Here’s all the stars boycotting the 80th Venice Film Festival
What happens when Hollywood’s biggest names can’t grace the iconic Venice Film Festival due to an industry-wide strike? Venice, renowned for its glam shots of celebs arriving by gondolas, might look a tad different this year.
Let’s lay it down: the Tinseltown walkouts are real, as writers and actors protest against the pay and conditions in the Hollywood studio system. As the Venice Film Festival marks its 80th edition, the looming Hollywood strike implies many leading lights might be absent. This could potentially shift the spotlight towards controversial directors like Roman Polanski and Woody Allen.
Initially set from 30th August to 9th September, Venice has always been a golden ticket for Oscar hopefuls. But with the most significant industry strike in over six decades, several stars are shelving their promotional appearances. This means no Emma Stone or Bradley Cooper during the premiere of their films Poor Things and Maestro, respectively.
All may not be lost. Adam Driver and Penelope Cruz have a possible pass because their film, Ferrari directed by Michael Mann of Heat fame, was crafted outside the studio ambit. Yet, their sense of camaraderie might still see them missing in action. Regardless, many renowned directors are gearing up to compete for the coveted Golden Lion, slated for announcement on 9th September.
While Hollywood’s writers and actors strike throws shade, some A-listers have their sunnies ready for Venice. And yes, the lineup still looks promising. Among the confirmed attendees are Adam Driver, Jessica Chastain, Caleb Landry Jones, and Mads Mikkelsen. Keep an eye out for Cailee Spaeny and Jacob Elordi, appearing in Sophia Coppola’s Priscilla, alongside the iconic Priscilla Presley herself.
These films have a loophole to thank – they clinched SAG-AFTRA waivers since they’re indie ventures not linked with AMPTP members. Conversely, star casts from studio movies like The Killer, Maestro, and Poor Things might skip the Lido runway.
As per Italian insiders ANSA, Kiefer Sutherland could pop by, tipping his hat to William Friedkin’s final film, The Caine Mutiny Court Martial. This, even though Showtime and Paramount Global, the film’s producers, are AMPTP associates.
And while some stars might be absent, the directors’ chairs are filling up. Speculations hint at appearances by David Fincher, Sofia Coppola, Ava DuVernay, Michael Mann, Yorgos Lanthimos, and yes, Woody Allen.
Also, the fest isn’t just about Hollywood. The global film fraternity is turning up, with Tony Leung being honored with a lifetime achievement award. French actress Valerie Lemercier is set to represent Allen’s Coup De Chance, while Roman Polanski’s The Palace brings in Fanny Ardant and Joaquin De Almeida.
Despite the glaring absence of Hollywood’s creme de la creme, this year’s Venice Film Festival seems to be rolling out the red carpet for international talent, indie filmmakers, and global stars. But, can Venice truly shine without its usual Hollywood glow?