MARGARET QUALLEY, Jesse Plemons, and Willem Dafoe in a scene from Kinds of Kindness, directed by Yorgos Lanthimos. — IMDB

BERLIN — Directors Francis Ford Coppola, David Cronenberg, and Yorgos Lanthimos will compete for the Cannes Film Festival’s top prize next month, organizers said last week, easing concerns that strikes in Hollywood might dim the star-studded event.

Mr. Coppola will bring his long-in-the-making passion project Megalopolis, starring Adam Driver, to the competition, while Mr. Lanthimos teams up with Emma Stone after the success of Poor Things with Kinds of Kindness, and Mr. Cronenberg will pull in horror fans again with The Shrouds starring Vincent Cassel.

Last year marked a difficult one in Hollywood as strikes by actors and writers forced filming and post-production work to shut down for months, leaving gaps in 2024’s movie schedule.

Other directors unveiling their new films in competition include Italy’s Paolo Sorrentino with the Naples-set Parthenope, Brazilian Karim Ainouz’s erotic thriller Motel Destino, and France’s Jacques Audiard with Emilia Perez, a musical set in the milieu of a Mexican drug cartel starring Selena Gomez.

Several films take inspiration from real-life figures, including exiled Russian director Kirill Serebrennikov’s Limonov – The Ballad about the late Russian dissident and writer Eduard Limonov.

With The Apprentice, Iranian-Danish director Ali Abbasi, known for Holy Spider, looks at Donald Trump’s early years as a real estate tycoon, with Sebastian Stan of superhero movie fame playing the former US president.

And Rumours, a dark comedy out of competition, features Cate Blanchett channeling the likes of European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen at a Group of Seven (G7) meeting that goes awry.

This year also marks the return of several big-name Chinese directors after a four-year gap due to the COVID pandemic, festival director Thierry Fremaux told journalists.

They will include Cannes veteran Jia Zhangke in the main competition with Caught by the Tides, and Peter Chan’s She Has No Name screening out of competition.

Several big-name actors are making a Cannes appearance, including Richard Gere, Uma Thurman, and Jacob Elordi, who all star in director Paul Schrader’s competition film Oh, Canada, as well as Hollywood icons Nicolas Cage and Demi Moore.

The festival will kick off on a lighter note with the previously announced opening film The Second Act, a French comedy directed by Quentin Dupieux and starring Lea Seydoux.

Coming off the resounding success of last summer’s Barbie, US director Greta Gerwig will head this year’s jury.

Organizers had built up anticipation for this year’s line-up by announcing George Miller’s new Mad Max film and a Western starring Kevin Costner would be premiering.

In addition, Hollywood legend George Lucas is set to walk Cannes’ seaside Croisette to receive an honorary Palme d’Or this year.

The 2024 festival runs from May 14-25. — Reuters