Clint Eastwood's period biopic J. Edgar (November 9), starring Leonardo DiCaprio as the famed FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover, is bypassing the fall fest circuit, according to the Toronto Star's Peter Howell. Eastwood and Warner Bros. decided to take the Lance Black-scripted film, which co-stars Armie Hammer, Naomi Watts and Josh Lucas, straight to the theaters and skip the two fests, which both showed Hereafter last year.
UPDATE: According to sources, Eastwood is still in the editing room, which means a later fest (say, London), might still be a possibility.
Word is that Francis Ford Coppola, who announced at Comic-Con that he would be taking his horror flick Twixt to Toronto, will not be going to Telluride, but may take the Val Kilmer vampire mood piece to Deauville. One title that does seem destined for Telluride is Fox Searchlight's The Descendants, directed by Alexander Payne and starring George Clooney. Nothing is ever confirmed until guests arrive.
Not turning up on the fall fest circuit either is Searchlight's The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, starring Slumdog Millionaire's Dev Patel as the manager of a decrepit hotel in Bangalore, India for senior citizens. Bill Nighy, Judi Dench, Tom Wilkinson and Maggie Smith also star. Director is John Madden, whose The Debt is finally coming out August 31 via Focus after a post-Miramax delay. Searchlight plans to open the escapist relationship comedy--aiming at the art house crowd who liked Enchanted April and Lavender Girls-- in the first quarter.
Nor will Kenneth Lonergan's long-awaited follow-up to You Can Count on Me, Margaret, be in a fall fest. Searchlight has finally got a final cut. It's not by Lonergan, who has been paralyzed for years over finishing the film, but from Martin Scorsese and Thelma Schoonmaker. But Lonergan has approved the trimmed version. Searchlight will open the Sydney Pollack, Gary Gilbert and Scott Rudin-produced picture, starring young-looking Matt Damon, Anna Paquin and Mark Ruffalo, on September 30.