EW Staff
April 17, 2009 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Last Big Film: Herbie: Fully Loaded (2005)
New Movie: The Merry Gentleman, in which he plays a melancholic hitman who builds an unusual friendship with a woman (Kelly Macdonald) on the run from her abusive husband.
Why Now? Keaton, 57, who also lent his voice to 2006’s Cars, has said he was moved by Gentleman’s casual spirituality — then decided to make his directing debut after screenwriter (and presumptive director) Ron Lazzeretti fell ill prior to production. ”He really wanted to get that stillness and the quiet intimacies of these two people,” says Macdonald (Choke).
Release Date: May 1

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