We’ve been assuming all along that Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu‘s Birdman would debut stateside at Telluride but now I’ve heard it really is happening — no ifs, ands or maybes. Another confirmed Telluride “get “, I’m hearing, is Werner Herzog‘s Queen of the Desert, a dramatic biopic about “British traveller, writer, archaeologist, explorer, cartographer and political officer” Gertrude Bell (Nicole Kidman).

There’s also convincing chatter about Paul Thomas Anderson‘s Inherent Vice, David Fincher‘s Gone Girl and Chris Nolan‘s Interstellar debuting at the New York Film Festival, although the most recent buzz says that Interstellar could play Telluride first. But the other two are thought to be NYFF exclusives.

I’m also hearing that the anti-Telluride Al Capone hardball tactics attempted by Toronto Film Festival honcho Cameron Bailey (as generally reported last January) haven’t had much effect. I’ve felt all along that it’s mostly a good thing if high-profile titles are bumped toward the the middle or end of the second week in Toronto, as this would force people to stay longer and otherwise avoid the increasingly irksome bottleneck of the first weekend.

There’s a feeling, in fact, that Bailey’s attempt to force distributors to make either-or choices has kind of backfired. Nobody really likes going to Toronto anyway. It’s still necessary to attend, of course, but if anything Telluride’s hand is even stronger these days.