Cannes Lineup Will Include Wes Anderson’s ‘The French Dispatch’ & Paul Verhoeven’s ‘Benedetta’, Says Thierry Frémaux

The French Dispatch
The French Dispatch Searchlight Pictures

Cannes chief Thierry Frémaux has confirmed Wes Anderson’s latest film The French Dispatch and Paul Verhoeven’s drama Benedetta will be selected for this year’s festival.

As reported by blog, Frémaux told a recent HFPA Q&A: “I won’t tell you any titles except the films that we all know were already selected from last year, including by Wes Anderson (The French Dispatch) and Paul Verhoeven (Benedetta). They will be back in the Official Selection.”

We have confirmed the update with the festival.

Anderson’s starry film brings to life a collection of stories from the final issue of an American magazine published in a fictional 20th Century French city. Benicio del Toro, Adrien Brody, Tilda Swinton, Lea Seydoux, Frances McDormand, Timothee Chalamet, Lyna Khoudri, Jeffrey Wright, Mathieu Amalric, Stephen Park, Bill Murray and Owen Wilson are among cast.

Verhoeven’s erotic drama Benedetta is about a 17th century nun who suffers from disturbing religious visions. Virginie Efira, Charlotte Rampling and Lambert Wilson are among cast.

The two anticipated films were expected on the Croisette last year but the festival was unable to take place due to the pandemic. They are among a collection of movies that have been held back ever since and will get their debut on the Riviera (in addition to more recently completed films) should the festival be able to go ahead.

Leos Carax’s Annette was yesterday announced as the festival’s opening film. Spike Lee will serve as jury president. Cannes is set to unveil its Official Selection on May 27, five weeks before it is due to get underway on July 6.

During a French radio interview yesterday, Frémaux voiced his “strong” confidence the 74th edition will take place as planned in July despite high rates of Covid infection in Europe and France being in its third lockdown.

“It’s time to speak about our confidence, if not certitude, that Cannes will take place in the month of July,” he said.

The festival’s hopes were boosted in recent days when French President Emmanuel Macron said he expected at least some international travel to resume to France in early May, including some vaccinated visitors from the U.S.

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