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Wakanda is one of Africa's biggest nations, it's still a third world country but it's also holder of many secrets. It's former ruler was King T'Chaka, the nation loved their King but he was killed by a bomb explosion, since then his son T'Challa is his rightful heir and leader of the Black Panther tribe.
After returning to his country, T'Challa finds his country of Wakanda fragmented and in disarray; though his people are still loyal to the crown and his lineage, many people have seized the opportunity to take a piece of Wakanda for themselves - one of which T'Challa is all too familiar with.
Klaw is T'Challa's nemesis and is an incredibly intelligent yet despicably evil man who will go to any lengths to take what he thinks is his for the taking. Klaw wishes to take the Wakandan land for his own and is willing to destroy all its citizens if needs be.
Continue: Black Panther Trailer
The long anticipated war between man and ape has finally arrived. The leader of the genetically-modified apes, Caesar, refuses to take responsibility for it; he has given the surviving humans too chances to maintain peace between them to count, but it's not in a human being's nature to allow their planet to be ruled by anything other than their own species. After Caesar's former right-hand man Koba betrays him and incites anger between both humans and apes, their ultimate civility was always going to collapse into an all-out war. Now that an army has been assembled lead by the Colonel, no mercy will be shown towards their primate counterparts. Though there is one man, the Preacher, who still believes there's a chance there can be peace.
Continue: War For The Planet Of The Apes Trailer
After the release of The Force Awakens at the end of 2015, Disney and Lucas films didn't mess around delivering the general public its first announcement/teaser for The Last Jedi back at the start of 2016. Now, well over a year later, we finally get to see some proper footage from the upcoming movie.
Many of the key cast from Star Wars: The Force Awakens will feature in The Last Jedi including Daisy Ridley as Rey, John Boyega as Finn, Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron and Adam Driver as Kylo Ren who famously slaughtered his much-loved father in a face to face battle that made for one of the most pivotal scenes in the history of Star Wars.
As ever with new Star Wars releases, the scrip and the story outline is one of Hollywood's most closely guarded secrets and few official details have been released to the public. We do know that the story will pick up where The Force Awakens ended with Rey going off into a mountainous setting to hunt down Luke Skywalker in a bid to train with him and learn his knowledge.
Continue: Star Wars: The Last Jedi Trailer
Rich Cline talks us through some of the most anticipated movies for release in 2017.
As always, there are far too many sequels, spin-offs, remakes and reboots clogging the cinemas, but hopefully they'll be better than 2016's lacklustre batch. (Release dates are subject to change.)
Star Wars: Episode Viii - Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill continue the saga (Dec). More sci-fi sequels worth waiting for: the gang reteams for more space antics in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 (May), Michael Fassbender returns for Alien: Covenant (May), and Harrison Ford is back for Blade Runner 2049 (Oct).
Continue reading: The Ten Most Anticipated Films Of 2017
Andy Serkis , Lorraine Ashbourne - Celebrities attend 88th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood. at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood, Academy Awards - Los Angeles, California, United States - Sunday 28th February 2016
Appealing both to a new generation of viewers and fans of the series since the beginning, this 30-years-later sequel to 1983's Return of the Jedi is a thrilling adventure. Filmmaker J.J. Abrams has managed to capture the tone of the original trilogy while telling a story about young, vibrant new characters whose connection to the overall saga deepens intriguingly as events unfurl.
Over the past three decades, the Empire has regrouped, forming the First Order to crush the Old Republic for good. And the plucky Rebellion hasn't offered much resistance since leader Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) disappeared. The Empire's top henchman Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) is searching for him just as diligently as the rebel leader General Leia (Carrie Fisher). But the real action is happening out of their grasp, as disaffected storm trooper Finn (John Boyega) teams up with rebel pilot Poe (Oscar Isaac) and then feisty scavenger Rey (Daisy Ridley) and expressive droid BB-8. Along the way, Han Solo and Chewbacca (Harrison Ford and Peter Mayhew) find themselves back in the fray. And everyone is startled when there's a strong stirring in the force.
Abrams beautifully recreates the scruffy, clanky mechanical atmosphere of the original trilogy, infusing scenes with witty banter and John William's soaring score to throw us right back into that familiar galaxy. This includes the saga's main themes: the temptation of power, how true heroism is often accidental, and the tension between parents and children. Combine this with a plot that propels itself with a series of unexpected adventures and battles, all centred on the characters, and the film taps strongly into the teen in all of us.
Continue reading: Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens Review
After the victory of the Rebel Alliance over the Galactic Empire and subsequent demolition of The Death Star, you'd imaging life in a certain galaxy would be a little more subdued, but as we soon learn, life for Princess Leia, Luke and Hans wasn't exactly easy following their small yet essential victory.
30 years on and to most citizens - humanoid and alien - the stories of evil Lord Darth Vader and the Jedi Masters are just a legend, a story they tell their children that starts with the well-known overture: 'A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away'. Star Wars: The Force Awakens is the seventh film in the Star Wars series and is an additional story to the original Star Wars outline.
The film follows a set of new characters as they join the battle and fight the evil forces once again threatening to destroy their galaxy. The Force Awakens was directed by Jj Abrams and sees a number of cast favourites return to the story including Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher.
