Under Consideration *subject to studio and talent availability. *subject to change
“Marshall,” Dir. Reginald Hudlin - Chadwick Boseman stars as young lawyer-on-the-rise Thurgood Marshall, with Emmy-winner Sterling K. Brown as his client. While Open Road has a strong festival track record with Best Picture winner “Spotlight” (Telluride, Venice, Toronto, 2015) and “Bleed for This” (Telluride and Toronto, 2016), this would be Hudlin’s first festival entry. His last feature was the studio comedy “Serving Sara” starring Matthew Perry and Elizabeth Hurley in 2002.
“The Square,” Dir. Ruben Östlund -The hilarious Palme d’Or winner is an art-world satire shot in Swedish and English. It stars breakout Claes Bang, Elisabeth Moss, and Dominic West. Look for it to be the Swedish entry at this year’s Oscars.
“Novitiate,” Dir. Margaret Betts -SPC picked up Betts’ ‘60s nun drama out of Sundance, where the star-studded feature bowed to acclaim. Betts’ debut boasts Oscar winner Melissa Leo in a chilling supporting role, along with a breakout turn from Margaret Qualley.
“The Killing of a Sacred Deer,” Dir. Yorgos Lanthimos The dark comedy made a splash at Cannes, thanks to fearless turns from Oscar winner Nicole Kidman and co-star Colin Farrell, along with a chilling breakout from Barry Keoghan.
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” Dir. Martin McDonagh Oscar winner Frances McDormand plays an angry rebel who displays her grievances in a big way. Another twisted comedy from McDonagh, who brought “Seven Psychopaths” to TIFF in 2014 and “In Bruges” to Sundance in 2008. Expect to see in Venice.
“Last Flag Flying,” Dir. Richard Linklater Bryan Cranston, Steve Carell, and Laurence Fishburne star as ex-soldier buddies in this sequel to “The Last Detail” — which, like the original, was adapted from Darryl Ponicsan’s novel. (Linklater and Ponicsan adapted the screenplay).
“Darkest Hour,” Dir. Joe Wright -Yet another British thespian, Gary Oldman, takes on Sir Winston Churchill as he heads into World War II. This is Wright’s first feature since the 2015 disaster that was Warner Bros. release “Pan;” before that, he took “Anna Karenina” to TIFF in 2012.
“Call Me By Your Name,” Dir. Luca Guadagnino Guadagnino’s elegiac gay romance may have bowed at Sundance to near-universal acclaim, but a Venice or TIFF berth could help launch it firmly into the awards conversation. Likely Oscar contenders Armie Hammer and Timothee Chalamet certainly belong there.
“Mary Magdalene,” Dir. Garth Davis -Rooney Mara stars in the title role alongside Joaquin Phoenix as Jesus himself in this historical epic. Chiwetel Ejiofor, Ariane Labed, and Tahar Rahim appear in supporting roles. Davis took his directorial debut, “Lion,” to TIFF for its world premiere last year.
“The Disaster Artist,” Dir. James Franco Franco directs and stars as Hollywood outsider Tommy Wiseau in his acclaimed comedy, which A24 is eyeing for awards season after a work-in-progress screening at SXSW. A splashy international premiere at a lauded festival could give it the cred it needs to spin strong word of mouth into actual momentum.
“The “Dead Man’s Burden” director has already taken his return to the Western genre to SXSW and Nantucket, but the feature, which stars Bill Pullman and Peter Fonda as aging cowboys, has the kind of star power that plays well on the circuit.
“Downsizing,” Dir. Alexander Payne -The comedy starring Matt Damon and Kristen Wiig comedy will open the Venice Film Festival and likely move on to Colorado, given Payne’s regular attendance at Telluride.
“Lean On Pete,” Dir. Andrew Haigh -The new film from Andrew Haigh (“45 Years,” “Weekend”) stars Charlie Plummer, Steve Buscemi, and Chloe Sevigny in the story of a young boy on a dangerous journey to search for his aunt and a home, with stolen racehorse Lean on Pete as his companion. Haigh debuted “45 Years” in Berlin before taking it to Telluride and Toronto, but “Lean on Pete” is tipped for Venice.
“Lady Bird,” Dir. Greta Gerwig -Gerwig’s feature directorial debut stars Saoirse Ronan as a high school rebel champing to escape to New York and reportedly lifts from the actress and filmmaker’s own experience growing up in Sacramento. A lock for TIFF, and likely more.
“Kings,” Deniz Gamze Erguve -The “Mustang” filmmaker’s English-language debut is set in Los Angeles just before the Rodney King trial and stars Daniel Craig and Halle Berry. Her first feature, “Mustang,” went to Venice and TIFF after a Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight premiere.
“First Reformed, Dir. Paul Schrader -Writer-director Paul Schrader’s “First Reformed,” starring Ethan Hawke, looks to be Venice bound. (He brought “The Canyons” there in 2013.) Hawke stars as an ex-military chaplain grieving the death of his son. He becomes entangled with a member of his church (Amanda Seyfried) whose husband commits suicide.
“Submergence,” Dir. Wim Wenders -Alicia Vikander, James McAvoy, and Charlotte Rampling star in the story of an Englishman captured by jihadist fighters and a woman exploring the ocean floor. Lionsgate will handle the film’s release in the UK this year.
“In the Fade,” Dir. Fatih Akin -The likely German Oscar entry won Best Actress for Diane Kruger at Cannes, but the drama has not yet signed a North American distributor. A turn on the festival circuit could remedy that.
“Mary Shelley,” Dir. Haifaa al-Mansour -The Saudi Arabian filmmaker’s historical romantic drama stars Elle Fanning as Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin and Douglas Booth as Percey Shelley. Her first film, “Wajdja,” went to Telluride and Venice in 2012.
“Wildlife,” Dir. Paul Dano -The actor-turned-filmmaker adapts Richard Ford’s novel “Wildlife” about a family falling apart for his directorial debut. The newly minted director penned the script alongside real-life partner Zoe Kazan, and the cast boasts turns from Jake Gyllenhaal, Carey Mulligan, and Bill Camp.
“Mektoub Is Mektoub,” Dir. Abdellatif Kechiche The “Blue Is the Warmest Color” filmmaker adapts François Bégaudeau’s novel about a young screenwriter on a summer vacation who falls in love with a woman and meets a producer who agrees to finance his first film. Could premiere in Venice, where he brought “Black Venus” in 2010.
“Disobedience,” Dir. Sebastián Lelio -For his other big film of the year, the Chilean director adapts Naomi Alderman’s novel about a woman who returns to her Orthodox Jewish home after the death of her rabbi father and connects with an old friend. Rachel McAdams and Rachel Weisz costar.
“Nico, 1988,” Dir. Susanna Nicchiarelli -This biopic the last two years in the life of Nico, the Velvet Underground chanteuse and Andy Warhol muse, will open the Venice Horizons section of the Venice Film Festival.
“Hannah” (aka “The Whale”), Dir. Andrea Pallaoro -Venice will premiere the film, which stars Charlotte Rampling as a woman undergoing an identity crisis. Pallaoro’s first film, “Medeas,” premiered in Venice’s Horizons section in 2013.
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