We’re over a month away from the mid-April announcement of the Cannes Film Festival‘s 2016 lineup, and likely weeks away from the opening film being revealed, but with the Berlin International Film Festival in the rearview and cinematic tumbleweed blowing across this week’s releases, we thought we’d begin to speculate about what we might see crop up. And we’re very glad we did, because just when we might have been starting to feel a little dog-day-ish, we got to scoot through some of the year’s most enticing prospects and in the process fell a little bit back in love with 2016 at the movies. Not all of these films will end up in the lineup, of course —there are always notable exclusions and erratic inclusions, to say nothing of the somewhat arbitrary way the films can be categorized (it really is a scandal that previous Palme d’Or winner Apichatong Weerasethakul‘s gorgeous "Cemetery of Splendour" was in Un Certain Regard last year, for example).
But despite all that, those of us who get to cover Cannes must never forget how very, very fortunate we are to be able to do so, and if even half the below titles show up, there’ll be some lucky stars being thanked come May. Here are the 20 titles we’re most excited about that we think have a good shot at being in the selection.
Director: Andrea Arnold
Synopsis: A teenage girl joins a traveling magazine sales crew and crosses the midwest with them.
What You Need To Know: Even if every other movie released in theaters this year involved superheroes, we’d still welcome 2016 if it means that it sees the return of the British filmmaker Andrea Arnold. Her first two films “Red Road” and “Fish Tank” screened in competition at Cannes in 2006 and 2009, with both films winning the Jury Prize, but third feature “Wuthering Heights,” which premiered at the Venice Film Festival, was more coolly received. But Arnold’s been on the comeback trail, helming a couple of episodes of season 2 of the transcendent “Transparent” as a warm up and then returning in force with “American Honey,” her first American movie. Starring “Heaven Knows What” breakout Arielle Holmes, “Mad Max” star Riley Keough and perhaps inevitably Shia LaBeouf, it promises to be a gritty coming-of-age picture set among the phenomena of ‘Mag Crews,’ and the promise of Arnold turning her acute feeling for young people displayed in “Fish Tank” onto a classic American landscape is hugely exciting. Given her run of success with the festival, and that the film shot last summer, we’d be shocked if the film wasn’t in competition again this time.
Director: Paul Verhoeven
Synopsis: When a seemingly indestructible career woman is victim of a home invasion, she becomes determined to track down her assailant, and a deadly game begins.
What You Need To Know: We’re not sure what it was that Verhoeven did to be banished from the big screen for over a decade (not counting the 1-hour crowdscoured TV project doodle "Tricked"), aside from turning in consistently entertaining, brazenly unapologetic genre hit after genre hit. Fine, and "Showgirls" and "Hollow Man," but still. In any case, we’re delighted that he’s back, and with a typically salacious sounding project that nonetheless has attracted the Greatest Actress Alive™ to star. Isabelle Huppert will play the part of the menaced woman who tries to turn the tables on her attacker, and since she’d make the reading of an internet comments section seem cogent and intelligent, she’ll surely do the same for Verhoeven’s splashier tendencies. It could be a trifle, but it could also be the triumphant return of a genre master in a year when George Miller chairs the jury. And hey, "Basic Instinct" played In Competition, so all bets are off.
Director: Cristian Mungiu
Synopsis: A drama about parenting set in a small town, with a doctor as the main character.
What You Need To Know: Last year saw a pretty decent turnout from the Romanian New Wave contingent at Cannes, with Radu Muntean and Corneliu Poroumboiu premiering their latest movies “One Floor Below” and “The Treasure” in the Un Certain Regard section. But Cristian Mungiu, perhaps the biggest name to come out of the country’s movement over the past decade or two, was absent, as he was just getting underway on filming his latest film, but we wager he’ll be Croisette-bound this year. Mungiu has a long, successful history with the festival: his debut “Occident” was in the Director’s Fortnight,” his second film “4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days” won the Palme D’Or in 2007, and 2012’s “Beyond The Hills” won both Best Actress and Best Screenplay. His latest sounds like it’ll be less harrowing than his acclaimed abortion and exorcism-themed dramas from the logline alone, but we’re sure it’ll be as meticulously and powerfully made nevertheless. Mungiu wrapped the film, which stars Lia Bugnar, “The White Ribbon” actress Maria-Victoria Dragus and returning “4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days” star Vlad Ivanov, back in July, so a competition slot feels like a dead cert.
