Quentin Tarantino war film to compete at fest

Quentin Tarantino’s WWII epic “Inglourious Basterds” is headed to the French Riviera.

The Brad Pitt starrer, set in Nazi-occupied France, has been invited to play in competition at the Cannes Film Festival. Insiders said Tarantino, a longtime favorite of the French, has accepted the offer and has told the film’s backers — the Weinstein Co. and Universal Pictures — that the pic will be ready for its world premiere during the May fest.

The movie, which follows a band of Jewish-American soldiers whose mission is to take down a group of Nazis, will bow Aug. 21.

Both the Weinstein Co. and U declined comment. Cannes organizers, who will announce the fest’s lineup April 23, could not immediately be reached.

Tarantino is no stranger to the Palais. The helmer became one of Hollywood’s most in-demand directors after his “Pulp Fiction” won Cannes’ Palme d’Or in 1994.

A decade later, Tarantino returned to serve as president of the festival jury. Tarantino’s “Kill Bill” was not in competition that year, but it did unspool on the fest’s final night in its original 3-hour-plus version. In addition, “Death Proof” played in competition in 2007, and Tarantino’s debut film, “Reservoir Dogs,” unspooled out of competition in 1992.

This year’s fest runs May 13-24.

(Elsa Keslassy in Cannes contributed to this report.)

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