Jane Campion’s The Power of the Dog, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst and Jesse Plemons, will reportedly premiere in competition at the Venice Film Festival.
The news was broken today in Variety, though the festival has declined to comment.
Produced by See-Saw Films, Brightstar, BBC Films, Big Shell Films and Max Films, the Netflix original is written by Campion and based on the 1967 novel by Thomas Savage.
Set in the 1920s, the film follows Cumberbatch and Plemons as brothers Phil and George Burbank, who own the biggest ranch in the Montana valley.
When George secretly marries local widow Rose (Dunst), a shocked and angry Phil wages a relentless war to destroy her, using her effeminate son Peter as a pawn.
Also starring are Kodi Smit-McPhee, Thomasin McKenzie, Frances Conroy, Keith Carradine, Peter Carroll and Adam Beach.
The Power of the Dog is Campion’s first feature since 2009’s Bright Star. It was shot in New Zealand, produced by See-Saw Films’ Emile Sherman and Iain Canning with Roger Frappier of Max Films, Campion and Bright Star’s Tanya Seghatchian.
The cinematographer is Ari Wegner, editor Peter Sciberras, production designer Grant Major, costume designer Kirsty Cameron and casting directors Nikki Barrett, Tina Cleary, Carmen Cuba, and Nina Gold.
Campion won the Venice Grand Jury Prize in 1990 with An Angel at My Table. However, she is a Cannes regular and remains the only woman to have ever won the Palme d’Or for 1993’s The Piano.
Variety reports that the film was invited to premiere out of competition at Cannes, as the festival’s rules dictate that it can’t invite films to premiere in competition if they don’t have a French theatrical release planned. However, Netflix opted to have the film premiere in competition in Venice instead.
Netflix has the worldwide rights excluding the UK. Transmission Films will distribute theatrically in Australia and New Zealand.
IF reached out to See-Saw Films, who declined to comment.
Venice International Film Festival will run in-person September 1-11.