Director: Ben Wheatley
Synopsis: Boston, 1978 —a meeting between rival gangs in a deserted warehouse devolves into a shootout and turns into a game of survival.
What You Need To Know: Boasting a now-trademark elegantly minimalist logline, Wheatley’s sixth feature was already a hot property before one of its ensemble of up-and-comers won the 2016 Academy Award for Best Actress. Starring Brie Larson, Cillian Murphy, Armie Hammer, Sam Riley, Sharlto Copley, Jack Reynor and Michael Smiley, the film promises more of Wheatley’s particular brand of distilled-down thriller/horror-tinged crime drama, and while his Tom Hiddleston-starring JG Ballard adaptation "High-Rise" has proven immensely divisive (even in our normally harmonious ranks: Kevin’s review was negative , while Oli had it on his Best Films of 2015 ), so has almost every other movie from the director, and we kind of love him for that. Even if he doesn’t love us back! (Kidding! He so does.) It’s apparently done and dusted now, and Wheatley’s increasingly uncompromised, esoteric approach should see him graduate from Fantastic Fest, SXSW, Karlovy Vary, TIFF and the Cannes Directors Fortnight sidebar, where his previous films have premiered, though whether he can sidle into the main competition with a genre-leaning title is another question.
"The Handmaid" (aka "The Handmaiden")
Director: Park Chan-wook
Synopsis: An adaptation of Sarah Waters‘ novel about lesbian Victorian pickpockets "Fingersmith," transposed to 1930s Japanese-occupied Korea.
What You Need To Know: In another potential Cannes coup for Amazon (see "Paterson"), the online giant snapped up the new film from Korean master Park Chan-wook ("Oldboy," "Thirst," "Stoker"). The novel on which it’s based may seem incongruous at first, being set in Victorian London, but it is a heady read, full of repressed eroticism, thwarted desire and coolly plotted revenge storylines that actually seem like they could be exactly in Park’s wheelhouse, especially when culturally translated and reworked to take place in a fascinating period of Korean history. This will be the director’s return to Korea after his sole English-language film so far, "Stoker," with Nicole Kidman, Mia Wasikowska and Matthew Goode, which played to a slightly more muted reaction than his ‘Vengeance Trilogy’ and other Korean titles. As such, it would certainly be a no-brainer addition to the lineup in Cannes, with Park having won the Jury Prize for "Thirst" in 2009, and having debuted his already classic, already remade "Oldboy" In Competition in 2004.
"It’s Only The End Of The World"
Director: Xavier Dolan
Synopsis: A terminally ill writer returns home after an extended absence to tell his family that he’s dying.
What You Need To Know: He won the Jury Prize in 2014 for "Mommy," his fourth Cannes feature and first in the main competition, and he served on the competition jury in 2015, so despite a tightish turnaround, it’s almost impossible not to think that Canadian winderkind/enfant terrible (depending on where you’re sitting) Xavier Dolan is going to be back in Cannes in 2016 with his next film. And as if to seal the deal, he’s cast Marion Cotillard and previous Palme winner Lea Seydoux as his leading ladies, alongside Gaspard Ulliel ("Saint Laurent") and Vincent Cassel. On paper, the film’s outline doesn’t sound like the most original ever, but then if you reduce them down to their barest essentials, neither do those of most of his previous films. What they are normally far more impressive for is the irrepressible filmmaking elan that Dolan at his best can display and the painfully complete empathy he can achieve with his characters. As a personality, he can be divisive and come across as outspoken and egomaniacal, but as a filmmaker there are few we’re more excited by.
Director: Pedro Almodovar
Synopsis: The life of the titular Julieta, told between two time periods, 2015 and 1985.