Andy Serkis - the World Premiere of 'Legend' at the Odeon Leicester Square, London on September 3rd 2015 at Leicester Square, Odeon Leicester Square - London, United Kingdom - Thursday 3rd September 2015
Andy Serkis - A host of stars were snapped on the red carpet as they arrived for the Jameson Empire Film Awards 2015 which were held at Grosvenor House in London, United Kingdom - Sunday 29th March 2015
Nine years after his final appearance as the iconic Gollum in Peter Jackson's 'The Lord of The Rings' trilogy, Andy Serkis returned to reprise he role in 2012's prequel, 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey'. But at the last moment, Jackson asked Serkis to act as the second unit director for the film as well. "It was a huge epic adventure" he explains, before confessing "which I didn't even know I was going to be involved in!"
Andy Serkis - Shots of the stars of the third in the Hobbit trilogy 'The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies'as they arrive at the Los Angeles premiere which was held at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles, California, United States - Tuesday 9th December 2014
Andy Serkis, Richard Armitage, Evangeline Lilly, Peter Jackson, Orlando Bloom, Elijah Wood and Lee Pace - Director Peter Jackson honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at THE HOLLYWOOD WALK OF FAME - Hollywood, California, United States - Monday 8th December 2014
Sir Ian McKellen, Andy Serkis and Orlando Bloom - 'The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies' world premiere at the Empire Leicester Square cinema - Arrivals at Empire Leicester Square - London, United Kingdom - Monday 1st December 2014
Ian McKellen, Orlando Bloom and Andy Serkis - The World Premiere of "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies" held at the Odeon Leicester Square - Arrivals at Odeon Leicester Square - London, United Kingdom - Monday 1st December 2014
It doesn't tell us much, but here's your first taster of 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens'.
It's finally here! The teaser trailer you've all been waiting for: 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens', and while it's not really giving anything away, it looks pretty intense. Vehicles have updated, the stormtroopers are looking shinier and R2D2 appears to have evolved.
Star Wars returns in December 2015
Since George Lucas announced his retirement from the franchise, there's been all sorts of speculation about what differences could be expected from an updated sequel: though it's difficult to tell from the less than one and a half minute trailer. Everyone seems to be in a rush (especially, in a comical fashion, R2D2) and there's some brand new faces, who all look a little nervous as a voiceover booms out: 'There has been an awakening. Have you felt it? The dark side and the light.'
Andy Serkis and Lorraine Ashbourne - Abercrombie & Fitch Kids and Great Ormond Street Hospital Charity Event held at Saville Row. at Great Ormond Street Hospital - London, United Kingdom - Thursday 20th November 2014
Andy Serkis - Stars were photographed as they arrived at the 2014 Hamilton Behind The Camera Awards which was held at The Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles, California, United States - Monday 10th November 2014
The Avengers may be feeling like they are capable of anything after saving New York City from Loki's rampage and returning the deadly Tesseract to its rightful place in Asgard, but the group have a new threat to overcome. As the group; Tony Stark (Iron Man), Steve Rogers (Captain America), Bruce Banner (Hulk), Thor, Natasha Romanoff (Black Widow) and Clint Barton (Hawkeye); attempt to enjoy an usually civilised evening together, they are interrupted by Ultron - a backfired project of Stark who is dead set on destroying the human race and branding them puppets in his game. With S.H.I.EL.D. destroyed, their chances of saving the world once again are looking dangerously slim. Now beginning to question just how much power they have, they are forced to regroup for a mission that could finally see their end.
In the battle of dulcet tones, it's Cumberbatch v Elba. Tough call.
Benedict Cumberbatch is adding to his impressive list of voice roles by joining the cast of ‘Jungle Book: Origins’ to play the villainous tiger Shere Khan.
Benedict Cumberbatch at the Brits
The film, which is set for release in October of 2016, is one of two Jungle Book films in production. Cumberbatch has joined Serkis’ crew – the Warner Bros. project, while Jon Favreau is taking on Disney’s version.
Continue reading: 'Jungle Book: Origins' Adds Benedict Cumberbatch As Voice Of Shere Khan
The cast and director reminisced and let slip a few details about "There and Back Again".
If you were not at SDCC over the weekend, fret not, because some panels, like the one with the cast of The Hobbit and Stephen Colbert (what an inspired lineup) are already hitting youtube. One hour of Hobbit and Tolkien-related goodness, moderated by the biggest Tolkien nerd there is? Yes, please, that sounds absolutely amazing. And it was.
Think you know your Tolkien? Not as well as Colbert does.
Besides the absolutely obligatory trivia contest (which Colbert won, against one of the series writers, no less), the panel also included a very brief update from Peter Jackson on The Hobbit: There and Back Again. The director, who has spent almost two decades working on Tolkien adaptations, said about the journey: “It’s a commitment I’ve really enjoyed taking.”
Orlando Bloom, Andy SerkisOrlando Bloom and Andy Serkis - Orlando Bloom and Andy Serkis do selfies with fans at Comic Con in San Diego, CA. - San Diego, California, United States - Saturday 26th July 2014
Cinemas are full of summer blockbusters at the moment - but where are all the women?
Summer has arrived (if you ignore the weekend rain) and so have some fantastic cinematic blockbusters.There’s exciting viewing for everyone: out-and-out action, talking apes on a CGI-level almost incomprehensible, tamed dragons, a cinematic experiment that took 12 years to make and a romantic comedy to satisfy your sentimental side. However, if you delve a little deeper, an inescapable fact arises and the question has to be asked: where are all the women?
