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Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach in, Ridley Scott out

May 10, 2010 |  3:23 pm

1 Just days before the Cannes Film Festival opens with Russell Crowe in "Robin Hood," festival organizers announced that they have invited director Ken Loach's Iraq war drama "Route Irish" into the competition. But one person who won't be in the French Riviera to see the British filmmaker's new film: fellow countryman and "Robin Hood" director Ridley Scott.

The 72-year-old Scott, who teamed with Crowe in the Oscar-winning "Gladiator," recently underwent knee replacement surgery. "My recovery has been slower than I'd hoped," Scott said in a statement. "Truly, doctor's orders are the only thing that could keep me from being there."

He said the Universal film's lead actors, including Cate Blanchett, and producer Brian Grazer will be able to attend the Wednesday night premiere.

"My disappointment is tempered by the fact that Brian, Russell, Cate and the rest of the cast will be on hand to represent the film. I send them all my best wishes in opening this year's festival with our film," Scott said.

The historical epic opens theatrically in many European territories after its Cannes premiere and in the United States on Friday.

The 73-year-old Loach only recently completed "Route Irish," which focuses on a private contractor looking into a friend's wartime death and was written by frequent screenwriting collaborator Paul Laverty.1

He's a fixture at Cannes, having won the festival's top prize with 2006's "The Wind That Shakes  the Barley." 

A year ago, Loach brought "Looking for Eric" to the festival; that IFC Films release premieres in New York on Friday -- opposite "Robin Hood."

 -- John Horn

Photo (top): Russell Crowe in "Robin Hood."  Credit: David Appleby / Universal Pictures

Photo (bottom): Ken Loach. Credit: Pierre-Philippe Marcou

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