Pics float Venice hopes

Woo's 'Assassins' among competitors at fest

As Cannes winds down, the Venice Film Festival, which runs Sept. 1-11, looks set to have a strong Asian accent with John Woo’s actioner “Reign of Assassins” and Johnny To’s hitman thriller “Shares” among pics with booked berths, according to sources.

Meanwhile, more high-profile American pics are believed to have secured Lido slots: George Clooney starrer “The American,” helmed by Anton Corbjin, from Focus Features; Dustin Hoffman starrer “Barney’s Version” helmed by Richard J. Lewis; and based on the eponymous bestseller, and “Wild Salome,” Al Pacino’s second feature as a director and an adapation of the Oscar Wilde play.

Pics from Europe headed for the Lido include Gallic helmer Abdel Kechiche’s hotly anticipated “Black Venus,” Michele Placido’s “Vallanzasca,” which is produced by Fox, and Italo auteur Mario Martone’s “Noi Credevamo.”

As previously reported (Daily Variety, May 6) other pics tipped to be launching from the Lido this year include Sofia Coppola’s “Somewhere,” Monte Hellman’s noir “Road to Nowhere,” Julian Schnabel’s “Miral,” starring Freida Pinto, and Francois Ozon’s “Potiche.”

Indian director Mani Ratnam’s epic “Raavan,” has also been previously announced.

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