'Truth is funnier than anything': the life of Preston Sturges told by his son

In a revealing new biography, Tom Sturges looks back on the life of his writer-director father despite barely knowing him

“If ever a plot needed a twist, this one does.” That’s one of the most arch, and celebrated lines in Preston Sturges’ Sullivan’s Travels. It’s great comic story that’s both about storytelling, and about comedy itself – that precious quality of laughter, which “isn’t much, but it’s better than nothing in this cockeyed caravan”. Recently, Tom Sturges, the writer-director’s youngest son, discovered that his own father’s life story was in need of a plot twist. The result is a new book, co-authored by Tom, called Preston Sturges: The Last Years of Hollywood’s First Writer-Director.

Related: Preston Sturges: how a master of daftness conquered Hollywood

Indonesia Selects Controversial ‘Memories of My Body’ as Oscar Contender
Indonesia Selects Controversial ‘Memories of My Body’ as Oscar Contender

Memories of My Body,” directed by Garin Nugroho, has been selected to represent Indonesia at the Academy Awards in the international feature film category (previously best foreign-language film). The announcement was made Tuesday by actress Christine Hakim representing the Indonesian Film Selection Committee.

The fact-based film depicts the story of a young man from a dance troupe that performs Lengger Lanang, a folk dance from central Java usually performed in pairs, with men often taking both male and female roles. It is based on the real story of Rianto, a dancer who was abused as a child, explored masculinity and femininity while growing up, and endured traumatic experiences, discrimination and violence. Rianto himself plays the dancer as an adult and narrates the film.

It has proved deeply controversial with Islamic religious groups, which labeled it “deviant” and “promoting Lgbt values.” It was banned in five provinces.

Despite that stigma, the

Inconceivable! Rumour of The Princess Bride remake sends fans into pit of despair

Cary Elwes sums up reaction: ‘There’s a shortage of perfect movies in this world. It would be a pity to damage this one’

There’s no official news that a Princess Bride remake is in the works – don’t panic – but the mere mention of the idea has been descended on by fans of the original, with the actor Jamie Lee Curtis, the film’s original star Cary Elwes, and even the Us senator Ted Cruz among those declaring it “inconceivable”.

The drama began with a Variety profile of the film’s producer Norman Lear. In the article, Sony Pictures Entertainment’s chief executive, Tony Vinciquerra, was quoted as saying: “Very famous people whose names I won’t use, but they want to redo The Princess Bride … Not a month goes by when we don’t have an idea coming from some very big name wanting to do things with Norman.

‘Tezuka’s Barbara’ and ‘A Beloved Wife’ Head for Tokyo Festival Competition
‘Tezuka’s Barbara’ and ‘A Beloved Wife’ Head for Tokyo Festival Competition

Two Japanese films, “Tezuka’s Barbara” and “A Beloved Wife” have been selected for the main competition section of next month’s Tokyo International Film Festival.

The festival will reveal the remainder of the competition and the bulk of its other selections later this month. To date the Japanese festival has only revealed its opening film a gala screening of Japanese film “Talking The Pictures,” directed by Masayuki Suo, and Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman” as its closing event.

“Barbara” is an adult-oriented fantasy tale, directed by Makoto Tezka who adapts his father Osamu Tezka’s famous novel, itself a reimagining of “The Tales of Hoffmann.” The story deals with the erotic and bizarre experiences of a novelist whose life is turned upside down by a mysterious girl named Barbara, and touches on taboos including forbidden love, eroticism, scandal and the occult.

Tokyo festival selector Yoshi Yatabe called it: “extremely luxurious and fortunate filmmaking,

LevelK boards Finnish comedy ‘Games People Play’ (exclusive)
LevelK boards Finnish comedy ‘Games People Play’ (exclusive)

Cast includes The InnocentsLaura Birn; project presented at Finnish Film Affair’s works in progress this week.

LevelK has acquired world sales rights for Jenni Toivoniemi’s Finnish comedy Games People Play.

Venla Hellstedt and Elli Toivoniemi produce for Finland’s award-winning female-focused production company Tuffi Films, whose credits include 2019 Berlinale Crystal Bear winenr Stupid Young Heart. The deal marks the first collaboration between LevelK and Tuffi.

Jenni Toivoniemi makes her feature film debut following award-winning shorts such as The Date and The Committee.

