Marilyn Monroe Biopic ‘Blonde’ Leading Netflix Pack of Venice Hopefuls

The upcoming Venice Film Festival is getting ready to unleash a robust roster of Oscar hopefuls promoted by boatloads of Hollywood stars, with Netflix spearheading the Lido landing in September.

As Venice artistic director Alberto Barbera begins to lock in his selection, Variety understands there are four Netflix original films in the Venice mix.

The streamer’s Venice titles include Andrew Dominik’s Marilyn Monroe drama “Blonde” starring Bond girl Ana de Armas (“No Time to Die”) as the Hollywood icon; Noah Baumbach’s “White Noise,” with Greta Gerwig, Adam Driver and Jodie Turner-Smith, which is based on the 1985 novel of the same name by Don DeLillo; “Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths,” the new film from Oscar winner Alejandro G. Iñárritu, which chronicles the story of a Mexican journalist and documentary filmmaker going through an existential crisis; and Romain Gavras’ modern tragedy “Athena,” co-written by the French “The World is Yours” director with “Les Miserables” filmmaker Ladj Ly.

Venice has of course in recent editions become a privileged launching pad for Netflix’s Oscar hopefuls given the Cannes Film Festival requires that competition titles receive a French theatrical release followed by a 15-month wait before launching the movie on its service.

Last year, Venice debuted Jane Campion’s Netflix original “The Power of the Dog,” which is one of seven titles to have premiered from the Lido and gone on to score best director Oscars during Venice’s past nine editions. Others include “Gravity” (2013) from Alfonso Cuarón, “Birdman” (2014) from Alejandro G. Iñarritu, “La La Land” (2016) from Damien Chazelle, “The Shape of Water” (2017) from Guillermo del Toro, “Roma” (2018) from Cuarón and “Nomadland” (2020) from Chloé Zhao.

Though Barbera still hasn’t personally seen many of the high-profile titles in the mix from U.S. studios and streamers — and he’s the one who must give the final thumbs up — the list of submissions being viewed by his collaborators is understood to also include lots of other hotly anticipated U.S. studio titles.

These include “Bones and All,” which reteams Luca Guadagnino with Timothée Chalamet; Julia Roberts and George Clooney rom-com “Ticket to Paradise”; and psychological thriller “Don’t Worry Darling,” toplining Harry Styles and Florence Pugh.

After sparking a paparazzi feeding frenzy last year for “Dune,” Chalamet looks set to return to the Palazzo del Cinema’s long red carpet with Guadagnino’s U.S. road movie from MGM.

Meanwhile, the Ol Parker-directed “Ticket to Paradise,” from Universal, would mark the first time Roberts comes to Venice. The same, of course, would go for Styles who is making the transition from pop star to actor for the second time after “Dunkirk” in Olivia Wilde’s “Don’t Worry Darling,” from Warner Bros.

Also in the mix are Florian Zeller’s “The Son,” from Sony, which segues from the director’s Oscar-winning “The Father” and stars Vanessa Kirby, Laura Dern and Hugh Jackman. And, from Focus Features, Todd Field’s “Tar,” toplining Cate Blanchett as the fictional Lydia Tár, one of the world’s greatest orchestra conductors and the first female conductor of a major German orchestra. Blanchett is a Venice regular, who presided over the festival’s main jury in 2020.

The 75th edition of Venice will run Aug. 31-Sept. 10. The lineup will be announced on July 27.

Brent Lang and Elsa Keslassy contributed to this report.

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