When director Sacha Gervasi’s drama Hitchcock entered production this year, most assumed that we wouldn’t see the pic until next awards season. However, after getting a look at the finished film, Fox Searchlight just recently decided to throw the Anthony Hopkins-fronted pic into this year’s awards race with a November release date. Now the American Film Institute has announced that Hitchcock has been selected as the AFI Fest’s opening night film, where it will make its world premiere. The film takes place during the troubled production of legendary filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho and centers on the relationship between Hitchcock and his wife Alma Reville (Helen Mirren).
The stacked cast includes Scarlett Johansson, Jessica Biel, James D’Arcy, Toni Collette and Michael Stuhlbarg, so I’m eager to hear first impressions of the film from the festival. AFI has also chosen Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln as the festival’s closing night film, so AFI Fest is shaping up to be one hell of an event. Expect the first reactions to Hitchcock on November 1st, when it premieres at the festival. The film hits theaters on November 23rd. Hit the jump to read the full press release.
LOS ANGELES, CA, September 27, 2012 – The American Film Institute (AFI) announced today that HITCHCOCK, starring Academy Award® winner Anthony Hopkins as Alfred Hitchcock, Academy Award® winner Helen Mirren as his wife, Alma Reville, Scarlett Johansson as Janet Leigh, Jessica Biel as Vera Miles and James D’Arcy as Anthony Perkins, will have its World Premiere on Thursday, November 1, as the Opening Night Gala of AFI FEST 2012 presented by Audi. The film is directed by Sacha Gervasi and also stars Toni Collette, Danny Huston and Michael Stuhlbarg. From a screenplay by John J. McLaughlin, the film is based on the book “Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho” by Stephen Rebello. HITCHCOCK is produced by Ivan Reitman, Tom Pollock and Joe Medjuck of Montecito Picture Company, along with Tom Thayer and Alan Barnette. Fox Searchlight Pictures will release the film this November. HITCHCOCK, a love story about one of the most influential filmmakers of the last century, Alfred Hitchcock, and his wife and partner, Alma Reville, takes place during the making of the distinguished director’s seminal 1960 movie, PSYCHO.
“AFI’s history with Alfred Hitchcock is a proud one, from a Master Seminar at the AFI Conservatory in 1970 to his receiving the AFI Life Achievement Award in 1979,” said Bob Gazzale, President and CEO of the American Film Institute. “We are honored to celebrate his lasting legacy with the World Premiere of HITCHCOCK – a bloody valentine to his creative genius and the inspired woman at his side.”
“Alfred Hitchcock’s signature style has made him one of the most influential directors in the world,” said Jacqueline Lyanga, Director, AFI FEST. “This film pulls back the curtain and takes us behind-the-scenes of his lifelong collaboration with his wife Alma during the making of his 1960 masterpiece PSYCHO – it’s the perfect film to welcome our audience of movie-lovers with on opening night.”
Alfred Hitchcock has a rich legacy at the American Film Institute. He was the recipient of the AFI Life Achievement Award in 1979, the highest honor for a career in film, and four of his movies rank among the greatest films of all time on AFI’s 100 Years…100 Movies list: VERTIGO (#9), PSYCHO (#14), REAR WINDOW (#48) and NORTH BY NORTHWEST (#55). In addition, PSYCHO was ranked #1 on AFI’s list of most heart pounding American films and, in a serendipitous turn, the Norman Bates character portrayed by Anthony Perkins in PSYCHO was ranked #2 on AFI’s Top Villains list – just behind Anthony Hopkins’ Hannibal Lecter in THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS.
Producer Tom Pollock also has an accomplished history with the American Film Institute. He received a Doctorate of Communication Arts, honoris causa in 2007 from the American Film Institute’s AFI Conservatory, and he serves as a Vice Chair on the American Film Institute’s Board of Trustees, which is comprised of leaders of the motion picture and television communities. Pollock has been an AFI Trustee since 1985, serving as Chair of the AFI Board of Trustees from 1996-1999 and Chair of the AFI Board of Directors from 1999-2001.
HITCHCOCK stars acclaimed actor Anthony Hopkins, who has been honored with an Academy Award® for his lead performance in THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS and acclaimed actress Helen Mirren, who has been honored with an Academy Award® for her lead performance in THE QUEEN. Mirren also has ties with the American Film Institute – she was presented with a Doctorate of Fine Arts, honoris causa from the AFI Conservatory in 2011.