Games People Play is a bittersweet comedy about a group of thirtysomething friends regressing to

‘Friends’ Anniversary: Behind-the-Scenes of TV’s Most Caffeinated ‘Comfort Food’
‘Friends’ Anniversary: Behind-the-Scenes of TV’s Most Caffeinated ‘Comfort Food’

In 2014, I published a book called “Sitcom” that served as a history of the American situation comedy, covering the gamut from “I Love Lucy” to the present day. For that work, I wrote a chapter on “Friends,” rewatching the entirety of the series and appreciating its warmth and its acidic vigor. I felt like I’d said my piece.

Then I came across this story in the New York Times about high-school kids watching “Friends” on Netflix and shipping Ross and Rachel, as if this were a hot new series and not a two-decade-old show. Some combination of the series’ streaming debut and the internet’s unstinting love for “Friends” helped it find an entirely new audience, and I wanted to tell the full story of the show for everyone who was only just discovering it now, as well as the fans who had tuned in for the first episode

Vincenzo Natali to Open Sitges Pitchbox (Exclusive)
Vincenzo Natali to Open Sitges Pitchbox (Exclusive)

Like Ron Perlman in 2018 and Guillermo del Toro the year before, Canadian writer-director Vincenzo Natali, whose new Netflix film, an adaption of Steven King’s “In the Tall Grass” will innaugurate October’s Sitges Film Festival, is lined up to open this year’s Sitges Pitchbox, organized in by Barcelona-based platform Filmarket Hub. The Sitges Pitchbox take place Oct 4.

One of Canada’s most prominent genre filmmakers, Natali hit the international scene running with 1997’s “Cube,” a bloody low-budget cult classic that broke records for a Canadian horror film and won best film at that year’s Sitges Festival. Herreturned to the main competition at the Catalan fest in 2002 with “Cypher,” and in 2010 directed Canada’s highest-grossing English-language film “Splice,” which starred Adrien Brody and Sarah Polley.

His extensive body of work includes turns on some of the most popular genre TV series of the last two decades as well,

‘It’ star Nicholas Hamilton joins UK drama ‘Brave The Dark’ (exclusive)

He stars alongside Jarred Harris in the film, directed by Damian Harris.

Nicholas Hamilton whose credits include It and Captain Fantastic, has joined the previously announced Jarred Harris in the cast of Gfm Films’ UK drama Brave The Dark.

Damian Harris (brother of Jared), whose credits include Gardens Of The Night, is directing the film, which is written by Lynn Robertson Hay & Dale G Bradley, from an original screenplay by John P Spencer.

The film is based on a true story of a wayward student and the teacher who tries to help him.

It will shoot in Lancaster County, USA,

New ‘Halloween’ Sequels Will Bring Back “All the Characters Whose Lives Were Affected” By the Original Movie
New ‘Halloween’ Sequels Will Bring Back “All the Characters Whose Lives Were Affected” By the Original Movie

What will happen in the upcoming new Halloween sequels, Halloween Kills, and Halloween Ends? We know that Jamie Lee Curtis is coming back, and we also know from casting news that several other characters from John Carpenter’s original are back as well. Now, Curtis is offering the tiniest bit of insight into what we can expect when Michael […]

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Just Days After Its Death, MoviePass May Be Resurrected

Four days. That’s the all-too-short amount of time we all lived in a world in which we could finally stop thinking about MoviePass, the movie ticket subscription company that changed the game in Hollywood but quickly shat the bed because of epic mismanagement within the company. But those four blissful days were interrupted this morning […]

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Amazon Studios to shoot ‘The Lord Of The Rings’ series in New Zealand

J A Bayona set to direct first two episodes.

Amazon Studios has confirmed that its The Lord Of The Rings series will shoot in New Zealand, with production set to begin in Auckland “in the coming months,” according to the streaming platform.

Local reports first suggested in July that Amazon was close to a deal to shoot in New Zealand, where Peter Jackson shot his The Lord Of The Rings feature trilogy at the end of the 90s. The features led to a huge investment in the local production industry and provided a long-lasting boost to New Zealand tourism.

Pre-production

Alejandro Landes Was Carried On A Stretcher Out Of The Jungle Making ‘Monos’ [Podcast]

There have been many films with legendary tales of extreme conditions. Movies that lost their sets to dust storms in the desert or numerous other natural disasters. It’s rare, however, that you can feel that visceral danger the cast and crew were experiencing on screen. Director Alejandro Landes would likely insist no one was actually in “danger” shooting “Monos” in the vast extremes of Columbia, but speaking to the Four Quadrant podcast he admits jumping from the high altitude mountains to the hot and humid jungle wrecked havok on everyone involved, including himself.

