Robert Downey Jr.'s 'The Judge' to open TIFF

Robert Downey, Jr. in The Judge. (Courtesy WarnerBro)

Robert Downey, Jr. in The Judge. (Courtesy WarnerBro)

Jim Slotek, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:19 PM ET

Auteurs assemble!

Sometime Iron Man, Robert Downey Jr. will open the Toronto International Film Festival Sept. 4 by exercising his acting muscles in David Dobkin's The Judge.

The drama, from Wedding Crashers director David Dobkin, stars Downey as Hank Palmer, a big city lawyer who returns to his birthplace to find his father – the town judge (Robert Duvall) – suspected of murder.

Taking on his father's defence, Palmer digs into small town secrets, and faces truths about himself and his decision to walk away from his family years before.

The Judge also stars Vera Farmiga, Vincent D'Onofrio, Jeremy Strong, Dax Shepard and Billy Bob Thornton.

"David Dobkin has delivered a moving, textured story about family, duty and the way we remember our past," TIFF director and CEO Piers Handling said in announcing the event. "We couldn't have asked for a better start to this year's event."

For his part, Dobkin credits TIFF with helping kickstart his career. "I brought my first film, Clay Pigeons, to Toronto, so 15 years later to actually be on opening night with The Judge is incredibly special and thrilling," Dobkin said.

Downey took to Facebook to share his enthusiasm for returning to Toronto (he was last here with Kiss Kiss Bang Bang in 2005). “The Mrs. and I are thrilled to share that the Toronto International Film Festival has officially selected "The Judge" as its OPENING NIGHT film. Such an honour to kick off this ten-day event for audiences who are true fans of cinema. #TIFF14.”

The Toronto International Film Festival runs September 4-14, 2014.

Previously announced films for this year's fest include Antoine Fuqua's The Equalizer with Denzel Washington, Bennett Miller's Foxcatcher with Steve Carell and Channing Tatum, Edward Zwick's Pawn Sacrifice, starring Tobey Maguire and Liev Schreiber as legendary chess opponents Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky, and Philippe Falardeau's The Good Lie and Jean-Marc Vallee's Wild, both starring Reese Witherspoon. 

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