PARIS • 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 film looks set to miss out.
Unveiling the line-up for the 72nd edition of the world's most important cinema showcase, festival director Thierry Fremaux described the selection as a "romantic and political" mix highlighting a colourful array of characters, from the walking dead to painters to 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.
The movie, starring Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio and Margot Robbie, was still in post-production, organisers said.
"Quentin Tarantino's film is not ready. It had been flagged prematurely, repeatedly, by newspapers... It's a shame because it builds up expectations and, of course, there is excitement... but he is sprinting (to finish)," Mr Fremaux told a news conference, adding there was a slim chance it could make the line-up.
The May 14 to 25 festival will kick off with Broken Flowers (2005) 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 American town under siege from zombies has already raised expectations, thanks to 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 he has repeatedly worked with, including Penelope Cruz and Antonio Banderas, tracks the travails of a film-maker.
Terrence Malick, whose long-delayed The Man Who Killed Don Quixote finally aired at Cannes last year, will also enter the competition with A Hidden Life, a historical drama set against the backdrop of World War II.
Outside the competition, Elton John biopic Rocketman, starring Taron Egerton, will be one of the highlights of the screenings, with the award-winning singer set to attend.