Rome heralds ‘Golden Age’

Pic opens Premiere gala section

“Elizabeth: The Golden Age” will have its European bow at the RomeFilmFest, opening the Premiere gala section. Star Cate Blanchett and helmer Shekhar Kapur are expected on the red carpet.

Produced by Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner and Jonathan Cavendish for Working Title, the “Elizabeth” sequel will segue from its world preem at the Toronto Film Festival in September to a Rome launch on either Oct. 18 or 19. Rome fest prexy Goffredo Bettini told Daily Variety that the exact date is still being decided.

In “The Golden Age,” which was shot in London, Blanchett reprises the role she played in “Elizabeth,” while Geoffrey Rush returns to play the queen’s adviser, Sir Francis Walsingham. Clive Owen stars as Sir Walter Raleigh.

Universal has skedded the costumer for an Oct. 12 release Stateside.

Working Title and U have also booked this year’s Venice opener “Atonement,” an adaptation of the Ian McEwan novel helmed by Joe Wright.

Clearly delighted to have “The Golden Age,” Bettini said it will be “the first title in the upcoming edition to play in our most prestigious venue, the Rome Auditorium’s Sala Santa Cecilia.”

The Rome prexy also boasted that the rest of the fest’s Premiere galas “will also consist of high-profile international premieres with plenty of stars.”

Opening the competish of Rome’s second edition on Oct. 18 will be the world preem of Gallic helmer Alain Corneau’s gangster remake “Le deuxieme souffle” (Second Breath), for which Monica Bellucci and Daniel Auteuil are expected in tow.

The only other confirmed title at present is Francis Ford Coppola’s world preeming “Youth Without Youth.”

The RomeFilmFest runs Oct. 18-27.

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