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--------- > [{"id":"5c4561aa9e24f0172e3e79b3","title":"Who Is Captain Marvel? Everything You Need To Know Before Watching The Film","subtitle":"","furl":"captain-marvel-everything-need-know-watching-film","urlOverride":"captain-marvel-everything-need-know-watching-film","publications":[{"id":"5b5ef0e371fda32230981b74","amp":null,"preview":null,"name":"Empire","urlSlugHide":true,"furl":"empire","stationCode":"","language":"en","hostname":{"id":"59e4c911f9648a12d2ed73f5","primary":"https://stg.empireonline.com"},"composed":{"hostname":"59e4c911f9648a12d2ed73f5"}}],"primarySyndicatePosition":0,"categories":[{"id":"5c44b9b09e24f0172e3b6b95","name":"Features","furl":"features","parent":{"id":"5c44b9b09e24f0172e3b6b8f","name":"Movies","furl":"movies"},"composed":{"parent":"5c44b9b09e24f0172e3b6b8f"}}],"pageTemplate":"feature","published":{"state":"published","scheduledEnd":null,"wasPublished":true},"target":"international","isLegacy":true,"legacy":{"id":"5c3fcd82fd0c0bc84449c824","collection":"features","publication":"empire","furl":"captain-marvel-everything-need-know-watching-film","url":"movies/features/captain-marvel-everything-need-know-watching-film/","cms":"http://bantam.empireonline.com/edit.php?c=features.content&_id=5c3fcd82fd0c0bc84449c824","urlHistory":[],"createdAt":1547685250318},"toplistFeature":false,"hiddenArticle":false,"excerpt":"The Marvel Cinematic Universe expands once again this March, as Carol Danvers,...","metaTitle":"","metaDescription":"Confused about the movie's character? Read Empire's primer on her comic book history.","sourceText":null,"sourceUrl":null,"_layout":[{"content":"Who Is Captain Marvel? Everything You Need To Know Before Watching The Film","type":"title"},{"content":"","type":"subtitle"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a99e24f0172e3e79af","altText":"Captain Marvel ","caption":"","credits":"","image":{"fileName":"captain-marvel-poster-crop.jpg","name":"captain-marvel-poster-crop.jpg","path":"one/empire-images/features/5c3fcd82fd0c0bc84449c824","width":640,"height":480,"mimeType":"image/jpeg"}},"displayName":"Article Hero","free":true,"name":"hero","type":"heroImage"},{"content":"The Marvel Cinematic Universe expands once again this March, as Carol Danvers, AKA Captain Marvel, makes her way to screens and, hopefully, can also be of assistance with that thorny little snap issue that the Avengers, the Guardians and the likes of Doctor Strange have got themselves into. But who is this character? Where does she come from? And what does she have to do with *Shazam!*?","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Captain Marvel: Who Is She?","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a99e24f0172e3e79b0","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5c3fcd82fd0c0bc84449c824","fileName":"captain-marvel.jpeg","name":"captain-marvel.jpeg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Captain Marvel - comics"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"This is a tricky one, as there have been several characters called Captain Marvel through the years. What can we say, except: it's comics. The list is too long to go into at this time, but suffice to say, there was a character in DC Comics called Captain Marvel, but the company lost the trademark to that and switched to calling it Shazam. He's [getting his own movie](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/news/shazam-faces-villain-doctor-sivana-exclusive-image/), out in April.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"For the purposes of this feature, we're focusing on Carol Danvers, a US Air Force pilot who is initially also a NASA security officer, Carol investigated numerous attempts made by the alien Kree and Skrull races to infiltrate Kennedy Space Center and disrupt America’s space program. During a battle between the heroic Mar-Vell and his rival, Yon-Rogg, Carol was exposed to the Psyche-Magnetron, a Kree device that could make imagination into reality. Carol subconsciously envied Mar-Vell’s powers, and the machine responded to those desires by rewriting her DNA to make her a human/Kree hybrid with abilities similar to his. The new powers included superhuman strength, flight (she can also survive the vacuum of space), absorbing and re-channeling energy. At one point, she was going by the name Ms. Marvel, and wearing a surely impractical black swimsuit. She got the full Captain Marvel title in 2012, but more on that shortly.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Captain Marvel: Who Created Her?","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561aa9e24f0172e3e79b1","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5c3fcd82fd0c0bc84449c824","fileName":"carol-danvers.jpg","name":"carol-danvers.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Carol Danvers (comics)"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"She was created by writer Roy Thomas and artist Gene Colan, and debuted in the pages of Marvel Comics via *Marvel Super-Heroes #13* in March 1968. There, her introduction via Mar-Vell's storyline was that of Security Chief for a restricted military base. After the explosion that caused their DNA to fuse, she resurfaced as Ms. Marvel in a self-titled series written first by Gene Conway and then Chris Claremont. A human-Kree hybrid thanks to the fusion, she would show up regularly in stories featuring the Avengers and the Defenders (think the Netflix shows, but with different characters), which then included Spider-Man and the Thing. She's also had run-ins with the X-Men and has gone under various other names, including Binary, Warbird and, more recently, Captain Marvel. Her character history is certainly a chequered one, including one much-criticised storyline from the 1980s where she's captured, brainwashed, raped and impregnated.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"2012 saw writer Kelly Sue DeConnick and artist Dexter Soy (with Marvel's look designed by *Phonogram* and *The Wicked + The Divine*'s Jamie McKelvie) take over the title, which finally granted her the name Captain Marvel. DeConnick's story saw Danvers exploring her past, contemplating when the Captain Marvel legend means to her and how she will wield those powers. Since then, she's been through a variety of new adventures in her latest guise, including more work alongside the Avengers, joining the Guardians Of The Galaxy and leading an elite squadron of female fighter pilots as part of the *Secret Wars* storyline of self-contained tales and various dimensions of the broader Marvel universe meeting up – conveniently without directly affecting ongoing plots elsewhere, hence the title. She's also starred in a run of comics written by *Agent Carter* bosses Tara Butters and Michele Fazekas.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"A lot of more recent tales featuring the good Captain have seen her reflecting on her life and figuring out her place in the world. It sounds as though the first *Captain Marvel* film will also feature some of that. Which brings us to...","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Captain Marvel The Movie: What Will It Draw From?","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"While the actual plot specifics have yet to be fully confirmed (it is, after all, Disney and Marvel, notoriously secretive about their upcoming films), the movie version stars [Brie Larson](http://www.empireonline.com/people/brie-larson/) as Carol Danvers. It does seem to draw heavily from a couple of sources, including Roy Thomas' Kree-Skull War storyline, though giving her the focus over Mar-Vell, and DeConnick's work, which is where her look and attitude come from (while the writer also consulted on the movie). That, and her cat, which is garnering plenty of attention online. Known in the comics as Chewie, he's actually a Flerken, an alien. In the film, he's apparently called Goose and [is a cutie, according to a well-placed source](https://youtu.be/0LHxvxdRnYc?t=121). The film's storyline also explores part of her origin, albeit in a backwards fashion, kicking off with her as part of the Kree Starforce with powers (from that DNA fusion) in place. She'll somehow return to Earth in the 1990s to explore her past and help SHIELD agents battle the evil Skrulls.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"You can learn [everything we know about the movie right here](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/features/captain-marvel-everything-need-know/).","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Captain Marvel: How Will She Fit Into Avengers: Endgame?","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561aa9e24f0172e3e79b2","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5c3fcd82fd0c0bc84449c824","fileName":"avengers-4.jpg","name":"avengers-4.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Avengers: Endgame"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"Look, do you think we have the character's occasional psychic flashes of the future? All we know is that Nick Fury (who appears as a younger man in *Captain Marvel*) paged Carol Danvers at the end of *Infinity War* just before he was dusted out of existence. One assumes that Danvers' particular skill and power set would be useful for taking on any mission to try and reverse what Thanos achieved. Larson has said she interacted with various characters on set, so she clearly has plenty to do with the story. But the film has constantly been in flux, so the only people who truly know what's going to happen at this point reside within the MCU cone of silence.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"_[Captain Marvel](http://www.empireonline.com/movies/captain-marvel/)_ will be out on 8 March. _[Avengers: Endgame](http://www.empireonline.com/movies/avengers-4/)_ follows on 26 April.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"}],"heroImage":[{"id":"5c4561a99e24f0172e3e79af","altText":"Captain Marvel ","caption":"","credits":"","image":{"fileName":"captain-marvel-poster-crop.jpg","name":"captain-marvel-poster-crop.jpg","path":"one/empire-images/features/5c3fcd82fd0c0bc84449c824","width":640,"height":480,"mimeType":"image/jpeg"}}],"content":["The Marvel Cinematic Universe expands once again this March, as Carol Danvers, AKA Captain Marvel, makes her way to screens and, hopefully, can also be of assistance with that thorny little snap issue that the Avengers, the Guardians and the likes of Doctor Strange have got themselves into. But who is this character? Where does she come from? And what does she have to do with *Shazam!*?","## Captain Marvel: Who Is She?","This is a tricky one, as there have been several characters called Captain Marvel through the years. What can we say, except: it's comics. The list is too long to go into at this time, but suffice to say, there was a character in DC Comics called Captain Marvel, but the company lost the trademark to that and switched to calling it Shazam. He's [getting his own movie](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/news/shazam-faces-villain-doctor-sivana-exclusive-image/), out in April.","For the purposes of this feature, we're focusing on Carol Danvers, a US Air Force pilot who is initially also a NASA security officer, Carol investigated numerous attempts made by the alien Kree and Skrull races to infiltrate Kennedy Space Center and disrupt America’s space program. During a battle between the heroic Mar-Vell and his rival, Yon-Rogg, Carol was exposed to the Psyche-Magnetron, a Kree device that could make imagination into reality. Carol subconsciously envied Mar-Vell’s powers, and the machine responded to those desires by rewriting her DNA to make her a human/Kree hybrid with abilities similar to his. The new powers included superhuman strength, flight (she can also survive the vacuum of space), absorbing and re-channeling energy. At one point, she was going by the name Ms. Marvel, and wearing a surely impractical black swimsuit. She got the full Captain Marvel title in 2012, but more on that shortly.","## Captain Marvel: Who Created Her?","She was created by writer Roy Thomas and artist Gene Colan, and debuted in the pages of Marvel Comics via *Marvel Super-Heroes #13* in March 1968. There, her introduction via Mar-Vell's storyline was that of Security Chief for a restricted military base. After the explosion that caused their DNA to fuse, she resurfaced as Ms. Marvel in a self-titled series written first by Gene Conway and then Chris Claremont. A human-Kree hybrid thanks to the fusion, she would show up regularly in stories featuring the Avengers and the Defenders (think the Netflix shows, but with different characters), which then included Spider-Man and the Thing. She's also had run-ins with the X-Men and has gone under various other names, including Binary, Warbird and, more recently, Captain Marvel. Her character history is certainly a chequered one, including one much-criticised storyline from the 1980s where she's captured, brainwashed, raped and impregnated.","2012 saw writer Kelly Sue DeConnick and artist Dexter Soy (with Marvel's look designed by *Phonogram* and *The Wicked + The Divine*'s Jamie McKelvie) take over the title, which finally granted her the name Captain Marvel. DeConnick's story saw Danvers exploring her past, contemplating when the Captain Marvel legend means to her and how she will wield those powers. Since then, she's been through a variety of new adventures in her latest guise, including more work alongside the Avengers, joining the Guardians Of The Galaxy and leading an elite squadron of female fighter pilots as part of the *Secret Wars* storyline of self-contained tales and various dimensions of the broader Marvel universe meeting up – conveniently without directly affecting ongoing plots elsewhere, hence the title. She's also starred in a run of comics written by *Agent Carter* bosses Tara Butters and Michele Fazekas.","A lot of more recent tales featuring the good Captain have seen her reflecting on her life and figuring out her place in the world. It sounds as though the first *Captain Marvel* film will also feature some of that. Which brings us to...","## Captain Marvel The Movie: What Will It Draw From?","While the actual plot specifics have yet to be fully confirmed (it is, after all, Disney and Marvel, notoriously secretive about their upcoming films), the movie version stars [Brie Larson](http://www.empireonline.com/people/brie-larson/) as Carol Danvers. It does seem to draw heavily from a couple of sources, including Roy Thomas' Kree-Skull War storyline, though giving her the focus over Mar-Vell, and DeConnick's work, which is where her look and attitude come from (while the writer also consulted on the movie). That, and her cat, which is garnering plenty of attention online. Known in the comics as Chewie, he's actually a Flerken, an alien. In the film, he's apparently called Goose and [is a cutie, according to a well-placed source](https://youtu.be/0LHxvxdRnYc?t=121). The film's storyline also explores part of her origin, albeit in a backwards fashion, kicking off with her as part of the Kree Starforce with powers (from that DNA fusion) in place. She'll somehow return to Earth in the 1990s to explore her past and help SHIELD agents battle the evil Skrulls.","You can learn [everything we know about the movie right here](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/features/captain-marvel-everything-need-know/).","## Captain Marvel: How Will She Fit Into Avengers: Endgame?","Look, do you think we have the character's occasional psychic flashes of the future? All we know is that Nick Fury (who appears as a younger man in *Captain Marvel*) paged Carol Danvers at the end of *Infinity War* just before he was dusted out of existence. One assumes that Danvers' particular skill and power set would be useful for taking on any mission to try and reverse what Thanos achieved. Larson has said she interacted with various characters on set, so she clearly has plenty to do with the story. But the film has constantly been in flux, so the only people who truly know what's going to happen at this point reside within the MCU cone of silence.","_[Captain Marvel](http://www.empireonline.com/movies/captain-marvel/)_ will be out on 8 March. _[Avengers: Endgame](http://www.empireonline.com/movies/avengers-4/)_ follows on 26 April."],"embeds":[],"images":[{"id":"5c4561a99e24f0172e3e79b0","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5c3fcd82fd0c0bc84449c824","fileName":"captain-marvel.jpeg","name":"captain-marvel.jpeg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Captain Marvel - comics"},{"id":"5c4561aa9e24f0172e3e79b1","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5c3fcd82fd0c0bc84449c824","fileName":"carol-danvers.jpg","name":"carol-danvers.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Carol Danvers 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Win tickets to see America’s Musical Journey","subtitle":"","furl":"promotion-win-tickets-see-america-musical-journey","urlOverride":"promotion-win-tickets-see-america-musical-journey","publications":[{"id":"5b5ef0e371fda32230981b74","amp":null,"preview":null,"name":"Empire","urlSlugHide":true,"furl":"empire","stationCode":"","language":"en","hostname":{"id":"59e4c911f9648a12d2ed73f5","primary":"https://stg.empireonline.com"},"composed":{"hostname":"59e4c911f9648a12d2ed73f5"}}],"primarySyndicatePosition":0,"categories":[{"id":"5c44b9b09e24f0172e3b6b95","name":"Features","furl":"features","parent":{"id":"5c44b9b09e24f0172e3b6b8f","name":"Movies","furl":"movies"},"composed":{"parent":"5c44b9b09e24f0172e3b6b8f"}}],"pageTemplate":"feature","published":{"state":"published","scheduledEnd":null,"wasPublished":true},"target":"international","isLegacy":true,"legacy":{"id":"5c3cbf0afd0c0bc84449adce","collection":"features","publication":"empire","furl":"promotion-win-tickets-see-america-musical-journey","url":"movies/features/promotion-win-tickets-see-america-musical-journey/","cms":"http://bantam.empireonline.com/edit.php?c=features.content&_id=5c3cbf0afd0c0bc84449adce","urlHistory":[],"createdAt":1547484938672},"toplistFeature":false,"hiddenArticle":false,"excerpt":"","metaTitle":"","metaDescription":"Win tickets to a special screening of Aloe Blacc's music documentary.","sourceText":null,"sourceUrl":null,"_layout":[{"content":"PROMOTION: Win tickets to see America’s Musical Journey","type":"title"},{"content":"","type":"subtitle"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a99e24f0172e3e79ad","altText":"America's Musical Journey","caption":"","credits":"","image":{"fileName":"0.jpeg","name":"0.jpeg","path":"one/empire-images/features/5c3cbf0afd0c0bc84449adce","width":640,"height":480,"mimeType":"image/jpeg"}},"displayName":"Article Hero","free":true,"name":"hero","type":"heroImage"},{"content":"<script type=\"text/javascript\">","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"var dfp_kv_campaign_name = \"42255-USA\";","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"</script>","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"The jazz explosion. The birth of the blues. The genesis of soul, R&B, and rock and roll. So much of music history is rooted in the United States of America, a product of the communities and cultures that came together and forged brave, bold new sounds in the cities and beyond. The story of America and its musical landscape is brought to life in new feature documentary *America’s Musical Journey* presented by Visit The USA, Expedia and Air Canada. The film follows singer/songwriter Aloe Blacc (of ‘I Need A Dollar’ and ‘Wake Me Up’ fame) on a cross-country adventure where he travels to the likes of New Orleans, Nashville, New York, Miami and Chicago – birthplaces of beloved genres and hotspots of sonic innovation. It’s a must-see for music and film fans alike, sure to give you a taste of America’s incredible, ever-evolving melodic heritage.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"The good news is, you could see the film for free at a very special screening – we’ve partnered with Visit The USA, Enjoy Illinois, Expedia and Air Canada for a showing of *America’s Musical Journey* across the United Kingdom including London, Manchester, Brighton, Oxford and Edinburgh from 23 January, where you can enjoy the film on the big screen with complimentary popcorn and wine. All you have to do to grab tickets is [head this way](http://www.travelpromos.co.uk/AmericasMusicalJourney/) and fill out the entry form – sign up, and keep an eye on your emails for confirmation.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"Enjoy – and be warned, you may find yourself booking your own epic voyage to the United States’ great musical cities come the closing credits.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"}],"heroImage":[{"id":"5c4561a99e24f0172e3e79ad","altText":"America's Musical Journey","caption":"","credits":"","image":{"fileName":"0.jpeg","name":"0.jpeg","path":"one/empire-images/features/5c3cbf0afd0c0bc84449adce","width":640,"height":480,"mimeType":"image/jpeg"}}],"content":["<script type=\"text/javascript\">","var dfp_kv_campaign_name = \"42255-USA\";","</script>","The jazz explosion. The birth of the blues. The genesis of soul, R&B, and rock and roll. So much of music history is rooted in the United States of America, a product of the communities and cultures that came together and forged brave, bold new sounds in the cities and beyond. The story of America and its musical landscape is brought to life in new feature documentary *America’s Musical Journey* presented by Visit The USA, Expedia and Air Canada. The film follows singer/songwriter Aloe Blacc (of ‘I Need A Dollar’ and ‘Wake Me Up’ fame) on a cross-country adventure where he travels to the likes of New Orleans, Nashville, New York, Miami and Chicago – birthplaces of beloved genres and hotspots of sonic innovation. It’s a must-see for music and film fans alike, sure to give you a taste of America’s incredible, ever-evolving melodic heritage.","The good news is, you could see the film for free at a very special screening – we’ve partnered with Visit The USA, Enjoy Illinois, Expedia and Air Canada for a showing of *America’s Musical Journey* across the United Kingdom including London, Manchester, Brighton, Oxford and Edinburgh from 23 January, where you can enjoy the film on the big screen with complimentary popcorn and wine. All you have to do to grab tickets is [head this way](http://www.travelpromos.co.uk/AmericasMusicalJourney/) and fill out the entry form – sign up, and keep an eye on your emails for confirmation.","Enjoy – and be warned, you may find yourself booking your own epic voyage to the United States’ great musical cities come the closing credits."],"embeds":[],"images":[],"imageGalleries":[],"pullQuotes":[],"publicationDate":1547802000000,"author":{"id":"5a0ecfd9d7aa8e33ecab37c3","fullname":"Willow Green"},"apiVersion":"1.0","createdAt":1547484938672,"createdBy":"testClient","v":1,"primaryPublication":{"id":"5b5ef0e371fda32230981b74","preview":null,"name":"Empire","urlSlugHide":true,"furl":"empire","stationCode":"","language":"en","googleAnalyticsId":"","fbiaAudienceNetworkPlacement1":"","hostname":{"id":"59e4c911f9648a12d2ed73f5","primary":"https://stg.empireonline.com"},"composed":{"hostname":"59e4c911f9648a12d2ed73f5"}},"urls":["empire/movies/features/promotion-win-tickets-see-america-musical-journey/"],"composed":{"heroImage":["5c4561a99e24f0172e3e79ad"],"author":"5a0ecfd9d7aa8e33ecab37c3","imageGalleries":[],"publications":["5b5ef0e371fda32230981b74"],"categories":["5c44b9b09e24f0172e3b6b95"],"primaryPublication":"5b5ef0e371fda32230981b74","images":[]}},{"id":"5c4561849e24f0172e3e77e6","title":"The Best TV Shows Of 2018","subtitle":"","furl":"best-tv-2018","urlOverride":"best-tv-2018","publications":[{"id":"5b5ef0e371fda32230981b74","amp":null,"preview":null,"name":"Empire","urlSlugHide":true,"furl":"empire","stationCode":"","language":"en","hostname":{"id":"59e4c911f9648a12d2ed73f5","primary":"https://stg.empireonline.com"},"composed":{"hostname":"59e4c911f9648a12d2ed73f5"}}],"primarySyndicatePosition":0,"categories":[{"id":"5c44b9b09e24f0172e3b6b95","name":"Features","furl":"features","parent":{"id":"5c44b9b09e24f0172e3b6b8f","name":"Movies","furl":"movies"},"composed":{"parent":"5c44b9b09e24f0172e3b6b8f"}}],"pageTemplate":"feature","published":{"state":"published","scheduledEnd":null,"wasPublished":true},"target":"international","isLegacy":true,"legacy":{"id":"5b335737f071113713c2f6e0","collection":"features","publication":"empire","furl":"best-tv-2018","url":"movies/features/best-tv-2018/","cms":"http://bantam.empireonline.com/edit.php?c=features.content&_id=5b335737f071113713c2f6e0","urlHistory":[],"createdAt":1530091319873},"toplistFeature":false,"hiddenArticle":false,"excerpt":"From hit hitwomen to scandalous English dramas, fresh new series and returning...","metaTitle":"","metaDescription":"Pilot TV picks the best TV shows of 2018.","sourceText":null,"sourceUrl":null,"_layout":[{"content":"The Best TV Shows Of 2018","type":"title"},{"content":"","type":"subtitle"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561849e24f0172e3e77dc","altText":"Doctor Who - Jodie Whitaker","caption":"","credits":"","image":{"fileName":"doctor-who-13.jpg","name":"doctor-who-13.jpg","path":"one/empire-images/features/5b335737f071113713c2f6e0","width":640,"height":480,"mimeType":"image/jpeg"}},"displayName":"Article Hero","free":true,"name":"hero","type":"heroImage"},{"content":"From hit hitwomen to scandalous English dramas, fresh new series and returning greats, 2018 has been packed with top-quality TV shows on the airwaves and streaming services alike. Here are the best small-screen sagas from the last six months, as picked by the *Pilot TV* staff.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## 10. Sally4Ever","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561849e24f0172e3e77dd","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5b335737f071113713c2f6e0","fileName":"julia-davis-sally4ever.jpg","name":"julia-davis-sally4ever.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Sally4Ever"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"Fleeing the BBC for Sky Atlantic, *Nighty Night*'s Julia Davis created her blackest and most uncomfortable comedy yet. There was a scene in the trailer alone that will haunt your nightmares (you know the one), and by the time we reached the already infamous fourth episode, all bets were off. Davis' newest monster is Emma, a nightclub singer and party girl whose Sapphic awakening we followed with the sort of stunned disbelief that only Davis' comedy can provoke. Overshared intimacy and more bodily functions and fluids than you probably care to be exposed to, made for often truly excruciating viewing. But for all the stupefying horror, *Sally4Ever* was simultaneously one of the most hilarious shows of the year.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## 9. The Americans","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561849e24f0172e3e77de","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5b335737f071113713c2f6e0","fileName":"3-americans%20%282%29.jpg","name":"3-americans%20%282%29.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":""},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"After last year’s slower-burning penultimate season, *The Americans* wrapped up with a devastating emotional blow thanks to series-best performances from Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell. The show continued to evolve with new visual tricks even in its final run, building to an emotionally-charged climax that avoids all the ‘underwhelming finale’ pitfalls that have hampered even some of the very best TV shows.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## 8. Save Me","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561849e24f0172e3e77df","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5b335737f071113713c2f6e0","fileName":"9-save-me.jpg","name":"9-save-me.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Best TV 2018"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"Is the yellow puffa jacket this year’s most iconic piece of British telly clothing? Possibly. But what it contains – Lennie James’ harried womaniser Nelly, accused of abducting the daughter he hasn’t seen for years – is the most important part. It’s a tour-de-force project for James who creates as well as stars, and his on-camera work is bolstered by an amazing performance from Suranne Jones as his ex and a plot that twists and turns in a believable fashion. Oh, and we brought James and director Nick Murphy on to the podcast to chat about the show, which you can listen to [right here](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/news/empire-podcast-301-lennie-james-nick-murphy/).","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## 7. Doctor Who","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"Ever since William Hartnell morphed into Patrick Troughton 52 years ago, *Doctor Who* has been a series with reinvention in its DNA – but it's arguably never gone through as radical a change as 2018's belt-and-braces reboot. After years of tabloid chatter, new show runner Chris Chibnall gender-swapped the lead role for the first time into Jodie Whittaker's breezy, whimsical 13th Doctor. But beyond that, he also cast an entirely new extended \"family\" for The Doctor and oversaw the show upping sticks from its familiar London-centric (narrative) base to the streets of Sheffield. A completely new writing team also refreshed the story pool, not least YA author Malorie Blackman, who scripted an affecting historical third episode paying a visit to Rosa Parks in 1950s Alabama.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## 6. A Very English Scandal","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561849e24f0172e3e77e0","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5b335737f071113713c2f6e0","fileName":"8-english-scandal.jpg","name":"8-english-scandal.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Best TV 2018"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"Hugh Grant’s astonishing comeback continues in this three-part miniseries. This time he’s Jeremy Thorpe — the British politician who entered a hidden love affair with Norman Scott (played here by Ben Whishaw, making this a somewhat unexpected *Paddington 2* reunion) and then tried to have him killed to bury the secret. There’s major talent across all disciplines of this dramatisation — impeccable performances from the two leads, witty writing from Russell T. Davies that highlights the absurdity of the true story, and assured direction from Stephen Frears.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"[Buy the series](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07D7N5YF9/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B07D7N5YF9&linkId=c529e376b6d480bdc3726a842c6338cb)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## 5. Derry Girls","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561849e24f0172e3e77e1","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5b335737f071113713c2f6e0","fileName":"6-derry-girls.jpg","name":"6-derry-girls.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Derry Girls"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"Ten years on from *The Inbetweeners*’ debut, its spiritual successor has arrived — and it’s brasher, brattier, and very, very Northern Irish. As with the best British comedies, Channel 4’s *Derry Girls* arrives fully formed with a top cast of unknowns (Jamie-Lee O'Donnell is a stand-out, but they’re all destined for big things), scripts packed with rapid-fire laughs, and moments of pathos in the backdrop of the Troubles in the ‘90s. A gem, so it is.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## 4. Patrick Melrose","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561849e24f0172e3e77e2","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5b335737f071113713c2f6e0","fileName":"1-patrick-melrose.jpg","name":"1-patrick-melrose.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Patrick Melrose"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"Benedict Cumberbatch hasn’t exactly been short of meaty acting roles in his career, but *Patrick Melrose* is one he grabs with both hands and devours. An unofficial *Starter For 10* reunion (that film’s novelist and screenwriter David Nicholls here adapts Edward St Aubyn’s semi-autobiographical novels), it’s a complicated tale of abuse and neglect congealing into excess and addiction. Cumberbatch is predictably excellent, and there are fantastic turns from Hugo Weaving as his father and Jennifer Jason Leigh as his mother. Essential viewing.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"[Buy the series](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07D43DT4J/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B07D43DT4J&linkId=f006ed06ad813c0f77d63096ac8492c8)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## 3. Sharp Objects","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561849e24f0172e3e77e3","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5b335737f071113713c2f6e0","fileName":"sharp.jpg","name":"sharp.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Sharp Objects"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"Based on the novel of the same name by *Gone Girl* author Gillian Flynn, *Sharp Objects* has all the ingredients for a classic whodunnit: a grisly, suspicious death, a small town chock-full of sinful secrets, and a big-city reporter sent in to cover the crime. But it plays out rather differently on screen as a bleak, slow-paced character study. As suspects prove their innocence, tips prove less than fruitful and the crime begins to occupy less screen time. Amy Adams’ Camille – whose homecoming triggers memories of a traumatic past she’s long tried to suppress – is actually the puzzle being pieced together. Viewers lured in by the expectation of a more conventional crime drama, one featuring something more like the breadcrumb trail of clues laid down in *Gone Girl*, perhaps, will find this adaptation is a very different proposition. Hard-hitting, and as thorny as it is unconventional.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## 2. Killing Eve","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561849e24f0172e3e77e4","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5b335737f071113713c2f6e0","fileName":"killing-eve-2.jpg","name":"killing-eve-2.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Killing Eve"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"Writer/ producer Phoebe Waller-Bridge had already more than proved her edgy credentials with her sit-com work (*Fleabag*, *Crashing*), but *Killing Eve* emphasised beyond any doubt that she's a formidable force in any genre. Her globe-trotting spy thriller – loosely adapted from a series of e-book novellas by Luke Jennings – was, by turns, unbearably tense and eye-wateringly violent, but Waller's needle-sharp and mordant wit kept it light on its feet throughout its pacy eight episodes. Sandra Oh grounded the series in the title role, but it was Jodie Comer's psychopathic, sympathetic, charming, chilling assassin Villanelle who stole the show.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## 1. The Haunting Of Hill House","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561849e24f0172e3e77e5","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5b335737f071113713c2f6e0","fileName":"haunting-of-hill-house.jpg","name":"haunting-of-hill-house.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"The Haunting Of Hill House"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"Mike Flanagan's affinity with the horror genre is clear (he directed Oculus, Ouija: Origin Of Evil, Gerald's Game), so his turning to Netflix for a ten episode series based on Shirley Jackson's supernatural classic was always a tantalising prospect. His revamp of The Haunting Of Hill House surprised everyone by expanding the story into multiple timelines and introducing a legion of new characters. His version focuses on the Crane family of troubled siblings brought up in the grim mansion of the title, cutting between their childhood with their disparate present-day lives. Flanagan establishes a richly creepy, off-kilter atmosphere from the start, exploiting the Gothic setting of Hill House to the full. Every beautifully-lit shot draws us in to this bleakly inhospitable setting, where shadowy figures roam, but possibly only in the minds of its inhabitants. Yet despite the over-riding tone of impending doom, there are flashes of humour, and the cast are eerily perfect.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"}],"heroImage":[{"id":"5c4561849e24f0172e3e77dc","altText":"Doctor Who - Jodie Whitaker","caption":"","credits":"","image":{"fileName":"doctor-who-13.jpg","name":"doctor-who-13.jpg","path":"one/empire-images/features/5b335737f071113713c2f6e0","width":640,"height":480,"mimeType":"image/jpeg"}}],"content":["From hit hitwomen to scandalous English dramas, fresh new series and returning greats, 2018 has been packed with top-quality TV shows on the airwaves and streaming services alike. Here are the best small-screen sagas from the last six months, as picked by the *Pilot TV* staff.","## 10. Sally4Ever","Fleeing the BBC for Sky Atlantic, *Nighty Night*'s Julia Davis created her blackest and most uncomfortable comedy yet. There was a scene in the trailer alone that will haunt your nightmares (you know the one), and by the time we reached the already infamous fourth episode, all bets were off. Davis' newest monster is Emma, a nightclub singer and party girl whose Sapphic awakening we followed with the sort of stunned disbelief that only Davis' comedy can provoke. Overshared intimacy and more bodily functions and fluids than you probably care to be exposed to, made for often truly excruciating viewing. But for all the stupefying horror, *Sally4Ever* was simultaneously one of the most hilarious shows of the year.","## 9. The Americans","After last year’s slower-burning penultimate season, *The Americans* wrapped up with a devastating emotional blow thanks to series-best performances from Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell. The show continued to evolve with new visual tricks even in its final run, building to an emotionally-charged climax that avoids all the ‘underwhelming finale’ pitfalls that have hampered even some of the very best TV shows.","## 8. Save Me","Is the yellow puffa jacket this year’s most iconic piece of British telly clothing? Possibly. But what it contains – Lennie James’ harried womaniser Nelly, accused of abducting the daughter he hasn’t seen for years – is the most important part. It’s a tour-de-force project for James who creates as well as stars, and his on-camera work is bolstered by an amazing performance from Suranne Jones as his ex and a plot that twists and turns in a believable fashion. Oh, and we brought James and director Nick Murphy on to the podcast to chat about the show, which you can listen to [right here](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/news/empire-podcast-301-lennie-james-nick-murphy/).","## 7. Doctor Who","Ever since William Hartnell morphed into Patrick Troughton 52 years ago, *Doctor Who* has been a series with reinvention in its DNA – but it's arguably never gone through as radical a change as 2018's belt-and-braces reboot. After years of tabloid chatter, new show runner Chris Chibnall gender-swapped the lead role for the first time into Jodie Whittaker's breezy, whimsical 13th Doctor. But beyond that, he also cast an entirely new extended \"family\" for The Doctor and oversaw the show upping sticks from its familiar London-centric (narrative) base to the streets of Sheffield. A completely new writing team also refreshed the story pool, not least YA author Malorie Blackman, who scripted an affecting historical third episode paying a visit to Rosa Parks in 1950s Alabama.","## 6. A Very English Scandal","Hugh Grant’s astonishing comeback continues in this three-part miniseries. This time he’s Jeremy Thorpe — the British politician who entered a hidden love affair with Norman Scott (played here by Ben Whishaw, making this a somewhat unexpected *Paddington 2* reunion) and then tried to have him killed to bury the secret. There’s major talent across all disciplines of this dramatisation — impeccable performances from the two leads, witty writing from Russell T. Davies that highlights the absurdity of the true story, and assured direction from Stephen Frears.","[Buy the series](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07D7N5YF9/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B07D7N5YF9&linkId=c529e376b6d480bdc3726a842c6338cb)","## 5. Derry Girls","Ten years on from *The Inbetweeners*’ debut, its spiritual successor has arrived — and it’s brasher, brattier, and very, very Northern Irish. As with the best British comedies, Channel 4’s *Derry Girls* arrives fully formed with a top cast of unknowns (Jamie-Lee O'Donnell is a stand-out, but they’re all destined for big things), scripts packed with rapid-fire laughs, and moments of pathos in the backdrop of the Troubles in the ‘90s. A gem, so it is.","## 4. Patrick Melrose","Benedict Cumberbatch hasn’t exactly been short of meaty acting roles in his career, but *Patrick Melrose* is one he grabs with both hands and devours. An unofficial *Starter For 10* reunion (that film’s novelist and screenwriter David Nicholls here adapts Edward St Aubyn’s semi-autobiographical novels), it’s a complicated tale of abuse and neglect congealing into excess and addiction. Cumberbatch is predictably excellent, and there are fantastic turns from Hugo Weaving as his father and Jennifer Jason Leigh as his mother. Essential viewing.","[Buy the series](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07D43DT4J/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B07D43DT4J&linkId=f006ed06ad813c0f77d63096ac8492c8)","## 3. Sharp Objects","Based on the novel of the same name by *Gone Girl* author Gillian Flynn, *Sharp Objects* has all the ingredients for a classic whodunnit: a grisly, suspicious death, a small town chock-full of sinful secrets, and a big-city reporter sent in to cover the crime. But it plays out rather differently on screen as a bleak, slow-paced character study. As suspects prove their innocence, tips prove less than fruitful and the crime begins to occupy less screen time. Amy Adams’ Camille – whose homecoming triggers memories of a traumatic past she’s long tried to suppress – is actually the puzzle being pieced together. Viewers lured in by the expectation of a more conventional crime drama, one featuring something more like the breadcrumb trail of clues laid down in *Gone Girl*, perhaps, will find this adaptation is a very different proposition. Hard-hitting, and as thorny as it is unconventional.","## 2. Killing Eve","Writer/ producer Phoebe Waller-Bridge had already more than proved her edgy credentials with her sit-com work (*Fleabag*, *Crashing*), but *Killing Eve* emphasised beyond any doubt that she's a formidable force in any genre. Her globe-trotting spy thriller – loosely adapted from a series of e-book novellas by Luke Jennings – was, by turns, unbearably tense and eye-wateringly violent, but Waller's needle-sharp and mordant wit kept it light on its feet throughout its pacy eight episodes. Sandra Oh grounded the series in the title role, but it was Jodie Comer's psychopathic, sympathetic, charming, chilling assassin Villanelle who stole the show.","## 1. The Haunting Of Hill House","Mike Flanagan's affinity with the horror genre is clear (he directed Oculus, Ouija: Origin Of Evil, Gerald's Game), so his turning to Netflix for a ten episode series based on Shirley Jackson's supernatural classic was always a tantalising prospect. His revamp of The Haunting Of Hill House surprised everyone by expanding the story into multiple timelines and introducing a legion of new characters. His version focuses on the Crane family of troubled siblings brought up in the grim mansion of the title, cutting between their childhood with their disparate present-day lives. Flanagan establishes a richly creepy, off-kilter atmosphere from the start, exploiting the Gothic setting of Hill House to the full. Every beautifully-lit shot draws us in to this bleakly inhospitable setting, where shadowy figures roam, but possibly only in the minds of its inhabitants. Yet despite the over-riding tone of impending doom, there are flashes of humour, and the cast are eerily perfect."],"embeds":[],"images":[{"id":"5c4561849e24f0172e3e77dd","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5b335737f071113713c2f6e0","fileName":"julia-davis-sally4ever.jpg","name":"julia-davis-sally4ever.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Sally4Ever"},{"id":"5c4561849e24f0172e3e77de","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5b335737f071113713c2f6e0","fileName":"3-americans%20%282%29.jpg","name":"3-americans%20%282%29.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":""},{"id":"5c4561849e24f0172e3e77df","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5b335737f071113713c2f6e0","fileName":"9-save-me.jpg","name":"9-save-me.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Best TV 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Melrose"},{"id":"5c4561849e24f0172e3e77e3","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5b335737f071113713c2f6e0","fileName":"sharp.jpg","name":"sharp.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Sharp Objects"},{"id":"5c4561849e24f0172e3e77e4","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5b335737f071113713c2f6e0","fileName":"killing-eve-2.jpg","name":"killing-eve-2.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Killing Eve"},{"id":"5c4561849e24f0172e3e77e5","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5b335737f071113713c2f6e0","fileName":"haunting-of-hill-house.jpg","name":"haunting-of-hill-house.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"The Haunting Of Hill House"}],"imageGalleries":[],"pullQuotes":[],"publicationDate":1545556860000,"author":{"id":"5a0ecfd9d7aa8e33ecab37c3","fullname":"Willow Green"},"apiVersion":"1.0","createdAt":1530091319873,"createdBy":"testClient","v":1,"primaryPublication":{"id":"5b5ef0e371fda32230981b74","preview":null,"name":"Empire","urlSlugHide":true,"furl":"empire","stationCode":"","language":"en","googleAnalyticsId":"","fbiaAudienceNetworkPlacement1":"","hostname":{"id":"59e4c911f9648a12d2ed73f5","primary":"https://stg.empireonline.com"},"composed":{"hostname":"59e4c911f9648a12d2ed73f5"}},"urls":["empire/movies/features/best-tv-2018/"],"composed":{"heroImage":["5c4561849e24f0172e3e77dc"],"author":"5a0ecfd9d7aa8e33ecab37c3","imageGalleries":[],"publications":["5b5ef0e371fda32230981b74"],"categories":["5c44b9b09e24f0172e3b6b95"],"primaryPublication":"5b5ef0e371fda32230981b74","images":["5c4561849e24f0172e3e77dd","5c4561849e24f0172e3e77de","5c4561849e24f0172e3e77df","5c4561849e24f0172e3e77e0","5c4561849e24f0172e3e77e1","5c4561849e24f0172e3e77e2","5c4561849e24f0172e3e77e3","5c4561849e24f0172e3e77e4","5c4561849e24f0172e3e77e5"]}},{"id":"5c4561a99e24f0172e3e79ac","title":"The Pilot TV Christmas 2018 Viewing Guide","subtitle":"","furl":"pilot-tv-christmas-2018-viewing-guide","urlOverride":"pilot-tv-christmas-2018-viewing-guide","publications":[{"id":"5b5ef0e371fda32230981b74","amp":null,"preview":null,"name":"Empire","urlSlugHide":true,"furl":"empire","stationCode":"","language":"en","hostname":{"id":"59e4c911f9648a12d2ed73f5","primary":"https://stg.empireonline.com"},"composed":{"hostname":"59e4c911f9648a12d2ed73f5"}}],"primarySyndicatePosition":0,"categories":[{"id":"5c44b9b09e24f0172e3b6b95","name":"Features","furl":"features","parent":{"id":"5c44b9b09e24f0172e3b6b8f","name":"Movies","furl":"movies"},"composed":{"parent":"5c44b9b09e24f0172e3b6b8f"}}],"pageTemplate":"feature","published":{"state":"published","scheduledEnd":null,"wasPublished":true},"target":"international","isLegacy":true,"legacy":{"id":"5c1faf40fd0c0bc844492c32","collection":"features","publication":"empire","furl":"pilot-tv-christmas-2018-viewing-guide","url":"movies/features/pilot-tv-christmas-2018-viewing-guide/","cms":"http://bantam.empireonline.com/edit.php?c=features.content&_id=5c1faf40fd0c0bc844492c32","urlHistory":[],"createdAt":1545580352535},"toplistFeature":false,"hiddenArticle":false,"excerpt":"If Christmas TV in your household usually consists of fighting over the remote...","metaTitle":"","metaDescription":"Pilot TV presents the only viewing guide you need for Christmas and New Year.","sourceText":null,"sourceUrl":null,"_layout":[{"content":"The Pilot TV Christmas 2018 Viewing Guide","type":"title"},{"content":"","type":"subtitle"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a89e24f0172e3e799b","altText":"ABC Murders","caption":"","credits":"","image":{"fileName":"malkovich-abc-murders-poirot.jpg","name":"malkovich-abc-murders-poirot.jpg","path":"one/empire-images/features/5c1faf40fd0c0bc844492c32","width":640,"height":480,"mimeType":"image/jpeg"}},"displayName":"Article Hero","free":true,"name":"hero","type":"heroImage"},{"content":"If Christmas TV in your household usually consists of fighting over the remote control and attacking the *Radio Times* with a highlighter pen, fret no longer. Allow *Pilot TV* to wield that Sharpie for you, with our pick of this year's festive treats, starting tonight with some rabbits...","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Watership Down","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a89e24f0172e3e799c","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5c1faf40fd0c0bc844492c32","fileName":"p06typfc.jpg","name":"p06typfc.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Watership Down"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"**BBC1 & Netflix, Sat Dec 22, 7pm, Sun Dec 23, 7.20pm**","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"Already the subject of much debate on the *Pilot TV* podcast – is the animation deliberately retro? Have the graphic images of foaming mouthed, bloodied rabbits been dialled down from the no holds barred 1978 animated movie to reflect more sensitive times? There’s no more Art Garfunkel singing of \"following the river of death downstream\", just Sam Smith and his plaintive \"Fire On Fire\". This is still though a tale of rabbits in deadly peril from Man and his machines and the brutal unblinking forces of Nature. The cast is beyond stellar but Olivia Colman as Strawberry, now a doe with a Wiltshire burr, and John Boyega as man-trap prone Bigwig stand out.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## The Dead Room","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a89e24f0172e3e799d","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5c1faf40fd0c0bc844492c32","fileName":"dead-room.jpg","name":"dead-room.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Christmas 2018"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"**BBC4, Christmas Eve, 10pm**","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"A love letter wrapped in a ghost story as writer/director Mark Gatiss salutes the condemned home of BBC sound recordings since 1946, BBC Maida Vale Studios, whilst once again valiantly manning his post as keeper of the flame (*Crooked House*, *The Tractate Middoth*) when it comes to scaring the pants off us at Christmas on the Beeb. Shot at Maida Vale, Simon Callow plays esteemed but pompous ac-tor Aubrey Judd whose own reading of a new festive chiller, \"Ready Player Death\", is overtaken by long buried secrets from his past. Anjli Mohindra, last seen as arch manipulator Nadia in Bodyguard, is Aubrey’s under-awed producer and Susan Penhaligon - Lucy Westenra from Gatiss’ favourite 1977 *Count Dracula* adaptation, at least until his and Steven Moffat’s own mini-series appears in 2019 – is the foley artist.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Zog","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a89e24f0172e3e799e","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5c1faf40fd0c0bc844492c32","fileName":"zog.jpg","name":"zog.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Christmas 2018"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"**BBC1, Christmas Day, 4.50pm**","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"An accident-prone junior dragon and an empowered princess confound genre expectations in this 5th collaboration between Magic Light Pictures, the BBC and children’s author Julia Donaldson (*The Gruffalo*, *Stick Man*, *Revolting Rhymes*, *The Highway Rat*). Kit Harington takes time off from his Jon Snow inner brooding to voice Sir Gadabout, a knight who would have lasted approximately five seconds in the Battle of the Bastards. Hugh Skinner brings the haplessness with a heart of his W1A intern Will Humphries to the title role and Sir Lenny Henry rubber stamps the narration as a real knight of the realm.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Upstart Crow: A Christmas Carol","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a89e24f0172e3e799f","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5c1faf40fd0c0bc844492c32","fileName":"upstart-crow-branagh.jpg","name":"upstart-crow-branagh.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Christmas 2018"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"**BBC2, Christmas Day, 8.35pm**","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"Last year the *Upstart* Christmas star signing was Dame Emma Thompson as Elizabeth I. This year she’s passed the baton to first husband and more than occasional acting partner in movies (*Dead Again*, *Much Ado About Nothing*) and telly (*Fortunes Of War*, *Look Back In Anger*) Sir Kenneth Branagh. The head thesp sensibly underplays plays his part of a mysterious stranger who possesses a thorough knowledge of Dickens’ (or is it?) *A Christmas Carol* leaving others to cavort around him. Lily Cole also pops up, taking time off from ruffling feathers with her Channel 4 presentation of *The Secret Life of Emily Bronte*, to play Ephie, looking uncannily like a young Miranda Richardson in her reign as *BlackAdder II*’s Queenie. There remains a nagging feeling that for all the wit and wordplay *Crow* still can’t match that classic Ben Elton show but then what can?","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## The Midnight Gang","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a89e24f0172e3e79a0","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5c1faf40fd0c0bc844492c32","fileName":"midnight-gang.jpg","name":"midnight-gang.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Christmas 2018"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"**BBC1, Boxing Day, 7.30pm**","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"As inevitable as the latest David Walliams bestseller (25 million worldwide and counting) ending up in some family member’s present stack is the TV adaptation. *The Midnight Gang*, a story of kids in a hospital ward overcoming adversity with make-believe, only flew off the shelves two Christmases ago but already here it is. Guest starring Alan Davies as a philanthropic porter and Haydn Gwynne, building on her Camilla from C4’s The Windsors to create the nightmarish, child adverse, shoe obsessed matron. Leading the children is Oliver Zetterstrom (*Mrs Wilson*, *The Romanoffs*) as Tom, a late arrival to the gang. If the humour is broad the sentiment, particularly in the magical final scene, brought to life by illustrator and former Roald Dahl collaborator Tony Ross, is genuinely moving.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## The ABC Murders","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"**BBC1, Boxing Day, Thurs Dec 27, Fri Dec 28, 9pm**","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"If Agatha Christie is the literary queen of period whodunnits then writer Sarah Phelps is contemporary telly’s peerless forensic pathologist of her work, unflinchingly dissecting the corpses then reassembling them for a modern day audience who are ready, for the most part, for a bit more flesh on the bones. This, her 4th BBC Christie adaptation, has raised a few eyebrows as John Malkovich delivers his ageing Hercule Poirot without the trademark waxed moustache. Although the loss of his Belgian accent is actually a key plot point as in 1933 Britain he is no longer the celebrated great detective but a distrusted refugee. *The ABC Murders* in question are alphabetical with the killer making good use of the British Railway system. Chief suspect is Eamon Farren - last seen running down small children in *Twin Peaks* 2017 - as the furious typist of threatening letters, but almost as antagonistic is *Harry Potter*’s Rupert Grint as the dismissive young Inspector Crome.