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elcome to 2019! We’re promising to go through this year with all the wonderment of children, like our cover hero, Shazam. We reckon that with the bleakness of Brexit and the continued White House weirdness, this is the movie we need right now. Our office grinch Jamie was on set, and even he was infected with the sense of sheer fun. There was more glee to be found with our set visits to Instant Family and Alita: Battle Angel, plus I got to hang out with Armie Hammer to discuss the joy of food (among other things), while our very own James chatted up a storm with Steve Carell – on fire right now with Beautiful Boy, Welcome To Marwen and Vice all coming out in the awards corridor. And we tried to apply kid enthusiasm to all the movies we reviewed this issue, but I’ve got to say, there are some turkeys that just sucked the joy out of our lives. We did it for you, readers, so you don’t have to… spreading that joy as we go.

Enjoy the issue!


Chief Content Officer Aaron Asadi Brand Director Matthew Pierce Head of Art & Design Rodney Dive Commercial Finance Director Dan Jotcham All contents © 2019 Future Publishing Limited or published under licence. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be used, stored, transmitted or reproduced in any way without the prior written permission of the publisher. Future Publishing Limited (company number 2008885) is registered in England and Wales. Registered office: Quay House, The Ambury, Bath BA1 1UA. All information contained in this publication is for information only and is, as far as we are aware, correct at the time of going to press. Future cannot accept any responsibility for errors or inaccuracies in such information. You are advised to contact manufacturers and retailers directly with regard to the price of products/services referred to in this publication. Apps and websites mentioned in this publication are not under our control. We are not responsible for their contents or any other changes or updates to them. This magazine is fully independent and not affiliated in any way with the companies mentioned herein.

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Call Sheet This issue’s extras

ISSN Total Film 1366-3135, Total Film Compact 1758-034X We encourage you to recycle this magazine, either through your household recyclable waste collection service or at a recycling site. We are committed to only using magazine paper that is derived from responsibly managed, certified forestry and chlorine-free manufacture. The paper in this magazine was sourced and produced from sustainable, managed forests, conforming to strict environmental and socio-economic standards. The manufacturing paper mill holds full FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certification and accreditation.

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Alexander Skarsgård brightened up a very cold, muddy Hamburg day on the set of The Aftermath. He was smiley, chatty, tall and an all-round lovely chap. Future plc is a public company quoted on the London Stock Exchange (symbol: FUTR)

Visited Abbey Road Studios for this month’s How To Train Your Dragon story and geeked out in the room where John Williams recorded his Raiders score.

jamie graham Editor-at-large

I felt like a big kid when I visited the set of Shazam!, in Toronto, for this month’s cover story, hanging out with Zachary Levi and wielding the wizard’s staff.

Chief executive Zillah Byng-Maddick Non-executive chairman Richard Huntingford Chief finance officer Penny Ladkin-Brand Tel +44 (0)1225 442 244

January 2019 | Total Film


Contents #281

This issue 52 Shazam! It’s the DCEU, but not as you know it… We take a bite out of the sweetest superhero movie of 2019. 64 armie hammer The star talks sequels, social media and his new drama On The Basis Of Sex. 68 Instant Family Mark Wahlberg adopts a softer side for this dramedy; we went on set to look through his family album.


74 The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part Everything is even more awesome in the brickbusting sequel. 80 Mary Queen Of Scots Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie duke it out in a battle royale to end them all. This ain’t The Crown. 86 Alita: Battle Angel Robert Rodriguez reveals how he finally got the manga adap made.

every issue 3 editor’s letter On reclaiming childlike joy, plus find out what mischief the team’s been up to. 6 dialogue All your missives, featuring more superheroes and Hugh Jackman. 92 Total Film interview Steve Carell gives the funny bones a break to talk hardhitting drama Beautiful Boy.

