It didn’t debut at Venice or Telluride and won’t be sneaking at Toronto or the New York Film Festival, but Clint Eastwood’s “J. Edgar” has found a home; AFI FEST 2011. The American Film Institute announced this morning that “J. Edgar” will open the 25th installment of the festival on Nov. 3.
An original screenplay by Dustin Lance Black, Eastwood’s “J. Edgar” biopic features Leonardo DiCaprio as the controversial FBI Director as well as Naomi Watts, Armie Hammer and Judi Dench. The film is said to explore the public and private life of one of the most feared men of the 20th Century.
In a statement released by AFI, Bob Gazzale, President and CEO of the American Film Institute noted, “Clint Eastwood is an American icon – one whose work as a director, actor, producer and composer not only stands the test of time, but also continues to add new, rich chapters with each passing year. What a gift it is to be going to the movies when Clint Eastwood is making them, and what an honor it is for the American Film Institute to premiere his latest contribution to America’s cultural legacy.”
The annual Hollywood festival has become an awards season staple and cemented its status as an Academy stomping ground when it landed the world premiere of “The Fighter” last year.
Eastwood is no stranger to the American Film Institute. He was the recipient of the AFI Life Achievement Award in 1996 and , moreover, his films have appeared on the annual AFI AWARDS top ten list four times since 2000 “Mystic River,” “Gran Torino,” “Letter from Iwo Jima” and “Million Dollar Baby.”
AFI Fest 2011 will run Nov. 3-10 at the Hollywood and Highland complex. Most films will debut at the historic Chinese Theater. The festival will once again use the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel as its home base.
“J. Edgar” opens in limited release on Wed., Nov. 9 and expands nationwide on Friday, Nov. 11.