×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Damien Chazelle’s ‘First Man’ With Ryan Gosling to Open 75th Venice Film Festival (EXCLUSIVE)

Oscar-winning director Damien Chazelle’s space race drama “First Man” will open the 75th annual Venice International Film Festival, Variety has learned. The film will unspool on Wednesday, Aug. 29.

This will mark the second opening-night Venice bow for Chazelle. His previous film, “La La Land,” kicked off the fest in 2016 before cruising into the awards season and tying the all-time Oscar nominations record. Chazelle ultimately won the best-director prize at the Academy Awards, while Barry Jenkins’ “Moonlight” walked away with best picture.

A Universal Pictures release, “First Man” stars Ryan Gosling as astronaut Neil Armstrong in the years leading up to the Apollo 11 moon-landing mission of 1969. Claire Foy (Netflix’s “The Crown”) also stars as Armstrong’s wife, Janet Shearon. Kyle Chandler, Jason Clarke, Corey Stoll, Ciaran Hinds, Christopher Abbott, and Patrick Fugit fill out the rest of the cast.

“The hook was to think of it less as a biopic but as a mission movie, and to think of landing on the moon as this insane, once-in-history mission that I think we have a hard time even fathoming as a society now,” Chazelle told Variety as he was gearing up to tackle the project in early 2017. “In other words, we take it for granted, I think. At least kids of my generation, you grow up, you know that Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, you see the picture, it’s all very gleaming and you see the American flag and you feel proud, and that’s kind of it. You accept that it happened. But the challenge or the hope with this would be to try to play a little bit of a rewind and put you in a mindset where it hasn’t happened yet, and it’s the most insane thing that a group has ever come together to do.”

Other recent Venice openers have included “Downsizing,” “Everest,” “Birdman,” “Gravity,” “The Reluctant Fundamentalist,” “The Ides of March,” and “Black Swan.”

The 75th annual Venice Film Festival runs Aug. 29 – Sept. 8. Guillermo del Toro, whose Oscar-winning film “The Shape of Water” premiered in Venice last year, will head the festival jury.

More Film

  • RUDOLF NUREYEV 1961

    Film Review: 'Nureyev'

    It would be absurd to say that Rudolf Nureyev lived, or danced, in anyone’s shadow. He was a man who leapt and twirled and flew onstage, all muscle but light as a feather, with a freedom and force that reconfigured the human spirit. There’s no denying, though, that over the last few decades, and especially [...]

  • Die Kinder Der Toten review

    Film Review: 'Die Kinder Der Toten'

    The hills are alive (or rather, undead), with the sound of music (also mastication and the moaning of zombies) in Kelly Copper and Pavol Liska’s experimental, dialogue-free, home-movie-style riff on Elfriede Jelinek’s “Die Kinder Der Toten” (The Children of the Dead). A seminal text in Jelinek’s native Austria, the 1995 book has never been translated [...]

  • Idol review

    Film Review: 'Idol'

    How many twists can a plot undergo before it snaps? This, more than any of the many political, moral and personal conundrums that snake through “Idol,” seems to be the question writer-director Lee Su-jin is most interested in posing with his extravagantly incomprehensible sophomore feature. A seedy political thriller by way of grisly revenge movie [...]

  • The Last to See Them review

    Film Review: 'The Last to See Them'

    Truman Capote’s “In Cold Blood” stretches long as a late-evening shadow over Italian director Sara Summa’s feature debut “The Last to See Them.” The Italian title, “Gli Ultimi Viderli Vivere” which translates literally to “The Last to See Them Alive,” is also the heading of the opening chapter of Capote’s book. The setting is, similarly, [...]

  • Kalank

    Film Review: ‘Kalank’

    Events leading to the 1947 Partition of India serve as the forebodingly serious backdrop for the exhaustingly overextended razzmatazz of “Kalank,” writer-director Abhishek Varman’s lavish but ponderous Bollywood extravaganza, which opened in the U.S. on more than 300 screens the same day as its Indian release. Despite the preponderance of sets and costumes spectacular enough [...]

  • WGA Agency Packaging Fight Placeholder Writer

    WGA: 92 Percent of Writers Who Signed Statement of Support Have Fired Agents

    The Writers Guild of America estimated that over 92 percent of their members who support a new code of conduct for talent agencies have fired those representatives. Letters announcing formal termination will be delivered on Monday, the guild said in a late-hitting memo on Thursday, as most agencies will be closed tomorrow in observance of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content