The Cannes film festival kicks off today. And amid the parties and red-carpet premieres of movies such as Up and Inglourious Basterds, there is business to be done.
A number of high-profile projects are up for sale this year, including Twelve, starring Chace Crawford and 50 Cent; Kevin Spacey’s Casino Jack; Jessica Alba’s An Invisible Sign and Bruce Willis’ Inventory.
As the major studios tighten their budgets, the list of stars who can get a movie made (or sold) is shrinking, and is currently topped by bankable celebs like Will Smith, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.
But can any of the actors starring in the high-profile movies up for sale at the French fest (listed below) overcome the credit crisis and get their movies bought? We’ll see.
For now, check out whose projects are hoping to land a distributor:
Arthur and the Revenge of Maltazard (animated film)
Cast: Freddy Highmore, Mia Farrow
Director: Luc Besson
Invasion of Privacy, a.k.a. The Resident
Cast: Hilary Swank, Jeffrey Dean Morgan
Director: Antti Jokinen
Synopsis*: After separating from her husband, beautiful young Doctor Juliet begins a new life in Brooklyn. Her stunning, spacious loft apartment seems too good to be true and when mysterious occurrences lead her to believe she’s not alone Juliet discovers the unthinkable—someone else can get in and is watching her.
Let Me In
Director: Matt Reeves
Remake of Tomas Alfredson’s acclaimed Swedish film Let the Right One In. Bullied young Owen forms a friendship with his strange but kind neighbour, Abby. As the town begins to suspect her involvement in a string of gruesome murders Owen must decide between the life he knows and protecting his new friend’s dark secret.
Cast: Chace Crawford, Emma Roberts, Rory Culkin, Kiefer Sutherland, Ellen Barkin, 50 Cent
Director: Joel Schumacher
White Mike has dropped out of school and now sells drugs to rich, spoiled teenagers in Upper East Side of Manhattan. Everything changes when Mike’s cousin is brutally murdered and his best friend arrested for the crime. A chilling tale of urban adolescence, mixed up with drug, sex and violence.
Give ‘Em Hell Malone
Cast: Thomas Jane, Ving Rhames, Elsa Patak
Director: Russell Mulcahy
A tough gun-for-hire takes a job retrieving a case, which contains a mysterious secret that he must protect from an army of thugs.
Bagman aka Casino Jack
Cast: Kevin Spacey, Hayden Christensen
Director: George Hickenlooper
True story of a lobbyist and his protege who go down hard as the schemes to peddle influence lead to corruption and murder.
The Darkness (may now be called The Vanishing On 7th Street)
Cast: Timothy Olyphant, Forest Whitaker, John Leguizamo, Thandie Newton
Director: Brad Anderson
After a blackout causes most of the world’s population to vanish, survivors hole up in a bar to plot their survivor, but the darkness returns to reclaim them one by one.
The Big Bang
Cast: Antonio Banderas
Director: Tony Krantz
A private detective’s quest for a missing stripper sends him from L.A. to New Mexico, and draws the attention of a gang of dirty cops who are looking for $30 Million in diamonds the stripper may have stashed before her disappearance.
Cast: Ryan Gosling, Michelle Williams
Director: Derek Cianfrance
A heart rending tale of lost love and missed opportunities, Blue Valentine is an intimate portrait of the last days of a relationship offset by the overwhelming affection of love.
Cast: Samuel L. Jackson, Kristen Scott-Thomas
Director: Kevin Kerslake
Samuel L Jackson stars as ‘Remington’, a forensic psychiatrist brought back from a self imposed early retirement by the FBI to help them solve one the most baffling and heinous crimes ever uncovered.
Planet 51 (animated film)
Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Jessica Biel, Justin Long, Gary Oldman, John Cleese, Sean William Scott
Director: Jorge Blanco
A comic reverse alien invasion movie written by Joe Stillman (Shrek and Shrek 2 scribe).
Cast: Eva Green, Mickey Rourke
Director: Larry Clark
Shooting begins September 2009 on this modern day remake of the classic movie starring Bob Hoskins and Cathie Tyson. ‘Mona Lisa’ tells of an ex-con who, finding it difficult to fit back into the criminal underworld, takes a job as the driver for a high-end escort – a woman who lures him into certain danger.
