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Riggan Thomson hopes that by spearheading an ambitious new Broadway play he will, among other things, revive his moribund career. In many ways, it is a deeply foolhardy move, but the former cinema superhero has high hopes that this creative gambit will legitimize him as an artist and prove to everyone - and himself - that he is not just a Hollywood has-been. With the play's opening night looming, Riggan's lead actor is injured by a freak accident during rehearsals and needs to be replaced quickly. At the suggestion of lead actress Lesley and the urging of his best friend and producer Jake, Riggan hires Mike Shiner - a loose cannon who is guaranteed to sell tickets and get the play a rave review. As he preps for the stage debut, he must deal with his girlfriend and co-star Laura, his fresh-from-rehab daughter and personal assistant Sam, as well as his ex-wife Sylvia, who appears every so often to check-in with the intent to stabilize things.