Damien Chazelle’s film about Neil Armstong will premiere in Italy, with Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma chosen for New York film festival gala

First Man, a biopic of the pioneering astronaut Neil Armstrong starring Ryan Gosling and directed by Damien Chazelle, has been confirmed as the opening film of the 2018 Venice film festival.

The slot is a highly prized, high-profile one, especially in Hollywood after a string of recent Venice openers – including La La Land, Birdman and Gravity – have gone on to Oscar glory. First Man stars Gosling as Armstrong, a former navy pilot who became the first man to walk on the moon during the 1969 Apollo 11 space mission. It will be Gosling’s second film in quick succession with Chazelle after La La Land; Gosling has a habit of repeat collaborations, having worked with Nicolas Winding Refn on Drive and Only God Forgives, and Derek Cianfrance on Blue Valentine and The Place Beyond the Pines.

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Read More Ryan Gosling astronaut biopic First Man picked to open Venice film festival

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