Zombies to star at Cannes Film Festival, but no Netflix or Tarantino

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Bill Murray fighting off zombies and an Elton John biopic tracking the singer’s early days will be among the highlights at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, though Quentin Tarantino’s hotly-anticipated latest outing looked set to miss out.

Unveiling the line-up for the 72nd edition of the cinema showcase, festival director Thierry Fremaux described the selection as a “romantic and political” mix highlighting a colorful array of characters, from the walking dead to painters and migrants.

One major name not to make the list, however, was Tarantino, whose “Once Upon A Time In Hollywood” was hotly tipped to make it to the festival, held in May on the French Riviera.

The movie, starring Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Margot Robbie, was still in post-production, organizers said.

“Quentin Tarantino’s film is not ready... but he is sprinting” to finish it, Fremaux told a news conference, adding there was a slim chance it could yet make the line-up.

“I wish him luck, I wish him to be ready, I wish above all that he will make a beautiful film, what I’ve seen of it so far is magnificent,” Fremaux said.

The May 14-25 festival will kick off with US director Jim Jarmusch’s latest film, “The Dead Don’t Die.”

One of the 19 contenders for the Palme d’Or top prize, the tale of a small town under siege from zombies boasts a star-studded cast including Murray, Tilda Swinton, Iggy Pop, Danny Glover, and Selena Gomez.

Spanish director Pedro Almodovar - who presided over the jury at Cannes two years ago, a spot handed this year to Mexico’s Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu - will also be in contention for the top award with “Pain and Glory.”

The movie, which reunites actors Penelope Cruz and Antonio Banderas, tracks the travails of a filmmaker.

Britain’s Ken Loach, 82, who won the Palme D’Or in 2016 with “I, Daniel Blake,” returns with “Sorry We Missed You.”

Terrence Malick will also enter the competition with “A Hidden Life,” set against the backdrop of World War Two.

Newcomers in contention include France’s Justine Triet with “Sibyl” and Senegalese-French director Mati Diop’s “Atlantique.”

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