The special edition, on sale November 27, previews the final film in the Hobbit trilogy, The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies, marks a final farewell to Middle-earth and sees the culmination of activity commemorating Empire’s 25th anniversary.
With five exclusive covers to collect, each representing one of the armies - The Eagles, The Dwarves, The Elves, The Men and The Orcs - the issue presents a truly unique offering for film lovers, says Empire.
The issue also includes previously unpublished pictures from Peter Jackson’s personal archive, a world-exclusive interview with lead actors Elijah Wood and Martin Freeman, personal memories of Middle-earth from the cast and crew of the LOTR and the Hobbit trilogies and an exclusive look inside Andy Serkis’ Imaginarium.
Peter Jackson commented: “Empire likes movies, and for that reason I have always liked Empire. As Editor-In-Chief for this issue, it’s certainly been an interesting experience - signing off pages and approving photo shoots for Empire, at the same time as I’m signing off visual effects shots and approving sound mixes for The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies.
He added: “Coming to the end of such an unexpected, unforgettable journey fills me with a mixture of pride, relief, sadness, fun and satisfaction. Middle-earth is such a fascinating, rich world to explore and one that never leaves you, even if you leave it.”
Empire’s Executive Editor Ian Nathan, who commissioned the issue, commented: “We may be celebrating the final Hobbit movie, but this issue also marks the culmination of an incredible journey for Empire. We were the first magazine in the world to put The Lord Of The Rings on the cover, and have developed a wonderful relationship with Peter and his team ever since. Peter has always given Empire unbelievable access to his films, but it is truly an honour and a privilege to have him actually guest-edit our final Middle-earth issue. Unless, of course, he directs The Silmarillion...”
In January Bauer Media launched a 12-month campaign including a host of initiatives planned around Empire’s 25th year, including 25 commemorative X-Men covers, a super-sized Megazine to coincide with the launch of the Godzilla movie, an exclusive Tom Cruise cover marking his attendance at the Jameson Empire Awards in March, the magazine’s 300th Director’s Cut issue and the 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time.
To coincide with this special issue, Bauer Media is working with Warner Bros. on a commercial partnership to promote The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies. Empire will lead the promotion alongside Bauer radio presenters and the film’s stars who will create bespoke endorsements across KISS FM, Absolute Radio, Magic 105.4, Kerrang! and Place stations Clyde, Key 103, Metro, City and Wave. There will be additional support across heatworld.com and FHM.com, as well as Bauer’s regular entertainment bulletins across the Place stations network and a Hobbit Green Room Special, Magic’s 105.4’s Sunday entertainment show.