Andy Serkis in the visually phenomenal Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. But the cast has very few women
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes looks epic. The story, the action and the special effects set the stage for a movie of fantastic proportions. But there are only two prominent female figures to at least 10 main male characters, both ape and human alike. In the ape world, the woman is Caesar’s wife, giving birth and feeling unwell afterwards for most of the movie. In the human world, we have one woman in a five-strong male group who are daring to enter into the carefully constructed world of the apes.
Mel Gibson is honoured at Czech festival, while the Apes sequel and What If premiere in New York, and Legend and Grimsby film on streets around London. Plus new trailers for heavy-hitters Exodus, Gone Girl and Foxcatcher...
This is a week when most attention was on the sporting world, with the Wimbledon finals, the Formula One British Grand Prix and the Tour de France starting in Britain, and of course the World Cup in Brazil. So most people didn't notice that the Karlovy Vary Film Festival kicked off in the Czech Republic by awarding Mel Gibson with the Crystal Globe for outstanding artistic contribution to world cinema. The festival wraps up on Saturday. Here's Mel Gibson at the 49th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival - Mad Max screening .
Meanwhile in New York, the stars turned out on Tuesday for the premiere of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Cast members Andy Serkis and Keri Russell were joined by visiting filmmakers Darren Aronofsky and Paul Haggis and actors Alex Karpovsky and Bridget Moynahan. The film opens this week in the US and next week in the UK. Here's a Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes clip to get you in the mood.
Matt Reeves delivers a sequel worthy of becoming the summer’s biggest movie.
Matt Reeves’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes invades US theatres tomorrow (July 11th) and the critics are promising this is one not to be missed. Picking up 10 years on from where Rise of the Planet of the Apes left off, now Cesar and his nation of evolved apes are under threat from human survivors, hoping to prove they’re the dominant species. With an all-star cast including Andy Serkis, Gary Oldman, Jason Clarke and Keri Russell the movie has already scored an impressive 94% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. But if you’re in need of more convincing, here’s five reasons why you need to see Dawn of the Planet of the Apes this weekend.
Cesar and co. are under threat in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
1. It takes Planet of the Apes to a whole new level
There's your film, "Rise" fans. Creators say it's an entirely different experience.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is one of the most highly anticipated films of the year, both by fans and industry insiders – the latter are counting on it to revive a box office, left inexplicably dead after 4th of July weekend. But unlike its 2011 predecessor, Dawn is under new management. So the challenge for newly appointed screenwriter Mark Bomback and director Matt Reeves is now to prove that they can sustain the franchise, while still releasing a movie that can stand on its own too feet (like its ape characters, get it?)
Early reviews of Dawn have been largely favorable.
For his part, Bomback reckons they’ve done just that. In this film, the previously mild-mannered ape leader Caesar must navigate a delicate treaty with the humans, while still keeping his restless advisor, the scarred chimp Koba, happy. But Koba doesn’t want to sit still and neither do the humans, who have been pushed to the brink of extinction by the virus unleashed in the last film. "We wanted to keep the same quality as 'Rise,' but there's also this larger franchise that it's a part of," says Bomback ("Unstoppable") for the New York Daily News.
In a post-apocalyptical Earth inhabited by only the few humans who survived the viral pandemic that wiped out most of human civilisation less than ten years ago, man and ape are at war. A troop of genetically modified apes have taken over the planet led by the enraged and long-suffering Caesar; the first ape to have been modified enough to develop human speech and intelligence. Determined not to let humankind rule over them as they once did, the apes will stop at nothing to make sure they are never subjected to brutal scrutiny ever again. However, Caesar knows deep down that there are still good men in the world, and he also knows that if those men and his primate family don't work together to create peace in the world, it will be the end of all of them.
Continue: Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes - Clip
Serkis joins the Marvel film, but we don't know how or as what
Andy Serkis, famous for his work with CGI and his performance as Golem in The Lord of The Rings films, has confirmed that he’ll be appearing in the the upcoming Avengers film, Age of Ultron.
Talking in an interview with Variety, Serkis said: "The Imaginarium is the performance capture consultant and I'm playing a role [in both Avengers and Star Wars]. On Avengers, I've been working closely with Mark Ruffalo."
Serkis has confirmed he has a role in Age of Ultron
It's official: the original cast will be back for Episode VII, along with high-profile newcomers. Sundance London and Tribeca premiere movies for Ryan Reynolds, Keira Knightley, Michael B Jordan, Emma Watson and more. Neighbors premieres in Los Angeles. And new trailers promise emotion, comedy and embarrassment...
Of course the biggest movie news this week was the official announcement that Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher will be back for Star Wars Episode VII, along with the performers behind C-3PO, R2-D2 and Chewbacca. Newcomers to the saga include Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Domhnall Gleeson, John Boyega, Andy Serkis, Max Von Sydow and Daisy Ridley. JJ Abrams starts filming this month in London. For all the cast info and to see the, now infamous, first cast reading photo for Star Wars Episode VII click here.
This past week in London, the Sundance London Film and Music Festival took place with a flurry of filmmakers and stars attending, including Ryan Reynolds and Gemma Arterton, who were on hand to present their offbeat serial killer black comedy The Voices. Browse our arrivals gallery for 'The Voices' screening at Sundance London.
