Update: NYFF says this film will be from a "master filmmaker" not a "legendary filmmaker," and the picture is one that will be released sometime in 2011 so that changes up at lot of your guesses. Let the speculation continue...
Just when you think you have a handle on the awards season, another curveball is thrown. The New York Film Festival is at the front end of the two-week-long event and if you think you've got all your tickets for the major screenings and events, guess again. Organizers have announced that on Monday, October 10th at 7 PM at Avery Fisher Hall they will be unveiling a screening of a film that's still a "work-in-progress" by a “legendary” filmmaker. So what on Earth can it be?
With the year winding down most of the Oscar hopefuls have been seen with only a few left to play for critics. There's Clint Eastwood's "J. Edgar" but that will be premiering at AFI in November and it's unlikely it will play first at NYFF. There's Jason Reitman's "Young Adult," though the director can hardly be called legendary and moreover, the film is locked and has already been screened to select critics. A strong possibility would be Stephen Daldry's "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close," as it only began shooting in February of this year and he's likely still tinkering with it in post-production in advance of its December release date. Not to mention that the 9/11 drama is a quintessential New York City movie. Another candidate and the one this writer is putting his money on? David Fincher's "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo."
If you remember, the filmmaker premiered "The Social Network" at the New York Film Festival last year so that relationship is already there. And even though Fincher was still shooting additional footage in August, if he was able to cut together an eight minute preview, putting together a rough edit isn't out of the question. Moreover, Sony would likely want an early screening to start getting some significant buzz brewing about the dark and difficult film. With no festival presence for the movie, getting the mainstream audience the film needs to be a success will be a marketing challenge, but in one fell swoop with a NYFF screening, they can really get the word on the movie out there in a major way.
But hell, that's just a guess and it could something else completely. Steven Spielberg's "War Horse" maybe? Or perhaps Martin Scorsese's "Hugo" (after all he's already been at the fest this year for his George Harrison documentary). We'll find out soon enough. [Deadline]