Total Film | january 2019

january 2019

teasers 9 The Kid Who Would Be King It’s back to school for Merlin and co. 13 Cold Pursuit Liam Neeson driving a snowplough. We’re sold. 14 men in black international We make this look good…

52 pow! wham! shazam! Meet the loveable new hero on the superblock: Zachary Levi is the DCEU’s newest do-gooder.

16 Pedro Pascal The Mandalorian is burning brighter than the sun. 24 Fighting with my family Stephen Merchant reveals his passion for WWE. 27 IT SHOULDn’T HAPPEN TO A FILM jOURNALIST Jamie explains his tactics for avoiding spoilers. 33 TF hero Richard E. Grant on being teetotal, the legacy of Withnail & I, and more.

total film buff 122 Is it bollocks? Can your lungs burst from breathing ice-cold air? 123 up, up and away The top 10 hot air balloons. 126 Raiders of the lost ark Revisiting Indy’s perilous rolling boulder escape. 130 60-second screenplay The Crimes Of Grindelwald gets reduced to its constituent parts.

86 Subscribe at


74 80

‘It’s one of those movies that you’ll want to see over and over again’

big screen 36 Vice With great politics comes great irresponsibility. 38 Glass Shyamalan smashes it again – or does he? 40 If Beale Street Could Talk Moonlight’s Barry Jenkins is the talk of the town again. 42 Green Book Viggo Mortensen drives Mahershala Ali crazy. 44 Mary Queen Of Scots Will Saoirse Ronan lose her head? Well… 47 Beautiful boy Carell and Chalamet tackle true-life drug drama. 48 Bumblebee Roadworthy or ready for the scrapheap?

small screen 102 Venom Another look at the superhero hit, plus a Q&A with Todd McFarlane.

64 92

104 Blackkklansman Spike Lee returns with one of his blazing best, out now on DVD and Blu-ray. 106 Waterworld Does Kevin Costner’s epic sink or swim over 20 years later? We harpooned the latest release to find out. 108 Star Trek: Discovery On the set of the show’s second season, where we chat klingons, Spock and the ship’s “true captain”. 110 The punisher Frank Castle’s back for another New York rampage, and Total Film’s on set.

JANUARY 2019 | Total Film


Dialogue Mail, rants, theories etc.

Email Write Total Film, 4th Floor, Emerson Studios, 4-8 Emerson Street, London SE1 9DU (postal addresses will be used for the sole purpose of sending out prizes) Drop us a line

TF’s cinematic agony uncle has your back.


I’ve recently been watching the post-apocalyptic likes of the Mad Max movies and The Domestics. They made me think – if gasoline is so rare in these scenarios, why is the mode of transport normally a muscle car, which does 10 miles per gallon? Is it because even in a barren wasteland, looking good in a V8 Interceptor is better than doing 70mpg in a self-recharging Prius hybrid? DEV ORTON, LEEDS

wingman says…

Dev, you’ve answered your own question, thereby saving Wingman a job – we’d like to award you the last, slightly battered Twirl in the selection box. Yes – the end of the world is no excuse for not keeping up appearances; even Max’s wild dog wouldn’t be seen dead without his natty red neckerchief, like a corpse-scavenging Cary Grant. Question for Wingy? Email the usual address. There’s also some leftover After Eights – though they’re tasting a bit more aftershave, TBH.

Total Film | january 2019


In the past, my New Year’s resolutions have tended to swiftly bloom and then wither within a couple of weeks, leaving only self-loathing. But for 2019, I’ve decided to aim for one achievable and enjoyable goal. A goal that encompasses a little decisionmaking (what to see), a workout (getting to the cinema), orientation (finding my seat in the dark), relaxation (deluxe seating) and entertainment (hopefully). Yes, I’m talking about getting my ass to the cinema more often. Boom! Off to a flying start with the likes of The Favourite, Welcome To Marwen, The 12th Man, Stan & Ollie… just hope the quality is going to last! DAVID WARWICK, VIA EMAIL Our New Year’s rezzie? To be right behind you. Actually, one step ahead, given that we normally see stuff early – though we often sign scary letters telling us not to tell you that. Know what?

