Speculation has been rife over the last couple of days among Big Apple-based film fans as to the possible identity of the secret screening that the New York Film Festival added to their program as a last-minute surprise last week. The festival narrowed it down a little, saying that the film was a "work-in-progress" from a "master filmmaker" for a film that would be released before the end of the 2011, so it left only a few contenders. Could it be David Fincher's "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo?" Stephen Daldry's "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close?" Mike Mitchell's "Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked?"
None of the above, as it turns out; Deadline confirm what The Hollywood Reporter had already strongly suggested; that the city's favorite son, Martin Scorsese, will be bowing his new one, the 3D family flick "Hugo," which stars Asa Butterfield as an orphan living in a Parisian train station in the early 20th century, who with a help of a girl (Chloe Moretz), searches for the secret of the automaton left by his late father.
The film, which also stars Ben Kingsley, Sacha Baron Cohen, Jude Law, Emily Mortimer, Frances De La Tour, Richard Griffiths, Ray Winstone and many more, will be shown in 3D (it was shot for the format, rather than post-converted), but will have some unfinished effects. The move is almost unprecedented both for the festival and the filmmaker, and it suggests a certain amount of confidence in the film, which is good, as it'll need all the critical love it can get to overcome a massive budget and a tricky sell.
As an extra show of confidence, distributors Paramount have premiered a new featurette for the film featuring Scorsese introducing the project, and talking up the 3D, and it's a big improvement on the trailer. Having said that, we will give Paramount's marketing department five shiny American dollars if they stop using damp emo-rock bullshit to score their campaign. The movie opens on November 23rd, but we'll be in the house tonight, and we'll have our review for you in only a few hours, so keep your eyes peeled.