Continue reading Alejandro Landes Was Carried On A Stretcher Out Of The Jungle Making ‘Monos’ [Podcast] at The Playlist.

TV Business Roundup: Peacock Unfurls and WarnerMedia Spends, Yep, Big for ‘Big Bang’

Today in streaming news: NBCUniversal announced the name and initial content slate for its upcoming streaming service, and WarnerMedia reportedly shelled out at least several hundred million dollars to secure the exclusive streaming rights to “The Big Bang Theory” on HBO Max. Bazinga!

But first, the NBCUniversal streaming service. Its name is Peacock, and the ad-supported platform’s launch projects include a reboot of the sci-fi classic “Battlestar Galactica,” which will be executive produced by Sam Esmail (“Mr. Robot”). Not much is known about the series, but Deadline reported that Esmail is major fan of “Battlestar Galactica” and was eager to work on a project in the franchise as part of the four-year deal he signed with NBCU earlier in the year.

As for Peacock itself, pricing, distribution, and a specific release date are still under wraps. That said, NBCU teased a handful of other original shows that will air

Superhero Bits: ‘Batman: The Animated Series’ Easter Egg in ‘Joker’, Life-Size Batman Lego Model & More

Who was the first character to die in Marvel Comics? Want to see a clip of Batman guest starring on Scooby-Doo and Guess Who? What reference is there to Bamtan: The Animated Series in Joker? Where will Bat signals shine for Batman Day on September 21? How can you win $10,000 in a contest sponsored […]

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Jamie Bell Joins Michael B. Jordan in ‘Without Remorse’ Adaptation (Exclusive)
Jamie Bell Joins Michael B. Jordan in ‘Without Remorse’ Adaptation (Exclusive)

Jamie Bell is in final negotiations to join Michael B. Jordan in Paramount’s adaptation of the Tom Clancy novel “Without Remorse.”

Stefano Sollima, who most recently helmed “Sicario: Day of the Soldado,” is directing from a script by “Sicaro” screenwriter Taylor Sheridan.

As previously announced, Jordan is starring as operations officer John Clark, also known as John Terrence Kelly, a former Navy Seal who goes to work for the CIA.

Bell will play Robert Ritter, the deputy director of operations at the CIA who was a major character in the Clancy universe and helped recruit Kelly into the CIA. Ritter has a presence in several Clancy novels including “Clear and Present Danger,” which was also adapted into a movie by Paramount.

Paramount plans to build a franchise around Jordan’s portrayal of Clark. In addition to “Without Remorse,” the actor will also lead “Rainbow Six” with production scheduled for

Composer Benjamin Wallfisch Signs With Gorfaine/Schwartz Agency
Composer Benjamin Wallfisch Signs With Gorfaine/Schwartz Agency

Composer Benjamin Wallfisch has signed with the Gorfaine/Schwartz Agency (Gsa) for worldwide representation, in partnership with London-based agency Cool Music Ltd.

A top composer, whose scoring credits include “It Chapter Two,” Shazam!” Hellboy,” “Hidden Figures” and “Hostile Planet,” among others, Wallfisch has worked on over 75 feature films and is a member of the BAFTA and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. In April, Wallfisch was featured in Variety‘s Billion Dollar Composer series.

The Gsa roster includes such noted composers as John Williams, Thomas Newman, James Newton Howard and Michael Giacchino, among others.

Said Michael Gorfaine in announcing Wallfisch’s signing: “Ben is an enormously talented composer and musician, and we are truly delighted to welcome him to the Gsa family.”

“We are greatly looking forward to working with Ben as he continues to build what is already a very impressive career in film music,” added Samuel Schwartz.

‘Dickinson’ Adds John Mulaney as Henry David Thoreau
‘Dickinson’ Adds John Mulaney as Henry David Thoreau

John Mulaney will wax poetic as Henry David Thoreau in Dickinson, the new Apple TV+ series that asks: “What if Emily Dickinson was a wild party animal who got rowdy with all her hot friends?” Specific details about Mulaney’s part are non-existent at this point, but Thoreau, the author of Walden (among other things) was Dickinson’s 5th cousin […]

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Nick Wolfhard on ‘The Last Kids on Earth’ and the Future of Netflix’s Adventurous Series

The Last Kids on Earth are here to save the day! The animated adaptation of Max Brallier's hit children's graphic novel series arrived on Netflix today in the form of a one-hour special. The series follows 13-year-old Jack Sullivan (Nick Wolfhard) and his band of middle-schoolers who live in a decked-out tree house, play video games, and battle zombies in the aftermath of the monster apocalypse. It’s a hilarious adventure filled with crazy gadgets and a lifetime supply of action, and it’s just the first taste of what’s to come …

UK, France to launch 'Ad Astra' global box office mission this week
UK, France to launch 'Ad Astra' global box office mission this week

First Man, Arrival grossed $18m, $21m in same bucket of markets.