Mark Hamill is impressed by the Star Wars Episode VII cast.
Mark Hamill, the American who will reprise his role as Luke Skywalker in JJ Abrams Star Wars: Episode 7, has spoken of his approval of the new cast-members, John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Domhnall Gleeson, Max Von Sydow and Andy Serkis. The new cast-members were revealed in a photograph from the script-read through at Pinewood Studios this week, with Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Hamill also attending the session.
Afterwards, the 62-year-old tweeted:
Continue reading: Mark Hamill On Boyega, Ridley, Gleeson, Isaac: "Wow, They're Good"
The actresses will star alongside Idris Elba in the live action/CGI hybrid film.
Scarlett Johansson and Lupita Nyong'o are reportedly in talks to star in Jon Favreau's adaptation of the classic tale, The Jungle Book. The actresses will join Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom's Idris Elba, who will voice the man-eating tiger, Shere Khan.
Scarlett Johansson Is To Star In John Favreau's Adaptation Of 'The Jungle Book.'
Johansson ('Under The Skin') is rumoured to be in line for the voice of Kaa, the deceptive python who eats other animals by hypnotising them whilst 12 Years a Slave star Nyong'o is in final negotiations to voice Rakcha, the mother wolf who adopts the human boy, Mowgli, according to THR. The role would see Johansson become the movie's second villain, after Elba's formidable Shere Khan.
If Matt Reeves' synopsis doesn't get you pumped, the new stills should do the trick.
Let’s just slip into geek out mode for a few minutes with these ten new Dawn of the Planet of the Apes stills released by Empire Magazine and USA Today, among others. The stills reveal nearly the entire cast of Dawn characters, some really cool CGI and the biggest news of all – it looks like the formerly mild-mannered and lovable Caesar is now wielding a shotgun.
Watch the Dawn teaser trailer below.
We also get several glimpses of the apes, which have well and truly taken over the world by the time of the film. The virus, released in Rise has by this point wiped almost all of humanity, including James Franco’s character from the previous film (or his contract expired, both valid possibilities). Either way, the main protagonist is now Gary Oldman’s character, the leader of a small band of survivors, whom we’ve already seen give a rousing speech in one Dawn trailer. Oldman stars alongside Jason Clarke and Keri Russell, the other leaders of the colony, which settles just outside of San Francisco.
Serkis steps into the fray for Warner Brothers' version of Rudyard Kipling's iconic story
Andy Serkis, who hit worldwide notoriety for portraying the character of Gollum in The Lord of The Rings films, is to direct ‘The Jungle Book’ for Warner Bros., who will be under extra pressure to deliver a faithful version of the iconic tale with Disney also working on a live-action adaptation, directed by Jon Favreau.
Andy Serkis is set to direct 'The Jungle Book'
Serkis is thought to be the final turn in what has been a winding road towards finding a director. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (Babel) left the project due to scheduling conflicts while Ron Howard was briefly in talks to take the helm – they proved to be fruitless. Serkis will also produce the movie with ‘Harry Potter’ writer Steve Kloves and Jonathan Cavendish, who is Serkis’ partner at The Imaginarium - his Fox-based production company.
Continue reading: Andy Serkis Gets His Very Own Precious: 'The Jungle Book'
The high-powered casts of August: Osage County and American Hustle show off their Oscar red carpet credentials, while Justin Bieber premieres his new doc and we get first glimpses of Nolan's Interstellar and Dawn of the Apes...
Two big premieres this week were more about raising awards-worthy awareness than launching a movie. Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Ewan McGregor, Chris Cooper, Abigail Breslin and Juliette Lewis were all on hand for the August: Osage County premiere in Los Angeles. Meanwhile in New York, Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner were all dressed up for American Hustle. Both films are scooping up awards and nominations at the moment. Watch Bradley Cooper and Christian Bale arrive at 'American Hustle' NY Premiere and here's another video showing Amy Adams as she dazzles on the red carpet.
Justin Bieber won't be chasing awards for his latest behind-the-scenes doc Believe, which held its much-hyped world premiere in Hollywood on Wednesday. He was joined on the red carpet by director Jon M Chu, who also directed two Step Up movies, the last G.I. Joe blockbuster and Bieber's previous doc, 2011's Never Say Never. You can watch the trailer for Justin Bieber: Believe here.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes looks to be the part of the franchise where it all hits the fan.
The newly released trailer for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is about as dark as an “end of the world” movie can be and just as exciting. The short clip, released by 20th Century Fox on Wednesday, includes Gary Oldman giving a rousing speech to his small band of survivors, who managed to outlast a deadly virus and subsequent war. Meanwhile we, the audience, get to see flashes of the devastation left behind. The clip is just a teaser though, so maybe fans will get a better idea of the story in an upcoming extended trailer.
To top it off, the trailer then cuts to Andy Cerkis’ newly terryfying Ceasar. This is not the intelligent, mild ape James Franco’s character befriended in 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes (the titles are bound to get really confusing at some point) – this Ceasar is all war paint and fury. As the camera pulls away and we get a glimpse of the gathering ape army, the message of the trailer becomes abundantly clear – humanity is well and truly doomed by now.
