We are currently in the dog days of summer, but that doesn’t mean we can’t look forward to the fall, specifically the best time of year for film fans — fall film festival season. And kicking it off right is perhaps the biggest fest of the season, Venice. With the initial lineup of films hitting Venice coming next week, we are starting to get word on which projects are likely going to Italy.
According to Variety, streaming services and US productions are expected to have a strong showing at the festival, with films like James Gray’s “Ad Astra,” Todd Phillips’ “Joker,” “Rambo: Last Blood,” Tom Harper’s “The Aeronauts,” Fernando Meirelles’ “The Pope,” and the untitled Noah Baumbach film leading the way.
Of those films, the biggest surprises, especially if you’re a capital ‘C’ cinephile are “Joker” and ‘Rambo.’ Those don’t seem to be the first picks to headline a festival that annually pumps out some of the biggest awards contenders. That being said, Venice needs to grab headlines and a highly-anticipated comic book film with a laundry list of big talent attached and an “end” of a popular action franchise aren’t bad ways to go.
Perhaps the real story continues to be the idea that streaming services like Netflix are still bound for success at Venice. After being snubbed in a long battle with Cannes (and the French lawmakers, in general), Netflix has been perfectly happy skipping the spring fest in favor of Italy in the fall. Last year, that worked well with “Roma,” which would go on to earn tons of awards, including a handful of Oscars.
This year, Netflix could be looking at another strong year with films like “The Pope,” which stars Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce, “The King,” from director David Michôd and stars Timothée Chalamet, Robert Pattinson and Lily-Rose Depp, as well as the aforementioned Noah Baumbach drama that is said to star Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson.
One highly-anticipated Netflix film that won’t be at Venice is Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman.” The film is said to not be ready for an early fall debut and is likely going to be something that debuts later in the year. Other films that just won’t be done in time include “The Goldfinch” and Ang Lee’s “Gemini Man.”
Amazon will have the previously mentioned “The Aeronauts,” but also could see a debut for its upcoming “Against All Enemies” starring Kristen Stewart.
Of course, the above films are the ones that are likely to be the biggest attention-grabbers but are definitely not going to be all that Venice has to offer. Another big name filmmaker, Roman Polanski, could very well debut his film “An Officer and a Spy.” Other films that are likely coming to Venice include “The Burnt Orange Heresy,” directed by Giuseppe Capotondi, “The Salt of Tears” from Philippe Garrel, and “The Painted Bird” from filmmaker Vaclav Marhoul.
And last, but definitely not least, is 2018’s big Cannes winner Hirokazu Kore-eda, with his latest film “The Truth,” which stars Catherine Deneuve, Juliette Binoche, and Ethan Hawke and is Kore-eda’s first non-Japanese film.
The initial lineup for Venice is expected to be announced on July 25.