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2 More “Surprise Films” Headed To Rome Film Festival, Artistic Director Heavily Hints At ‘Django Unchained’

2 More "Surprise Films" Headed To Rome Film Festival, Artistic Director Heavily Hints At 'Django Unchained'

Eagerly anticipated for several months now, because former Venice Film Festival head Marco Mueller had been playing up his desire to turn the Rome Film Festival — which he is now the artistic director of — into a major fall film festival player, the line-up was announced this AM. And in typical online fashion, there was minor griping about the absensce of hotly rumored titles like Quentin Tarantino‘s upcoming slave drama “Django Unchained,” Steven Spielberg‘s “Lincoln” (which surprise-screened at the New York FIlm Festival), Gus Van Sant‘s “Promised Land,” and Tom Hooper‘s “Les Misérables,” among others.

However, in speaking to Reuters, Muller said that Rome will add “two more” film surprises and then heavily hinted that QT’s film would be one of them (maybe that’s how they do it in Italy). “You will see Tarantino soon, here. You will see him here soon for a big surprise,” Mueller said, “This is something we will announce in detail in a few days’ time, and you will see that ‘Django’ will be stepping on the stage of the Auditorium.”

Ok, so maybe that’s more than just a hint? Let’s just say it bodes really, really freakin’ well… and more. So what’s that second surprise going to be?

According to Reuters, “film bloggers” are guessing Nicolas Winding Refn‘s “Only God Forgives” starring Ryan Gosling, but we personally wouldn’t take that bet and think it sounds like wishful thinking. The 2012 schedule is crowded and pretty much full at this point. If you’re releasing a film last minute at this point it’s because you’re hoping for it to qualify as an Oscar contender, which is likely not the case with “Only God Forgives,” a drama/thriller about a Bangkok police lieutenant and a gangster who settle their differences in a Thai-boxing match. Our guess is Refn will save that picture for Cannes. But we’ve been known to be wrong before. We imagine that announcement will come soon (but then it won’t be a surprise, right? Silly Europeans).

As for Rome vs. Venice, Mueller’s former digs, is there now a rivalry? “My take on Venice is that Venice will always continue to exist as a major platform to create the visibility and the right profile for a film,” Mueller said, “In Rome we have the possibility of doing something very different.” 

The Rome Film Festival runs November 9-17.

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I'm italian, I read Muller's press conference. DJANGO will be NOT screened at the festival. Tarantino will attend the festival without showing his film. Muller said that the two surprise films "…will be announced during the festival because of issues with the board of censors of their countries: don't expect them to be blockbusters."


It is definitely wishful thinking for Only God Forgvies but, it also seems like this might be the last chance for a festival premiere for it, unless it screens at Sundance. I've seen a lot of people saying they think it will be Cannes, but OGF already has release dates ready for Denmark and the Netherlands in April, and Cannes (which is in May) doesn't premiere films that have already been out for a month in some regions. Even though Cannes makes a lot of sense as it's a Wild Bunch production and Drive premiered there, because of this it just doesn't seem likely. I personally can't see it showing at Sundance either, but that's just a personal opinion, it just doesn't seem likely. But who knows…


People are so silly. This dude is just "dropping hints" in an obvious attempt to get more publicity for the festival. Same thing happened with Venice and Only God Forgives. OGF will most likely premiere at Cannes (Cannes is more prestigious than Rome, and Cannes likes to get first dibs on high profile movies). Django will be lucky to be ready in time for its release date, much less the Rome Film Fest. The surprise film will probably be The Man with the Iron Fists, which QT is a producer of and Jamie Foxx will probably tag along to promote Django.

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