Jim Jarmusch’s ‘The Dead Don’t Die,’ a Zombie ultimatum from the cult filmmaker is all set to open the Cannes Film Festival this year. The star-studded Zombie flick features the walking dead battle with local sheriffs Bill Murray, Chloe Sevigny and Adam Driver. The horror comedy has been selected to compete for the coveted top prize the Palme d’Or earlier. Now, it will also open the opening night on 14 May at the Grand Théâtre Lumière.
Written by Jarmusch, ‘The Dead Don’t Die’ is set in the peaceful small town of Centerville. The townfolks are hunted down by a zombie horde as the dead start rising from their graves in one fine morning. Murray, Driver and Sevigny play the small-town sheriff’s deputies fighting hand-to-hand combat with the walking dead. The movie also features Tilda Swinton, Selena Gomez, Steve Buscemi, Rosie Perez, Danny Glover, Iggy Pop, Tom Waits, and Caleb Landry Jones.
Jarmusch, who screened his Adam Driver flick ‘Paterson’ at the 2016 festival, is a regular at Cannes. Other Jarmusch movies played on the Riviera include ‘Stranger Than Paradise,’ ‘Broken Flowers,’ ‘Only Lovers Left Alive,’ ‘Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai,’ ‘Dead Man,’ ‘Mystery Train,’ and ‘Down By Law.’ He has also won the Caméra d’Or first film prize in 1984 for ‘Stranger Than Paradise.’ His ‘Coffee and Cigarettes: Somewhere in California’ won the short film Palme d’Or in 1993.
The Festival is keen to pick serious filmmaker’s movie to open the gala of world cinema for the last couple of seasons. Last year, it was Asghar Farhadi’s thriller starring Javier Bardem and Penélope Cruz in the lead roles, ‘Everybody Knows.’ This year’s Cannes jury for main competition will be chaired by renowned filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárritu. Even though the complete lineup of movies is yet to unravel, the big names and movies rumoured to mark their presence at the festival are Pedro Almodóvar’s ‘Pain and Glory,’ Dexter Fletcher’s ‘Rocketman‘ and Quentin Tarantino’s most awaited ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.’ The official lineup will be unveiled on April 18.
Interestingly, no Netflix titles will be screened at Cannes this year. The rift between the streaming giant and the festival widened when the artistic director Thierry Frémaux failed to reach a pact with Netflix chief Ted Sarandos. Last year, many eagerly awaited titles and prominent filmmakers missed the festival when Thierry Frémaux ruled that Netflix were ineligible to compete for the Palme d’Or. In reply, Ted Sarandos pulled all the Netflix original movies from the Croisette. Movies like ‘Roma’ and ‘The Ballad of Buster Scruggs’ missed the Cannes screening as they moved on to other major festivals. The Opening Ceremony of the 72nd Cannes Film Festival will also broadcast free-to-air by Canal +, as well as in partner cinemas on May 14. Actor and director Edouard Baer will serve as the Master of Ceremonies.
‘The Dead Don’t Die’ has been in headlines ever since the announcement of the project as it marks Jarmusch’s maiden foray in the Zombie genre. The movie also reunites the director with his regulars like the director of photography Frederick Elmes and editor Affonso Gonçalves. ‘The Dead Don’t Die’ will be distributed by Focus and Universal Pictures International globally. The movie will hit screens in France on the same day as it opens up in Cannes on May 14. The movie will hit the U.S. screens on June 14.