We always had a feeling that Birdman was going to be good. It has a lot going for it. Babel’s Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu is behind the camera for a start – and the cast is probably one of the most impressive and intriguing line-ups in recent years: Michael Keaton, Edward Norton, Zach Galfianakis, Emma Stone and Naomi Watts.

Michael Keaton BirdmanMichael Keaton in 'Birdman'

Oh, and then there’s the plot. Birdman tells the story of a washed-up actor (Birdman) who once played an iconic superhero (Yeah, we know) and must overcome his own ego and family troubles as he mounts a Broadway play in a bid to reclaim his past glory.

Norton – still one of the world’s finest actors – plays an egotistical lead stage actor who disrupts Keaton’s attempt to launch his play – an adaptation of Raymond Carver’s What We Talk About When We Talk About Love. Emma Stone – who plays Gwen Stacy in The Amazing Spider-Man – plays Keaton’s daughter,  an actress who has just gotten out of rehab and who is hired as an assistant by her father.

Edward Norton BirdmanMichael Keaton [L] and Edward Norton [R] in 'Birdman'

The new trailer looks gorgeous and Inarritu appears to have brought all the dark class of 21 Grams and Amorres Perros into a more fantastical New York setting. There’s also some humour in there to offset the moodiness.

Birdman has been pencilled in for October 17, 2014 – sort of Oscar-bait territory – and unless this one turns out to be a complete let-down, we imagine Inarritu and his gang will be getting invited to all the major awards shows later this year. At the minute, the bookmakers haven’t really acknowledged Birdman for Best Picture at the Oscars and the betting appears to be focusing on Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher – with Steve Carell and Channing Tatum – and Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice.

Scroll for the Birdman trailer, and some shiny stills, 

Emma Stone BirdmanEmma Stone plays Michael Keaton's daughter in 'Birdman'

Zach Galifianakis Birdman
Zach Galifianakis also appears in 'Birdman'

A weird bird, in 'Birdman'

Watch the trailer for Birdman: