Toronto ramps up star voltage

Eight pics added to lineup

Pics toplining Brad Pitt, Woody Harrelson, Charlize Theron, Cate Blanchett, Richard Gere, Nicole Kidman and Philip Seymour Hoffman have been added to the slate of the Toronto Film Fest.

Latest additions screen at the fest as Special Presentations.

In his latest behind-the-camera venture, Sean Penn steps “Into the Wild,” in the true story of a young man (Emile Hirsch) who abandons his possessions to live in the Alaskan wilderness. The world premiere of the Paramount Vantage pic also features Marcia Gay Harden, William Hurt, Jena Malone, Catherine Keener and Vince Vaughan.

Stuart Townsend gets political in the world preem of his directorial debut, “Battle in Seattle,” an in-depth look at the 1999 demonstration against the World Trade Organization, with Theron, Harrelson, Andre Benjamin, Ray Liotta and Michelle Rodriguez.

Susan Sarandon and Tommy Lee Jones portray the parents of a young soldier who goes missing after returning from Iraq in Paul Haggis’ “In the Valley of Elah.”

Bob Dylan goes under Todd Haynes’ microscope in “I’m Not There,” in an inter-woven group of distinctly-styled stories from the Weinstein Co. Pic features Blanchett, Gere, Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Julianne Moore, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Michelle Williams.

In Warner Bros. Pictures’ “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford,” Pitt portrays one of history’s most charismatic and unpredictable outlaws. Directed by Andrew Dominik (“Chopper”), pic also stars Casey Affleck, Sam Shepard, Mary-Louise Parker, Zooey Deschanel and Sam Rockwell.

Kidman is a woman unimpressed with her sister’s fiance (Jack Black) on the eve of their nuptials in “Margot at the Wedding,” directed by Noah Baumbach.

In “The Savages,” from Tamara Jenkins, sibs Laura Linney and Seymour Hoffman must pull together to care for their elderly padre, played by Philip Bosco; and, in Joe Wright’s “Atonement,” a teenager accuses an innocent man of a crime. Focus Features pic stars Keira Knightley and Vanessa Redgrave.

Festival runs Sept. 6 to 15.

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