Fox’s space thriller Ad Astra starring Brad Pitt takes off via Disney in 82% of the international arena this weekend with the exception of Russia, Italy and Brazil.

James Gray’s latest film arrives from Venice where it earned strong reviews and heads into the UK and France on Wednesday (18), Australia, Germany and South Korea on Thursday, and Spain, Mexico and Japan on Friday.

When Damien Chazelle’s First Man opened in the same bucket of markets it grossed $18m at current rates, while Denis Villeneuve’s Arrival managed $21m.

‘Good Boys’ Digital and Blu-ray Release Date, Details Revealed

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment has announced when Good Boys will be released on digital, Blu-ray, and DVD. The mid-budget R-rated comedy stars Jacob Tremblay, Brady Noon, and Keith L. Williams as a group of pre-teens whose attempts to prepare for their first kissing party go hilariously and disastrously awry. Thanks to a press release from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment, we know Good Boys arrives on digital on October 29. It will later be released on DVD, Blu-ray, and On Demand on November 12. Directed by Gene Stupnitsky, this comedy has done well in theaters since …

‘Fantastic Four’ Duo Reunite as Jamie Bell Joins Michael B. Jordan in ‘Without Remorse’

Is Paramount getting the Fantastic Four back together again? In short, no, not least of all because those rights are owned by Disney, but the studio is nearing a deal to have Jamie Bell join Michael B. Jordan in Without Remorse, so those hoping for a Ff sequel will have to settle for that reunion. Stefano Sollima (Sicario: Day of the Soldado) is directing the adaptation of the Tom Clancy novel, which boasts a script by Sicario scribe Taylor Sheridan. Jordan is set to play operations officer John Clark, aka John Kelly, a former Navy Seal who goes to work …

Brad Pitt’s 10 Best Performances
Brad Pitt’s 10 Best Performances

This shouldn’t be news to anyone by now, but Brad Pitt is having a bit of a year. We probably should have seen it coming — after all, this is a guy who’s never been satisfied with his own legend.

After emerging as a sex symbol and exploding to become one of the movies’ biggest names, Pitt could have run out the clock as a fading star who showed up to collect a check whenever the price was right. But towards the end of the last century, it started to become clear that he wasn’t interested in being remembered as a tabloid cover model. Roles in films like “True Romance” and “Se7en” revealed a curious actor who was happy to test the boundaries of his talent, and his work in “Fight Club” and “Ocean’s Eleven” found him weaponizing his star power in arrestingly different ways. The parts

‘Without Remorse’ Will Mark a ‘Fantastic Four’ Reunion Between Jamie Bell and Michael B. Jordan

While most of us would probably rather forget that Fox’s 2015 Fantastic Four film exists, we’re about to see two of that movie’s cast members reunite. Former Ben Grimm/The Thing actor Jamie Bell is the latest to join the Without Remorse cast, meeting up with former Johnny Storm/The Human Torch actor Michael B. Jordan, who’s leading […]

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‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’ Sound Artist Breaks Down the Insane Noises of the Manson Murders
‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’ Sound Artist Breaks Down the Insane Noises of the Manson Murders

Quentin Tarantino movies are defined as much by their sound design as they are by the director’s trademark writing, and over the filmmaker’s last three movies a big part of the Tarantino sound has been crafted by supervising foley artist Gary A. Hecker. For “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” it fell on Hecker to figure out how to create the head-smashing, dog-biting, and flame-throwing murders that make up the movie’s climax. The scene in question finds Manson cult members Susan Atkins (Mikey Madison), Tex Watson (Austin Butler), and Patricia Krenwinkel (Madisen Beaty) breaking into the home of Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) in order to kill him. The “Manson murders” are upended when the killers run into Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt), who along with his dog dispose of the cult members in brutally horrific ways.

