The trade rumble is that Guillermo Del Toro’s The Shape of Water, which appears to be more of a personal-scale Pan’s Labyrinth-type deal than anything he’s made since Pan’s Labyrinth, may be going to the Venice Film Festival. That’s good — gentle-souled Guillermo needed to step out of that realm of big-ass fanboy movies with big-ass, Comic Con-friendly production values.

I’ll admit that I was hoping that Darren Aronofsky‘s mother! would be included as a Venice/Telluride thing, even though that piece-of-my-heart JLaw poster strongly hinted that mother! is some kind of intense, high-style genre film, albeit possibly outside the box in this or that respect. Generally speaking films of this nature are rarely given a Venice/Telluride launch, although I wanted to see it happen for my own perverse reasons. The opening has been advanced from 10.13 to 9.15.

Martin McDonaugh‘s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri may also debut in Venice, they’re saying. But as noted on 7.19, it may not stage its North American continent debut in Telluride but Toronto. The rural drama seems like a perfect Telluride thing + a nice stateside complement to a possible Venice launch, but maybe Toronto offered a big first-weekend gala. We’ll hear soon enough.

HE readers will recall that I posted a favorable research-screening response last March to George Clooney’s Suburbicon. If it’s indeed as fetching as the research-screening guy said it was, a slot at the Venice Film Festival would be in order. The two questions that follow, of course, are (a) will it go to Telluride also or (b) will Paramount be pulling a Fox Searchlight and giving it a possible Toronto debut?

Alexander Payne‘s Downsizing was previously confirmed for Venice, which also means a likely Telluride launch.

I don’t know from Andrew Haigh‘s Lean On Pete, Paul Schrader‘s First Reformed, Lucrecia Martel’s Zama or Abdellatif Kechiche‘s Mektoub Is Mektoub. Forget Denis Villeneuve‘s Blade Runner 2049 going to Venice or Tellruide — more likely Toronto. Our Souls At Night, the Robert Redford-Jane Fonda romantic reunion Netflix release, will be enjoying a “go easy” out-of-competition Venice debut.