NYFF: Robert Zemeckis' 'The Walk' Selected as Opening-Night Film

The 3D film, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, will make its world premiere on Sept. 25.

Robert Zemeckis' The Walk will make its world premiere as the opening-night film at the 2015 New York Film Festival. The 3D true story stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as French high-wire artist Philippe Petit.

The true story is based on Petit's memoir, To Reach the Clouds, about his experience walking between the Twin Towers in 1974.

The film is the second 3D movie selected to play on the opening night of the festival, after Ang Lee's Life of Pi, which opened the festival in 2012.

"The Walk is surprising in so many ways. First of all, it plays like a classic heist movie in the tradition of The Asphalt Jungle or Bob le flambeur — the planning, the rehearsing, the execution, the last-minute problems — but here it’s not money that’s stolen but access to the world’s tallest buildings," NYFF director and selection committee chair Kent Jones said in a statement. "It’s also an astonishing re-creation of Lower Manhattan in the ’70s. And then, it becomes something quite rare, rich, mysterious… and throughout it all, you’re on the edge of your seat.”

The movie also marks Zemeckis' first return to the festival since Flight, which was the closing-night film at the 2012 festival.

“I am extremely honored and grateful that our film has been selected to open the 53rd New York Film Festival. The Walk is a New York story, so I am delighted to be presenting the film to New York audiences first," Zemeckis said. "My hope is that Festival audiences will be immersed in the spectacle, but also to be enraptured by the celebration of a passionate artist who helped give the wonderful towers a soul.”

Sony Pictures Entertainment motion picture group chairman Tom Rothman added: “On behalf of TriStar and Sony, I want to thank Kent and the NYFF for this great honor. The Walk is a love letter to the Twin Towers, which through the unique magic of cinema, come back to vibrant, inspiring life. But it is also a universal story of the determined pursuit of impossible dreams, told by one of our greatest living filmmakers, and the NYFF has always been a place where such dreams come true.”

Sony Pictures also released the first trailer for The Walk, which co-stars Ben Kingsley, James Badge Dale, Ben Schwartz, Steve Valentine, Charlotte Le Bon, Clement Sibony, Caesar Domboy and Benedict Samuel. Zemeckis wrote the screenplay along with Christopher Browne and produced the film with Steve Starkey and Jack Rapke.

The 53rd New York Film Festival runs from Sept. 25 to Oct. 11.

The Walk hits theaters on Oct. 2.

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