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## You","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a89e24f0172e3e79a1","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5c1faf40fd0c0bc844492c32","fileName":"you-poster-netflix.jpg","name":"you-poster-netflix.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Christmas 2018"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"**Netflix, Boxing Day**","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"Penn Badgley already has previous stalker experience as Dan Humphrey aka *Gossip Girl* after that show’s bizarre twist revealed him to be the titular blogger. Now he’s back on social media as Joe Goldberg, a bookstore worker, hunting down female prey who have unwittingly left their accounts set to public. Customer Guinevere Beck, played by Elizabeth Lail (*Dead Of Summer*, *Once Upon A Time*) is his victim and it’s not long before his obsessive jealousy comes with a body count. From the Executive Producers of *Riverdale* this is not the show to fill you with optimism for man’s humanity if you’re looking for a new partner in 2019 but as a cyber-stalking role reversal update on movies like *Fatal Attraction* and *Play Misty For Me* it’s suitably 21st-Century twisted.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Black Lake","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a89e24f0172e3e79a2","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5c1faf40fd0c0bc844492c32","fileName":"Black_Lake.jpg","name":"Black_Lake.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Christmas 2018"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"**BBC4, Sat Dec 29, 9pm & 9.45pm**","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"The second series of this unlikely but very more-ish Scandi horror, with strong echoes of Agatha Christie’s *And Then There Were None*, sees another group of strangers trapped in an isolated spot – last time a ski lodge, this time an island. Run by a bossy, bearded evangelical type called Uno (Andre Eriksen) it’s a place for \"insight and reconciliation\". But dark mutterings from Gillan, a housekeeper who would give Mrs Danvers from Hitchcock’s *Rebecca* a run for her money, and a 1944 flashback to a little girl witnessing a murder in the same spot flag up big trouble. Filip Berg as Johan, the entitled, rule-breaking, coke snorting, Chardonnay ordering son of a wealthy Stockholm businessman, returns from series one.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Les Miserables","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a89e24f0172e3e79a3","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5c1faf40fd0c0bc844492c32","fileName":"les-miserables-bbc.jpg","name":"les-miserables-bbc.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Christmas 2018"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"**BBC1, Sun 30 Dec, 9pm**","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"No singing or dancing is required in this Andrew Davies (*War & Peace*, *House Of Cards*) adaptation of Victor Hugo’s classic tale of redemption, life’s cruelty and the still pertinent injustice of society’s haves and have nots. Dominic West has the Hugh Jackman role of Jean Valjean, the ex-convict unexpectedly presented with a second chance, and David Oyelowo is a smart change of direction in casting from Russel Crowe as relentless adversary, police chief Javert. Further reflecting the multi-cultural history of France as far back as the Napoleonic era Adeel Akhtar (*Unforgotten*, *The Night Manager*) plays the scavenging Thenardier. The stunning opening tableau of the dead laid out across the battlefield the day after Waterloo is testament to the production’s scale and ambition. Though John Murphy’s score develops a sweet tooth on the introduction of Parisian seamstress Fantine (Lily Collins) and her feckless first love (Johnny Flynn) it only serves to heighten her subsequent tragic free fall into the gutter.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Raymond Briggs: Snowmen, Bogeymen and Milkmen","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a89e24f0172e3e79a4","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5c1faf40fd0c0bc844492c32","fileName":"ethel%20and%20ernest%20film.jpg","name":"ethel%20and%20ernest%20film.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":""},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"**BBC2 New Year’s Eve, 9pm**","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"It’s 40 years since author, illustrator Raymond Briggs created his book, *The Snowman*, a character so much a part of Christmas that stores are even selling it as loo roll. This documentary, narrated by Brenda Blethyn (who voiced Briggs’ mother in his beautiful and affecting 2016 animated feature *Ethel & Ernest*) interviews the 84 year-old, still living near the Sussex Downs, and those both close to him and influenced by his work. Nick Park reveals the debt he owes to Briggs’ irascible Father Christmas in the grumpy but mild-mannered characterisation of Gromit. Whilst author, illustrator Posy Simmonds reflects on the power of *The Snowman* being text-free: \"It doesn’t need dialogue. It’s as quiet as when it snows.\"","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Doctor Who","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a89e24f0172e3e79a5","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5c1faf40fd0c0bc844492c32","fileName":"doctor-who-series-11.jpg","name":"doctor-who-series-11.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Doctor Who - Series 11"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"**BBC1, New Year’s Day, 7pm**","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"The move to Sunday evenings proved a canny one for the Jodie Whittaker/Chris Chibnall era and this shift from Christmas Day to Jan 1 could also work, freeing the show from the production constraints of snow, Santa et al and offering something substantial to Whovians who will then have to to wait till 2020 for season 12. Titled \"Resolution\", this feels both like a proper conclusion to season 11 and a statement of intent for what comes next. A terrifying foe from Earth’s history (anyone say, Dalek?) has had its cage rattled and Team TARDIS are homeward bound to investigate with the help of Nikesh Patel, Daniel Adegboyega and Charlotte Ritchie last seen expiring as Nurse Barbara Hereward on the cusp of *Call The Midwife*’s 2017 special.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Escape At Dannemora","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a89e24f0172e3e79a6","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5c1faf40fd0c0bc844492c32","fileName":"Escape-at-Dannemora-still-showtime.jpg","name":"Escape-at-Dannemora-still-showtime.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Christmas 2018"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"**Sky Atlantic, New Year’s Day, 9pm**","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"**All episodes available the same day.**","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"Patricia Arquette is already nominated for a Golden Globe, SAG and US Critics Choice Award for Best Actress in a Limited Series, for her portrayal of Clinton Correctional Facility shop supervisor Joyce \"Tilly\" Mitchell which illustrates how much more this is than just another prison break drama. Benicio del Toro and Paul Dano are inmates Richard Matt and David Sweat who hit the headlines when they bust out of the maximum security prison near the Canadian border in 2015 but it’s their manipulation of and collusion with Tilly which adds layer upon layer of psychological drama as Ray Donovan writers Brett Johnson and Michael Tolkin, director Ben Stiller and the cast examine human beings dealing with complicated feelings of love, self-deception and loneliness. That it was filmed on location at the actual facility makes it all the more extraordinary.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## The Inbetweeners: Fwends Reunited","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a89e24f0172e3e79a7","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5c1faf40fd0c0bc844492c32","fileName":"inbetweeners.jpg","name":"inbetweeners.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Christmas 2018"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"**C4, New Year’s Day, 9pm**","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"Can it really only be ten years since Will, Simon, Neil and Jay first over-shared their Rudge Park Comp growing pains? James Buckley and Joe Thomas have since time travelled back to the even less PC mid-80s with *White Gold*. Blake Harrison recently tried to kill Ben Whishaw but ended up shooting his dog (RIP Rinka) in *A Very English Scandal*. Simon Bird has quietly come up trumps with *Friday Night Dinner*, Greg Davies (Mr Gilbert) is surreally playing opposite Hollywood and *Four Weddings* star Andie MacDowell in *Cuckoo* and Emily Atack (Charlotte) was just voted 2nd in *I’m A Celeb*. All of which may or may not be discussed in this just recorded reunion which will be followed by the four boys’ personal favourites, \"Will’s Birthday\", \"Fashion Show\", \"Camping Trip\" and, for a bit of variety, \"Field Trip\".","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## A Series of Unfortunate Events","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a89e24f0172e3e79a8","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5c1faf40fd0c0bc844492c32","fileName":"asoue-2.jpg","name":"asoue-2.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"A Series of Unfortunate Events - Season 2"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"**Netflix, New Year’s Day**","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"The best of times and worst of times for Baudelaire fans as Violet, Klaus and Sunny enter the final phase of their TV trilogy with seven episodes that will cover off the last four Lemony Snicket books, *The Slippery Slope*, *The Grim Grotto*, *The Penultimate Peril* and, of course, *The End*. With Patrick Warburton moving from narrator to front of camera as Lemony and sister Kit (Alison Williams) another handy ally there is one final mystery to be solved. Although for a series that has always been generously stocked with Easter Eggs (not so seasonal) there promises to be plenty more for the surviving VFD to unravel than just that.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Luther","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a89e24f0172e3e79a9","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5c1faf40fd0c0bc844492c32","fileName":"luther1.jpg","name":"luther1.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Luther"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"**BBC1 New Year’s Day, Tues Jan 2, Thurs Jan 3, Fri Jan 4**","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"Eyeballs in a jar, creepy masked murderers on the no.15 bus and a study of extreme, fetishistic sexual behaviour. \"Is this normal?\" asks fast-tracked new side-kick DS Catherine Halliday, played by BAFTA winner Wunmi Mosaku (*Damilola, Our Loved Boy*), of John Luther. In the darkly, gruesome world of writer/creator Neil Cross, as he and Idris Elba reunite for the first time in three years, the answer is still yes. Both are teeing this fifth season up as the most ambitious and far-reaching yet. The return of Ruth Wilson as Luther’s serial-killing bestie/chief tormentor, Alice, has, surprisingly, already been revealed. New to all this is Hermione Norris, relishing the opportunity to go considerably darker than Cold Feet.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Waco: Madman or Messiah?","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a89e24f0172e3e79aa","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5c1faf40fd0c0bc844492c32","fileName":"waco-madman-or-messiah.jpg","name":"waco-madman-or-messiah.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Christmas 2018"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"**BBC4, Weds Jan 2, 9pm**","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"*Making A Murderer* uncovered a previously untapped appetite for American true crime documentaries whilst the viewing nation works its way through the 720g tin of Quality Street. This BBC 90 min two-parter is closer to Netflix’s *Wild Wild Country* but again feels refreshingly counter-intuitive to the usual feelgood fare. The madman or messiah – self-proclaimed – was David Koresh, charismatic (aren’t they always) cult leader of the Branch Davidians of Waco, Texas, who expanded his remit to marrying multiple 14 year-old child brides, with the consent of their brainwashed parents, before the longest siege in US history in 1993 left four government agents, 82 cult members and 23 children dead. Most chilling is the testament of nine survivors, 247 hours of previously unreleased FBI recordings of the siege and Koresh’s godawful rock guitar playing.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Marvel's Runaways","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a89e24f0172e3e79ab","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5c1faf40fd0c0bc844492c32","fileName":"runaways.jpg","name":"runaways.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"runaways"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"**SYFY, Weds Jan 2, 9pm**","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"With the tagline: \"Every kid turns into their parents\", there’s plenty for the newly assembled runaways to ponder as they get the hang of their super-powers and work out how best to use them on their supervillain mums and dads. Good news is that Marvel fan boy Julian McMahon (*Fantastic Four*) is back as Jonah, once again ready with fellow Pride members to sacrifice the youth to keep him defy the ageing process, which is essentially an update on the sort of procedures he did day in/day out a decade ago as Dr Christian Troy in *Nip/Tuck*. All 13 episodes are already available on Hulu, so spoilers like whether the original comic books’ fate for Gert (Ariela Barer) makes it into Season Two are already out there.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"}],"heroImage":[{"id":"5c4561a89e24f0172e3e799b","altText":"ABC Murders","caption":"","credits":"","image":{"fileName":"malkovich-abc-murders-poirot.jpg","name":"malkovich-abc-murders-poirot.jpg","path":"one/empire-images/features/5c1faf40fd0c0bc844492c32","width":640,"height":480,"mimeType":"image/jpeg"}}],"content":["If Christmas TV in your household usually consists of fighting over the remote control and attacking the *Radio Times* with a highlighter pen, fret no longer. Allow *Pilot TV* to wield that Sharpie for you, with our pick of this year's festive treats, starting tonight with some rabbits...","## Watership Down","**BBC1 & Netflix, Sat Dec 22, 7pm, Sun Dec 23, 7.20pm**","Already the subject of much debate on the *Pilot TV* podcast – is the animation deliberately retro? Have the graphic images of foaming mouthed, bloodied rabbits been dialled down from the no holds barred 1978 animated movie to reflect more sensitive times? There’s no more Art Garfunkel singing of \"following the river of death downstream\", just Sam Smith and his plaintive \"Fire On Fire\". This is still though a tale of rabbits in deadly peril from Man and his machines and the brutal unblinking forces of Nature. The cast is beyond stellar but Olivia Colman as Strawberry, now a doe with a Wiltshire burr, and John Boyega as man-trap prone Bigwig stand out.","## The Dead Room","**BBC4, Christmas Eve, 10pm**","A love letter wrapped in a ghost story as writer/director Mark Gatiss salutes the condemned home of BBC sound recordings since 1946, BBC Maida Vale Studios, whilst once again valiantly manning his post as keeper of the flame (*Crooked House*, *The Tractate Middoth*) when it comes to scaring the pants off us at Christmas on the Beeb. Shot at Maida Vale, Simon Callow plays esteemed but pompous ac-tor Aubrey Judd whose own reading of a new festive chiller, \"Ready Player Death\", is overtaken by long buried secrets from his past. Anjli Mohindra, last seen as arch manipulator Nadia in Bodyguard, is Aubrey’s under-awed producer and Susan Penhaligon - Lucy Westenra from Gatiss’ favourite 1977 *Count Dracula* adaptation, at least until his and Steven Moffat’s own mini-series appears in 2019 – is the foley artist.","## Zog","**BBC1, Christmas Day, 4.50pm**","An accident-prone junior dragon and an empowered princess confound genre expectations in this 5th collaboration between Magic Light Pictures, the BBC and children’s author Julia Donaldson (*The Gruffalo*, *Stick Man*, *Revolting Rhymes*, *The Highway Rat*). Kit Harington takes time off from his Jon Snow inner brooding to voice Sir Gadabout, a knight who would have lasted approximately five seconds in the Battle of the Bastards. Hugh Skinner brings the haplessness with a heart of his W1A intern Will Humphries to the title role and Sir Lenny Henry rubber stamps the narration as a real knight of the realm.","## Upstart Crow: A Christmas Carol","**BBC2, Christmas Day, 8.35pm**","Last year the *Upstart* Christmas star signing was Dame Emma Thompson as Elizabeth I. This year she’s passed the baton to first husband and more than occasional acting partner in movies (*Dead Again*, *Much Ado About Nothing*) and telly (*Fortunes Of War*, *Look Back In Anger*) Sir Kenneth Branagh. The head thesp sensibly underplays plays his part of a mysterious stranger who possesses a thorough knowledge of Dickens’ (or is it?) *A Christmas Carol* leaving others to cavort around him. Lily Cole also pops up, taking time off from ruffling feathers with her Channel 4 presentation of *The Secret Life of Emily Bronte*, to play Ephie, looking uncannily like a young Miranda Richardson in her reign as *BlackAdder II*’s Queenie. There remains a nagging feeling that for all the wit and wordplay *Crow* still can’t match that classic Ben Elton show but then what can?","## The Midnight Gang","**BBC1, Boxing Day, 7.30pm**","As inevitable as the latest David Walliams bestseller (25 million worldwide and counting) ending up in some family member’s present stack is the TV adaptation. *The Midnight Gang*, a story of kids in a hospital ward overcoming adversity with make-believe, only flew off the shelves two Christmases ago but already here it is. Guest starring Alan Davies as a philanthropic porter and Haydn Gwynne, building on her Camilla from C4’s The Windsors to create the nightmarish, child adverse, shoe obsessed matron. Leading the children is Oliver Zetterstrom (*Mrs Wilson*, *The Romanoffs*) as Tom, a late arrival to the gang. If the humour is broad the sentiment, particularly in the magical final scene, brought to life by illustrator and former Roald Dahl collaborator Tony Ross, is genuinely moving.","## The ABC Murders","**BBC1, Boxing Day, Thurs Dec 27, Fri Dec 28, 9pm**","If Agatha Christie is the literary queen of period whodunnits then writer Sarah Phelps is contemporary telly’s peerless forensic pathologist of her work, unflinchingly dissecting the corpses then reassembling them for a modern day audience who are ready, for the most part, for a bit more flesh on the bones. This, her 4th BBC Christie adaptation, has raised a few eyebrows as John Malkovich delivers his ageing Hercule Poirot without the trademark waxed moustache. Although the loss of his Belgian accent is actually a key plot point as in 1933 Britain he is no longer the celebrated great detective but a distrusted refugee. *The ABC Murders* in question are alphabetical with the killer making good use of the British Railway system. Chief suspect is Eamon Farren - last seen running down small children in *Twin Peaks* 2017 - as the furious typist of threatening letters, but almost as antagonistic is *Harry Potter*’s Rupert Grint as the dismissive young Inspector Crome.","## You","**Netflix, Boxing Day**","Penn Badgley already has previous stalker experience as Dan Humphrey aka *Gossip Girl* after that show’s bizarre twist revealed him to be the titular blogger. Now he’s back on social media as Joe Goldberg, a bookstore worker, hunting down female prey who have unwittingly left their accounts set to public. Customer Guinevere Beck, played by Elizabeth Lail (*Dead Of Summer*, *Once Upon A Time*) is his victim and it’s not long before his obsessive jealousy comes with a body count. From the Executive Producers of *Riverdale* this is not the show to fill you with optimism for man’s humanity if you’re looking for a new partner in 2019 but as a cyber-stalking role reversal update on movies like *Fatal Attraction* and *Play Misty For Me* it’s suitably 21st-Century twisted.","## Black Lake","**BBC4, Sat Dec 29, 9pm & 9.45pm**","The second series of this unlikely but very more-ish Scandi horror, with strong echoes of Agatha Christie’s *And Then There Were None*, sees another group of strangers trapped in an isolated spot – last time a ski lodge, this time an island. Run by a bossy, bearded evangelical type called Uno (Andre Eriksen) it’s a place for \"insight and reconciliation\". But dark mutterings from Gillan, a housekeeper who would give Mrs Danvers from Hitchcock’s *Rebecca* a run for her money, and a 1944 flashback to a little girl witnessing a murder in the same spot flag up big trouble. Filip Berg as Johan, the entitled, rule-breaking, coke snorting, Chardonnay ordering son of a wealthy Stockholm businessman, returns from series one.","## Les Miserables","**BBC1, Sun 30 Dec, 9pm**","No singing or dancing is required in this Andrew Davies (*War & Peace*, *House Of Cards*) adaptation of Victor Hugo’s classic tale of redemption, life’s cruelty and the still pertinent injustice of society’s haves and have nots. Dominic West has the Hugh Jackman role of Jean Valjean, the ex-convict unexpectedly presented with a second chance, and David Oyelowo is a smart change of direction in casting from Russel Crowe as relentless adversary, police chief Javert. Further reflecting the multi-cultural history of France as far back as the Napoleonic era Adeel Akhtar (*Unforgotten*, *The Night Manager*) plays the scavenging Thenardier. The stunning opening tableau of the dead laid out across the battlefield the day after Waterloo is testament to the production’s scale and ambition. Though John Murphy’s score develops a sweet tooth on the introduction of Parisian seamstress Fantine (Lily Collins) and her feckless first love (Johnny Flynn) it only serves to heighten her subsequent tragic free fall into the gutter.","## Raymond Briggs: Snowmen, Bogeymen and Milkmen","**BBC2 New Year’s Eve, 9pm**","It’s 40 years since author, illustrator Raymond Briggs created his book, *The Snowman*, a character so much a part of Christmas that stores are even selling it as loo roll. This documentary, narrated by Brenda Blethyn (who voiced Briggs’ mother in his beautiful and affecting 2016 animated feature *Ethel & Ernest*) interviews the 84 year-old, still living near the Sussex Downs, and those both close to him and influenced by his work. Nick Park reveals the debt he owes to Briggs’ irascible Father Christmas in the grumpy but mild-mannered characterisation of Gromit. Whilst author, illustrator Posy Simmonds reflects on the power of *The Snowman* being text-free: \"It doesn’t need dialogue. It’s as quiet as when it snows.\"","## Doctor Who","**BBC1, New Year’s Day, 7pm**","The move to Sunday evenings proved a canny one for the Jodie Whittaker/Chris Chibnall era and this shift from Christmas Day to Jan 1 could also work, freeing the show from the production constraints of snow, Santa et al and offering something substantial to Whovians who will then have to to wait till 2020 for season 12. Titled \"Resolution\", this feels both like a proper conclusion to season 11 and a statement of intent for what comes next. A terrifying foe from Earth’s history (anyone say, Dalek?) has had its cage rattled and Team TARDIS are homeward bound to investigate with the help of Nikesh Patel, Daniel Adegboyega and Charlotte Ritchie last seen expiring as Nurse Barbara Hereward on the cusp of *Call The Midwife*’s 2017 special.","## Escape At Dannemora","**Sky Atlantic, New Year’s Day, 9pm**","**All episodes available the same day.**","Patricia Arquette is already nominated for a Golden Globe, SAG and US Critics Choice Award for Best Actress in a Limited Series, for her portrayal of Clinton Correctional Facility shop supervisor Joyce \"Tilly\" Mitchell which illustrates how much more this is than just another prison break drama. Benicio del Toro and Paul Dano are inmates Richard Matt and David Sweat who hit the headlines when they bust out of the maximum security prison near the Canadian border in 2015 but it’s their manipulation of and collusion with Tilly which adds layer upon layer of psychological drama as Ray Donovan writers Brett Johnson and Michael Tolkin, director Ben Stiller and the cast examine human beings dealing with complicated feelings of love, self-deception and loneliness. That it was filmed on location at the actual facility makes it all the more extraordinary.","## The Inbetweeners: Fwends Reunited","**C4, New Year’s Day, 9pm**","Can it really only be ten years since Will, Simon, Neil and Jay first over-shared their Rudge Park Comp growing pains? James Buckley and Joe Thomas have since time travelled back to the even less PC mid-80s with *White Gold*. Blake Harrison recently tried to kill Ben Whishaw but ended up shooting his dog (RIP Rinka) in *A Very English Scandal*. Simon Bird has quietly come up trumps with *Friday Night Dinner*, Greg Davies (Mr Gilbert) is surreally playing opposite Hollywood and *Four Weddings* star Andie MacDowell in *Cuckoo* and Emily Atack (Charlotte) was just voted 2nd in *I’m A Celeb*. All of which may or may not be discussed in this just recorded reunion which will be followed by the four boys’ personal favourites, \"Will’s Birthday\", \"Fashion Show\", \"Camping Trip\" and, for a bit of variety, \"Field Trip\".","## A Series of Unfortunate Events","**Netflix, New Year’s Day**","The best of times and worst of times for Baudelaire fans as Violet, Klaus and Sunny enter the final phase of their TV trilogy with seven episodes that will cover off the last four Lemony Snicket books, *The Slippery Slope*, *The Grim Grotto*, *The Penultimate Peril* and, of course, *The End*. With Patrick Warburton moving from narrator to front of camera as Lemony and sister Kit (Alison Williams) another handy ally there is one final mystery to be solved. Although for a series that has always been generously stocked with Easter Eggs (not so seasonal) there promises to be plenty more for the surviving VFD to unravel than just that.","## Luther","**BBC1 New Year’s Day, Tues Jan 2, Thurs Jan 3, Fri Jan 4**","Eyeballs in a jar, creepy masked murderers on the no.15 bus and a study of extreme, fetishistic sexual behaviour. \"Is this normal?\" asks fast-tracked new side-kick DS Catherine Halliday, played by BAFTA winner Wunmi Mosaku (*Damilola, Our Loved Boy*), of John Luther. In the darkly, gruesome world of writer/creator Neil Cross, as he and Idris Elba reunite for the first time in three years, the answer is still yes. Both are teeing this fifth season up as the most ambitious and far-reaching yet. The return of Ruth Wilson as Luther’s serial-killing bestie/chief tormentor, Alice, has, surprisingly, already been revealed. New to all this is Hermione Norris, relishing the opportunity to go considerably darker than Cold Feet.","## Waco: Madman or Messiah?","**BBC4, Weds Jan 2, 9pm**","*Making A Murderer* uncovered a previously untapped appetite for American true crime documentaries whilst the viewing nation works its way through the 720g tin of Quality Street. This BBC 90 min two-parter is closer to Netflix’s *Wild Wild Country* but again feels refreshingly counter-intuitive to the usual feelgood fare. The madman or messiah – self-proclaimed – was David Koresh, charismatic (aren’t they always) cult leader of the Branch Davidians of Waco, Texas, who expanded his remit to marrying multiple 14 year-old child brides, with the consent of their brainwashed parents, before the longest siege in US history in 1993 left four government agents, 82 cult members and 23 children dead. Most chilling is the testament of nine survivors, 247 hours of previously unreleased FBI recordings of the siege and Koresh’s godawful rock guitar playing.","## Marvel's Runaways","**SYFY, Weds Jan 2, 9pm**","With the tagline: \"Every kid turns into their parents\", there’s plenty for the newly assembled runaways to ponder as they get the hang of their super-powers and work out how best to use them on their supervillain mums and dads. Good news is that Marvel fan boy Julian McMahon (*Fantastic Four*) is back as Jonah, once again ready with fellow Pride members to sacrifice the youth to keep him defy the ageing process, which is essentially an update on the sort of procedures he did day in/day out a decade ago as Dr Christian Troy in *Nip/Tuck*. All 13 episodes are already available on Hulu, so spoilers like whether the original comic books’ fate for Gert (Ariela Barer) makes it into Season Two are already out there."],"embeds":[],"images":[{"id":"5c4561a89e24f0172e3e799c","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5c1faf40fd0c0bc844492c32","fileName":"p06typfc.jpg","name":"p06typfc.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Watership Down"},{"id":"5c4561a89e24f0172e3e799d","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5c1faf40fd0c0bc844492c32","fileName":"dead-room.jpg","name":"dead-room.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Christmas 2018"},{"id":"5c4561a89e24f0172e3e799e","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5c1faf40fd0c0bc844492c32","fileName":"zog.jpg","name":"zog.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Christmas 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Box: Director Susanne Bier On The Film's Hidden Horrors","subtitle":"","furl":"bird-box-director-susanne-bier-film-hidden-horrors","urlOverride":"bird-box-director-susanne-bier-film-hidden-horrors","publications":[{"id":"5b5ef0e371fda32230981b74","amp":null,"preview":null,"name":"Empire","urlSlugHide":true,"furl":"empire","stationCode":"","language":"en","hostname":{"id":"59e4c911f9648a12d2ed73f5","primary":"https://stg.empireonline.com"},"composed":{"hostname":"59e4c911f9648a12d2ed73f5"}}],"primarySyndicatePosition":0,"categories":[{"id":"5c44b9b09e24f0172e3b6b95","name":"Features","furl":"features","parent":{"id":"5c44b9b09e24f0172e3b6b8f","name":"Movies","furl":"movies"},"composed":{"parent":"5c44b9b09e24f0172e3b6b8f"}}],"pageTemplate":"feature","published":{"state":"published","scheduledEnd":null,"wasPublished":true},"target":"international","isLegacy":true,"legacy":{"id":"5c1b7307fd0c0bc844491700","collection":"features","publication":"empire","furl":"bird-box-director-susanne-bier-film-hidden-horrors","url":"movies/features/bird-box-director-susanne-bier-film-hidden-horrors/","cms":"http://bantam.empireonline.com/edit.php?c=features.content&_id=5c1b7307fd0c0bc844491700","urlHistory":[],"createdAt":1545302791469},"toplistFeature":false,"hiddenArticle":false,"excerpt":"Danish director Susanne Bier loves getting spooked. She is a dyed-in-the-wool...","metaTitle":"","metaDescription":"","sourceText":null,"sourceUrl":null,"_layout":[{"content":"Bird Box: Director Susanne Bier On The Film's Hidden Horrors","type":"title"},{"content":"","type":"subtitle"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a79e24f0172e3e7997","altText":"Bird Box","caption":"","credits":"","image":{"fileName":"bird-box-1.jpg","name":"bird-box-1.jpg","path":"one/empire-images/features/5c1b7307fd0c0bc844491700","width":640,"height":480,"mimeType":"image/jpeg"}},"displayName":"Article Hero","free":true,"name":"hero","type":"heroImage"},{"content":"Danish director Susanne Bier loves getting spooked. She is a dyed-in-the-wool horror fan. But as she saw it, a horror can sometimes lose its power when the threat is finally revealed on screen. The mystery, the unknown, the just-out-of-frame — it can be more powerful, somehow.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"“I’ve always felt that whenever I saw a thriller or a horror film or anything scary, the moment before you actually see the monster is always, for me, the most scary,” explains Bier, director of *Bird Box*. “How can we make an entire movie like that for two hours?”","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a79e24f0172e3e7998","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5c1b7307fd0c0bc844491700","fileName":"bird-box-2.jpg","name":"bird-box-2.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Bird Box"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"Based on the novel by Josh Malerman, *Bird Box* aims to do just that, depicting an apocalypse in which the bringer of said apocalypse is never seen, never shown, never explained. The only thing known is that if you open your eyes outside, you’ll quickly find yourself infected with a curious desire to kill yourself, as violently as possible. The world quickly descends into suicidal chaos; the few survivors, whenever they venture outdoors, are forced to fumble around wearing blindfolds.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"I’ve always felt that the moment before you see the monster is the most scary.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"pullQuotes"},{"content":"*A Quiet Place*, then, but with eyes? Bier, working on her first project since winning an Emmy for *The Night Manager*, thinks this is probably a bit reductive. “The book was written way before *A Quiet Place*,” she explains. “I thought *A Quiet Place* was great. One always tends to compare things because they come at the same time.” One key difference is that *Bird Box*, unlike John Krasinski’s film, depicts its apocalypse as it happens, in terrifying detail; also, there are no CG monsters here. Not that that wasn’t initially considered. “There were definitely voices early on going, ‘Hey, maybe we should see [the monster] anyway,’” says Bier. “That’s what happens when you start making a movie: you get scared. But no. It’s actually more harrowing not to see them.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"Depicting an unseen force in a way that wasn’t contrived or silly proved a challenge, says Bier. “We did quite a lot of camera tests,” she says. “It’s a very cinematic premise which suggests a very stylised thing. But for me, the most important thing was to never lose the emotional connection [with the characters].”","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a79e24f0172e3e7999","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5c1b7307fd0c0bc844491700","fileName":"birdbox-2.jpg","name":"birdbox-2.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Bird Box"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"It falls to Sandra Bullock to maintain that emotional connection, as a pregnant woman who watches (from behind a blindfold) the sky fall around her, leading a cast that includes John Malkovich, Sarah Paulson and Trevante Rhodes. Bier describes her lead actor as “courageous, relentless, diligent” and noted that she was blindfolded for real for much of the film, having consulted with care workers who specialised in advising the recently blind.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"The result is so effective that the film is even spooking its own director. “I just came from the mix, and I managed to get scared,” Bier confesses, with a satisfied chuckle. “I’ve seen it so many times. Then you add all the right music and sounds, and you get scared again. Part of the joy of movies is entertaining our worst fears.” Like we said: she loves getting spooked.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"url":"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2AsIXSh2xo","provider":"youtube"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"embeds"},{"content":"*Bird Box is on Netflix from 21 December.*","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"}],"heroImage":[{"id":"5c4561a79e24f0172e3e7997","altText":"Bird Box","caption":"","credits":"","image":{"fileName":"bird-box-1.jpg","name":"bird-box-1.jpg","path":"one/empire-images/features/5c1b7307fd0c0bc844491700","width":640,"height":480,"mimeType":"image/jpeg"}}],"content":["Danish director Susanne Bier loves getting spooked. She is a dyed-in-the-wool horror fan. But as she saw it, a horror can sometimes lose its power when the threat is finally revealed on screen. The mystery, the unknown, the just-out-of-frame — it can be more powerful, somehow.","“I’ve always felt that whenever I saw a thriller or a horror film or anything scary, the moment before you actually see the monster is always, for me, the most scary,” explains Bier, director of *Bird Box*. “How can we make an entire movie like that for two hours?”","Based on the novel by Josh Malerman, *Bird Box* aims to do just that, depicting an apocalypse in which the bringer of said apocalypse is never seen, never shown, never explained. The only thing known is that if you open your eyes outside, you’ll quickly find yourself infected with a curious desire to kill yourself, as violently as possible. The world quickly descends into suicidal chaos; the few survivors, whenever they venture outdoors, are forced to fumble around wearing blindfolds.","*A Quiet Place*, then, but with eyes? Bier, working on her first project since winning an Emmy for *The Night Manager*, thinks this is probably a bit reductive. “The book was written way before *A Quiet Place*,” she explains. “I thought *A Quiet Place* was great. One always tends to compare things because they come at the same time.” One key difference is that *Bird Box*, unlike John Krasinski’s film, depicts its apocalypse as it happens, in terrifying detail; also, there are no CG monsters here. Not that that wasn’t initially considered. “There were definitely voices early on going, ‘Hey, maybe we should see [the monster] anyway,’” says Bier. “That’s what happens when you start making a movie: you get scared. But no. It’s actually more harrowing not to see them.","Depicting an unseen force in a way that wasn’t contrived or silly proved a challenge, says Bier. “We did quite a lot of camera tests,” she says. “It’s a very cinematic premise which suggests a very stylised thing. But for me, the most important thing was to never lose the emotional connection [with the characters].”","It falls to Sandra Bullock to maintain that emotional connection, as a pregnant woman who watches (from behind a blindfold) the sky fall around her, leading a cast that includes John Malkovich, Sarah Paulson and Trevante Rhodes. Bier describes her lead actor as “courageous, relentless, diligent” and noted that she was blindfolded for real for much of the film, having consulted with care workers who specialised in advising the recently blind.","The result is so effective that the film is even spooking its own director. “I just came from the mix, and I managed to get scared,” Bier confesses, with a satisfied chuckle. “I’ve seen it so many times. Then you add all the right music and sounds, and you get scared again. Part of the joy of movies is entertaining our worst fears.” Like we said: she loves getting spooked.","*Bird Box is on Netflix from 21 December.*"],"embeds":[{"url":"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2AsIXSh2xo","provider":"youtube"}],"images":[{"id":"5c4561a79e24f0172e3e7998","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5c1b7307fd0c0bc844491700","fileName":"bird-box-2.jpg","name":"bird-box-2.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Bird Box"},{"id":"5c4561a79e24f0172e3e7999","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5c1b7307fd0c0bc844491700","fileName":"birdbox-2.jpg","name":"birdbox-2.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Bird Box"}],"imageGalleries":[],"pullQuotes":["I’ve always felt that the moment before you see the monster is the most scary."],"publicationDate":1545302640000,"author":{"id":"5c44b9b19e24f0172e3b6c58","fullname":"John Nugent","furl":"john-nugent"},"film":[{"id":"5c44bc409e24f0172e3cc6ac","furl":"bird-box","title":"Bird Box","website":"","heroImage":[{"id":"5c44bc409e24f0172e3cc6ab","altText":"Bird Box","caption":"Bird Box","credits":"TMDB","image":{"fileName":"z6m7s4w4Erxnr5k2jc1TZR1AMva.jpg","name":"z6m7s4w4Erxnr5k2jc1TZR1AMva.jpg","width":1280,"height":720,"mimeType":"image/jpeg","path":"one/empire-tmdb/films/405774/images"}}],"composed":{"heroImage":["5c44bc409e24f0172e3cc6ab"]}}],"apiVersion":"1.0","createdAt":1545302791469,"createdBy":"testClient","v":1,"primaryPublication":{"id":"5b5ef0e371fda32230981b74","preview":null,"name":"Empire","urlSlugHide":true,"furl":"empire","stationCode":"","language":"en","googleAnalyticsId":"","fbiaAudienceNetworkPlacement1":"","hostname":{"id":"59e4c911f9648a12d2ed73f5","primary":"https://stg.empireonline.com"},"composed":{"hostname":"59e4c911f9648a12d2ed73f5"}},"urls":["empire/movies/features/bird-box-director-susanne-bier-film-hidden-horrors/"],"composed":{"heroImage":["5c4561a79e24f0172e3e7997"],"author":"5c44b9b19e24f0172e3b6c58","imageGalleries":[],"publications":["5b5ef0e371fda32230981b74"],"categories":["5c44b9b09e24f0172e3b6b95"],"primaryPublication":"5b5ef0e371fda32230981b74","images":["5c4561a79e24f0172e3e7998","5c4561a79e24f0172e3e7999"],"film":["5c44bc409e24f0172e3cc6ac"]}},{"id":"5c4561859e24f0172e3e77f1","title":"The Best Games of 2018","subtitle":"","furl":"best-games-2018-far","urlOverride":"best-games-2018-far","publications":[{"id":"5b5ef0e371fda32230981b74","amp":null,"preview":null,"name":"Empire","urlSlugHide":true,"furl":"empire","stationCode":"","language":"en","hostname":{"id":"59e4c911f9648a12d2ed73f5","primary":"https://stg.empireonline.com"},"composed":{"hostname":"59e4c911f9648a12d2ed73f5"}}],"primarySyndicatePosition":0,"categories":[{"id":"5c44b9b09e24f0172e3b6b95","name":"Features","furl":"features","parent":{"id":"5c44b9b09e24f0172e3b6b8f","name":"Movies","furl":"movies"},"composed":{"parent":"5c44b9b09e24f0172e3b6b8f"}}],"pageTemplate":"feature","published":{"state":"published","scheduledEnd":null,"wasPublished":true},"target":"international","isLegacy":true,"legacy":{"id":"5b34ebe629f3532417aac015","collection":"features","publication":"empire","furl":"best-games-2018-far","url":"movies/features/best-games-2018-far/","cms":"http://bantam.empireonline.com/edit.php?c=features.content&_id=5b34ebe629f3532417aac015","urlHistory":[],"createdAt":1530194918478},"toplistFeature":false,"hiddenArticle":false,"excerpt":"From tearing up the Wild West and acts of frosty deicide, to explorations of...","metaTitle":"","metaDescription":"Empire picks the best video games from 2018.","sourceText":null,"sourceUrl":null,"_layout":[{"content":"The Best Games of 2018","type":"title"},{"content":"","type":"subtitle"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561859e24f0172e3e77e7","altText":"Best Games of 2018 (so far)","caption":"","credits":"","image":{"fileName":"1-god-of-war.jpg","name":"1-god-of-war.jpg","path":"one/empire-images/features/5b34ebe629f3532417aac015","width":640,"height":480,"mimeType":"image/jpeg"}},"displayName":"Article Hero","free":true,"name":"hero","type":"heroImage"},{"content":"From tearing up the Wild West and acts of frosty deicide, to explorations of burgeoning romance and swinging through the streets of New York City, 2018 has been a fascinating year for video games. As the year draws to a close, it's time to reflect on everything we've had the chance to play over the last 12 months, with a look at the best games of 2018, as picked by the *Empire* staff.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## 10. Destiny 2: Forsaken","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561859e24f0172e3e77e8","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5b34ebe629f3532417aac015","fileName":"destiny-forsaken.jpg","name":"destiny-forsaken.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Destiny Forsaken"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"Watching the growth of *Destiny* has been fascinating – from the frankly broken release of the original game, through its mid-gen upgrade, to the full sequel, *Destiny* has grown into a captivating sci-fi universe. *Forsaken* proved the biggest change yet, and despite being the third expansion pack for the core *Destiny 2*, managed to move the entire universe along. The mechanical overhaul would have been enough for many fans, delivering new multiplayer Strike missions and Crucible maps, plus a fresh play mode blending PvE and PvP. It was the story campaign that elevated the entire package though, with the death of long-running character Cayde-6 and the fallout from his passing. Given much of *Destiny*'s lore to date had been window dressing for the shooter/RPG hybrid of the gameplay, *Forsaken*'s greatest accomplishment was in making players actually feel something, emotionally investing them in the sci-fi universe for arguably the first time.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"[Buy on PS4](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07DPDJSGC/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B07DPDJSGC&linkId=27eff4666e73f0875ed10f967e9838fa)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"[Buy on Xbox](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07G364HF1/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B07G364HF1&linkId=c588422c280e6fb1f34960515fbd61e0)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## 9. Assassin's Creed Odyssey","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561859e24f0172e3e77e9","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/reviews_games/5bb79656fd0c0bc844463ce4","fileName":"assassins-creed-2.jpg","name":"assassins-creed-2.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":""},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"Coming only a year after *Origins*, there was some concern *Odyssey* might mark a return to the bad old days of Ubisoft churning out an *Assassin's Creed* annually. Thankfully, that concern was misplaced – *Odyssey* improves on everything its predecessor introduced and evolves the series into a full-on epic scale, open world RPG. The Ancient Greek setting is one of the series' most beautiful locations, while its story, set around the Peloponnesian War, is one of the most absorbing the franchise has delivered. With compelling lead characters – either Kassandra or Alexios, whichever you choose to play – and an array of ways to develop their satisyingly lethal skills, plus entirely new aspects of play such as melee battlefield encounters, Odyssey cements itself as one of the best *Assassin's Creed* games ever.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"[Read the Empire review](http://www.empireonline.com/gaming/assassin-creed-odyssey/)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"[Buy on PS4](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07FSL721G/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B07FSL721G&linkId=bc5c14db80c5f4ae78327d20852e82d7)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"[Buy on Xbox](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07DGKN4ML/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B07DGKN4ML&linkId=b383ea64cf83b2915dcfa04e3c3a2c2b)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## 8. Tetris Effect","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561859e24f0172e3e77ea","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/reviews_games/5bf2f592fd0c0bc8444814bd","fileName":"tetris-2.jpg","name":"tetris-2.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":""},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"Who'd have thought a 34 year-old game could clinch the title of one of 2018's best? Well, Tetsuya Mizuguchi, for one – the auteur creator behind *Rez*, *Lumines*, and *Child Of Eden*, and an unrelenting advocate for video games as a way to explore sensory synaesthesia. That's exactly what *Tetris Effect* delivers, too – a mind-melding new way to play the beloved block-busting puzzle game, where music and visuals blur into the zen-like tile matching gameplay for mesmerising results. With unadulterated *Tetris* rules and a host of new modes, plus the option to truly immerse yourself in the sensory overload via PSVR, this revamp of a stone cold classic becomes one of the freshest games of the year.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"[Read the Empire review](http://www.empireonline.com/gaming/tetris-effect/)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## 7. Marvel's Spider-Man","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561859e24f0172e3e77eb","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/reviews_games/5b8ff269fd0c0bc844451a35","fileName":"spider-man-ps4-4.jpg","name":"spider-man-ps4-4.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":""},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"Early glimpses of Insomniac's game made the studios take on Marvel's wall-crawler look like a linear, borderline generic affair. What arrived was a stunning recreation of New York, capturing the essence of the real world city and layering on the mystique of the Marvel Universe, peppering it with locations ripped straight from the comics. With silky-smooth web-swinging, elegant combat mechanics, tonnes of fan service in the form of unlockable costumes, and a story that blends the best elements of decades of *Spider-Man* stories into a cohesive whole, it's instantly entrenched itself as one of the best superhero games ever. It's canon too, with the game's version of Spider-Man catapulted into the comics for the multiversal Spidergeddon storyline!","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"[Read the Empire review](http://www.empireonline.com/gaming/marvel-spider-man/)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"[Buy on PS4](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01GVS0R4I/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B01GVS0R4I&linkId=1047ce4082d7688807c3e7175b544932)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## 6. Florence","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561859e24f0172e3e77ec","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5b34ebe629f3532417aac015","fileName":"6-florence.jpg","name":"6-florence.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Best Games of 2018 (so far)"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"It's still rare for mobile games to offer particularly emotive or resonant experiences, but thankfully that's changing. Case in point: this beautiful slice of life game from director Ken Wong, previously the designer on the groundbreaking *Monument Valley*. Here, you guide the titular Florence as she meets and builds a relationship with Krish, a street performer. While the gameplay is divided into short minigames – even mundane ones, like tidying her apartment – the joy comes from interacting with her everyday life and relationship. A far more emotive use of your phone than another round on a match-three puzzler.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"[Buy on iOS](https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/florence/id1297430468)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"[Buy on Google Play](https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mountains.feathertop)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## 5. Dark Souls Remastered","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561859e24f0172e3e77ed","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5b34ebe629f3532417aac015","fileName":"4-dark-souls.jpg","name":"4-dark-souls.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Best Games of 2018 (so far)"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"The greatest achievement of *Dark Souls* may be its ability to infuriate everyone who's ever played it – yet still bring them back begging for more. This year's remaster of the original game in the series (not counting precursor *Demon's Souls*) served to cement its reputation as one of the toughest yet finest action RPGs ever created, returning players to the blighted dark fantasy world of Lordran to battle through its assorted horrors in full HD. Packing in all previously released DLC makes this the definitive edition in terms of content, while an improved and stable frame rate makes sections that were previously nigh-impossible at least manageable. Best of all, *Dark Souls Remastered* didn't soften its notorious difficulty to appease newcomers. Prepare to die.... again.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"[Read the Empire review](https://www.empireonline.com/gaming/dark-souls-remastered/)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"[Buy on PS4](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0792KDRVW/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B0792KDRVW&linkId=ab47558e627eb0196b07264ed60e4282)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"[Buy on Xbox One](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0792K3ZH3/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B0792K3ZH3&linkId=3e5e79a4096be8d4746474f7a88e0017)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## 4. Super Smash Bros Ultimate","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561859e24f0172e3e77ee","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/reviews_games/5c122c6afd0c0bc84448e62e","fileName":"smash1.jpg","name":"smash1.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":""},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"Arriving just shy of the 20 year anniversary for the series, Nintendo delivers an entry so good, it might not ever need to release a *Smash Bros* title again. With every character who's ever appeared in a *Smash* game before, including crossover characters such as *Metal Gear Solid*'s Snake and former company rival Sonic The Hedgehog, and a stunning array of stages and play modes, Ultimate easily stands as the biggest instalment ever. It doesn't just impress by overwhelming players with content though – every aspect of the game has been tweaked to perfection, leading to balanced battles that will appeal to casual players as much as esports pros. A magnificent achievement.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"[Buy on Switch](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07BHGGHX1/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B07BHGGHX1&linkId=08827fd5aa639d471404bdb124ecf5d0)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## 3. Shadow Of The Colossus","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561859e24f0172e3e77ef","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5b34ebe629f3532417aac015","fileName":"2-shadow-of-the-colossus.jpg","name":"2-shadow-of-the-colossus.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Best Games of 2018 (so far)"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"2018 is shaping up to be the year of the remake done right, with this ground-up rebuild of the PS2 classic showing how it's done. Every beat of Fumito Ueda's harrowing treatise on loss and isolation is recreated beautifully here, without developer Bluepoint Games giving in to temptation to add in new areas or extra Colossi to slay. This remains the unexpectedly poignant tale of the desperate lengths one young man will go to, to be reunited with a lost loved one, with all the harrowing consequences that entails – but now it looks a whole lot prettier as it rips your heart from your chest.