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Russell Crowe, 'Man of Steel' on Tap for Sicily's Taormina Film Fest

Man of Steel Horizontal - H 2013
Warner Bros.

The screening of "Man of Steel" is part of a long tradition of Hollywood summer blockbusters using the Taormina event as a launching pad.

ROME -- Oscar winner Russell Crowe will be a guest of honor at the 59th edition of the Taormina Film Festival, part of an opening-night extravaganza that will feature the Italian premiere of Zack Snyder’s interpretation of the Superman franchise, Man of Steel.

The June 15 screening of the $225 million blockbuster will be part of a wider European launch for the film, which will have gone into wide release in the U.S. and a handful of other territories only in the previous two days. The screening will take place in Taormina's signature Teatro Antico venue, a 2,400-year-old amphitheater that is transformed into a cinema each year for the festival .

Snyder will join Crowe in Taormina, along with Henry Cavill, who plays Superman and Clark Kent in the film, Amy Adams, who plays Lois Lane, and Antje Traue, who plays the role of Faora, a villain.

Crowe, who won an Oscar for his lead role in Gladiator in 2001, and has two other Oscar nominations to his credit, plays Jor-El, Superman’s father.

The role as part of a launching pad for summer blockbuster films is not a new one in Taormina, which has in recent years hosted major launches for Transformers, Kung Fu Panda 2, Toy Story 3 and Pixar’s Brave.

It was previously announced that actresses Meg Ryan and Renata Litvinova, of Russia, would attend the event, which concludes June 22.

Taormina is under the artistic directorship of Mario Sesti, who took over the troubled festival amid budget issues a year ago. Tiziana Rocca, the festival’s general manager, is back for a second year as well. Previous to the arrival of Sesti and Rocca, Taormina had been run by The Hollywood Reporter’s chief European film critic, Deborah Young, for five years.

Twitter: @EricJLyman