The Ides of March, a near-future political film based on Beau Willimon’s play Farragut North, will open the Venice International Film Festival on August 31. It’s the first film directed by George Clooney since 2008’s Leatherheads, and stars Clooney himself as a presidential candidate and Ryan Gosling as the candidate’s press secretary. The film is set during the Democratic presidential primaries in Ohio; the cast also includes Paul Giamatti, Marisa Tomei, and Philip Seymour Hoffman. (Busy year for Clooney — he’ll also be baiting Oscar with a midlife-crisis performance in Alexander Payne’s The Descendants.)

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