What You Need To Know: Generally speaking, if a movie is screening at Cannes, it has to be as a world premiere. It’s not a hard and fast rule, but it’s very rare to see a major filmmaker in competition whose work has already screened elsewhere. The exception is Pedro Almodovar. The great Spanish filmmaker has screened five of his last seven movies on the Croisette (winning Best Director for “All About My Mother,” and Best Screenplay and Actress for “Volver”), but in several of those cases, including “Volver” and “Broken Embraces,” the films had already opened in his native Spain. All of this is to say that even though his latest “Julieta” will open next month there, we’re still firmly expecting it in competition at Cannes (tellingly, it’s set for a French release on May 18th, during the festival). With the director looking to bounce back from a rare misfire with “I’m So Excited,” this looks like he’s back in his happy place with a female-driven melodrama tackling some of his favorite themes. Are leads Emma Suárez and Adriana Ugarte, who split the title role, already frontrunners for the Best Actress trophy? We wouldn’t be shocked if they were.
"La La Land"
Director: Damien Chazelle
Synopsis: A jazz pianist and an aspiring actress fall for each other and for the city of Los Angeles, in an all-singing, all-dancing original musical.
What You Need To Know: Symptomatic of the meteoric ascent in profile that 31-year-old Damien Chazelle underwent following the breakout, Oscar-winning success of his sophomore feature "Whiplash," which played the Directors Fortnight after breaking out at Sundance, we seem to have been talking about his follow-up incessantly lately. Partly that’s because rather than playing it safe, Chazelle has gone all-in, delivering a contemporary musical featuring specially written songs that is entirely original, as in not based on a Broadway play or a previous film. And partly it’s due to the news that the film’s projected July release date has been moved to December. That can be interpreted in various ways, but we’re feeling that it suggests confidence that it can not only be canny counter-programming to "Star Wars: Rogue One" but that its awards potential might be stronger than previously thought. In which case, a premiere in Cannes might be just the ticket to get the Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone-starring production (and don’t those words just kinda make you happy?) onto radars early.
“The Light Between Oceans”
Director: Derek Cianfrance
Synopsis: A lighthouse keeper and his wife see their lives change when a baby girl washes upon their shores in a lifeboat.
What You Need To Know: We’re a little baffled by Disney and Dreamworks’ decision to release “The Light Between Oceans,” Derek Cianfrance’s adaptation of M.L. Stedman’s best-selling novel and a film that could’t look more awards-friendly if it tried, over the dead zone of the Labor Day weekend, a date that essentially makes it too late for Venice, Telluride or TIFF this year. But it makes a little more sense if you see the studios banking on a Cannes premiere for the period drama, which stars Michael Fassbender, Alicia Vikander and Rachel Weisz. Cianfrance was at the festival with “Blue Valentine” in the Un Certain Regard section a few years back, and given the possibility that the studio doesn’t quite know what its got on their hands, this provides enough time to push the film back later in the year if critics come out of the Palais tweeting awards talk, or to leave it where it is if the reception is cooler. Either way, we think the film looks great, and sincerely hope it’s Cannes-bound, whether in competition or out of it.
Director: Jeff Nichols
Synopsis: The story of the landmark civil rights case that centered on interracial couple Richard and Mildred Loving, and their right to marry and to live in their home state of Virginia.
What You Need To Know: Having just premiered next week’s release "Midnight Special" in Berlin (our review), Nichols’ next film looks like a total change of pace from that moody, sci-fi-inflected chase film. And according to Joel Edgerton, who stars in both, it would appear that Nichols’ approach is similarly low-key, with "Loving" therefore hopefully steering well clear of the pitfalls of the "worthy period biopic." Starring Edgerton and rising Irish/Ethiopian actress Ruth Negga as the couple in questions, and also featuring Nichols talisman Michael Shannon, it’s a far gentler story than "Selma" or "Birth of a Nation." But that doesn’t mean it will lack drama, especially through Nichols’ minutely fascinated, sensitive eyes. Assuming it’s ready in time (and there is a slight question mark as such, as it’s currently listed as in post-production), Cannes would be its natural home, as Nichols took "Take Shelter" to Critics Week in 2011 (winning its Grand Prix) and graduated to the main competition with "Mud" in 2012.
“The Neon Demon”
Director: Nicolas Winding Refn
Synopsis: An up-and-coming model in Los Angeles becomes prey for a gang of beauty-obsessed peers who wish to drain her of her vitality and beauty.
