Clint Eastwood’s “J. Edgar” will have its world premiere as the opening night gala of the AFI Fest on Nov. 3.

Although past Eastwood pics have preemed at the New York Film Festival, “J. Edgar” bypassed both the New York and Toronto fests, and Warner Bros. set a Nov. 9 release, which opened the possibility of an AFI debut. Leonardo DiCaprio stars as the FBI’s founding director, with Naomi Watts, Armie Hammer and Judi Dench co-starring.

“Clint Eastwood is an American icon, one whose work as a director, actor, producer and composer not only stands the test of time but also continues to add new, rich chapters with each passing year,” said Bob Gazzale, prexy-CEO of the American Film Institute.

Eastwood received the AFI Life Achievement Award in 1996.

The 25th AFI Fest, which takes place Nov. 3-10 in Hollywood, will offer free tickets to all screenings, though only limited spots are available at galas such as the opening.