The verdict is in: "The Judge" will open this year's Toronto International Film Festival on Sept. 4.
The David Dobkin-directed drama stars Robert Downey Jr. as a big-city lawyer who returns to his childhood home for his mother's funeral only to have his estranged father (Robert Duvall), the town's judge, become suspected of murder before he leaves.
Billy Bob Thornton, Vera Farmiga, Vincent D'Onofrio, Dax Shepard and Jeremy Strong co-star in the film from Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow. It opens Oct. 10.
"The Judge" was announced as part of the TIFF lineup earlier in the week and bumped up to the opening slot on Friday. The film will make its world premiere at the fest, which runs Sept. 4-14.
"The stars aligned and we are thrilled to announce that we will kick off the festival with 'The Judge,'" said Piers Handling, director and CEO of the festival. "David Dobkin has delivered a moving, textured story about family, duty and the way we remember our past. We couldn't have asked for a better start to this year's event."
In recent years, TIFF has struggled to find the right tone for its opening. After spotlighting Canadian films for years, the fest recently switched to Hollywood premieres, with mixed results.
Two years ago, TIFF opened with Rian Johnson's "Looper," which was more a savvy genre movie than a prestige picture. Last year's opener, the Wikileaks drama "The Fifth Estate," proved to be a critical and box-office disappointment.