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Robert Downey Jr. film 'The Judge' will open Toronto film festival

TORONTO - The verdict is in — "The Judge," starring Robert Downey Jr., will open this year's Toronto International Film Festival.

The film, directed by David Dobkin, was already unveiled as part of the festival lineup earlier this week.

But on Friday, festival officials announced it will be the opening night feature at the annual movie marathon on Sept. 4.

Downey Jr. also posted the news on his Facebook page along with a photo of himself and his wife, producer Susan Downey, holding an image of the Canadian flag.

The Oscar-nominated star plays a big-city lawyer who returns to his childhood town where his father, a judge played by Robert Duvall, is a murder suspect.

Co-stars include Vera Farmiga, Vincent D'Onofrio, Jeremy Strong, Dax Shepard and Billy Bob Thornton.

Festival director and CEO Piers Handling calls it "a moving, textured story about family, duty and the way we remember our past."

Dobkin was first at the fest 15 years ago, when he screened his debut film "Clay Pigeons."

Downey Jr. says he's "thrilled" "The Judge" will open the fest.

"Such an honour to kick off this 10-day event for audiences who are true fans of cinema," he wrote on his Facebook page.

The Toronto film fest runs Sept. 4 to 14.

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