Nearing a decade after a massive percentage of human civilisation was destroyed after a virus affecting only mankind spread its way across the globe, a breed of genetically modified apes with intelligence beyond normal capacity are on the verge of ruling the Earth, led by the original genetically reformed primate, Caesar. The once immaculate cities have become wild, with only a few survivors left to take on the challenge of rebuilding their lives - but it's something they are unlikely to achieve until some sort of peace is reached between the humans and apes. When that fails, the only thing left is war; something that could turn brutal enough to wipe out both species on their quest for dominance.
Bilbo Baggins has narrowly escaped several deadly confrontations with the likes of trolls, stone giants and countless orcs alongside his faithful wizard partner Gandalf and the hardy Dwarves of Erebor as they passed through the treacherous Misty Mountains. Their quest to retrieve the dwarves' vast pile of treasure and the land that they once called their home is at a peak as they reach the Lonely Mountain. Guarded by a colossal dragon named Smaug, the Lonely Mountain proves to be even more perilous than where they had just been and armed only with elven swords and Bilbo's Ring, they must make the ultimate defeat while fighting giant spiders and more goblins along the way. More threats face them in the form of untrustworthy elves with intelligence that far surpasses any of the travellers' put together, and their chances of survival are becoming very slim indeed.
'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug' is the second instalment of 'The Hobbit' movie trilogy directed by Peter Jackson ('King Kong', 'The Lovely Bones', 'The Lord of the Rings') and based on the novel by JRR Tolkien. Screenwriters Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens and Guillermo del Toro make their return as do much of the previous cast alongside some new faces. It is due to be released in the UK on December 13th 2013.
Today The Bone Season was released across bookshops and it is from here that the real test begins.
Samantha Shannon, the 21-year-old author behind The Bone Season, is on everyone’s lips these days. The book has only been released today, though advance reader copies have been making the rounds for several months, but Shannon has been bombarded with praise from all sides in the mean time. The young author has even been compared to J. K. Rowling, author of cultural phenomenon Harry Potter. It’s a comparison that’s been further invited by the fact that The Bone Season is the first in a seven-part series of books.
The books are set in a futuristic world – in 2059 Oxford has been converted into a prison colony for clairvoyants. They will be trained to use their powers against an army of flesh-eating creatures from another world. It’s an easy enough premise to summarise, but not at all easy to imagine. Nevertheless, interest in The Bone Season has been so high, that the book earned Shannon a “six-figure advance” from publishers Bloomsbury. According to the BBC, the film rights have already been sold to Andy Serkis' film studio, The Imaginarium. Not surprising, as this is generally the way the publishing industry functions today.
The book falls, as you may have guessed from the premise, within the wildly popular of late dystopian genre. Shannon quotes Margaret Atwood, George Orwell and John Donne among her influences in creating the classic dystopia – a world enough like our own to make it feel uncomfortably close, but with several quite major differences. The author herself described it by saying: "The Bone Season is urban fantasy. It's not a high fantasy where you're inventing a whole new land. It's strongly rooted in real places.”
Continue reading: Samantha Shannon's "The Bone Season" - What's All The Fuss About?
Two years ago, Samantha Shannon was a nobody - certainly in the literary world. A 19-year-old slaving away as an intern like thousands of other aspiring writers, she put her mind to realising her dream - writing a fantasy novel.
Two years later came the manuscript for The Bone Season, a 480 page novel that's already being likened to Jk Rowling's Harry Potter. Snapped up at the first time of asking, the book has already been sold in 20 countries and hits shelves today (August 20, 2013).
Andy Serkis - who plays Golum in the Lord of the Rings movies - has bought the film rights to the book from publisher Bloomsbury and will begin work on a big-screen adaptation with his company The Imaginarium.
Continue reading: How A 19-year-old Intern Wrote 'The Bone Season,' The New Harry Potter
Is 'The Bone Season' the new Harry Potter? Andy Serkis thinks so.
Two years ago, Samantha Shannon was a 19-year-old intern - though no ordinary 19-year-ordinary intern. She had 480 pages of a fantasy novel locked away, for which - two years later - she would be paid a £100,000 advance.
The Bone Season looks set to become an international bestseller and comparisons are already being made to JK Rowling and Harry Potter. So far, the rights to the novel have been sold in 20 countries and it hits shelves in the UK on August 20. However, perhaps far more lucrative to both Shannon and publisher Bloomsbury is that the film rights to the novel have been bought by Andy Serkis's company The Imaginarium.
"A few Hollywood studios were interested, but I went with The Imaginarium," she told the Telegraph, "They're a British company and I felt they got the book and would keep to its spirit."
'Because of the way that Caesar came into the world and was brought up by human beings, he was always an outsider', Andy explains. 'There was a sense of not knowing who he was; he was brought up by a human being and believed himself in many ways to be a human being, he had many human attributes, he learnt human belief systems through his father, Will, who he believed to be a good man.' Jason adds, 'In a funny kind of way I play a different mirror to Caesar. through the story I guess he finds his inner ape as well.'
Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf and their company thirteen dwarves have managed to leave the Misty Mountains almost unscathed after a series of death-defying encounters with trolls, stone giants, goblins and orcs. Armed with the One Ring and an array of elven forged swords, Bilbo must now set out to help retrieve the mountain of treasure that once belonged to the dwarves under the Lonely Mountain that was usurped by the dragon Smaug. Unfortunately, it proves less then straight-forward as more threats lie in their way from giant spiders and yet more goblins to unforgiving elves and waterfalls. However, as they approach the dragon, they begin to feel that all their other deadly ventures were just the tip of the iceberg.
