Fox Searchlight and Regency Enterprises have positioned their Alejandro Iñárritu dark comedy in a prime awards season slot.

Birdman aka The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance will go on limited released on October 17 and roll out internationally in January 2015.

Given the autumn release date and the fact that the film is unlikely to be completed until late May or June, an autumn festival berth seems most likely. Worldview Entertainment is co-financing with Searchlight and Regency Enterprises.

Cannes launched Iñárritu’s 2000 breakout Amores Perros, as well as Babel in 2006 and most recently Biutiful in 2010. 21 Grams premered at Venice in 2003.

Michael Keaton stars in the tale of an actor famous for once playing an iconic superhero who attempts to recover himself, his career and his family as he struggles to put on a Broadway play.

The ensemble includes Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton, Andrea Riseborough, Amy Ryan, Emma Stone and Naomi Watts.

Iñárritu co-wrote the screenplay with Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris Jr and Armando Bo.

The director also produced Birdman with John Lesher, Arnon Milchan and James W Skotchdopole.