Ryan Gosling’s upcoming film First Man, a biopic about pioneering astronaut Neil Armstrong, has been selected to open the 2018 Venice Film Festival.

The movie sees Gosling portraying Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, in telling the story of the Apollo 11 mission in 1969.

It also marks the second time that Gosling has worked with director Damien Chazelle in quick succession, after they enjoyed huge success with La La Land a little under two years ago. Indeed, that film opened VFF back in 2016.

Claire Foy, who has won tons of critical acclaim for her portrayal of the young Queen Elizabeth II in Netflix’s ‘The Crown’, will star as Armstrong's wife Janet, while Corey Stoll and Lukas Haas will portray his fellow astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins respectively.

Ryan GoslingRyan Gosling's 'First Man' is to open VFF 2018

First Man is set to be released in American cinemas on October 12th, and will take its world premiere bow at the 75th Venice Film Festival on August 29th.

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“I wanted to look at just how radical, crazy and controversial the whole mission was,” director Chazelle, who also helmed the superb Whiplash, told BBC News about First Man in June.

“What's the psychology it takes to be the individual taking those first steps? At a time when a lot of people think it will be a failure that will potentially cost your life? I became fascinated by Neil, and in what must have been going through his head in the months and years leading up to that mission - and how superhuman it was.”

The announcement seems to have fired the starting gun for the awards season race. The opening slot of the Venice Film Festival has been an increasingly coveted one for competing studios, as a number of films that have opened the festival in recent years, such as La La Land, Birdman and Gravity, later went on to secure Oscars glory.

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