‘Jules’ Interview: Director Marc Turtletaub Talks Robert Altman’s Influence On His New Alien Comedy

In Marc Turtletaub’s latest directorial effort, an elderly man takes in an alien after it crashes into his garden. From this concept alone, one wouldn’t necessarily think a story about aliens and aging would go hand in hand, but the skilled director makes it work.

The resulting film, Jules, is one of 2023’s hidden gems. Starring Ben Kingsley (his best work in a decade), Jane Curtain, and Harriet Samson Harris, with brilliant creature work from stunt woman Jade Quon, the film seamlessly blends sci-fi, surrealism, and comedy to create a moving portrait of what lies beyond youth.

I sat down with Turtletaub to discuss his visual influences, how one creates a realistic alien design without being campy, and why there was no one else beside Ben Kingsley to lead this film.

Jules is open in theaters now. Check out the interview with Turtletaub below.

Cortland Jacoby
A D.C area native, Cortland has been interested in media since birth. Taking film classes in high school and watching the classics with family instilled a love of film in Cortland’s formative years. Before graduating with a degree in English and minoring in Film Study from Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania, Cortland ran the college’s radio station, where she frequently reviewed films on air. She then wrote for another D.C area publication before landing at Punch Drunk Critics. Aside from writing and interviewing, she enjoys podcasts, knitting, and talking about representation in media.