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'Birdman,' with Michael Keaton as a former action star, will open Venice Film Festival

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(Read caption) 'Birdman' stars Michael Keaton.

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The movie “Birdman,” starring Michael Keaton as an actor best known for playing a superhero who is now starring in a Broadway play, will reportedly open the Venice Film Festival and close the New York Film Festival.

“Birdman” stars Keaton as actor Riggan Thompson, who signs on to direct and star in a Broadway production of Raymond Carver’s play “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love” in an attempt to move past his famous role. However, he must also simultaneously contend with a conceited stage actor (Edward Norton) and struggle to get along with his daughter (Emma Stone). The movie also stars “Muppets Most Wanted” actor Zach Galifianakis as well as Naomi Watts, “The Office” actress Amy Ryan, and Andrea Riseborough of the movie “Oblivion.” 

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The director, Alejandro González Iñárritu, was previously behind such films as the 2006 movie “Babel” and the 2010 film “Biutiful.”

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The movie will be released in the US on Oct. 17, but will open the Venice Film Festival next month, according to Reuters. It will close the New York Film Festival in October, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Keaton, of course, portrayed Batman in the 1989 film of the same name, opposite actor Jack Nicholson as the Joker. He reprised his role in the 1992 sequel “Batman Returns” with actor Danny DeVito as the Penguin and Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman. Stone is also no stranger to superhero movies, having starred in 2012’s “The Amazing Spider-Man” and “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” which was released this past May. Norton portrayed Bruce Banner, also known as the Hulk, in the 2008 movie “The Incredible Hulk.”

However, Keaton told Entertainment Weekly that audiences shouldn’t only focus on the superhero aspect of the film. “It’s less about a guy who played a superhero in big hit movies than it is about exploring the human soul and psyche, and also where we are as a society today and how much importance we place on those kinds of things,” he said.