‘Lions’ to premiere at London festival

Cruise, Redford, Streep to attend

Tom Cruise, Robert Redford and Meryl Streep will touch down in London on Oct. 22 for the world premiere of United Artists’ contemporary thriller “Lions for Lambs” at the Times London Film Festival.

Hot from top prizes at Venice comes Brad Pitt starrer “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford,” Ang Lee’s steamy espionage thriller “Lust, Caution” and Todd Haynes’ “I’m Not There,” which sees Cate Blanchett give one of six interpretations of Bob Dylan. All of the pics receive gala screenings.

There are six other world premieres, five of which are British: Simon Welsford’s “Jetsam,” Joanna Hogg’s “Unrelated,” Kim Longinotto’s documentary “Hold Me Tight Let Me Go,” Marc Evans’ doc “In Prison My Whole Life” and Geoffrey Smith’s docu “The English Surgeon.” Other world bow is Italian pic “Andres and Me.”

Also receiving gala screenings are Jason Reitman’s “Juno,” Susanne Bier’s “Things We Lost in the Fire,” Sean Penn’s “Into the Wild,” Julian Schnabel’s “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly,” Michael Moore’s “Sicko,” Cristian Mungiu’s “4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days,” Carlos Reygados’ “Silent Night” and family offering “Bee Movie.”

Fest artistic director Sandra Hebron said a 13th gala will be slotted to replace “Gone Baby Gone,” Ben Affleck’s directorial debut about a 4-year-old who goes missing in Boston, which has been pulled after pic’s U.K. release was shelved due to similarities with the real-life case of missing English girl Madeleine McCann.

The 16-day fest will keep London’s paparazzi busy with David Cronenberg, Naomi Watts, Sienna Miller, Ang Lee, Michael Moore, Halle Berry and Sean Penn all due in town. In addition, Wes Anderson, Laura Linney, Steve Buscemi, Harmony Korine, Robert Rodriguez and Paul Greengrass are all confirmed to give screen talks. Greengrass will be feted with the Variety U.K. Achievement in Film Award, which will be presented in conjunction with the fest for the first time.

As previously announced, the 51st edition of the festival opens Oct. 17 with Cronenberg’s London-set “Eastern Promises” and closes Nov. 1 with Anderson’s “The Darjeeling Limited.”

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