The 41st edition of the Toronto Film Festival will open with Sony and MGM’s The Magnificent Seven, as Deadline predicted last night. The Antoine Fuqua-directed remake of the classic 1960s Western stars Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D’Onofrio, Haley Bennett and Peter Sarsgaard. It marks latest collaboration between Fuqua and Toronto. Fuqua brought Training Day and leading man Washington to TIFF 15 years ago.

The announcement was made this morning at a news conference presided over by TIFF director and chief executive Piers Handling and artistic director Cameron Bailey. The 41st edition of the festival runs September 8-18.

The closing-night film will be Kelly Fremon’s The Edge Of Seventeen, starring Hallee Steinfeld and Woody Harrelson. Other films selected for this year’s festival include Oliver Stone’s Snowden, David Oyelowo-Lupita Nyong’o starrer Queen Of Katwe, Amma Asante’s A United Kingdom, Jeff Nichol’s Loving, Gemma Arterton starrer Their Finest and much-anticipated musical LaLaLand, starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone.

Denis Villeneuve’s alien invasion thriller Arrival, Peter Berg’s disaster drama Deepwater Horizon, and Rob Reiner’s historical biopic LBJ will all bow at the traditional awards season launchpad.

Also selected are Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals, his sophomore feature as director, Rooney Mara-starrer Una, Cannes sensation Paul Verhoeven’s Elle, starring Isabelle Huppert and Ben Younger’s boxing drama Bleed For This with Miles Teller.

The Weinstein Co’s Lion, with Dev Patel and Rooney Mara, also world preems at the festival. The film, produced by The King’s Speech producers See-Saw Films, has very strong buzz and is already being touted as a strong contender. Sundance hits Nate Parker’s A Birth Of A Nation and Kenneth Lonergan’s Manchester-by-the-Sea will also play for Canadian auds.

A traditional launchpad for awards season, Toronto will see indies and studios go up against each other as they send their eagerly anticipated fare into the marketplace for the first time. Last year’s big winner was Lenny Abrahamson’s Room, starring Brie Larson. In addition to winning the coveted Audience Award, the film also went on to earn Larson an Academy Award for best actress and noms for best film.


AuthorSaul Nathan-Kazis
CategoriesFilm and TV