The star's upcoming Western will premiere at the Venice Film Festival

By Stephen M. Silverman and Mike Fleeman
Updated August 23, 2007 03:20 PM

The trailer for Brad Pitt‘s new Western, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, has just ridden into town.

The movie, which stars Pitt as the outlaw James and Casey Affleck as Ford (who was also an outlaw), was shot in Canada in 2005. It will hold its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival (which runs from Aug. 29 to Sept. 8) and then play the Toronto Film Festival. The movie opens in the U.S. on Sept. 21.

Meanwhile, the picture’s premiere location is stirring up some dust: The citizens of St. Joseph, Mo., want Warner Bros. to open the film in their town, reports the Kansas City Star.

Why? Although Pitt grew up in Springfield, Mo., St. Joseph is where the real-life Jesse James was gunned down, in 1812. (The town’s slogan is, “Where the Pony Express Began and Jesse James Ended.”)

“Please bring Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck to Northwest Missouri,” the St. Joseph Convention and Visitors Bureau states on a petition on its Web site. “This is where the history behind your movie took place, and we feel it is an absolutely appropriate location for a premiere screening.”

So far, the town has made no progress with the request, reports the newspaper, which quotes bureau spokeswoman Beth Conway as saying, “It started as a joke. We were discussing ways we could get attention from the studio in showcasing the film. But it’s been difficult to get to the powers that be.”

As for Pitt, he and his Ocean’s 11, 12 and 13 cohort George Clooney are about to begin shooting a new movie together, the Coen brothers’ Burn After Reading.

Its location is as far from the Old West as a guy can get: Brooklyn, N.Y.