'The Hobbit' returns with the second part of the movie trilogy 'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug' which sees the return of director Peter Jackson ('King Kong', 'The Lovely Bones', 'The Lord of the Rings') following part one, 'An Unexpected Journey'. Writers Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens and Guillermo del Toro are also back, along with last year's star cast and many new faces. Based on the novel by J.R.R. Tolkien, this new fantasy adventure film is set to hit cinemas this winter on December 13th 2013.
It's Here. The first trailer for the second of Peter Jackson's Hobbit films, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, debuted at 6pm on Warner Brothers' YouTube channel.
Following last Christmas' first instalment that kicked off the trilogy, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the new episode of adventures in Middle Earth will take Gandalf (Ian McKellen), Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) and the band of aggrieved-yet-upbeat dwarves further into their quest to reclaim the Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor; stolen from them by the evil dragon, Smaug (voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch).
Now, Bilbo has gained The One Ring after his life-changing meeting with the wretched Gollum (Andy Serkis) and the brave group have escaped the Goblin Kingdom to start the next leg of their quest to reclaim their kingdom and riches from Smaug, travelling through the Misty Mountains.
Based on the novel that preceded J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Hobbit was one book that has been turned into three films. Sure, this is probably to rake in maximum profits, but at least three 3 hour films will allow Jackson to deliver close interpretations and stretch out the franchise for another few years.
Continue reading: The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug Trailer - First Look
This first chapter of Peter Jackson's new Tolkien trilogy takes us back to the familiar settings and characters, inflating a simple journey into an epic adventure in the process. This film also looks strikingly different, shot both in 3D and 48 frames technology, double the definition of film. But it's the story we're really interested in.
The events take place 60 years before The Lord of the Rings, when Bilbo (Freeman) is a younger Hobbit enjoying a quiet life. Then he meets the wizard Ganfolf (McKellen) and everything changes. Suddenly he's invaded by 13 riotous dwarves led by Thorin (Armitage), who has decided to lead an expedition to reclaim their homeland from the sleeping dragon Smaug. Bilbo reluctantly agrees to help them, and their journey kicks off with a series of adventures as they are chased by wolf-riding orcs, captured by greedy goblins and terrorised by gigantic mountain-monsters. They also call in for help from the elf leaders Elrond and Galadriel (Weaving and Blanchett), and try to convince the sceptical wizard Saruman (Lee) to back their quest.
The film opens with familiar characters as the older Bilbo (Holm) chats with Frodo (Wood) before we flash back to the start. And Jackson continues to link the two trilogies like this, with connective characters and events as well as developing the simple novel into a much bigger epic, complete with tenacious villains. All of this is hugely involving, with tense moments that are nerve-shredding as well as scenes of dark emotion and broad humour. The best sequence is Bilbo's encounter with Gollum, which vividly reveals the progress in performance-capture technology over the last decade. We can even more clearly see Serkis in Gollum this time, and it gives the film a real kick.
Continue reading: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Review
Peter Jackson's long awaited adaptation of J.R.R Tolkien's The Hobbit has already graced screens in New Zealand, but ahead of its North American and British release over the next two days, the stars have given some hints of the exciting scenes to come.
"There are some really good [scenes] in the first one," Martin Freeman, who plays Bilbo Baggins told MTV News of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. "I find it rather thrilling, but I'm looking forward to the other biggies, the battle being one, Smaug of course. Smaug is going to be great." And Freeman was quick to make sure people don't get distracted from his titular character, as Benedict Cumberbatch threatens to dominate as Smaug. "Don't give Benedict any more f---ing credit," Freeman joked. "Somehow, 'The Hobbit' still ends up being about some f---ing jerk."
Andy Serkis, who reprises his popular turn as Gollum, has also been doing some work behind the camera, directing action scenes for Peter Jackson. "Obviously the Battle of the Five Armies is going to be [great]," Serkis said, adding that they have yet to film that particular sequence. "We just started getting into it because of the change making it into three movies. We had to sort of hang on to [film] that. That is going to be extraordinary, don't you think? There are the barrels, there's a ton of stuff."
Andy Serkis as Gollum was arguably the most iconic aspect of The Lord of The Rings trilogy. His sneering obsessiveness provided twists within the plot, and cult-like mimicry from fans outside it.
However, his reprisal of the role comes with an added twist, and this time it's behind the camera, as he fulfils second unit director, shooting battle sequences in 3D for director Peter Jackson. "Directing was my main job this time - more than playing Gollum," he explained to Reuters. "I worked 200 days with a huge team shooting battle sequences, aerials. It was an amazing experience and one which I was very, very thankful to Peter for asking me to do."
Serkis's supposed new found role will have come as quite a surprise to many casual and ardent fans alike, but it's not something he's not well versed in. "I'd already started directing short films when we were doing 'Lord of the Rings,' then videogame projects," he explained. "So Peter's known that I've been heading towards directing for a long time. But I always thought my first outing would be a couple of people and a digital camera in the back streets of London somewhere!"
Peter Jackson and his team repaid New Zealand for its hospitality this week, by hosting the world premiere of the new Lord of the Rings film The Hobbit in central Wellington. The country has played host to some of the biggest movie stars on the planet for the past year while Jackson shot the film on its rolling green hills.
