Toronto: Jake Gyllenhaal and Naomi Watts' 'Demolition' to Open 2015 Festival
Matt Damon starrer 'The Martian,' Cary Fukunaga's Ghana-shot Netflix film 'Beasts of No Nation' and Eddie Redmayne's transgender movie 'The Danish Girl' will also screen in September.
The Toronto Film Festival unveiled its first selections Tuesday, with Wild director Jean-Marc Vallee's drama Demolition, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Naomi Watts, set to open the event on Sept. 10.
The 2015 edition of the festival will also host world premieres for Ridley Scott's The Martian, Roland Emmerich's Stonewall and Stephen Frears' Lance Armstrong biopic The Program, starring Ben Foster as the disgraced cyclist. Those titles are among the first 13 features tapped to receive gala treatment at Roy Thomson Hall, with Matt Damon, Liam Hemsworth, Salma Hayek, Julianne Moore, Ellen Page, Donald Sutherland and son Kiefer Sutherland, Christopher Plummer and Kate Winslet among those set to walk its red carpet.
Fox Searchlight's Demolition gets the plum opening night slot, but its debut will come well ahead of Fox Searchlight's U.S. release set for April 6, 2016, outside of the upcoming awards season. Canadian director Vallee also lensed Dallas Buyers Club.
Scott's The Martian — a 20th Century Fox film starring Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kate Mara, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Jeff Daniels and Kristen Wiig — will bow in Toronto ahead of its Oct. 2 U.S. theatrical release. Emmerich's gay rights historical drama Stonewall, which stars Jeremy Irvine and Jonathan Rhys Meyers, gets a gala berth before Roadside Attractions opens the awards hopeful in U.S. theaters on Sept. 25.
Other noteworthy titles screening at Toronto include Tom McCarthy's Catholic Church sex-abuse scandal film Spotlight starring Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams and Stanley Tucci, which was shot in Toronto; Tom Hooper's The Danish Girl, starring Eddie Redmayne as transgender artist Lili Elbe; Johnny Depp starrer Black Mass, which will bow in Venice; and Cary Fukunaga's Netflix movie Beasts of No Nation, starring Idris Elba.
Toronto will also host gala world premiere for Peter Sollett's Freeheld, which Lionsgate acquired at the Berlin Film Festival and stars Moore and Page; Julie Delpy's latest directorial turn, Lolo, a satirical comedy in which she stars opposite Danny Boon, Vincent Lacoste and Karin Viarde, will receive a North American premiere; and Wayne Blair's Septembers of Shiraz, which stars Salma Hayek and Shohreh Aghdashloo, also will debut in Toronto.
Roy Thomson Hall will also serve as the site of three world premieres for Canadian films: Jon Cassar's gunslinger drama Forsaken, which stars Donald and Kiefer Sutherland; Deepa Mehta's Beeba Boys, a thriller set in Vancouver's drug scene; and Paul Gross' Hyena Road, a war movie set in Afghanistan that stars Gross and Rossif Sutherland. Atom Egoyan's Remember, which stars Plummer, will receive a North American premiere.
There's a gala first look for the Hemsworth-starring Aussie romantic drama The Dressmaker, from director Jocelyn Moorhouse and with Winslet and Judy Davis in lead roles. And Oscar winner Brian Helgeland will receive an international premiere for his cockney gangster pic Legend, starring Tom Hardy and Emily Browning.
Rounding out the first Roy Thomson Hall picks is Matt Brown's period drama The Man Who Knew Infinity, in which Dev Patel and Jeremy Irons play math geniuses. With the prestigious festival set to kick off Sept. 10 and run through Sept. 20, festival CEO Piers Handling and artistic director Cameron Bailey also unveiled a raft of Special Presentations titles.
There's world premieres for Jay Roach's Trumbo, which stars Bryan Cranston as the blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo; the Maggie Smith-starrer The Lady in the Van, directed by Nicolas Hytner; Rebecca Miller's Maggie's Plan, a romantic comedy starring Ethan Hawke, Greta Gerwig and Moore; Michael Moore's latest project, Where to Invade Next; and the U.S.-India co-production Parched, by Bollywood writer-director Leena Yadav.
The sidebar also includes first looks for Terence Davies' Sunset Song, which stars Agyness Deyn (Pusher), Peter Mullan and Kevin Guthrie; Claude Lelouch's Un Plus Une, an India-set drama featuring The Artist star Jean Dujardin; and Florian Gallenberger's political thriller Colonia, which stars Emma Watson, Daniel Bruhl and Mikael Nyqvist.
The Special Presentations section features world premieres for Desierto, directed by Jonas Cuaron, who co-wrote Gravity with his father Alfonso Cuaron; Jean-Paul Rappeneau’s ensemble drama Belle Familles (Families), starring Mathieu Amalric as an expat Frenchman on a trip home that will change his life forever; Indian director Meghna Gulzar's Talvar (Guilty); and Hany Abu-Assad's Ya Tayr El Tayer (The Idol), about the first Palestinian to win the TV competition show Arab Idol and starring Nadine Labaki.
There's also North American premieres for films first seen in Cannes: Jacques Audiard's Palme d'Or award winner Dheepan; Denis Villeneuve's Sicario, starring Emily Blunt, Benicio Del Toro and Josh Brolin; Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos' The Lobster, featuring Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz and Lea Seydoux; Paolo Sorrentino's Youth, the Italian director's second English language pic that stars Harvey Keitel and Michael Caine; Zhangke Jia's Mountains May Depart; and Joachim Trier's Louder Than Bombs, starring Gabriel Byrne, Jesse Eisenberg and Isabelle Huppert.
Elsewhere, there are North American premieres for The Danish Girl, Tim Godsall's debut feature Len and Company, the U.S. indie starring Rhys Ifans and Juno Temple that debuted in Edinburgh; and Simon Stone's The Daughter, which bowed in Sydney. Toronto also booked the Johnnie To musical comedy Office, Pablo Larrain's The Club and The Family Fang, directed by Jason Bateman and adapted from the David Lindsay-Abaire novel. Nicole Kidman, Bateman and Christopher Walken star.
Elsewhere, there's a raft of Canadian premieres, signaling some will likely play in Telluride first. They include Scott Cooper's Black Mass; Sarah Silverman's I Smile Back, which debuted in Sundance; Sebastian Schipper’s Victoria, which won a Silver Bear in Berlin for its cinematographer after being shot in one continuous take; Lenny Abrahamson's Room, an Irish-Canadian co-production; Hungarian director Laszlo Nemes' Saul Fia (Son of Saul); Anomalisa, by U.S. directors Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson; John Crowley's Brooklyn; and Beasts of No Nation.
Organizers of the 40th Toronto Film Festival will make additional lineup announcements in the coming weeks, including naming the closing-night film.