Hecker recently spoke with Vulture writer Jordan Crucchiola about the sounds that

Hugh Jackman Movie ‘Bad Education’ Sells to HBO For a Record-Breaking Sum

Bad Education wasn’t what I’d call the most buzzed-about movie at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, but it clearly made an impression with the folks at HBO. The network just plopped down nearly $20 million dollars to purchase the film, a record-breaking sum as far as these things go. The dark comedy is based […]

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‘Midnight Traveler’ Review: A Harrowing First-Person Look Inside One Family’s Search for Asylum
‘Midnight Traveler’ Review: A Harrowing First-Person Look Inside One Family’s Search for Asylum

Midnight Traveler” is a film about distance. The distance between countries, the distance between years, the distance between heaven and hell. But most of all — and increasingly as it goes along — , even if just between themselves. Over the course of 1,000 days and as many miles, Hassan used three iPhones to record almost every step of his family’s perilous journey from their native Afghanistan (where the progressive director was targeted by the Taliban) to their current home in Central Europe, capturing a contemporary migrant experience from the most immediate and ground-level of perspectives. It’s a project that was made to restore a certain way of seeing; to punch a hole through the screen that separates people from the reality of what’s happening in their world. But in trying to get so close to the truth without touching it, Hassan almost fell into the same gap that he was trying to bridge.

‘The Fugitive’ Remake Starring Kiefer Sutherland and Boyd Holbrook Greenlit at Quibi

I really hope everyone else can see these frequent updates on Quibi, the streaming service for The Youths where episodes run about 7-15 minutes long, and the high-profile, A-list projects it somehow keeps announcing, because the alternative is that I'm having the longest acid trip in recorded history. The latest dispatch from my own personal nightmare: Variety has revealed that a TV remake of The Fugitive is a go at the network, with Kiefer Sutherland stepping into the role of a detective on the hunt for a wrongly-accused man, played by Boyd Holbrook. The series …

Regal Cinemas and Cinemark Know What Movie Lovers Want: More Commercials Before Trailers!

Hot on the heels of news that moviegoers want fewer trailers during their theatrical experience, Regal Cinemas and Cinemark movie theaters are giving audiences exactly what they want: even more commercials in movie theaters. Regal Cinemas and Cinemark have struck a new deal with National CineMedia to add more in-theater advertising that will play on […]

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‘Old Town Road’ Music Video Director Rides Into ‘House Party’ Remake at New Line

We've known for some time now that LeBron James was teaming up with New Line to throw a brand new House Party, and now that movie has a director, as Calmatic has been tapped to take the reins of the remake on the spurs of directing the music video for Lil Nas X's hit remix of "Old Town Road." LeBron's SpringHill Entertainment is developing the project, which is based on the 1990 comedy directed by Reginald Hudlin that starred Christopher "Kid" Reid and Christopher "Play" Martin of the rap duo Kid 'N Play. The film co-starred …

‘American Gods’ Adds Marilyn Manson, Timothy Olyphant Joins ‘Fargo’
‘American Gods’ Adds Marilyn Manson, Timothy Olyphant Joins ‘Fargo’

Two of cable TV’s most fantastical dramas just announced two very different cast additions. Rock star Marilyn Manson has been converted to the American Gods cast, joining the Starz series’ third season as — fittingly — a Viking death metal band lead singer. Meanwhile, Timothy Olyphant is returning to the FX family in a recurring guest star role in Fargo […]

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Amazon’s ‘Lord of the Rings’ Will Film in New Zealand, the One True Middle-Earth
Amazon’s ‘Lord of the Rings’ Will Film in New Zealand, the One True Middle-Earth

The country of New Zealand has become synonymous with The Lord of the Rings, thanks to its vast array of varied landscapes and evocative environments used in Peter Jackson’s two J.R.R. Tolkien-inspired trilogies over the past twenty years. Amazon has been cagey about where it would set up camp for its upcoming The Lord of the […]

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‘Daybreak’ Trailer: Matthew Broderick Heads Back to School in Netflix Series About the Apocalypse
‘Daybreak’ Trailer: Matthew Broderick Heads Back to School in Netflix Series About the Apocalypse

Matthew Broderick played one of the most famous high school students in cinema history in the John Hughes classic Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, and then returned to campus as a teacher years later in Alexander Payne‘s political satire Election. Now he’s graduated to playing a principal in Daybreak, a new teen-centric Netflix series about a group of […]

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Justin Theroux to Star in Apple TV Series ‘The Mosquito Coast’ Based on Uncle’s Novel

So two months ago, I launched a new Collider.com podcast called The Sneider Cut, where I do my best to come up with one juicy Rumor of the Week that won't blow up in my face. Well, a few weeks back I let the cat out of the bag that Justin Theroux was planning to star in an Apple series based on The Mosquito Coast, which seemed especially credible given that his uncle, Paul Theroux, wrote the 1981 novel of the same name. Sure enough, the trades have recently confirmed that Apple has ordered The Mosquito Coast to …