Ithaca is remake of 1943 Mickey Rooney vehicle The Human Comedy

Hollywood stars Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan are collaborating on a new movie due for release next year – and it’s one that has a cycling theme.

Ithaca is a remake of the 1943 Mickey Rooney vehicle, The Human Comedy.

Set in World War II, it’s about a 14-year-old boy with ambitions to be the best bicycle telegraph messenger – at a time when that role involved delivering bad news to families with members serving in the forces.

The principal character, played by Alex Neustaedter, is 14-year-old Homer Macauley – his first name a clue that in part, the plot is based on Homer’s Odyssey.

The Greek epic has also provided inspiration for movies such as New York City gang move The Warriors, as well as the Coen brothers’ film, Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?

Ryan plays Homer’s mother in the movie, and also directs it, while Hanks is executive producer, and said: “It’s sometimes shockingly unsentimental and yet, by some little miracle, never cynical. I am delighted to no end to bring a tale of such vibrancy and heart to the screen.”

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.