News: TIFF lineup announcement / No Stephen Chow as Kato / Toronto After Dark’s initial lineup announced

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TIFF Lineup Announcements

The 2009 Toronto International Film Fest has begun to unveil its lineup, and it’s a doozy so far. From Cannes, we have Jane Campion’s Bright Star, Bong Joon-Ho’s Mother, Andrea Arnold’s Fish Tank and Johnnnie To’s Vengeance. Premieres include: opening night film Creation, which stars Jennifer Connelly and Paul Bettany as Emma and Charles Darwin; Ricky Gervais’ first original feature-film screenplay, The Invention of Lying; Steven Soderbergh’s corporate-fiasco farce The Informant, starring Matt Damon; and the eccentric-sounding Leaves of Grass, starring Edward Norton and directed by Tim Blake Nelson.

TIFF typically functions as a testing ground for Oscar’s favorites, so keep one eye firmly focused on it.

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Stephen Chow will not be Kato in The Green Hornet

Something is amiss with The Green Hornet and Stephen Chow, and it has me worried. First, Chow was signed on to both direct and play the Hornet’s sidekick, Kato, to Seth Rogen’s lead. Chow was ousted from the director’s chair in favor of French wizard Michel Gondry. Now, Sony has announced that Chow has been dropped from the production entirely. Of course, we still have Rogen, Gondry, and an Evan Goldberg screenplay to fall back on, but that’s still a little suspect; Chow seemed to be one of the more passionate figures surrounding the project, and his absence may be a sign of a lack of quality control.

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Toronto’s After Dark Fest has a lineup announcement, too!

Not to be outdone, After Dark, Toronto’s pre-eminent genre fest, has announced its initial lineup, which features a few Fantasia heavy hitters, including Embodiment of Evil, Paul Solet’s Grace and the much-delayed triptych Trick r’ Treat, but it also features a few new ones, including British sci-fi flick Franklyn, the frankly awesome-sounding Someone’s Knocking at My Door, and Joko Anwar’s supernatural thriller The Forbidden Door. That’s hardly all the weeklong fest will have on offer, so keep your ear to the ground.

Simon Howell

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