We’re right besides you, in the dark, in the car park… lest we get any more ‘Every Breath You Take’, we’ll just say David will receive a superspecial edition of The Predator 4Movie Collection; everyone else with a letter printed will receive a copy of The Predator, available on Digital Download 11 January and 4K UHD, Blu-ray and DVD 28 January via Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. Didn’t send an address? Email it! Get to dah keyboard!

favourite things Wingman, for one, is starting 2019 as he means to go on: more quality films and more time blindfolded.



ooking at the picture of Superman flying with Lois in your Greatest Superhero Movies supplement [TF279], I realised the way he’s holding her,

reflective interest curve™

bad times…

Cold Eyeing stationery Watching 20 sweating at cupboard for lasttimes to the mere minute presents Shaun The make sure Sheep 2 trailer! mention of Christmas Avengers: Thinking of farm Endgame trailer! puns, hoe hoe



Thrilled Entertained flippin’ eck!





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Office spaced Chatter ‘gems’ overheard in the Total Film office this month…

* “Gonna eat the head of this

Jason Isaacs cake pop. Want his body?” * “Why is English history, kings and queens, SO BORING?” * “New Year’s resolution: no more” * “Baby Shark, do-do… damn it!”

she should just be dangling from his arms. I can’t believe this hasn’t been picked up anywhere (I checked). On a separate note regarding movie/TV quirks, something that has always annoyed the piss out of me is when a character is watching/listening to news that concerns them, yet they turn it off before it’s finished. I mean, WTF! COLIN HITCHMOUGH, LIVERPOOL Maybe Supes’ elbow of steel is endowed with magical anti-dangling properties? But never mind that, why’s Lois surfing the night skies in just a nightie? Sorry Kal-el, no way we’re joining you for the ultimate romantic trip without swaddling ourselves in an Arctic parka. Being prodded inside a cosy tauntaun corpse by Harrison Ford is much more Dialogue’s idea of a first date.



hy is Batman V Superman: Ultimate Edition not on your Greatest Superhero Films list? It’s an epic masterpiece that deserves to be in the top 10 at the very least. The warehouse fight alone is the best Batman fight scene ever! It’s certainly more memorable than throwaway fluff like Ant-Man And The Wasp. Guardians Of The Galaxy is rated way too high, and so is

Black Panther. Seriously, you think it’s better than Superman? BRENDAN KELLEHER, VIA EMAIL Well, post-nightie-gate (see left), we do have a couple of issues… poor airborne Lois would never be able to say “I never freeze”, (under)dressed like that. As for greatest Bat-fights, may we refer you to Adam West vs Rubber Shark in Batman The Movie.

if Hugh does stick with circus folk for a sequel, one request: more clowns. Another request: It – The Musical. ‘Come Alive (Or Better Still, Dead)’; ‘This Is Me… Arm, Can I Have It Back?’ Cockle-warming!

it follows “And now introducing… Pennywise!”



hen auditions are held for a hotly anticipated film, what happens with the (presumably tightly guarded) script? Are prospective actors sent the full version to read to see if they want to be part of the project? ust a thought, but if Hugh Or are they just sent a Jackman is considering snippet which they use a follow-up to The Greatest for the audition – and Showman, then he need then the full script comes look no further than a once they’ve signed on, biopic of Stan Lee. It could • videos • reviews to prevent leaks? tell the story of a genius • trailers • news MATT PALFREEMAN, visionary, creator, editor, VIA EMAIL entrepreneur, self-publicist and latterly actor; and why not a few cameo Even when production is well appearances in the movie from Lee’s underway, actors will say they “haven’t Marvel superhero offspring? Stan’s read the full script”, but maybe that now sadly left this planet, but I’m just means they skipped the boring sure he will ‘Rewrite The Stars’. bits. And you do hear of thesps signing W. WILKINSON, WAKEFIELD on without reading so much as a stage direction, so keen are they to work We wouldn’t be surprised to see with an esteemed auteur. Although a movie of Stan’s life before long you can bet T-rex gave Spielberg – although the amount he crammed a right earful when it saw how much in, we might need an entire Phase screen time those ruddy raptors got. rather than a standalone. Incidentally,