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"[Read the Empire review](https://www.empireonline.com/gaming/shadow-colossus-2/)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"[Buy on PS4](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B072QMDFRZ/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B072QMDFRZ&linkId=ab4766d231596a5a732d203cb0824f2d)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## 2. Red Dead Redemption 2","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561859e24f0172e3e77f0","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/reviews_games/5bdc3a68fd0c0bc844476bd5","fileName":"red%20dead%20redemption2.jpg","name":"red%20dead%20redemption2.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":""},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"Set a decade before the first *Redemption*, players take on the role of outlaw Arthur Morgan, general in the Van der Linde gang, as their criminal ways are increasingly at odds with the advent of modern civilisation. The sprawling plot is filled with nuanced and captivating characters, and has enough material packed in for a multiple season HBO show, but the story is still almost second fiddle to the sheer wonder and detail of this Western world. Rockstar spared no effort in making this the most intricate and realistic experience possible, and whether it's staging heists and surviving shootouts with the law, or simply grooming your horse and foraging for herbs, *Red Dead Redemption 2*'s attention to detail staggers belief. An easy contender for 2018's most remarkable gaming world.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"[Read the Empire review](http://www.empireonline.com/gaming/red-dead-redemption-2/)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"[Buy on PS4](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01M65RD19/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B01M65RD19&linkId=bb9f669f036c098bdcd6945afa77d35b)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"[Buy on Xbox](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07DJ68XY7/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B07DJ68XY7&linkId=6da8a9093e8a2818360edfb4af252818)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## 1. God Of War","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"Or as the internet now calls it, Dad of War. Who would have thought, back in Kratos' days of tearing hydra to pieces, garrotting gods, or partaking in the odd hidden orgy that the grumpy Spartan had more paternal instincts? Yet casting the godslayer as a reluctant single father, struggling to connect with his son while dealing with the loss of his beloved wife, provided a necessary dash of humanity that the earlier games lacked. Transposing ancient Greece for the icy climes of Northern Europe, and the Greek Pantheon for the darker magic of the Norse gods, helped *God of War* stand apart from its predecessors, while updates to mechanics – including casting Kratos' son Atreus as an aspiring archer, who can help in battle – made the game feel like more than a rehash of the gory titles of old. Most impressively, the entire story is framed as one long camera take, making *God of War* look like nothing else we've seen this year.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"[Read the Empire review](https://www.empireonline.com/gaming/god-war-2018/)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"[Buy on PS4](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01GVRZZGY/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B01GVRZZGY&linkId=65fe74248a47bf33739d44777783b07a)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"}],"heroImage":[{"id":"5c4561859e24f0172e3e77e7","altText":"Best Games of 2018 (so far)","caption":"","credits":"","image":{"fileName":"1-god-of-war.jpg","name":"1-god-of-war.jpg","path":"one/empire-images/features/5b34ebe629f3532417aac015","width":640,"height":480,"mimeType":"image/jpeg"}}],"content":["From tearing up the Wild West and acts of frosty deicide, to explorations of burgeoning romance and swinging through the streets of New York City, 2018 has been a fascinating year for video games. As the year draws to a close, it's time to reflect on everything we've had the chance to play over the last 12 months, with a look at the best games of 2018, as picked by the *Empire* staff.","## 10. Destiny 2: Forsaken","Watching the growth of *Destiny* has been fascinating – from the frankly broken release of the original game, through its mid-gen upgrade, to the full sequel, *Destiny* has grown into a captivating sci-fi universe. *Forsaken* proved the biggest change yet, and despite being the third expansion pack for the core *Destiny 2*, managed to move the entire universe along. The mechanical overhaul would have been enough for many fans, delivering new multiplayer Strike missions and Crucible maps, plus a fresh play mode blending PvE and PvP. It was the story campaign that elevated the entire package though, with the death of long-running character Cayde-6 and the fallout from his passing. Given much of *Destiny*'s lore to date had been window dressing for the shooter/RPG hybrid of the gameplay, *Forsaken*'s greatest accomplishment was in making players actually feel something, emotionally investing them in the sci-fi universe for arguably the first time.","[Buy on PS4](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07DPDJSGC/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B07DPDJSGC&linkId=27eff4666e73f0875ed10f967e9838fa)","[Buy on Xbox](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07G364HF1/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B07G364HF1&linkId=c588422c280e6fb1f34960515fbd61e0)","## 9. Assassin's Creed Odyssey","Coming only a year after *Origins*, there was some concern *Odyssey* might mark a return to the bad old days of Ubisoft churning out an *Assassin's Creed* annually. Thankfully, that concern was misplaced – *Odyssey* improves on everything its predecessor introduced and evolves the series into a full-on epic scale, open world RPG. The Ancient Greek setting is one of the series' most beautiful locations, while its story, set around the Peloponnesian War, is one of the most absorbing the franchise has delivered. With compelling lead characters – either Kassandra or Alexios, whichever you choose to play – and an array of ways to develop their satisyingly lethal skills, plus entirely new aspects of play such as melee battlefield encounters, Odyssey cements itself as one of the best *Assassin's Creed* games ever.","[Read the Empire review](http://www.empireonline.com/gaming/assassin-creed-odyssey/)","[Buy on PS4](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07FSL721G/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B07FSL721G&linkId=bc5c14db80c5f4ae78327d20852e82d7)","[Buy on Xbox](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07DGKN4ML/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B07DGKN4ML&linkId=b383ea64cf83b2915dcfa04e3c3a2c2b)","## 8. Tetris Effect","Who'd have thought a 34 year-old game could clinch the title of one of 2018's best? Well, Tetsuya Mizuguchi, for one – the auteur creator behind *Rez*, *Lumines*, and *Child Of Eden*, and an unrelenting advocate for video games as a way to explore sensory synaesthesia. That's exactly what *Tetris Effect* delivers, too – a mind-melding new way to play the beloved block-busting puzzle game, where music and visuals blur into the zen-like tile matching gameplay for mesmerising results. With unadulterated *Tetris* rules and a host of new modes, plus the option to truly immerse yourself in the sensory overload via PSVR, this revamp of a stone cold classic becomes one of the freshest games of the year.","[Read the Empire review](http://www.empireonline.com/gaming/tetris-effect/)","## 7. Marvel's Spider-Man","Early glimpses of Insomniac's game made the studios take on Marvel's wall-crawler look like a linear, borderline generic affair. What arrived was a stunning recreation of New York, capturing the essence of the real world city and layering on the mystique of the Marvel Universe, peppering it with locations ripped straight from the comics. With silky-smooth web-swinging, elegant combat mechanics, tonnes of fan service in the form of unlockable costumes, and a story that blends the best elements of decades of *Spider-Man* stories into a cohesive whole, it's instantly entrenched itself as one of the best superhero games ever. It's canon too, with the game's version of Spider-Man catapulted into the comics for the multiversal Spidergeddon storyline!","[Read the Empire review](http://www.empireonline.com/gaming/marvel-spider-man/)","[Buy on PS4](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01GVS0R4I/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B01GVS0R4I&linkId=1047ce4082d7688807c3e7175b544932)","## 6. Florence","It's still rare for mobile games to offer particularly emotive or resonant experiences, but thankfully that's changing. Case in point: this beautiful slice of life game from director Ken Wong, previously the designer on the groundbreaking *Monument Valley*. Here, you guide the titular Florence as she meets and builds a relationship with Krish, a street performer. While the gameplay is divided into short minigames – even mundane ones, like tidying her apartment – the joy comes from interacting with her everyday life and relationship. A far more emotive use of your phone than another round on a match-three puzzler.","[Buy on iOS](https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/florence/id1297430468)","[Buy on Google Play](https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mountains.feathertop)","## 5. Dark Souls Remastered","The greatest achievement of *Dark Souls* may be its ability to infuriate everyone who's ever played it – yet still bring them back begging for more. This year's remaster of the original game in the series (not counting precursor *Demon's Souls*) served to cement its reputation as one of the toughest yet finest action RPGs ever created, returning players to the blighted dark fantasy world of Lordran to battle through its assorted horrors in full HD. Packing in all previously released DLC makes this the definitive edition in terms of content, while an improved and stable frame rate makes sections that were previously nigh-impossible at least manageable. Best of all, *Dark Souls Remastered* didn't soften its notorious difficulty to appease newcomers. Prepare to die.... again.","[Read the Empire review](https://www.empireonline.com/gaming/dark-souls-remastered/)","[Buy on PS4](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0792KDRVW/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B0792KDRVW&linkId=ab47558e627eb0196b07264ed60e4282)","[Buy on Xbox One](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0792K3ZH3/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B0792K3ZH3&linkId=3e5e79a4096be8d4746474f7a88e0017)","## 4. Super Smash Bros Ultimate","Arriving just shy of the 20 year anniversary for the series, Nintendo delivers an entry so good, it might not ever need to release a *Smash Bros* title again. With every character who's ever appeared in a *Smash* game before, including crossover characters such as *Metal Gear Solid*'s Snake and former company rival Sonic The Hedgehog, and a stunning array of stages and play modes, Ultimate easily stands as the biggest instalment ever. It doesn't just impress by overwhelming players with content though – every aspect of the game has been tweaked to perfection, leading to balanced battles that will appeal to casual players as much as esports pros. A magnificent achievement.","[Buy on Switch](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07BHGGHX1/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B07BHGGHX1&linkId=08827fd5aa639d471404bdb124ecf5d0)","## 3. Shadow Of The Colossus","2018 is shaping up to be the year of the remake done right, with this ground-up rebuild of the PS2 classic showing how it's done. Every beat of Fumito Ueda's harrowing treatise on loss and isolation is recreated beautifully here, without developer Bluepoint Games giving in to temptation to add in new areas or extra Colossi to slay. This remains the unexpectedly poignant tale of the desperate lengths one young man will go to, to be reunited with a lost loved one, with all the harrowing consequences that entails – but now it looks a whole lot prettier as it rips your heart from your chest.","[Read the Empire review](https://www.empireonline.com/gaming/shadow-colossus-2/)","[Buy on PS4](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B072QMDFRZ/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B072QMDFRZ&linkId=ab4766d231596a5a732d203cb0824f2d)","## 2. Red Dead Redemption 2","Set a decade before the first *Redemption*, players take on the role of outlaw Arthur Morgan, general in the Van der Linde gang, as their criminal ways are increasingly at odds with the advent of modern civilisation. The sprawling plot is filled with nuanced and captivating characters, and has enough material packed in for a multiple season HBO show, but the story is still almost second fiddle to the sheer wonder and detail of this Western world. Rockstar spared no effort in making this the most intricate and realistic experience possible, and whether it's staging heists and surviving shootouts with the law, or simply grooming your horse and foraging for herbs, *Red Dead Redemption 2*'s attention to detail staggers belief. An easy contender for 2018's most remarkable gaming world.","[Read the Empire review](http://www.empireonline.com/gaming/red-dead-redemption-2/)","[Buy on PS4](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01M65RD19/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B01M65RD19&linkId=bb9f669f036c098bdcd6945afa77d35b)","[Buy on Xbox](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07DJ68XY7/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B07DJ68XY7&linkId=6da8a9093e8a2818360edfb4af252818)","## 1. God Of War","Or as the internet now calls it, Dad of War. Who would have thought, back in Kratos' days of tearing hydra to pieces, garrotting gods, or partaking in the odd hidden orgy that the grumpy Spartan had more paternal instincts? Yet casting the godslayer as a reluctant single father, struggling to connect with his son while dealing with the loss of his beloved wife, provided a necessary dash of humanity that the earlier games lacked. Transposing ancient Greece for the icy climes of Northern Europe, and the Greek Pantheon for the darker magic of the Norse gods, helped *God of War* stand apart from its predecessors, while updates to mechanics – including casting Kratos' son Atreus as an aspiring archer, who can help in battle – made the game feel like more than a rehash of the gory titles of old. Most impressively, the entire story is framed as one long camera take, making *God of War* look like nothing else we've seen this year.","[Read the Empire review](https://www.empireonline.com/gaming/god-war-2018/)","[Buy on PS4](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01GVRZZGY/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B01GVRZZGY&linkId=65fe74248a47bf33739d44777783b07a)"],"embeds":[],"images":[{"id":"5c4561859e24f0172e3e77e8","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5b34ebe629f3532417aac015","fileName":"destiny-forsaken.jpg","name":"destiny-forsaken.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Destiny Forsaken"},{"id":"5c4561859e24f0172e3e77e9","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/reviews_games/5bb79656fd0c0bc844463ce4","fileName":"assassins-creed-2.jpg","name":"assassins-creed-2.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":""},{"id":"5c4561859e24f0172e3e77ea","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/reviews_games/5bf2f592fd0c0bc8444814bd","fileName":"tetris-2.jpg","name":"tetris-2.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":""},{"id":"5c4561859e24f0172e3e77eb","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/reviews_games/5b8ff269fd0c0bc844451a35","fileName":"spider-man-ps4-4.jpg","name":"spider-man-ps4-4.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":""},{"id":"5c4561859e24f0172e3e77ec","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5b34ebe629f3532417aac015","fileName":"6-florence.jpg","name":"6-florence.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Best Games of 2018 (so far)"},{"id":"5c4561859e24f0172e3e77ed","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5b34ebe629f3532417aac015","fileName":"4-dark-souls.jpg","name":"4-dark-souls.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Best Games of 2018 (so far)"},{"id":"5c4561859e24f0172e3e77ee","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/reviews_games/5c122c6afd0c0bc84448e62e","fileName":"smash1.jpg","name":"smash1.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":""},{"id":"5c4561859e24f0172e3e77ef","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5b34ebe629f3532417aac015","fileName":"2-shadow-of-the-colossus.jpg","name":"2-shadow-of-the-colossus.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Best Games of 2018 (so far)"},{"id":"5c4561859e24f0172e3e77f0","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/reviews_games/5bdc3a68fd0c0bc844476bd5","fileName":"red%20dead%20redemption2.jpg","name":"red%20dead%20redemption2.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":""}],"imageGalleries":[],"pullQuotes":[],"publicationDate":1544695200000,"author":{"id":"5a0ecfd9d7aa8e33ecab37c3","fullname":"Willow Green"},"apiVersion":"1.0","createdAt":1530194918478,"createdBy":"testClient","v":1,"primaryPublication":{"id":"5b5ef0e371fda32230981b74","preview":null,"name":"Empire","urlSlugHide":true,"furl":"empire","stationCode":"","language":"en","googleAnalyticsId":"","fbiaAudienceNetworkPlacement1":"","hostname":{"id":"59e4c911f9648a12d2ed73f5","primary":"https://stg.empireonline.com"},"composed":{"hostname":"59e4c911f9648a12d2ed73f5"}},"urls":["empire/movies/features/best-games-2018-far/"],"composed":{"heroImage":["5c4561859e24f0172e3e77e7"],"author":"5a0ecfd9d7aa8e33ecab37c3","imageGalleries":[],"publications":["5b5ef0e371fda32230981b74"],"categories":["5c44b9b09e24f0172e3b6b95"],"primaryPublication":"5b5ef0e371fda32230981b74","images":["5c4561859e24f0172e3e77e8","5c4561859e24f0172e3e77e9","5c4561859e24f0172e3e77ea","5c4561859e24f0172e3e77eb","5c4561859e24f0172e3e77ec","5c4561859e24f0172e3e77ed","5c4561859e24f0172e3e77ee","5c4561859e24f0172e3e77ef","5c4561859e24f0172e3e77f0"]}},{"id":"5c4561a59e24f0172e3e7992","title":"The Biggest Movie News Of 2018","subtitle":"","furl":"biggest-movie-news-2018","urlOverride":"biggest-movie-news-2018","publications":[{"id":"5b5ef0e371fda32230981b74","amp":null,"preview":null,"name":"Empire","urlSlugHide":true,"furl":"empire","stationCode":"","language":"en","hostname":{"id":"59e4c911f9648a12d2ed73f5","primary":"https://stg.empireonline.com"},"composed":{"hostname":"59e4c911f9648a12d2ed73f5"}}],"primarySyndicatePosition":0,"categories":[{"id":"5c44b9b09e24f0172e3b6b95","name":"Features","furl":"features","parent":{"id":"5c44b9b09e24f0172e3b6b8f","name":"Movies","furl":"movies"},"composed":{"parent":"5c44b9b09e24f0172e3b6b8f"}}],"pageTemplate":"feature","published":{"state":"published","scheduledEnd":null,"wasPublished":true},"target":"international","isLegacy":true,"legacy":{"id":"5c0e7266fd0c0bc84448c886","collection":"features","publication":"empire","furl":"biggest-movie-news-2018","url":"movies/features/biggest-movie-news-2018/","cms":"http://bantam.empireonline.com/edit.php?c=features.content&_id=5c0e7266fd0c0bc84448c886","urlHistory":[],"createdAt":1544450662242},"toplistFeature":false,"hiddenArticle":false,"excerpt":"What a year. In 2018, cinemas were packed out with seismic superhero...","metaTitle":"","metaDescription":"From Black Panther's box office dominance to Danny Boyle's Bond break-up. Empire remembers 2018's defining movie news.","sourceText":null,"sourceUrl":null,"_layout":[{"content":"The Biggest Movie News Of 2018","type":"title"},{"content":"","type":"subtitle"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a49e24f0172e3e7982","altText":"Black Panther","caption":"","credits":"","image":{"fileName":"black-panther-main.jpg","name":"black-panther-main.jpg","path":"one/empire-images/features/5c0e7266fd0c0bc84448c886","width":640,"height":480,"mimeType":"image/jpeg"}},"displayName":"Article Hero","free":true,"name":"hero","type":"heroImage"},{"content":"What a year. In 2018, cinemas were packed out with seismic superhero blockbusters, musical mainstays, and a swathe of thrillingly diverse movies hitting the mainstream. Meanwhile Hollywood said goodbye to some of the greats, moved further into a new era of streaming, and ran into yet *more* high-profile creative differences. Here are all the biggest talking points of 2018 in film.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"*Warning: Contains spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War and The Walking Dead*","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Stan Lee dies aged 95","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a49e24f0172e3e7983","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5c0e7266fd0c0bc84448c886","fileName":"stan-lee.jpg","name":"stan-lee.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Stan Lee"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"Without him, the cinematic landscape would be unrecognisably different – and we’re not just talking about those [countless cameos](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/features/stan-lee-marvel-cameos-updated/). [Stan Lee](https://www.empireonline.com/people/stan-lee/), as one of the key creatives at Marvel Comics and co-creator of a universe-worth of iconic characters – from Spider-Man to Black Panther, the Incredible Hulk to Doctor Strange – changed comics, cinema, and the parameters of storytelling with his life’s work. He died at the age of 95 on 12 November – but with the popularity of comic characters and narratives at an all-time high, his legacy is set to continue for decades to come, not least in 2019 when *[Captain Marvel](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/features/captain-marvel-everything-need-know/)*, *[Avengers: Endgame](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/features/avengers-4-everything-need-know/)*, and *[Spider-Man: Far From Home](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/features/spider-man-far-home-everything-need-know/)* will all hit the big screen. Read [an extract from Kenneth Branagh’s tribute to Stan Lee here](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/news/thor-director-kenneth-branagh-pays-tribute-stan-lee-empire-exclusive/), and read *Empire*’s 22-page tribute to the man himself in the January 2019 issue, [available online here](https://www.greatmagazines.co.uk/empire-print-single-issues/eempespi/empire-january-2019?utm_source=dynamic&utm_medium=bws&utm_campaign=empire_singles_jan){:rel=nofollow}.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"_[Read the story here.](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/news/pop-culture-legend-stan-lee-dies-aged-95/)_","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## The Greatest Showman becomes a runaway success","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a49e24f0172e3e7984","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5c0e7266fd0c0bc84448c886","fileName":"greatest-showman-crop.jpg","name":"greatest-showman-crop.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Hugh Jackman in The Greatest Showman"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"In December 2017, *[The Greatest Showman](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/greatest-showman/review/)* was greeted with lukewarm reviews and entered cinemas with stiff competition from *[Star Wars: The Last Jedi](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/star-wars-last-jedi/review/)* and *[Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/jumanji-welcome-jungle/review/)*. But against all the odds, [Hugh Jackman](https://www.empireonline.com/people/hugh-jackman/)’s original PT Barnum musical became an ongoing box office smash through the first half of 2018, sticking around in cinemas for months on end, drawing huge crowds for sing-along screenings, and eventually sparking Jackman to announce his own travelling show for 2019. *The Greatest Showman* clearly found its audience, which grew steadily through word-of-mouth, and it’s undeniable that the film’s acclaimed music was another key to its success – the soundtrack became its own juggernaut and spent the entirety of 2018 in the top 5 of the UK albums chart. They weren’t kidding with that whole “look out, ‘cause here I come” business.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## The Cloverfield Paradox drops instantly on Netflix","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a49e24f0172e3e7985","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5c0e7266fd0c0bc84448c886","fileName":"cloverfield-paradox.jpg","name":"cloverfield-paradox.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"The Cloverfield Paradox"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"The Super Bowl has always been significant for movie trailers dropping – but [Netflix](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/features/best-netflix-movies-uk/) stepped things up, not only announcing *[The Cloverfield Paradox](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/cloverfield-paradox/)* with a trailer mid-game, but instantly setting the film live on its streaming service. While the anthology sequel was originally produced by Paramount, the film was bought and released by Netflix – and the whole thing suddenly crystallised the idea that high-profile franchise films could eventually be sprung out of nowhere under total secrecy. It’s a strategy that worked for *Paradox* too, which was greeted with [disappointing reviews](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/cloverfield-paradox/review/) but created a massive talking point around its unconventional launch. A monster milestone for streaming.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"_[Read the story here.](https://www.empireonline.com/people/jj-abrams/cloverfield-paradox-trailer-heralds-movie-arrival/)_","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Black Panther rules the US box office","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a49e24f0172e3e7986","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5c0e7266fd0c0bc84448c886","fileName":"black-panther-gg.jpg","name":"black-panther-gg.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Black Panther"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"It took 10 years for the Marvel Cinematic Universe to give a POC-superhero headline billing in a comic book blockbuster. But when it finally did, audiences showed *up*. In its four-day opening weekend Stateside, *[Black Panther](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/black-panther/review/)* grossed a staggering $242.1 million, smashing all kinds of records. It rumbled on at the US box office for weeks on end, eventually pulling in a domestic haul of over $700 million across the pond alone. That figure made it America’s third highest-grossing film of all time, outperforming every other MCU movie (*[Infinity War](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/avengers-infinity-war/)* included) and settling behind only *[Avatar](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/avatar/review/)* and *[Star Wars: The Force Awakens](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/star-wars-force-awakens/review/)*. It was huge around the rest of the world too, earning over $646 million in non-US territories. Minority superheroes are no longer in the margins.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"_[Read the story here.](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/black-panther/black-panther-spends-fifth-week-atop-us-box-office/)_","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Guillermo del Toro strikes Oscar gold","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a49e24f0172e3e7987","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5c0e7266fd0c0bc84448c886","fileName":"guillermo-del-toro-oscars-2018.jpg","name":"guillermo-del-toro-oscars-2018.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Guillermo del Toro at the Oscars 2018","credits":"Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"Over a decade since *[Pan’s Labyrinth](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/pan-labyrinth/review/)* put him in touching distance of the Oscars, [del Toro](https://www.empireonline.com/people/guillermo-del-toro/) won the Academy over with *[The Shape of Water](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/shape-water/review/)* – his gorgeous, tender fantasy-romance about the doomed relationship between [Sally Hawkins](https://www.empireonline.com/people/sally-hawkins/)’ mute cleaner and [Doug Jones](https://www.empireonline.com/people/doug-jones/)’ surprisingly dishy fish-man. The film bagged Best Picture, while del Toro himself picked up Best Director – after double-checking the envelope to make sure [another *La La Land* / *Moonlight* snafu](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/news/oscars-2017-moonlight-wins-best-picture-la-la-land-mistakenly-named/) hadn’t occurred. del Toro [kept a low profile in the year since his win](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/news/guillermo-del-toro-took-year-directing-exclusive/), but recently announced that [his long-mooted *Pinocchio* animation is set to go ahead at Netflix](https://www.empireonline.com/people/guillermo-del-toro/guillermo-del-toro-brings-pinocchio-film-netflix/) in 2019.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"_[Read the story here.](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/news/shape-water-wins-big-oscars-2018/)_","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Steven Spielberg is named Empire’s Legend Of Our Lifetime","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a49e24f0172e3e7988","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5c0e7266fd0c0bc84448c886","fileName":"steven-spielberg.jpg","name":"steven-spielberg.jpg","width":"1080","height":"1080","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Steven Spielberg - Empire Awards 2018","credits":"Getty"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"From the ultra-high tension of *[Duel](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/duel/review/)*, through to the dizzying virtual reality blast of *[Ready Player One](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/ready-player-one/review/)*, via the likes of *[Jaws](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/jaws/review/)*, *[Raiders](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/raiders-lost-ark/review/)*, *[Jurassic Park](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/jurassic-park/review/)* and more, [Steven Spielberg](https://www.empireonline.com/people/steven-spielberg/) has been a constant source of cinematic thrills, spills, invention and re-invention over the last four-plus decades. So when it came to bestowing the prize of Legend Of Our Lifetime at the [Rakuten TV Empire Awards 2018](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/features/empire-awards-2018/), it had to be the ‘Berg. The man himself came to the Camden Roundhouse in March to pick up the prize from [Simon Pegg](https://www.empireonline.com/people/simon-pegg/), giving a speech about Time’s Up, the McDonald’s Chicken Legend (really), and why he loves making movies in Britain. The Beard: still the best.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"url":"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-iGw5X78n-g","provider":"youtube"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"embeds"},{"content":"_[Read the story here.](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/news/steven-spielberg-named-empire-legend-lifetime/)_","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Star Wars Episode IX begins shooting","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a49e24f0172e3e7989","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5c0e7266fd0c0bc84448c886","fileName":"jj-star-wars.jpg","name":"jj-star-wars.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"JJ Abrams - Star Wars The Force Awakens","credits":"Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"It was an interesting year for the galaxy far far away – *[The Last Jedi](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/star-wars-last-jedi/review/)* hit big at the box office while the internet tore itself to shreds, and *[Solo: A Star Wars Story](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/solo-star-wars-story/review/)* underperformed despite winning over a swathe fans. But there’s a new hope for the saga’s future – in August, [JJ Abrams](https://www.empireonline.com/people/jj-abrams/) started shooting *[Episode IX](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/features/star-wars-episode-ix-everything-need-know/)*, the film set to close out the sequel trilogy. It’s all totally under wraps, of course, but there are interesting cast additions in [Dominic Monaghan](https://www.empireonline.com/people/dominic-monaghan/), [Keri Russell](https://www.empireonline.com/people/keri-russell/) and [Matt Smith](https://www.empireonline.com/people/matt-smith/), while [Billy Dee Williams](https://www.empireonline.com/people/billy-dee-williams/) is set to return as the OG Lando. And then there’s *[The Mandalorian](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/news/jon-favreau-star-wars-series-called-mandalorian/)* – [Jon Favreau](https://www.empireonline.com/people/jon-favreau/)’s live-action Star Wars TV series for the upcoming Disney+ streaming app, which has gone into production with [Pedro Pascal](https://www.empireonline.com/people/pedro-pascal/) in the lead and the likes of [Taika Waititi](https://www.empireonline.com/people/taika-waititi/), [Bryce Dallas Howard](https://www.empireonline.com/people/bryce-dallas-howard/) and [Dave Filoni](https://www.empireonline.com/people/dave-filoni/) directing episodes. The Force will return, more powerful than you could possibly imagine, in 2019.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"_[Read the story here.](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/star-wars-episode-ix/jj-abrams-kicks-shooting-star-wars-episode-ix-behind-scenes-image/)_","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Andrew Lincoln swaps The Walking Dead TV series for movies","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a49e24f0172e3e798a","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5c0e7266fd0c0bc84448c886","fileName":"twd-S9-e5-1.jpg","name":"twd-S9-e5-1.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"The Walking Dead Season 9, Episode 5"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"Give it up for Rick Grimes – the man fought valiantly through the zombie apocalypse for years, leading a group of gore-soaked survivors to some semblance of new normality. But after nine seasons [Andrew Lincoln](https://www.empireonline.com/people/andrew-lincoln/) decided to leave the AMC series behind – and (SPOILER ALERT if you’re not caught up) instead kick off a trilogy of made-for-TV Rick Grimes movies. Yes, instead of perishing at the clawing hands of the undead, Rick was airlifted to safety – with the news that his fate will be explored in three future feature-length outings. Meanwhile the show’s timeline has flashed forwards several years now, so it’s safe to say Rick won’t be making a comeback to the small screen anytime soon.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"_[Read the story here.](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/news/walking-dead-announces-tv-movie-spin-offs/)_","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Ava DuVernay breaks the $100 million budget barrier","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a49e24f0172e3e798b","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5c0e7266fd0c0bc84448c886","fileName":"ava-duvernay.jpg","name":"ava-duvernay.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Ava DuVernay","credits":"Brad Barket/Getty"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"After the one-two punch of MLK biopic *[Selma](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/selma/review/)* and prison-industrial complex Netflix doc *13th*, [Ava DuVernay](https://www.empireonline.com/people/ava-duvernay/) swapped historical and fact-based storytelling for vibrant flights of emotional fantasy in a contemporary Disney sci-fi fairytale. With *[A Wrinkle In Time](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/wrinkle-time/review/)*, released in March, DuVernay became the first African-American woman to direct a live-action film with a $100 million-plus budget, and brought a new perspective to Madeleine L’Engle’s acclaimed novel – protagonist Meg Murry here is a young black teenager forced to battle dark, hostile forces with science, love, and an omnipotent [Oprah Winfrey](https://www.empireonline.com/people/oprah-winfrey/) as her guiding lights. With its diverse cast – [Mindy Kaling](https://www.empireonline.com/people/mindy-kaling/), [David Oyelowo](https://www.empireonline.com/people/david-oyelowo/), [Gugu Mbatha-Raw](https://www.empireonline.com/people/mbatha-raw-2/), and young Deric McCabe among them – and otherworldly visuals, DuVernay reframed a familiar story through her own auteurial lens. It may have underperformed at the box office, but in years to come *A Wrinkle In Time* will serve as a major stride towards equal representation in big-budget blockbusters.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Thanos wipes out half of the Marvel Universe","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a49e24f0172e3e798c","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5c0e7266fd0c0bc84448c886","fileName":"thanos-infinity-war.jpg","name":"thanos-infinity-war.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Thanos"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"We should have seen it coming. We should have been prepared. But we were so preoccupied with whether Iron Man or Captain America would be the one to cark it at the hands of Thanos that we didn’t stop to consider *[Avengers: Infinity War](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/avengers-infinity-war/review/)*’s near-inevitable conclusion: that the big purple guy successfully collects all six infinity stones, and uses them to wipe out half of all life in the universe. Heroes crumbled to dust, and the ones that remain will be left to deal with the consequences in *Avengers: Endgame*. ‘The Snap’ was the biggest blockbuster talking point of the year, a shock-ending to rank alongside *[The Empire Strikes Back](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/star-wars-episode-v-empire-strikes-back/review/)*, adding an extra jolt of must-see urgency to *Infinity War* on release and surely contributing considerably to its $2 billion-plus worldwide box office haul. Marvelites were left in the dark contemplating the aftermath of that climax until [the *Endgame* trailer dropped on 7 December](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/news/avengers-endgame-trailer-reveals-aftermath-snap/), and… well, sparked *even more* feverish anticipation. Thanos, do us a solid and use the time stone to send us all to next April now, please?","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Crazy Rich Asians delivers crazy good box office","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a49e24f0172e3e798d","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5c0e7266fd0c0bc84448c886","fileName":"cra-2.jpg","name":"cra-2.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Crazy Rich Asians"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"Marking the first time a majority-Asian cast has led a Hollywood studio film since 1993 – yes, really – *[Crazy Rich Asians](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/crazy-rich-asians/review/)* delivered a massive $173 million in the US alone from a modest $30 million budget. Set largely in Singapore, centred on an Asian-American lead character and studded with Asian-centric imagery, [Jon M. Chu](https://www.empireonline.com/people/jon-m-chu/)’s lavish rom-com revels in its cultural specificity, while dealing in the most universal of themes. In fact, *Crazy Rich Asians* might even have awoken the entire genre from its long slumber – it’s swooningly romantic *and* gut-bustlingly funny, especially when Awkwafina graces the screen – leaning joyously into all the tropes that have made rom-coms so beloved, despite their near-disappearance from cinemas in recent years. The film’s success continues with [Golden Globes nominations](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/news/golden-globes-2019-film-nominations-full-list/) in Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, and Best Actress for Constance Wu, while [back-to-back sequels](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/crazy-rich-asians/crazy-rich-asians-sequels-shoot-back-back/) are now in the pipeline. Top results for a crazy-good film.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"_[Read the story here.](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/crazy-rich-asians/crazy-rich-asians-finds-cash-us-box-office/)_","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Bond 25 adds – then loses – director Danny Boyle","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a49e24f0172e3e798e","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5c0e7266fd0c0bc84448c886","fileName":"danny-boyle.jpg","name":"danny-boyle.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Danny Boyle","credits":"Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"After the huge success of *[Skyfall](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/skyfall/review/)*, the cooler box office and critical reception to *[Spectre](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/spectre/review/)* was somewhat of a disappointment. With [Daniel Craig](https://www.empireonline.com/people/daniel-craig/) sticking around in the tux for another round, the long-running spy saga looked set to amp up fresh excitement with the appointment of [Danny Boyle](https://www.empireonline.com/people/danny-boyle/). In May, the *[Trainspotting](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/trainspotting/review/)*, *[28 Days Later](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/28-days-later/review/)* and *[Slumdog Millionaire](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/slumdog-millionaire/review/)* director was on board to bring his visionary filmmaking to a British cinema icon, even cooking up a script and story with his regular collaborator John Hodge. But two months later, things fell apart – Boyle was booted from the project over ‘creative differences’, sparking a hunt for another director and pushing the proposed November 2019 release date back to February 2020. Eventually [Cary Joji Fukunaga](https://www.empireonline.com/people/cary-fukunaga/) got the gig – the first American director to helm a Bond film – though he’s had his own creative differences in the past, [dropping out on *It*](https://www.empireonline.com/people/cary-fukunaga/cary-fukunaga-longer-directing-new/) shortly before production. Here’s hoping it’s a marriage that lasts longer than the one in *[On Her Majesty’s Secret Service](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/majesty-secret-service/review/)*.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"_[Read the story here.](https://www.empireonline.com/people/danny-boyle/danny-boyle-exits-bond-25-director-chair/)_","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Venom bonds with the worldwide box office","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a49e24f0172e3e798f","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5c0e7266fd0c0bc84448c886","fileName":"venom-traile.jpg","name":"venom-traile.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Venom "},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"There were alarm bells sounding around *[Venom](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/venom/review/)* in the run-up to its release – a Spider-Man-free origin story, a toned-down PG-13 rating with [Tom Hardy](https://www.empireonline.com/people/tom-hardy/) claiming his favourite scenes didn’t make the final cut, and a frankly terrible Eminem song to name but a few. And while the critics largely weren’t impressed, Sony’s comic book anti-hero made a staggering amount of money. In the US it broke an October opening weekend record with an $80 million haul, eventually grossing $212 million there overall, and in the rest of the world it bagged a total of $633 million. Most importantly, it hit big in China with a $111 million opening weekend, proving the character and franchise has legs (or at least gooey tendrils) across the world. Approaching a $1 billion release in cinemas alone, more *Venom* is a dead-cert. Just, get someone else to do the song next time, please?","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"_[Read the story here.](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/news/venom-breaks-records-80-million-us-box-office-haul/)_","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Robert Redford announces (and semi-retracts) his retirement","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a49e24f0172e3e7990","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5c0e7266fd0c0bc84448c886","fileName":"robert-redford.jpg","name":"robert-redford.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Robert Redford","credits":"Pascal Le Segretain/Getty"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"Centreing on an ageing crook recapturing his youth by pulling off a string of fresh heists, [David Lowery](https://www.empireonline.com/people/david-lowery/)’s *[The Old Man & The Gun](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/old-man-gun/review/)* feels like a swansong for its central star [Robert Redford](https://www.empireonline.com/people/robert-redford/) – because that’s very much what it is. A few weeks before its premiere at Telluride, Redford said in an interview that it would mark his retirement from acting, as a ‘very positive and upbeat’ tale to go out on. But after the 82-year-old’s remarks caused an outpouring of well-wishes, he somewhat took his statement back – though more in the sense that he wishes he hadn’t announced the end of his on-screen career and had rather just stopped taking on projects. “If I’m gonna retire, I should just slip quietly away from acting,” he told *[Variety](https://variety.com/2018/film/news/robert-redford-not-retiring-acting-interview-video-old-man-and-the-gun-1202952059/)* in September. “But I shouldn’t be talking about it because I think it draws too much attention in the wrong way.” While he’s hinted that he may continue to be a filmmaker, 2018 drew a line under Robert Redford: Iconic Movie Star.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"_[Read the story here.](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/news/robert-redford-confirms-retirement-acting/)_","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Netflix backs down on cinema releases","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a49e24f0172e3e7991","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5c0e7266fd0c0bc84448c886","fileName":"12-roma.jpg","name":"12-roma.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Roma"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"In the ongoing stand-off between Netflix and traditional cinema releases, Netflix blinked. The streaming service has historically been reluctant to screen its original films in cinemas, instead opting to release them solely on the app with the odd festival screening here and there. But with the likes of *[Roma](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/roma/review/)*, *[The Ballad Of Buster Scruggs](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/ballad-buster-scruggs/review/)* and *[22 July](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/22-july/review/)* all attracting awards buzz, Netflix has started to relent slightly. All of the above have received public cinema releases, albeit limited ones, as have the likes of *[Outlaw King](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/outlaw-king/review/)* and *[Mowgli: Welcome To The Jungle](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/mowgli/review/)*. It all points towards a possible future where Netflix films become more accessible on the big screen as an additional option to beaming them straight into your eyeballs at home.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Obituaries","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"As well as Stan Lee (see above), the film industry bid a sad farewell to a host of brilliant filmmakers, creatives and screen icons, including: [Burt Reynolds](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/news/burt-reynolds-dies-aged-82/), [Bernardo Bertolucci](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/news/last-tango-paris-director-bernardo-bertolucci-dies-aged-77/), [Johann Johannsson](https://www.empireonline.com/people/johann-johannsson/composer-jhann-jhannsson-dies-aged-48/), [Emma Chambers](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/news/actress-emma-chambers-dies-aged-53/), Isao Takahata, [Verne Troyer](https://www.empireonline.com/people/verne-troyer/austin-powers-actor-verne-troyer-dies-aged-49/), Steve Ditko, [Aretha Franklin](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/news/aretha-franklin-dies-aged-76/), [Gary Kurtz](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/news/star-wars-producer-gary-kurtz-dies-aged-78/), [William Goldman](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/news/screenwriter-william-goldman-dies-aged-87/), [Nicolas Roeg](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/news/director-cinematographer-nicolas-roeg-dies-aged-90/), and Stephen Hillenburg.