Edward Norton's 'Motherless Brooklyn' to Open Rome Film Fest

The writer/director/producer/star will also participate in an Encounter talk at the event.

Edward Norton's new film Motherless Brooklyn will open the 14th Rome Film Fest on Oct. 17. 

The three-time Oscar nominee wrote, produced, directed and starred in the film, based on the novel by Jonathan Lethem. 

Motherless Brooklyn is a magnificent noir, in the tradition of the finest classic cinema," said Rome Film Fest director Antonio Monda. “Edward Norton displays a firm hand and unblinking eye in directing this eternal story of ambition, corruption and racism. It is a great honor to open the Rome Film Fest with a film of such quality.”

After the premiere, Norton will participate in a traditional Rome Film Fest Close Encounter, where Monda will discuss Norton's wide-ranging career through a series of film clips. 

“Italian cinema has had an enormous impact on my own tastes and aspirations as a filmmaker,” said Norton in a statement. "And so to have my film open the fest in Rome is truly a fantasy made real."

"I believe, though this is an American epic and a New York noir," he continued, "that Italian audiences will quickly feel the resonance of the themes within their own recent experience.”

In Motherless Brooklyn, Norton plays Lionel Essrog, a private detective with Tourette's syndrome who sets off through 1950s New York, from the jazz clubs in Harlem to the slums of Brooklyn, to solve the murder of his mentor Frank Minna. 

Bruce Willis, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Bobby Cannavale, Cherry Jones, Michael Kenneth Williams, Leslie Mann, Ethan Suplee, Dallas Roberts, Josh Pais, Robert Ray Wisdom, Fisher Stevens, Alec Baldwin and Willem Dafoe also star in the film. The film opens in the U.S. on Nov. 1 from Warner Bros. Pictures. 

The Rome Film Fest runs Oct. 17-27.