On its fourth day, the Sundance Film Festival is wall to wall with some of Hollywood’s best known actors and actresses — and we don’t mean the ones who show up just to party hop. While the festival can be a great launching pad for emerging filmmakers, Park City has never been shy about letting the already well known show their wares there too. It was created by Robert Redford after all. This year sees a number of famous faces and names get behind the camera with new films. As buyers begin to dig in, expect to see these marquee names generating some serious interest as they play out of their regular position. And then there’s the plethora of Oscar winners and nominees, blockbuster and TV stars and indie superstars in front of the camera — check out our comprehensive list below.
James Franco – Executive Producer, kink; Co-director, Interior. Leather Bar. - Actor, director, conceptual artist, grad student and failed Oscar host, Franco wears many hats. This year, he’s adding producer and co-director for two separate films for Sundance. Franco produced kink, a documentary directed by Christina Voros about the Internet’s biggest producer of BDSM. Franco also co-directed Interior. Leather Bar with Travis Matthews. The film seeks to re-create the 40 minutes of Gay S&M footage rumored to be cut from 1980’s Cruising staring Al Pacino to avoid an X rating. Sure the sexual subject matter of both films is similar but Franco’s ambition is wide ranging. Franco also makes an appearance in front of the camera in Interior. Leather Bar and Lovelace.
Alicia Keys – Executive Producer, The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete - The multi-platinum singer/songwriter is no stranger to cinema. More than a few films feature her tunes on their soundtracks and Keys was in front of the camera in 2006’s Smokin’ Aces. However, this Sundance is Keys’ debut as a producer. Directed George Tillman Jr. and starring Skylan Brooks, Jeffrey Wright, Jennifer Hudson and Anthony Mackie, the coming of age film could be the start of a whole new career for Keys.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt – Director/Writer, Don Jon’s Addiction – He sings, he dances, he starred in The Dark Knight Rises and Looper last year, and now Gordon-Levitt slips into the director’s role on the comedy Don Jon’s Addiction. The actor’s directorial debut, which he also wrote the script for, stars Gordon-Levitt himself as a lady’s man who begins seeking a more fulfilling emotional life. Scarlett Jonansson, Julianne Moore, Brie Larson and Tony Danza co-star in the film.
Dave Grohl – Director/Producer, Sound City - No stranger to movie soundtracks, the Foo Fighters frontman and former Nirvana drummer has now moved into the director’s chair with his debut documentary Sound City. Debuting early in the Festival, the film is about the famous Van Nuys studio where Nirvana, Neil Young, Fleetwood Mac, Tom Petty, Cheap Trick, Guns and Roses and others have recorded. Even before the Festival began, Gravitas Ventures acquired worldwide VOD to Grohl’s movie.
Julie Delpy/Ethan Hawke – Writers, Before Midnight - This one’s a bit of a cheat because the duo are actually on both sides of the camera at this year’s Sundance. Premiering tonight, the Richard Linklater directed Before Midnight sees Delpy and Hawke return to their roles as Jesse and Celine from 1995’s Before Sunrise and 2004’s Before Sunset. The onscreen duo also retuned to their off screen roles as writers. Like Before Sunset, which was nominated for a Best Adapted Screenplay, Delpy and Hawke crafted Before Midnight’s script with Linklater. This year marks the second time the trio have premiered their tale of the perpetually unfulfilled lovers to Sundance –Before Sunrise debuted at the Festival in 1995.
Ridley Scott/Tony Scott – Producer and Executive Producer, The East; Producers, Stoker - Usually more big budget than Park City, the Scott brothers are producers of two films at this year’s Sundance - The East and Stoker. Sadly, Tony Scott, who passed away on August 19, will not be there see the audience’s and the industry’s reaction to director Zal Batamanglij’s sophomore effort and Park Chan-wook’s English-language directorial debut.
Sarah Polley - Director/Writer, Stories We Tell – This isn’t the third time the Sweet Hereafter actress has gotten behind the camera. However, this documentary in the Spotlight category is the first time she’s turned the camera on her own thespian family.
Forest Whitaker – Producer, Fruitvale – The Oscar winning actor goes on the other side of the camera for this feature about the fatal shooting of 22-year old Oscar Grant on San Francisco’s BART by security guards in 2009. Starring Michael B. Jordan, The Help’s Octavia Spencer, Melonie Diaz, Ahna O’Reilly, Fruitvale marks the directorial debut of Ryan Coogler. The film is competing in U.S. Dramatic category.
