Looper to open Toronto international film festival

Time-travel tale starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis and Emily Blunt will kick off festival that runs from 6-16 September
• Full line-up so far

This year's Toronto international film festival will open with the time-travel action film Looper, directed by Brick's Rian Johnson and starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis and Emily Blunt.

The movie, set in a world in which gangsters send their victims back through time to be conveniently taken out by an enforcer waiting in the past, was among more than 60 features announced for the annual event today. Also starring Paul Dano and Jeff Daniels, it will have its world premiere at Toronto.

"Rian Johnson is a film auteur known for combining different genres to give his projects an original spin," said festival director, Piers Handling. "We're thrilled to have Looper open the festival."

Eleven world premieres in the gala section include those for Ben Affleck's highly anticipated Iran hostage crisis drama Argo, starring the director himself alongside Bryan Cranston, John Goodman and Kyle Chandler, and Mike Newell's take on Great Expectations, starring Jeremy Irvine, Holliday Granger, Ralph Fiennes and Helena Bonham Carter as Miss Havisham. Oscar-nominated Canadian film-maker Deepa Mehta adapts Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children, while David O Russell presents the fractured family story Silver Linings Playbook, starring Robert De Niro, Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper. Italian actor-director Sergio Castellitto will show the Sarajevo-set drama Twice Born, starring Penelope Cruz and Emile Hirsch.

Roger Michell's Hyde Park on Hudson centres on a 1939 visit by King George VI and Queen Elizabeth to visit US President Franklin D Roosevelt and his wife, Eleanor, at their home in upstate New York on the brink of the second world war. It stars Bill Murray as the president, Olivia Williams as the first lady, Samuel West as the king and Olivia Colman as the queen. Laurent Cantet's adaptation of Joyce Carol Oates's 50s-set story Foxfire also has a world premiere in Toronto, as does Francois Ozon's In the House, with Kristin Scott Thomas. So, too, does The Impossible, with Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor, as well as Mr Pip, Andrew Adamson's animation starring Hugh Laurie.

Other world premieres include Cloud Atlas, the linked-story epic by Tom Twyker and Andy and Lana Wachowski, which stars Tom Hanks, Halle Berry and Hugh Grant and is based on the novel by David Mitchell; there are also new films from Dustin Hoffman (the UK-set Quartet), Neil Jordan's Byzantium and Sally Potter's 60s teen tale Ginger and Rosa.

US titles featuring at the festival include The Perks of Being a Wallflower, starring Emma Watson; Stuart Blumberg's sex-addict recovery comedy Thanks for Sharing, with Mark Ruffalo, Tim Robbins and Gwyneth Paltrow; and the LA cop drama End of Watch, with Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena. Imogene, the new film from American Splendor duo Robert Puccini and Shari Spring Berman, is also on the bill; likewise A Late Quartet (starring Phillip Seymour Hoffman), Joss Whedon's Much Ado About Nothing, Noah Baumbach's Frances Ha (starring Greta Gerwig) and Writers, featuring Jennifer Connelly, Greg Kinnear and Kristen Bell.

Robert Redford will make his first on-screen appearance in five years in his own The Company You Keep, also starring Shia LaBeouf. Redford plays a civil rights lawyer and father forced to go on the run when a brash young reporter (LaBeouf) exposes him as a former 70s radical fugitive wanted for murder. The cast also includes Susan Sarandon, Terrence Howard, Anna Kendrick, Stanley Tucci, Chris Cooper and Nick Nolte. The film will make its North American debut at Toronto, as will Terrence Malick's To the Wonder, starring Ben Affleck, Javier Bardem and Rachel McAdams. A Venice world premiere for both movies the previous week seems increasingly likely.

Other films in the gala section include Chinese director Hur Jin-Ho's period tale Dangerous Liaisons, the latest take on Pierre Choderlos de Laclos's 18th-century novel of aristocratic intrigue and seduction; Gauri Shinde's light-hearted Indian comedy English Vinglish; Shola Lynch's topical documentary Free Angela and All Political Prisoners; Ruba Nadda's drama Inescapable, set in Syria; Billy Bob Thornton's southern family drama Jayne Mansfield's Car; Liz Garbus's celebrity documentary Love, Marilyn; and Mira Nair's 9/11-themed The Reluctant Fundamentalist.

Joe Wright's adaptation of Tolstoy's Anna Karenina, starring Keira Knightley, will have its international premiere in Canada. Bradley Cooper features again in Blue Valentine director Derek Cianfrance's crime drama The Place Beyond the Pines, also starring Ryan Gosling.

This year's festival, the 37th edition, runs from 6-16 September. More titles – potentially including Paul Thomas Anderson's highly anticipated The Master – will be unveiled over the coming weeks.


Ben Child

The GuardianTramp

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