Ben Kingsley Befriends a Drab Little Alien in Bizarre Trailer for Jules

Movies News Ben Kingsley
Ben Kingsley Befriends a Drab Little Alien in Bizarre Trailer for Jules

Sir Ben Kingsley has perhaps had the oddest Hollywood career of any Oscar winner, a phenomenon highlighted over the decades by his willingness to work in seemingly more or less whatever comes his way at any given time, whether that’s Uwe Boll’s Bloodrayne or last year’s Dalíland, in which he portrayed iconic and eccentric painter Salvador Dalí. But even with that kind of mental preparation, it’s still hard to know what to make of this first trailer for Jules, and upcoming sci-fi comedy that essentially has Kingsley in the part of E.T.‘s Elliott, harboring an alien who just so happened to crash his spacecraft in Kingsley’s backyard. On top of his azaleas, to be precise.

It’s not that the concept itself is that novel, or ludicrous per se–we’ve seen this type of story many times, albeit typically with a little kid acting as the monster/alien/creature’s friend and protector. No, I think it’s the apple-munching alien itself in this case that makes the trailer for Jules stand out in such an odd, quirky way. His expressionless face and featureless body are just interesting choices for a concept that demands the alien be endearing and loveable. If you actually saw this thing, your response would understandably be like that of Harriet Sansom Harris, who walks in on the little squirt and just about has a heart attack, saying “Good Christ, what is that?!?” Kingsley, meanwhile, has affected an equally odd deadpan that sounds a bit like an episode of Joe Pera Talks with You might if the title character discovered an alien.

Regardless, Jules is directed by producer-turned-director Marc Turtletaub, and is apparently scheduled for an Aug. 11, 2023 theatrical release, although something tells us this one will likely be on the smaller side. On the plus side, comedy legend Jane Curtin is also on hand as a snooping neighbor who wants to learn more about the alien–he’s called Jules, if that hasn’t yet become clear–so that alone may be worth the price of admission. In the meantime, check out the film’s Fox Searchlight-esque quirky comedy tone in the trailer below.

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