membership. Just try to go on a day when Donald Sutherland isn’t there, lest he point at you. Empire’s star letter wins a Picturehouse Membership, plus one for a friend! Valid for…

2 min
no./1 why this douche got his own tv show

THIS MONTH’S FILM MOMENTS THAT MATTER “PEACEMAKER’S A PIECE of shit. He’s not a good guy. And he wears the goofiest costume you’ve ever seen in your life.” James Gunn there, on the title character of the DC Extended Universe’s first-ever TV show. Which begs the Starro-sized question: why, of all the Task Force X members in The Suicide Squad, did he plump for the a-hole in the chrome toilet-seat helmet? The idea first occurred to writer-director Gunn during the shoot for The Suicide Squad. Specifically, during a close-up on John Cena’s face, where he’s struggling over the moral implications of what he’s doing. “Peacemaker has a clear set of ideals that I find really interesting,” says Gunn. “You know: ‘I want peace no matter how many men, women and children I…

3 min
no./2 meet tom hardy’s most trusted ally

TOM HARDY HAS a lot of tattoos. But among the many inked tributes to his family and loved ones, there is, uniquely, one dedicated to a screenwriter. “It’s a writer’s quill on the inside of his right arm,” explains Kelly Marcel, the subject of said tat. “It says ‘Skribe’, spelled with a K. It’s massive!” She laughs. “I have not got one in return. I’m gonna have to get one at some point.” Hardy’s permanent tribute is a testament to their intensely trusting working relationship, which spans nearly 20 years. The pair first met at the Edinburgh Festival in the early 2000s; Hardy later invited Marcel to write for his “experimental theatre laboratory” based above a South London pub. Their first professional gig together came with the 2008 prison drama Bronson,…

2 min
black in focus

IN THE HEIGHTS COLOURISM LIMITS ITS CULTURAL IMPACT A DECADE AGO, In The Heights was a different proposition. Even back then, Lin-Manuel Miranda — who launched his career with the stage production in 2008 — had been wanting to turn his debut into a movie. Instead he was met with the usual Hollywood excuses as to why a Latinx-focused movie wouldn’t travel, and advised to hire already-famous singers — “Latino stars who test international,” as he later told Variety. Fast forward to 2021, and the Jon M. Chu-directed blockbuster is filled to the brim with fresh Latinx talent, all of whom are celebrating a culture that has so often been vilified on screen. But while this is one of the film’s major positives, the question of why none of the leading roles…

2 min
no./3 loki’s rewriting of the mcu

IT HAS VARIANTS ON A THEME If your story needs a Tony Stark-type but Robert Downey Jr is too expensive, never fear! Loki teaches us that you can introduce a “variant” version of the character, expelled from their own timeline by some ill-defined accident. This variant can be younger, or a professional cyclist, or a different gender. Loki takes the alternate reality premise that powers the upcoming What If? animated series and puts it into the live-action universe. We just have to trust Kevin Feige will not simply adopt the comics’ habit of rewriting, or ret-conning, history whenever it becomes inconvenient for a character to stay dead. IT’S ENTERED A MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS Between this, Doctor Strange And The Multiverse Of Madness and Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania, it’s clear that the MCU…