25 celebrities that are (probably) coming to Toronto for TIFF
Every September, TIFF kicks off the buzz leading up to awards season, injects Toronto with a glitzy dose of life and, most of all, pulls some serious star power this side of the border. We scanned the fest’s first batch of films for the 20 celebrities most likely to show up in our city for the 41st season.
1 In his latest role, Tommy Solomon morphs into Snowden’s titular whistleblower. Hopefully, he’ll be accompanied by co-stars Shailene Woodley and Zachary Quinto at any red carpet events.
2 Oscar nominee Fassbender (Steve Jobs) is the guest of honour at this year’s TIFF Soirée, a fundraiser that starts every festival season. The lucky few who land an invite get to hear him talk about his chameleonic film career.
3 Amy Adams has two films screening this season: in Tom Ford’s sophomore directorial effort, Nocturnal Animals, she attempts to make peace with her past, and in Canadian director David Villeneuve’s Arrival, she tries to communicate with aliens.
4 The American heartthrob has laid low since 2014’s Nightcrawler, but, as Ford’s male lead in Nocturnal Animals, he’s probably going to make an appearance at TIFF.
5 Couture darling and Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o plays the mother of a young Ugandan chess prodigy in Mira Nair’s Queen of Katwe, and is likely to conquer whatever red carpet she steps onto.
6 The Australian actress’s latest project is a heartbreaker that’s also from down under: in Lion, she plays a mother struggling to supporting her adoptive son while he searches for his biological parents.
7 Franco’s taking a break from his busy schedule—he’s working on several films and trying to launch an art career—to be one of judges at the TIFFxInstagram Shorts mini-fest.
8 The breakout star of Slumdog Millionaire returns to the slums very briefly in Lion: after losing his biological family in Calcutta and being adopted by a generous Australian couple, Patel’s character sets out to find his parents.
9 Washington has top billing in the reboot of the legendary Western The Magnificent Seven alongside Ethan Hawke and Chris Pratt, which should be enough reason for him to step onto the scene again.
10 Like Amy Adams, he has two movies on the docket in 2016: the biopic LBJ, in which he plays Lyndon B. Johnson en route to the 1963 presidency, and The Edge of Seventeen, in which he’s a beleaguered history teacher.
11 Hopefully, Scottish charmer Ewan McGregor can tear himself away from the filming of T2: Trainspotting 2 to celebrate his directorial debut: American Pastoral, based on Philip Roth’s Pulitzer-winner of the same name. He pulls double duty, also acting in the film.
12 Fans are always clamouring for the Canadian heartthrob to come home. With a lead role—and exemplary dancing and singing chops—in the romantic musical La La Land, it’s likely that he’ll at least pay a brief visit.
13 Fanning plays a young anti–Vietnam war activist in McGregor’s American Pastoral. No screening of the film would be complete without her.
14 The typically understated Maria Bello takes on another emotional role in Toronto native Bronwen Hughes’ The Journey Is The Destination, playing the mother of daring photojournalist Dan Eldon, who was stoned to death by a mob in Somalia in 1993.
15 Oscar-nominated Hailee Steinfeld may be busy touring her new album, but we’re keeping fingers crossed that she’ll stop by to promote Edge of Seventeen, a coming-of-age high school comedy shot in Vancouver.
16 Marky Mark keeps picking blue-collar do-gooder roles, and Deepwater Horizon is no different. In this retelling of 2010’s BP oil spill, Wahlberg plays a drilling rig worker dealing with the aftermath of the man-made disaster.
17 Fresh off of a successful first season on ABC’s spy drama Quantico, Priyanka Chopra will be in town as one of the seven judges at TIFFxInstagram.
18 In The Headhunter’s Calling, Gerard Butler plays a workaholic job-placement specialist trying to beat workroom rivals while catering to his family.
19 It’s a long shot, but J.T. himself might turn up to support the concert documentary JT and The Tennessee Kids, which takes us backstage with Timberlake’s big band, backup singers and dancers.
20 We haven’t seen this jokester on the big screen since last summer’s Jurassic World, but if anything would draw him out to a theatre in downtown Toronto, it would be TIFF’s opening-night film, The Magnificent Seven.
21 The master of opulence himself will be in town, probably ruling the red carpet as he promotes Nocturnal Animals, his newest directorial effort.
22 Legendary Chinese actor Zhang Ziyi will make an appearance mid-TIFF to discuss women in film and choreographing fight scenes as part of the festival’s In Conversation With… series.
23 Malek takes a break from Mr. Robot to star in Buster’s Mal Heart, his first lead role in a feature film. We’re excited for his take on this surreal mystery about a fugitive who’s trying to remember why he’s on the run in the first place.
24 Kylo Ren has laid low since his onscreen defeat in the latest Star Wars flick, but Driver’s in town to promote Paterson, in which he plays a bus driver trying to make sense of the titular New Jersey city.
25 Annie puts on a fried wig to take on an otherworldly quarter-life crisis in Colossal, in which her party-girl character stops drinking herself to oblivion when she realizes there’s a connection between herself and a rampaging monster in Seoul. (We don’t get it either.)