With the jury still out on where this year's Berlin lineup will rate on the Dieter meter, attention is beginning to focus on the selection for the Festival de Cannes.
The Riviera event marks its 60th anniversary when it unspools May 16-27, suggesting fest president Gilles Jacob
will want to inject some extra glitz. But artistic director Thierry Fremaux said the landmark will not influence his choice of movies for Competition.
After the poor reception given to last year's opener The Da Vinci Code
, pressure is on to find a more crowd-pleasing title. One option under consideration is the hugely ambitious documentary "earth," which offers a dazzling look at natural life on our planet.
"We're already speaking to Cannes about being the opening film. We're sending an unfinished mix to Cannes at the end of February," said Sophokles Tasioulis
of Greenlight Media, who co-produced the movie with the BBC
. The movie is distributed in France by Gaumont, which has previously handled opening-night duties with The Fifth Element
A more conventional contender is Ocean's Thirteen
from Palme d'Or winner Steven Soderbergh
. And one that would allow for a top-flight red carpet gala given the Warner Bros.
picture's all-star cast headed by George Clooney
, Matt Damon
, Brad Pitt
and Al Pacino
Warner's Iraq-themed movie The Valley of Elah
written and directed by Paul Haggis
starring Tommy Lee Jones
, Charlize Theron
and James Franco
is also in the running. "It's not out of the question," said a source.
Although it is still too early for titles to have received any locked-down slots, Fremaux looks to have a good choice of titles from both the U.S. and France.
Among the former is Cannes golden boy Quentin Tarantino
's exploitation double-feature Grind House
, co-directed by Robert Rodriguez.
Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
is one possible for out of Competition. Paramount Pictures' fantasy adventure Stardust
, starring Claire Danes
, Robert De Niro
, Sienna Miller
and Michelle Pfeiffer
, may also show up.