The 39th edition of the Toronto International Film Festival kicks off today, September 4, running through September 14, with another year of an always impressive slate of high-profile films making their world premieres at the festival – a few that we’ve been tracking on this blog, including Chris Rock’s new dramedy, which was previously titled “Finally Famous,” but is now officially called “Top Five.”
In the film, Rock (who also wrote and directed it) plays a comedian turned film star who, despite the expectations of his millions of fans, is determined to reinvent himself as a “serious” actor.
Rosario Dawson and Gabrielle Union co-star, playing a feisty, funny, no-holds-barred journalist challenge (and potential love interest) for Rock’s character, and his popular reality star fiancee (Union), respectively.
Kevin Hart, along with J.B. Smoove and Sherri Shepherd, also co-star in the movie, which Scott Rudin is producing (he also produced Chris Rock’s Broadway debut, “The Mother-F with the Hat”).
Hart plays Rock’s supportive Ivy League-educated agent; Smoove is Rock’s “security guard-slash-assistant” who is never far from his boss’ side (in the casting breakdown the character is described as: “a burly, very big and imposing African American guy who has a thing for big women”); and Shepherd plays Rock’s ex-girlfriend from high school who still has a thing for him.
“Top Five” marks Rock’s first time behind the camera as director since 2007’s “I Think I Love My Wife,” which also saw him sandwiched between 2 beautiful women in Gina Torres and Kerry Washington, just like another film he wrote, directed and starred in before that – 2003’s “Head Of State,” with Tamala Jones and Robin Givens.
No trailer yet; although I’m sure one will surface soon enough. While we wait for it, within this post, you’ll find some official still images from the upcoming movie.
This year’s Toronto International Film Festival, one of the top movie showcases and a favored platform to unveil Oscar contenders, will run from September 4-14.