Period romp Hail, Caesar!, the latest feature from Oscar winning filmmakers Ethan and Joel Coen (No Country for Old Men), has been slated to open the 66th Berlin International Film Festival. This would mark the second occasion in which a Coen Bros. film opened Berlin- the Oscar nominated western True Grit did so in 2011. Previously, their 1998 modern classic The Big Lebowski played in competition at the 1998 festival.
Hail, Caesar! is an all-star screwball comedy centering around a day in the life of a fixer trying to keep the scandals and problems plaguing a 1950s Hollywood movie studio under control. Events go haywire as movie star Baird Whitlock (played by George Clooney, O Brother, Where Art Thou) disappears from the set of a swords and sandals epic. Enter Eddie Mannix (played by Josh Brolin, No Country for Old Men) to save the day. While Hail, Caesar! is a work of fiction, Mannix was a real-life fixer back in the days of the studio system.
The ensemble cast in rounded out by Scarlett Johansson (Lucy), Channing Tatum (Foxcatcher), Tilda Swinton (Trainwreck), Ralph Fiennes (The Grand Budapest Hotel), Jonah Hill (The Wolf of Wall Street), Frances McDormand (Moonrise Kingdom) and Alden Ehrenreich (Blue Jasmine). The Coens direct and wrote the original screenplay. Hail, Caesar! will premiere at Berlinale on February 11, 2016 jump starting the international run of the film.
It was previously announced that a digitally restored version of Fritz Lang’s 1921 classic Der müde Tod (Destiny) will premiere at Berlin next year as part of the Berlinale Classics program. Three-time Oscar winning actress Meryl Streep (Ricki and the Flash) has also been announced as jury president for the festival- Streep won the Silver Bear Award at the 2003 Berlin Film Festival for Best Actress for the film The Hours (a prize that was shared with co-stars Nicole Kidman and Julianne Moore). Berlinale will run from February 11th-21st.
Hail, Caesar! marks the latest Coen Bros. film- their last feature was the critically admired 2013 drama Inside Llewyn Davis. Since then, the sibling filmmakers earned credits for contributing to the screenplays for Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken and Steven Spielberg’s Cold War drama Bridge of Spies. Universal Pictures will release Hail, Caesar! in the U.S. on February 5, 2016.