New Empire Hobbit Cover

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January is, statistically speaking, the most miserable of months. It’s cold, it’s dark, and Moira Stuart is forever banging on about paying your tax bill by the 31st, or Mr. Taxman will be round to cut off a pound, or three, of flesh.

So here at Empire, we feel it’s our duty to cheer you up – and what better way than by presenting to you our brand new issue, which should be hitting newsagent and supermarket shelves near you any… second… now.

Inside, you’ll find all kinds of cheery tonics, such as our horror overload, featuring Bruce Campbell, Freddy and Jason, the Wolfman’s Emily Blunt, and the Lesbian Vampire Killers, and our lovely look at the individuals who make up the Watchmen.

But pride of place – on our cover and in our hearts – is our big special on The Hobbit. What’s that, you say? It’s not even out for two years? Well, yes, but inside our special feature, you’ll find a one-stop shop of information on the films that may be the most anticipated of the next few years.

Exclusive: New Empire Hobbit Cover)
Click cover to enlarge

Inside, we’ll tell you how the film finally became a reality after years languishing in tangled rights hell; why Peter Jackson stepped aside from directing; what might be contained in the mooted second movie; and just what director Guillermo del Toro has in store for the whole shebang.

Here’s a taster of our exclusive interview with del Toro: “Whatever The Hobbit ends up being, it has to ultimately blend seamlessly into the first movie of the trilogy. We have to respect the cosmology and the canon established by the trilogy and follow it.”

For more from del Toro, and more on The Hobbit, pick up the March issue of Empire – on sale Friday.