Festival director Thierry Fremaux only wants the best of the best at Cannes. So why was it that Oliver Stone’s buzzy feature “Snowden,” starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, was nowhere to be seen? In a recent interview with ScreenDaily, the Cannes chief revealed the real reason why the biopic didn’t make the cut — and it wasn’t because he didn’t deem it worthy.
“I saw ‘Snowden’ and it’s a really good film. It complements ‘Citizenfour’ marvelously. It helps understand a lot of things, it’s a fascinating film,” explained Fremaux. “We’d have liked to have it at Cannes, but the US producers — who also did Spotlight — want to aim for the Oscars, so for them a Cannes premiere was a little too early. It’s a different strategy, but I respect that.”
The Open Road film was set to premiere on Christmas Day 2015, but, after citing they needed more time, the studio pushed it back to May 13, 2016. Then in February of this year, the studio decided to set a new release date of September 13.
There was buzz that the Stone film would head to Cannes. He has had several films at the festival in the past, including screening “Midnight Express,” which he wrote, in 1978, “Platoon” as a 20th anniversary screening in 2006, and “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” in 2010.
READ MORE: Oliver Stone Repositions ‘Snowden’ to Release During Awards Season
Fremaux also addressed the controversial fact that after receiving 1,869 films for consideration, only four directors in Competition are making their debut. When asked what his response was for always having the same filmmakers in the slate, he said: “Cannes is Cannes. People don’t expect the Louvre Museum to take down its Old Masters in a bid to reinvent its collection. That would be like saying ‘Hey let’s get rid of the Mona Lisa’. It wouldn’t be the Louvre… At Cannes, we specialize in the big auteurs.”
Check out the full 2016 Cannes Film Festival Lineup HERE.