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ALSO INSIDE THE ISSUE

AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON
This month's cover star is a helpful little robot called Ultron. He'll clean your house, pick up your shopping and, if you need him to, DESTROY THE ENTIRE PLANET. So explains Joss Whedon in Empire's access-all-areas trip to the set of Avengers 2. Don't miss this one, it's unprecedented in just about every sense. Trust us, Hulkbusting will make you feel good.

CHAPPIE
One of the thrilling new wave of sci-fi filmmakers, a movie by Neill Blomkamp is always worth getting excited about. So it is with Chappie, the 'bot with a difference in a robopocalypse of Ultons, Ex Machinas and Robot Overlords. The difference? Well, we tracked down Blomkamp and his team and asked them to explain...


IN THE HEART OF THE SEA
"None of us are having to act exhausted," sighs Chris Hemsworth on the set of In The Heart Of The Sea. "We all are that." When Thor complains of fatigue, you know something arduous is afoot. So it proves when Empire dons its lifejacket and heads to the set of Ron Howard's whale tale. A Moby Dick origin story, it's the kind of seafaring yarn people write shanties about. We have the splash.

BIG INTERVIEW
There's more to Jennifer Aniston than Friends, Marley & Me and that tabloid-stoked "falling out" with Angelina Jolie. If they needed reinforcing, her acting credentials are given are mighty uplift by Cake, an unvarnished drama that has stoked nothing but awards talk. "Hopefully this will give me the opportunity to do more things," she tells Empire in what we like to call The Big Int.


MICHAEL MANN
One day Michael Mann will make a stoner comedy featuring Danny McBride and a racoon named Bob. Until then we're happy to absorb some of Hollywood's most serious-minded output for what it is: smart, provocative and visually striking. His new cyber-thriller Blackhat is another exercise in intellectual rigour. As the man himself tells us, "I'm interesting in a higher degree of difficulty..."

SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK
As Empire's exposé records, Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark was the kind of Broadway catastrophe even Birdman's troubled director Riggan Thomson would wince at. The attempt to bring Spidey to the stage, with dramatis personae including Julie Taymor, U2, Marvel, Disney and one toxic-penned theatre critic, is a story for the ages. And these pages.


MARGOT ROBBIE
Aussie actress Margot Robbie has come a long way in a short time – figuratively and using actual planes – from the Gold Coast to Martin Scorsese's Wolf Of Wall Street and on to a swathe of exciting new projects that will catapult her onto the A-list. She tells Empire about making the journey from Ramsay Street to Sunset Boulevard, as well as Tarzan, Suicide Squad, Focus and her new-found pickpocketing skills.

BETTER CALL SAUL
TV's greatest ambulance chaser, Breaking Bad's Saul Goodman is back and shady as ever in Netflix's Better Call Saul. The man who probably graduated from the same law school as The Simpsons' Lionel Hutz could be Bob Odenkirk's finest hour. The new Empire does what the FBI haven't yet managed and put Goodman under the microscope to find out what makes him fit for a spin-off.


ON LOCATION
The part of the mag with its own passport and eye-mask, this month's On Location takes you to Marvel's Ant-Man in Atlanta (not, alas, renamed ‘Antlanta' for the duration), hangs out with Vinnie Chase and his Entourage crew in sun-and-supermodel-kissed LA, and delves into Michael Winterbottom's murder mystery Face Of An Angel in frosty Siena. Hop aboard.

SLATE
With Swedish superstar-in-the-making Alicia Vikander, current Ex Machina and Testament Of Youth-er, as this month's Face and Jamie Dornan's Fifty Shades Of Grey exposed, Slate is even lovelier to behold than normal. Two veterans, Sean Penn and John Lithgow, add their saltiness to the mix, while The Big Bang Theory's Jim Parsons figures out the price of milk. Possibly using science.


IN CINEMAS
Piling into cinemas this month are Paul Thomas Anderson's ‘70s headtrippers in Inherent Vice, Michael Mann's hackers in Blackhat, Marvel's chubbiest hero Baymax in Big Hero 6 and some loveable urchins in Stephen Daldry's Trash. They're all reviewed to within an inch of their lives by Empire's crack team. Even much-buzzed- about horror It Follows, which is dead scary.

RE-VIEW
Spooky, kooky and more than a bit psychological fractured, this month's Re-View kicks off with a re-appraisal of The Babadook, Gone Girl and Maps To The Stars. (The films are pretty out-there, too.) Look out for a joyous Where Are They Now? with Doc Brown – not in 1958, it turns out – and Richard Linklater submitting to our Movie Mastermind.

AND MUCH, MUCH MORE!

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