By Peter Knegt | Indiewire July 23, 2013 at 10:36AM
The Toronto International Film Festival has begun its annual series of program announcements that will eventually culminate in 250+ of the most anticipated films of the year screening in Canada's largest city this September. The festival will open with Bill Condon's WikiLeaks take "The Fifth Estate" and close with Daniel Schechter's "Life of Crime," starring John Hawkes, Mos Def and Jennifer Aniston.
Collectively, the 75 films that were announced today offer up performances from an incredible lineup of actors: Josh Brolin, Sandra Bullock, Nicolas Cage, Benedict Cumberbatch, Jessica Chastain, George Clooney, Judi Dench, Jesse Eisenberg, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Idris Elba, Dakota Fanning, Michael Fassbender, Colin Firth, James Franco, Jennifer Garner, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tom Hanks, Nicole Kidman, Catherine Keener, Keira Knightley, Mila Kunis, Scarlett Johannson, Laura Linney, Matthew McConaughey, Julianne Moore, Liam Neeson, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Mark Ruffalo, Meryl Streep, Tilda Swinton, Kristen Wiig, Kate Winslet and Reese Witherspoon all have films at the festival. And there's still 200 or so films left to be announced.
Among those announced are a slew of major Oscar hopefuls. John Wells' "August: Osage County," Steve McQueen's "12 Years a Slave," and Jason Reitman's "Labor Day" will all world premiere at the festival, bringing with them Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts ("August"), Michael Fassbender and Brad Pitt ("12 Years") and Josh Brolin and Kate Winslet ("Labor Day"). All three have fall release dates pegged for awards consideration, with TIFF clearly being set up as a launching pad in that regard.
Other Oscar hopefuls making their way to TIFF include Ron Howard's "Rush," Jean-Marc Vallée's "Dallas Buyers Club," Justin Chadwick's "Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom," Stephen Frears' "Philomena" and Alfonso Cuarón's "Gravity," which was already announced as the Venice Film Festival's opener before it heads to TIFF.
Beyond the aforementioned, there's also quite a few potential breakouts that aren't set for release just yet.
Homegrown filmmaker Atom Egoyan will debut his most high-profile film yet with "Devil's Knot," starring Colin Firth, Reese Witherspoon, Mireille Enos and Dane DeHaan in the first narrative adaptation of the story of the West Memphis 3, in which three teenagers were wrongfully accused of killing three kids.
Richard Ayoade will follow up his TIFF premiere "Submarine" with "The Double," a comedy centered on a man (Jesse Eisenberg) who is driven insane by the appearance of his doppleganger.