Exclusive: First Shot From Looper

Bruce Willis in Rian Johnson's sci-fi

Very exciting news from Cannes! Not only was Empire the only press to visit the Louisiana set of Looper, the new film from Brick and The Brothers Bloom director Rian Johnson, we have now seen footage from this intelligent and action-packed sci-fi. And as a very special Brucie Bonus, we now bring you a world exclusive in the form of the first ever image to be released from the film we're calling The Brothers Boom.

Yes, that is Bruce Willis firing a big bastard machine gun, but this is not The Expendables 2. Set in the near future, when time-travel is possible but very, very illegal, Looper stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt, reteaming with his Brick director, as Joe, a sharp, savvy hitman .

But Joe is no ordinary hitman. The hooded, bound victims he kills are sent back in time from 30 years in the future: he shoots them with a blunderbuss, burns the bodies, and all trace of the crime disappears. Life is pretty good for Joe, until one day a body arrives without a hood: it's his future self, played by Willis. And he's not going down without a fight...

This might sound like a spoiler but it's just the start of a dazzling, Inception-style thrill ride which will please fans of the hardboiled Brick and surprise admirers of the romantic Brothers Bloom. A release date has yet to be decided but the first half of 2012 looks likely.

For more on the film, including quotes from Johnson, pick up the new issue of Empire, when it hits newsstands on May 26.