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"}],"heroImage":[{"id":"5c4561a49e24f0172e3e7982","altText":"Black Panther","caption":"","credits":"","image":{"fileName":"black-panther-main.jpg","name":"black-panther-main.jpg","path":"one/empire-images/features/5c0e7266fd0c0bc84448c886","width":640,"height":480,"mimeType":"image/jpeg"}}],"content":["What a year. In 2018, cinemas were packed out with seismic superhero blockbusters, musical mainstays, and a swathe of thrillingly diverse movies hitting the mainstream. Meanwhile Hollywood said goodbye to some of the greats, moved further into a new era of streaming, and ran into yet *more* high-profile creative differences. Here are all the biggest talking points of 2018 in film.","*Warning: Contains spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War and The Walking Dead*","## Stan Lee dies aged 95","Without him, the cinematic landscape would be unrecognisably different – and we’re not just talking about those [countless cameos](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/features/stan-lee-marvel-cameos-updated/). [Stan Lee](https://www.empireonline.com/people/stan-lee/), as one of the key creatives at Marvel Comics and co-creator of a universe-worth of iconic characters – from Spider-Man to Black Panther, the Incredible Hulk to Doctor Strange – changed comics, cinema, and the parameters of storytelling with his life’s work. He died at the age of 95 on 12 November – but with the popularity of comic characters and narratives at an all-time high, his legacy is set to continue for decades to come, not least in 2019 when *[Captain Marvel](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/features/captain-marvel-everything-need-know/)*, *[Avengers: Endgame](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/features/avengers-4-everything-need-know/)*, and *[Spider-Man: Far From Home](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/features/spider-man-far-home-everything-need-know/)* will all hit the big screen. Read [an extract from Kenneth Branagh’s tribute to Stan Lee here](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/news/thor-director-kenneth-branagh-pays-tribute-stan-lee-empire-exclusive/), and read *Empire*’s 22-page tribute to the man himself in the January 2019 issue, [available online here](https://www.greatmagazines.co.uk/empire-print-single-issues/eempespi/empire-january-2019?utm_source=dynamic&utm_medium=bws&utm_campaign=empire_singles_jan){:rel=nofollow}.","_[Read the story here.](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/news/pop-culture-legend-stan-lee-dies-aged-95/)_","## The Greatest Showman becomes a runaway success","In December 2017, *[The Greatest Showman](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/greatest-showman/review/)* was greeted with lukewarm reviews and entered cinemas with stiff competition from *[Star Wars: The Last Jedi](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/star-wars-last-jedi/review/)* and *[Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/jumanji-welcome-jungle/review/)*. But against all the odds, [Hugh Jackman](https://www.empireonline.com/people/hugh-jackman/)’s original PT Barnum musical became an ongoing box office smash through the first half of 2018, sticking around in cinemas for months on end, drawing huge crowds for sing-along screenings, and eventually sparking Jackman to announce his own travelling show for 2019. *The Greatest Showman* clearly found its audience, which grew steadily through word-of-mouth, and it’s undeniable that the film’s acclaimed music was another key to its success – the soundtrack became its own juggernaut and spent the entirety of 2018 in the top 5 of the UK albums chart. They weren’t kidding with that whole “look out, ‘cause here I come” business.","## The Cloverfield Paradox drops instantly on Netflix","The Super Bowl has always been significant for movie trailers dropping – but [Netflix](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/features/best-netflix-movies-uk/) stepped things up, not only announcing *[The Cloverfield Paradox](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/cloverfield-paradox/)* with a trailer mid-game, but instantly setting the film live on its streaming service. While the anthology sequel was originally produced by Paramount, the film was bought and released by Netflix – and the whole thing suddenly crystallised the idea that high-profile franchise films could eventually be sprung out of nowhere under total secrecy. It’s a strategy that worked for *Paradox* too, which was greeted with [disappointing reviews](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/cloverfield-paradox/review/) but created a massive talking point around its unconventional launch. A monster milestone for streaming.","_[Read the story here.](https://www.empireonline.com/people/jj-abrams/cloverfield-paradox-trailer-heralds-movie-arrival/)_","## Black Panther rules the US box office","It took 10 years for the Marvel Cinematic Universe to give a POC-superhero headline billing in a comic book blockbuster. But when it finally did, audiences showed *up*. In its four-day opening weekend Stateside, *[Black Panther](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/black-panther/review/)* grossed a staggering $242.1 million, smashing all kinds of records. It rumbled on at the US box office for weeks on end, eventually pulling in a domestic haul of over $700 million across the pond alone. That figure made it America’s third highest-grossing film of all time, outperforming every other MCU movie (*[Infinity War](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/avengers-infinity-war/)* included) and settling behind only *[Avatar](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/avatar/review/)* and *[Star Wars: The Force Awakens](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/star-wars-force-awakens/review/)*. It was huge around the rest of the world too, earning over $646 million in non-US territories. Minority superheroes are no longer in the margins.","_[Read the story here.](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/black-panther/black-panther-spends-fifth-week-atop-us-box-office/)_","## Guillermo del Toro strikes Oscar gold","Over a decade since *[Pan’s Labyrinth](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/pan-labyrinth/review/)* put him in touching distance of the Oscars, [del Toro](https://www.empireonline.com/people/guillermo-del-toro/) won the Academy over with *[The Shape of Water](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/shape-water/review/)* – his gorgeous, tender fantasy-romance about the doomed relationship between [Sally Hawkins](https://www.empireonline.com/people/sally-hawkins/)’ mute cleaner and [Doug Jones](https://www.empireonline.com/people/doug-jones/)’ surprisingly dishy fish-man. The film bagged Best Picture, while del Toro himself picked up Best Director – after double-checking the envelope to make sure [another *La La Land* / *Moonlight* snafu](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/news/oscars-2017-moonlight-wins-best-picture-la-la-land-mistakenly-named/) hadn’t occurred. del Toro [kept a low profile in the year since his win](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/news/guillermo-del-toro-took-year-directing-exclusive/), but recently announced that [his long-mooted *Pinocchio* animation is set to go ahead at Netflix](https://www.empireonline.com/people/guillermo-del-toro/guillermo-del-toro-brings-pinocchio-film-netflix/) in 2019.","_[Read the story here.](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/news/shape-water-wins-big-oscars-2018/)_","## Steven Spielberg is named Empire’s Legend Of Our Lifetime","From the ultra-high tension of *[Duel](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/duel/review/)*, through to the dizzying virtual reality blast of *[Ready Player One](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/ready-player-one/review/)*, via the likes of *[Jaws](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/jaws/review/)*, *[Raiders](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/raiders-lost-ark/review/)*, *[Jurassic Park](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/jurassic-park/review/)* and more, [Steven Spielberg](https://www.empireonline.com/people/steven-spielberg/) has been a constant source of cinematic thrills, spills, invention and re-invention over the last four-plus decades. So when it came to bestowing the prize of Legend Of Our Lifetime at the [Rakuten TV Empire Awards 2018](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/features/empire-awards-2018/), it had to be the ‘Berg. The man himself came to the Camden Roundhouse in March to pick up the prize from [Simon Pegg](https://www.empireonline.com/people/simon-pegg/), giving a speech about Time’s Up, the McDonald’s Chicken Legend (really), and why he loves making movies in Britain. The Beard: still the best.","_[Read the story here.](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/news/steven-spielberg-named-empire-legend-lifetime/)_","## Star Wars Episode IX begins shooting","It was an interesting year for the galaxy far far away – *[The Last Jedi](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/star-wars-last-jedi/review/)* hit big at the box office while the internet tore itself to shreds, and *[Solo: A Star Wars Story](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/solo-star-wars-story/review/)* underperformed despite winning over a swathe fans. But there’s a new hope for the saga’s future – in August, [JJ Abrams](https://www.empireonline.com/people/jj-abrams/) started shooting *[Episode IX](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/features/star-wars-episode-ix-everything-need-know/)*, the film set to close out the sequel trilogy. It’s all totally under wraps, of course, but there are interesting cast additions in [Dominic Monaghan](https://www.empireonline.com/people/dominic-monaghan/), [Keri Russell](https://www.empireonline.com/people/keri-russell/) and [Matt Smith](https://www.empireonline.com/people/matt-smith/), while [Billy Dee Williams](https://www.empireonline.com/people/billy-dee-williams/) is set to return as the OG Lando. And then there’s *[The Mandalorian](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/news/jon-favreau-star-wars-series-called-mandalorian/)* – [Jon Favreau](https://www.empireonline.com/people/jon-favreau/)’s live-action Star Wars TV series for the upcoming Disney+ streaming app, which has gone into production with [Pedro Pascal](https://www.empireonline.com/people/pedro-pascal/) in the lead and the likes of [Taika Waititi](https://www.empireonline.com/people/taika-waititi/), [Bryce Dallas Howard](https://www.empireonline.com/people/bryce-dallas-howard/) and [Dave Filoni](https://www.empireonline.com/people/dave-filoni/) directing episodes. The Force will return, more powerful than you could possibly imagine, in 2019.","_[Read the story here.](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/star-wars-episode-ix/jj-abrams-kicks-shooting-star-wars-episode-ix-behind-scenes-image/)_","## Andrew Lincoln swaps The Walking Dead TV series for movies","Give it up for Rick Grimes – the man fought valiantly through the zombie apocalypse for years, leading a group of gore-soaked survivors to some semblance of new normality. But after nine seasons [Andrew Lincoln](https://www.empireonline.com/people/andrew-lincoln/) decided to leave the AMC series behind – and (SPOILER ALERT if you’re not caught up) instead kick off a trilogy of made-for-TV Rick Grimes movies. Yes, instead of perishing at the clawing hands of the undead, Rick was airlifted to safety – with the news that his fate will be explored in three future feature-length outings. Meanwhile the show’s timeline has flashed forwards several years now, so it’s safe to say Rick won’t be making a comeback to the small screen anytime soon.","_[Read the story here.](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/news/walking-dead-announces-tv-movie-spin-offs/)_","## Ava DuVernay breaks the $100 million budget barrier","After the one-two punch of MLK biopic *[Selma](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/selma/review/)* and prison-industrial complex Netflix doc *13th*, [Ava DuVernay](https://www.empireonline.com/people/ava-duvernay/) swapped historical and fact-based storytelling for vibrant flights of emotional fantasy in a contemporary Disney sci-fi fairytale. With *[A Wrinkle In Time](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/wrinkle-time/review/)*, released in March, DuVernay became the first African-American woman to direct a live-action film with a $100 million-plus budget, and brought a new perspective to Madeleine L’Engle’s acclaimed novel – protagonist Meg Murry here is a young black teenager forced to battle dark, hostile forces with science, love, and an omnipotent [Oprah Winfrey](https://www.empireonline.com/people/oprah-winfrey/) as her guiding lights. With its diverse cast – [Mindy Kaling](https://www.empireonline.com/people/mindy-kaling/), [David Oyelowo](https://www.empireonline.com/people/david-oyelowo/), [Gugu Mbatha-Raw](https://www.empireonline.com/people/mbatha-raw-2/), and young Deric McCabe among them – and otherworldly visuals, DuVernay reframed a familiar story through her own auteurial lens. It may have underperformed at the box office, but in years to come *A Wrinkle In Time* will serve as a major stride towards equal representation in big-budget blockbusters.","## Thanos wipes out half of the Marvel Universe","We should have seen it coming. We should have been prepared. But we were so preoccupied with whether Iron Man or Captain America would be the one to cark it at the hands of Thanos that we didn’t stop to consider *[Avengers: Infinity War](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/avengers-infinity-war/review/)*’s near-inevitable conclusion: that the big purple guy successfully collects all six infinity stones, and uses them to wipe out half of all life in the universe. Heroes crumbled to dust, and the ones that remain will be left to deal with the consequences in *Avengers: Endgame*. ‘The Snap’ was the biggest blockbuster talking point of the year, a shock-ending to rank alongside *[The Empire Strikes Back](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/star-wars-episode-v-empire-strikes-back/review/)*, adding an extra jolt of must-see urgency to *Infinity War* on release and surely contributing considerably to its $2 billion-plus worldwide box office haul. Marvelites were left in the dark contemplating the aftermath of that climax until [the *Endgame* trailer dropped on 7 December](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/news/avengers-endgame-trailer-reveals-aftermath-snap/), and… well, sparked *even more* feverish anticipation. Thanos, do us a solid and use the time stone to send us all to next April now, please?","## Crazy Rich Asians delivers crazy good box office","Marking the first time a majority-Asian cast has led a Hollywood studio film since 1993 – yes, really – *[Crazy Rich Asians](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/crazy-rich-asians/review/)* delivered a massive $173 million in the US alone from a modest $30 million budget. Set largely in Singapore, centred on an Asian-American lead character and studded with Asian-centric imagery, [Jon M. Chu](https://www.empireonline.com/people/jon-m-chu/)’s lavish rom-com revels in its cultural specificity, while dealing in the most universal of themes. In fact, *Crazy Rich Asians* might even have awoken the entire genre from its long slumber – it’s swooningly romantic *and* gut-bustlingly funny, especially when Awkwafina graces the screen – leaning joyously into all the tropes that have made rom-coms so beloved, despite their near-disappearance from cinemas in recent years. The film’s success continues with [Golden Globes nominations](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/news/golden-globes-2019-film-nominations-full-list/) in Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, and Best Actress for Constance Wu, while [back-to-back sequels](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/crazy-rich-asians/crazy-rich-asians-sequels-shoot-back-back/) are now in the pipeline. Top results for a crazy-good film.","_[Read the story here.](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/crazy-rich-asians/crazy-rich-asians-finds-cash-us-box-office/)_","## Bond 25 adds – then loses – director Danny Boyle","After the huge success of *[Skyfall](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/skyfall/review/)*, the cooler box office and critical reception to *[Spectre](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/spectre/review/)* was somewhat of a disappointment. With [Daniel Craig](https://www.empireonline.com/people/daniel-craig/) sticking around in the tux for another round, the long-running spy saga looked set to amp up fresh excitement with the appointment of [Danny Boyle](https://www.empireonline.com/people/danny-boyle/). In May, the *[Trainspotting](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/trainspotting/review/)*, *[28 Days Later](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/28-days-later/review/)* and *[Slumdog Millionaire](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/slumdog-millionaire/review/)* director was on board to bring his visionary filmmaking to a British cinema icon, even cooking up a script and story with his regular collaborator John Hodge. But two months later, things fell apart – Boyle was booted from the project over ‘creative differences’, sparking a hunt for another director and pushing the proposed November 2019 release date back to February 2020. Eventually [Cary Joji Fukunaga](https://www.empireonline.com/people/cary-fukunaga/) got the gig – the first American director to helm a Bond film – though he’s had his own creative differences in the past, [dropping out on *It*](https://www.empireonline.com/people/cary-fukunaga/cary-fukunaga-longer-directing-new/) shortly before production. Here’s hoping it’s a marriage that lasts longer than the one in *[On Her Majesty’s Secret Service](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/majesty-secret-service/review/)*.","_[Read the story here.](https://www.empireonline.com/people/danny-boyle/danny-boyle-exits-bond-25-director-chair/)_","## Venom bonds with the worldwide box office","There were alarm bells sounding around *[Venom](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/venom/review/)* in the run-up to its release – a Spider-Man-free origin story, a toned-down PG-13 rating with [Tom Hardy](https://www.empireonline.com/people/tom-hardy/) claiming his favourite scenes didn’t make the final cut, and a frankly terrible Eminem song to name but a few. And while the critics largely weren’t impressed, Sony’s comic book anti-hero made a staggering amount of money. In the US it broke an October opening weekend record with an $80 million haul, eventually grossing $212 million there overall, and in the rest of the world it bagged a total of $633 million. Most importantly, it hit big in China with a $111 million opening weekend, proving the character and franchise has legs (or at least gooey tendrils) across the world. Approaching a $1 billion release in cinemas alone, more *Venom* is a dead-cert. Just, get someone else to do the song next time, please?","_[Read the story here.](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/news/venom-breaks-records-80-million-us-box-office-haul/)_","## Robert Redford announces (and semi-retracts) his retirement","Centreing on an ageing crook recapturing his youth by pulling off a string of fresh heists, [David Lowery](https://www.empireonline.com/people/david-lowery/)’s *[The Old Man & The Gun](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/old-man-gun/review/)* feels like a swansong for its central star [Robert Redford](https://www.empireonline.com/people/robert-redford/) – because that’s very much what it is. A few weeks before its premiere at Telluride, Redford said in an interview that it would mark his retirement from acting, as a ‘very positive and upbeat’ tale to go out on. But after the 82-year-old’s remarks caused an outpouring of well-wishes, he somewhat took his statement back – though more in the sense that he wishes he hadn’t announced the end of his on-screen career and had rather just stopped taking on projects. “If I’m gonna retire, I should just slip quietly away from acting,” he told *[Variety](https://variety.com/2018/film/news/robert-redford-not-retiring-acting-interview-video-old-man-and-the-gun-1202952059/)* in September. “But I shouldn’t be talking about it because I think it draws too much attention in the wrong way.” While he’s hinted that he may continue to be a filmmaker, 2018 drew a line under Robert Redford: Iconic Movie Star.","_[Read the story here.](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/news/robert-redford-confirms-retirement-acting/)_","## Netflix backs down on cinema releases","In the ongoing stand-off between Netflix and traditional cinema releases, Netflix blinked. The streaming service has historically been reluctant to screen its original films in cinemas, instead opting to release them solely on the app with the odd festival screening here and there. But with the likes of *[Roma](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/roma/review/)*, *[The Ballad Of Buster Scruggs](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/ballad-buster-scruggs/review/)* and *[22 July](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/22-july/review/)* all attracting awards buzz, Netflix has started to relent slightly. All of the above have received public cinema releases, albeit limited ones, as have the likes of *[Outlaw King](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/outlaw-king/review/)* and *[Mowgli: Welcome To The Jungle](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/mowgli/review/)*. It all points towards a possible future where Netflix films become more accessible on the big screen as an additional option to beaming them straight into your eyeballs at home.","## Obituaries","As well as Stan Lee (see above), the film industry bid a sad farewell to a host of brilliant filmmakers, creatives and screen icons, including: [Burt Reynolds](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/news/burt-reynolds-dies-aged-82/), [Bernardo Bertolucci](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/news/last-tango-paris-director-bernardo-bertolucci-dies-aged-77/), [Johann Johannsson](https://www.empireonline.com/people/johann-johannsson/composer-jhann-jhannsson-dies-aged-48/), [Emma Chambers](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/news/actress-emma-chambers-dies-aged-53/), Isao Takahata, [Verne Troyer](https://www.empireonline.com/people/verne-troyer/austin-powers-actor-verne-troyer-dies-aged-49/), Steve Ditko, [Aretha Franklin](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/news/aretha-franklin-dies-aged-76/), [Gary Kurtz](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/news/star-wars-producer-gary-kurtz-dies-aged-78/), [William Goldman](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/news/screenwriter-william-goldman-dies-aged-87/), [Nicolas Roeg](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/news/director-cinematographer-nicolas-roeg-dies-aged-90/), and Stephen Hillenburg."],"embeds":[{"url":"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-iGw5X78n-g","provider":"youtube"}],"images":[{"id":"5c4561a49e24f0172e3e7983","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5c0e7266fd0c0bc84448c886","fileName":"stan-lee.jpg","name":"stan-lee.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Stan Lee"},{"id":"5c4561a49e24f0172e3e7984","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5c0e7266fd0c0bc84448c886","fileName":"greatest-showman-crop.jpg","name":"greatest-showman-crop.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Hugh Jackman in The Greatest Showman"},{"id":"5c4561a49e24f0172e3e7985","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5c0e7266fd0c0bc84448c886","fileName":"cloverfield-paradox.jpg","name":"cloverfield-paradox.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"The Cloverfield Paradox"},{"id":"5c4561a49e24f0172e3e7986","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5c0e7266fd0c0bc84448c886","fileName":"black-panther-gg.jpg","name":"black-panther-gg.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Black Panther"},{"id":"5c4561a49e24f0172e3e7987","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5c0e7266fd0c0bc84448c886","fileName":"guillermo-del-toro-oscars-2018.jpg","name":"guillermo-del-toro-oscars-2018.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Guillermo del Toro at the Oscars 2018","credits":"Alberto E. 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The snacks are abundant. The mulled wine is free-flowing....","metaTitle":"","metaDescription":"From Elf to Gremlins, stream your festive favourites. Read more at Empire.","sourceText":null,"sourceUrl":null,"_layout":[{"content":"Best Christmas Movies On Netflix UK And Amazon Prime","type":"title"},{"content":"","type":"subtitle"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a39e24f0172e3e797f","altText":"Love Actually","caption":"","credits":"","image":{"fileName":"love-actually.jpg","name":"love-actually.jpg","path":"one/empire-images/features/5c06bdf8fd0c0bc84448923f","width":640,"height":480,"mimeType":"image/jpeg"}},"displayName":"Article Hero","free":true,"name":"hero","type":"heroImage"},{"content":"The fire is on. The snacks are abundant. The mulled wine is free-flowing. You’ve got everything you need to hole up for Christmas and avoid the winter chill – the only thing to throw in now is a bunch of festive flicks to really get the festive spirit flowing. If you’re stuck for a snowy streaming film to warm the cockles of your heart, look no further – here are the best Christmas movies on Netflix UK and on Amazon Prime.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"*Find the [best movies on Netflix here](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/features/best-netflix-movies-uk/), and the [best TV shows on Netflix here](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/features/best-netflix-tv-uk/).*","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Love Actually (2003)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"url":"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fOS-HMiVejo","provider":"youtube"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"embeds"},{"content":"*Netflix UK*","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"It’s a Christmas miracle! Just when you thought [Richard Curtis](https://www.empireonline.com/people/richard-curtis/)’ quasi-festive multi-stranded rom-com wasn’t going to be streaming anywhere in the run up to the big day, Netflix adds it to the catalogue just in time. Are half of the stories a bit weird? Yes! Is a bunch of it sadder than you remember? Yes! But by the time little Jojen Reed does his adorable airport dash in the final reel, you’ll be so caught up in all the emotion that you won’t care.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Lethal Weapon (1987)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"url":"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5IlMS-dQb2s","provider":"youtube"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"embeds"},{"content":"*Amazon Prime*","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"We all know by now that *[Die Hard](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/die-hard/review/)* is definitely a Christmas movie (come on, you know it to be true). But give it up for [Shane Black](https://www.empireonline.com/people/shane-black/), who manages to embed the festive season into most of his otherwise buddy-action blasts – *[Lethal Weapon](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/lethal-weapon/review/)* is basically about the wild, broken Riggs finding someone he can spend the holidays with, with added drug-busting cop heroics in the mix. Plus, it’s funny as hell and thrillingly orchestrated by director [Richard Donner](https://www.empireonline.com/people/richard-donner/).","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## The Christmas Chronicles (2018)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"url":"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YaeDa_Uempk","provider":"youtube"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"embeds"},{"content":"*Netflix UK*","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"Netflix’s biggest festive film this year has one huge thing in its favour – an elevator pitch that would make even the most hardened Grinch or Scrooge consider signing up to the streaming service: *[Kurt Russell](https://www.empireonline.com/people/kurt-russell/) as Santa Claus*. Yes, the man behind MacReady, Snake Plissken, Stuntman Mike and more can now add Father Christmas to his list of iconic roles thanks to this [Chris Columbus](https://www.empireonline.com/people/chris-columbus/)-produced adventure. After two kids accidentally crash Santa’s sleigh, it’s up to the pair of them – and the big man, of course – to get things back on track on the busiest night of the year.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"[Read the *Empire* review.](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/christmas-chronicles/review/)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Elf (2003)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a39e24f0172e3e7980","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5c06bdf8fd0c0bc84448923f","fileName":"elf-main.jpg","name":"elf-main.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":""},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"*Amazon Prime*","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"Arguably the most recent film to really make a dent in the Christmas canon, [Jon Favreau](https://www.empireonline.com/people/jon-favreau/)’s *[Elf](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/elf/)* is a total delight – from [Will Ferrell](https://www.empireonline.com/people/will-ferrell/)’s wild and wide-eyed turn as Buddy the Elf (“…what’s your favourite color?”), to its killer fish-out-of-water gags, all playing over a lightly cynical undercurrent that stops things from ever getting too syrup-on-spaghetti sweet. It’s stuffed with instant classic comic beats (“Santa, here?! I know him!”), has a top-notch supporting cast in [James Caan](https://www.empireonline.com/people/james-caan/), [Zooey Deschanel](https://www.empireonline.com/people/zooey-deschanel/), [Peter Dinklage](https://www.empireonline.com/people/peter-dinklage/) and [Mary Steenburgen](https://www.empireonline.com/people/mary-steenburgen/), and – like the over-sized Buddy himself – only grows in stature as the years go on.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"[Read the *Empire* review.](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/elf/review/)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Arthur Christmas (2011)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"url":"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7tk-WZSqIGQ","provider":"youtube"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"embeds"},{"content":"*Netflix UK*","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"One of Aardman’s best non-stop-motion animations, *[Arthur Christmas](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/arthur-christmas/)* has its own explanation for how St. Nick delivers all those presents in one night – his set up is ultra-high-tech, with a tooled-up spaceship-style sleigh, gadgets galore, and an entire army of elves at his disposal. He’s got an entire family in on the job too – among them the titular Arthur, a clumsy misfit who hasn’t found his role in the family business. When a young girl gets missed by Santa one year, he makes it his mission to deliver her present and keep her believing. A heartfelt Christmas action movie, with added narwhals.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"[Read the *Empire* review.](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/arthur-christmas/review/)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Gremlins (1984)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"url":"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XBEVwaJEgaA","provider":"youtube"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"embeds"},{"content":"*Amazon Prime*","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"Like any family Christmas, *[Gremlins](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/features/gremlins-empire-reunion/)* starts fun and friendly with cute gifts and cosy cheer – and then the bodies start piling up. [Joe Dante](https://www.empireonline.com/people/joe-dante/)’s festive horror-comedy is a wickedly funny creature feature starring [Zach Galligan](https://www.empireonline.com/people/zach-galligan/) as Billy, the recipient of an adorable furry Mogwai for Christmas. The critter comes with three rules (don’t get it wet, keep it away from sunlight, and never feed it after midnight) that are broken more quickly than a cheap stocking filler, leaving the town of Kingston Falls overrun with mischievous monsters. All the charm of Amblin in its prime, with a thrillingly dark mean streak.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"[Read the *Empire* review.](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/gremlins/review/)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## A Very Murray Christmas (2015)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"url":"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJP3db3R014","provider":"youtube"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"embeds"},{"content":"*Netflix UK*","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"Looking for an hour of unabashed, all-out, 100-proof [Bill Murray](https://www.empireonline.com/people/bill-murray/), with jingly bells on? Netflix’s Christmas special is exactly that, reuniting the screen icon with *[Lost In Translation](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/lost-translation/review/)* director [Sofia Coppola](https://www.empireonline.com/people/sofia-coppola/). What follows is 56 minutes of self-reflexive festive fun, as Murray prepares to host a live Christmas broadcast – except, a blizzard comes along, this time not trapping him in a 24-hour cycle, but leaving him guest-less and unable to air the show. Of course, there *are* guests here in their droves – from [George Clooney](https://www.empireonline.com/people/george-clooney/), to [Chris Rock](https://www.empireonline.com/people/chris-rock/), [Amy Poehler](https://www.empireonline.com/people/amy-poehler/) to [Maya Rudolph](https://www.empireonline.com/people/maya-rudolph/), as well as [Michael Cera](https://www.empireonline.com/people/michael-cera/) and [Rashida Jones](https://www.empireonline.com/people/rashida-jones/). Plus there are musical numbers galore, including Murray and Miley Cyrus duetting on ‘Sleigh Ride’. An essential watch for Murray-philes.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## The Holiday (2006)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"url":"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BDi5zH18vxU","provider":"youtube"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"embeds"},{"content":"*Amazon Prime*","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"If you’ve already watched *[Love, Actually]*https://www.empireonline.com/movies/love-actually/review/)*, next in line for a cheesy Christmas rom-com should be *The Holiday*, with its starry central foursome of [Cameron Diaz](https://www.empireonline.com/people/cameron-diaz/), [Kate Winslet](https://www.empireonline.com/people/kate-winslet/), [Jude Law](https://www.empireonline.com/people/jude-law/) and [Jack Black](https://www.empireonline.com/people/jack-black/). The set-up is pure fantasy meet-cute stuff – Diaz and Winslet are recently heartbroken in their respective LA and chocolate-box England homes, so embark on a winter house-swap where they meet intriguing new men – but genre icon [Nancy Meyers](https://www.empireonline.com/people/nancy-meyers/) (who writes, directs, and produces) pulls it all off with wit and panache.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"[Read the *Empire* review.](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/holiday/review/)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Nativity (2009)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"url":"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_lLpFYdKj8","provider":"youtube"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"embeds"},{"content":"*Netflix UK*","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"Some of the *Nativity* sequels are firmly on the cinematic naughty list, but the original has more in its favour – especially if you’re entertaining your own set of elves and need to keep them busy for a while. [Martin Freeman](https://www.empireonline.com/people/martin-freeman/) is put-upon teacher Mr. Maddens, who’s in charge of the annual primary school nativity play – and in a bid to out-do their rival school, he promises that his Hollywood producer ex-girlfriend is coming to see their show. Except, that’s a big ol’ lie, and it’s too late to take it back. Cue kiddy cutesiness, and appearances from the likes of Pam Ferris, Jason Watkins, Clarke Peters, and comedians Ashley Jensen, Ricky Tomlinson, and Alan Carr. Good-hearted fun – but whatever you do, don’t put *[Nativity 3: Dude, Where’s My Donkey?](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/nativity-3-dude-s-donkey/review/)* on by mistake.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"[Read the *Empire* review.](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/nativity/review/)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Rise Of The Guardians (2012)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"url":"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yd71LWhCO4s","provider":"youtube"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"embeds"},{"content":"*Netflix UK*","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"Less a Christmas movie than an every-holiday-in-one movie, *[Rise Of The Guardians](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/rise-guardians/)* pitches the likes of Jack Frost, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, and the Sandman as a superhero team. And yes, Santa is in there too – or ‘North’, as he’s called here, a tattooed, sword-swinging badass voiced by [Alec Baldwin](https://www.empireonline.com/people/alec-baldwin/) with a thick Russian accent. Together the Guardians face off against Jude Law’s villainous Pitch, a dark force that threatens the sweet, innocent dreams of children the world round. Santa with swords – if that’s not Christmas entertainment, we don’t know what is.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"[Read the *Empire* review.](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/rise-guardians/review/)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas (2011)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"url":"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rILHv9oFq38","provider":"youtube"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"embeds"},{"content":"*Amazon Prime*","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"If your ideal Christmas revolves around that whole ‘eat, drink, and be merry’ maxim (and very possibly swapping the ‘drink’ bit for, ahem, *something else*), then *Harold & Kumar* have the festive stoner film for you. The plot, such as it is, revolved around [John Cho](https://www.empireonline.com/people/john-cho/) and [Kal Penn](https://www.empireonline.com/people/kal-penn/)’s pothead duo searching for a Christmas tree – but it’s all just an excuse for all kinds of THC-enhanced antics, from shooting Santa in the face, to getting their you-know-whats stuck to an icy pole. It’s dumb, puerile, and has [Neil Patrick Harris](https://www.empireonline.com/people/neil-patrick-harris/) singing while swinging a candy cane – which, let’s face it, are all endorsements if you’re in the market for this kind of thing.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"[Read the *Empire* review.](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/harold-kumar-3d-christmas/review/)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"url":"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYPK3jPZkYI","provider":"youtube"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"embeds"},{"content":"*Amazon Prime*","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"*[Bridget Jones](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/bridget-jones-diary/)* isn’t explicitly a Christmas movie, but it all kicks off around New Year with that turkey curry buffet scene and ends in a snowy smooch – so, yeah, we’re counting it. With a whip-smart, stupendously sweary script, a swooningly romantic score, and an outstanding leading trio in [Renée Zellweger](https://www.empireonline.com/people/renee-zellweger/), [Hugh Grant](https://www.empireonline.com/people/hugh-grant/) and [Colin Firth](https://www.empireonline.com/people/colin-firth/) (in the jumper that basically kick-started the whole consciously-ugly Christmas knitwear trend), it’s a rom-com classic that works any time of year. But *especially* well with sherry and mince pies.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"[Read the *Empire* review.](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/bridget-jones-diary/review/)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## The Man Who Invented Christmas (2017)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"url":"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nx3ctBjG6yI","provider":"youtube"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"embeds"},{"content":"*Netflix UK*","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"In the pantheon of [Dan Stevens](https://www.empireonline.com/people/dan-stevens/) movies, this one isn’t up there with *[The Guest](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/guest/review/)* – but it is a fun spin on *A Christmas Carol*, effectively telling the origin story of Charles Dickens’ oft-reinvented morality tale. Stevens is a down-on-his-luck Dickens, visited here by Ebenezer Scrooge himself as the character manifests in the writer’s brain. As that implies, this plays fast-and-loose with the truth and is far from a grim-and-gritty biopic, but it’s worth watching for the bickering banter between [Christopher Plummer](https://www.empireonline.com/people/christopher-plummer/)’s Scrooge and his tortured creator.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"[Read the *Empire* review.](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/man-invented-christmas/review/)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## A Bad Moms Christmas (2017)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"url":"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NGewN1G988o","provider":"youtube"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"embeds"},{"content":"*Amazon Prime*","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"Let’s be honest – *[A Bad Moms Christmas](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/bad-moms-christmas/)* isn’t as good as the (surprisingly fun) original *[Bad Moms](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/bad-moms/review/)*. But, the brilliant leading trio of [Mila Kunis](https://www.empireonline.com/people/mila-kunis/), [Kristen Bell](https://www.empireonline.com/people/kristen-bell/) and [Kathryn Hahn](https://www.empireonline.com/people/kathryn-hahn/) all return, this time facing off against their own (bad) moms, meaning [Cheryl Hines](https://www.empireonline.com/people/cheryl-hines/), [Susan Sarandon](https://www.empireonline.com/people/susan-sarandon/), and – best of all – [Christine Baranski](https://www.empireonline.com/people/christine-baranski/) join the cast here. Their inclusion, and a fresh dose of Hahn playing joyously against type as the caustic, raucous Carla, mean there’s some festive cheer to be found in round two. If you have time, pair *Christmas* in a double bill with the first *Bad Moms*, which is on Netflix.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"[Read the *Empire* review.](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/bad-moms-christmas/review/)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"}],"heroImage":[{"id":"5c4561a39e24f0172e3e797f","altText":"Love Actually","caption":"","credits":"","image":{"fileName":"love-actually.jpg","name":"love-actually.jpg","path":"one/empire-images/features/5c06bdf8fd0c0bc84448923f","width":640,"height":480,"mimeType":"image/jpeg"}}],"content":["The fire is on. The snacks are abundant. The mulled wine is free-flowing. You’ve got everything you need to hole up for Christmas and avoid the winter chill – the only thing to throw in now is a bunch of festive flicks to really get the festive spirit flowing. If you’re stuck for a snowy streaming film to warm the cockles of your heart, look no further – here are the best Christmas movies on Netflix UK and on Amazon Prime.","*Find the [best movies on Netflix here](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/features/best-netflix-movies-uk/), and the [best TV shows on Netflix here](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/features/best-netflix-tv-uk/).*","## Love Actually (2003)","*Netflix UK*","It’s a Christmas miracle! Just when you thought [Richard Curtis](https://www.empireonline.com/people/richard-curtis/)’ quasi-festive multi-stranded rom-com wasn’t going to be streaming anywhere in the run up to the big day, Netflix adds it to the catalogue just in time. Are half of the stories a bit weird? Yes! Is a bunch of it sadder than you remember? Yes! But by the time little Jojen Reed does his adorable airport dash in the final reel, you’ll be so caught up in all the emotion that you won’t care.","## Lethal Weapon (1987)","*Amazon Prime*","We all know by now that *[Die Hard](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/die-hard/review/)* is definitely a Christmas movie (come on, you know it to be true). But give it up for [Shane Black](https://www.empireonline.com/people/shane-black/), who manages to embed the festive season into most of his otherwise buddy-action blasts – *[Lethal Weapon](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/lethal-weapon/review/)* is basically about the wild, broken Riggs finding someone he can spend the holidays with, with added drug-busting cop heroics in the mix. Plus, it’s funny as hell and thrillingly orchestrated by director [Richard Donner](https://www.empireonline.com/people/richard-donner/).","## The Christmas Chronicles (2018)","*Netflix UK*","Netflix’s biggest festive film this year has one huge thing in its favour – an elevator pitch that would make even the most hardened Grinch or Scrooge consider signing up to the streaming service: *[Kurt Russell](https://www.empireonline.com/people/kurt-russell/) as Santa Claus*. Yes, the man behind MacReady, Snake Plissken, Stuntman Mike and more can now add Father Christmas to his list of iconic roles thanks to this [Chris Columbus](https://www.empireonline.com/people/chris-columbus/)-produced adventure. After two kids accidentally crash Santa’s sleigh, it’s up to the pair of them – and the big man, of course – to get things back on track on the busiest night of the year.","[Read the *Empire* review.](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/christmas-chronicles/review/)","## Elf (2003)","*Amazon Prime*","Arguably the most recent film to really make a dent in the Christmas canon, [Jon Favreau](https://www.empireonline.com/people/jon-favreau/)’s *[Elf](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/elf/)* is a total delight – from [Will Ferrell](https://www.empireonline.com/people/will-ferrell/)’s wild and wide-eyed turn as Buddy the Elf (“…what’s your favourite color?”), to its killer fish-out-of-water gags, all playing over a lightly cynical undercurrent that stops things from ever getting too syrup-on-spaghetti sweet. It’s stuffed with instant classic comic beats (“Santa, here?! I know him!”), has a top-notch supporting cast in [James Caan](https://www.empireonline.com/people/james-caan/), [Zooey Deschanel](https://www.empireonline.com/people/zooey-deschanel/), [Peter Dinklage](https://www.empireonline.com/people/peter-dinklage/) and [Mary Steenburgen](https://www.empireonline.com/people/mary-steenburgen/), and – like the over-sized Buddy himself – only grows in stature as the years go on.","[Read the *Empire* review.](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/elf/review/)","## Arthur Christmas (2011)","*Netflix UK*","One of Aardman’s best non-stop-motion animations, *[Arthur Christmas](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/arthur-christmas/)* has its own explanation for how St. Nick delivers all those presents in one night – his set up is ultra-high-tech, with a tooled-up spaceship-style sleigh, gadgets galore, and an entire army of elves at his disposal. He’s got an entire family in on the job too – among them the titular Arthur, a clumsy misfit who hasn’t found his role in the family business. When a young girl gets missed by Santa one year, he makes it his mission to deliver her present and keep her believing. A heartfelt Christmas action movie, with added narwhals.","[Read the *Empire* review.](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/arthur-christmas/review/)","## Gremlins (1984)","*Amazon Prime*","Like any family Christmas, *[Gremlins](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/features/gremlins-empire-reunion/)* starts fun and friendly with cute gifts and cosy cheer – and then the bodies start piling up. [Joe Dante](https://www.empireonline.com/people/joe-dante/)’s festive horror-comedy is a wickedly funny creature feature starring [Zach Galligan](https://www.empireonline.com/people/zach-galligan/) as Billy, the recipient of an adorable furry Mogwai for Christmas. The critter comes with three rules (don’t get it wet, keep it away from sunlight, and never feed it after midnight) that are broken more quickly than a cheap stocking filler, leaving the town of Kingston Falls overrun with mischievous monsters. All the charm of Amblin in its prime, with a thrillingly dark mean streak.","[Read the *Empire* review.](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/gremlins/review/)","## A Very Murray Christmas (2015)","*Netflix UK*","Looking for an hour of unabashed, all-out, 100-proof [Bill Murray](https://www.empireonline.com/people/bill-murray/), with jingly bells on? Netflix’s Christmas special is exactly that, reuniting the screen icon with *[Lost In Translation](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/lost-translation/review/)* director [Sofia Coppola](https://www.empireonline.com/people/sofia-coppola/). What follows is 56 minutes of self-reflexive festive fun, as Murray prepares to host a live Christmas broadcast – except, a blizzard comes along, this time not trapping him in a 24-hour cycle, but leaving him guest-less and unable to air the show. Of course, there *are* guests here in their droves – from [George Clooney](https://www.empireonline.com/people/george-clooney/), to [Chris Rock](https://www.empireonline.com/people/chris-rock/), [Amy Poehler](https://www.empireonline.com/people/amy-poehler/) to [Maya Rudolph](https://www.empireonline.com/people/maya-rudolph/), as well as [Michael Cera](https://www.empireonline.com/people/michael-cera/) and [Rashida Jones](https://www.empireonline.com/people/rashida-jones/). Plus there are musical numbers galore, including Murray and Miley Cyrus duetting on ‘Sleigh Ride’. An essential watch for Murray-philes.","## The Holiday (2006)","*Amazon Prime*","If you’ve already watched *[Love, Actually]*https://www.empireonline.com/movies/love-actually/review/)*, next in line for a cheesy Christmas rom-com should be *The Holiday*, with its starry central foursome of [Cameron Diaz](https://www.empireonline.com/people/cameron-diaz/), [Kate Winslet](https://www.empireonline.com/people/kate-winslet/), [Jude Law](https://www.empireonline.com/people/jude-law/) and [Jack Black](https://www.empireonline.com/people/jack-black/). The set-up is pure fantasy meet-cute stuff – Diaz and Winslet are recently heartbroken in their respective LA and chocolate-box England homes, so embark on a winter house-swap where they meet intriguing new men – but genre icon [Nancy Meyers](https://www.empireonline.com/people/nancy-meyers/) (who writes, directs, and produces) pulls it all off with wit and panache.","[Read the *Empire* review.](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/holiday/review/)","## Nativity (2009)","*Netflix UK*","Some of the *Nativity* sequels are firmly on the cinematic naughty list, but the original has more in its favour – especially if you’re entertaining your own set of elves and need to keep them busy for a while. [Martin Freeman](https://www.empireonline.com/people/martin-freeman/) is put-upon teacher Mr. Maddens, who’s in charge of the annual primary school nativity play – and in a bid to out-do their rival school, he promises that his Hollywood producer ex-girlfriend is coming to see their show. Except, that’s a big ol’ lie, and it’s too late to take it back. Cue kiddy cutesiness, and appearances from the likes of Pam Ferris, Jason Watkins, Clarke Peters, and comedians Ashley Jensen, Ricky Tomlinson, and Alan Carr. Good-hearted fun – but whatever you do, don’t put *[Nativity 3: Dude, Where’s My Donkey?](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/nativity-3-dude-s-donkey/review/)* on by mistake.","[Read the *Empire* review.](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/nativity/review/)","## Rise Of The Guardians (2012)","*Netflix UK*","Less a Christmas movie than an every-holiday-in-one movie, *[Rise Of The Guardians](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/rise-guardians/)* pitches the likes of Jack Frost, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, and the Sandman as a superhero team. And yes, Santa is in there too – or ‘North’, as he’s called here, a tattooed, sword-swinging badass voiced by [Alec Baldwin](https://www.empireonline.com/people/alec-baldwin/) with a thick Russian accent. Together the Guardians face off against Jude Law’s villainous Pitch, a dark force that threatens the sweet, innocent dreams of children the world round. Santa with swords – if that’s not Christmas entertainment, we don’t know what is.","[Read the *Empire* review.](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/rise-guardians/review/)","## A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas (2011)","*Amazon Prime*","If your ideal Christmas revolves around that whole ‘eat, drink, and be merry’ maxim (and very possibly swapping the ‘drink’ bit for, ahem, *something else*), then *Harold & Kumar* have the festive stoner film for you. The plot, such as it is, revolved around [John Cho](https://www.empireonline.com/people/john-cho/) and [Kal Penn](https://www.empireonline.com/people/kal-penn/)’s pothead duo searching for a Christmas tree – but it’s all just an excuse for all kinds of THC-enhanced antics, from shooting Santa in the face, to getting their you-know-whats stuck to an icy pole. It’s dumb, puerile, and has [Neil Patrick Harris](https://www.empireonline.com/people/neil-patrick-harris/) singing while swinging a candy cane – which, let’s face it, are all endorsements if you’re in the market for this kind of thing.","[Read the *Empire* review.](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/harold-kumar-3d-christmas/review/)","## Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001)","*Amazon Prime*","*[Bridget Jones](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/bridget-jones-diary/)* isn’t explicitly a Christmas movie, but it all kicks off around New Year with that turkey curry buffet scene and ends in a snowy smooch – so, yeah, we’re counting it. With a whip-smart, stupendously sweary script, a swooningly romantic score, and an outstanding leading trio in [Renée Zellweger](https://www.empireonline.com/people/renee-zellweger/), [Hugh Grant](https://www.empireonline.com/people/hugh-grant/) and [Colin Firth](https://www.empireonline.com/people/colin-firth/) (in the jumper that basically kick-started the whole consciously-ugly Christmas knitwear trend), it’s a rom-com classic that works any time of year. But *especially* well with sherry and mince pies.","[Read the *Empire* review.](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/bridget-jones-diary/review/)","## The Man Who Invented Christmas (2017)","*Netflix UK*","In the pantheon of [Dan Stevens](https://www.empireonline.com/people/dan-stevens/) movies, this one isn’t up there with *[The Guest](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/guest/review/)* – but it is a fun spin on *A Christmas Carol*, effectively telling the origin story of Charles Dickens’ oft-reinvented morality tale. Stevens is a down-on-his-luck Dickens, visited here by Ebenezer Scrooge himself as the character manifests in the writer’s brain. As that implies, this plays fast-and-loose with the truth and is far from a grim-and-gritty biopic, but it’s worth watching for the bickering banter between [Christopher Plummer](https://www.empireonline.com/people/christopher-plummer/)’s Scrooge and his tortured creator.","[Read the *Empire* review.](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/man-invented-christmas/review/)","## A Bad Moms Christmas (2017)","*Amazon Prime*","Let’s be honest – *[A Bad Moms Christmas](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/bad-moms-christmas/)* isn’t as good as the (surprisingly fun) original *[Bad Moms](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/bad-moms/review/)*. But, the brilliant leading trio of [Mila Kunis](https://www.empireonline.com/people/mila-kunis/), [Kristen Bell](https://www.empireonline.com/people/kristen-bell/) and [Kathryn Hahn](https://www.empireonline.com/people/kathryn-hahn/) all return, this time facing off against their own (bad) moms, meaning [Cheryl Hines](https://www.empireonline.com/people/cheryl-hines/), [Susan Sarandon](https://www.empireonline.com/people/susan-sarandon/), and – best of all – [Christine Baranski](https://www.empireonline.com/people/christine-baranski/) join the cast here. Their inclusion, and a fresh dose of Hahn playing joyously against type as the caustic, raucous Carla, mean there’s some festive cheer to be found in round two. If you have time, pair *Christmas* in a double bill with the first *Bad Moms*, which is on Netflix.","[Read the *Empire* review.](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/bad-moms-christmas/review/)"],"embeds":[{"url":"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fOS-HMiVejo","provider":"youtube"},{"url":"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5IlMS-dQb2s","provider":"youtube"},{"url":"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YaeDa_Uempk","provider":"youtube"},{"url":"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7tk-WZSqIGQ","provider":"youtube"},{"url":"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XBEVwaJEgaA","provider":"youtube"},{"url":"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJP3db3R014","provider":"youtube"},{"url":"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BDi5zH18vxU","provider":"youtube"},{"url":"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_lLpFYdKj8","provider":"youtube"},{"url":"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yd71LWhCO4s","provider":"youtube"},{"url":"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rILHv9oFq38","provider":"youtube"},{"url":"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYPK3jPZkYI","provider":"youtube"},{"url":"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nx3ctBjG6yI","provider":"youtube"},{"url":"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NGewN1G988o","provider":"youtube"}],"images":[{"id":"5c4561a39e24f0172e3e7980","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5c06bdf8fd0c0bc84448923f","fileName":"elf-main.jpg","name":"elf-main.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":""}],"imageGalleries":[],"pullQuotes":[],"publicationDate":1543945560000,"author":{"id":"5a0ecfd9d7aa8e33ecab37c3","fullname":"Willow 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James Cameron and Jon Landau made movie history. The director and...","metaTitle":"","metaDescription":"Producer Jon Landau opens his personal picture vault from his years working with James Cameron. See more at Empire.","sourceText":null,"sourceUrl":null,"_layout":[{"content":"James Cameron And Jon Landau – Exclusive Picture Archive","type":"title"},{"content":"","type":"subtitle"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a29e24f0172e3e7975","altText":"Jon Landau and James Cameron","caption":"","credits":"Jon Landau","image":{"fileName":"landau-cameron-main-crop.jpg","name":"landau-cameron-main-crop.jpg","path":"one/empire-images/features/5c0544c2fd0c0bc844488647","width":640,"height":480,"mimeType":"image/jpeg"}},"displayName":"Article Hero","free":true,"name":"hero","type":"heroImage"},{"content":"Together, [James Cameron](https://www.empireonline.com/people/james-cameron/) and [Jon Landau](https://www.empireonline.com/people/jon-landau/) made movie history. The director and producer found themselves first working together on 1994’s *[True Lies](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/true-lies/review/)*, while Landau was executive vice president at 20th Century Fox – and after a fruitful partnership, it was Landau that Cameron approached when he needed a producer for his most ambitious movie yet. Landau said yes – and the pair went on to make *[Titanic](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/titanic-2/review/)* together, a process that involved building a new studio in Baja, and shooting some of the most complex practical and digital effects ever brought to the big screen, with a budget of $200 million. The film went on to become the biggest blockbuster of all time – and if that wasn’t enough, Cameron and Landau did it all over again on *[Avatar](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/avatar/review/)*, pioneering new virtual production processes and 3D technologies to deliver a world-conquering blockbuster behemoth.