August 30 2007
Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Johnny Depp, Keira Knightley, Jude Law, and Scarlett Johansson are just some of the A-list stars expected to attend the renowned Venice Film Festival, kicking off today in the Italian city.
The 11-day festival is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, with all the screenings, premieres, and star-studded parties the festival is known for.
57 features were chosen from more than 3,000 to be screened for competition at the festival, including 15 films from the U.S. and seven from the U.K.
“Atonement,” starring Knightley, will open this year’s festival. The film, adapted from the Ian McEwan novel, is directed by Joe Wright, who also directed Knightley in her Oscar-nominated “Pride & Prejudice” role.
Clooney will reportedly arrive by helicopter to attend the screening of his upcoming legal thriller, “Michael Clayton,” and Pitt will be on hand for the Sunday screening of “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford,” the Western drama in which he stars.
Johansson is expected to attend “The Nanny Diaries” screening on Friday (showing out of competition), as well as Woody Allen’s “Cassandra’s Dream,” which makes its world premiere at the festival on Sunday.
Law and Michael Caine co-star in Kenneth Branagh’s “Sleuth” remake, which premieres on Thursday. Caine starred with Laurence Olivier in the original 1972 version of “Sleuth,” and both Caine and Law have starred in different versions of “Alfie.”
Johnny Depp will be on hand to showcase advance footage of Tim Burton’s “Sweeney Todd” adaptation (in which he stars), and to present Burton with his lifetime achievement “Lion” on Sept. 5, which will be “Tim Burton Day” at the festival.
Wes Anderson’s “The Darjeeling Limited,” starring Owen Wilson and Adrien Brody, will also be screened in Venice. Wilson, who was hospitalized this past Sunday, was originally expected to attend the screening. Whether Wilson will participate in any of the activities surrounding the film’s opening remains to be seen, but his publicist told The Hollywood Reporter that Wilson had already completed press commitments on behalf of the film, and “he’s always committed to and supports his projects.”