THIS MONTH AT EMPIRE
AS A COMMUNITY of kick-ass film fans, I’m willing to bet most Empire readers have a mental list of moments where a truly great movie villain will burn themselves into the brain forevermore. It could be a striking appearance, a quotable line or a despicable act of evil that makes a bad guy linger in your consciousness. For me, it was all three at once (witnessed, coincidentally, when I was three): a towering, terrifying Darth Vader in his black death-mask and flowing cape demanding stolen plans in that wheeze-boom voice of his, before picking up a rebel soldier by his throat and squeezing it til it was brutally crushed (that sickening crunch sound! If I knew how to yell “Holy motherflippin’ shitballs!” as a toddler, that would’ve been the first thing out of my mouth).
So here we are with the aforementioned Dark Lord of the Sith sitting atop our ‘Greatest Villains’ poll, a ranking you can tell I’m pretty on-board with. He’s joined by some top-shelf villainous luminaries, although if I were to pick one as an equal winner, it would have to be the late, great alan rick man’ s“exceptional thief” hans gruber from Die Hard—now there’ s a guy who filled the striking look / quotable lines / evil deeds criteria with aplomb.
(“Alas, your Mr. Takagi did not see it that way, so he won’t be joining us for the rest of his life.”) Turn to page 40 to see who the rest of the top-shelf silver screen no-goodniks are.
As a big fan of both Moon and Source Code, it’s nice to see Duncan Jones return to screens this month on Netflix with his new sci-fi feature film Mute (p.60), which comes on the heels of box-office disappointment Warcraft. We go on set to hear from Duncan how living in Berlin as a kid with his dad David Bowie informed the world of the film, as well as learn how Duncan’s earlier films tie into this one (in 2018, everybody needs themselves a shared universe).
Elsewhere we grab the crystal ball to gaze into the filmic year ahead for our ‘2018 Preview’ (p.67), allowing us a sneak peek at such heavy hitters as Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Deadpool 2, Mortal Engines and loads more (including Bumblebee — could it turn out to be — whisper it — the first, y’know, actually really good Transformers film?)
Also: an in-depth chat with the supremely talented writer-director-actor Greta Gerwig about the brilliant Lady Bird and her ascendant career; reviews of several Oscar nominated films (The Shape Of Water and I, Tonya among them) and four posters — two of which are of cult classic films celebrating their 20th anniversary this year (come on down the Coens’
The Big Lebowski and Terry Gilliam’s deranged Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas).
JAMES JENNINGS EDITOR