Antoine Fuqua’s star-studded remake of The Magnificent Seven, Oliver Stone’s combo paranoid espionage thriller/biopic Snowden and a look at Barack Obama’s year in New York city during the early Eighties (Barry) are among the first wave of films announced to screen at the 41st Toronto International Film Festival.
Fuqua’s take on the classic 1960 Yul Brynner/Steve McQueen Western recasts Chris Pratt, Denzel Washington, Ethan Hawke, and Vincent D’Onofrio as part of a cowboy team recruited to defend a frontier town. The film will open the festivities on September 8th, before expanding to theaters everywhere on September 23rd.
After wowing audiences at Comic-Con with a new trailer this past weekend, Snowden will make its world premiere at TIFF before it goes wide on September 16th. In the film, political firebrand Stone rails against the questionably legal data-mining practices that intelligence expert Edward Snowden (played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt) exposed with his classified-document leak in 2013. Shailene Woodley portrays Snowden’s girlfriend Lindsay Mills; Tom Wilkinson, Zachary Quinto and Melissa Leo portray the trio of journalists to whom the whistleblower originally brought this shocking information.
The timely biopic Barry will make its world premiere in Toronto, returning to the sitting President’s younger days as a college student in 1981 New York. A newbie at Columbia, Barack Obama (Devon Terrell) grapples with questions of race and starts to carve out his own identity during this formative year in the future leader’s life. The Witch‘s Anya Taylor-Joy and Boyhood‘s Ellar Coltrane star alongside Terrell in this inspirational, aspirational drama.
On the nonfiction side of the program, the documentary The Rolling Stones Olé Olé Olé! : A Trip Across Latin America will screen for TIFF audiences. Director Paul Dugdale follows the living-legend rock band as they set out on an adventure through the cultural wilds of Central America, culminating in their historic concert for an audience of 1.2 million in Havana, Cuba. And in the mockumentary tradition of Best in Show and A Mighty Wind comes Mascots, a new deadpan comedy from Christopher Guest in which Jennifer Coolidge, Jane Lynch, Ed Begley Jr., Parker Posey, and Fred Willard riff on the odd subculture of competitive sports mascot-ing, where eccentric weirdoes compete for the prestigious Golden Fluffy award.
Also announced: Oscar hopefuls Loving, a look at the Southern couple who helped make interracial marriages legal from director Jeff Nichols, starring Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga as Richard and Mildred Loving; and La La Land, Damien Chazelle’s follow-up to Whiplash that pairs Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in an old-school, Freed-unit–style musical.
More selections will be announced in the weeks to come, but you can read the complete lineup of Galas and Special presentations over at TIFF’s web site. The 41st Toronto International Film Festival will run from September 8th through September 18th.