Venice Film Fest 2007: Joe Wright's Atonement Opening Night

June 15, 2007–Joe Wright's adaptation of Ian McEwan's “Atonement” will open the 64th Venice International Film Festival. Wright's sophomore followup to “Pride and Prejudice” will world premiere on the Lido August 29 with key talent Keira Knightley, James McAvoy, Romola Garai, and Vanessa Redgrave expected to attend.

The “Atonement” launch will be followed by a gala party on the Excelsior beach thrown by the Venice Biennale and Universal Pictures.

Produced by Paul Webster, Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner for Working Title, the drama centers on a haunting mistaken accusation made by a 13-year-old girl. The film will be released by Universal on September 14 in the U.K. and December 7 in the U.S.

American pictures locked-in for Venice are Todd Haynes' Bob Dylan biopic “I'm Not There” and Ang Lee's espionage thriller “Lust, Caution.” Also highly likely to play are Paul Thomas Anderson's “There Will Be Blood,” Robert Rodriguez's “Planet Terror,” and Woody Allen's “Cassandra's Dream.”

Ken Loach's labor drama “These Times” and Eric Rohmer's “The Romance of Astrea and Celadon” are expected to be among titles. Asian entries will include Jiang Wen's “The Sun Also Rises,” and a new unspecified work by Venice Golden Lion winner Jia Zhangke (“Still Life”).

Venice's 60-title lineup will be announced July 26.