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"As part of our [Empire 30](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/news/empire-30th-anniversary-special-subscriber-cover-revealed-2/) celebrations (where we’ve named James Cameron one of [the 30 most adventurous filmmakers of our lifetime](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/news/empire-30-adventurous-filmmakers-revealed/)) Landau wrote an exclusive piece for *Empire* about his long-term collaboration with Cameron. Not only that, but he opened up his personal picture vault from their time working together – and we have some bonus images to share with you here.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a29e24f0172e3e7976","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5c0544c2fd0c0bc844488647","fileName":"landau-cameron-1.jpg","name":"landau-cameron-1.jpg","width":"1080","height":"1080","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Jon Landau and James Cameron","credits":"Jon Landau"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"*Cameron, Landau and Arnold Schwarzenegger at the Baja Studios groundbreaking ceremony during prodution of Titanic.*","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a29e24f0172e3e7977","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5c0544c2fd0c0bc844488647","fileName":"landau-cameron-2.jpg","name":"landau-cameron-2.jpg","width":"1080","height":"1080","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Jon Landau and James Cameron","credits":"Jon Landau"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"*Cameron, Landau and Rae Sanchini (Exec Producer) celebrate Titanic’s victory at the Oscars after-party.*","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a29e24f0172e3e7978","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5c0544c2fd0c0bc844488647","fileName":"landau-cameron-g.jpg","name":"landau-cameron-g.jpg","width":"1080","height":"1080","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"James Cameron and Jon Landau","credits":"Jon Landau"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"*Cameron and Landau in Russia to screen Titanic for the crew of research vessel Akademic Mstislav Keldysh.*","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a29e24f0172e3e7979","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5c0544c2fd0c0bc844488647","fileName":"landau-cameron-3.jpg","name":"landau-cameron-3.jpg","width":"1080","height":"1080","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Jon Landau and James Cameron","credits":"Jon Landau"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"*Cameron and Landau visit troops in Bahrain with Avatar stars Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang, and Michelle Rodriguez.*","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a29e24f0172e3e797a","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5c0544c2fd0c0bc844488647","fileName":"landau-cameron-4.jpg","name":"landau-cameron-4.jpg","width":"1080","height":"1080","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Jon Landau and James Cameron","credits":"Jon Landau"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"*Cameron, Landau, and Rodriguez visit troops on the Eisenhower Aircraft Carrier in the Persian Gulf.*","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a29e24f0172e3e797b","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5c0544c2fd0c0bc844488647","fileName":"landau-cameron-6.jpg","name":"landau-cameron-6.jpg","width":"1080","height":"1080","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Jon Landau and James Cameron","credits":"Jon Landau"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"*Cameron and Landau announce the Avatar Cirque Du Soleil show with Daniel Lamarre (Cirque Du Soleil CEO).*","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a29e24f0172e3e797c","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5c0544c2fd0c0bc844488647","fileName":"landau-cameron-7.jpg","name":"landau-cameron-7.jpg","width":"1080","height":"1080","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Jon Landau and James Cameron","credits":"Jon Landau"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"*Cameron and Landau at the opening of Pandora – The World Of Avatar at Disney's Animal Kingdom, with Zoe Saldana, Bob Chapek and Bob Iger.*","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"Read Jon Landau’s full article about working with James Cameron, and see more exclusive images from his personal collection in the January 2019 issue of *Empire*, out now and [available online here](https://www.greatmagazines.co.uk/empire-print-single-issues/eempespi/empire-january-2019?utm_source=dynamic&utm_medium=bws&utm_campaign=empire_singles_jan){:rel=nofollow}.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a29e24f0172e3e797d","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5c0544c2fd0c0bc844488647","fileName":"empire-january-2018-cover.jpg","name":"empire-january-2018-cover.jpg","width":"1080","height":"1080","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Empire – January 2019 cover – Alita Battle Angel"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"Also inside the issue, James Cameron writes an exclusive personal essay about his years as a filmmaker, and he answers questions from *Empire* readers in The People Vs. James Cameron – where he talks about [those long-awaited *Abyss* and *True Lies* Blu-rays](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/news/true-lies-blu-ray-done-end-2018-says-james-cameron/), and the [film he almost shot in space with Tom Cruise](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/news/james-cameron-tom-cruise-almost-shot-film-space-together/). Plus, we look at the 20-year making of *[Alita: Battle Angel](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/alita-battle-angel/)*, Cameron and Landau's latest collaboration. Read a tribute to Cameron by *Empire*'s resident super-fan James Dyer [online here](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/features/james-cameron-empire-tribute/).","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"}],"heroImage":[{"id":"5c4561a29e24f0172e3e7975","altText":"Jon Landau and James Cameron","caption":"","credits":"Jon Landau","image":{"fileName":"landau-cameron-main-crop.jpg","name":"landau-cameron-main-crop.jpg","path":"one/empire-images/features/5c0544c2fd0c0bc844488647","width":640,"height":480,"mimeType":"image/jpeg"}}],"content":["Together, [James Cameron](https://www.empireonline.com/people/james-cameron/) and [Jon Landau](https://www.empireonline.com/people/jon-landau/) made movie history. The director and producer found themselves first working together on 1994’s *[True Lies](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/true-lies/review/)*, while Landau was executive vice president at 20th Century Fox – and after a fruitful partnership, it was Landau that Cameron approached when he needed a producer for his most ambitious movie yet. Landau said yes – and the pair went on to make *[Titanic](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/titanic-2/review/)* together, a process that involved building a new studio in Baja, and shooting some of the most complex practical and digital effects ever brought to the big screen, with a budget of $200 million. The film went on to become the biggest blockbuster of all time – and if that wasn’t enough, Cameron and Landau did it all over again on *[Avatar](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/avatar/review/)*, pioneering new virtual production processes and 3D technologies to deliver a world-conquering blockbuster behemoth.","As part of our [Empire 30](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/news/empire-30th-anniversary-special-subscriber-cover-revealed-2/) celebrations (where we’ve named James Cameron one of [the 30 most adventurous filmmakers of our lifetime](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/news/empire-30-adventurous-filmmakers-revealed/)) Landau wrote an exclusive piece for *Empire* about his long-term collaboration with Cameron. Not only that, but he opened up his personal picture vault from their time working together – and we have some bonus images to share with you here.","*Cameron, Landau and Arnold Schwarzenegger at the Baja Studios groundbreaking ceremony during prodution of Titanic.*","*Cameron, Landau and Rae Sanchini (Exec Producer) celebrate Titanic’s victory at the Oscars after-party.*","*Cameron and Landau in Russia to screen Titanic for the crew of research vessel Akademic Mstislav Keldysh.*","*Cameron and Landau visit troops in Bahrain with Avatar stars Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang, and Michelle Rodriguez.*","*Cameron, Landau, and Rodriguez visit troops on the Eisenhower Aircraft Carrier in the Persian Gulf.*","*Cameron and Landau announce the Avatar Cirque Du Soleil show with Daniel Lamarre (Cirque Du Soleil CEO).*","*Cameron and Landau at the opening of Pandora – The World Of Avatar at Disney's Animal Kingdom, with Zoe Saldana, Bob Chapek and Bob Iger.*","Read Jon Landau’s full article about working with James Cameron, and see more exclusive images from his personal collection in the January 2019 issue of *Empire*, out now and [available online here](https://www.greatmagazines.co.uk/empire-print-single-issues/eempespi/empire-january-2019?utm_source=dynamic&utm_medium=bws&utm_campaign=empire_singles_jan){:rel=nofollow}.","Also inside the issue, James Cameron writes an exclusive personal essay about his years as a filmmaker, and he answers questions from *Empire* readers in The People Vs. James Cameron – where he talks about [those long-awaited *Abyss* and *True Lies* Blu-rays](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/news/true-lies-blu-ray-done-end-2018-says-james-cameron/), and the [film he almost shot in space with Tom Cruise](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/news/james-cameron-tom-cruise-almost-shot-film-space-together/). Plus, we look at the 20-year making of *[Alita: Battle Angel](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/alita-battle-angel/)*, Cameron and Landau's latest collaboration. Read a tribute to Cameron by *Empire*'s resident super-fan James Dyer [online here](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/features/james-cameron-empire-tribute/)."],"embeds":[],"images":[{"id":"5c4561a29e24f0172e3e7976","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5c0544c2fd0c0bc844488647","fileName":"landau-cameron-1.jpg","name":"landau-cameron-1.jpg","width":"1080","height":"1080","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Jon Landau and James Cameron","credits":"Jon Landau"},{"id":"5c4561a29e24f0172e3e7977","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5c0544c2fd0c0bc844488647","fileName":"landau-cameron-2.jpg","name":"landau-cameron-2.jpg","width":"1080","height":"1080","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Jon Landau and James Cameron","credits":"Jon 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Cameron: An Empire Tribute","subtitle":"","furl":"james-cameron-empire-tribute","urlOverride":"james-cameron-empire-tribute","publications":[{"id":"5b5ef0e371fda32230981b74","amp":null,"preview":null,"name":"Empire","urlSlugHide":true,"furl":"empire","stationCode":"","language":"en","hostname":{"id":"59e4c911f9648a12d2ed73f5","primary":"https://stg.empireonline.com"},"composed":{"hostname":"59e4c911f9648a12d2ed73f5"}}],"primarySyndicatePosition":0,"categories":[{"id":"5c44b9b09e24f0172e3b6b95","name":"Features","furl":"features","parent":{"id":"5c44b9b09e24f0172e3b6b8f","name":"Movies","furl":"movies"},"composed":{"parent":"5c44b9b09e24f0172e3b6b8f"}}],"pageTemplate":"feature","published":{"state":"published","scheduledEnd":null,"wasPublished":true},"target":"international","isLegacy":true,"legacy":{"id":"5bfffa8ffd0c0bc844486627","collection":"features","publication":"empire","furl":"james-cameron-empire-tribute","url":"movies/features/james-cameron-empire-tribute/","cms":"http://bantam.empireonline.com/edit.php?c=features.content&_id=5bfffa8ffd0c0bc844486627","urlHistory":[],"createdAt":1543502479054},"toplistFeature":false,"hiddenArticle":false,"excerpt":"In 2019 Empire celebrates our 30th anniversary, showcasing the 30 most...","metaTitle":"","metaDescription":"Empire pays tribute to a true visionary director: the great James Cameron.","sourceText":null,"sourceUrl":null,"_layout":[{"content":"James Cameron: An Empire Tribute","type":"title"},{"content":"","type":"subtitle"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a19e24f0172e3e7971","altText":"James Cameron","caption":"","credits":"","image":{"fileName":"head.jpg","name":"head.jpg","path":"one/empire-images/features/5bfffa8ffd0c0bc844486627","width":640,"height":480,"mimeType":"image/jpeg"}},"displayName":"Article Hero","free":true,"name":"hero","type":"heroImage"},{"content":"*In 2019 *Empire* celebrates our 30th anniversary, showcasing the [30 most adventurous filmmakers](http://www.empireonline.com/movies/news/empire-30-adventurous-filmmakers-revealed/) of our lifetime. Kicking off this incredible line-up in the January issue is the first of our game-changers, one [James Cameron](https://www.empireonline.com/people/james-cameron/). Empire’s Digital Editor-In-Chief and resident Cameron superfan, James Dyer, explains why.*","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"When I interviewed for my first job at Empire back in 2000, the then editor — staring critically back over an expanse of black table — asked me to name the most visionary filmmaker in cinema. “James Cameron,” I said, without a second’s hesitation. Not [Scorsese](https://www.empireonline.com/people/martin-scorsese/)? They asked. Not [Spielberg](https://www.empireonline.com/people/steven-spielberg/) or [Coppola](https://www.empireonline.com/people/francis-ford-coppola/)? [Hitchcock](https://www.empireonline.com/people/alfred-hitchcock/)? [Kubrick](https://www.empireonline.com/people/stanley-kubrick/)? Welles? No. James Cameron. King of the world.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a19e24f0172e3e7972","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5bfffa8ffd0c0bc844486627","fileName":"Avatar.jpg","name":"Avatar.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"With Sigourney Weaver, Sam Wortington and Joel David Moore on Avatar","altText":"With Sigourney Weaver, Sam Worthington and Joel David Moore on Avatar (2009) "},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"Even at face value, this shouldn’t be a controversial statement. After all, this is the man behind the first *and* second most successful movies of all time, the ‘king of the world’ and undisputed box office ruler, whose reign has lasted 21 years and counting. But Cameron’s true worth isn’t found among his box office receipts (which currently run to a cool $6.1 billion), his Oscar collection (*[Titanic](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/titanic-2/review/)* won 11, three of which reside at casa du Cameron), his record-breaking deep sea exploration (11km to the bottom of the Marianas Trench) or the Venezuelan frog that shares his name (*Pristimantis jamescameroni*). What sets Cameron apart from his peers is his frontiersman spirit: an irrepressible urge to push the boundaries of what’s possible and reach beyond his grasp. Limitations be damned. When tangible effects couldn’t match the fruits of his imagination on *[The Abyss](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/abyss/review/)*, he demanded new effects, experimenting with so-called ‘CGI’ in a time when the notion was near science fiction itself. When 3D didn’t measure up to his exacting standards, Cameron developed new technology, fashioning the Fusion camera system that vastly expanded what was possible in stereoscopic filmmaking. When studio execs insisted he was about to make the biggest flop in movie history, he delivered the highest-grossing movie of all time. And, when his dream of Pandora and the Na’vi proved too ambitious for cutting edge effects, Cameron took the state of the digital art to a new level entirely with photorealistic motion capture and entirely virtual film sets that could be visualised in real time.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"All of Cameron's movies are love stories first and foremost.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"pullQuotes"},{"content":"His entire career has been one of going his own way when everyone around him said he couldn’t. Forging ahead despite being told he shouldn’t. The result? Some of the most extraordinary, exhilarating, exciting movies ever seen. From the low-fi, guerrilla shoot that was *[The Terminator](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/terminator/review/)*, to the slicker-than-slick visuals of *[Avatar](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/avatar/review/)*, Cameron is a storyteller who understands the power of spectacle. But, crucially, that visual shock and awe is no substitute for heart. Beneath the high tech exterior, each and every one of Cameron’s films contains a human centre, with relationships, not action, at the heart of their stories. Whether it’s *Titanic* or *[True Lies](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/true-lies/review/)*, *[Aliens](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/aliens/review/)* or *[T2](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/terminator-2-judgment-day/review/)* all of his movies are love stories first and foremost. Boy and girl, husband and wife, mother and surrogate daughter, son and cyborg father: each are built around an emotional core that elevates them far beyond their high concept loglines.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"I had the privilege of spending an hour with Cameron last year to conduct a career interview surrounded by iconic memorabilia including the T-800, a 1:20 scale Titanic and the Alien Queen. My first meeting with Cameron, however, was a little more unorthodox. It happened over dessert in Wellington, New Zealand back in 2007. I’d spent the morning watching him put [Sam Worthington](https://www.empireonline.com/people/sam-worthington/) and [Sigourney Weaver](https://www.empireonline.com/people/sigourney-weaver/) through their paces on *Avatar* set. Having been told that he was very much “In the zone,” and unavailable for interview, the day had been billed as observation only. Efficient, methodical and entirely single-minded, just watching Cameron work was mesmerising for someone who spent his teenage years endlessly quoting *T2*. But it wasn’t until I impertinently positioned myself next to him in the catering tent for lunch, that I discovered ‘Iron Jim’ was far less terrifying than advertised. “This is good cheesecake,” I offered lamely, desperate to exchange words with the man himself. Turning to regard me, an unabashed fanboy in a Weyland Yutani t-shirt, Cameron (not yet a vegan) raised a cake-laden fork and inclined his head in agreement before extending a hand. Over the next 40 minutes we shot the shit, talking unhurriedly about everything from Na’vi underwear (they aren’t placental mammals so technically don’t need breasts) to 3D logistics (he had a special tent for watching rushes in 3D), his [*Battle Angel* passion project](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/alita-battle-angel/) (then still on the cards to direct), and, finally, the unparalleled genius of his third film and my greatest cinematic love: *Aliens*.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a19e24f0172e3e7973","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5bfffa8ffd0c0bc844486627","fileName":"Aliens.jpg","name":"Aliens.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"Directing Michael Biehn and Ricco Ross on the set of Aliens","altText":"Aliens"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"The 1986 follow-up to [Ridley Scott](https://www.empireonline.com/people/ridley-scott/)’s seminal horror is among the greatest sequels ever made. As with *Terminator 2*, it takes everything that’s great about its predecessor, retains every touchstone a viewer could require, and builds that bodywork around a different engine entirely. Transitioning from isolation horror to a platoon movie or from a slasher-stalker to an explosive chase movie, Cameron understood that the key to following on from a classic is to evolve, not try to repeat. It’s this understanding of the cinemagoing mindset that makes the prospect of his *Avatar* sequel quartet so damned enticing. Onscreen or off, Cameron is not a filmmaker who repeats himself. His stories have evolved alongside the toolkit he has developed to create them, pushing boundaries, breaking barriers and driving forward with a singularity of purpose and a clarity of vision. He has expanded the scope of what’s possible, pioneering techniques that shaped the topography of the movie landscape and made the recent work of so many other filmmakers possible.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"It’s been nearly nineteen years since that job interview and I still stand by my answer. Without Cameron, movies as we know them would not exist and I can think of no more deserving filmmaker to kick off Empire’s 30th year, nor to lead the list of 30 incredible directors who have influenced the course of Empire’s lifetime. Long live the king.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"}],"heroImage":[{"id":"5c4561a19e24f0172e3e7971","altText":"James Cameron","caption":"","credits":"","image":{"fileName":"head.jpg","name":"head.jpg","path":"one/empire-images/features/5bfffa8ffd0c0bc844486627","width":640,"height":480,"mimeType":"image/jpeg"}}],"content":["*In 2019 *Empire* celebrates our 30th anniversary, showcasing the [30 most adventurous filmmakers](http://www.empireonline.com/movies/news/empire-30-adventurous-filmmakers-revealed/) of our lifetime. Kicking off this incredible line-up in the January issue is the first of our game-changers, one [James Cameron](https://www.empireonline.com/people/james-cameron/). Empire’s Digital Editor-In-Chief and resident Cameron superfan, James Dyer, explains why.*","When I interviewed for my first job at Empire back in 2000, the then editor — staring critically back over an expanse of black table — asked me to name the most visionary filmmaker in cinema. “James Cameron,” I said, without a second’s hesitation. Not [Scorsese](https://www.empireonline.com/people/martin-scorsese/)? They asked. Not [Spielberg](https://www.empireonline.com/people/steven-spielberg/) or [Coppola](https://www.empireonline.com/people/francis-ford-coppola/)? [Hitchcock](https://www.empireonline.com/people/alfred-hitchcock/)? [Kubrick](https://www.empireonline.com/people/stanley-kubrick/)? Welles? No. James Cameron. King of the world.","Even at face value, this shouldn’t be a controversial statement. After all, this is the man behind the first *and* second most successful movies of all time, the ‘king of the world’ and undisputed box office ruler, whose reign has lasted 21 years and counting. But Cameron’s true worth isn’t found among his box office receipts (which currently run to a cool $6.1 billion), his Oscar collection (*[Titanic](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/titanic-2/review/)* won 11, three of which reside at casa du Cameron), his record-breaking deep sea exploration (11km to the bottom of the Marianas Trench) or the Venezuelan frog that shares his name (*Pristimantis jamescameroni*). What sets Cameron apart from his peers is his frontiersman spirit: an irrepressible urge to push the boundaries of what’s possible and reach beyond his grasp. Limitations be damned. When tangible effects couldn’t match the fruits of his imagination on *[The Abyss](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/abyss/review/)*, he demanded new effects, experimenting with so-called ‘CGI’ in a time when the notion was near science fiction itself. When 3D didn’t measure up to his exacting standards, Cameron developed new technology, fashioning the Fusion camera system that vastly expanded what was possible in stereoscopic filmmaking. When studio execs insisted he was about to make the biggest flop in movie history, he delivered the highest-grossing movie of all time. And, when his dream of Pandora and the Na’vi proved too ambitious for cutting edge effects, Cameron took the state of the digital art to a new level entirely with photorealistic motion capture and entirely virtual film sets that could be visualised in real time.","His entire career has been one of going his own way when everyone around him said he couldn’t. Forging ahead despite being told he shouldn’t. The result? Some of the most extraordinary, exhilarating, exciting movies ever seen. From the low-fi, guerrilla shoot that was *[The Terminator](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/terminator/review/)*, to the slicker-than-slick visuals of *[Avatar](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/avatar/review/)*, Cameron is a storyteller who understands the power of spectacle. But, crucially, that visual shock and awe is no substitute for heart. Beneath the high tech exterior, each and every one of Cameron’s films contains a human centre, with relationships, not action, at the heart of their stories. Whether it’s *Titanic* or *[True Lies](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/true-lies/review/)*, *[Aliens](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/aliens/review/)* or *[T2](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/terminator-2-judgment-day/review/)* all of his movies are love stories first and foremost. Boy and girl, husband and wife, mother and surrogate daughter, son and cyborg father: each are built around an emotional core that elevates them far beyond their high concept loglines.","I had the privilege of spending an hour with Cameron last year to conduct a career interview surrounded by iconic memorabilia including the T-800, a 1:20 scale Titanic and the Alien Queen. My first meeting with Cameron, however, was a little more unorthodox. It happened over dessert in Wellington, New Zealand back in 2007. I’d spent the morning watching him put [Sam Worthington](https://www.empireonline.com/people/sam-worthington/) and [Sigourney Weaver](https://www.empireonline.com/people/sigourney-weaver/) through their paces on *Avatar* set. Having been told that he was very much “In the zone,” and unavailable for interview, the day had been billed as observation only. Efficient, methodical and entirely single-minded, just watching Cameron work was mesmerising for someone who spent his teenage years endlessly quoting *T2*. But it wasn’t until I impertinently positioned myself next to him in the catering tent for lunch, that I discovered ‘Iron Jim’ was far less terrifying than advertised. “This is good cheesecake,” I offered lamely, desperate to exchange words with the man himself. Turning to regard me, an unabashed fanboy in a Weyland Yutani t-shirt, Cameron (not yet a vegan) raised a cake-laden fork and inclined his head in agreement before extending a hand. Over the next 40 minutes we shot the shit, talking unhurriedly about everything from Na’vi underwear (they aren’t placental mammals so technically don’t need breasts) to 3D logistics (he had a special tent for watching rushes in 3D), his [*Battle Angel* passion project](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/alita-battle-angel/) (then still on the cards to direct), and, finally, the unparalleled genius of his third film and my greatest cinematic love: *Aliens*.","The 1986 follow-up to [Ridley Scott](https://www.empireonline.com/people/ridley-scott/)’s seminal horror is among the greatest sequels ever made. As with *Terminator 2*, it takes everything that’s great about its predecessor, retains every touchstone a viewer could require, and builds that bodywork around a different engine entirely. Transitioning from isolation horror to a platoon movie or from a slasher-stalker to an explosive chase movie, Cameron understood that the key to following on from a classic is to evolve, not try to repeat. It’s this understanding of the cinemagoing mindset that makes the prospect of his *Avatar* sequel quartet so damned enticing. Onscreen or off, Cameron is not a filmmaker who repeats himself. His stories have evolved alongside the toolkit he has developed to create them, pushing boundaries, breaking barriers and driving forward with a singularity of purpose and a clarity of vision. He has expanded the scope of what’s possible, pioneering techniques that shaped the topography of the movie landscape and made the recent work of so many other filmmakers possible.","It’s been nearly nineteen years since that job interview and I still stand by my answer. Without Cameron, movies as we know them would not exist and I can think of no more deserving filmmaker to kick off Empire’s 30th year, nor to lead the list of 30 incredible directors who have influenced the course of Empire’s lifetime. Long live the king."],"embeds":[],"images":[{"id":"5c4561a19e24f0172e3e7972","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5bfffa8ffd0c0bc844486627","fileName":"Avatar.jpg","name":"Avatar.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"With Sigourney Weaver, Sam Wortington and Joel David Moore on Avatar","altText":"With Sigourney Weaver, Sam Worthington and Joel David Moore on Avatar (2009) "},{"id":"5c4561a19e24f0172e3e7973","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5bfffa8ffd0c0bc844486627","fileName":"Aliens.jpg","name":"Aliens.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"Directing Michael Biehn and Ricco Ross on the set of Aliens","altText":"Aliens"}],"imageGalleries":[],"pullQuotes":["All of Cameron's movies are love stories first and foremost."],"publicationDate":1543502340000,"author":{"id":"5c44b9d09e24f0172e3b8841","fullname":"James Dyer","furl":"james-dyer"},"people":[{"id":"5c44b9e69e24f0172e3b9a6e","furl":"james-cameron","name":"James Cameron","heroImage":[{"id":"5c44b9e69e24f0172e3b9a67","altText":"James Cameron","caption":"James Cameron","credits":"TMDB","image":{"fileName":"6Zk8h1XsPGKUM8M8cKUHAnmnc8O.jpg","name":"6Zk8h1XsPGKUM8M8cKUHAnmnc8O.jpg","width":1196,"height":1800,"mimeType":"image/jpeg","path":"one/empire-tmdb/people/2710/profiles"}}],"composed":{"heroImage":["5c44b9e69e24f0172e3b9a67"]}}],"apiVersion":"1.0","createdAt":1543502479054,"createdBy":"testClient","v":1,"primaryPublication":{"id":"5b5ef0e371fda32230981b74","preview":null,"name":"Empire","urlSlugHide":true,"furl":"empire","stationCode":"","language":"en","googleAnalyticsId":"","fbiaAudienceNetworkPlacement1":"","hostname":{"id":"59e4c911f9648a12d2ed73f5","primary":"https://stg.empireonline.com"},"composed":{"hostname":"59e4c911f9648a12d2ed73f5"}},"urls":["empire/movies/features/james-cameron-empire-tribute/"],"composed":{"heroImage":["5c4561a19e24f0172e3e7971"],"author":"5c44b9d09e24f0172e3b8841","imageGalleries":[],"publications":["5b5ef0e371fda32230981b74"],"categories":["5c44b9b09e24f0172e3b6b95"],"primaryPublication":"5b5ef0e371fda32230981b74","images":["5c4561a19e24f0172e3e7972","5c4561a19e24f0172e3e7973"],"people":["5c44b9e69e24f0172e3b9a6e"]}},{"id":"5c4561a19e24f0172e3e7970","title":"Assassination Nation: How Sam Levinson Made A Millennial Satire","subtitle":"","furl":"assassination-nation-how-sam-levinson-made-a-millennial-satire","publications":[{"id":"5b5ef0e371fda32230981b74","amp":null,"preview":null,"name":"Empire","urlSlugHide":true,"furl":"empire","stationCode":"","language":"en","hostname":{"id":"59e4c911f9648a12d2ed73f5","primary":"https://stg.empireonline.com"},"composed":{"hostname":"59e4c911f9648a12d2ed73f5"}}],"primarySyndicatePosition":0,"categories":[{"id":"5c44b9b09e24f0172e3b6b95","name":"Features","furl":"features","parent":{"id":"5c44b9b09e24f0172e3b6b8f","name":"Movies","furl":"movies"},"composed":{"parent":"5c44b9b09e24f0172e3b6b8f"}}],"pageTemplate":"feature","published":{"state":"published","scheduledEnd":null,"wasPublished":true},"target":"international","isLegacy":true,"legacy":{"id":"5bf7d9b3fd0c0bc844483439","collection":"features","publication":"empire","furl":"assassination-nation-sam-levinson-made-millennial-satire","url":"movies/features/assassination-nation-sam-levinson-made-millennial-satire/","cms":"http://bantam.empireonline.com/edit.php?c=features.content&_id=5bf7d9b3fd0c0bc844483439","urlHistory":[],"createdAt":1542969779470},"toplistFeature":false,"hiddenArticle":false,"excerpt":"There is no single bad guy in Assassination Nation, a wild new cult film from...","metaTitle":"","metaDescription":"","sourceText":null,"sourceUrl":null,"_layout":[{"content":"Assassination Nation: How Sam Levinson Made A Millennial Satire","type":"title"},{"content":"","type":"subtitle"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a19e24f0172e3e796d","altText":"Assassination Nation","caption":"","credits":"","image":{"fileName":"mfK6pFN4WTU4SM7ypG00ec4cXvq.jpg","name":"mfK6pFN4WTU4SM7ypG00ec4cXvq.jpg","path":"one/empire-images/features/5bf7d9b3fd0c0bc844483439","width":640,"height":480,"mimeType":"image/jpeg"}},"displayName":"Article Hero","free":true,"name":"hero","type":"heroImage"},{"content":"There is no single bad guy in *[Assassination Nation](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/assassination-nation/review/)*, a wild new cult film from director [Sam Levinson](https://www.empireonline.com/people/sam-levinson/). Like Arthur Miller’s classic witch-hunt satire *The Crucible* (from which it takes heavy inspiration), if there is a baddie, it’s righteousness. “I became wary of this idea of righteousness,” says Levinson, “ and how that is the central villain of *The Crucible* and I think the villain in this film in many ways. The fact that people are able to operate with absolute certainty that they are right and therefore their actions are just — that’s a horror film to me.”","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a19e24f0172e3e796e","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5bf7d9b3fd0c0bc844483439","fileName":"assassination-nation-1.jpg","name":"assassination-nation-1.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Assassination Nation"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"When Levinson wrote the screenplay some two years ago, he had no idea the significance that a biting feminist satire-horror would take on in Trump-era America — bringing the Salem witch trials into the social media age and wreaking havoc with touchscreens instead of flaming torches. “It wasn’t a reaction to anything in particular,” says Levinson, reflecting on the events of the last year, “It was in anticipation of where things were headed culturally and socially and as a country.” Starring Odessa Young and Suki Waterhouse, the film sees a group of promiscuous high schoolers blackmailed by a mystery hacker, who then releases the whole town’s online indiscretions — leading to *Purge*-like mayhem.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"My hope is that people walk out of the theatre feeling emotionally destroyed.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"pullQuotes"},{"content":"“It’s impossible for young people to navigate their sexuality through the internet; everything is ultimately crystalised and at any point it can be used as ammunition against you,” says Levinson. “It’s something that is not often dealt with in storytelling — we have a generation of young people who aren’t allowed to make mistakes in any way.” The film does serve as a vamped up interpretation of America with the brakes off — yet there is a sweeter tale of sisterhood at its core, of sticking together no matter how bad things get (and they get really bad). “These are four girls who have known each other for their entire lives, who love each other and would go to war for one another,” says Levinson. “That’s a really tough thing to fake - when we were casting the girls it wasn’t really about finding the individual but how they worked as a family and the camaraderie that they had.”","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a19e24f0172e3e796f","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5bf7d9b3fd0c0bc844483439","fileName":"assassination-nation-2.jpg","name":"assassination-nation-2.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Assassination Nation"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"Levinson intends to shock — the film starts with a witty ‘Trigger Warning’, promising violence, torture and fragile male egos — but he hopes *Assassination Nation* can also be a battle cry in trying times. “My hope is that people walk out of the theatre feeling emotionally destroyed, but also with a sense of hope about how we can move things forward and how we can change the way in which we communicate. Because the world would be a better place for it.”","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"*Assassination Nation is in cinemas now. [Read the Empire review here](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/assassination-nation/review/).*","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"}],"heroImage":[{"id":"5c4561a19e24f0172e3e796d","altText":"Assassination Nation","caption":"","credits":"","image":{"fileName":"mfK6pFN4WTU4SM7ypG00ec4cXvq.jpg","name":"mfK6pFN4WTU4SM7ypG00ec4cXvq.jpg","path":"one/empire-images/features/5bf7d9b3fd0c0bc844483439","width":640,"height":480,"mimeType":"image/jpeg"}}],"content":["There is no single bad guy in *[Assassination Nation](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/assassination-nation/review/)*, a wild new cult film from director [Sam Levinson](https://www.empireonline.com/people/sam-levinson/). Like Arthur Miller’s classic witch-hunt satire *The Crucible* (from which it takes heavy inspiration), if there is a baddie, it’s righteousness. “I became wary of this idea of righteousness,” says Levinson, “ and how that is the central villain of *The Crucible* and I think the villain in this film in many ways. The fact that people are able to operate with absolute certainty that they are right and therefore their actions are just — that’s a horror film to me.”","When Levinson wrote the screenplay some two years ago, he had no idea the significance that a biting feminist satire-horror would take on in Trump-era America — bringing the Salem witch trials into the social media age and wreaking havoc with touchscreens instead of flaming torches. “It wasn’t a reaction to anything in particular,” says Levinson, reflecting on the events of the last year, “It was in anticipation of where things were headed culturally and socially and as a country.” Starring Odessa Young and Suki Waterhouse, the film sees a group of promiscuous high schoolers blackmailed by a mystery hacker, who then releases the whole town’s online indiscretions — leading to *Purge*-like mayhem.","“It’s impossible for young people to navigate their sexuality through the internet; everything is ultimately crystalised and at any point it can be used as ammunition against you,” says Levinson. “It’s something that is not often dealt with in storytelling — we have a generation of young people who aren’t allowed to make mistakes in any way.” The film does serve as a vamped up interpretation of America with the brakes off — yet there is a sweeter tale of sisterhood at its core, of sticking together no matter how bad things get (and they get really bad). “These are four girls who have known each other for their entire lives, who love each other and would go to war for one another,” says Levinson. “That’s a really tough thing to fake - when we were casting the girls it wasn’t really about finding the individual but how they worked as a family and the camaraderie that they had.”","Levinson intends to shock — the film starts with a witty ‘Trigger Warning’, promising violence, torture and fragile male egos — but he hopes *Assassination Nation* can also be a battle cry in trying times. “My hope is that people walk out of the theatre feeling emotionally destroyed, but also with a sense of hope about how we can move things forward and how we can change the way in which we communicate. Because the world would be a better place for it.”","*Assassination Nation is in cinemas now. [Read the Empire review here](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/assassination-nation/review/).*"],"embeds":[],"images":[{"id":"5c4561a19e24f0172e3e796e","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5bf7d9b3fd0c0bc844483439","fileName":"assassination-nation-1.jpg","name":"assassination-nation-1.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Assassination Nation"},{"id":"5c4561a19e24f0172e3e796f","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5bf7d9b3fd0c0bc844483439","fileName":"assassination-nation-2.jpg","name":"assassination-nation-2.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Assassination Nation"}],"imageGalleries":[],"pullQuotes":["My hope is that people walk out of the theatre feeling emotionally destroyed."],"publicationDate":1542969660000,"author":{"id":"5a0ecfd9d7aa8e33ecab37c3","fullname":"Willow Green"},"author_custom":"Beth Webb","people":[{"id":"5c44bad69e24f0172e3c14d4","furl":"sam-levinson","name":"Sam Levinson","composed":{}}],"film":[{"id":"5c44bc419e24f0172e3cc6d2","furl":"assassination-nation","title":"Assassination Nation","website":"","heroImage":[{"id":"5c44bc419e24f0172e3cc6d1","altText":"Assassination Nation","caption":"Assassination Nation","credits":"TMDB","image":{"fileName":"kDlwxlCzJmmJra99LlIwr4o9nbZ.jpg","name":"kDlwxlCzJmmJra99LlIwr4o9nbZ.jpg","width":1280,"height":720,"mimeType":"image/jpeg","path":"one/empire-tmdb/films/446101/images"}}],"composed":{"heroImage":["5c44bc419e24f0172e3cc6d1"]}}],"apiVersion":"1.0","createdAt":1542969779470,"createdBy":"testClient","v":1,"primaryPublication":{"id":"5b5ef0e371fda32230981b74","preview":null,"name":"Empire","urlSlugHide":true,"furl":"empire","stationCode":"","language":"en","googleAnalyticsId":"","fbiaAudienceNetworkPlacement1":"","hostname":{"id":"59e4c911f9648a12d2ed73f5","primary":"https://stg.empireonline.com"},"composed":{"hostname":"59e4c911f9648a12d2ed73f5"}},"urls":["empire/movies/features/assassination-nation-how-sam-levinson-made-a-millennial-satire/"],"composed":{"heroImage":["5c4561a19e24f0172e3e796d"],"author":"5a0ecfd9d7aa8e33ecab37c3","imageGalleries":[],"publications":["5b5ef0e371fda32230981b74"],"categories":["5c44b9b09e24f0172e3b6b95"],"primaryPublication":"5b5ef0e371fda32230981b74","images":["5c4561a19e24f0172e3e796e","5c4561a19e24f0172e3e796f"],"people":["5c44bad69e24f0172e3c14d4"],"film":["5c44bc419e24f0172e3cc6d2"]}},{"id":"5c4561a19e24f0172e3e796c","title":"Empire Christmas Gift Guide 2018","subtitle":"","furl":"empire-christmas-gift-guide-2018","urlOverride":"empire-christmas-gift-guide-2018","publications":[{"id":"5b5ef0e371fda32230981b74","amp":null,"preview":null,"name":"Empire","urlSlugHide":true,"furl":"empire","stationCode":"","language":"en","hostname":{"id":"59e4c911f9648a12d2ed73f5","primary":"https://stg.empireonline.com"},"composed":{"hostname":"59e4c911f9648a12d2ed73f5"}}],"primarySyndicatePosition":0,"categories":[{"id":"5c44b9b09e24f0172e3b6b95","name":"Features","furl":"features","parent":{"id":"5c44b9b09e24f0172e3b6b8f","name":"Movies","furl":"movies"},"composed":{"parent":"5c44b9b09e24f0172e3b6b8f"}}],"pageTemplate":"feature","published":{"state":"published","scheduledEnd":null,"wasPublished":true},"target":"international","isLegacy":true,"legacy":{"id":"5beea146fd0c0bc84447f814","collection":"features","publication":"empire","furl":"empire-christmas-gift-guide-2018","url":"movies/features/empire-christmas-gift-guide-2018/","cms":"http://bantam.empireonline.com/edit.php?c=features.content&_id=5beea146fd0c0bc84447f814","urlHistory":[],"createdAt":1542365510681},"toplistFeature":false,"hiddenArticle":false,"excerpt":"The history of cinema is littered with terrible gifts. The Joni Mitchell CD...","metaTitle":"","metaDescription":"The perfect gifts for film fanatics and movie buffs. Read more at Empire","sourceText":null,"sourceUrl":null,"_layout":[{"content":"Empire Christmas Gift Guide 2018","type":"title"},{"content":"","type":"subtitle"},{"content":{"id":"5c45619f9e24f0172e3e7943","altText":"Christmas Gift Guide 2018","caption":"","credits":"","image":{"fileName":"header.jpg","name":"header.jpg","path":"one/empire-images/features/5beea146fd0c0bc84447f814","width":640,"height":480,"mimeType":"image/jpeg"}},"displayName":"Article Hero","free":true,"name":"hero","type":"heroImage"},{"content":"The history of cinema is littered with terrible gifts. The Joni Mitchell CD that breaks poor [Emma Thompson](https://www.empireonline.com/people/emma-thompson/)’s heart in *[Love, Actually](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/love-actually/review/)*, the havoc-wreaking mogwai-tuned-gremlin in *[Gremlins](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/gremlins/review/)*, [Gwyneth Paltrow](https://www.empireonline.com/people/gwyneth-paltrow/)’s head in a box in *[Seven](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/seven/review/)* – the list goes on. But if you’ve got a movie-loving significant other, family member, friend, enemy, frenemy, you name it, *Empire* has pulled together a handy gift guide so you can be sure to get them the present – film-related or otherwise – that they never knew they so desperately wanted. Happy gift-giving!","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Micro Condor","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a09e24f0172e3e7944","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5beea146fd0c0bc84447f814","fileName":"condor%20x3.jpg","name":"condor%20x3.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":""},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"When Santa arrives at our houses in the early hours of Christmas morning, we’ll all be hoping he turns up on one of these. The latest creation from scooter kings Micro, the Condor may be the single greatest gift to commuters since shoes were invented. Weighing just 10.8kg and boasting a range of 20km, the Condor X3 is a self-propelled, fully electric scooter that can whisk you towards your destination at speeds of up to 25kph. Larger wheels than the average scooter make for a comfier ride, a hand brake bestows for lightning-quick stopping power and the rear light gets points for added safety. It even has cruise control! More compact than a bike, more affordable than a Tesla and more practical than a jetpack, the Condor should be on every weary traveler’s Christmas wishlist.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"[Buy It Now](https://www.micro-scooters.co.uk/micro-condor-adult-electric-scooter.html)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## iPhone XS Max","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a09e24f0172e3e7945","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5beea146fd0c0bc84447f814","fileName":"iphone-xs.jpg","name":"iphone-xs.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Gift Guide 2018"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"The iPhone XS Max is, quite simply, the best phone Apple has ever produced. Yes it boasts Face ID (first introduced on last year’s iPhone X) and a blisteringly fast A12 Bionic chip that will make short work of even the most demanding games, but the XS Max’s crowning achievement is its extraordinary display. A stunning 6.5” OLED screen covers almost every millimetre of the iPhone’s face, putting even the previous Plus models to shame. With gorgeous colour reproduction and HDR, the 2688 x 1242 pixel screen makes this the perfect device for watching movies on the go. Throw in a 12 megapixel camera and the most powerful phone battery Apple has yet produced and this is all the phone you need this year.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"[Buy It Now](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07HKNLDBT/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B07HKNLDBT&linkId=ce4df5ffbd34e1918a19618665ed7c52)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## iPad Pro 12.9”","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a09e24f0172e3e7946","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5beea146fd0c0bc84447f814","fileName":"ipad%20pro.jpeg","name":"ipad%20pro.jpeg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":""},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"There are a great many tablets on the market these days but the iPad is still the king. Apple’s new 2018 iPad Pro represents the most radical shake-up of the device’s design since its launch in 2010, introducing a near bezel-less design and adding Face ID to the iPad range for the first time, the new Pro features a colossal 12.9” screen that brings you as close you’ll come to having a personal, portable HDTV for movies on the move. The Pro is far more than a portable media player, however. Powered by the ludicrously fast A12X Bionic chip, the tablet is an absolute beast and paired with Apple’s newly re-designed wraparound keyboard case and second generation Apple Pencil (which now charges magnetically while attached to the iPad’s edge) it’s one of the most desirable pieces of tech to hit the shelves this Christmas.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"[Buy It Now](https://www.apple.com/uk/shop/buy-ipad/ipad-pro)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Star Wars: Jedi Challenges","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a09e24f0172e3e7947","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5beea146fd0c0bc84447f814","fileName":"jedi-challenges.jpg","name":"jedi-challenges.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Gift Guide 2018"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"Excitement? Adventure? A Jedi craves not these things. However, if *you* fancy a little of both this Christmas, you can’t do much better than Star Wars: Jedi Challenges from Lenovo. A self-contained Augmented Reality experience, it comes with a visor and lightsaber hilt, enabling you to fulfil your wildest Jedi fantasies by duelling Sith Lords in the comfort of your own living room. We defy any of you to have more fun than this on Christmas day without turning to the Dark Side.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"[Buy It Now](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0756PNHP9/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B0756PNHP9&linkId=b733df582663f1c6dd558842b2d73747)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Beats Studio3 Wireless","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a09e24f0172e3e7948","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5beea146fd0c0bc84447f814","fileName":"beats-studio-3.jpg","name":"beats-studio-3.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Beats Studio3 Wireless"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"Whether you’re jetting off on frequent flights or rattling into work on a train every morning, shut out all those distractions with Beats Studio3 Wireless headphones. The Active Noise Cancelling tech and extra-cushioned ear cups are so good that you’ll feel like Ripley cocooned in her cryosleep pod when you slip them on. Using Apple’s smart W1 chip, Beats’ flagship over-ear set is especially good if you’re an iPhone or Mac user, giving a stronger connection and improved power efficiency. Plus, for any last-minute *Home Alone* airport dashes, you can plug them in for 10 minutes and get three hours of battery life in return through the Fast Fuel battery tech. The new Skyline collection is decked out in lovely pastel shades – our pick is the Shadow Grey.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"[Buy It Now](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B075FF2SWZ/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B075FF2SWZ&linkId=e76cd3db006a1474879237e6fe2d3154)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## PlayStation Classic","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a09e24f0172e3e7949","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5beea146fd0c0bc84447f814","fileName":"playstation-classic.jpg","name":"playstation-classic.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Gift Guide 2018"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"4K HDR, virtual reality, seamless online multiplayer… gaming is in a thrillingly futuristic place right now, but can you really beat hiding in a cardboard box and popping out to throttle confused henchmen? Do exactly that in the original *Metal Gear Solid*, also and play *Grand Theft Auto*, *Final Fantasy VII*, *Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee*, *Tekken 3*, and 16 more first-gen PlayStation classics on the adorably tiny, er, PlayStation Classic.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"[Buy It Now](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B071G84NHX/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B071G84NHX&linkId=65677c24057df1a83d5320ada7ddf9ed","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":")","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Hive Active Heating And Smart Lights","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a09e24f0172e3e794a","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5beea146fd0c0bc84447f814","fileName":"hive.jpg","name":"hive.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Gift Guide 2018"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"The gift that keeps on giving – turn your house into a smart home, and you can keep a much closer eye on your energy usage and bills going forward. Plus, throw in the Google Home Hub (see below), and you can use voice commands to bark orders at your appliances, like you’re Tony Stark. Thermostat, lightbulbs, cameras, plugs, motion sensors and more - there's enough here to make even the most ardent Skynet-phobe a smart home convert.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"[Buy It Now](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B075V9HKKT/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B075V9HKKT&linkId=3125c59b390a11d00ac9acb0fe27ecdd)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Google Home Hub","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a09e24f0172e3e794b","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5beea146fd0c0bc84447f814","fileName":"google-home-hub.jpg","name":"google-home-hub.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Gift Guide 2018"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"Want your very own HAL 9000, without the back-stabbing AI conscience? Our pick is Google’s Home Hub – control your smart home gadgets, use it as a personal organiser, ask Google Assistant for info, watch videos, listen to music and much more. It doesn’t have a camera, so you won’t feel like you’re being watched, it doubles as a super slick digital photo frame and once you have it installed there's every chance you'll wonder how you ever lived without it. If you've never been sold on the idea of a digital assistant, the Home Hub might just be the device to change your mind. Next stop: buy some pod bay doors.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"[Buy It Now](https://store.google.com/product/google_home_hub)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Roku Express","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a09e24f0172e3e794c","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5beea146fd0c0bc84447f814","fileName":"Roku.jpg","name":"Roku.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Roku"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"Streaming sticks are a dime a dozen these days but for less than £30 you really can’t go wrong with the Roku Express. Simple to set up, the Roku will immediately connect you with Netflix, Amazon Video or whatever other streaming platform you subscribe to, turning even the most luddite gogglebox into an instant smart TV.