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Cannes 2012: Will 'The Master,' Terrence Malick's New Film, James Gray's Latest & More Actually Premiere?

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist February 20, 2012 at 12:02PM

By this time last year, we already knew that Woody Allen’s “Midnight In Paris” would be opening the Cannes Film Festival, but as March looms closer, there still has been no word yet from organizers which film will kick off the festivities. Yet, that hasn’t stopped conjecture and suppostion as Cineuropa recently penned a speculatory long list of films they they guessing could be heading to Cannes (which includes iffy bets like Terrence Malick's next movie, Paul Thomas Anderson's "The Master" and more). These lists are fun and all, they get the cinephiles' anticipation juices going (see one example here), but the reality of the matter is there is a element of wish fulfillment to all of them and less than half the films generally posted in these pieces actually end up appearing at the Croisette. Still, using that piece as a jumping off point, we decided to dig a bit deeper to sort out which movies are near certain locks, which are possibilities and those that aren’t going to make it all.

The Possibilities

To The Wonder Ben Affleck Rachel McAdams

Untitled Romance (dir. Terrence Malick)
Cast: Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams, Javier Bardem, Barry Pepper, Olga Kurylenko, Michael Sheen
The suddenly busy Terrence Malick could be making back-to-back appearances at Cannes. Last summer, Malick broke his usual wall of silence and in a letter to FIPRESCI (who had awarded him the Best Film Of 2011 award for “The Tree of Life”) revealed he was “rushing toward a mix on the picture we shot last fall in Oklahoma.” Granted, Malick takes his sweet time to complete his films, so who knows if he’ll be ready to show the movie just yet (and fans so far have had to suffice with a first look revealed a year ago). That said, the film has already presold to numerous foreign territories already (U.K., Canada and more) however, Malick has so far reportedly turned down early offers for U.S. distribution, though some footage has screened for buyers. A positive reception at Cannes could certainly raise the heat and start a battle for the movie (landing a more lucrative deal than selling it beforehand). A few reports are suggesting his documentary “Voyage Of Time” could show up, though we don’t expect to see that one for a while considering that after Cannes last year, word leaked out that he was planning on shooting even more footage for the film. Presumably he's finishing the untitled romance and in pre-production for the two movies he’ll shoot in 2012, “Lawless” and “Knight Of Cups” with the documentary still further away from completion. But then again, who knows with Terrence Malick.

Park Chan-Wook

"Stoker" (dir. Park Chan-wook)
Cast: Nicole Kidman, Mia Wasikowska, Matthew Goode, Jackie Weaver, Lucas Till, Alden Ehrenreich, Dermot Mulroney
This quasi-Hitchock thriller, marking the Hollywood debut of Park Chan-wook started lensing last fall, and could be done a lot sooner than we think. Korean media reports that the film is "likely to appear" going on to suggest that Park has already received an invtiation. And considering both "Oldboy" and "Thirst" made their way there, we believe it, but as always it will depend on how far along post-production he gets before May arrives.

The Place Beyond The Pines

The Place Beyond The Pines” (dir. Derek Cianfrance)
Cast: Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Eva Mendes, Rose Byrne, Ray Liotta, Ben Mendelsohn
Having made his Cannes debut in 2010 with “Blue Valentine” screening in the Un Certain Regard category, Derek Cianfrance’s sophomore film was warmly received, and there’s no doubt organizers want him back. This tale of vengeance across generations shot last summer and presuming that Cianfrance has it wrapped up in time, a premiere on the Croisette seems like a good bet only this time, he might graduate to the Official Competition.

Holly Motors Kylie Minogue

Holly Motors” (dir. Leos Carax)
Cast: Denis Lavant, Eva Mendes, Kylie Minogue
A prize winner at Cannes before, it all will come down to timing if Carax returns. Filming on the project was underway last fall, and depending on the post-production schedule, completion for May could be very tight. But if he can get it in the can, there is no doubt he would be welcomed back.

Ramin Bahrani

Untitled (dir. Ramin Bahrani)
Cast: Dennis Quaid, Zac Efron, Heather Graham
This rising auteur made his Cannes debut with “Chop Shop” back in 2007, but hasn’t returned since (“Goodbye Solo” premiered in Venice). However, with filming having been completed last summer, we presume that if Bahrani is keeping his trademark minamalist style, post-production likely hasn’t required a big stretch of time. And with the director working for the first time with a bonafide Hollywood cast, now could be the time he walks the red carpet again.

Rian Johnson Looper

Looper” (dir. Rian Johnson)
Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt, Paul Dano, Jeff Bridges
This highly anticipated sci-fi film is already test screening, suggesting it’s far along in the post-production phase and we half-expected “Looper” to show up in the SXSW lineup. But since the lineup for that fest is already locked down, Cannes does present a possibility. Granted, we don’t see it showing up in competition, though a Midnight Movie or out-of-competition bow isn’t out of the question.

Michel Gondry

The We And The I” (dir. Michel Gondry)
Cast: Michael Brodie, Teresa L. Rivera, Brandon Diaz
Filming on Gondry’s upcoming film wrapped last fall and it was been in post-production since. This is another film we thought might be more attuned to SXSW, but again, organizers in Austin have already solidified their lineup. Footage has already screened in Berlin for buyers and we can only guess the movie is nearing completion (particularly as Gondry starts shooting his next film “Mood Indigo” in June). While we don’t see the film making it to the official competition lineup, its whimsical “Be Kind Rewind” inspired narrative could make it a possibility for Un Certain Regard.

Abbas Kiarostami

The End”/"Like Someone In Love" (dir. Abbas Kiarostami)
Cast: Ryo Kase, Rin Takanashi, Aoi Miyazaki, Tadashi Okuno
With lensing underway late last year, it’s going to be matter of finishing the movie on time. But reportedly set to be a “continuation” on “Certified Copy” (if not with the characters, then at least thematically), Cannes would welcome the helmer back. And producers MK2 are said to be eyeing a premiere on the Croisette and they will likely be pushing hard to make that happen.

This article is related to: Cannes Film Festival, Features

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