With the selection of Universal’s Ridley Scott-helmed “Robin Hood” as opening night film and Tim Burton heading the jury, the Cannes Film Fest is looking Hollywood-friendly.
Starring Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett, “Robin Hood” will play out of competition on the first night of the 63rd fest, which runs May 12-23.
Co-starring Max von Sydow, William Hurt and Lea Seydoux, and produced by Scott Free Prods. and Imagine Ent. “Robin” looks like just one of a clutch of Croisette-bound studio movies.
A Cannes berth also looks likely for Oliver Stone’s “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps,” which Fox postponed from an April 23 to Sept. 24 opening.
“We should have a good presence of studio films at Cannes this year. That’s a positive sign,” Cannes delegate general Thierry Fremaux told Daily Variety.
“Robin Hood,” a reportedly heavy-on-action retelling of the legend, was always a front-runner for the opening-night slot. Its already announced May 14 Stateside release date aligned perfectly with its Riviera first-night bow.
Cannes’ world preem allows the festival to kick off “Robin’s” global rollout, putting the festival “at the center of the world,” Fremaux said.
Pic also bows commercially May 12 in French theaters — helping to make Cannes opening night a national event. “From Wednesday at Cannes through Friday in the States, the film goes worldwide. I like that. Everybody can have their own opening night,” Fremaux said.
Scott, who first walked Cannes’ red carpet in 1977 with “The Duellists,” returned in 1991 with “Thelma and Louise.”
“With ‘E.T.,’ ‘Thelma and Louise’ has been one of the greatest closing nights in the history of Cannes,” Fremaux said. “Scott is a great director working within the Hollywood system.”
Reportedly hewing close to background historical fact, “Robin Hood” is said to be a “Gladiator”-style makeover, charting the birth of the legend. Pic is written by Brian Helgeland (“L.A. Confidential,” “Mystic River”).
“Robin” marks Cannes’ third Hollywood studio opener in five years — not counting 2008’s “Blindness,” sold worldwide by Focus Features Intl.
The $760 million worldwide trawl for Sony’s “The Da Vinci Code” showed also that a movie, if big enough, could survive a Cannes critical drubbing; while last year’s warmly received Disney-Pixar’s Cannes opener “Up” went on to stellar B.O figures.
“When the studios have a film, they don’t hesitate about presenting it to us,” Fremaux said.