‘Dicks: The Musical’ Joins Festival Fare ‘She Came To Me’, ‘The Royal Hotel’, ‘Strange Way Of Life’ & More In Lively Indie Weekend – Specialty Preview

A wacky film based on a stage show by comedians Aaron Jackson and Josh Sharp, Dicks: The Musical – a riff on The Parent Trap with two adult men as the starring twins — opens in seven theaters in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco on a crowded specialty weekend as theatrical releases of fall film festival titles accelerates.    

Dicks, from A24 and developed by Chernin Entertainment, is, according to press notes, a first “adult musical comedy” for both. (It’s Chernin’s second musical after hit The Greatest Showman.) Directed by Larry Charles (Seinfeld, Borat), it stars the two creators Jackson and Sharp as self-obsessed businessmen who discover they’re long-lost identical twins and come together to plot the reunion of their eccentric divorced parents. They’re joined by an A-list roster including Nathan Lane, Megan Mullally, Bowen Yang and Megan Thee Stallion.  

A SAG-AFTRA interim agreement allowed the talent to promote the film at TIFF, where it premiered — Deadline review here — winning the People’s Choice Award for its Midnight Madness section. The original score by composers Marius de Vries (Moulin Rouge!CODA) and Karl Saint Lucy and the original songs created by the composers, Jackson and Sharp (who co-wrote the music for the original stage play F***ing Identical Twins at the Upright Citizens Brigade, includes music from megastar Megan Thee Stallion. The official soundtrack was released today.

Chernin originally sold the film to Fox but given the project’s indie nature moved instead to co-finance and bring on A24.  

Jackson, Sharp, Yang and Charles will headline Q&As in NY and LA on opening weekend.  

Vertical Entertainment presents romantic comedy She Came to Me by Rebecca Miller with Anne Hathaway, Marisa Tomei and Peter Dinklage on 355 screens. Premiered opening night at the Berlin Film Festival, see Deadline review. A composer with an unfinished opera, a spiritually conflicted psychiatrist, a free-spirited tugboat captain and two young lovers collide on an unpredictable voyage. Bruce Springsteen and Patti Scialfa wrote, and Springsteen performed, the end credit original song “Addicted To Romance,” and composer Bryce Dessner penned two original operas for the film. It also has a SAG-AFTRA interim agreement and several NYC opening-weekend Q&As with Miller (daughter of Arthur Miller, wife of Daniel Day-Lewis) joined by Hathaway on Friday night and Tomei on Saturday night at AMC Lincoln Square in NYC.  

IFC Fims opens demonic possession horror When Evil Lurks by Argentine director Demián Rugna (Terrified) on 650 screens, following raucous screenings at TIFF where it played the Midnight Madness section, followed by Fantastic Fest and Beyond Fest. Call it The Exorcist: Believer counter-programming: Two brothers discover a demonic infection festering in a nearby farmhouse and attempt to evict the victim from their land. But failing to adhere to the proper rites of exorcism, they inadvertently trigger an epidemic of possessions across their rural community. Heads to Shudder on October 27 as the streamer’s prime Halloween title.  

Sony Pictures Entertainment presents Pedro Almodóvar’s Western short film Strange Way of Life, with Ethan Hawke and Pedro Pascal, on 276 screens. Premiered at Cannes, see Deadline review. After 25 years, Silva (Pascal) rides a horse across the desert to visit his friend Sheriff Jake (Hawke). They celebrate their meeting, but there’s a twist the next morning. The 30-minute film is being paired with the director’s 2021 short The Human Voice. 

The Royal Hotel from Neon, by Kitty Green and starring Jessica Henwick, Julia Garner and Hugo Weaving, opens on 267 screens. Premiered at Telluride, Deadline review here, then played TIFF. Americans Hanna and Liv are best friends backpacking in Australia. After they run out of money, Liv, looking for an adventure, convinces Hanna to take a temporary live-in job behind the bar of a pub called The Royal Hotel in a remote Outback mining town. Written by Green and Oscar Redding.

Strand Releasing presents More Than Ever by Emily Atef with Gaspard Ulliel and Vicky Krieps, who will be at an opening Q&A at the Metrograph in NYC. Premiered at Cannes, see Deadline review. Hélène and Mathieu have been happy together for many years. The bond between them is deep. Faced with an existential decision, Hélène travels alone to Norway to seek peace, an act that will test the strength of their love. Written by Atef and Lars Hubrich. 

Amazon’s Foe, which had its world premiere last week at the New York Film Festival (see Deadline review), opens in New York and L.A. The sci-fi relationship drama by Garth Davis stars Paul Mescal and Saoirse Ronan as husband and wife Junior and Hen, whose quiet life is thrown into turmoil when an uninvited stranger shows up at their door with a startling proposal. Based on the novel by Iain Reid.

Amazon also has courtroom drama The Burial by Maggie Betts, starring Jamie Foxx, Jurnee Smollett and Tommy Lee Jones out in a one-week theatrical run before hitting the streamer. Premiered at TIFF, Deadline review here. Based on a true story, funeral home owner Jeremiah O’Keefe (Jones) enlists charismatic, smooth-talking attorney Willie E. Gary (Foxx) to save his family business.  

Rialto Pictures presents dating drama Cat Person by Susanna Fogel with Emilia Jones, Nichola Braun, Geraldine Viswanathan on four screens in New York and L.A. Premiered at Sundance. Written by Michelle Ashford. College sophomore Margot (Jones) is disappointed on her first date with the older Robert (Braun) after flirting with with him over texts.  

Drama Shelter in Solitude by Vibeke Muasya is national at AMC and Regal Cinemas as well as the Harkins and Marcus circuits. Stars Robert Patrick (Terminator 2, 1923), Peter Macon (The Orville), Peter Hogan (Rushed), Dan Castellaneta and Fallon Hogan (SNL, Men in Black, Seinfeld, Forrest Gump). The story of a death row prisoner (Macon) with 10 days left to live and his relationship with a washed-up country singer.  

More to come…

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