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Nichols pic ‘Primary’ at Cannes fest

Brings stars Travolta and Thompson to opening

“Primary Colors” will be the opening night attraction at the Cannes Film Festival on May 13, ensuring the festival a star-studded launch.

Mike Nichols’ political comedy-drama, which was generally well received by critics but has been muddling through at the box office, will receive its foreign debut at the fest.

A lavish post-preem bash may be thrown by its foreign distribber, Mutual Film Co., but no plans have been finalized.

In addition to Nichols, the pic’s stars, John Travolta and Emma Thompson — who portray a U.S. presidential candidate and his wife who bear a more-than-passing resemblance to President Clinton and his wife Hillary — are planning to attend.

Other execs expected to make the transatlantic trek include U Pictures chairman Casey Silver, chief operating officer Chris McGurk, international marketing topper Nadia Bronson, exec VP Jon Gumpert and Mutual’s Gary Levinsohn.

Fest topper Gilles Jacob and his selection committee are still viewing several films per day in order to have their final lineup ready for the April 23 press conference. But the past week has seen the invitation of two additional American films into the official selection.

Another U release, Terry Gilliam’s “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” an adaptation of Hunter S. Thompson’s celebrated book starring Johnny Depp and Benicio Del Toro, will also be part of the competition.

And Stanley Tucci’s first solo directorial outing, “The Impostors” (formerly “Ship of Fools”), starring Tucci, Oliver Platt, Isabella Rossellini, Campbell Scott (who co-directed “Big Night” with Tucci), Tony Shalhoub, Lili Taylor and Steve Buscemi, will turn up in Un Certain Regard.

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