Damien Chazelle's 'La La Land' to Open Venice Film Festival

La La Land

The film, a modern take on the classic Hollywood musical, stars Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling, John Legend and J.K. Simmons.

Damien Chazelle's La La Land, starring Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling, John Legend and J.K. Simmons, will open this year's Venice International Film Festival, organizers announced Friday.

The pic, a tribute to the golden age of U.S. musicals, will make its world premiere in competition on Aug. 31.

Chazelle's follow-up to his 2014 multi-Oscar-winning debut Whiplash features Gosling as a jazz pianist who falls for Stone, an aspiring actress, in modern-day Los Angeles. As success mounts, they are faced with decisions that begin to fray the fabric of their love affair.

Chazelle directed from his own script. The project reteams the filmmaker with Simmons, who won a best supporting actor Oscar for his turn as a sadistic drum teacher in Whiplash.

Fred Berger, Gary Gilbert, Jordan Horowitz and Marc Platt produced La La Land for Lionsgate in partnership with Black Label Media, Gilbert Films, Imposter Pictures and Marc Platt Productions. Lionsgate and Summit Entertainment have pushed back the U.S. release of the film from July to December to better position it for awards season.

"La La Land is a film that does not merely reinvent the musical genre, it gives it a brand-new start," Venice artistic director Alberto Barbera said in a statement. "If Whiplash was the revelation of a new filmmaker, La La Land is his definitive, albeit precocious, consecration among the great directors of Hollywood's new firmament."