Deadline’s The Contenders At Capacity; Long Waiting List For Award Season Kickoff Event


It only took one day for The Contenders to put up the “no room at the inn” sign. Deadline’s seventh annual daylong event, which kicks off the movie awards season on November 4, will feature such stars and filmmakers as Jennifer Lawrence, Jessica Chastain, Chadwick Boseman, James Franco, Greta Gerwig, Gary Oldman, Jordan Peele, Denzel Washington, Ethan Hawke, Andy Serkis, Andrew Garfield, Margot Robbie, Allison Janney, Richard Linklater, Mary J. Blige, Saoirse Ronan, John Boyega, Edgar Wright, Armie Hammer, Timothée Chalamet, Sam Elliott, Carey Mulligan, Will Poulter, Patrick Stewart, Kumail Nanjiani, Guillermo del Toro and Aaron Sorkin. And those are just a handful of the names scheduled to appear so far.

La La Land Emma Stone Damien Chazelle John Legend Justin Hurwitz

The popular all-day happening filled up almost as fast as the RSVP lines were open, the fastest ever. And if the flood of those RSVPs is any indication of how important The Contenders has become on the awards circuit, all I can say is get there early because it will be packed. The Contenders, which will be held once again at the DGA Theatre generated this fantastic response from an invitation only list of Academy and key members of the PGA, WGAW, SAG Nominating Committee and DGA. One WGA member in fact told us he was very upset as he rsvp’d the very next day and was notified the event was already at capacity. It seems even with all the Q&As and other opportunities to hear directly from stars and filmmakers, there is something truly unique about getting the whole line up presented in one day and hearing directly from those in front of and behind the camera.

With 19 studios and distributors, our talent lineup includes some of the heaviest hitters in our industry.

Names of the films to be highlighted over the course of the day and the complete list to date of those scheduled to appear:

  • Molly’s Game: Aaron Sorkin (Director/Writer) and Jessica Chastain (Actress)
  • Hostiles: Scott Cooper (Director/Writer), Wes Studi (Actor) and Q’orianka Kilcher (Actress)
  • Logan: Patrick Stewart (Actor)
  • War for the Planet of the Apes: Matt Reeves (Co-Writer/Director) and Andy Serkis (Actor)
  • Marshall: Reginald Hudlin (Director/Producer), Paula Wagner (Producer), Chadwick Boseman (Actor) and Diane Warren (Songwriter)
  • The Big Sick: Kumail Nanjiani (Writer/Actor) and Emily Gordon (Writer)
  • Wonderstruck: Ed Lachman (Cinematographer)
  • Last Flag Flying: Richard Linklater (Director/Co-Writer)
  • The Florida Project: Sean Baker (Director/Writer/Producer) and Brooklynn Prince (Actress)
  • Lady Bird: Greta Gerwig (Director/Writer) and Saoirse Ronan (Actress)
  • The Disaster Artist: James Franco (Director/Producer/Actor)
  • Victoria & Abdul: Adeel Akhtar (Actor)
  • Darkest Hour: Joe Wright (Director) and Gary Oldman (Actor)
  • Phantom Thread: Mark Bridges (Costume Designer)
  • Get Out: Jordan Peele (Director/Writer/Producer)
  • Detroit: John Boyega (Actor), Will Poulter (Actor), Algee Smith (Actor) and Questlove (Songwriter)
  • Battle of the Sexes: Valerie Faris & Jonathan Dayton (Directors)
  • Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri: Martin McDonagh (Director/Writer/Producer) and Sam Rockwell (Actor)
  • The Shape of Water: Guillermo del Toro (Director/Writer/Producer)
  • Baby Driver: Edgar Wright (Director/Writer)
  • Roman J. Israel, Esq.: Dan Gilroy (Director/Writer) and Denzel Washington (Actor)
  • All the Money in the World: David Scarpa (Writer) and Charlie Plummer (Actor)
  • Maudie: Ethan Hawke (Actor)
  • Call Me by Your Name: Luca Guadagnino (Director/Producer), Timothee Chalamet (Actor), Michael Stuhlbarg (Actor) and Armie Hammer (Actor)
  • mother!: Jennifer Lawrence (Actress)
  • Downsizing: Mark Johnson (Producer) and Hong Chau (Actress)
  • Thor: Ragnarok: Taika Waititi (Director)
  • Coco: Lee Unkrich (Director)
  • Breathe: Andy Serkis (Director) and Andrew Garfield (Actor)
  • I, Tonya: Craig Gillespie (Director), Steven Rogers (Writer), Margot Robbie (Actress), Allison Janney (Actress) and Sebastian Stan (Actor)
  • The Hero: Sam Elliott (Actor)
  • Mudbound: Dee Rees (Director/Writer), Mary J. Blige (Actress), Carey Mulligan (Actress) and Jason Clark (Actor)

Participants from several other contenders including Dunkirk, An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, Blade Runner 2049, The Meyerowitz Stories (New And Selected),  and Wonder Woman will be announced shortly as the lineup continues to be solidified. Mike Fleming Jr., Dominic Patten, Anthony D’Alessandro, Joe Utichi and I will be moderating the various panels throughout the day. Sponsors this year are Pinewood Studios, Final Draft, Allied Integrated Marketing, Chapman University, Dell, Screen Engine/ASI, Michter’s Whiskey, Poltrona Frau/Cappellini and raffle prizes include Dell computers and trips to Golden Door Spa and the Four Seasons Maui.

For a  full list of films and speakers we’ll be showcasing, visit We’ll be updating it with new additions as they’re announced.

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