What You Need To Know: The lukewarm reception to “Only God Forgives” might have temporarily stymied the rise of Nicolas Winding Refn, who went from relatively obscure Euro-auteur to cinephile bro favorite after his terrific neon crime pic “Drive.” But a while out of the spotlight has let the sour taste of his last movie dissipate, and now we’re anticipating “The Neon Demon” as feverishly as everyone else. Seemingly a change of pace after his two Ryan Gosling movies, this is a female driven horror movie that riffs on L.A and the beauty-industrial complex, co-written by hot playwright Polly Stenham, and with an intriguing cast including Elle Fanning, Bella Heathcote, Keanu Reeves and Christina Hendricks. Refn’s last two movies premiered at Cannes, and given that the film wrapped last summer, we can’t imagine this not being in the program somewhere, though after the reaction to ‘Only God Forgives,’ it may appear in a midnight slot rather than in competition.
Director: Jim Jarmusch
Synopsis: A bus driver who is secretly a poet is dedicated to his routine while his wife experiences constant change over the course of a week in their lives.
What You Need To Know: Whether streaming services emerging as production power players is unalloyed good news is debatable (and here’s where we debate that ), it’s inarguable that we’re in a particularly fruitful honeymoon period right now. Case in point: indie Godhead Jim Jarmusch getting his next film made via Amazon. But never fear! ‘Paterson,’ which stars the increasingly indispensable Adam Driver in the title role of bus driver and aspiring poet who shares a surname with the New Jersey town where he lives, alongside Iranian/French actress Golshifteh Farahani as his wife and Kara Hayward from "Moonrise Kingdom," will be getting a theatrical release later in the year. It must therefore rate pretty highly as a probability for Cannes, as seven of the director’s previous features have played there —most recently, he got a rapturous reception for "Only Lovers Left Alive" in 2013, so we’d lay money that, providing it’s ready (and it was in post-production in December), we’ll see him grace the Croisette for the umpteenth time.
Director: Olivier Assayas
Synopsis: A ghost story that takes place in the underworld of the Paris fashion industry.
What You Need To Know: Even those of us who couldn’t get with Assayas’ last film, Cannes competition title "Clouds of Sils Maria," agree that it contained probably Kristen Stewart‘s best-ever performance. Indeed, it was a turn that went on to see her become the first American actress ever to win a Cesar (the French Oscars). So news that his follow-up "Personal Shopper" will star Stewart is very welcome. A Cannes berth is very likely, assuming the film, which was last updated as being in post-production in December, is ready, and it would be the obvious choice too: including ‘Sils Maria,’ Assayas’ films have been in Cannes four times, each time in the main competition. Our only hesitation right now is that "Personal Shopper," like ‘Sils Maria,’ is an English-language film —while native English speaker Stewart normalized and naturalized the slightly stilted dialogue, elsewhere it sounded a little awkward at times. But here’s hoping the (slightly) less theatrical themes here are reflected in the writing, because otherwise, Assayas doing a ghost story in the world of fashion? Absolutely.
"Salt and Fire"
Director: Werner Herzog
Synopsis: An impassioned scientist must unite with the head of a multinational that she believes caused an ecological disaster when a nearby supervolcano threatens to erupt.
What You Need To Know: With ironic inappropriateness, the character Werner Herzog plays in his upcoming film is named "The Man With One Story." If nothing else, Herzog is a man of a thousand stories, all of them true and each more insane than the last. But even the hardest-dying of diehard fans must admit that his fiction filmmaking has been off the boil for some time now (especially compared to his brilliant documentary career, most recently exemplified by Sundance title "Lo and Behold"), culminating in bafflingly anonymous misfire "Queen of the Desert." We’re hoping that Herzog’s insanity will reassert itself, and there’s a possibility that "Salt and Fire," which reteams him with Michael Shannon and also stars Veronica Ferres and Gael Garcia Bernal will be the film that does it. It certainly has enough cruelty-of-nature, folly-of-man drama in the logline, while the Bolivian salt flats where the film was shot will surely provide some stunning location photography too. This could be Herzog’s first Cannes bow as a feature director since 1984.
Director: Cristi Puiu
Synopsis: A successful neurologist back from a trip to Paris must attend a family reunion dinner commemorating the death of his father one year before.
