Political thriller to kick off fest on Aug. 31

George Clooney’s “The Ides of March” has been tapped as the opening film of the 68th Venice Film Festival on Aug. 31.

Fest hasn’t made an official announcement but a source not authorized to speak for the event confirmed the selection Monday.

Sony’s dated the political thriller for an Oct. 7 limited release. Clooney directed from a script he co-wrote with Grant Heslov. He also stars in the film, which is based on the Broadway play “Farragut North,” written by Beau Willmon.

Pic centers on a young press spokesman, played by Ryan Gosling, who falls prey to backroom politics. Philip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti, Marisa Tomei Jeffrey Wright and Evan Rachel Wood are also starring.

Sony nabbed U.S. distribution rights to “March” in November, with Exclusive Media Group handling overseas distribution.

Venice competition berths have been set previoulsy for Roman Polanski’s “Carnage,” David Cronenberg’s “A Dangerous Method,” Russian auteur Aleksandr Sokurov’s “Faust,” the fourth and final installment in his “Men of Power” series, and Philippe Garrel’s “Un ete brulant” (A Burning Hot Summer).

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