Huge stars at SXSW 2020: Kim Kardashian West, Janelle Monáe, Ozzy Osbourne, more
Kim Kardashian West! Noam Chomsky! Rashida Jones! Lulu Wang! Judd Apatow!
Is it the “Hollywood Squares” of your late-night-snack-induced dreams? A truly random Oscars red carpet array?
Nope, that’s a small sample of the high-wattage names attending South by Southwest 2020. On Tuesday, organizers revealed the sprawling spring event’s final keynote and featured speaker lineup.
Here is a sample of the big-name folks added to the keynote line-up:
• Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, aka Nine Inch Nails, who will be in conversation with ...
• “Watchmen” showrunner Damon Lindelof, for whom Reznor and Ross composed the (totally excellent) score for “Watchmen”
• St. Vincent, aka Annie Clark, who will be in conversation with Carrie Brownstein of Sleater-Kinney and “Portlandia” fame; Clark produced the most recent Sleater-Kinney album and the two will discuss their collaboration on the movie “The Nowhere Inn,” which they wrote
• Musician/actress Janelle Monáe, who recently opened up the 92nd Academy Awards and stars in the second season of Amazon’s “Homecoming” and the upcoming film “Antebellum”
• Director Lulu Wang, whose “The Farewell” was among 2019’s most critically praised films, as well as an indie box office smash
• Academy Award-winning filmmaker Michael Moore, in conversation Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters
Featured speakers and featured session participants announced Tuesday include:
• Kim Kardashian West, the biggest star on the list, will be here to discuss criminal justice reform. Kardashian West has publicly campaigned for criminal justice reform (as in the Rodney Reed case) and will discuss her upcoming documentary for Oxygen, “Kim Kardashian West: The Justice Project,” with #Cut50 co-founder and senior counsel Jessica Jackson and Momolu Stewart, who is featured in the documentary and was recently released after serving 22 years in prison.
• Director/SXSW frequent flyer Judd Apatow, whose “The King of Staten Island” had been previously announced as SXSW Film’s opening movie; Apatow will interview late-night host Stephen Colbert, who was also previously announced for SXSW.
• Black Sabbath front-legend Ozzy Osbourne and son/television star Jack Osbourne in conversation with comedian, radio personality, author and actor Jim Norton (this will likely contain swearing)
• “Black-ish” (and “-ish” expanded universe) creator Kenya Barris, in conversation with Rashida Jones about the pair’s upcoming Netflix series “#blackexcellence”
• Legendary linguist and public philosopher Noam Chomsky, in conversation with Mehdi Hassan, senior columnist at the Intercept and host of the Deconstructed podcast
• Marvel Cinematic Universe head honcho Kevin Feige, appearing with Bob Chapek, chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products
• Actor, writer, director, producer and New York Times bestselling author Jason Segel, the creator and star of the new AMC drama “Dispatches from Elsewhere”
• WarnerMedia Entertainment chair Robert Greenblatt, discussing HBO Max
• “The Good Place” actress Jameela Jamil, in conversation with Fatima Goss Graves, president and CEO of the National Women’s Law Center and co-founder of TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund
• Country singer-songwriter and previously announced SXSW Music artist Margo Price, speaking on the Creating & Monetizing Music track
• Director Spike Jonze, Academy Award-winning filmmaker and director of Apple’s upcoming documentary feature “Beastie Boys Story”
• Actress Julianne Moore, appearing on a gun safety panel with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America founder Shannon Watts, two-time WNBA champion and gun safety advocate Devereaux Peters and MSNBC political analyst and MoveOn’s chief public affairs officer Karine Jean-Pierre
• “Rick and Morty” co-creator Justin Roiland
"Today’s announcement is one of the most significant we’ve made in the 34-year history of SXSW,” said Hugh Forrest, SXSW’s chief programming officer. “The keynote and featured speakers added to the lineup are ... headed here to share the theories, strategies, and motivation behind their success.”
The SXSW Conference is organized into 22 programming tracks, covering interactive, film, music, and convergence topics and presented in a variety of session formats.
On the keynote list, also look for:
• The founder of SM Entertainment, one of Asia’s largest entertainment groups, and K-pop pioneer Soo-Man Lee will chat with Michelle Jubelirer, COO of Capitol Music Group.
• On the weed tip, Cat Packer, the executive director of the Los Angeles Department of Cannabis Regulation, will chat with Kelly Perez, president and co-founder of Cannabis Doing Good and KindColorado.
Also on deck as featured speakers or appearing in featured sessions: Showtime hosts and podcast stars Desus Nice and the Kid Mero; “A Black Lady Sketch Show” star and creator Robin Thede, in conversation with Fast Company associate editor KC Ifeanyi;David Simon, creator of the HBO series “The Wire” and upcoming limited HBO series “The Plot Against America"; film critic Leonard Maltin with his daughter and co-host of the ”Maltin on Movies“ podcast, Jessie Maltin; Jaboukie Young-White, “The Daily Show“ correspondent; Steve Ballmer, former Microsoft CEO and founder of the non-partisan and non-profit USAFacts; U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon, founder of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, in conversation with Politico federal cannabis policy reporter Natalie Fertig; Tim Draper, venture capitalist and leading spokesperson for bitcoin; Guru Gowrappan, CEO of Verizon Media; Holly Herndon, electronic musician and composer; Shinichir Watanabe, anime and film director; and Franklin Leonard and Kate Hagen, ”The Black List Podcast“ co-hosts.
There’s plenty more, from the rise of mature-viewers animation to health and wellness to border issues to gun safety. Check sxsw.com for more.