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January 2019 | Total Film

Coming attractions The beginning of the End(game) p12 No Country for Cold men p13

Back in Black p14 A film with the Fight stuff p24

Edited by Jordan farley



Knight School THE KID WHO WOULD BE KING I Joe Cornish returns with a fresh(-faced) spin on Arthurian legend…


id you spend maths lessons daydreaming about blowing up the Death Star? While away assemblies deciding what you’d do with a DeLorean? Attack The Block writer/director Joe Cornish was no different, but he’s putting his high school reveries – in which he imagined himself the descendent of Arthur Pendragon – to good use in family-friendly adventure The Kid Who Would Be King. “I had exactly that fantasy,” Cornish says, talking to Teasers while sat on a throne (read: really fancy armchair) in London’s Soho Hotel. “I was bullied, and then I dreamt of finding Excalibur. So it was half a fantasy, half a protoplasmic idea for a film.” Cornish’s Arthurian ambitions were inspired by a formative viewing of John

Boorman’s Excalibur in the summer of ’81, a film he declares “phenomenal” before admitting he finds “a lot of King Arthur movies quite muddy and boring”. In reaction, Cornish concocted Kid, which has the bare minimum of mud, and is anything but boring. Set in contemporary London, Louis Ashbourne (son of Andy) Serkis, plays

sword-play Louis Ashbourne Serkis (in red) with a very familiar sword…

Alex, who, along with his bestie Bedders (Dean Chaumoo), are the small-fries targeted by school bullies Lance (The Dark Tower’s Tom Taylor) and Kaye (Rhianna Dorris). Until, one day, Alex discovers a sword in a stone. The sword you’ll know – legendary blade Excalibur, which can only be drawn by the Once and Future King – but the stone is a little more unusual: the foundation pillar of a building in the process of being demolished for luxury flats. It’s this juxtaposition of ancient and modern, mythical and mundane, that has obsessed Cornish since his school days, when he would doodle the image

january 2019 | Total Film


of Excalibur held aloft out of a bath by the Lady of the Lake in his textbooks. “If a modern kid found the sword in the stone, what would that mean?” Cornish ponders. “Would the government recognise him? What does the chivalric code mean to a contemporary kid who’s just playing Fortnite all the time?” Kid is also an unexpectedly topical film, with the return of shapeshifting witch Morgana (Rebecca Ferguson) triggered by political and social division. “When the myth was written, Britain was lost and leaderless and divided, and the country needed a king to unite it,” Cornish explains, a state of affairs not entirely dissimilar to Brexit-era Britain. “So even though I wrote this long before any of that shit went down, it feels like an Arthurian time.” As with 2011’s Attack The Block, Cornish discovered his heroes-to-be at an open casting call, auditioning kids in schools, youth clubs and drama groups. “It was a complete meritocracy,” Cornish nods. “We were completely colour-blind, experienceblind.” With Cornish, in part, responsible for launching John Boyega’s screen career, does he think there’s another future superstar among his Knights of the Roundtable? “Hopefully! Maybe another stormtrooper. Maybe a future Doctor Who. Who knows?” One name guaranteed to be on lips after the credits role is Angus Imrie (son of Celia), who plays a youthful Merlin. An oddball wizard centuries out of time, Merlin’s introduced strutting out of Stonehenge, completely starkers, and things only get stranger from there. Particularly distinctive is Merlin’s magic, which is less Potter, more Patty Cake. “With the hand magic I knew we couldn’t have wands, and I didn’t want Latinate magic,” Cornish explains. “I wanted all the magic in the movie to be rhythmic and copyable.” But, in a neat twist, Imrie isn’t the only actor playing Merlin. Patrick Stewart appears as a wise old Merlin, bringing the film full circle with Excalibur, in which Stewart played Sir Leondegrance. “He does anchor the

