Birdman, directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu, will open this year’s Venice Film Festival. The movie stars Michael Keaton as a washed-up actor famous for having played an iconic superhero as he tries a Broadway play and restore his reputation. The movie also stars Edward Norton, Emma Stone, Andrea Riseborough, Naomi Watts, Zach Galifianakis, and Amy Ryan.
Birdman’s Venice premiere dovetails nicely with last year’s opening movie, Gravity—which Alfonso Cuaron, a good friend of Iñárritu’s, directed. And both Gravity and Birdman were shot by Emmanuel Lubezki. However, while Gravity did not compete in the festival’s competition, Birdman will.
This is Iñárritu’s second movie at Venice. In 2003, Sean Penn in Iñárritu’s 21 Grams won the Volpi Cup for Best Actor at the festival. Three of Iñárritu’s other features have premiered at Cannes, where he won the Best Director prize in 2006 for Babel.
The Venice Film Festival begins on August 27th. Birdman will be released in U.S. theaters by Fox Searchlight on October 17th.