Looper to launch Toronto film festival

Bruce Willis in Looper Bruce Willis has called Rian Johnson's film "better than anything I've ever done"

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Time-travel thriller Looper will launch this year's Toronto International Film Festival in Canada on 6 September.

Directed by Rian Johnson, it features Dark Knight Rises actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt as an assassin ordered to kill an older version of himself.

Bruce Willis and Britain's Emily Blunt co-star in the science-fiction film, to be released in the UK on 28 September.

It is one of a number of titles to have its world premiere at the event, which runs this year until 16 September.

Others include Cloud Atlas, an adaptation of the David Mitchell novel starring Hugh Grant and Halle Berry that was partly shot in Scotland.

Ben Affleck drama Argo, about the rescue of US diplomats from Iran in 1979, will also make its debut.

So will an adaptation of Salman Rushdie's 1980 Booker winner Midnight's Children, directed by India's Deepa Mehta.

New versions of Dickens's Great Expectations, Tolstoy's Anna Karenina and Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing are also in the line-up.

Helena Bonham Carter in Great Expectations Helena Bonham Carter appears in the latest Great Expectations adaptation

Toronto is now the leading film festival in North America and often serves as a launch pad for high-profile awards contenders.

The event runs concurrently with the Venice Film Festival in Italy, which opens on 29 August with Mira Nair's film of 2007 novel The Reluctant Fundamentalist.

That film will also screen at Toronto, as will Jayne Mansfield's Car - a family drama from the actor and film-maker Billy Bob Thornton that was seen earlier this year at Berlin.

Another actor turned film-maker - one Dustin Hoffman - will unveil his directorial debut Quartet during the busy Toronto showcase.

Costa-Gavras, Neil Jordan, Robert Redford and David O Russell are among the other notable directors to have films in the programme.

The festival will also feature documentaries about Marilyn Monroe and the late Monty Python member Graham Chapman.

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