film, because you’ve got all these young people, and fast-moving action, and then he has these four or five appearances where he communicates various thematic messages with real import,” Cornish explains. “But he’s also quite silly. Our version of Merlin is like a tramp. A crazy old man.” After initially struggling to find the perfect foil for his young knights, Cornish was aided by old chum Simon Pegg, who suggested Mission: Impossible co-star Rebecca Ferguson for Morgana. “I met her, and basically acted the whole film out to her, and she said, ‘Yeah, I’m up for it,’ without reading the script!” If you’re wondering how Cornish has humanised Morgana in this era of sympathetic supervillains, there’s none of that to be found here. “I enjoy straight-up movie villains,” Cornish says, stepping onto his soapbox. “When I was a kid, villains were villains. Of course, in the legend, Morgana has a terrific backstory. But in my movie, she’s embittered and evil. So she’s an old-school villain who just needs her head chopped off.” As luck would have it, both Kid and Mission shot simultaneously for a time on adjacent stages at Leavesden. But it turns out that making a film in the vicinity of the Tom Cruise Show isn’t easy. “There were occasions when Tom Cruise’s helicopter disturbed our filming,” Cornish laughs. The disruptions didn’t end there. “And the French village from Overlord was on the other side, with a lot of gunfire. It felt like Bad Neighbours, shaking your fist over the garden fence. ‘I’m trying to get some peace and quiet!’” Though it’s been seven years since Attack The Block, the writer/director hasn’t had a moment’s peace or quiet since, co-writing Ant-Man and Spielberg’s Tintin. In fact the delay could just work in his favour. “I like to wait for the anticipation to die down, for everybody to forget and move on. And then bang! He’s back in.” Back he most certainly is, and about time. JF

‘she’s an oldschool villain who just needs her head chopped off’ joe cornish

Total Film | january 2019

ETA | 15 February / The Kid Who Would Be King opens next month.

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fighting fit Many of the young actors (above) were auditioned in an open casting call. magic man Merlin is played by Angus Imrie (top left) and Patrick Stewart (bottom left, with Rhianna Dorris as school bully Kaye). old enemies Witch Morgana (Rebecca Ferguson) takes on the younger Merlin (above left).

january 2019 | Total Film

Single tear Shaving off that beard had really, really hurt.

trailer breakdown

the big finish

AVENGERS: ENDGAME I The A-team assemble for a final showdown. Oh, snap!


“Part of the journey is the end,” says Tony Stark, stranded in space aboard the Guardians’ ship with a busted exo-suit and less than 24 hours of oxygen left. Things don’t look too rosy for T-Bone.


“He wiped out 50 per cent of all living creatures,” says Black Widow, as Bruce Banner mourns missing heroes Scott Lang, Peter Parker and Black Panther’s Shuri, her fate confirmed.


“This is the fight of our lives,” says a sorrowful Steve Rogers. Seems Steve and Nat have a plan to save the survivors of Thanos’ universal cull, and it probably involves…


After successfully executing “The Decimation” (per official Marvel parlance), Thanos has hung up the armour but still wears the charred remains of the Infinity Gauntlet. Is he expecting company?


Hawkeye returns! Sort of. Under the guise of Ronin, Clint looks to be cleaning up shop in Tokyo. From his haunted expression, it’s a fair bet his family didn’t survive the Snap.


…Scott Lang, miraculously back from the Quantum Realm and still cheerfully hero-worshipping Captain America – and unaware that everyone thinks he’s dead. Now that got us buzzing. JF

ETA | 26 April / Avengers: Endgame opens this spring.



Total Film | January 2019

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