Zombies and gangsters to star at Cannes Film Festival but no Tarantino

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PARIS (Reuters) – Bill Murray fighting off zombies and an Elton John biopic tracking the singer’s early days will be among the highlights at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, though Quentin Tarantino’s hotly-anticipated latest outing is set to miss out.

Cannes Film festival general delegate Thierry Fremaux and Cannes Film festival president Pierre Lescure attend a news conference to announce the official selection for the 72nd Cannes International Film Festival in Paris, France, April 18, 2019. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

Unveiling the line-up for the 72nd edition of the world’s most important cinema showcase on Thursday, festival director Thierry Fremaux described the selection as a “romantic and political” mix highlighting a colorful array of characters, from the walking dead to painters and migrants.

One major name not to make the list, however, was Tarantino, whose “Once Upon A Time In Hollywood” was hotly tipped to make it to the festival, held in May on the French Riviera.

Fremaux told a news conference that the movie, starring Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio and Margot Robbie, was not yet ready.

The May 14-25 festival will kick off with “Broken Flowers” director Jim Jarmusch’s latest film, “The Dead Don’t Die”.

One of the 19 contenders for the Palme D’Or top prize, the tale of a small American town under siege from zombies has already raised expectations thanks to a star-studded cast that includes Tilda Swinton, Iggy Pop, Danny Glover and Selena Gomez.

Spanish director Pedro Almodovar – who presided over the jury at Cannes two years ago, a spot handed this year to Mexico’s Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu – will also be in contention for the top award with “Pain and Glory”.

The movie, which reunites actors he has repeatedly worked with including Penelope Cruz and Antonio Banderas, tracks the travails of a filmmaker.

Britain’s Ken Loach, 82, who won the Palme D’Or in 2016 with “I, Daniel Blake”, returns with “Sorry We Missed You”.

Terrence Malick, whose long delayed “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote” finally aired at Cannes last year, will also enter the competition with “A Hidden Life”, a historical drama set against the backdrop of World War Two.

Outside the competition, Elton John biopic “Rocketman”, starring Taron Egerton as the award-winning singer, will be one of the highlights of the screenings.

South Korean director Lee Won-Tae’s “The Gangster, The Cop, The Devil” was picked for a special midnight showing.

Fremaux said there was a common thread in the selected films: “These are films about little groups of humans who are fighting adversity.”

Reporting by Sarah White; Editing by Marie-Louise Gumuchian



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