10 July 2014 4:00 AM, PDT | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

The 71st Venice Film Festival has announced that it will launch on August 27 with the world premiere of Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu's "Birdman Or The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance". The film stars Michael Keaton as an actor who first achieved fame for playing an iconic superhero struggling to mount a Broadway play and battling his ego and demons in the days leading up to the opening night. The trailer for Iñárritu's black comedy has been stirring up plenty of buzz since it was unveiled online last month. "Birdman" reportedly takes place in real time and unfolds in a series of long, uninterrupted takes. Keaton is joined in the cast by Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton, Andrea Riseborough, Amy Ryan, Emma Stone and Naomi Watts. The film will be screened in competition on August 27 in the Sala Grande of the Palazzo del Cinema at the Lido, following the opening ceremony hosted by Luisa Ranieri. »

- Matt Mueller

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