'Birdman' to open Venice Film Festival

NEW YORK (AP) — Alejandro Inarritu's "Birdman," starring Michael Keaton, will open the 71st Venice Film Festival.

Festival organizers announced Thursday that the film, whose full title is "Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance," will premiere Aug. 27 at the annual Italian festival.

In the black comedy, Keaton plays an actor famous for portraying an iconic superhero who is trying to mount a Broadway play. The movie also stars Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton, Emma Stone and Naomi Watts.

Inarritu's previous films include "Babel," ''Amores Perros" and "21 Grams."

One of the most anticipated movies of the fall, Fox Searchlight will release "Birdman" in North America on Oct. 17.

The Venice Film Festival runs August 27 through September 6.

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