'The Walk' to step out as New York Film Festival opener

Joseph Gordon-Levitt's 'The Walk' will open the New York Film Festival in September

"The Walk," Robert Zemeckis' 3-D drama starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt as World Trade Center wire-walker Philippe Petit, will make its world premiere opening this year's New York Film Festival on Sept. 25, organizers announced Thursday.

Based on Petit's memoir "To Reach the Clouds," the film recounts how the French tightrope artist and a crew of collaborators sneaked up to the top of the Twin Towers in 1974 and rigged a cable between them so Petit could take a 110-story stroll. (Many film fans will know Petit's story from the Oscar-winning 2008 documentary "Man on Wire.)

Sony will release "The Walk" under its TriStar label Oct. 2. The NYFF runs Sept. 25 through Oct. 11.

Back in 2012 Zemeckis closed the festival, which has become a key stop on the awards-season campaign trail, with his addiction drama "Flight." That film went on to earn Oscar nominations for lead actor Denzel Washington and screenwriter John Gatins. The same year, "Life of Pi" became the first 3-D film to open the NYFF; "The Walk" is the second.

In the announcement, festival director Kent Jones called Zemeckis' new film "surprising in so many ways" and said it "plays like a classic heist movie in the tradition of 'The Asphalt Jungle' or 'Bob le flambeur' … It's also an astonishing re-creation of Lower Manhattan in the '70s. And then, it becomes something quite rare, rich, mysterious."

TriStar also unveiled the full trailer for "The Walk," which is embedded at the top of this post.

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