Ryan Gosling's new movie about Neil Armstrong is set to open the Venice Film Festival.

The 37-year-old actor will play the first man to walk on the Moon in the biographical film, titled 'First Man', and it's now been announced the movie will open this year's festival in the Italian city.

Director Damien Chazelle - who previously worked with Ryan on the award-winning 'La La Land' - has revealed he wants to show ''just how radical, crazy and controversial the whole mission was''.

He told the BBC: ''What's the psychology it takes to be the individual taking those first steps? At a time when a lot of people think it will be a failure that will potentially cost your life?

''I became fascinated by Neil, and in what must have been going through his head in the months and years leading up to that mission - and how superhuman it was.''

In recent years, a number of acclaimed movies have opened the festival, including 'Birdman' and 'Black Swan', and this year's edition begins on August 29.

Meanwhile, Ryan previously explained how films have shaped his personality and his outlook on life.

The Hollywood star revealed: ''When I saw 'Dumbo' and 'The Elephant Man' - I felt like those films were smashing down some wall inside of me and creating a room called empathy.

''And being very grateful for having seen those films even though they were painful, and the idea of watching them again was scary, because I didn't know that I wanted to feel those things again, but it did feel different after seeing them. Like they had exposed some part of myself to me that I didn't know was there.''