Cast: Helen Mirren, Tom Conti, David Strathairn, Ben Whishaw, Russell Brand, Alfred Molina
Director: Julie Taymor
The magician Prospero orchestrates spirits, monsters, a grief-stricken king, a wise old councillor, two treacherous brothers and a storm at sea into a fantastical conspiracy bringing banishment, sorcery and shipwreck into the lives of two hapless lovers to stir and seal their fate.
Cast: Kiefer Sutherland, Billy Crudup, Guy Pearce
Director: Robert Edwards
Two FBI counter-intelligence agents in Los Angeles 1969 find their partnership–and their whole world–shaken when a fellow American walks in and confesses that he has been spying for the Soviets, and volunteers to turn double agent. The slippery nature of truth gets a workout as they cross paths not only with the KGB, but also Hollywood execs, undercover cops, suspicious wives, and shady private eyes. When deception is your business, is it really possible to leave your work at the office?
Cast: Natalie Portman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Rainn Wilson, Piper Laurie, John Carroll Lynch
Director: Spencer Susser
Hesher is the story of a family struggling to deal with a loss and the anarchist head banger who helps them do it.
Sympathy for Delicious
Cast: Christopher Thornton, Mark Ruffalo, Juliette Lewis, Noah Emmerich, with Laura Linney, and Orlando Bloom
Director: Mark Ruffalo
Sympathy for Delicious is a wholly original story, filled with humour and pathos as well as a realistic, yet vivid, character study exploring the lasting effects of tragedy, the search for meaning, and the ultimate redemptive power of compassion.
Cast: Jeff Daniels, Ryan Reynolds, Emma Stone, Kieran Culkin and Lisa Kudrow
Directors: Michele Mulroney & Kieran Mulroney
Paper Man is a coming-of-middle-age comedy that chronicles the unlikely friendship between a failed author, Richard Dunne (Daniels) and a mature teenager (Stone) who teaches him a thing or two about growing up. All under the disapproving eye of his long-suffering wife (Kudrow) and his imaginary Superhero friend (Reynolds).
An Invisible Sign
Cast: Jessica Alba, J.K. Simmons, Chris Messina, Sonia Braga
Director: Marilyn Agrelo
An Invisible Sign is a contemporary fable with a touch of magic realism reminiscent of Amelie.
Cast: Samuel L. Jackson, Carrie-Anne Moss, Michael Sheen, Brandon Routh, Martin Donovan
Director: Gregor Jordan
Somewhere in the United States, three nuclear weapons are about to detonate. Younger (Sheen) has hidden the devices and the authorities lead by FBI agent Brody (Moss) with the help of “H” (Jackson) an interrogation specialist, must find them before time runs out. How far will they go to get the information they need and will they do the unthinkable?
Cast: Pierce Brosnan, Susan Sarandon, Carey Mulligan, Johnny Simmons, Aaron Johnson
Director: Shana Feste
The Greatest tells the story of a couple (Brosnan and Sarandon) who, after losing their eighteen year old son in a tragic car accident, struggle to pick up the pieces, a feat that becomes almost impossible when Rose, a girl they never knew, knocks on their door and confesses that she was with their son the night he died and is now three months pregnant. While things will never be the same for each of them, together they come to recognise that the life of a family will carry on.
Cast: Bruce Willis
Director: Wayne Kramer
A detective hunts down a suspect to obtain enough evidence to put him away for a vicious murder.
Cast: Robert DeNiro, Edward Norton, Sienna Miller
Director: John Curran
A ruthless convict engages in a series of disturbing mental games with his corrections officer in an attempt to gain parole. When the officer begins an affair with the convict’s wife, it soon becomes clear that both the convict and officer’s motivations are suspect, provoking a dangerous ordeal.
Cast: Jason Statham
Director: Simon West
A reinvention of the 1972 Charles Bronson action classic. A hitman, famed for his efficient and unfeeling contract executions, befriends a young man and trains him as a professional assassin.
Cast: Timothy Olyphant, Joe Anderson, and Rossif Sutherland
Director: Gary Yates
Dick and his pals have been botching jobs and racking up prison time for years, but enough is enough, and Dick’s got the perfect plan for one last heist.
Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus
Cast: Deborah Gibson, Lorenzo Lamas, Vic Chao
Director: Ace Hannah
The California coast is terrorized by two enormous prehistoric sea creatures as they battle each other for supremacy of the ocean.
*Synopses are taken verbatim from Variety’s market listings, but we’re pretty sure they’re also the production companies’ official descriptions of the films.
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