Viola Davis' new movie 'Widows' is to open the BFI London Film Festival.

The 52-year-old actress has a starring role in the Steve McQueen-directed crime film, and it's been confirmed that the premiere of 'Widows' - which is based on Lynda La Plante's female-led TV series - will open this year's annual film festival in the UK capital.

McQueen said: ''I am absolutely delighted that 'Widows' will be opening this year's BFI London Film Festival.

''Watching the UK TV version of Lynda La Plante's original thriller as a teenager in the 80s had a major impact on me and so it feels very special to be sharing this film with a UK audience.''

The movie boasts a star-studded cast that also includes the likes of Michelle Rodriguez, Colin Farrell, Robert Duvall and Liam Neeson.

And the festival organisers are delighted that 'Widows' is having its premiere in London on October 10.

Tricia Tuttle, the BFI London Film Festival artistic director, explained: ''This is scintillatingly rich storytelling from a magnificent filmmaker, probing issues around race, class and gender, while always delivering immense style and crackingly sharp thrills.''

Meanwhile, Viola recently bemoaned pay inequality within Hollywood, arguing that her status as one of the movie industry's most talented stars hasn't been reflected in her earnings.

Speaking earlier this year, the Oscar-winning actress explained: ''I have a career that's probably comparable to Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore, Sigourney Weaver.

''They all came out of Yale. They came out of Julliard, They came out of NYU. They had the same path as me, and yet, I am nowhere near them - not as far as money, not as far as job opportunities, no where close to it.

''I have to constantly get on that phone to hustle for my worth.

''People say, 'You're a black Meryl Streep. You are and we love you.' ... 'Well, then if there's no one like me. You pay me what I'm worth.'''