What You Need To Know: Only the fourth feature film from Romanian New Wave pioneer Cristi Puiu, "Sierra Nevada," which stars Mimi Branescu and Bogdan Dimitrache, both of whom appeared in 2013 arthouse favorite "Child’s Pose," is in the director’s own words about "a commemoration that never gets to take place, a story about those who choose to escape into fiction and hide their fears behind ‘concrete reality’ when overwhelmed by a grief they cannot understand" Both his most celebrated previous features, 2005’s movement-defining "The Death of Mr. Lăzărescu" and 2010 ‘s "Aurora" in which the director played the central role of a man becoming incrementally estranged from society and heading down a path of violence, played in Cannes. But with ‘Death’ taking the Un Certain Regard prize, you might have thought that "Aurora" would get a promotion into the main competition. That didn’t happen —the film was over three hours long, to be fair— but still it means that Puiu’s turn at the big table is well overdue. Especially since his pace of working recently, roughly one feature every five years or so, means there may not be another chance for a while.
Director: Martin Scorsese
Synopsis: Two 17th-century Jesuit priests face violence and persecution when they travel to Japan to locate their mentor and to spread the gospel of Christianity.
What You Need To Know: It’s only right that Martin Scorsese’s religious epic and the Playlist’s number one Most Anticipated film of 2016 should play at the world’s most prestigious film festival. Incredibly), if it does —and producer Gaston Pavlovich has said that the strategy was to get it ready for a Cannes premiere— "Silence" will be Scorsese’s first fiction feature to play there since he won Best Director in 1985 for "After Hours." Starring Liam Neeson (mercifully taking a break from playing Action Dad), the ubiquitous Adam Driver, Andrew Garfield and Japanese multi-hyphenate star Tadanobu Asano, the film details the spiritual and physical torment endured by a group of Jesuit priests facing persecution in 17th century Japan. But despite its period trappings and foreign setting, it also seems like one of the most intensely personal films Scorsese has ever made, and with the rumblings of his retirement getting louder with each new film, we have cause to hope that this will be a late-career masterpiece from one of the greatest American filmmakers.
"Story of Your Life"
Director: Denis Villeneuve
Synopsis: Based on a short story by Ted Chiang, in which an expert linguist is recruited to decipher the language of an alien species who have just arrived on Earth to see if their intentions are peaceful or hostile.
What You Need To Know: Simply one of our favorite working filmmakers (and by working we mean hard-working, as ‘Story’ will be his fourth film released in as many years), Villeneuve’s new science fiction film stars a great cast in Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker and Michael "hello, I am amazing in absolutely everything" Stuhlbarg. It has a pretty high-concept premise, but we have faith that Villeneuve’s sleek intelligence and anti-sensationalism will lend that genre outline much more texture. Indeed, that’s what he delivered with "Sicario," which premiered in competition in Cannes last year, so we can’t imagine he won’t be invited back again. Assuming the film is done, whether or not he wants a Cannes premiere is perhaps another question, since it’s possible the festival did not serve "Sicario" as well as it might have come Oscar time (and while Bradford Young is a terrific replacement, Villeneuve hasn’t got the Oscar-nominated Roger Deakins shooting this time). We’d still be very happy to see it there.
"The Unknown Girl"
Director: Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne
Synopsis: A young doctor embarks on a search to learn the identity of a young woman who died after refusing medical treatment.
What You Need To Know: Adele Haenel may not be as big a name internationally as Marion Cotillard, star of the two-time Palme d’Or-awarded Dardenne brothers’ last film, the great "Two Days One Night." But she is a big noise in France, where she has won back-to-back Best Actress Cesars, and now she takes the lead in a typically engrossing-sounding social-issues story from the brilliant Belgian duo. With various Dardennes regulars also populating the cast (Fabrizio Rongione, so great in Eugene Green’s "Le Fils De Joseph," Thomas "Kid with the Bike" Doret, Jeremie Renier and Olivier Gourmet) and a simple but instantly evocative premise, it would appear to be business as usual for the Dardennes. That might be an insult In any other case, but the veteran filmmakers have amassed a back catalogue of such startling consistency, humanism and intelligence that it’s anything but. Since the Dardennes are Cannes royalty, we’d suggest betting your house, your shoes and your teeth on "The Unknown Girl" showing up in the lineup.
"Voyage of Time"/"Weightless"
Director: Terrence Malick
Synopsis: ‘Voyage’ is a documentary reportedly examining the birth and death of the known universe; ‘Weightless’ is a starry meditation on mortality and existence involving two intersecting love triangles.