Stephenie Meyer - Producer, Austenland: The Twilight Saga author has been a producer on all the blockbuster adaptations of her books but now Meyer with Austenland. The first feature from her Fickle Fish Films is an adaption of Shannon Hale’s novel about an obsessed Jane Austen fan’s search for love and visit to a theme park based on the famous author. Meyer is producing with Gina Mingacci. Robert Fernandez and Dan Levinson are executive producers. Premiering early in the Festival and starring Keri Russell and Jane Seymour, Austenland is Jerusha Hess’ directorial debut.
Related: Sundance: Stephenie Meyer Q&A
In front of the camera, Sundance has a ton of famous faces this year. A few are in more than one film and Dermot Mulroney tops everyone by starring in three – The Rambler, Stoker and jOBS.
Nicole Kidman - Stoker
Matthew McConaughey - Mud
Resse Witherspon - Mud
Steve Carell - The Way Way back
Ashton Kutcher - jOBS
Anita Hill - Anita
Scarlett Johansson - Don Jon’s Addiction
Allison Janney - The Way Way Back/Touchy Feely
Keri Russell - Austenland
Jane Seymour - Austenland
Peter Sarsgarrd - Lovelace
Sharon Stone - Lovelace
Jeffrey Wright - The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Peter
Jennifer Hudson - The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Peter
Jordin Sparks - The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Peter
The Eagles - History of the Eagles
Mia Wasikowska - Stoker
Michael B. Jordan - Fruitvale
Holly Hunter - Top Of The Lake
Elisabeth Moss - Top Of The Lake
Rupert Grint - The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman
Anthony Mackie - The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete
Hank Azaria – Lovelace
Casey Wilson – C.O.G.
Lukas Haas - jOBS
Josh Gad - jOBS
Stevie Nicks - Sound City
John Fogerty - Sound City
Brit Marling - The East
Ellen Page - The East/Touchy Feely
Ron Livingston - Touchy Feely
Rosemarie DeWitt - Touchy Feely
Patricia Clarkson - The East
Guy Pearce - Breathe In
Amy Ryan - Breathe In
Kate Bosworth - Big Sur
Josh Lucas - Big Sur
Adam Scott - A.C.O.D.
Amy Poehler - A.C.O.D.
Richard Jenkins - A.C.O.D.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead - A.C.O.D./The Spectacular Now
Catherine O’Hara - A.C.O.D.
Radha Mitchell - Big Sur
Felicity Jones - Breathe In
Ed Harris - Sweetwater
Jessica Biel – Emanuel and the Truth About Fishes
Alfred Molina - Emanuel and the Truth About Fishes
Demi Moore - Very Good Girls
Dakota Fanning - Very Good Girls
Elizabeth Olsen - Very Good Girls/Kill Your Darlings
Kristen Bell – The Lifeguard
Daniel Radcliffe – Kill Your Darlings
Ben Foster – Kill Your Darlings/Ain’t Them Bodies Saints?
Michael C. Hall – Kill Your Darlings
Jeremy Lin - Linsanity
Tony Danza - Don Jon’s Addiction
Octavia Spencer - Fruitvale
Amanda Seyfried – Lovelace
Dean Stockwell – C.O.G.
Julianne Moore - Don Jon’s Addiction
Casey Affleck – Ain’t Them Bodies Saints?
Rooney Mara - Ain’t Them Bodies Saints?
Nate Parker - Ain’t Them Bodies Saints?
Keith Carradine - Ain’t Them Bodies Saints?
Kyle Chandler - The Spectacular Now
Bill Pullman - May In The Summer
Naomi Watts - Two Mothers
Robin Wright - Two Mothers
January Jones - Sweetwater
Rutger Hauer - The Future (Il Futuro)
Paul Rudd - Prince Avalanche
Emile Hirsh - Prince Avalanche
Shia LaBeouf - The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman
Evan Rachel Wood - The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman
Jennifer Jason Leigh - The Spectacular Now
Sam Rockwell - The Way Way Back
Toni Collette - The Way Way Back
Lake Bell – In A World …
Michael Cera - Magic Magic/Crystal Fairy
Juno Temple - Magic Magic/Afternoon Delight
Kelly McGillis - We Are What We Are
Ambyr Childers - We Are What We Are
Vincent D’Onofrio - Ass Backwards
Alicia Silverstone - Ass Backwards
Jon Cryer - Ass Backwards
Rob Corddry - Hell Baby/In A World..
Demetri Martin – In a World..
Mark Hamill - Virtually Heroes
Joey Lauren Adams - Blue Caprice
Gael Garcia Bernal - No/Who Is Dayani Cristal?