By Jake Coyle in New York – The Associated Press
The Toronto International Film Festival unveiled a starry lineup to its 48th edition on Monday, even if remains unclear if stars will be there to walk red carpets due to the ongoing actors and writers strikes.
Among the films making their world premieres at TIFF this year are Craig Gillespie’s GameStop drama “Dumb Money,” with Paul Dano and Pete Davidson; Ellen Kuras’ “Lee,” starring Kate Winslet at war photographer Lee Miller and Tony Goldwyn’s Ezra,” with Robert De Niro and Rose Byrne.
Also headed to Toronto are Michael Keaton’s “Knox Goes Away,” starring Al Pacino and James Marsden; Kristen Scott Thomas’ “North Star,” featuring Scarlett Johansson and Sienna Miller; David Yates’ Netflix drama “Pain Hustlers,” starring Emily Blunt and Chris Evans; and Maggie Betts’ “The Burial,” with Jamie Foxx and Tommy Lee Jones.
Those films, and many more including directorial debuts by Anna Kendrick (“Woman of the Hour”) and Chris Pine (“Poolman”), will make up some of the gala premieres at TIFF, the largest film festival in North America.
The festival is a key platform for Hollywood to debut its fall fare and awards hopefuls. But like the Venice Film Festival, which begins about a week before TIFF launches on Sept. 7, Toronto organizers are anxiously following the SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes.
While those strikes continue, actors and writers are prohibited by their unions from promoting their films. TIFF will go forward, regardless, but an ongoing strike would sap the festival of A-listers and surely lessen the usual cacophony of buzz emanating from Toronto.
The strike has already led to one of Venice’s top titles — Luca Guadagnino’s “Challengers,” starring Zendaya — to pull out as the festival’s opening night selection and postpone its release to April.
Other major titles coming to TIFF include Alexander Payne’s “The Holdovers,” starring Paul Giamatti as a boarding school professor; Richard Linklater’s “Hitman,” an action comedy starring Glen Powell and Adria Arjona; Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin’s “Nyad,” starring Annette Bening as long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad; Mahalia Belo’s “The We End Start From,” starring Jodie Comer as a mother fleeing a flooded London; and Ethan Hawke’s “Wildcat,” featuring his daughter, Maya Hawke, as author Flannery O’Connor.
TIFF previously announced that Taika Waititi’s soccer comedy “ Next Goal Wins ” will open this year’s festival, which runs through Sept. 17.
Banner image: This image released by Netflix shows Chris Evans as Brenner, left, Andy Garcia as Neel, center, and Emily Blunt as Liza in a scene from “Pain Hustlers,” a film premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival. (Brian Douglas/Netflix via AP)