What You Need To Know: Guessing when and where and in what configuration Malick’s next film is going to show up has become an even more complicated pastime following the delayed release of "Knight of Cups" and the mixed critical response it received after its Berlin 2015 premiere. But our general impression is that while both films could be ready, "Weightless," which stars Michael Fassbender, Rooney Mara, Cate Blanchett, Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling, Natalie Portman among about a hundred other marginally less high-profile stars, is definitely finished, while Malick’s documentary, which has taken almost as long to come together as the universe whose life it spans and will appear in both a 40min IMAX cut and a feature-length 35mm version, is still currently in post-production. Ordinarily, that would make the case for his Austin music scene movie appearing instead, seeing as it’s unlikely Malick would premiere two films at the same festival. But in light of all this, including the dismaying title pointing toward "Weightless" being similar in tone and approach to "Knight of Cups," it might actually be "Voyage of Time" that we’re more warmly anticipating. Either way, it’s very probable that this year’s Cannes will feature Malick’s first time back since winning the Palme d’Or for "The Tree of Life" in 2011.
Director: Lucrecia Martel
Synopsis: Don Diego de Zama, an official for the Spanish crown, makes his way through unnamed Latin American territories in the late 1700s en route to Buenos Aires and encounters conflicts that reflect those of today.
What You Need To Know: When we bemoan the lack of female directors in the Cannes lineup more or less every year, the name that’s often top of mind is Lucrecia Martel —not because the festival has overlooked her work by any means, but because it’s borderline criminal that it’s been 8 years since her last movie, the terrific, terrifying "The Headless Woman." That film played in competition, as had her 2004 title "The Holy Girl," and with that kind of form (unusual for a female filmmaker) and added scrutiny over the gender balance of the films selected, "Zama" is as close to a sure thing for a slot as there is. Based on the 1956 novel by fellow Argentinian Antonio di Benedetto, it also sounds like it could be a pretty epic change of pace from the relentless, extraordinary intimacy, interiority and alienation of ‘Headless Woman," and if so will prove that not only is Martel a master of certain trades, but she may just be a jack of them all.
There are a few more very strong possibilities: Oliver Stone‘s "Snowden," with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Shailene Woodley, has been heavily rumored as a Cannes choice and has already had a work in progress screening at the Sun Valley Film Festival, so the odds are certainly in favor of this pic. We’re in two minds about Bruno Dumont’s "Slack Bay," having disliked "Camille Claudel," his last film with Juliette Binoche, but adored his recent miniseries "Li’l Quinquin" —whatever we think, he’s likely to show. Benoit Jacquot‘s "The Body Artist," based on the Don DeLillo novel and starring Mathieu Amalric, is another odds-on favorite for selection, as is "Aquarius" from Brazilian director Kleber Mendonça Filho, while Amat Escalante‘s "The Untamed," the follow-up to "Heli" which won him Cannes Best Director, seems a dead cert. Terry George’s "The Promise" may make a showing, as well might Jodie Foster‘s "Money Monster," which is set to open May 13th (Cannes starts May 11th) , though we were a little unmoved by the first trailer. Finally, it’s always fun to guess what’s going to get the now-traditional studio animation gala slot, but with "Finding Dory" dated for June, it has to be the frontrunner (frontswimmer) right now.
And there are a further clutch of titles that we would scramble over hot coals to see on the Croisette in May —if only they are fully ready. Top of that list is James Gray‘s "The Lost City of Z," which even if the paint is still drying would probably be welcomed with open arms, such is the love Cannes has for Gray, along with Asghar Farhadi‘s "Salesman," (our 9th and 5th most anticipated titles of the year respectively. David Michod’s "War Machine" with Brad Pitt looks like it has a slimmer chance of being fully done, but we’d love for it to make it there. And while we were certain at one point that Pablo Larrain’s "Neruda" might contend for a spot, it’s apparently still in post so it may not. Meanwhile, there’s Benedict Andrews‘ "Una" with Ben Mendelsohn and Rooney Mara, and of course the next Woody Allen movie could also make it in, if it’s ready to roll.
Now, before we come back down to earth and remember it’s all still months away and there are dishes to be done, let us know what you’re most excited about in the comments, or whether you have other hot tips about the potential lineup.