"In Bruges," a comic thriller about vacationing hit men, starring Ralph Fiennes, Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson, will open the 2008 Sundance Film Festival in January.

The film, which was written and directed by Martin McDonagh, will have its premiere Jan. 17 in Park City's Eccles Center. McDonagh is a multiple Tony Award nominee and playwright, and he also directed the Academy Award-winning short film "Six Shooter."

Festival director Geoffrey Gilmore described his feature-length follow-up as "a quintessential Sundance film. It's brutal, philosophical, funny and totally original." Gilmore added that McDonagh "is a masterful storyteller, a tremendously gifted playwright and provocative risk-taker, and we are thrilled to showcase his feature-length directorial debut."

McDonagh said he was "stunned and thrilled that (the movie) will be opening a festival as prestigious — and as cool — as Sundance."

The 2008 Sundance Film Festival will run through Jan. 27 in a variety of Park City and Salt Lake City locations, as well as venues in Ogden and the Sundance resort in Provo Canyon.

The festival will announce the rest of its feature-film slate after Thanksgiving. Information on ticket packages and other festival information is available at www.sundance.org/festival.