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"[Buy It Now](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B076F7D71R/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B076F7D71R&linkId=802d942fe69e18e9d4df234810703d86)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Turtle Beach Elite Pro 2 Headphones","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a09e24f0172e3e794d","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5beea146fd0c0bc84447f814","fileName":"Turtle%20Beach.jpg","name":"Turtle%20Beach.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":""},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"While you’re playing *Red Dead*, a brand new pair of gaming cans will mean you can hear the birds tweeting in the trees, the adorable whinny of your beloved steed, and the horrifying screams of your fallen enemies with immersive, crystal-clear perfection. If it's gaming fidelity an immersive virtual surround sound you want, you can't do much better than these.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"[Buy It Now](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07G5ZQKGC/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B07G5ZQKGC&linkId=8bebae549501e36e1aeb1b4889ce79cf)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Oculus Go","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a09e24f0172e3e794e","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5beea146fd0c0bc84447f814","fileName":"oculus-go.jpg","name":"oculus-go.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Gift Guide 2018"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"While *Ready Player One* showed us all what virtual reality might eventually end up like earlier this year, it’s pretty clear the OASIS is still a few decades off yet. Still, channel your inner Wade Watts with this VR headset that ditches clunky wires and has its own in-built screen – no compatible smartphone needed. Banging ‘80s tunes: optional.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"[Buy It Now](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07D7HPSFC/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B07D7HPSFC&linkId=e0505b548bea21c6bf4fbc712dbe2a1f","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":")","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Nokia 7.1","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a09e24f0172e3e794f","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5beea146fd0c0bc84447f814","fileName":"Nokia.jpg","name":"Nokia.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Nokia 7.1"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"If you’re an Android die-hard looking for a handset that packs in all the must-have features without an eye-watering price tag, the Nokia 7.1 has a dual lens rear-facing camera, huge 3,060 mAh battery with fast-charge, and a vibrant six-inch screen ideal for bingeing Netflix on your commute.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"[Buy It Now](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07K1XXX5W/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B07K1XXX5W&linkId=7450f8bd0a1f51a42664bbc01bf29992)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Toys & Gaming","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Thrustmaster T.Flight Hotas One Joystick","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a09e24f0172e3e7950","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5beea146fd0c0bc84447f814","fileName":"joystickhotasone.png","name":"joystickhotasone.png","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/png"},"caption":"","altText":"Thrustmaster Hotas One"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"If you’re going to get the most out of *Elite Dangerous*, *Ace Combat 7*, or other flight games, a joystick is the way to go. Thrustmaster’s Xbox One-compatible T.Flight Hotas One has five axes and a rapid-fire trigger for mid-air sharp-shooting, and is suitable for all types of flight sim.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"[Buy It Now](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07643TW2V/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B07643TW2V&linkId=e43fa427ff2555f9f9c7f2521f5b2472","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":")","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Wrecking Ralph","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a09e24f0172e3e7951","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5beea146fd0c0bc84447f814","fileName":"wrecking%20ralph.jpg","name":"wrecking%20ralph.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":""},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"“I’m gonna wreck it!” In advance of his appearance in Disney’s upcoming *Ralph Breaks The Internet*, Wreck It Ralph arrives in 9” toy form with added one-liners from the new movie. The best part? Wrecking Ralph lives up to his name and will wreck all your stuff with his authentic thrashing arm motion. In the best way possible, naturally.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"[Buy It Now](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07F249PHL/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B07F249PHL&linkId=55a90d26cbf7ed4924586fa8caaa05f8)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## LEGO Porg","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a09e24f0172e3e7952","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5beea146fd0c0bc84447f814","fileName":"Porg.jpg","name":"Porg.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Lego Porg"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"Just when you thought you had every Porg product going, LEGO has released a buildable version of *The Last Jedi*’s cutest newbie. The 20cm tall model has dropping-jaw and flapping-wing actions, and best of all comes with a Porg minifigure too. Even Chewie would be into it.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"[Buy It Now](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07B36ZQRB/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B07B36ZQRB&linkId=75a2ff728650679b3aa6d0882c3892a6)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## LEGO Harry Potter – Hogwarts Great Hall","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a09e24f0172e3e7953","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5beea146fd0c0bc84447f814","fileName":"Hogwarts.jpg","name":"Hogwarts.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Hogwarts"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"The massive new Hogwarts Castle set is pure LEGO magic, but you’ll need plenty of Galleons and an entire Room of Requirement to house it. This more manageable Great Hall kit means you still get the school’s central hub, a bunch of must-have minifigures – Harry, Ron, Hermione, Malfoy, Dumbledore, McGonagall, erm… Susan Bones? – a buildable Basilisk, and plenty more detailed extras. Accio, bricks.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"[Buy It Now](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0792RDN2V/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B0792RDN2V&linkId=76c25c55d222ae37fef638a9dc6f6cf6","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":")","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Gloomhaven","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a09e24f0172e3e7954","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5beea146fd0c0bc84447f814","fileName":"Gloomhaven.jpg","name":"Gloomhaven.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Gloomhaven"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"Once the turkey is out of the way, clear your tabletop to make way for the sheer bulk of Gloomhaven – a massive fantasy game with a whole stack of play modes and adventure scenarios to keep even the most card-carrying analogue gamers busy for months. If a boardgame called ‘Gloomhaven’ sounds appealing to you, you’ll love it. Just don’t try and learn its many, many rules after hitting the sherry.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"[Buy It Now](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01LZXVN4P/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B01LZXVN4P&linkId=7898ce33cc52b158ec763a0035f9becc)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Nintendo Switch – Pokémon Let’s Go Limited Edition","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a09e24f0172e3e7955","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5beea146fd0c0bc84447f814","fileName":"pokemon-lets-go.jpg","name":"pokemon-lets-go.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Nintendo Switch – Pokemon Let's Go Pikachu"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"For budding Pokémon trainers who are yet to pick up a Nintendo Switch, now’s an ideal time to pick up the portable console and be the very best, like no-one ever was. To catch them is your real test, to train them is your cause in *Pokémon Let’s Go*, which recreates the RPG series’ original Kanto region in an all-new vision that’ll be hugely satisfying for long-time fans, and vibrant and x for new players. There’s a limited edition Switch console to celebrate the game, featuring Eevee and Pikachu on the dock as well as specially-coloured Joy-Cons – and you get the Pokéball Plus controller bundled in there too. Go and catch ‘em all.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"[Buy It Now](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07HB3HLS5/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B07HB3HLS5&linkId=2b82cfc070f7f54811cd10b4620f0cb7)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Marvel’s Spider-Man (PS4)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a09e24f0172e3e7956","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5beea146fd0c0bc84447f814","fileName":"Spider-Man.jpg","name":"Spider-Man.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Spider-Man"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"Donning your own spandex and fighting criminals in real life is bound to end up like the opening act of *Kick-Ass*. Just, don’t. Get *Marvel’s Spider-Man* on PS4 instead, offering all the thrills of web-slinging through New York and beating people up with none of the life-threatening danger.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"[Buy It Now](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01GVS0R4I/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B01GVS0R4I&linkId=3b079634efd44bb916904abc24f552db)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Red Dead Redemption 2","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a09e24f0172e3e7957","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5beea146fd0c0bc84447f814","fileName":"Red%20Dead.jpg","name":"Red%20Dead.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":""},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"Christmas is a time for family and spending time with loved ones. Or it would be, if Rockstar Games hadn’t just released a Wild West masterpiece so engrossing, so addictive, and so stupendously-detailed that you’ll want to spend your holidays alone in a darkened room traversing the Old West, getting your digital beard shaved, and falling off horses instead.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"[Buy It Now](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01M65RD19/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B01M65RD19&linkId=199fa46830a4a2dd07164b22e270dc67)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Accessories","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## RiutBag R15.3","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a09e24f0172e3e7958","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5beea146fd0c0bc84447f814","fileName":"riutbag.jpg","name":"riutbag.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Gift Guide 2018"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"There’s no use having a bag full of gadgets if some ne’er-do-well on the tube sidles up and snatches it from under your nose. Which is where the Riutbag comes in. Cunningly designed to keep all your devices from being accessible to thieves, the bag has an opening that’s only accessible when you take it off, folding out into a capacious (and pleasantly lemon coloured) interior.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"[Buy It Now](https://www.riut.co.uk/products/anti-theft-laptop-backpack-riutbag-r15-3)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Gaming T-Shirts","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a09e24f0172e3e7959","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5beea146fd0c0bc84447f814","fileName":"coin.jpg","name":"coin.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Insert Coin"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"It may take all of Christmas Day to tear them away from *Fortnite* for more than five minutes but that doesn’t mean you don’t need to buy something special for the gamer in your life. For an assortment of video game-related apparel, look no further than these offerings from Insert Coin, featuring livery from the likes of *The Last Of Us*, *Mass Effect*, *Shadow Of The Colossus* and, well, a shedload of other games.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"[Buy It Now](https://www.insertcoinclothing.com/)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Marvel Hoodies","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a09e24f0172e3e795a","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5beea146fd0c0bc84447f814","fileName":"hoodies.jpg","name":"hoodies.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Hoodies"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"The hoodie has long been among the most versatile of garments. Too hot? Unzip it. Getting wet? Pull up the hood. In fact, the only thing more practical than an all-purpose hoodie is one that lets you pretend you’re Spider-Man. Or Venom. Or The Punisher. You’ll find an assorment of Marvel-themed hoodies on [Merchoid](www.merchoid.com), not to mention *Star Wars* ones, gaming ones, and many more.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"[Buy It Now](https://www.merchoid.com/product/spider-man-iron-spider-premium-hoodie/)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Infinity Gauntlet Mug","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a09e24f0172e3e795b","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5beea146fd0c0bc84447f814","fileName":"infinity-gauntlet.jpg","name":"infinity-gauntlet.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Infinity Gauntlet Mug"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"Thanos – SPOILER WARNING – used it to wipe out half of the universe. You can use it to hold a variety of hot beverages. Master the reality stone, and you might even be able to materialise a cup of tea with a snap of your fingers.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"[Buy It Now](https://www.firebox.com/Infinity-Gauntlet-Mug/p8860)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Girls On Tops T-Shirts","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a09e24f0172e3e795c","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5beea146fd0c0bc84447f814","fileName":"girls-on-tops.jpg","name":"girls-on-tops.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Gift Guide 2018"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"Whether you’re gaga for Greta Gerwig, big on Kathryn Bigelow, or full of admiration for Mia Hansen-Løve, Girls On Tops’ minimalist tees are the perfect way to celebrate cinema’s greatest female voices.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"[Buy It Now](https://www.etsy.com/shop/GirlsOnTops)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Numskull Geeky Christmas Jumpers","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a09e24f0172e3e795d","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5beea146fd0c0bc84447f814","fileName":"geeky-jumpers.jpg","name":"geeky-jumpers.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Gift Guide 2018"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"Nobody does geek-chic knitwear quite like Numskull – and this year’s range is better than ever. Our pick: the X-Wing-centric Star Wars jumper depicting the Rebels’ daring attack in the Battle of Yavin, and – finally – the Harry Potter jumpers we’ve all been waiting for. Magic.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"[Buy It Now](http://www.numskull.com/jumpers/)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Books","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## An Empire Subscription","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a09e24f0172e3e795e","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5beea146fd0c0bc84447f814","fileName":"empire-nov-subs.jpg","name":"empire-nov-subs.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Empire Subscribers Cover"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"The ultimate gift for that special someone: each month’s issue of *Empire* delivered straight to their door, with beautiful exclusive subscriber covers. Just [take a look](http://www.empireonline.com/movies/news/empire-greatest-star-wars-character-subscriber-cover-revealed/) at some of this year’s [spectacular designs](http://www.empireonline.com/movies/news/empire-avengers-infinity-war-subscriber-cover-revealed/).","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"[Buy It Now](https://www.greatmagazines.co.uk/empire-magazine){:rel=nofollow}","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Beautiful Books","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a09e24f0172e3e795f","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5beea146fd0c0bc84447f814","fileName":"his%20dark%20materials%20%281%29.jpg","name":"his%20dark%20materials%20%281%29.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":""},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"What better gift to give someone than many many leather-bound books (apart from an apartment that smells of rich mahogany)? If snazzy hardbacks are your jam then you can’t do any better than the stunning editions put together by The Folio Society. There’s a wealth of titles on offer but we’d urge you to take an especially close look at the beautiful *His Dark Materials* box set and this set from sci-fi maestro Philip K. Dick including *The Man In The High Castle*, *A Scanner Darkly* and *Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?*","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"[Buy It Now](https://www.foliosociety.com/uk/his-dark-materials.html)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Die Hard: The Ultimate Visual History","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a09e24f0172e3e7960","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5beea146fd0c0bc84447f814","fileName":"die%20hard%20history.jpg","name":"die%20hard%20history.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":""},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"“Ladies and gentlemen, ladies and gentlemen. Due to the Nakatomi corporation’s legacy of greed around the globe, they are about to be taught a lesson in the real use of power. You will be witnesses.” And what better way to witness the Greatest Action Film Of All TimeTM than with the Ultimate Visual History, containing interviews, behind the scenes photographs and exclusive images from the film? Happy Trails, Hans.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"[Buy It Now](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1789090512/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=1789090512&linkId=109facdb6a52e968f15587de7864a349)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Inside Black Mirror: The Illustrated Oral History","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a09e24f0172e3e7961","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5beea146fd0c0bc84447f814","fileName":"Black%20Mirror.jpg","name":"Black%20Mirror.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":""},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"Modern technology is a nightmare-portal just waiting to destroy your hopes, dreams, past and future, according to Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones’ anthology. The pair have gone back to good ol’ ink and paper to break every episode down in fascinating detail.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"[Buy It Now](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1529102588/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=1529102588&linkId=1d04968f91953295dd96cbed27cb382c)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## James Cameron’s Story Of Science Fiction","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a09e24f0172e3e7962","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5beea146fd0c0bc84447f814","fileName":"Cameron.jpg","name":"Cameron.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Cameron"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"In the world of cinema, James Cameron is a titan. In the world of sci-fi, he’s a god. In this slick hardback book the man himself goes head-to-head with the likes of Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Christopher Nolan, Guillermo Del Toro, Ridley Scott and Arnold Schwarzenegger in a series of fascinating interviews packed with juicy details.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"[Buy It Now](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1683834976/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=1683834976&linkId=862dbcc8a8953d0ad1149f34eb48979c)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## The Illustrated World Of Mortal Engines","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a09e24f0172e3e7963","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5beea146fd0c0bc84447f814","fileName":"mortal.jpg","name":"mortal.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Mortal Engines"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"Peter Jackson is a master cinematic world-builder, and he looks set to do it all again – now on wheels! – as the producer of *Mortal Engines*. Immerse yourself in the steampunk-styled world of Philip Reeve’s novels in this hardback tome filled with beautiful concept art.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"[Buy It Now](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1407186787/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=1407186787&linkId=c1e1e807370020da308de196f5ecfcef)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Box Sets & Soundtracks","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## A Star Is Born – 12” Vinyl Soundtrack","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a09e24f0172e3e7964","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5beea146fd0c0bc84447f814","fileName":"Star%20Is%20Born.jpg","name":"Star%20Is%20Born.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":""},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"If you’ve seen *A Star Is Born*, you’ve likely spent most days since humming the Cooper-Gaga soundtrack – and this double vinyl LP is in keeping with the film’s new-meets-old-school vibe. Maybe skip Side D to avoid unwanted weeping.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"[Buy It Now](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07G1VZ21M/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B07G1VZ21M&linkId=a43c85ad454ca1d9f86a0cb113c2d2e6)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## My Neighbour Totoro – 30th Anniversary Collector’s Edition","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a09e24f0172e3e7965","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5beea146fd0c0bc84447f814","fileName":"Totoro.jpg","name":"Totoro.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"My Neighbour Totoro"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"For the Studio Ghibli completist, this box set celebrating Miyazaki’s adorable ode to childhood includes a bunch of exclusive swag: art prints, a tote bag, a poster, stickers, notebook, as well as the double play Blu-ray / DVD, and the Art Of My Neighbour Totoro book, all presented in deluxe packaging. It’s limited to 1000 numbered copies, so a must-have for collectors.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"[Buy It Now](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07JD93678/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B07JD93678&linkId=81901aaf552b213277be5071047b2638)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Christopher Nolan Collection – 4K Ultra HD Blu-Ray Box Set","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a09e24f0172e3e7966","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5beea146fd0c0bc84447f814","fileName":"nolan-4k.jpg","name":"nolan-4k.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Christopher NOlan 4K"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"For the meatiest Christmas binge-watch around, this dazzling 4K Ultra HD set of some of Nolan’s very best movies will give your little grey cells plenty to stew on. The set includes the complete Dark Knight trilogy, as well as a smattering of his other greats – the time-ticking war-survival movie *Dunkirk*, dream-diving action-heist-thriller *Inception*, wormhole-hopping space epic *Interstellar*, and the utterly brilliant warring-magicians drama *The Prestige*. Worth it to watch David Bowie playing Nikola Tesla in 4K alone.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"[Buy It Now](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07H7VYDF7/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B07H7VYDF7&linkId=265eb26578487f46b4adc4d8b4b69138)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Harry Potter 8-Film Collection – 4K Ultra HD Blu-Ray Box Set","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a09e24f0172e3e7967","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5beea146fd0c0bc84447f814","fileName":"potter-4k.jpg","name":"potter-4k.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Harry Potter 4K"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"Even if you already own the Harry Potter films in some format, are you *really* experiencing all the magic if you’re not watching the adventures of the Boy Who Lived in 4K HDR? This Ultra HD set gives the films an *Oculus Upgradeo!*, bringing stunning new clarity to all those wizarding duels, magical creatures and that gorgeous production design. And hey, with all that cosy knitwear and those lovely shots of Hogwarts in the snow, they’re basically Christmas films.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"[Buy It Now](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07GTDL24D/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B07GTDL24D&linkId=9c8bcab1237d95aaf1349b5f535618c8)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## The Handmaid’s Tale – Season 2","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a09e24f0172e3e7968","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5beea146fd0c0bc84447f814","fileName":"handmaids-tale-s2.jpg","name":"handmaids-tale-s2.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Handmaid's Tale Season 2"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"If your Christmas could do with a little *less* cheer, there are few more gripping ways to dampen the mood than with the second run of *The Handmaid’s Tale*. After the first series left things on the same cliffhanger as Margaret Atwood’s book, Season 2 confirms what you long thought: there are many more bleak and brutal times ahead for Offred and the Handmaids. Relentless as it all is, it’s still endlessly watchable – and Elisabeth Moss remains staggering in the lead role. Maybe line up something lighthearted to watch afterwards, though.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"[Buy It Now](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07G9VBK36/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B07G9VBK36&linkId=172249f07dc6140cb3e827394947b4b6)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## John Carpenter 4K Restorations – Ultra HD Blu-ray Box Sets","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a09e24f0172e3e7969","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5beea146fd0c0bc84447f814","fileName":"They%20Live.jpg","name":"They%20Live.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":""},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"For too long, some of John Carpenter’s greatest cult b-movies have been hard to find, even in standard-res versions. Not any more: *The Fog*, *Prince Of Darkness*, *Escape From New York*, and *They Live* have received scrubbed-up 4K restorations, available in beautifully-presented sets with posters, art cards, films books, and more. Plump for the standard Blu-ray if you’re not geared up for 4K Ultra HD.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"[Buy It Now](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07H54NY5L/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B07H54NY5L&linkId=6a4bb39273e01da360ebb90d14f3435a)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Batman: The Animated Series","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a09e24f0172e3e796a","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5beea146fd0c0bc84447f814","fileName":"Batman.jpg","name":"Batman.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Batman"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"The early ‘90s Batman cartoon remains one of the Dark Knight’s most celebrated incarnations – and a newly-remastered Blu-ray set collects all 109 episodes, plus *Mask Of The Phantasm* and its sequel *Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero*, looking better than ever. Perfect for Bat-fans old and new.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"[Buy It Now](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07G4CKGXK/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B07G4CKGXK&linkId=229e1532dbbd5e3609bffe9ff84c7308)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## The X-Files – Seasons 1-11, 25th Anniversary Blu-ray Box Set","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561a09e24f0172e3e796b","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5beea146fd0c0bc84447f814","fileName":"X-Files.jpg","name":"X-Files.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"The X-Files"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"For 25 years, we’ve wanted to believe that the truth is out there – and it’s somewhere to be found in this complete box set containing all 218 *X-Files* episodes, right up to the brand new Season 11. Optional: gift this alongside a giant noticeboard, pins, string and industrial volumes of caffeine for budding conspiracy theorists.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"[Buy It Now](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07FYL7BVK/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B07FYL7BVK&linkId=c7875b278469594009203b9e545e6c01)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"}],"heroImage":[{"id":"5c45619f9e24f0172e3e7943","altText":"Christmas Gift Guide 2018","caption":"","credits":"","image":{"fileName":"header.jpg","name":"header.jpg","path":"one/empire-images/features/5beea146fd0c0bc84447f814","width":640,"height":480,"mimeType":"image/jpeg"}}],"content":["The history of cinema is littered with terrible gifts. The Joni Mitchell CD that breaks poor [Emma Thompson](https://www.empireonline.com/people/emma-thompson/)’s heart in *[Love, Actually](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/love-actually/review/)*, the havoc-wreaking mogwai-tuned-gremlin in *[Gremlins](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/gremlins/review/)*, [Gwyneth Paltrow](https://www.empireonline.com/people/gwyneth-paltrow/)’s head in a box in *[Seven](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/seven/review/)* – the list goes on. But if you’ve got a movie-loving significant other, family member, friend, enemy, frenemy, you name it, *Empire* has pulled together a handy gift guide so you can be sure to get them the present – film-related or otherwise – that they never knew they so desperately wanted. Happy gift-giving!","## Micro Condor","When Santa arrives at our houses in the early hours of Christmas morning, we’ll all be hoping he turns up on one of these. The latest creation from scooter kings Micro, the Condor may be the single greatest gift to commuters since shoes were invented. Weighing just 10.8kg and boasting a range of 20km, the Condor X3 is a self-propelled, fully electric scooter that can whisk you towards your destination at speeds of up to 25kph. Larger wheels than the average scooter make for a comfier ride, a hand brake bestows for lightning-quick stopping power and the rear light gets points for added safety. It even has cruise control! More compact than a bike, more affordable than a Tesla and more practical than a jetpack, the Condor should be on every weary traveler’s Christmas wishlist.","[Buy It Now](https://www.micro-scooters.co.uk/micro-condor-adult-electric-scooter.html)","## iPhone XS Max","The iPhone XS Max is, quite simply, the best phone Apple has ever produced. Yes it boasts Face ID (first introduced on last year’s iPhone X) and a blisteringly fast A12 Bionic chip that will make short work of even the most demanding games, but the XS Max’s crowning achievement is its extraordinary display. A stunning 6.5” OLED screen covers almost every millimetre of the iPhone’s face, putting even the previous Plus models to shame. With gorgeous colour reproduction and HDR, the 2688 x 1242 pixel screen makes this the perfect device for watching movies on the go. Throw in a 12 megapixel camera and the most powerful phone battery Apple has yet produced and this is all the phone you need this year.","[Buy It Now](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07HKNLDBT/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B07HKNLDBT&linkId=ce4df5ffbd34e1918a19618665ed7c52)","## iPad Pro 12.9”","There are a great many tablets on the market these days but the iPad is still the king. Apple’s new 2018 iPad Pro represents the most radical shake-up of the device’s design since its launch in 2010, introducing a near bezel-less design and adding Face ID to the iPad range for the first time, the new Pro features a colossal 12.9” screen that brings you as close you’ll come to having a personal, portable HDTV for movies on the move. The Pro is far more than a portable media player, however. Powered by the ludicrously fast A12X Bionic chip, the tablet is an absolute beast and paired with Apple’s newly re-designed wraparound keyboard case and second generation Apple Pencil (which now charges magnetically while attached to the iPad’s edge) it’s one of the most desirable pieces of tech to hit the shelves this Christmas.","[Buy It Now](https://www.apple.com/uk/shop/buy-ipad/ipad-pro)","## Star Wars: Jedi Challenges","Excitement? Adventure? A Jedi craves not these things. However, if *you* fancy a little of both this Christmas, you can’t do much better than Star Wars: Jedi Challenges from Lenovo. A self-contained Augmented Reality experience, it comes with a visor and lightsaber hilt, enabling you to fulfil your wildest Jedi fantasies by duelling Sith Lords in the comfort of your own living room. We defy any of you to have more fun than this on Christmas day without turning to the Dark Side.","[Buy It Now](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0756PNHP9/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B0756PNHP9&linkId=b733df582663f1c6dd558842b2d73747)","## Beats Studio3 Wireless","Whether you’re jetting off on frequent flights or rattling into work on a train every morning, shut out all those distractions with Beats Studio3 Wireless headphones. The Active Noise Cancelling tech and extra-cushioned ear cups are so good that you’ll feel like Ripley cocooned in her cryosleep pod when you slip them on. Using Apple’s smart W1 chip, Beats’ flagship over-ear set is especially good if you’re an iPhone or Mac user, giving a stronger connection and improved power efficiency. Plus, for any last-minute *Home Alone* airport dashes, you can plug them in for 10 minutes and get three hours of battery life in return through the Fast Fuel battery tech. The new Skyline collection is decked out in lovely pastel shades – our pick is the Shadow Grey.","[Buy It Now](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B075FF2SWZ/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B075FF2SWZ&linkId=e76cd3db006a1474879237e6fe2d3154)","## PlayStation Classic","4K HDR, virtual reality, seamless online multiplayer… gaming is in a thrillingly futuristic place right now, but can you really beat hiding in a cardboard box and popping out to throttle confused henchmen? Do exactly that in the original *Metal Gear Solid*, also and play *Grand Theft Auto*, *Final Fantasy VII*, *Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee*, *Tekken 3*, and 16 more first-gen PlayStation classics on the adorably tiny, er, PlayStation Classic.","[Buy It Now](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B071G84NHX/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B071G84NHX&linkId=65677c24057df1a83d5320ada7ddf9ed",")","## Hive Active Heating And Smart Lights","The gift that keeps on giving – turn your house into a smart home, and you can keep a much closer eye on your energy usage and bills going forward. Plus, throw in the Google Home Hub (see below), and you can use voice commands to bark orders at your appliances, like you’re Tony Stark. Thermostat, lightbulbs, cameras, plugs, motion sensors and more - there's enough here to make even the most ardent Skynet-phobe a smart home convert.","[Buy It Now](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B075V9HKKT/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B075V9HKKT&linkId=3125c59b390a11d00ac9acb0fe27ecdd)","## Google Home Hub","Want your very own HAL 9000, without the back-stabbing AI conscience? Our pick is Google’s Home Hub – control your smart home gadgets, use it as a personal organiser, ask Google Assistant for info, watch videos, listen to music and much more. It doesn’t have a camera, so you won’t feel like you’re being watched, it doubles as a super slick digital photo frame and once you have it installed there's every chance you'll wonder how you ever lived without it. If you've never been sold on the idea of a digital assistant, the Home Hub might just be the device to change your mind. Next stop: buy some pod bay doors.","[Buy It Now](https://store.google.com/product/google_home_hub)","## Roku Express","Streaming sticks are a dime a dozen these days but for less than £30 you really can’t go wrong with the Roku Express. Simple to set up, the Roku will immediately connect you with Netflix, Amazon Video or whatever other streaming platform you subscribe to, turning even the most luddite gogglebox into an instant smart TV.","[Buy It Now](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B076F7D71R/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B076F7D71R&linkId=802d942fe69e18e9d4df234810703d86)","## Turtle Beach Elite Pro 2 Headphones","While you’re playing *Red Dead*, a brand new pair of gaming cans will mean you can hear the birds tweeting in the trees, the adorable whinny of your beloved steed, and the horrifying screams of your fallen enemies with immersive, crystal-clear perfection. If it's gaming fidelity an immersive virtual surround sound you want, you can't do much better than these.","[Buy It Now](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07G5ZQKGC/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B07G5ZQKGC&linkId=8bebae549501e36e1aeb1b4889ce79cf)","## Oculus Go","While *Ready Player One* showed us all what virtual reality might eventually end up like earlier this year, it’s pretty clear the OASIS is still a few decades off yet. Still, channel your inner Wade Watts with this VR headset that ditches clunky wires and has its own in-built screen – no compatible smartphone needed. Banging ‘80s tunes: optional.","[Buy It Now](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07D7HPSFC/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B07D7HPSFC&linkId=e0505b548bea21c6bf4fbc712dbe2a1f",")","## Nokia 7.1","If you’re an Android die-hard looking for a handset that packs in all the must-have features without an eye-watering price tag, the Nokia 7.1 has a dual lens rear-facing camera, huge 3,060 mAh battery with fast-charge, and a vibrant six-inch screen ideal for bingeing Netflix on your commute.","[Buy It Now](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07K1XXX5W/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B07K1XXX5W&linkId=7450f8bd0a1f51a42664bbc01bf29992)","## Toys & Gaming","## Thrustmaster T.Flight Hotas One Joystick","If you’re going to get the most out of *Elite Dangerous*, *Ace Combat 7*, or other flight games, a joystick is the way to go. Thrustmaster’s Xbox One-compatible T.Flight Hotas One has five axes and a rapid-fire trigger for mid-air sharp-shooting, and is suitable for all types of flight sim.","[Buy It Now](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07643TW2V/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B07643TW2V&linkId=e43fa427ff2555f9f9c7f2521f5b2472",")","## Wrecking Ralph","“I’m gonna wreck it!” In advance of his appearance in Disney’s upcoming *Ralph Breaks The Internet*, Wreck It Ralph arrives in 9” toy form with added one-liners from the new movie. The best part? Wrecking Ralph lives up to his name and will wreck all your stuff with his authentic thrashing arm motion. In the best way possible, naturally.","[Buy It Now](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07F249PHL/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B07F249PHL&linkId=55a90d26cbf7ed4924586fa8caaa05f8)","## LEGO Porg","Just when you thought you had every Porg product going, LEGO has released a buildable version of *The Last Jedi*’s cutest newbie. The 20cm tall model has dropping-jaw and flapping-wing actions, and best of all comes with a Porg minifigure too. Even Chewie would be into it.","[Buy It Now](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07B36ZQRB/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B07B36ZQRB&linkId=75a2ff728650679b3aa6d0882c3892a6)","## LEGO Harry Potter – Hogwarts Great Hall","The massive new Hogwarts Castle set is pure LEGO magic, but you’ll need plenty of Galleons and an entire Room of Requirement to house it. This more manageable Great Hall kit means you still get the school’s central hub, a bunch of must-have minifigures – Harry, Ron, Hermione, Malfoy, Dumbledore, McGonagall, erm… Susan Bones? – a buildable Basilisk, and plenty more detailed extras. Accio, bricks.","[Buy It Now](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0792RDN2V/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B0792RDN2V&linkId=76c25c55d222ae37fef638a9dc6f6cf6",")","## Gloomhaven","Once the turkey is out of the way, clear your tabletop to make way for the sheer bulk of Gloomhaven – a massive fantasy game with a whole stack of play modes and adventure scenarios to keep even the most card-carrying analogue gamers busy for months. If a boardgame called ‘Gloomhaven’ sounds appealing to you, you’ll love it. Just don’t try and learn its many, many rules after hitting the sherry.","[Buy It Now](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01LZXVN4P/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B01LZXVN4P&linkId=7898ce33cc52b158ec763a0035f9becc)","## Nintendo Switch – Pokémon Let’s Go Limited Edition","For budding Pokémon trainers who are yet to pick up a Nintendo Switch, now’s an ideal time to pick up the portable console and be the very best, like no-one ever was. To catch them is your real test, to train them is your cause in *Pokémon Let’s Go*, which recreates the RPG series’ original Kanto region in an all-new vision that’ll be hugely satisfying for long-time fans, and vibrant and x for new players. There’s a limited edition Switch console to celebrate the game, featuring Eevee and Pikachu on the dock as well as specially-coloured Joy-Cons – and you get the Pokéball Plus controller bundled in there too. Go and catch ‘em all.","[Buy It Now](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07HB3HLS5/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B07HB3HLS5&linkId=2b82cfc070f7f54811cd10b4620f0cb7)","## Marvel’s Spider-Man (PS4)","Donning your own spandex and fighting criminals in real life is bound to end up like the opening act of *Kick-Ass*. Just, don’t. Get *Marvel’s Spider-Man* on PS4 instead, offering all the thrills of web-slinging through New York and beating people up with none of the life-threatening danger.","[Buy It Now](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01GVS0R4I/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B01GVS0R4I&linkId=3b079634efd44bb916904abc24f552db)","## Red Dead Redemption 2","Christmas is a time for family and spending time with loved ones. Or it would be, if Rockstar Games hadn’t just released a Wild West masterpiece so engrossing, so addictive, and so stupendously-detailed that you’ll want to spend your holidays alone in a darkened room traversing the Old West, getting your digital beard shaved, and falling off horses instead.","[Buy It Now](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01M65RD19/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B01M65RD19&linkId=199fa46830a4a2dd07164b22e270dc67)","## Accessories","## RiutBag R15.3","There’s no use having a bag full of gadgets if some ne’er-do-well on the tube sidles up and snatches it from under your nose. Which is where the Riutbag comes in. Cunningly designed to keep all your devices from being accessible to thieves, the bag has an opening that’s only accessible when you take it off, folding out into a capacious (and pleasantly lemon coloured) interior.","[Buy It Now](https://www.riut.co.uk/products/anti-theft-laptop-backpack-riutbag-r15-3)","## Gaming T-Shirts","It may take all of Christmas Day to tear them away from *Fortnite* for more than five minutes but that doesn’t mean you don’t need to buy something special for the gamer in your life. For an assortment of video game-related apparel, look no further than these offerings from Insert Coin, featuring livery from the likes of *The Last Of Us*, *Mass Effect*, *Shadow Of The Colossus* and, well, a shedload of other games.","[Buy It Now](https://www.insertcoinclothing.com/)","## Marvel Hoodies","The hoodie has long been among the most versatile of garments. Too hot? Unzip it. Getting wet? Pull up the hood. In fact, the only thing more practical than an all-purpose hoodie is one that lets you pretend you’re Spider-Man. Or Venom. Or The Punisher. You’ll find an assorment of Marvel-themed hoodies on [Merchoid](www.merchoid.com), not to mention *Star Wars* ones, gaming ones, and many more.","[Buy It Now](https://www.merchoid.com/product/spider-man-iron-spider-premium-hoodie/)","## Infinity Gauntlet Mug","Thanos – SPOILER WARNING – used it to wipe out half of the universe. You can use it to hold a variety of hot beverages. Master the reality stone, and you might even be able to materialise a cup of tea with a snap of your fingers.","[Buy It Now](https://www.firebox.com/Infinity-Gauntlet-Mug/p8860)","## Girls On Tops T-Shirts","Whether you’re gaga for Greta Gerwig, big on Kathryn Bigelow, or full of admiration for Mia Hansen-Løve, Girls On Tops’ minimalist tees are the perfect way to celebrate cinema’s greatest female voices.","[Buy It Now](https://www.etsy.com/shop/GirlsOnTops)","## Numskull Geeky Christmas Jumpers","Nobody does geek-chic knitwear quite like Numskull – and this year’s range is better than ever. Our pick: the X-Wing-centric Star Wars jumper depicting the Rebels’ daring attack in the Battle of Yavin, and – finally – the Harry Potter jumpers we’ve all been waiting for. Magic.","[Buy It Now](http://www.numskull.com/jumpers/)","## Books","## An Empire Subscription","The ultimate gift for that special someone: each month’s issue of *Empire* delivered straight to their door, with beautiful exclusive subscriber covers. Just [take a look](http://www.empireonline.com/movies/news/empire-greatest-star-wars-character-subscriber-cover-revealed/) at some of this year’s [spectacular designs](http://www.empireonline.com/movies/news/empire-avengers-infinity-war-subscriber-cover-revealed/).","[Buy It Now](https://www.greatmagazines.co.uk/empire-magazine){:rel=nofollow}","## Beautiful Books","What better gift to give someone than many many leather-bound books (apart from an apartment that smells of rich mahogany)? If snazzy hardbacks are your jam then you can’t do any better than the stunning editions put together by The Folio Society. There’s a wealth of titles on offer but we’d urge you to take an especially close look at the beautiful *His Dark Materials* box set and this set from sci-fi maestro Philip K. Dick including *The Man In The High Castle*, *A Scanner Darkly* and *Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?*","[Buy It Now](https://www.foliosociety.com/uk/his-dark-materials.html)","## Die Hard: The Ultimate Visual History","“Ladies and gentlemen, ladies and gentlemen. Due to the Nakatomi corporation’s legacy of greed around the globe, they are about to be taught a lesson in the real use of power. You will be witnesses.” And what better way to witness the Greatest Action Film Of All TimeTM than with the Ultimate Visual History, containing interviews, behind the scenes photographs and exclusive images from the film? Happy Trails, Hans.","[Buy It Now](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1789090512/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=1789090512&linkId=109facdb6a52e968f15587de7864a349)","## Inside Black Mirror: The Illustrated Oral History","Modern technology is a nightmare-portal just waiting to destroy your hopes, dreams, past and future, according to Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones’ anthology. The pair have gone back to good ol’ ink and paper to break every episode down in fascinating detail.","[Buy It Now](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1529102588/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=1529102588&linkId=1d04968f91953295dd96cbed27cb382c)","## James Cameron’s Story Of Science Fiction","In the world of cinema, James Cameron is a titan. In the world of sci-fi, he’s a god. In this slick hardback book the man himself goes head-to-head with the likes of Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Christopher Nolan, Guillermo Del Toro, Ridley Scott and Arnold Schwarzenegger in a series of fascinating interviews packed with juicy details.","[Buy It Now](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1683834976/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=1683834976&linkId=862dbcc8a8953d0ad1149f34eb48979c)","## The Illustrated World Of Mortal Engines","Peter Jackson is a master cinematic world-builder, and he looks set to do it all again – now on wheels! – as the producer of *Mortal Engines*. Immerse yourself in the steampunk-styled world of Philip Reeve’s novels in this hardback tome filled with beautiful concept art.","[Buy It Now](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1407186787/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=1407186787&linkId=c1e1e807370020da308de196f5ecfcef)","## Box Sets & Soundtracks","## A Star Is Born – 12” Vinyl Soundtrack","If you’ve seen *A Star Is Born*, you’ve likely spent most days since humming the Cooper-Gaga soundtrack – and this double vinyl LP is in keeping with the film’s new-meets-old-school vibe. Maybe skip Side D to avoid unwanted weeping.","[Buy It Now](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07G1VZ21M/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B07G1VZ21M&linkId=a43c85ad454ca1d9f86a0cb113c2d2e6)","## My Neighbour Totoro – 30th Anniversary Collector’s Edition","For the Studio Ghibli completist, this box set celebrating Miyazaki’s adorable ode to childhood includes a bunch of exclusive swag: art prints, a tote bag, a poster, stickers, notebook, as well as the double play Blu-ray / DVD, and the Art Of My Neighbour Totoro book, all presented in deluxe packaging. It’s limited to 1000 numbered copies, so a must-have for collectors.","[Buy It Now](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07JD93678/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B07JD93678&linkId=81901aaf552b213277be5071047b2638)","## Christopher Nolan Collection – 4K Ultra HD Blu-Ray Box Set","For the meatiest Christmas binge-watch around, this dazzling 4K Ultra HD set of some of Nolan’s very best movies will give your little grey cells plenty to stew on. The set includes the complete Dark Knight trilogy, as well as a smattering of his other greats – the time-ticking war-survival movie *Dunkirk*, dream-diving action-heist-thriller *Inception*, wormhole-hopping space epic *Interstellar*, and the utterly brilliant warring-magicians drama *The Prestige*. Worth it to watch David Bowie playing Nikola Tesla in 4K alone.","[Buy It Now](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07H7VYDF7/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B07H7VYDF7&linkId=265eb26578487f46b4adc4d8b4b69138)","## Harry Potter 8-Film Collection – 4K Ultra HD Blu-Ray Box Set","Even if you already own the Harry Potter films in some format, are you *really* experiencing all the magic if you’re not watching the adventures of the Boy Who Lived in 4K HDR? This Ultra HD set gives the films an *Oculus Upgradeo!*, bringing stunning new clarity to all those wizarding duels, magical creatures and that gorgeous production design. And hey, with all that cosy knitwear and those lovely shots of Hogwarts in the snow, they’re basically Christmas films.","[Buy It Now](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07GTDL24D/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B07GTDL24D&linkId=9c8bcab1237d95aaf1349b5f535618c8)","## The Handmaid’s Tale – Season 2","If your Christmas could do with a little *less* cheer, there are few more gripping ways to dampen the mood than with the second run of *The Handmaid’s Tale*. After the first series left things on the same cliffhanger as Margaret Atwood’s book, Season 2 confirms what you long thought: there are many more bleak and brutal times ahead for Offred and the Handmaids. Relentless as it all is, it’s still endlessly watchable – and Elisabeth Moss remains staggering in the lead role. Maybe line up something lighthearted to watch afterwards, though.","[Buy It Now](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07G9VBK36/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B07G9VBK36&linkId=172249f07dc6140cb3e827394947b4b6)","## John Carpenter 4K Restorations – Ultra HD Blu-ray Box Sets","For too long, some of John Carpenter’s greatest cult b-movies have been hard to find, even in standard-res versions. Not any more: *The Fog*, *Prince Of Darkness*, *Escape From New York*, and *They Live* have received scrubbed-up 4K restorations, available in beautifully-presented sets with posters, art cards, films books, and more. Plump for the standard Blu-ray if you’re not geared up for 4K Ultra HD.","[Buy It Now](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07H54NY5L/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B07H54NY5L&linkId=6a4bb39273e01da360ebb90d14f3435a)","## Batman: The Animated Series","The early ‘90s Batman cartoon remains one of the Dark Knight’s most celebrated incarnations – and a newly-remastered Blu-ray set collects all 109 episodes, plus *Mask Of The Phantasm* and its sequel *Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero*, looking better than ever. Perfect for Bat-fans old and new.","[Buy It Now](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07G4CKGXK/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B07G4CKGXK&linkId=229e1532dbbd5e3609bffe9ff84c7308)","## The X-Files – Seasons 1-11, 25th Anniversary Blu-ray Box Set","For 25 years, we’ve wanted to believe that the truth is out there – and it’s somewhere to be found in this complete box set containing all 218 *X-Files* episodes, right up to the brand new Season 11. Optional: gift this alongside a giant noticeboard, pins, string and industrial volumes of caffeine for budding conspiracy theorists.","[Buy It Now](https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07FYL7BVK/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=baucitnet-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B07FYL7BVK&linkId=c7875b278469594009203b9e545e6c01)"],"embeds":[],"images":[{"id":"5c4561a09e24f0172e3e7944","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5beea146fd0c0bc84447f814","fileName":"condor%20x3.jpg","name":"condor%20x3.