The Venice Film Festival confirmed to us today it is hopeful that movies with SAG-AFTRA interim agreements will bring their casts to the Lido.
While individual actors have yet to confirm their attendance and no Venice entries have confirmed receipt of an IA, this means it’s possible that independent movies including Michael Mann’s Ferrari, Sofia Coppola’s Priscilla, Richard Linklater’s Hit Man, Michel Franco’s Memory, Robert Lorenz’s In The Land Of Saints And Sinners, Bertrand Bonello’s The Beast, Jack Huston’s Day Of The Fight, Saverio Costanzo’s Finally Dawn, Nikolaj Arcel’s The Promised Land, Luc Besson’s DogMan and Ava DuVernay’s Caste could in theory bring talent such as Adam Driver, Penelope Cruz, Shailene Woodley, Cailee Spaeny, Jacob Elordi, Glen Powell, Adria Arjona, Jessica Chastain, Liam Neeson, Ciaran Hinds, Kerry Condon, Léa Seydoux, George MacKay, Joe Pesci, Ron Perlman, Lily James, Willem Dafoe, Joe Keery, Mads Mikkelsen, Caleb Landry Jones and Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor.
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Most of these productions have applied to SAG for an ‘interim agreement’, which would allow talent to promote the movies at festivals. SAG has understandably prioritized arranging IAs for those indie projects currently in production but will now start to address those heading to fall festivals and hoping for promotional help from their stars. Whether actors will want to do so amid a strike remains to be seen, though we hear there is willingness to help from some given actors the independent credentials of these projects. It may take a statement from SAG leadership for others to feel reassured.
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Venice chief Alberto Barbera said today that if the strike is ongoing a number of SAG actors in studio and streamer movies won’t be able to make it to the festival, citing among them Emma Stone, star of Yorgos Lanthimos’ Searchlight picture Poor Things. The expectation for some time has been that actors in studio and streamer movies won’t make it. Those include the casts of Poor Things, The Killer, Maestro, The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial.
Among other international actors who could still potentially light up the festival (some may need their productions to apply for a waiver if they’re SAG members) are Romain Duris, Pierre Niney, Gilles Lellouche, Roschdy Zem, Tony Servillo, Pierfrancesco Favino, Guillaume Canet and Alba Rohrwacher.
Mann, Coppola, Linklater and Woody Allen are among U.S. filmmakers expected to be on the Lido. Wes Anderson was in Cannes so is likely to be back in Italy with his latest and Yorgos Lanthimos is also expected. No confirmation yet on David Fincher or J.A. Bayona but the emerging pattern would indicate that they are likely to be at the festival ‘as directors’. Maestro filmmaker Bradley Cooper is less likely to be on the Lido because he also stars in his movie. Roman Polanski won’t be attending, Barbera confirmed today.
A number of the directors named above are also screenwriters on their projects so eyebrows may be raised by WGA leadership given its ongoing strike but Martin Scorsese, Wes Anderson, Christopher Nolan and Greta Gerwig have all promoted their movies since the WGA strike began so the precedent seems to have been set for them to do so ‘as directors’.
Barbera said today that MGM’s Zendaya starrer Challengers, which was due to open the festival, was the only U.S. movie to withdraw from the event due to the strike. He added that given the sudden challenge resulting from the double U.S. strike the final impact on Venice’s lineup had been relatively “modest”.
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