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Will stars Emma Stone, Adam Driver attend 80th Venice Film Festival?

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Nonetheless, the films are still showing and many top-name directors are due to attend as they compete for the top prize, the Golden Lion, to be announced on Sep 9.

Sofia Coppola presents another biopic, Priscilla, about Elvis Presley’s wife, while David Fincher returns to the Lido with The Killer, more than 20 years after Fight Club was loudly booed at the festival only to become a cult hit in the following years.

The only major casualty of the strikes has been Challengers, a tennis romance starring Zendaya that was set as the opening night film but has been delayed to next year.

“DON’T SEE THE ISSUE”

With star gossip at a minimum, a lot of attention risks being absorbed by the inclusion of Woody Allen and Roman Polanski in the out-of-competition section.

Allen, 87, was investigated for an alleged assault on his adopted daughter and cleared by police in the 1990s, but that has not been enough for many in the MeToo era, and he has been effectively blackballed by Hollywood.

Polanski, 90, remains a fugitive from the US over a conviction for raping a minor in the 1970s. The victim has long since forgiven him, but he faces other assault allegations. The festival says he is not attending.

French director Luc Besson (The Fifth Element), who was recently cleared of rape allegations, is in the main competition with Dogman.

Festival director Alberto Barbera defended their inclusion, telling Variety that Besson and Allen had been cleared by investigators: “With them, I don’t see where the issue is”.

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