Hollywood disappointment to close Cannes

Thu Apr 17, 2008 2:53am EDT
 
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NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - After its underwhelming debut at the Sundance Film Festival, the Hollywood satire "What Just Happened?" will get a second chance at Cannes next month.

Robert De Niro stars an embattled Hollywood producer whose life falls apart during one turbulent week. In a life-imitating-art turn, the film's climactic scene takes place at the Cannes Film Festival, with the producer's fictional movie-within-a-movie opening the event.

"Happened?" also stars Catherine Keener as a tough-as-nails studio chief and features a number of stars, including Sean Penn and Bruce Willis, playing themselves in self-parodying roles. Barry Levinson directs from an adaptation of "Into the Wild" producer Art Linson's memoir.

The film generated strong buzz going into January's Sundance Film Festival, and was expected to sell for a significant seven-figure sum. But the movie received a mixed critical response and failed to catch fire with distributors, and its rights remain available.

Cannes runs May 14-25; the opening film has yet to be announced. The closing film last year was Canadian filmmaker Denys Arcand's "Days of Darkness (The Age of Ignorance)."

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter