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One of the more anticipated screenings of the Venice Film Festival has been canceled this year. Martin Scorsese’s short film The Audition will not debut at the festival, as previously planned.
The festival said in a statement: “We have just been informed by the production that due to unexpected technical problems the film could not be here in time.”
Scorsese stars in the film, which has him pitting his frequent collaborators Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro against each other for a leading role in an upcoming film. Brad Pitt also makes an appearance. Oscar-nominated writer Terence Winter penned the script.
Venice festivalgoers were looking forward to potential appearances by the Academy Award-winning director and actors.
The film’s inclusion in the world’s oldest film festival had been seen as controversial by some, as it was produced to promote the opening of Melco-Crown’s $2.3 billion Macau Studio City and the existing Manila City of Dreams resorts and casinos.
However, Venice director Alberto Barbera had told THR earlier in an interview, “It’s a Scorsese film, not a commercial. The casino paid for the film, but it’s not in the film at all.”
No expense was spared on The Audition. The short film has been rumored to have cost $70 million, with each actor taking home $13 million for the two-day shoot according to Page Six. The casino has denied these figures.
Teasers for the film were released in January this year, one with the actors on location in Manila and one in Macau, but they were quickly taken down.
A rep for the film told THR that, while the producers had hoped that the film would be ready in time for Venice, unfortunately the film is still in postproduction and could not be completed in time.
Aug. 29, 9:15 a.m. Updated with producer’s response.
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