More than 100,000 turned out for the premiere of the movie, which has sparked Middle Earth mania in New Zealand. According to The Telegraph, presenters on national radio greeted listeners in fictional elvish language, while newspapers came equipped with complimentary Hobbit posters. Thousands of fans turned out for the premiere at the Embassy Theatre in full Lord of the Rings garb, delighting stars including Cate Blanchett, Martin Freeman and Elijah Wood who walked the red-carpet. Wellington actually renamed itself 'The Middle of Middle Earth' for the event, which has been regarded as a godsend for the country's tourism industry. Delays and union disputes have disrupted the production of The Hobbit, though despite wrapping up the hugely anticipated movie, director Peter Jackson admits he is still nervous about the critical reception. "Nothing's ever perfect and it never will be, it's a real mistake if you say we're stopping now because we've made the perfect film," he told Radio New Zealand. "You never have and you never will.I've got severe fatigue right now, but only because I've just finished the film. There's been all sorts of obstacles"
Bill, known to his friends as Wild Bill, has just been imprisoned for eight years for drug dealing. Now out on parole, he returns to his flat in a tower block in East London to find his two sons, Dean and Jimmy, living alone. Their mother abandoned them a while ago, so the respective fifteen and eleven year olds have been fending for themselves.
Continue: Wild Bill Trailer
Since their mum left nine months earlier, 15-year-old Dean (Poulter) has been taking care of 11-year-old brother Jimmy (Williams) by working in construction at the Olympic park. But Jimmy is failing at school and getting increasingly involved with a gang of local drug dealers (Gregory, Maskell and Rheon). Then after eight years in prison, their dad Bill (Creed-Miles) comes home, realising that he must show some responsibility to keep his sons from being taken into care. But they don't know him, and he doesn't know anything about being a father.
Continue reading: Wild Bill Review
Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit, who lives a quiet life in The Shire. His peace is interrupted one day when Gandalf arrives on his doorstep, persuading Bilbo to hold a party in his home. Bilbo refuses but has no choice but to agree when Gandalf pesters him.
This lively holiday romp has a steady stream of sharp verbal and visual gags that hold our interest. Even when the plot stalls in the middle, it's difficult to stop chuckling at the filmmakers' deranged sense of humour.
At the North Pole, Santa (Broadbent) is a bit complacent after 70 years on the job, letting his heir-apparent son Steve (Laurie) convert Christmas Eve into a high-tech black-ops style mission executed with military precision. To Steve, missing one child is an insignificant statistic. But Steve's younger brother Arthur (McAvoy) disagrees, and teams up with his feisty Grandsanta (Nighy) to make sure the last gift is delivered the old fashioned way.
Yes, the film is a riot of clashes between tradition and progress, the wisdom of the years and youthful vigour. Fortunately, the serious themes are subverted, hilariously playing with our expectations and never turning into a nostalgic paean to the olden days. That said, this British production does feel eerily co-opted by Hollywood, from the use of the American "Santa Claus" (no one ever calls him "Father Christmas", which might have made sense of the film's odd title) to the somewhat feeble attempts to ramp up the action and suspense. Not to mention a massive wave of sentimentality at the end.
But even this is undermined by Baynham (Borat) and director Smith's script, which maintains a dry British sense of humour and gives the strong vocal cast plenty of snappy material to play with. While most of the characters are a bit unmemorable, Nighy gets the best lines: Grandsanta as an old coot full of surprises, including some terrific rude jokes and an amusingly animated hound-style old reindeer sidekick. Staunton also has some terrific dialog as the underestimated Mrs Santa.
Visually the film is brightly colourful, amusingly designed with small sight gags and continual Christmas imagery. While the characters look a little plasticky, the settings are gorgeously rendered, and the flying sleigh sequences almost make it worth seeing in 3D. The problem is that the film feels stretched out by random antics and underdeveloped plot-threads along the way that add nothing to the overall story. So we get tired of the bumbling chaos, mainly because we know exactly where it's got to end up.
So it's a shame the story and characters aren't stronger.
When intrepid young journalist Tintin (Bell) buys a model ship called The Unicorn, he's suddenly launched into a mystery. Pursued by the relentless treasure-hunting Sakharine (Craig) and quizzed by the blustery detectives Thompson and Thompson (Pegg and Frost), Tintin and his faithful dog Snowy try to unlock The Unicorn's secret. This involves tracking down Captain Haddock (Serkis) on the high seas, then teaming up for a breathless chase through a North African desert to a bustling market town.
Continue reading: The Adventures Of Tintin: The Secret Of The Unicorn Review
Tintin is a young and passionate journalist who is always accompanied on his adventures with his faithful terrier, Snowy. One day, while out browsing a market place, Tintin comes across a rare model of a boat called 'The Unicorn'. He buys it and almost immediately has to ward off other potential buyers interested in the boat.
Will (Franco) is a San Francisco scientist experimenting with a new Alzheimer's medication he hopes will cure his father (Lithgow). But things take an unexpected turn when his greedy boss (Oyelowo) gets rid of his lab-test chimps, leaving Will to raise infant ape Caesar (Serkis) in secret. But Caesar's super-human intelligence can't keep him out of the clutches of the nasty father-son animal controllers (Cox and Felton), who badly underestimate him.
