Kung Fu Panda, Indy 4 to Bow in Cannes

DreamWorks Animation’s upcoming feature Kung Fu Panda is set to make its worldwide premiere at the 61st edition of the Cannes Film Festival (May 14-25). In recent years, the glamorous Cannes Fest event has been good to DreamWorks Animation feature such as the Shrek 2, Over the Hedge, Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. Just last year, Jerry Seinfeld promoted the studio’s 2007 Bee Movie by flying down over the Croisette in a giant bee costume, tethered to a wire suspended from the roof of the Carlton Hotel.

Kung Fu Panda features an all-star voice cast including Jack Black, Angelina Joile, Dustin Hoffman, Jackie Chan, Lucy Liu, Seth Rogan and Michael Clarke Duncan in the story of a lazy panda bear who must find his inner hero. Set in ancient China, Kung Fu Panda centers on Po the Panda (Black), a lowly waiter in a noodle restaurant who gets a chance to take his Kung Fu fanaticism to a whole new level when a prophesy names him the “Chosen One” to protect his land from powerful enemies. The pic is directed by John Stevenson, who helmed episodes of DreamWorks’ animated NBC series Father of the Pride, and Mark Osborne, second unit director on Paramount/Nickelodeon Movies’ The SpongeBob Squarepants Movie and the Oscar-nominated director of the 1999 short, More. Melissa Cobb is producing. The movie opens stateside on June 6.

As expected, Steven Spielberg’s highly anticipated Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull will also get its world premiere on Sunday, May 19. Also getting good early buzz is Clint Eastwood’s The Changeling (starring Angelina Jolie), which is appearing in competition and Steve Soderbergh’s double-movie-bio of Che Guevara’The Argentine and Guerrilla. You can find more info about the French festival’s lineup at www.festival-cannes.fr.