Avengers director Joss Whedon is to introduce the UK premiere of his latest film Much Ado About Nothing at the Glasgow Film Festival, which will also host talent including Neil Jordan, Gemma Arterton, Saoirse Ronan, Eli Roth and Régis Roinsard
Whedon, also known for TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly, will help close the festival on Feb 24 with his modern retelling of Shakespeare’s classic comedy.
Tickets to the film sold out within an hour of the initial programme announcement, before the director was confirmed to attend.
The festival, now in its ninth year, will open on Feb 14 with French director Régis Ronsard and the UK premiere of his 1950s-set romcom, Populaire.
Gemma Arterton (Quantum of Solace), Saoirse Ronan (Hanna) and director Neil Jordan (Interview with the Vampire) will attend the festival to support vampire thriller Byzantium, which will screen as part of Film4 FrightFest on Feb 22.
Eli Roth, best known for directing the Hostel series, will be in attendance for FrightFest as well, promoting the UK premiere of Aftershock. He’ll be accompanied by co-star Lorenza Izzo and director Nicolas Lopez.
Scottish actors David Hayman and James Cosmo will also attend. Hayman will introduce Sawney: Flesh of Man, a modern-day take on the legend of cannibal king Sawney Bean while Cosmo, who features a record five films in this year’s programme, will be in conversation about his career.
Stars of Channel 4 student comedy series Fresh Meat will take place in a masterclass as part of the Glasgow Youth Film Festival. Director Annie Griffin and co-writer Sam Bain will be joined by actors Greg McHugh, Kimberly Nixon and Charlotte Ritchie.
Also expected are writer/director Yasmin Fedda who will premiere documentary A Tale of Two Syrias; director Konrad Begg with Scottish stars Lorna Anderson and Ford Kiernan for Irish musical Songs for Amy; and 20-year-old director Rob Savage in support of his first feature, Strings.
The festival, which runs from 14-24 February, includes 368 film screenings.
Among the 57 UK premieres showing at the festival are Park Chan-wook’s Stoker, starring Mia Wasikowska and Nicole Kidman, and The Place Beyond the Pines, which reunites Ryan Gosling with Blue Valentine director Derek Cianfrance.
Other premiere highlights include Welcome to the Punch, starring James McAvoy; Mama, starring Jessica Chastain; Arbitrage, starring Richard Gere; and The Paperboy, with Golden Globe-nominated Nicole Kidman and Matthew McConaughey.