Can Will and his chimp-expert girlfriend (Pinto) sort out the mess before a furious Caesar takes matters into his own capable hands?
Continue reading: Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes Review
In 1828 Edinburgh, friends William Burke (Pegg) and William Hare (Serkis) realise they can make good money supplying cadavers to world-class surgeon Dr Knox (Wilkinson). But when they can't find a dead body, they kill someone instead. Hare's wife (Hynes) finds out and wants in on it, but Burke can't tell his aspiring actress girlfriend (Fisher) how he makes his living. Meanwhile, Knox is battling a rival surgeon (Curry) for the King's seal. And the local militia captain (Corbett) is closing in.
Continue reading: Burke & Hare Review
Disabled by polio at age 10, Ian Dury (Serkis) grew up with a fierce determination to be himself, and against the odds became an iconic leader of Britain's punk scene in the 1970s. But his unruly lifestyle takes a toll on his personal relationships, and he barely knows his son Baxter (Milner) from his first wife Betty (Williams). So Baxter comes to stay with him and his current girlfriend Denise (Harris), and both father and son need to figure out how to relate to each other. And to realise how much they need each other.
Continue reading: Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll Review
Flushed Away is a prototypical anthropomorphic-fish-out-of-water tale, about a pampered pet rat named Roddy St. James (voiced by Hugh Jackman) who gets accidentally flushed down the toilet of his owners' posh Kensington flat and ends up out of his element in a rat-sized version of London down in the sewers. His attempts to make his way back up top get him mixed up with a sassy lass, Rita (Kate Winslet), who is on the run from a local crime boss and his thugs. Of course, because this is an animated family film, the boss is an ill-tempered toad and one of the henchmen is an albino former lab rat, but the ideas are universal.
Continue reading: Flushed Away Review
Although Caine won an Oscar in 1999 for The Cider House Rules, there's a reason you didn't see his follow-up in this movie: because it's total crap. The acting is awful and the story is an insult. Director John Irvin has had better luck with "women's films" like Widow's Peak and A Month By the Lake, but unfortunately his action ends up more like Raw Deal.
Continue reading: Shiner Review
Unless you're a "Lord of the Rings" superfan, you'd better brush up on "Fellowship of the Ring" before seeing the sequel "The Two Towers," because director Peter Jackson just jumps right in to the middle of the story without much in the way of introductions or explanations.
He assumes you know who Hobbits Merry and Pippin are and why they've been abducted by the Uruk-Hai, the beastly minions of unseen supernatural villain Sauron (you know all about them, right?). He assumes you recall where "Fellowship" left off with human warrior Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) and Elfin archer Legolas (Orlando Bloom), and why they're trying to rescue Merry and Pippin.
He also assumes you know that hero Hobbits Frodo and Sam (Elijah Wood and Sean Austin) are still trying to reach the kingdom of Mordor, where they are to cast the dangerously omnipotent Ring into the volcanic fires of Mount Doom, thus keeping it out of the hands Sauron, who would use its dark psychic powers to lay waste to the world.
Continue reading: Lord Of The Rings:
the Two Towers Review
In the entire three hours of the audacious, transporting, spectacularly cinematic first "Lord of the Rings" installment, there are only two very brief moments that don't come across as being 100-percent a part of the mystical, dark and magical realm of Middle Earth.
These moments are not because of bad performances (there aren't any), negligent directing or special effects gaffes. In fact, from the digitally dialed-down stature of the actors playing hobbits to the frightfully demonic hoards of living-dead orcs (minions of the supernaturally evil antagonist), the effects are seamless.
These moments of doubt are merely scenes that take place in such plain locations (e.g. a non-descript river bed) that they seem far too familiar and Earthly in a movie of underground troll cities, ominous mountains called Doom, idyllic ancient forest hamlets of immortal elves, and hobbit's homes burrowed into impossibly green hillsides.
Continue reading: Lord Of The Rings: Fellowship Of The Ring Review
By the time hobbit hero Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood) finally -- finally! -- struggles to the top of Mount Doom, where at the climax of "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" he must cast into its volcanic fires the malevolently omnipotent Ring that has been slowly consuming his psyche for three movies now, many of the nit-picky things that have gotten on my nerves throughout all the "Lord of the Rings" flicks had come to a head.
So many times now has Frodo's whiney, obsequious traveling companion Samwise Gamgee (Sean Austin) begun boo-hoo-hooing that I started rooting for him to be chucked into the lava along with the jewelry. One too many times has a lucky coincidence saved our hero, as when in this picture he's captured by the demonic, bad-tempered Orcs, only to be rescued moments later when his two guards -- the only two guards in an entire tower it seems -- are conveniently distracted by fighting with each other.
And once too often has director Peter Jackson assumed that the previous installments will be fresh in minds of the audience. That's a pretty safe bet for his fan base, but for the unobsessed, "Return of the King" -- like "The Two Towers" before it -- has many what-did-I-miss? moments. For example, in one of two climactic battle scenes, a never-identified army of fearsome face-painted foes riding atop gigantic elephants appears on the flank of the protagonists' battalion, prompting the question, "Who the heck are these guys?" (Apparently they were in the second movie too, but pardon me for not having seen it since last year.)
Continue reading: The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King Review
Date of birth
20th April, 1964
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