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The Hollywood director, introducing the world premiere of his 1960 classic western reboot to a Roy Thomson Hall audience, recalled he earlier brought Training Day (2001) and The Equalizer (2014) to Toronto for launches. “Keep bringing me back,” Fuqua added, with TIFF artistic director Cameron Bailey and director and CEO Piers Handling at his side.
Fuqua then welcomed his Magnificent Seven cast, including Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Peter Sarsgaard and Vincent D’Onofrio onto the stage. He thanked MGM and Columbia Pictures for backing his latest directorial effort about outlaws, bounty hunters and hired guns, which is set for a late September release.
And Fuqua told the opening-night audience The Magnificent Seven redo had been a “very tough shoot,” alluding to obstacles the movie faced before being completed. “It was a rough one, this motley crew,” the director added affectionately about his cast onstage behind him.
And in an emotional tribute, Fuqua dedicated the world premiere screening in Toronto to James Horner, who passed away in summer 2015 after composing part of the film’s score, without seeing any footage. “He left us seven songs, which he did from the script,” the director said of Horner, with whom he collaborated on the boxing drama Southpaw.
“I played them (the songs) on the set when there were tough days,” Fuqua added. Horner died before completing the score, a job then done by his friend Simon Franglen.
The Toronto International Film Festival now goes into its opening weekend, packed with star-driven acquisition and launch titles, before closing on Sept. 18.
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