The Edinburgh International Film Festival has today announced that the latest film by The French Connection and The Exorcist director William Friedkin, the “shockingly cool and blackly comic” noir thriller Killer Joe will open the festival this June.
Killer Joe will be the Opening Gala for the 66th edition of the festival on Wednesday, 20 June. The EIFF runs from 20 June to 1 July 2012.
The film stars Matthew McConaughey, Emile Hirsch, Juno Temple, Gina Gershon and Thomas Haden Church.
EIFF artistic director Chris Fujiwara said: “We’re delighted to be opening this year’s Festival with Killer Joe.
“For my first year as artistic director, I intend to deliver a diverse programme that will spotlight filmmaking of real artistic distinction. William Friedkin’s exhilarating, intense, and brilliantly crafted film is absolutely in keeping with this ambition.”
The film will have its UK premiere at Edinburgh’s Festival Theatre, with William Friedkin and cast in attendance, before opening nationwide on June 29.
Friedkin said: "Killer Joe is about the Good and Evil in everyone, the struggle for our better angels to triumph over our demons. Often lost. The thin line between the policeman and the criminal.
“It's also a riff on the Cinderella story, wherein she finds her prince, but he turns out to be a hired killer.
“I would also like to thank the Edinburgh International Film Festival for honouring our film with this screening, uncut, of a film the Motion Picture Association of America has expressed a desire to censor.”
In the film 22 year-old Chris Smith (Emile Hirsch) is a drug dealer down on his luck, though things are about to go from bad to worse when he hires the unexpectedly charming hit man Killer Joe (Matthew McConaughey) to murder his own mother for her $50,000 life insurance policy.
With barely a dollar to his name Chris agrees to offer up his younger sister, Dottie (Juno Temple) as sexual collateral in exchange for Joe’s services until he receives the insurance money. That is, if it ever does come in.
Killer Joe will be released by Entertainment One on June 29. As previously announced, EIFF’s Closing Gala will be the European premiere of Disney-Pixar’s Brave on June 30.