'Legion' on the march

Epic sets world premiere for Venice

"The Last Legion," an ancient Rome-set war story starring Ben Kingsley and Colin Firth, will have its world premiere at the 64th annual Venice Film Festival, organizers said Thursday.

The film, based on a novel by Valerio Massimo Manfredi and directed by Doug Lefler, centers on military leader Romulus Augustus (Firth), who makes a perilous trip to Britain to find a lost legion of supporters.

With the addition of "Legion," the Venice program is slowly coming into focus.

In recent days, it was revealed that "Sleuth" — a Kenneth Branagh-directed thriller starring Michael Caine and Jude Law — will screen in competition.

It was previously announced that the world premiere of "Blood Brothers," Alexi Tan's 1930s-era action film, will be the closing-night film and that the Keira Knightley-Vanessa Redgrave starrer "Atonement," based on Ian McEwan's Booker Prize-winning novel, will open the Aug. 29-Sept. 8 festival.

The full program will be revealed at the end of July.