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":""},{"id":"5c4561a09e24f0172e3e7945","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5beea146fd0c0bc84447f814","fileName":"iphone-xs.jpg","name":"iphone-xs.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Gift Guide 2018"},{"id":"5c4561a09e24f0172e3e7946","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5beea146fd0c0bc84447f814","fileName":"ipad%20pro.jpeg","name":"ipad%20pro.jpeg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":""},{"id":"5c4561a09e24f0172e3e7947","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5beea146fd0c0bc84447f814","fileName":"jedi-challenges.jpg","name":"jedi-challenges.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Gift Guide 2018"},{"id":"5c4561a09e24f0172e3e7948","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5beea146fd0c0bc84447f814","fileName":"beats-studio-3.jpg","name":"beats-studio-3.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Beats Studio3 Wireless"},{"id":"5c4561a09e24f0172e3e7949","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5beea146fd0c0bc84447f814","fileName":"playstation-classic.jpg","name":"playstation-classic.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Gift Guide 2018"},{"id":"5c4561a09e24f0172e3e794a","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5beea146fd0c0bc84447f814","fileName":"hive.jpg","name":"hive.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Gift Guide 2018"},{"id":"5c4561a09e24f0172e3e794b","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5beea146fd0c0bc84447f814","fileName":"google-home-hub.jpg","name":"google-home-hub.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Gift Guide 2018"},{"id":"5c4561a09e24f0172e3e794c","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5beea146fd0c0bc84447f814","fileName":"Roku.jpg","name":"Roku.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Roku"},{"id":"5c4561a09e24f0172e3e794d","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5beea146fd0c0bc84447f814","fileName":"Turtle%20Beach.jpg","name":"Turtle%20Beach.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":""},{"id":"5c4561a09e24f0172e3e794e","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5beea146fd0c0bc84447f814","fileName":"oculus-go.jpg","name":"oculus-go.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Gift Guide 2018"},{"id":"5c4561a09e24f0172e3e794f","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5beea146fd0c0bc84447f814","fileName":"Nokia.jpg","name":"Nokia.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Nokia 7.1"},{"id":"5c4561a09e24f0172e3e7950","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5beea146fd0c0bc84447f814","fileName":"joystickhotasone.png","name":"joystickhotasone.png","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/png"},"caption":"","altText":"Thrustmaster Hotas One"},{"id":"5c4561a09e24f0172e3e7951","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5beea146fd0c0bc84447f814","fileName":"wrecking%20ralph.jpg","name":"wrecking%20ralph.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":""},{"id":"5c4561a09e24f0172e3e7952","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5beea146fd0c0bc84447f814","fileName":"Porg.jpg","name":"Porg.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Lego 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A Mission: Tom Cruise and Christopher McQuarrie In 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days, CGI makes nearly anything possible in the movies – but every so...","metaTitle":"","metaDescription":"Empire interviews the Mission: Impossible Fallout dream team for the Review of the Year issue.","sourceText":null,"sourceUrl":null,"_layout":[{"content":"Making A Mission: Tom Cruise and Christopher McQuarrie In Conversation","type":"title"},{"content":"","type":"subtitle"},{"content":{"id":"5c45619f9e24f0172e3e793d","altText":"Christopher McQuarrie and Tom Cruise","caption":"","credits":"Mission: Impossible Fallout – Tom Cruise and Christopher McQuarrie In Conversation","image":{"fileName":"mcquarrie-cruise.jpg","name":"mcquarrie-cruise.jpg","path":"one/empire-images/features/5bd9d6c5fd0c0bc844474b1e","width":640,"height":480,"mimeType":"image/jpeg"}},"displayName":"Article Hero","free":true,"name":"hero","type":"heroImage"},{"content":"These days, CGI makes nearly anything possible in the movies – but every so often a blockbuster commits to practical stunts, delivering visceral movie moments that are all the more impressive for their daring feats of filmmaking. This summer, that was *Mission: Impossible – Fallout*, the latest fruitful partnership between star-producer [Tom Cruise](https://www.empireonline.com/people/tom-cruise/) and writer-director [Christopher McQuarrie](https://www.empireonline.com/people/christopher-mcquarrie/), which unmistakably put Cruise front-and-centre of its jaw-dropping set-pieces. The pair might have just delivered their action masterpiece – and so for [*Empire*’s Review of the Year issue](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/news/empire-issue-preview-review-year-2018/) we got them together on the phone to talk through their collaborative process, and how they brought the biggest and best Mission yet to the big screen. Read an extract from the interview here, and check out the full thing in [December's *Empire*](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/news/empire-issue-preview-review-year-2018/), on shelves from 1 November.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c45619f9e24f0172e3e793e","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5bd9d6c5fd0c0bc844474b1e","fileName":"empire-december-cover.jpg","name":"empire-december-cover.jpg","width":"1080","height":"1080","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Empire – December 2018 "},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"## This will only take four or five hours.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"**Christopher McQuarrie:** That’s nothing for us, dude. That’s a walk in the park. Not even half a script session.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## I’m going to start with a tough one. *Fallout* is the biggest Mission to date. Critics went nuts, it’s in [our top ten of the year](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/features/best-movies-2018/). You must be fairly happy with how it turned out.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"**Tom Cruise:** You’re always happy and there’s relief and joy in seeing a response. I make movies for audiences, and to see how much they’re enjoying themselves, that’s really incredibly satisfying.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"**McQuarrie:** There’s also a mild layer of terror, knowing we have to outdo it.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"**Cruise:** It’s always that way. We always start that way. You have that slight bit of nausea as you’re going, “Okay, let’s go.” That’s the way we always feel beforehand, believe me.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c45619f9e24f0172e3e793f","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5bd9d6c5fd0c0bc844474b1e","fileName":"mission-1.jpg","name":"mission-1.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Mission: Impossible - Fallout"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"## Did that feeling of mild terror drive *Fallout*?","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"**Cruise:** You always feel it. On every movie, I want it to fulfil its potential. There’s that wonderful feeling. It’s actually this pleasure/terror/pain/excitement of creating something. It’s that adrenaline and focus that I think McQ and I have together. We just keep having fun with the pressure, and creating it. We have a saying: “Pressure’s a privilege.” Like on _[Rogue Nation](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/mission-impossible-rogue-nation/review/)_, I couldn’t figure out the third act. It’s alright, pressure’s a privilege. Now we’ve got to figure this out.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"**McQuarrie:** We get to do this. We get to have this problem.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"**Cruise:** If we didn’t care, we wouldn’t feel like this.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Tom, this is your sixth Mission. Chris, it’s your third.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"**Cruise:** And our ninth film together. *[Top Gun](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/features/top-gun-maverick-everything-need-know-get-speed/)*’s our tenth.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c45619f9e24f0172e3e7940","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5bd9d6c5fd0c0bc844474b1e","fileName":"mission-imp-fallout.jpg","name":"mission-imp-fallout.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Mission: Impossible - Fallout"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"## Does it get easier making one of these giant juggernauts?","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"**Cruise:** In some ways yes, and in some ways no. It gets clearer.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"**McQuarrie:** We now have the collective experience of three movies. You can now look at three Mission: Impossibles and go, here’s where we were in our own way. Here’s where we were making things harder than they needed to be, more complicated than they needed to be, bigger than they needed to be. And you’re able to streamline it and you’re able to look at a handful of movies now and go, “Boy, we thought it needed to be big and spectacular and really what it needed was story and character and storytelling.” That’s king.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"**Cruise:** Story is king. That’s something we always talk about. With each one, we have dreams of what we want it to be in the future. You look at what McQ did at the end of the movie, and you see the scale of the film. But also the personal nature that we’re always reaching for with a Mission. Each one we try to remind ourselves what we’ve learned. That doesn’t mean we’re there. There’s times in the editing room where we’re like, “Fuck, we had this rule…” You know? “We agreed we wouldn’t do this!”","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"**McQuarrie:** “We swore we would never do this!”","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"**Cruise:** Then we have to go back and pick it up!","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"McQuarrie: “Why did you let me do that?”","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"**Cruise:** “I was there, why didn’t you remind me?” You know? [*Laughs*] Jim Gianapoulos [*Paramount chief*] is a good friend of mine. I’ve known him since I was a kid, basically. This was his first Mission. He was like, “Okay, where’s the script?” “We don’t have it. But we’ll get it. We have the locations.” We said, “Look, we’re not going to go over-budget — this is how you make a Mission.”","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c45619f9e24f0172e3e7941","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5bd9d6c5fd0c0bc844474b1e","fileName":"2-mission-impossible-fallout.jpg","name":"2-mission-impossible-fallout.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Mission Impossible Fallout"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"*Read the rest of the interview with Tom Cruise and Christopher McQuarrie in Empire's December 2018 issue, on sale from 1 November.*","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"*Read [Empire’s Best Movies of 2018 list, starring Mission: Impossible – Fallout, here](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/features/best-movies-2018)*","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"}],"heroImage":[{"id":"5c45619f9e24f0172e3e793d","altText":"Christopher McQuarrie and Tom Cruise","caption":"","credits":"Mission: Impossible Fallout – Tom Cruise and Christopher McQuarrie In Conversation","image":{"fileName":"mcquarrie-cruise.jpg","name":"mcquarrie-cruise.jpg","path":"one/empire-images/features/5bd9d6c5fd0c0bc844474b1e","width":640,"height":480,"mimeType":"image/jpeg"}}],"content":["These days, CGI makes nearly anything possible in the movies – but every so often a blockbuster commits to practical stunts, delivering visceral movie moments that are all the more impressive for their daring feats of filmmaking. This summer, that was *Mission: Impossible – Fallout*, the latest fruitful partnership between star-producer [Tom Cruise](https://www.empireonline.com/people/tom-cruise/) and writer-director [Christopher McQuarrie](https://www.empireonline.com/people/christopher-mcquarrie/), which unmistakably put Cruise front-and-centre of its jaw-dropping set-pieces. The pair might have just delivered their action masterpiece – and so for [*Empire*’s Review of the Year issue](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/news/empire-issue-preview-review-year-2018/) we got them together on the phone to talk through their collaborative process, and how they brought the biggest and best Mission yet to the big screen. Read an extract from the interview here, and check out the full thing in [December's *Empire*](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/news/empire-issue-preview-review-year-2018/), on shelves from 1 November.","## This will only take four or five hours.","**Christopher McQuarrie:** That’s nothing for us, dude. That’s a walk in the park. Not even half a script session.","## I’m going to start with a tough one. *Fallout* is the biggest Mission to date. Critics went nuts, it’s in [our top ten of the year](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/features/best-movies-2018/). You must be fairly happy with how it turned out.","**Tom Cruise:** You’re always happy and there’s relief and joy in seeing a response. I make movies for audiences, and to see how much they’re enjoying themselves, that’s really incredibly satisfying.","**McQuarrie:** There’s also a mild layer of terror, knowing we have to outdo it.","**Cruise:** It’s always that way. We always start that way. You have that slight bit of nausea as you’re going, “Okay, let’s go.” That’s the way we always feel beforehand, believe me.","## Did that feeling of mild terror drive *Fallout*?","**Cruise:** You always feel it. On every movie, I want it to fulfil its potential. There’s that wonderful feeling. It’s actually this pleasure/terror/pain/excitement of creating something. It’s that adrenaline and focus that I think McQ and I have together. We just keep having fun with the pressure, and creating it. We have a saying: “Pressure’s a privilege.” Like on _[Rogue Nation](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/mission-impossible-rogue-nation/review/)_, I couldn’t figure out the third act. It’s alright, pressure’s a privilege. Now we’ve got to figure this out.","**McQuarrie:** We get to do this. We get to have this problem.","**Cruise:** If we didn’t care, we wouldn’t feel like this.","## Tom, this is your sixth Mission. Chris, it’s your third.","**Cruise:** And our ninth film together. *[Top Gun](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/features/top-gun-maverick-everything-need-know-get-speed/)*’s our tenth.","## Does it get easier making one of these giant juggernauts?","**Cruise:** In some ways yes, and in some ways no. It gets clearer.","**McQuarrie:** We now have the collective experience of three movies. You can now look at three Mission: Impossibles and go, here’s where we were in our own way. Here’s where we were making things harder than they needed to be, more complicated than they needed to be, bigger than they needed to be. And you’re able to streamline it and you’re able to look at a handful of movies now and go, “Boy, we thought it needed to be big and spectacular and really what it needed was story and character and storytelling.” That’s king.","**Cruise:** Story is king. That’s something we always talk about. With each one, we have dreams of what we want it to be in the future. You look at what McQ did at the end of the movie, and you see the scale of the film. But also the personal nature that we’re always reaching for with a Mission. Each one we try to remind ourselves what we’ve learned. That doesn’t mean we’re there. There’s times in the editing room where we’re like, “Fuck, we had this rule…” You know? “We agreed we wouldn’t do this!”","**McQuarrie:** “We swore we would never do this!”","**Cruise:** Then we have to go back and pick it up!","McQuarrie: “Why did you let me do that?”","**Cruise:** “I was there, why didn’t you remind me?” You know? [*Laughs*] Jim Gianapoulos [*Paramount chief*] is a good friend of mine. I’ve known him since I was a kid, basically. This was his first Mission. He was like, “Okay, where’s the script?” “We don’t have it. But we’ll get it. We have the locations.” We said, “Look, we’re not going to go over-budget — this is how you make a Mission.”","*Read the rest of the interview with Tom Cruise and Christopher McQuarrie in Empire's December 2018 issue, on sale from 1 November.*","*Read [Empire’s Best Movies of 2018 list, starring Mission: Impossible – Fallout, here](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/features/best-movies-2018)*"],"embeds":[],"images":[{"id":"5c45619f9e24f0172e3e793e","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5bd9d6c5fd0c0bc844474b1e","fileName":"empire-december-cover.jpg","name":"empire-december-cover.jpg","width":"1080","height":"1080","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Empire – December 2018 "},{"id":"5c45619f9e24f0172e3e793f","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5bd9d6c5fd0c0bc844474b1e","fileName":"mission-1.jpg","name":"mission-1.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Mission: Impossible - Fallout"},{"id":"5c45619f9e24f0172e3e7940","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5bd9d6c5fd0c0bc844474b1e","fileName":"mission-imp-fallout.jpg","name":"mission-imp-fallout.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Mission: Impossible - 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But even by the film’s own unhinged standards, one batshit moment stands above the rest: the Cheddar Goblin. Fresh from witnessing a harrowing act of violence, Cage’s traumatised Red Miller stumbles home forever changed, his world brutalised – and the first thing he’s greeted with is a bizarre, day-glo mac and cheese commercial starring a luminous green gremlin mascot who projectile-vomits America’s favourite dinner on cheering children. “It's like the universe slapping him in the face with its lunacy,” explains writer-director Panos Cosmatos.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c45619e9e24f0172e3e7939","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5bd88e3afd0c0bc844473cd2","fileName":"panos-cosmatos.jpg","name":"panos-cosmatos.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Panos Cosmos","credits":"Dia Dipasupil/Getty"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"Despite the Cheddar Goblin’s minimal screentime, the creature is something that Cosmatos and his producer Josh Waller thought through in some detail – specifically, how does the Cheddar Goblin *work*? \"We would discuss the physiology of the goblin – does the macaroni manifest in the goblin, and the cheese?\" Cosmatos muses. “Are there two different organs in the goblin – one that creates the mac, and one that creates the cheese? Or do you feed the goblin macaroni, and then the cheese sauce is inside of him, and it coats the macaroni and then he vomits it up?” If the answer is open to viewer interpretation, the filmmaker has his own personal favourite theory: “I like the thought that he has two separate organs – one that grows macaroni-type nodules, and one that creates this cheese-like sauce.”","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c45619e9e24f0172e3e793a","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5bd88e3afd0c0bc844473cd2","fileName":"cheddar-goblin-2.jpg","name":"cheddar-goblin-2.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Mandy – Cheddar Goblin"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"The Cheddar Goblin was birthed from cabin fever, when Cosmatos and Waller holed up in a production office for weeks, riffing and spit-balling and brainstorming ideas for the film. And after an initial search for a real vintage commercial to use in the sequence, it soon became clear that the Cheddar Goblin wasn’t going away. “We fell in love with the idea,” says Cosmatos. “But we had so little time, and all the department heads were stretched so thin already that we thought, ‘We have to out-source this’.”","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"Eventually it fell to director Casper Kelly, behind [Adult Swim viral hit *Too Many Cooks*](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QrGrOK8oZG8){:rel=nofollow} (“one of the most stunning short films ever made,” reckons Cosmatos), to bring his off-kilter aesthetic to the scene. Kelly worked from a look-book provided by Cosmatos and Waller, consisting of images from 1985 horror-comedy *Ghoulies* and photos of good ol’ mac and cheese. “We called him and were like, 'We have $1000 or something, can you make a Cheddar Goblin commercial?' A few weeks later, there it was.”","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c45619e9e24f0172e3e793b","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5bd88e3afd0c0bc844473cd2","fileName":"ghoulies.jpg","name":"ghoulies.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Ghoulies"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"Since the film’s release, Cheddar Goblin has become a sensation all of his own – he even has [his own gobblin’ good Twitter account](https://twitter.com/CheddarGoblin). And while Cosmatos never got to direct the Goblin himself, he holds the character close – literally. \"Casper was nice enough to give me the original Cheddar Goblin when we met at Sundance, and I was very moved by that,” the filmmaker revealed. “The OG Cheddar Goblin now lives in my home.\"","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"url":"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rI054ow6KJk","provider":"youtube"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"embeds"},{"content":"*Mandy is available now on Blu-ray and DVD. Read [Empire's Best Movies of 2018 list, featuring Mandy, here](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/features/best-movies-2018/).*","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"}],"heroImage":[{"id":"5c45619e9e24f0172e3e7938","altText":"Mandy – Cheddar Goblin","caption":"","credits":"","image":{"fileName":"cheddar-goblin-1.jpg","name":"cheddar-goblin-1.jpg","path":"one/empire-images/features/5bd88e3afd0c0bc844473cd2","width":640,"height":480,"mimeType":"image/jpeg"}}],"content":["Beyond perhaps any other film in 2018, *[Mandy](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/mandy/review/)* is dense with indelible images – gimp-suited demon bikers summoned by a primal ocarina, a grinning gore-soaked [Nicolas Cage](https://www.empireonline.com/people/nicolas-cage/), and a sprawling heavy-metal title card that emerges nearly two-thirds into the runtime. But even by the film’s own unhinged standards, one batshit moment stands above the rest: the Cheddar Goblin. Fresh from witnessing a harrowing act of violence, Cage’s traumatised Red Miller stumbles home forever changed, his world brutalised – and the first thing he’s greeted with is a bizarre, day-glo mac and cheese commercial starring a luminous green gremlin mascot who projectile-vomits America’s favourite dinner on cheering children. “It's like the universe slapping him in the face with its lunacy,” explains writer-director Panos Cosmatos.","Despite the Cheddar Goblin’s minimal screentime, the creature is something that Cosmatos and his producer Josh Waller thought through in some detail – specifically, how does the Cheddar Goblin *work*? \"We would discuss the physiology of the goblin – does the macaroni manifest in the goblin, and the cheese?\" Cosmatos muses. “Are there two different organs in the goblin – one that creates the mac, and one that creates the cheese? Or do you feed the goblin macaroni, and then the cheese sauce is inside of him, and it coats the macaroni and then he vomits it up?” If the answer is open to viewer interpretation, the filmmaker has his own personal favourite theory: “I like the thought that he has two separate organs – one that grows macaroni-type nodules, and one that creates this cheese-like sauce.”","The Cheddar Goblin was birthed from cabin fever, when Cosmatos and Waller holed up in a production office for weeks, riffing and spit-balling and brainstorming ideas for the film. And after an initial search for a real vintage commercial to use in the sequence, it soon became clear that the Cheddar Goblin wasn’t going away. “We fell in love with the idea,” says Cosmatos. “But we had so little time, and all the department heads were stretched so thin already that we thought, ‘We have to out-source this’.”","Eventually it fell to director Casper Kelly, behind [Adult Swim viral hit *Too Many Cooks*](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QrGrOK8oZG8){:rel=nofollow} (“one of the most stunning short films ever made,” reckons Cosmatos), to bring his off-kilter aesthetic to the scene. Kelly worked from a look-book provided by Cosmatos and Waller, consisting of images from 1985 horror-comedy *Ghoulies* and photos of good ol’ mac and cheese. “We called him and were like, 'We have $1000 or something, can you make a Cheddar Goblin commercial?' A few weeks later, there it was.”","Since the film’s release, Cheddar Goblin has become a sensation all of his own – he even has [his own gobblin’ good Twitter account](https://twitter.com/CheddarGoblin). And while Cosmatos never got to direct the Goblin himself, he holds the character close – literally. \"Casper was nice enough to give me the original Cheddar Goblin when we met at Sundance, and I was very moved by that,” the filmmaker revealed. “The OG Cheddar Goblin now lives in my home.\"","*Mandy is available now on Blu-ray and DVD. Read [Empire's Best Movies of 2018 list, featuring Mandy, here](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/features/best-movies-2018/).*"],"embeds":[{"url":"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rI054ow6KJk","provider":"youtube"}],"images":[{"id":"5c45619e9e24f0172e3e7939","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5bd88e3afd0c0bc844473cd2","fileName":"panos-cosmatos.jpg","name":"panos-cosmatos.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Panos Cosmos","credits":"Dia Dipasupil/Getty"},{"id":"5c45619e9e24f0172e3e793a","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5bd88e3afd0c0bc844473cd2","fileName":"cheddar-goblin-2.jpg","name":"cheddar-goblin-2.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Mandy – Cheddar 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nearly three years since documentary series Making A Murderer arrived on...","metaTitle":"","metaDescription":"Pilot TV interviews Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos about Making A Murderer: Part 2.","sourceText":null,"sourceUrl":null,"_layout":[{"content":"Making A Murderer Creators On Kathleen Zellner, Working For Netflix, and Part 3","type":"title"},{"content":"","type":"subtitle"},{"content":{"id":"5c45619d9e24f0172e3e7933","altText":"Making A Murderer: Part 2","caption":"","credits":"","image":{"fileName":"mam1.jpg","name":"mam1.jpg","path":"one/empire-images/features/5bc9bf3afd0c0bc84446c3f4","width":640,"height":480,"mimeType":"image/jpeg"}},"displayName":"Article Hero","free":true,"name":"hero","type":"heroImage"},{"content":"It’s nearly three years since documentary series *Making A Murderer* arrived on Netflix and became a word-of-mouth sensation. The ten brilliantly-constructed episodes explored the story of Wisconsin used-car dealer Steven Avery, who was arrested, charged and imprisoned for sexual assault and attempted murder in 1985, but was exonerated after 18 years in prison, when new evidence came to light. Then in 2005, just as Avery was suing the local police, he was arrested for a new, unconnected crime – the murder of photographer Teresa Halbach. His teenage nephew Brendan Dassey, who confessed in highly controversial circumstances to “helping” with the murder, was also charged. Both were convicted in 2007, and both are still incarcerated.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"Now *Making A Murderer: Part 2* updates the situation, with ten riveting new episodes. *Pilot TV* sat down with the show’s directors and writers, Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos, to discuss the challenges of season 2.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c45619d9e24f0172e3e7934","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5bc9bf3afd0c0bc84446c3f4","fileName":"laura-moira.jpg","name":"laura-moira.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos","credits":"Mark Davis/Getty"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"## Having created this phenomenon, was your approach for *Part 2* different?","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"**Laura:** Our approach was the same, but the phase of the process that we were covering was very different. In *Part 1* we were covering someone who was awaiting trial in a murder case, and in *Part 2* that person and his co-defendant have been convicted, are now serving life sentences and have vowed to fight and are challenging their convictions.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## And how different was the experience of telling that new story?","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"**Moira:** It was different, mainly because with *Part 1* it was an independent project before Netflix came on board, so it was just Laura and myself filming events, with occasional help from one or two other people. We based ourselves in Wisconsin for 18 months and we could just shoot and shoot and shoot. Plus, we were covering events that were unfolding in a highly structured way – someone was charged, they were going to trial and there was going to be a verdict – so we had that three-act structure. We also had time to digest it all and work with the footage. No one was expecting us to deliver a 10-part series; no one knew who we were.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c45619d9e24f0172e3e7935","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5bc9bf3afd0c0bc84446c3f4","fileName":"mam22.jpg","name":"mam22.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Making A Murderer: Part 2"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"Fast forward to *Part 2*, and we’ve got the financial backing of Netflix which means we can hire crew which opens up new creative options that weren’t there before. But the real difference was that this was a story that everyone is now following, and we can’t just put out the series seven years after the events. We had to find a way to do the same kind of storytelling in a much more condensed time frame – basically we were in post-production the entire time we were in production. From June in 2016 when we started shooting again, we were editing, and the last shoot was July this year. That was a challenge: to follow events as they are unfolding while trying to finish the early episodes.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"**Laura:** Yes one of the main ways it was different this time was that we knew *Part 2* had a home [at Netflix]. Knowing that what we were making would be seen by a lot of people is a different experience.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Was it hard to work out a structure for *Part 2*, considering the events were unfolding as you were filming?","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"**Moira:** We had a hint of a structure because we knew [lawyer] Kathleen Zellner had taken Steven’s case and we knew what she was going to do was to file a post-conviction petition and argue for a new evidentiary hearing. We didn’t know that document would be over a thousand pages…","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"**Laura:** I don’t think anyone but Kathleen knew that…","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"**Moira:** But we didn’t know if that would be a three-episode arc, or longer, and we certainly didn’t know how dynamic Brendan’s case would be. So we looked at these events and tried to work out the structure we were going along, but yeah, it was hard.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## How many hours of footage did you have?","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"**Laura:** It’s harder to count now because we’re shooting digitally on fancy HD and not on actual mini DV tapes that we used for *Part 1*, but I’d say at least a thousand hours.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c45619d9e24f0172e3e7936","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5bc9bf3afd0c0bc84446c3f4","fileName":"mam3.jpg","name":"mam3.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Making A Murderer: Part 2"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"## You mentioned Kathleen Zellner, who seems like an extraordinarily larger than life character. What did you make of her?","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"**Laura:** Meeting Kathleen reminded me of how Steven’s story kind of fell into our laps. It was never that we were looking for the perfect murder story, and I feel the same way about Kathleen. I remember reading a profile of Kathleen in Newsweek after she said she was taking on Steven’s case, and I really couldn’t wait to meet her. At that point we knew Brendan’s new lawyers, Laura Nirider and Steve Drizin, who appeared in episode 10 of *Part 1*, had filed a petition in 2014 to challenge Brendan’s state conviction in a federal court. And now Steven had Kathleen, this really accomplished post-conviction lawyer who is the winningest private post-conviction attorney in the country, so we reached out to her, told her we were considering continuing to cover Steven’s story, and she came on board.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"**Moira:** When we knew Kathleen Zellner had taken the case and when we knew about her, shall we say… unconventional methods, we felt we had this character the viewer could go on a journey with, and we thought that might be a pretty incredible journey.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Did the fact that the world is now watching this story have an impact on you while you were making *Part 2*?","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"**Moira:** Yes, we were definitely working in different circumstances. There were times when we would be in the cutting room in LA and there would be major breaking news in the courtroom in Wisconsin, so we tried to make sure we could be as nimble as possible.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"**Laura:** Luckily this time we had a great production team we could call upon. We had spreadsheets of people we could call at a moment’s notice.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"**Moira:** It also helped us that so many news crews are covering our story points now. Sometimes we’d go to a major event like oral arguments in Brendan’s case, and there would be a reporter doing a “stand-up” and we’d turn our camera on the reporter so they could set the scene for us. So the global interest in this case proved beneficial to us.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"url":"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nu4GgQ1LWiI","provider":"youtube"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"embeds"},{"content":"## Finally, will you carry on telling Brendan and Steven’s stories?","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"**Laura:** It’s all up to Moira!","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"**Moira:** Oh it’s up to me this time? [laughs] Well the short answer is “maybe”. it’s all about whether a *Part 3* would offer anything new. We were convinced *Part 2* would take us into a very important and much lesser known part of the justice system – post conviction. We thought there were a lot of key questions about the appeal process that needed addressing: what were these guys were up against? How long would appealing their convictions would take? What toll is it going to take? We’d need to see if the story takes us in new directions.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"*Making A Murderer Part 2 is on Netflix now*","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"}],"heroImage":[{"id":"5c45619d9e24f0172e3e7933","altText":"Making A Murderer: Part 2","caption":"","credits":"","image":{"fileName":"mam1.jpg","name":"mam1.jpg","path":"one/empire-images/features/5bc9bf3afd0c0bc84446c3f4","width":640,"height":480,"mimeType":"image/jpeg"}}],"content":["It’s nearly three years since documentary series *Making A Murderer* arrived on Netflix and became a word-of-mouth sensation. The ten brilliantly-constructed episodes explored the story of Wisconsin used-car dealer Steven Avery, who was arrested, charged and imprisoned for sexual assault and attempted murder in 1985, but was exonerated after 18 years in prison, when new evidence came to light. Then in 2005, just as Avery was suing the local police, he was arrested for a new, unconnected crime – the murder of photographer Teresa Halbach. His teenage nephew Brendan Dassey, who confessed in highly controversial circumstances to “helping” with the murder, was also charged. Both were convicted in 2007, and both are still incarcerated.","Now *Making A Murderer: Part 2* updates the situation, with ten riveting new episodes. *Pilot TV* sat down with the show’s directors and writers, Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos, to discuss the challenges of season 2.","## Having created this phenomenon, was your approach for *Part 2* different?","**Laura:** Our approach was the same, but the phase of the process that we were covering was very different. In *Part 1* we were covering someone who was awaiting trial in a murder case, and in *Part 2* that person and his co-defendant have been convicted, are now serving life sentences and have vowed to fight and are challenging their convictions.","## And how different was the experience of telling that new story?","**Moira:** It was different, mainly because with *Part 1* it was an independent project before Netflix came on board, so it was just Laura and myself filming events, with occasional help from one or two other people. We based ourselves in Wisconsin for 18 months and we could just shoot and shoot and shoot. Plus, we were covering events that were unfolding in a highly structured way – someone was charged, they were going to trial and there was going to be a verdict – so we had that three-act structure. We also had time to digest it all and work with the footage. No one was expecting us to deliver a 10-part series; no one knew who we were.","Fast forward to *Part 2*, and we’ve got the financial backing of Netflix which means we can hire crew which opens up new creative options that weren’t there before. But the real difference was that this was a story that everyone is now following, and we can’t just put out the series seven years after the events. We had to find a way to do the same kind of storytelling in a much more condensed time frame – basically we were in post-production the entire time we were in production. From June in 2016 when we started shooting again, we were editing, and the last shoot was July this year. That was a challenge: to follow events as they are unfolding while trying to finish the early episodes.","**Laura:** Yes one of the main ways it was different this time was that we knew *Part 2* had a home [at Netflix]. Knowing that what we were making would be seen by a lot of people is a different experience.","## Was it hard to work out a structure for *Part 2*, considering the events were unfolding as you were filming?","**Moira:** We had a hint of a structure because we knew [lawyer] Kathleen Zellner had taken Steven’s case and we knew what she was going to do was to file a post-conviction petition and argue for a new evidentiary hearing. We didn’t know that document would be over a thousand pages…","**Laura:** I don’t think anyone but Kathleen knew that…","**Moira:** But we didn’t know if that would be a three-episode arc, or longer, and we certainly didn’t know how dynamic Brendan’s case would be. So we looked at these events and tried to work out the structure we were going along, but yeah, it was hard.","## How many hours of footage did you have?","**Laura:** It’s harder to count now because we’re shooting digitally on fancy HD and not on actual mini DV tapes that we used for *Part 1*, but I’d say at least a thousand hours.","## You mentioned Kathleen Zellner, who seems like an extraordinarily larger than life character. What did you make of her?","**Laura:** Meeting Kathleen reminded me of how Steven’s story kind of fell into our laps. It was never that we were looking for the perfect murder story, and I feel the same way about Kathleen. I remember reading a profile of Kathleen in Newsweek after she said she was taking on Steven’s case, and I really couldn’t wait to meet her. At that point we knew Brendan’s new lawyers, Laura Nirider and Steve Drizin, who appeared in episode 10 of *Part 1*, had filed a petition in 2014 to challenge Brendan’s state conviction in a federal court. And now Steven had Kathleen, this really accomplished post-conviction lawyer who is the winningest private post-conviction attorney in the country, so we reached out to her, told her we were considering continuing to cover Steven’s story, and she came on board.","**Moira:** When we knew Kathleen Zellner had taken the case and when we knew about her, shall we say… unconventional methods, we felt we had this character the viewer could go on a journey with, and we thought that might be a pretty incredible journey.","## Did the fact that the world is now watching this story have an impact on you while you were making *Part 2*?","**Moira:** Yes, we were definitely working in different circumstances. There were times when we would be in the cutting room in LA and there would be major breaking news in the courtroom in Wisconsin, so we tried to make sure we could be as nimble as possible.","**Laura:** Luckily this time we had a great production team we could call upon. We had spreadsheets of people we could call at a moment’s notice.","**Moira:** It also helped us that so many news crews are covering our story points now. Sometimes we’d go to a major event like oral arguments in Brendan’s case, and there would be a reporter doing a “stand-up” and we’d turn our camera on the reporter so they could set the scene for us. So the global interest in this case proved beneficial to us.","## Finally, will you carry on telling Brendan and Steven’s stories?","**Laura:** It’s all up to Moira!","**Moira:** Oh it’s up to me this time? [laughs] Well the short answer is “maybe”. it’s all about whether a *Part 3* would offer anything new. We were convinced *Part 2* would take us into a very important and much lesser known part of the justice system – post conviction. We thought there were a lot of key questions about the appeal process that needed addressing: what were these guys were up against? How long would appealing their convictions would take? What toll is it going to take? We’d need to see if the story takes us in new directions.","*Making A Murderer Part 2 is on Netflix now*"],"embeds":[{"url":"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nu4GgQ1LWiI","provider":"youtube"}],"images":[{"id":"5c45619d9e24f0172e3e7934","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5bc9bf3afd0c0bc84446c3f4","fileName":"laura-moira.jpg","name":"laura-moira.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos","credits":"Mark Davis/Getty"},{"id":"5c45619d9e24f0172e3e7935","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5bc9bf3afd0c0bc84446c3f4","fileName":"mam22.jpg","name":"mam22.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Making A Murderer: Part 2"},{"id":"5c45619d9e24f0172e3e7936","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5bc9bf3afd0c0bc84446c3f4","fileName":"mam3.jpg","name":"mam3.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Making A Murderer: Part 2"}],"imageGalleries":[],"pullQuotes":[],"publicationDate":1539948240000,"author":{"id":"5a0ecfd9d7aa8e33ecab37c3","fullname":"Willow Green"},"author_custom":"Boyd Hilton","people":[{"id":"5c44bb749e24f0172e3c4b5b","furl":"moira-demos","name":"Moira Demos","composed":{}},{"id":"5c44bb749e24f0172e3c4b5a","furl":"laura-ricciardi","name":"Laura Ricciardi","composed":{}}],"apiVersion":"1.0","createdAt":1539948346793,"createdBy":"testClient","v":1,"primaryPublication":{"id":"5b5ef0e371fda32230981b74","preview":null,"name":"Empire","urlSlugHide":true,"furl":"empire","stationCode":"","language":"en","googleAnalyticsId":"","fbiaAudienceNetworkPlacement1":"","hostname":{"id":"59e4c911f9648a12d2ed73f5","primary":"https://stg.empireonline.com"},"composed":{"hostname":"59e4c911f9648a12d2ed73f5"}},"urls":["empire/movies/features/making-murderer-creators-kathleen-zellner-working-netflix-part-3/"],"composed":{"heroImage":["5c45619d9e24f0172e3e7933"],"author":"5a0ecfd9d7aa8e33ecab37c3","imageGalleries":[],"publications":["5b5ef0e371fda32230981b74"],"categories":["5c44b9b09e24f0172e3b6b95"],"primaryPublication":"5b5ef0e371fda32230981b74","images":["5c45619d9e24f0172e3e7934","5c45619d9e24f0172e3e7935","5c45619d9e24f0172e3e7936"],"people":["5c44bb749e24f0172e3c4b5b","5c44bb749e24f0172e3c4b5a"]}},{"id":"5c45619d9e24f0172e3e7932","title":"Terminator 6 – Everything You Need To Know About The 2019 Sequel With Linda Hamilton And Arnold Schwartzenegger","subtitle":"","furl":"terminator-6-everything-need-know-2019-sequel-linda-hamilton","urlOverride":"terminator-6-everything-need-know-2019-sequel-linda-hamilton","publications":[{"id":"5b5ef0e371fda32230981b74","amp":null,"preview":null,"name":"Empire","urlSlugHide":true,"furl":"empire","stationCode":"","language":"en","hostname":{"id":"59e4c911f9648a12d2ed73f5","primary":"https://stg.empireonline.com"},"composed":{"hostname":"59e4c911f9648a12d2ed73f5"}}],"primarySyndicatePosition":0,"categories":[{"id":"5c44b9b09e24f0172e3b6b95","name":"Features","furl":"features","parent":{"id":"5c44b9b09e24f0172e3b6b8f","name":"Movies","furl":"movies"},"composed":{"parent":"5c44b9b09e24f0172e3b6b8f"}}],"pageTemplate":"feature","published":{"state":"published","scheduledEnd":null,"wasPublished":true},"target":"international","isLegacy":true,"legacy":{"id":"5bc7d495fd0c0bc84446b4f3","collection":"features","publication":"empire","furl":"terminator-6-everything-need-know-2019-sequel-linda-hamilton","url":"movies/features/terminator-6-everything-need-know-2019-sequel-linda-hamilton/","cms":"http://bantam.empireonline.com/edit.php?c=features.content&_id=5bc7d495fd0c0bc84446b4f3","urlHistory":[],"createdAt":1539822741189},"toplistFeature":false,"hiddenArticle":false,"excerpt":"The Terminator franchise has, it's fair to say, been suffering a serious bout...","metaTitle":"","metaDescription":"Find everything Empire knows about the next Terminator movie right here.","sourceText":null,"sourceUrl":null,"_layout":[{"content":"Terminator 6 – Everything You Need To Know About The 2019 Sequel With Linda Hamilton And Arnold Schwartzenegger","type":"title"},{"content":"","type":"subtitle"},{"content":{"id":"5c45619c9e24f0172e3e792c","altText":"Terminator 2019","caption":"","credits":"","image":{"fileName":"terminator-crop.jpg","name":"terminator-crop.jpg","path":"one/empire-images/features/5bc7d495fd0c0bc84446b4f3","width":640,"height":480,"mimeType":"image/jpeg"}},"displayName":"Article Hero","free":true,"name":"hero","type":"heroImage"},{"content":"The *Terminator* franchise has, it's fair to say, been suffering a serious bout of the doldrums. *[Terminator Genisys](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/terminator-genisys/review/)* was initially touted as a jolt of electricity to kick off a fresh new spin, but landed with all the grace of a T-800 bellyflopping into a pool. It didn't help that it relied so heavily on the mythology kicked off by [James Cameron](https://www.empireonline.com/people/james-cameron/) with the 1984 original, and mostly seemed worse by comparison. So what to do? Well, with Cameron's input, here comes a still-untitled movie that looks to reset the damage wrought by the sequels that followed 1992's *[Terminator 2](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/terminator-2-judgment-day/review/)*. The result? That's still to be seen...","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Who Is Directing The New *Terminator*?","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c45619c9e24f0172e3e792d","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5bc7d495fd0c0bc84446b4f3","fileName":"tim-miller.jpg","name":"tim-miller.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Tim Miller"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"With Cameron himself a little busy bringing approximately [73 *Avatar* sequels to life](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/features/avatar-2-everything-need-know-james-cameron-sequels/), the directorial duties have fallen to a man with just one other feature film under his belt: animator, visual effects veteran and producer [Tim Miller](https://www.empireonline.com/people/tim-miller/). Fortunately, that one film was *[Deadpool](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/deadpool-2/review/)* and it was a whole lot of fun, so it'll be interesting to see what tone he brings to the film. Especially a certain someone looking over his shoulder...","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## So How Is James Cameron Involved?","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c45619c9e24f0172e3e792e","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5bc7d495fd0c0bc84446b4f3","fileName":"james-cameron-terminator.jpg","name":"james-cameron-terminator.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"James Cameron and friend"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"Though he hasn't directly written the script or climbed back into the director's chair, James Cameron is certainly more involved this time. Other *Terminator* films beyond his own have had to be content with the odd positive word or thumbs up on a plot element; here Cameron is a creative consultant and a producer alongside David Ellison, boss of the Skydance production company helping to make the new movie (and making us worried *it's just a few letters away from Skynet and oh no the robots are putting out propaganda ahead of an attack we must all be nice to our phones and*... ahem). Anyway, it all indicates that he's had a say in the story direction and designs for the film, even if he's been happy to let others run with the actual making of the movie. The storyline points to him once again taking a real interest in returning the *Terminator* franchise to its former glory.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Is Arnold Schwarzenegger Back?","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c45619c9e24f0172e3e792f","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5bc7d495fd0c0bc84446b4f3","fileName":"schwarzenegger.jpg","name":"schwarzenegger.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Arnold Schwarzenegger"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"He certainly is, though we don't exactly know how his iconic Terminator character (either good or bad variant) fits into the plot. There have been rumours he might also be playing some human character, but so far, beyond a couple of small press releases (see below), the narrative is a mystery for now.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Who Else Is In The Cast?","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"The other big name from Terminator history returning for the first time in decades is [Linda Hamilton](https://www.empireonline.com/people/linda-hamilton/). The once and future Sarah Connor looks typically ready to fight, and it's a welcome chance to see her play her most famous role again. She's joined by the likes of Mackenzie Davis, Natalia Reyes, Diego Boneta, and Gabriel Luna.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## What's The Plot?","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c45619c9e24f0172e3e7930","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5bc7d495fd0c0bc84446b4f3","fileName":"Terminator%202%20robot.jpg","name":"Terminator%202%20robot.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":""},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"As of this moment, your guess is as good as ours. We do know that Reyes is playing Dani Ramos, a young woman in Mexico City who becomes caught up in the battle between humanity and the machines, with Mackenzie Davis as the mysterious Grace, and Luna playing a Terminator of some kind. We can, of course, expect plenty of battles between humans and killer cyborgs, and there will surely be some explanation for what Sarah Connor has been up to (you know, since she's apparently not dead and all). Plus, we predict some timeline shifting, though hopefully not leading to as much of a confusing mishmash as *Genisys*.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## When Is The New *Terminator* Hitting Screens?","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c45619c9e24f0172e3e7931","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5bc7d495fd0c0bc84446b4f3","fileName":"schwarzenegger-terminator-insta.jpg","name":"schwarzenegger-terminator-insta.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton Terminator reunion pic"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"The film will be out on 13 November, 2019.