Tarantino, Stallone, Johnnie To, and 'Twilight Saga' Rumored to be Headed for Rome Festival Premieres
Extended 'Django Unchained' Trailer Set for Tuscany's Lucca Movie Event
ROME – With two weeks to go before the International Rome Film Festival unveils its full lineup, anticipation is already growing for the first edition of the event under artistic director Marco Mueller.
At each of his previous stops as artistic director -- including eight years at the Venice Film Festival, and before that with stints in Locarno and Rotterdam -- Mueller has earned praise for his ability to organize compelling and eclectic lineups and for his keen eye for up-and-coming new talents. And he has vowed to continue the trend in Rome, promising in July a lineup with an unprecedented 60 world premieres.
But so far, there has been little official word on what those films will be. For its part, the festival has named only two: the Cinema XXI Section will open with the world premier of Centro Histórico (Historic Center), a film about the Portuguese city of Guimarães jointly directed by Aki Kaurismäki of Finland, 103-year-old Portuguese director Manoel de Oliveira, two-time Cannes Palme d’Or nominee Victor Erice, and Pedro Costa, another Cannes regular. The festival also announced that its Perspectives Italy sidebar will open with the screening of Carlo!, a documentary about Italian comic actor and director Carlo Verdone directed by Gianfranco Giagni and Fabio Ferzetti.
And the other 58 or so premieres? Until the Oct. 10 official announcement of the festival lineup, that is a matter of pure speculation. But there are some titles that have been whispered about among Italian industry figures, international distributors, and in the local press.
The biggest names include Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, Du zhan (Drug War) from Johnnie To, Gabriele Muccino’s Playing For Keeps, The Twilight Saga: Breaking down Part 2, and a special event dedicated to the 007 James Bond franchise.
Other possibilities rumored include Sylvester Stallone, possibly in connection with Walter Hill’s crime thriller Bullet to the Head; animated family adventure film Rise of the Guardians, which includes the voices of Hugh Jackman, Jude Law, and Alec Baldwin; the new adaptation of Les Misérables from Tom Hooper, with an all-star cast that includes Jackman, Russel Crowe, and Anne Hathaway; and possibly even Gus Van Sant’s Promised Land and Lincoln, the newest Steven Spielberg project, though industry figures said Les Misérables, Promised Land, and Lincoln at present appeared to be relative dark horse candidates to premiere in Rome.
Tarantino’s Django Unchained, which stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Jamie Foxx, and Samuel L. Jackson, is the big-name film most mentioned in connection with the festival, and it makes sense: Mueller and Tarantino have collaborated in the past, including Mueller’s selection of Tarantino to head the jury in Venice in 2010.
Additionally, the film is an unofficial tribute to Sergio Corbucci’s 1966 Spaghetti Western classic Django, which starred Franco Nero in the lead role. Corbucci (who died in 1990 at age 62) was a life-long Roman, and Nero, who has a small role in the Tarantino film, lives part of the year in Rome. But it is unclear if the film will finished in time for the Nov. 9-17 festival: reports are that production was put behind schedule after the departures of Kurt Russell and Sacha Baron Cohen from the cast earlier in the year.