Dear Gossips, 

The Venice Film Festival will kick off this Wednesday – you’ll recall, they’d originally announced that the opening night film would be Luca Guadagnino’s Challengers, starring Zendaya. Due to the Hollywood strike, Challengers was pulled from the festival and pushed back for release; it will now premiere in April 2024. 


For weeks now there’s been some question of whether or not Hollywood stars would skip out on Venice in solidarity with the unions. And also which films would be granted waivers by the unions so that the actors can show up to support the projects. This weekend Variety reported that several notable names will indeed be there: 

Following multiple unsourced reports, the festival has confirmed that [Adam] Driver is expected on the Lido’s red carpet to promote Micheal Mann’s “Ferrari,” in which he plays the titular character, Italian car racing pioneer Enzo Ferrari; Landry Jones is coming for Luc Besson’s “Dogman”; [Mads] Mikkelsen will make the trek for Danish director Nikolaj Arcel’s “The Promised Land” and [Jessica] Chastain for Mexican auteur Michel Franco’s “Memory,” her first role since her Oscar-winning performance in “The Eyes of Tammy Faye.”


These films are independent productions, not associated with the AMPTP, and have been granted waivers by SAG-AFTRA. For more information about waivers and how it works, Sarah wrote about this on Friday. It’ll be interesting to see then if this is just the first wave of star attendees in Venice because if the party circuit is any indication, Venice is all systems go, with Variety noting that the party scene “has only been slightly impacted” by the strike situation. Party organisers are still willing to put money into their events – a sign of confidence that famous people will show up for the pictures? 


Meanwhile the Telluride Film Festival is happening this coming weekend and the Toronto International Film Festival starts next week. Will be interesting to see the list of names expected at TIFF because there are indeed several stars whose projects are eligible for waivers. Chris Pine’s Poolman, his directorial debut, is one of them. 

Yours in gossip,