‘Birdman’ to Open Venice Film Festival

Michael Keaton in Birdman

Alejandro Gonzalez inarritu’s black comedy is one of awards season’s most hotly awaited films

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu‘s “Birdman or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance” will open the 71st Venice International Film Festival, kicking off awards season with the first of the major fall festivals.

Venice organizers announced the booking on Thursday, landing one of the most eagerly awaited of the fall’s movies for a high-profile slot. The film stars Michael Keaton, Zach Galifiakanis, Edward Norton and Emma Stone, and is a black comedy about an aging actor known for playing a superhero as he tries to mount a Broadway play.

See video: ‘Birdman’ Teaser: A Peeved Michael Keaton Wrestles Ed Norton in His Undies (Video)

Inarritu’s last film, “Biutiful,” was nominated for Oscars for Best Foreign Language Film and Best Actor (Javier Bardem). His other films include “Babel,” “Amores Perros” and “21 Grams.”

“Birdman” will screen on August 27 in the Sala Grande of the Palazzo del Cinema. It will be released in the United States on Oct. 17.