Empire, the world’s biggest movie magazine, has revealed its full slate of extraordinary events taking place at the hotly anticipated American Airlines Presents Empire Live. A series of exclusive screenings, filmmaker Q&As and family programming has been added to the action-packed bill, with 2016’s ultimate film and entertainment weekend just a few days away.
Taking place from 23rd to 25th September, the weekend will kick off with an exclusive double Daniel Radcliffe gala screening, of his two new films, Swiss Army Man and Imperium. Paul Dano co-stars in the highly original comedy adventure Swiss Army Man, co-written and directed by Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert. Stranded on a deserted island and on the brink of suicide, Hank (Dano) makes one last bid to escape after discovering a corpse named Manny (Radcliffe) on the beach. After forming a surreal friendship with Manny, Hank is shocked to discover he can talk and possesses strange supernatural powers which he can use to find his way back to civilisation and reunite with his lost love, Sarah (Mary Elizabeth Winstead).
For the second portion of the Daniel Radcliffe double bill, Empire Live is proud to present thriller Imperium, starring Radcliffe as FBI intelligence analyst Nate Foster, on the day of the film’s UK theatrical release. After a radioactive isotope is illegally imported into the US, the FBI sends agent Foster on an undercover mission to infiltrate a network of neo-Nazi white supremacist groups they believe may be building a nuclear bomb. Imperium also features an outstanding supporting performance from Toni Collette as Foster’s wisecracking fellow FBI agent, Angela Zamparo.
As a special introduction to the double bill, Daniel Radcliffe will participate in an on-stage interview ahead of the screenings at The O2 to discuss both Swiss Army Man and Imperium, exclusively for attending audiences.
Announced in the Meet The Movie Makers strand is a special sneak peek of upcoming thriller Free Fire, presented by acclaimed British director Ben Wheatley. Wheatley will be presenting first-look footage from his new film, starring Armie Hammer, Cillian Murphy and Oscar-winner Brie Larson. The preview will be followed by a screening of his adaptation of JG Ballard’s ground-breaking dystopian drama High-Rise, starring Tom Hiddleston.
Hunt For The Wilderpeople has already become New Zealand’s biggest-ever home-grown hit, and is also confirmed for September’s event. The low-budget comic sensation from Taika Waititi dumps odd couple Julian Dennison and Sam Neill in the heart of the New Zealand bush to battle ninjas, direwolves and Child Services.
It’s now been a full decade since director Shane Meadows first assembled a ragtag group of misfits from the East Midlands and crafted one of the most vibrant, powerful and often shocking British films in recent memory. This Is England is where it all began for Shaun, Woody, Lol, Milky and Combo, with the gang now safely established as something of a national institution. Hailed for its bold and painfully honest window on 1980s Britain, the clashes between alternative skinhead culture and its more extreme racist fringe have lost none of their impact since release. Fans are invited to throw on their Doc Martens for the 10th anniversary screening, with very special guests expected to be in attendance.
Fantasy juggernaut Game Of Thrones continues to push the boundaries of small-screen drama, and the penultimate episode, ‘Battle Of The Bastards’, was the undisputed highlight of the sixth season as Jon Snow finally went toe-to-toe with arch enemy Ramsay Bolton. Television lovers will now have the chance to catch the epic episode on the big screen in Empire Live’s special one-off screening.
Ghostbusters Slime-Along, showcasing the 1984 original movie, will delight and drench audiences, with a live and immersive event that promises to douse fans with supernatural substances every time an on-screen character gets a soaking.
Empire Live attendees are invited to join in with an exclusive Aardman Model Making session in the cosy confines of Brooklyn Bowl. As Aardman celebrates its 40th anniversary, organisers are honoured to welcome an experienced Aardman model maker for two sessions, inviting fans to recreate claymation heroes Gromit and Shaun The Sheep. Bristol’s finest will offer hands-on fun for all the family, as the sessions seek to uncover the next Nick Park.
The Family Entertainment programme has been finalised with a number of animated hits joining the bill. Beyoncé, Stevie Wonder and Justin Timberlake have all sung at The O2 – and now fans can add their name to that illustrious list, with audiences young and old expected to belt out the likes of Let It Go and Do You Want To Build A Snowman? during the Frozen Sing-Along. Audiences can also enjoy a touch of Shakespeare in the brilliant Bill, followed by a Q&A with the stars and makers of Horrible Histories. And 30 years since Luxo Jr. first put John Lasseter and his merry band of animation geniuses on the road to world domination, Empire Live presents an animation marathon of all 17 Pixar Shorts.
Finally, Empire’s Editor-In-Chief Terri White has assembled an all-star panel of filmmakers for the Women On Screen panel taking place in The Empire Hub. Belle director Amma Asante is confirmed for an event that promises expert insight into filmmaking, the industry from a female perspective, spirited debate and a whole lot of inspiration.
The new content revealed today joins a world-class programme of special events that already includes: The Raid (featuring a live commentary from director Gareth Evans), Richard Linklater’s Everybody Wants Some!!, Louis Theroux’s eye-opening documentary My Scientology Movie, the Alexander Skarsgård and Michael Peña starrer War On Everyone, The Greasy Strangler (with director Q&A), Green Room, Labyrinth (with puppet makers Q&A), and a hotly anticipated Trainspotting Live Script-Read with a host of top talent taking on the iconic roles for one night only. The Empire team will also be setting up camp in the heart of Brooklyn Bowl as The Empire Hub sees the magazine come to life with a series of panels and on-stage interviews — in addition to live recreations of popular in-magazine interview segments ‘My Movie Mastermind’ and ‘How Much Is A Pint Of Milk?’ (complete with live interviewees on stage!), attendees can sit in on a live instalment of the Empire Film Podcast and test their mettle at Empire’s Ultimate Live Movie Quiz (the most competitive film quiz known to man). With special previews, blockbusters, classics and never-before-seen footage, there’s something for everybody as American Airlines Presents Empire Live brings you up close and personal with the biggest movies and those who make them.
For full details of what’s on and to buy ticket packages, please visit www.empirelive.com.
Swiss Army Man & Imperium – opening night double bill with Daniel Radcliffe in attendance
Free Fire preview footage and High-Rise screening with Ben Wheatley
The Greasy Strangler with director Q&A
My Scientology Movie
War On Everyone
The Martian Extended Edition
Pixar Original Shorts
Labyrinth with puppet makers Q&A
Aardman Model Making
The Gruffalo and Stick Man double bill with live costume characters
Bill – with the actors and makers of Horrible Histories in attendance
RE-VISIT / CLASSIC SCREENINGS
The Raid with live director commentary
This Is England – 10th Anniversary Screening
Game Of Thrones: ‘Battle Of The Bastards’
Hunt For The Wilderpeople
Stand By Me
Everybody Wants Some!!
Don’t Look Back from The Criterion Collection
Easy Rider from The Criterion Collection
Dr. Strangelove from The Criterion Collection
Empire’s Ultimate Live Movie Quiz
Empire Film Podcast live record
‘How Much Is A Pint Of Milk?’ live interview, special guest TBA
‘My Movie Mastermind’ live interview, special guest TBA
Women On Screen panel