The organisers of the Cannes Film Festival have announced that the opening film of this year’s festival will be the highly anticipated Jim Jarmusch zombie film, The Dead Don’t Die.
Its big-name cast features Bill Murray, Adam Driver, Chloë Sevigny, Tilda Swinton, Danny Glover, Tom Waits, Iggy Pop and Steve Buscemi, many of them previous collaborators of Jarmusch. It’s set in the fictional city of Centerville, whose residents have to fight to survive when the dead rise from their graves and attack the living.
Like last year’s opening film, Asghar Farhadi’s Everybody Knows, The Dead Don’t Die will also be screening in the official competition, so it will be in the running for the most prestigious prizes in Cannes, including the Palme d’Or for Best Film.
It’s unusual for Cannes to open with a film that will both feature in competition and appeal to a mainstream English-language audience, which means this year’s opening night is likely to attract more media attention than in recent years.
The Festival programmers say The Dead Don’t Die – the thirteenth feature film from Jarmusch – “stands as not just a humorous and sometimes scary subversion of the genre, but also a tribute to cinema itself.”
Jarmusch won the Caméra d’Or for the best first film at Cannes in 1984 with Stranger than Paradise – the first of four of his works to be honoured at Cannes. He was most recently in Cannes in 2016 with two films in the Official Selection; Paterson, starring Adam Driver, was part of the official competition, while the Iggy Pop documentary Gimme Danger screened as part of the Midnight Screenings strand.
The opening night screening of the 72nd Cannes Film Festival, in the Grand Théâtre Lumière on 14th May, will be the film’s world premiere.