With journalists dailybemoaning the dearth of major American stars in Cannes, The Venice FilmFestival is once again shaping up as a showcase of star-studded prospects fromthe US and Europe.
John Madden's Proof, Terry Gilliam's The Brothers Grimm, James Ivory's The White Countess and Fernando Mereilles' The Constant Gardener are just a few of the titles already looking likelyto play on the Lido, offering up talent possibilities from Matt Damon toGwyneth Paltrow to Ralph Fiennes, star of both the Ivory and Mereilles films.
Meanwhile Venice directorMarco Mueller is scheduled to see Brokeback Mountain, Ang Lee's long-awaitedgay love story, this month. And if Brokeback ends up having its world premiereon the Lido, its young stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger will be therewith two films apiece - the former for Proof, the latter with The Brothers Grimm.
Other possibles include JoeWright's Pride And Prejudicestarring Keira Knightley, Scott McGehee and David Siegel's Bee Season with Richard Gere, Juliette Binoche and MaxMinghella (who is also in Terry Zwigoff's Lido possible Art SchoolConfidential) and Isabel Coixet's TheSecret Life Of Words with SarahPolley, Tim Robbins and Julie Christie.
Venice is also looking likea treasure chest of Asian cinema with new titles being lined up for premiere atthe festival by China's Zhang Yimou (Riding Alone For Thousands Of Miles), Korea's Park chan-wook (Sympathy For LadyVengeance), Hong Kong's Tsui Hark (SevenSwords), China's Chen Kaige (ThePromise), Thailand's Pen-ekRatanaruang (Invisible Waves),and China's Zhang Yang (Sunflower).