Photo by Alan Markfield. © 2012 Looper, LLC

Rian Johnson's latest, Looper, will open the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival, Variety reported this morning. The film, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis and Emily Blunt, is Johnson's third feature following his 2005 debut Brick and then The Brothers Bloom in 2008.

The news from up north today signals the beginning of a more serious season of cinema that takes shape each September in Toronto.

Among other anticipated new movies on the Toronto International Film Festival roster, according to Variety, are Terrence Malick's To The Wonder, Ben Affleck's Argo, David O. Russell's Silver Linings Playbook, Derek Cianfrance's The Place Beyond the Pines, and Liz Garbus' new documentary, Love, Marilyn.

The Hollywood trade paper reported a list of nearly three dozen more films that will have their world premiere at the Canadian film festival, running September 6 – 16. Situated after Europe's Locarno and Venice film fests later this summer and right on the heels of Labor Day weekend's Telluride fest, TIFF is a massive showcase for international movies. It historically launches press and industry right into the competitive end-of-year movie season. 

The Film Society's New York Film Festival kicks off fall less than two weeks after Toronto's fest wraps, celebrating its 50th Anniversary September 28 – October 14. 

Mira Nair's The Reluctant Fundamentalist, which will open the Venice Film Festival at the end of August—and many more films—are also set for this year's Toronto International Film Festival. The Playlist has a longer look at the first round of TIFF 2012 titles. More will be announced in the weeks leading up to the festival.