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WWII bicycle messenger subject of new Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan movie

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.”

Simon has been news editor at since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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