The Hollywood Reporter: Venice Scores Star-Studded Lineup Despite Strikes (Full List)

By The Hollywood Reporter / Scott Roxborough



New films from Bradley Cooper, Sofia Coppola, Yorgos Lanthimos, Michael Mann, Ava DuVernay, David Fincher, Woody Allen and Roman Polanski are all heading to the Lido for the 80th Venice Film Festival.

The competition line-up certainly looks impressive. Maestro, Bradley Cooper’s second directorial effort, after the blockbuster success of A Star is Born — which premiered in Venice in 2018 — will grace the Lido this year, though if the SAG-AFTRA strike is still ongoing, it’s unclear whether Cooper, who also stars as legendary conductor and composer Leonard Bernstein, alongside Carey Mulligan as Bernstein’s wife Felicia Montealegre, will be able to attend. Another Netflix feature, David Fincher’s The Killer, will get a Venice competition slot. The thriller stars Michael Fassbender, Arliss Howard and Tilda Swinton.

Ava DuVernay will become the first African American woman to compete on the Lido with her new feature, Origin, which follows the true-life journey of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Isabel Wilkerson in her quest to find the origins of injustice. Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor, Niecy Nash-Betts, Connie Nielsen and Jon Bernthal are among the film’s all-star cast. Actor-filmmaker Regina King screened One Night in Miami in Venice in 2020 but that well-received, and multi-Oscar-nominated, biopic played out of competition.

A fourth Netflix film, El Conde from Chilean director Pablo Larraín (Spencer, Jackie), also scored a competition slot. The genre-tinged title imagines Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet has survived as a vampire but, after 250 years living on evil he has decided to reform.

Yorgos Lanthimos, the Greek king of disturbing surrealism, who scored his biggest crossover hit in Venice with 2018’s The Favourite, returns to the Lido with Poor Things, a steampunk, rom-com period drama starring The Favourite‘s Emma Stone as a woman brought back to life by a 19th-century scientist. The film features an ensemble cast including Mark Ruffalo, Willem Dafoe, Ramy Youssef, Jerrod Carmichael and Margaret Qualley. Searchlight on Tuesday announced they are pushing back the film’s release, from September to December this year, clearly hoping the Poor Things cast will be able to do promotion by then, whether or not they are allowed to walk the Venice red carpet.

Also competing for the Golden Lion this year will be Sofia Coppola’s Priscilla, a look at Priscilla Presley’s one-of-a-kind relationship with the King of Rock and Roll, based on Presley’s memoir “Elvis and Me”, will premiere in Venice. Cailee Spaeny stars as Priscilla, with Jacob Elordi as Elvis. Fremantle’s The Apartment produced the film, with A24 distributing in the U.S.. As previously announced, Ferrari, Michael Mann’s hotly-anticipated biopic, based on Brock Yates’ biography of Italian race car driver legend Enzo Ferrari, is racing towards a Venice premiere. Adam Driver plays Enzo, heading a cast that includes Shailene Woodley and Penélope Cruz.

Barbera noted that some films could get special dispensation from SAG-AFTRA to allow actors to do promotional work.

Further competition titles include Michel Franco’s Memory featuring Jessica Chastain and Peter Sarsgaard and Io Capitano, a coming-of-age adventure drama focused on the refugee crisis from Italian art house maestro Matteo Garrone (Gomorrah). The drama about two young men — played by Seydou Sarr and Moustapha Fall — who leave Dakar, Senegal in search of a better life in Europe, arrives just as Italy, and the rest of the EU, debate new laws to regulate asylum seekers, making the film particularly timely and appealing for a Venice bow. Fellow Italian, Stefano Sollima, also secured a Venice competition slot with Adagio, featuring Italian stars Favino and Toni Servillo.

In competition, Luc Besson, another director who has been dogged by scandal of late, will premiere his new, potential comeback feature, DogMan, a drama starring Caleb Landry Jones.

Finally Dawn (Finalmente l’alba), written and directed by Saverio Costanzo (My Brilliant Friend), starring Lily James, Rebecca Antonaci, Alba Rohrwacher and Willem Dafoe, will also be in Venice competition this year, as will The Promised Land, a Danish period drama starring Mads Mikkelsen from A Royal Affair director Nikolaj Arcel. Stephane Brize’s feature Hors-Saison with Alba Rohrwacher and Guillaume Canet and La Bete from Bertrand Bonello, featuring Lea Seydoux and George MacKay also made the competition cut. As did the mafia feature Enea from director Pietro Castellitto, the immigrant drama The Green Border from Polish filmmaker Agnieszka Holland, and Evil Does Not Go Away, the new feature from Drive My Car director Ryusuke Hamaguchi. Also certain to attract attention is the Polish drama Woman Of, a transgender story from Never Gonna Snow Again directors Malgorzata Szumowska and Michal Englert.


Comandante, dir: Edoardo de Angelis (opening night film)

Adagio, dir: Stefano Sollima
La Bête, dir: Bertrand Bonello
DogMan, dir: Luc Besson
El Conde, dir: Pablo Larrain
Enea, dir: Pietro Castellitto
Evil Does Not Exist, Ryusuke Hamaguchi
Ferrari, dir: Michael Mann
Finalmente L’Alba, dir: Saverio Costanzo
The Green Border, dir: Agnieszka Holland
Holly, dir: Fien Troch
Hors-Saison, dir: Stéphane Brizé
Io Capitano, dir: Matteo Garrone
The Killer, dir: David Fincher
Lubo, dir: Giorgio Diritti
Maestro, dir: Bradley Cooper
Memory, dir: Michel Franco
Origin, dir: Ava DuVernay
Poor Things, dir: Yorgos Lanthimos
Priscilla, dir: Sofia Coppola
The Promised Land, dir: Nikolaj Arcel
Die Theorie Von Allem, dir: Timm Kroger
Woman Of, dirs: Malgorzata Szumowska, Michal Englert

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