UPDATE: Cannes has just confirmed that Farhadi’s anticipated title will open the festival on Tuesday 8 May.
Previous story, Wednesday 10:09 AM PST: Speculation is growing that Asghar Farhadi’s Everybody Knows, which stars Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem, is set to open the Cannes Film Festival. However, Deadline understands that discussions have not been finalized and festival chief Thierry Frémaux is expected to greenlight a decision tomorrow.
Deadline reported last month that the Iranian filmmaker’s first film in Spanish, known locally as Todos Lo Saben, was a likely opener for the 71st edition of the film festival, making for a starry and prestigious international start. It would be only the second Spanish-language film to open Cannes in history following Pedro Almodovar’s Bad Education in 2004.
Cannes Speculation 2018: Intrigue Spikes As Fest Lineup Reveal Looms
The thriller, which is produced by France’s Memento Films Production, follows a Spanish woman, played by Cruz, who lives in Buenos Aires in Argentina and returns to her home in Madrid with her Argentinean husband and children. However, a series of unexpected events brings a number of secrets out into public.
Watch on Deadline
Argentine icon Ricardo Darin stars alongside Cruz and Bardem. Memento Films’ Alexandre Mallet-Guy is producing alongside Alvaro Longoria of Spanish producer Morena Films. The $11.8M film, which also stars Barbara Lennie, Inma Cuesta, Eduard Fernandez and Javier Camara, has also received funding from Canal +, Eurimages, France Télévisions, Ciné +, l’ICAA and Movistar.
The movie is set to be released in France in May after its premiere at the festival, while UTA Independent Film Group is representing the rights to the sale of the film in North America along with Memento Films.
It marks an unusual choice for the Cannes opener as Farhadi is neither French nor American. However, he has been a regular presence at the festival even when he is not screening a film and Everybody Knows has been receiving a lot of heat since wrapping production in Spain.
Farhadi has won two Academy Awards for foreign-language dramas – A Separation and The Salesman, the latter which he played in competition in Cannes.
Running May 8-19, the fest is kicking off earlier than in recent years, and on a Tuesday to boot.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.