Coens to canals

Spy spoof 'Burn After Reading' will premiere as opener of Venice festival

Joel and Ethan Coen's "Burn After Reading," their follow-up to the Oscar-winning "No Country for Old Men," will have its world premiere as the opener of the Venice Film Festival.

The dark spy comedy stars John Malkovich as an ousted CIA operative whose memoirs fall into the hands of two gym workers who set out to exploit their find. The film also stars George Clooney, Tilda Swinton, Brad Pitt and Frances McDormand.

The screening will follow the Aug. 27 opening ceremony for the 65th edition of the Venice event. The festival runs through Sept. 6.

"Burn After Reading" is a Working Title production, produced, written and directed by the Coen brothers. Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner and Robert Graf are the film's executive producers.

Venice officials said the film will open in the U.K. a week after its Venice screening. The U.S. premiere will follow on Sept. 12. (partialdiff)