EXCLUSIVE: There has been mystery for weeks over which Hollywood talent will attend the Venice Film Festival amid the two strikes but the clouds are finally starting to lift.
We’ve confirmed with sources that Ferrari star Adam Driver will be on the Lido next week to promote Michael Mann’s anticipated new movie, thus becoming the biggest U.S. actor to date to commit to the festival. The Daily Mail first reported that news.
Ferrari secured an interim agreement from SAG a while back so this isn’t hugely surprising but there was still a question over whether SAG actors would feel uncomfortable over the ‘optics’. They may still. But SAG-AFTRA leadership were adamant yesterday that actors in movies with interim agreements should be at festivals to promote them. Their message: this is helpful to independent cinema and the cause. That affirmation from SAG helped a number of actors make up their minds.
Press have been knocking on doors for weeks trying to figure out which talent will be at Venice, TIFF and Telluride. Producers, distributors, publicists and the festival itself have all been in a holding pattern. The answer has largely been “TBD” as the complex industrial negotiations play out in the background.
It’s not fully clear yet whether Driver’s Ferrari co-stars Penélope Cruz and Shailene Woodley will be on the Lido. The Daily Mail today indicated that Cruz would be at the festival. The assumption is that the Oscar-winner will be there and that hasn’t been denied to us. We hear that Patrick Dempsey and Jack O’Connell will also be among the party.
Among stars we’ve confirmed will be in Venice this year are Mad Mikkelsen for Danish movie The Promised Land, Caleb Landry Jones and JoJo T. Gibbs for the much buzzed-about DogMan (which has an interim agreement), Peter Sarsgaard and Billy Magnussen (as executive producers) for Venice Days movie Coup!, and Olga Kurylenko for Xavier Giannoli-directed TV series premiere Of Blood and Money.
We hear from sources that Sofia Coppola’s Priscilla duo Cailee Spaeny and Jacob Elordi — who play Priscilla and Elvis Presley, respectively — will attend. That movie also has an interim agreement. Priscilla Presley is also among the contingent.
The casts of studio movies such as The Killer, Maestro and Poor Things aren’t expected on the Lido.
However, some actors from non-studio movies are also staying away. Among actors we’ve heard won’t be on the Lido are Finally Dawn stars Lily James, Willem Dafoe, Joe Keery and Rachel Sennott, and In The Land Of Saints And Sinners star Liam Neeson. Luca Barbareschi’s Penitent cast of Catherine McCormack, Adam Jones and Adrian Lester won’t be at the festival.
It’s still “TBD” on Glen Powell for Hit Man, Mickey Rourke for The Palace, and Léa Seydoux and George MacKay for The Beast. No official confirmation yet but we hear from multiple sources that Jessica Chastain will be on the Lido for Michel Franco’s Memory.
Filmmakers set to attend include David Fincher, Sofia Coppola, Michael Mann, Richard Linklater, Woody Allen, Yorgos Lanthimos and actor-turned-director Jack Huston. Some directors attending are WGA members but will be there “as directors”, we’ve been told. It’s unclear yet whether Maestro producers Spielberg and Scorsese will there. As previously reported, director Bradley Cooper won’t be in attendance because he also stars in the movie.
There will be a healthy contingent of international talent at the festival, including Hong Kong icon Tony Leung who will be feted with a lifetime achievement award. Actress Valerie Lemercier is among French talent attending for Woody Allen’s Coup De Chance and Roman Polanski’s film The Palace will be repped by Fanny Ardant, Joaquin De Almeida, Luca Barbareschi and Fortunato Cerlino.
The landmark 80th Venice Film Festival kicks off next Wednesday and runs until September 9th. It opens with Italian WWII action film Comandante. The fest was due to open with Zendaya starrer Challengers but that movie backed out of the slot due to the strike.
Melanie Goodfellow and Matt Grobar contributed to this report.