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"}],"heroImage":[{"id":"5c45619c9e24f0172e3e792c","altText":"Terminator 2019","caption":"","credits":"","image":{"fileName":"terminator-crop.jpg","name":"terminator-crop.jpg","path":"one/empire-images/features/5bc7d495fd0c0bc84446b4f3","width":640,"height":480,"mimeType":"image/jpeg"}}],"content":["The *Terminator* franchise has, it's fair to say, been suffering a serious bout of the doldrums. *[Terminator Genisys](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/terminator-genisys/review/)* was initially touted as a jolt of electricity to kick off a fresh new spin, but landed with all the grace of a T-800 bellyflopping into a pool. It didn't help that it relied so heavily on the mythology kicked off by [James Cameron](https://www.empireonline.com/people/james-cameron/) with the 1984 original, and mostly seemed worse by comparison. So what to do? Well, with Cameron's input, here comes a still-untitled movie that looks to reset the damage wrought by the sequels that followed 1992's *[Terminator 2](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/terminator-2-judgment-day/review/)*. The result? That's still to be seen...","## Who Is Directing The New *Terminator*?","With Cameron himself a little busy bringing approximately [73 *Avatar* sequels to life](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/features/avatar-2-everything-need-know-james-cameron-sequels/), the directorial duties have fallen to a man with just one other feature film under his belt: animator, visual effects veteran and producer [Tim Miller](https://www.empireonline.com/people/tim-miller/). Fortunately, that one film was *[Deadpool](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/deadpool-2/review/)* and it was a whole lot of fun, so it'll be interesting to see what tone he brings to the film. Especially a certain someone looking over his shoulder...","## So How Is James Cameron Involved?","Though he hasn't directly written the script or climbed back into the director's chair, James Cameron is certainly more involved this time. Other *Terminator* films beyond his own have had to be content with the odd positive word or thumbs up on a plot element; here Cameron is a creative consultant and a producer alongside David Ellison, boss of the Skydance production company helping to make the new movie (and making us worried *it's just a few letters away from Skynet and oh no the robots are putting out propaganda ahead of an attack we must all be nice to our phones and*... ahem). Anyway, it all indicates that he's had a say in the story direction and designs for the film, even if he's been happy to let others run with the actual making of the movie. The storyline points to him once again taking a real interest in returning the *Terminator* franchise to its former glory.","## Is Arnold Schwarzenegger Back?","He certainly is, though we don't exactly know how his iconic Terminator character (either good or bad variant) fits into the plot. There have been rumours he might also be playing some human character, but so far, beyond a couple of small press releases (see below), the narrative is a mystery for now.","## Who Else Is In The Cast?","The other big name from Terminator history returning for the first time in decades is [Linda Hamilton](https://www.empireonline.com/people/linda-hamilton/). The once and future Sarah Connor looks typically ready to fight, and it's a welcome chance to see her play her most famous role again. She's joined by the likes of Mackenzie Davis, Natalia Reyes, Diego Boneta, and Gabriel Luna.","## What's The Plot?","As of this moment, your guess is as good as ours. We do know that Reyes is playing Dani Ramos, a young woman in Mexico City who becomes caught up in the battle between humanity and the machines, with Mackenzie Davis as the mysterious Grace, and Luna playing a Terminator of some kind. We can, of course, expect plenty of battles between humans and killer cyborgs, and there will surely be some explanation for what Sarah Connor has been up to (you know, since she's apparently not dead and all). Plus, we predict some timeline shifting, though hopefully not leading to as much of a confusing mishmash as *Genisys*.","## When Is The New *Terminator* Hitting Screens?","The film will be out on 13 November, 2019."],"embeds":[],"images":[{"id":"5c45619c9e24f0172e3e792d","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5bc7d495fd0c0bc84446b4f3","fileName":"tim-miller.jpg","name":"tim-miller.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Tim Miller"},{"id":"5c45619c9e24f0172e3e792e","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5bc7d495fd0c0bc84446b4f3","fileName":"james-cameron-terminator.jpg","name":"james-cameron-terminator.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"James Cameron and 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Kid Who Would Be King – Trailer Breakdown With Joe 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Britain seems a bit devoid of magic these days. Fear and division rule,...","metaTitle":"","metaDescription":"The director talks Arthurian legends, Excalibur, and zombie knights. Read more at Empire.","sourceText":null,"sourceUrl":null,"_layout":[{"content":"The Kid Who Would Be King – Trailer Breakdown With Joe Cornish","type":"title"},{"content":"","type":"subtitle"},{"content":{"id":"5c45619b9e24f0172e3e7917","altText":"The Kid Who Would Be King","caption":"","credits":"","image":{"fileName":"kwwbk-9.jpg","name":"kwwbk-9.jpg","path":"one/empire-images/features/5bc7488dfd0c0bc84446ab95","width":640,"height":480,"mimeType":"image/jpeg"}},"displayName":"Article Hero","free":true,"name":"hero","type":"heroImage"},{"content":"Great Britain seems a bit devoid of magic these days. Fear and division rule, villainy feels prevalent, and the royal family is all marriage and babies instead of tales of dashing knights and warrior kings. Enter *[The Kid Who Would Be King](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/kid-king/)* – the new film from *[Attack The Block](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/attack-block/review/)* director [Joe Cornish](https://www.empireonline.com/people/joe-cornish/) that looks set to cathartically explore those feelings, and dispel them with a fast, funny, fantasy adventure based on tales of yore. Just as his debut crashed alien sci-fi into the mean streets of South London, this time the tales of Arthurian legend invade the South London suburbs – an idea that first popped into the filmmaker’s head when he was 13. Empire spoke to Cornish to break down the trailer, talking King Arthur, zombie knights, and sneaking out of school to eat McDonalds.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"url":"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TADKiHYj6RE","provider":"youtube"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"embeds"},{"content":"## Welcome To Dungate","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c45619b9e24f0172e3e7918","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5bc7488dfd0c0bc84446ab95","fileName":"kwwbk-1.jpg","name":"kwwbk-1.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"The Kid Who Would Be King"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"We’re in a different area of South London compared to *Attack The Block* – a dull, middle-class neighbourhood where our hero, 12-year-old Alexander Elliot, lives and attends Dungate Academy. “The idea is that this kid is the least significant boy in history, discovering the most significant sword in history. So he lives in a very non-descript, average suburban neighbourhood,” Cornish explains.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c45619b9e24f0172e3e7919","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5bc7488dfd0c0bc84446ab95","fileName":"kwwbk-2.jpg","name":"kwwbk-2.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"The Kid Who Would Be King"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"“Dungate is a big old standard state school, a factory for young people, very keen on trying to turn them out as good citizens with decent exam results. It starts the film as your average young-adult factory, and ends the film as a contemporary version of a medieval fortress.”","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Boy Hero","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c45619b9e24f0172e3e791a","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5bc7488dfd0c0bc84446ab95","fileName":"kwwbk-4.jpg","name":"kwwbk-4.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"The Kid Who Would Be King"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"Louis Ashbourne Serkis (son of Andy) plays Alex, who’s almost grown out of his childhood. “He used to be very enthusiastic about fantasy adventure movies and novels and magic and escapism. But now he’s entering that mysterious adolescent zone where suddenly you realise that childhood fantasies may not be as useful or relevant to adult life as you thought they were,” says Cornish. “The grown-up world is slightly less thrilling, a little more cold and brutal, than you first imagined it. He’s got to get a bit harder and more cynical to survive.”","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Best Budders","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c45619b9e24f0172e3e791b","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5bc7488dfd0c0bc84446ab95","fileName":"kwwbk-5.jpg","name":"kwwbk-5.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"The Kid Who Would Be King"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"Alex’s best friend Bedders hasn’t lost that childlike outlook yet, though – something which puts him in the path of Dungate Academy’s bullies. “Alex and Bedders grew up together. Their houses back onto each other and they’re the closest possible mates,” Cornish says. “They really forge their friendship in the furnace of fantasy – they’re the kind of kids who would have played at being *Star Wars* characters, or *Doctor Who*, or *Lord of the Rings* or *Harry Potter*.” Alex shows his true heroic potential in standing up for his mate.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## ’18 Bonnie And Clyde","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c45619b9e24f0172e3e791c","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5bc7488dfd0c0bc84446ab95","fileName":"kwwbk-3.jpg","name":"kwwbk-3.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"The Kid Who Would Be King"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"At the start of the trailer, blonde-haired bully Lance (Tom Taylor) and his accomplice Kaye (Rhianna Dorris) are giving Bedders the old shake-down – but later on they join him and Alex on their quest. “They’re the Bonnie and Clyde of the playground,” Cornish jokes. “They go around fleecing younger kids, rinsing them, dangling them upside down and emptying the contents of their pockets. They’re older kids who pick on younger kids, they’re kind of insecure but they’re also very cool and confident. Lance, Kaye and Bedders are all analogues for the Arthurian characters of Sir Lancelot, Sir Kay, and Sir Bedivere.”","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Excalibur Awaits","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c45619b9e24f0172e3e791d","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5bc7488dfd0c0bc84446ab95","fileName":"kwwbk-6.jpg","name":"kwwbk-6.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"The Kid Who Would Be King"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"But before they join Alex’s quest, Lance and Kaye chase him down and accidentally lead him to his destiny. After hiding from the playground nasties, Alex finds Excalibur – the Sword in the Stone. Except, this time the stone is a concrete pillar in a building site.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c45619b9e24f0172e3e791e","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5bc7488dfd0c0bc84446ab95","fileName":"kwwbk-7.jpg","name":"kwwbk-7.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"The Kid Who Would Be King"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"“That was the closest thing Merlin can find to an ancient paleolithic site in central London, so it’s sort of like an urban version of Stonehenge,” Cornish reasons. “Under the moonlight it looks vaguely druidic and ancient.”","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Google It","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c45619b9e24f0172e3e791f","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5bc7488dfd0c0bc84446ab95","fileName":"kwwbk-8.jpg","name":"kwwbk-8.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"The Kid Who Would Be King"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"If there’s one thing King Arthur didn’t have, it was a smartphone. And if there’s a second, it’s Google. Thankfully Alex and Bedders have both, which helps significantly in translating the inscriptions on Excalibur. “The idea of *The Sword in the Stone* in the modern world immediately presented all these possibilities to revitalise a legend that’s constantly told in a rather boring sword-and-sandals historical way,” Cornish says of the culture clash. “You can’t get a greater difference than the Knights of the Round Table as we picture them in our imagination, and a bunch of contemporary teenage kids. Not many modern kids know what the chivalric code is. And the idea of putting any kind of sword or weapon into the hands of a London kid fills people with terror and apprehension. To me it’s a very entertaining, interesting, and exciting idea to revisit the legend in that contemporary context.”","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Mini-Merlin","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c45619b9e24f0172e3e7920","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5bc7488dfd0c0bc84446ab95","fileName":"kwwbk-14.jpg","name":"kwwbk-14.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"The Kid Who Would Be King"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"When you think of Merlin, you picture an ancient bearded warlock. But when we meet him here, he’s a sprightly teenager. “One thing that caught my imagination in the Arthurian legends is the notion that Merlin lives ‘backwards in time’,” explains Cornish. “Quite what that means is very hard to figure out, but I thought maybe it means that he’s like Benjamin Button – that the older he gets, the younger he becomes. Also it means that he can blend in with the other characters and be their mentor without it all looking a little bit weird. He’s an extra-eccentric, funny, wise, fish-out-of-water version of Merlin.” It’s not the only version of Merlin we see – but more on that later.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Rise Of The Fallen","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c45619b9e24f0172e3e7921","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5bc7488dfd0c0bc84446ab95","fileName":"kwwbk-10.jpg","name":"kwwbk-10.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"The Kid Who Would Be King"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"Alex’s possession of Excalibur has an unfortunate side-effect: it awakens the villainous Morgana, who resurrects her army of warriors. “This comes from the idea that archaeologists are constantly discovering the bodies of ancient kings under car parks around Britain,” says Cornish, referring to the surprise unearthing of Richard III. “You just scratch the surface of this country and you’re itching the nose of some kind of fallen peasant or warrior or historical character. Morgana uses dark magic to reanimate all her fallen warriors who lie under the surface of Britain in their cadaverous, rotten state. She puts lava into their veins, and they rise up and attempt to battle our young heroes for possession of Britain and Excalibur.”","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Twisted Sister","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c45619b9e24f0172e3e7922","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5bc7488dfd0c0bc84446ab95","fileName":"kwwbk-11.jpg","name":"kwwbk-11.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"The Kid Who Would Be King"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"And then we see Morgana herself, played by *Mission: Impossible* star Rebecca Ferguson. In the legends, she’s Arthur’s half-sister with a legitimate beef about being stiffed out of her inheritance. And having been banished and trapped underground for centuries, she’s mad as hell – and she’s not going to take it anymore. Morgana’s also a timely villain considering where Britain is today, as Cornish explains: “She’s waiting for the land to become lost and leaderless, for the people of Britain to feel divided and lost and weak, so that she can re-emerge and gain dominion of the country that she lost. The United Kingdom, for the first time in a long time, is really potentially threated with break-up. One of the things King Arthur did, according to the legend, is unite the warring tribes of Britain. This seems like a good time to reintroduce that narrative, even in a slightly tongue-in-cheek way.”","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue Of Merlin)","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c45619b9e24f0172e3e7923","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5bc7488dfd0c0bc84446ab95","fileName":"kwwbk-12.jpg","name":"kwwbk-12.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"The Kid Who Would Be King"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"Merlin’s not only a wizard – he’s a shapeshifter. “In my movie he doesn’t change into quite so many animals, but he’s able to transform into an owl if he wants to get around faster. He’s a very old, scrappy owl that keeps shedding feathers and bumping into things.”","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## It’s An Extender!","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c45619b9e24f0172e3e7924","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5bc7488dfd0c0bc84446ab95","fileName":"kwwbk-15.jpg","name":"kwwbk-15.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"The Kid Who Would Be King"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"As the young knights assemble, they need their own round table – or, a rectangular one that converts. “I think most domestic round tables have those little flaps,” Cornish muses. “That’s the scene where Alex has to give his very rousing speech and convince his former enemies, Lance and Kaye, to join his band of knights. Similiarly, King Arthur was very nearly killed by Sir Lancelot before Lancelot came on side. Every time Alex feels that he’s living the dream, there’s always some banal contemporary issue that pops up and undercuts him, like the squeaky folding table.”","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Fast Travel","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c45619b9e24f0172e3e7925","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5bc7488dfd0c0bc84446ab95","fileName":"kwwbk-16.jpg","name":"kwwbk-16.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"The Kid Who Would Be King"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"You know all those mysterious ancient monuments that Britain is packed with? They form an ancient transport system in *The Kid Who Would Be King*. “Stonehenge is like King’s Cross, the main transport hub,” explains Cornish. “So those trilithons, those arches, are actually doorways, and if you use the right gesticular magic you can walk through them and emerge from any other standing stone in Britain. All the stuff I was dragged around – Glastonbury Tor or Stonehenge or ruined castles – is a bit boring and dry to you when you’re a kid. The idea is to imbue it with magic and make a film that would make kids realise how exciting and incredible this country is. For something like Stonehenge to be sitting so close to London is pretty mind-blowing – it’s a very mysterious and exciting place.”","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Knight School","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c45619b9e24f0172e3e7926","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5bc7488dfd0c0bc84446ab95","fileName":"kwwbk-19.jpg","name":"kwwbk-19.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"The Kid Who Would Be King"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"Alex recruits more than just Bedders, Lance, and Kaye to his cause – the rest of Dungate gets involved too. “I don’t want to give too much away,” warns Cornish, “but if you want to see 600 school kids in suits of armour with swords defending their school against a massive army of zombie knights, then come and see *The Kid Who Would Be King*.” Sold.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Bunking Off","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c45619b9e24f0172e3e7927","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5bc7488dfd0c0bc84446ab95","fileName":"kwwbk-18.jpg","name":"kwwbk-18.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"The Kid Who Would Be King"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"It turns out kids will do basically anything to get out of lessons – even signing up to fight the aforementioned army of zombie knights. “Me and Adam Buxton and Louis Theroux used to bunk off school in the morning and go to McDonalds in Victoria Street to have a delicious sausage and egg McMuffin,” Cornish recalls. “That’s hardly as noble a reason for skipping school as the kids in the movie have.”","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Mer-Man","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c45619b9e24f0172e3e7928","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5bc7488dfd0c0bc84446ab95","fileName":"kwwbk-20.jpg","name":"kwwbk-20.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"The Kid Who Would Be King"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"As promised, we don’t just get Merlin in teen form – he can turn into his older self, played by Sir Patrick Stewart, at will. “There’s more young Merlin than old Merlin,” confirms Cornish. “But old Merlin certainly makes a major impact when he appears.”","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## 150CC","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c45619b9e24f0172e3e7929","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5bc7488dfd0c0bc84446ab95","fileName":"kwwbk-21.jpg","name":"kwwbk-21.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"The Kid Who Would Be King"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"Kaye gets her big action moment in a car chase, pursued by one of Morgana’s warriors – and luckily she’s an old hand at driving having sunk hours into Mario Kart on the Wii wheel. “Kaye’s sort of beholden to Lance at the beginning, she’s like his henchwoman,” says Cornish of her arc. “But as the story plays out, she very much becomes her own person. She realises she’s sort of attached to this lunatic and she gets to show how skilled she is.”","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## The Lady in the Water","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c45619b9e24f0172e3e792a","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5bc7488dfd0c0bc84446ab95","fileName":"kwwbk-22.jpg","name":"kwwbk-22.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"The Kid Who Would Be King"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"In the trailer’s final moment, Alex calls on the Lady of the Lake – one of the more familiar elements of the Sword in the Stone myth – to bring Excalibur to him. “She’s the guardian of Excalibur,” Cornish says. “She exists underwater, and when you throw Excalibur into the lake her hand rises and grabs it. When I was a kid and I thought of the idea, it was one of the first images that came to me – I used to sketch that image of a bath with the Lady of the Lake and Excalibur coming out of it on my school books.”","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"*The Kid Who Would Be King* arrives in UK cinemas on 15 February 2019.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"}],"heroImage":[{"id":"5c45619b9e24f0172e3e7917","altText":"The Kid Who Would Be King","caption":"","credits":"","image":{"fileName":"kwwbk-9.jpg","name":"kwwbk-9.jpg","path":"one/empire-images/features/5bc7488dfd0c0bc84446ab95","width":640,"height":480,"mimeType":"image/jpeg"}}],"content":["Great Britain seems a bit devoid of magic these days. Fear and division rule, villainy feels prevalent, and the royal family is all marriage and babies instead of tales of dashing knights and warrior kings. Enter *[The Kid Who Would Be King](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/kid-king/)* – the new film from *[Attack The Block](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/attack-block/review/)* director [Joe Cornish](https://www.empireonline.com/people/joe-cornish/) that looks set to cathartically explore those feelings, and dispel them with a fast, funny, fantasy adventure based on tales of yore. Just as his debut crashed alien sci-fi into the mean streets of South London, this time the tales of Arthurian legend invade the South London suburbs – an idea that first popped into the filmmaker’s head when he was 13. Empire spoke to Cornish to break down the trailer, talking King Arthur, zombie knights, and sneaking out of school to eat McDonalds.","## Welcome To Dungate","We’re in a different area of South London compared to *Attack The Block* – a dull, middle-class neighbourhood where our hero, 12-year-old Alexander Elliot, lives and attends Dungate Academy. “The idea is that this kid is the least significant boy in history, discovering the most significant sword in history. So he lives in a very non-descript, average suburban neighbourhood,” Cornish explains.","“Dungate is a big old standard state school, a factory for young people, very keen on trying to turn them out as good citizens with decent exam results. It starts the film as your average young-adult factory, and ends the film as a contemporary version of a medieval fortress.”","## Boy Hero","Louis Ashbourne Serkis (son of Andy) plays Alex, who’s almost grown out of his childhood. “He used to be very enthusiastic about fantasy adventure movies and novels and magic and escapism. But now he’s entering that mysterious adolescent zone where suddenly you realise that childhood fantasies may not be as useful or relevant to adult life as you thought they were,” says Cornish. “The grown-up world is slightly less thrilling, a little more cold and brutal, than you first imagined it. He’s got to get a bit harder and more cynical to survive.”","## Best Budders","Alex’s best friend Bedders hasn’t lost that childlike outlook yet, though – something which puts him in the path of Dungate Academy’s bullies. “Alex and Bedders grew up together. Their houses back onto each other and they’re the closest possible mates,” Cornish says. “They really forge their friendship in the furnace of fantasy – they’re the kind of kids who would have played at being *Star Wars* characters, or *Doctor Who*, or *Lord of the Rings* or *Harry Potter*.” Alex shows his true heroic potential in standing up for his mate.","## ’18 Bonnie And Clyde","At the start of the trailer, blonde-haired bully Lance (Tom Taylor) and his accomplice Kaye (Rhianna Dorris) are giving Bedders the old shake-down – but later on they join him and Alex on their quest. “They’re the Bonnie and Clyde of the playground,” Cornish jokes. “They go around fleecing younger kids, rinsing them, dangling them upside down and emptying the contents of their pockets. They’re older kids who pick on younger kids, they’re kind of insecure but they’re also very cool and confident. Lance, Kaye and Bedders are all analogues for the Arthurian characters of Sir Lancelot, Sir Kay, and Sir Bedivere.”","## Excalibur Awaits","But before they join Alex’s quest, Lance and Kaye chase him down and accidentally lead him to his destiny. After hiding from the playground nasties, Alex finds Excalibur – the Sword in the Stone. Except, this time the stone is a concrete pillar in a building site.","“That was the closest thing Merlin can find to an ancient paleolithic site in central London, so it’s sort of like an urban version of Stonehenge,” Cornish reasons. “Under the moonlight it looks vaguely druidic and ancient.”","## Google It","If there’s one thing King Arthur didn’t have, it was a smartphone. And if there’s a second, it’s Google. Thankfully Alex and Bedders have both, which helps significantly in translating the inscriptions on Excalibur. “The idea of *The Sword in the Stone* in the modern world immediately presented all these possibilities to revitalise a legend that’s constantly told in a rather boring sword-and-sandals historical way,” Cornish says of the culture clash. “You can’t get a greater difference than the Knights of the Round Table as we picture them in our imagination, and a bunch of contemporary teenage kids. Not many modern kids know what the chivalric code is. And the idea of putting any kind of sword or weapon into the hands of a London kid fills people with terror and apprehension. To me it’s a very entertaining, interesting, and exciting idea to revisit the legend in that contemporary context.”","## Mini-Merlin","When you think of Merlin, you picture an ancient bearded warlock. But when we meet him here, he’s a sprightly teenager. “One thing that caught my imagination in the Arthurian legends is the notion that Merlin lives ‘backwards in time’,” explains Cornish. “Quite what that means is very hard to figure out, but I thought maybe it means that he’s like Benjamin Button – that the older he gets, the younger he becomes. Also it means that he can blend in with the other characters and be their mentor without it all looking a little bit weird. He’s an extra-eccentric, funny, wise, fish-out-of-water version of Merlin.” It’s not the only version of Merlin we see – but more on that later.","## Rise Of The Fallen","Alex’s possession of Excalibur has an unfortunate side-effect: it awakens the villainous Morgana, who resurrects her army of warriors. “This comes from the idea that archaeologists are constantly discovering the bodies of ancient kings under car parks around Britain,” says Cornish, referring to the surprise unearthing of Richard III. “You just scratch the surface of this country and you’re itching the nose of some kind of fallen peasant or warrior or historical character. Morgana uses dark magic to reanimate all her fallen warriors who lie under the surface of Britain in their cadaverous, rotten state. She puts lava into their veins, and they rise up and attempt to battle our young heroes for possession of Britain and Excalibur.”","## Twisted Sister","And then we see Morgana herself, played by *Mission: Impossible* star Rebecca Ferguson. In the legends, she’s Arthur’s half-sister with a legitimate beef about being stiffed out of her inheritance. And having been banished and trapped underground for centuries, she’s mad as hell – and she’s not going to take it anymore. Morgana’s also a timely villain considering where Britain is today, as Cornish explains: “She’s waiting for the land to become lost and leaderless, for the people of Britain to feel divided and lost and weak, so that she can re-emerge and gain dominion of the country that she lost. The United Kingdom, for the first time in a long time, is really potentially threated with break-up. One of the things King Arthur did, according to the legend, is unite the warring tribes of Britain. This seems like a good time to reintroduce that narrative, even in a slightly tongue-in-cheek way.”","## Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue Of Merlin)","Merlin’s not only a wizard – he’s a shapeshifter. “In my movie he doesn’t change into quite so many animals, but he’s able to transform into an owl if he wants to get around faster. He’s a very old, scrappy owl that keeps shedding feathers and bumping into things.”","## It’s An Extender!","As the young knights assemble, they need their own round table – or, a rectangular one that converts. “I think most domestic round tables have those little flaps,” Cornish muses. “That’s the scene where Alex has to give his very rousing speech and convince his former enemies, Lance and Kaye, to join his band of knights. Similiarly, King Arthur was very nearly killed by Sir Lancelot before Lancelot came on side. Every time Alex feels that he’s living the dream, there’s always some banal contemporary issue that pops up and undercuts him, like the squeaky folding table.”","## Fast Travel","You know all those mysterious ancient monuments that Britain is packed with? They form an ancient transport system in *The Kid Who Would Be King*. “Stonehenge is like King’s Cross, the main transport hub,” explains Cornish. “So those trilithons, those arches, are actually doorways, and if you use the right gesticular magic you can walk through them and emerge from any other standing stone in Britain. All the stuff I was dragged around – Glastonbury Tor or Stonehenge or ruined castles – is a bit boring and dry to you when you’re a kid. The idea is to imbue it with magic and make a film that would make kids realise how exciting and incredible this country is. For something like Stonehenge to be sitting so close to London is pretty mind-blowing – it’s a very mysterious and exciting place.”","## Knight School","Alex recruits more than just Bedders, Lance, and Kaye to his cause – the rest of Dungate gets involved too. “I don’t want to give too much away,” warns Cornish, “but if you want to see 600 school kids in suits of armour with swords defending their school against a massive army of zombie knights, then come and see *The Kid Who Would Be King*.” Sold.","## Bunking Off","It turns out kids will do basically anything to get out of lessons – even signing up to fight the aforementioned army of zombie knights. “Me and Adam Buxton and Louis Theroux used to bunk off school in the morning and go to McDonalds in Victoria Street to have a delicious sausage and egg McMuffin,” Cornish recalls. “That’s hardly as noble a reason for skipping school as the kids in the movie have.”","## Mer-Man","As promised, we don’t just get Merlin in teen form – he can turn into his older self, played by Sir Patrick Stewart, at will. “There’s more young Merlin than old Merlin,” confirms Cornish. “But old Merlin certainly makes a major impact when he appears.”","## 150CC","Kaye gets her big action moment in a car chase, pursued by one of Morgana’s warriors – and luckily she’s an old hand at driving having sunk hours into Mario Kart on the Wii wheel. “Kaye’s sort of beholden to Lance at the beginning, she’s like his henchwoman,” says Cornish of her arc. “But as the story plays out, she very much becomes her own person. She realises she’s sort of attached to this lunatic and she gets to show how skilled she is.”","## The Lady in the Water","In the trailer’s final moment, Alex calls on the Lady of the Lake – one of the more familiar elements of the Sword in the Stone myth – to bring Excalibur to him. “She’s the guardian of Excalibur,” Cornish says. “She exists underwater, and when you throw Excalibur into the lake her hand rises and grabs it. When I was a kid and I thought of the idea, it was one of the first images that came to me – I used to sketch that image of a bath with the Lady of the Lake and Excalibur coming out of it on my school books.”","*The Kid Who Would Be King* arrives in UK cinemas on 15 February 2019."],"embeds":[{"url":"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TADKiHYj6RE","provider":"youtube"}],"images":[{"id":"5c45619b9e24f0172e3e7918","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5bc7488dfd0c0bc84446ab95","fileName":"kwwbk-1.jpg","name":"kwwbk-1.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"The Kid Who Would Be King"},{"id":"5c45619b9e24f0172e3e7919","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5bc7488dfd0c0bc84446ab95","fileName":"kwwbk-2.jpg","name":"kwwbk-2.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"The Kid Who Would Be 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– Everything You Need To Know About The DC Spin-Off","subtitle":"","furl":"joker-everything-need-know-dc-spin","urlOverride":"joker-everything-need-know-dc-spin","publications":[{"id":"5b5ef0e371fda32230981b74","amp":null,"preview":null,"name":"Empire","urlSlugHide":true,"furl":"empire","stationCode":"","language":"en","hostname":{"id":"59e4c911f9648a12d2ed73f5","primary":"https://stg.empireonline.com"},"composed":{"hostname":"59e4c911f9648a12d2ed73f5"}}],"primarySyndicatePosition":0,"categories":[{"id":"5c44b9b09e24f0172e3b6b95","name":"Features","furl":"features","parent":{"id":"5c44b9b09e24f0172e3b6b8f","name":"Movies","furl":"movies"},"composed":{"parent":"5c44b9b09e24f0172e3b6b8f"}}],"pageTemplate":"feature","published":{"state":"published","scheduledEnd":null,"wasPublished":true},"target":"international","isLegacy":true,"legacy":{"id":"5bc638e6fd0c0bc84446a316","collection":"features","publication":"empire","furl":"joker-everything-need-know-dc-spin","url":"movies/features/joker-everything-need-know-dc-spin/","cms":"http://bantam.empireonline.com/edit.php?c=features.content&_id=5bc638e6fd0c0bc84446a316","urlHistory":[],"createdAt":1539717350233},"toplistFeature":false,"hiddenArticle":false,"excerpt":"Looking for a way to truly distinguish their output from the sprawling Marvel...","metaTitle":"","metaDescription":"Which Joker is this? Is Batman involved? And when will we see it? Empire has the answers.","sourceText":null,"sourceUrl":null,"_layout":[{"content":"Joker – Everything You Need To Know About The DC Spin-Off","type":"title"},{"content":"","type":"subtitle"},{"content":{"id":"5c45619a9e24f0172e3e790e","altText":"Joker - Joaquin Phoenix","caption":"","credits":"","image":{"fileName":"joker-banner.jpg","name":"joker-banner.jpg","path":"one/empire-images/features/5bc638e6fd0c0bc84446a316","width":640,"height":480,"mimeType":"image/jpeg"}},"displayName":"Article Hero","free":true,"name":"hero","type":"heroImage"},{"content":"Looking for a way to truly distinguish their output from the sprawling Marvel Cinematic Universe, Warner Bros and DC aren't just sticking to their DCEU output. As an aside to that inter-connected universe, we're also getting an alternate stand-alone take on one of the most iconic villains of all time. Here's what we know so far about *[Joker](http://www.empireonline.com/movies/joker/)*, set to put a unique spin on the backstory for the Clown Prince Of Crime.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Who Is Directing *Joker*?","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c45619a9e24f0172e3e790f","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5bc638e6fd0c0bc84446a316","fileName":"Todd%20Phillips.jpg","name":"Todd%20Phillips.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":""},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"[Todd Phillips](http://www.empireonline.com/people/todd-phillips/), a man more known for the comedic likes of the _[Hangover](http://www.empireonline.com/movies/hangover/)_ films and _[Old School](http://www.empireonline.com/movies/old-school/)_, is going for something very much out of his usual wheelhouse with this. He might sound like an odd choice to be making a non-superhero superhero movie, but having co-written the script with _[The Fighter](http://www.empireonline.com/movies/fighter/)_'s [Scott Silver](http://www.empireonline.com/people/scott-silver/), he's clearly got a vision for the film.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## What's the idea behind the film?","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c45619a9e24f0172e3e7910","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5bc638e6fd0c0bc84446a316","fileName":"joker-comicbook.jpg","name":"joker-comicbook.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"The Joker (Comics)"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"According to Phillips, this one aims to eschew the usual effects-heavy, good vs-evil costumed punch-a-thon, instead looking into the mind of one man whose life experiences warp him into what we know as the Joker. The co-writer/director is on record as describing this as the story of a “man disregarded by society,” in a narrative the studio considers both a “gritty character study” and a “broader cautionary tale.” The idea is to make a crime-focused story that comes in for a thrifty $55 million budget. That push for grittiness [hasn't been working for everyone, mind](https://variety.com/2018/film/news/joker-extras-locked-subway-car-tracks-1202976071/)...","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Who's Playing The Joker?","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c45619a9e24f0172e3e7911","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5bc638e6fd0c0bc84446a316","fileName":"joker-phoenix.jpg","name":"joker-phoenix.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Joaquin Phoenix in Joker"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"[Joaquin Phoenix](http://www.empireonline.com/people/joaquin-phoenix/), an actor who hasn't yet taken on a comic book-based role (he was rumoured for Doctor Strange for a while, but that never panned out), plays 'Arthur Fleck' – an unremarkable man set to morph into something else entirely on his way to becoming The Joker. Not much has officially been revealed about the character, though he's apparently a wannabe comic whose career ambitions are thwarted more thoroughly than a *Bake Off* contestant who can't make a good genoise.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## What's The Story?","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c45619a9e24f0172e3e7912","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5bc638e6fd0c0bc84446a316","fileName":"joker-crop.jpg","name":"joker-crop.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Joker crop"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"Phillips and his team aren't saying a lot about the specifics for the plot, looking to keep those largely under wraps (even if we can guess where it's all headed, particularly when you see images of Phoenix in make-up). We do know that 'Arthur' has a run-in with a talk show host, and that we'll meet both his mother and a potential love interest.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Who Else Is In The Cast?","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c45619a9e24f0172e3e7913","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5bc638e6fd0c0bc84446a316","fileName":"robert-de-niro.jpg","name":"robert-de-niro.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Robert De Niro"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"The big name here is [Robert De Niro](http://www.empireonline.com/people/robert-de-niro/) who, like Phoenix has avoided superhero fare. As the story itself sounds a little like De Niro's own _[The King Of Comedy](http://www.empireonline.com/movies/king-comedy/)_, he'll play the Gotham City chat show host who crosses paths with Arthur. Given what happens, we're guessing their interaction does not go well.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"And the cast will feature someone who has done rather well in a superhero movie, as _[Deadpool 2](http://www.empireonline.com/movies/king-comedy/)_'s [Zazie Beetz](http://www.empireonline.com/people/zazie-beetz/) will play Sophie Dumond, described as a single mother who forms a connection with Arthur. Here's hoping she manages to survive it. Also along for the ride? [Frances Conroy](http://www.empireonline.com/people/frances-conroy/), as Arthur's mother, Penny, Marc Maron as the talent agent for the show hosted by De Niro and [Shea Whigham](http://www.empireonline.com/people/shea-whigham/) in an as-yet-unknown role.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## Will *Joker* Connect With Batman?","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c45619a9e24f0172e3e7914","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5bc638e6fd0c0bc84446a316","fileName":"ben%20affleck%20batman%20suit.jpg","name":"ben%20affleck%20batman%20suit.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":""},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"While early stories included little reference to anyone else from the *Batman* universe, the film will have a Bruce Wayne, albeit one still a youngster, [as Dante Pereira-Olso scored that role and Douglas Hodge is playing Alfred Pennyworth](http://www.empireonline.com/people/joaquin-phoenix/joker-casts-dante-pereira-olso-douglas-hodge-bruce-wayne-alfred/).","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"And Thomas Wayne is on to make an appearance, in a decidedly different form. Described as a Trump-like businessman, he sounds quite disparate from the usual philanthropist doctor whose death along with his wife helps spur young Bruce into his vigilante life. [Alec Baldwin was reportedly up for the role](https://www.empireonline.com/people/alec-baldwin/alec-baldwin-joins-joker/) before announcing he wasn't, and [Phillips has instead gone for Brett Cullen](https://www.empireonline.com/people/joaquin-phoenix/brett-cullen-play-joker-thomas-wayne/).","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"## When Is *Joker* Being Released?","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c45619a9e24f0172e3e7915","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5bc638e6fd0c0bc84446a316","fileName":"joker-clown-suit.jpg","name":"joker-clown-suit.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Joaquin Phoenix Joker clown outfit"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"*Joker* will be grinning its way into UK cinemas on 4 October next year.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"}],"heroImage":[{"id":"5c45619a9e24f0172e3e790e","altText":"Joker - Joaquin Phoenix","caption":"","credits":"","image":{"fileName":"joker-banner.jpg","name":"joker-banner.jpg","path":"one/empire-images/features/5bc638e6fd0c0bc84446a316","width":640,"height":480,"mimeType":"image/jpeg"}}],"content":["Looking for a way to truly distinguish their output from the sprawling Marvel Cinematic Universe, Warner Bros and DC aren't just sticking to their DCEU output. As an aside to that inter-connected universe, we're also getting an alternate stand-alone take on one of the most iconic villains of all time. Here's what we know so far about *[Joker](http://www.empireonline.com/movies/joker/)*, set to put a unique spin on the backstory for the Clown Prince Of Crime.","## Who Is Directing *Joker*?","[Todd Phillips](http://www.empireonline.com/people/todd-phillips/), a man more known for the comedic likes of the _[Hangover](http://www.empireonline.com/movies/hangover/)_ films and _[Old School](http://www.empireonline.com/movies/old-school/)_, is going for something very much out of his usual wheelhouse with this. He might sound like an odd choice to be making a non-superhero superhero movie, but having co-written the script with _[The Fighter](http://www.empireonline.com/movies/fighter/)_'s [Scott Silver](http://www.empireonline.com/people/scott-silver/), he's clearly got a vision for the film.","## What's the idea behind the film?","According to Phillips, this one aims to eschew the usual effects-heavy, good vs-evil costumed punch-a-thon, instead looking into the mind of one man whose life experiences warp him into what we know as the Joker. The co-writer/director is on record as describing this as the story of a “man disregarded by society,” in a narrative the studio considers both a “gritty character study” and a “broader cautionary tale.” The idea is to make a crime-focused story that comes in for a thrifty $55 million budget. That push for grittiness [hasn't been working for everyone, mind](https://variety.com/2018/film/news/joker-extras-locked-subway-car-tracks-1202976071/)...","## Who's Playing The Joker?","[Joaquin Phoenix](http://www.empireonline.com/people/joaquin-phoenix/), an actor who hasn't yet taken on a comic book-based role (he was rumoured for Doctor Strange for a while, but that never panned out), plays 'Arthur Fleck' – an unremarkable man set to morph into something else entirely on his way to becoming The Joker. Not much has officially been revealed about the character, though he's apparently a wannabe comic whose career ambitions are thwarted more thoroughly than a *Bake Off* contestant who can't make a good genoise.","## What's The Story?","Phillips and his team aren't saying a lot about the specifics for the plot, looking to keep those largely under wraps (even if we can guess where it's all headed, particularly when you see images of Phoenix in make-up). We do know that 'Arthur' has a run-in with a talk show host, and that we'll meet both his mother and a potential love interest.","## Who Else Is In The Cast?","The big name here is [Robert De Niro](http://www.empireonline.com/people/robert-de-niro/) who, like Phoenix has avoided superhero fare. As the story itself sounds a little like De Niro's own _[The King Of Comedy](http://www.empireonline.com/movies/king-comedy/)_, he'll play the Gotham City chat show host who crosses paths with Arthur. Given what happens, we're guessing their interaction does not go well.","And the cast will feature someone who has done rather well in a superhero movie, as _[Deadpool 2](http://www.empireonline.com/movies/king-comedy/)_'s [Zazie Beetz](http://www.empireonline.com/people/zazie-beetz/) will play Sophie Dumond, described as a single mother who forms a connection with Arthur. Here's hoping she manages to survive it. Also along for the ride? [Frances Conroy](http://www.empireonline.com/people/frances-conroy/), as Arthur's mother, Penny, Marc Maron as the talent agent for the show hosted by De Niro and [Shea Whigham](http://www.empireonline.com/people/shea-whigham/) in an as-yet-unknown role.","## Will *Joker* Connect With Batman?","While early stories included little reference to anyone else from the *Batman* universe, the film will have a Bruce Wayne, albeit one still a youngster, [as Dante Pereira-Olso scored that role and Douglas Hodge is playing Alfred Pennyworth](http://www.empireonline.com/people/joaquin-phoenix/joker-casts-dante-pereira-olso-douglas-hodge-bruce-wayne-alfred/).","And Thomas Wayne is on to make an appearance, in a decidedly different form. Described as a Trump-like businessman, he sounds quite disparate from the usual philanthropist doctor whose death along with his wife helps spur young Bruce into his vigilante life. [Alec Baldwin was reportedly up for the role](https://www.empireonline.com/people/alec-baldwin/alec-baldwin-joins-joker/) before announcing he wasn't, and [Phillips has instead gone for Brett Cullen](https://www.empireonline.com/people/joaquin-phoenix/brett-cullen-play-joker-thomas-wayne/).","## When Is *Joker* Being Released?","*Joker* will be grinning its way into UK cinemas on 4 October next year."],"embeds":[],"images":[{"id":"5c45619a9e24f0172e3e790f","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5bc638e6fd0c0bc84446a316","fileName":"Todd%20Phillips.jpg","name":"Todd%20Phillips.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":""},{"id":"5c45619a9e24f0172e3e7910","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5bc638e6fd0c0bc84446a316","fileName":"joker-comicbook.jpg","name":"joker-comicbook.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"The Joker 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He displayed his...","metaTitle":"","metaDescription":"The star and director talk political assassinations, noir references, and psychological journeys. Read more at Empire.","sourceText":null,"sourceUrl":null,"_layout":[{"content":"Bad Times At The El Royale: Chris Hemsworth And Drew Goddard Interview","type":"title"},{"content":"","type":"subtitle"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561999e24f0172e3e790a","altText":"Bad Times At The El Royale – Chris Hemsworth interview","caption":"","credits":"","image":{"fileName":"bad-times-hemsworth.jpg","name":"bad-times-hemsworth.jpg","path":"one/empire-images/features/5bc0cc0cfd0c0bc8444681f4","width":640,"height":480,"mimeType":"image/jpeg"}},"displayName":"Article Hero","free":true,"name":"hero","type":"heroImage"},{"content":"[Drew Goddard](https://www.empireonline.com/people/drew-goddard/) is a filmmaker who knows genre inside-out. He displayed his fantasy chops on *Buffy The Vampire Slayer* and *Angel*, honed character-based mythical sci-fi on *Lost*, and brought a new perspective to monster movies as the writer of *[Cloverfield](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/cloverfield/review/)*. And with his directorial debut, *[The Cabin In The Woods](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/cabin-woods/review/)*, he teamed up with Joss Whedon to provide a love letter and savage critique of horror movies in playful, thrilling style. Now he’s back with *[Bad Times At The El Royale](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/bad-times-el-royale/)*, an original crime-noir that twists tropes, time and place into a bold and gripping story.","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561999e24f0172e3e790b","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5bc0cc0cfd0c0bc8444681f4","fileName":"bad-times-2.jpg","name":"bad-times-2.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Bad Times At The El Royale – Exclusive"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"“I’ve always loved crime fiction, I’ve always loved film noir,” he tells *Empire*, citing authors including Agatha Christie, Graham Greene, Dashiell Hammett, and James Ellroy as influences. “I wanted to play around in that space. This movie’s very much my love letter to crime fiction, and I wanted to take the very things that I loved about the genre and give my own spin on it.”","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"*Bad Times* takes place in 1969 at a hotel that straddles the state line between California and Nevada, bringing a set of mysterious strangers together for a night of double-triple-quadruple-crossing, secret identities, and violent cults. “We had this time of intense political turmoil in the United States, you watched John F Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Bobby Kennedy all get murdered in a five-year period,” says Goddard of the film’s very specific sense of time. “And then Richard Nixon took over and brought a unique kind of darkness to the land. And at the same time you saw this real renaissance of art and music, and I love that juxtaposition.”","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"id":"5c4561999e24f0172e3e790c","image":{"path":"one/empire-images/features/5bc0cc0cfd0c0bc8444681f4","fileName":"bad-times-1.jpg","name":"bad-times-1.jpg","width":"640","height":"480","mimeType":"image/jpeg"},"caption":"","altText":"Bad Times At The El Royale – Exclusive"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"images"},{"content":"For all its cultural observation and detail-oriented design, the film is at heart a genre ride, full of surprises and altering viewpoints. “It’s a type of film you don’t see very often these days, which I found hugely refreshing,” says [Chris Hemsworth](https://www.empireonline.com/people/chris-hemsworth/), who plays the shadowy (and shirtless) cult leader Billy Lee. “I love the psychological journey it takes you on. It’s the kind of film you see two or three times and you pick up more and more details, which I think is pretty special.”","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":"Watch *Empire*’s full Drew Goddard and Chris Hemsworth interview here:","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"},{"content":{"url":"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OLZmX8rBNgQ","provider":"youtube"},"displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"embeds"},{"content":"*Bad Times At The El Royale is in cinemas now. Read [the Empire review](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/bad-times-el-royale/review/).*","displayName":"Body","free":true,"name":"body","type":"content"}],"heroImage":[{"id":"5c4561999e24f0172e3e790a","altText":"Bad Times At The El Royale – Chris Hemsworth interview","caption":"","credits":"","image":{"fileName":"bad-times-hemsworth.jpg","name":"bad-times-hemsworth.jpg","path":"one/empire-images/features/5bc0cc0cfd0c0bc8444681f4","width":640,"height":480,"mimeType":"image/jpeg"}}],"content":["[Drew Goddard](https://www.empireonline.com/people/drew-goddard/) is a filmmaker who knows genre inside-out. He displayed his fantasy chops on *Buffy The Vampire Slayer* and *Angel*, honed character-based mythical sci-fi on *Lost*, and brought a new perspective to monster movies as the writer of *[Cloverfield](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/cloverfield/review/)*. And with his directorial debut, *[The Cabin In The Woods](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/cabin-woods/review/)*, he teamed up with Joss Whedon to provide a love letter and savage critique of horror movies in playful, thrilling style. Now he’s back with *[Bad Times At The El Royale](https://www.empireonline.com/movies/bad-times-el-royale/)*, an original crime-noir that twists tropes, time and place into a bold and gripping story.","“I’ve always loved crime fiction, I’ve always loved film noir,” he tells *Empire*, citing authors including Agatha Christie, Graham Greene, Dashiell Hammett, and James Ellroy as influences. “I wanted to play around in that space. This movie’s very much my love letter to crime fiction, and I wanted to take the very things that I loved about the genre and give my own spin on it.”","*Bad Times* takes place in 1969 at a hotel that straddles the state line between California and Nevada, bringing a set of mysterious strangers together for a night of double-triple-quadruple-crossing, secret identities, and violent cults. “We had this time of intense political turmoil in the United States, you watched John F Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Bobby Kennedy all get murdered in a five-year period,” says Goddard of the film’s very specific sense of time. “And then Richard Nixon took over and brought a unique kind of darkness to the land. 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