New On Screen: August

Fantasy fans, look out for the return to Middle-Earth and Westeros this month!

By Yong Shu Chiang        15 August 2022

The Sandman

Out now, Netflix

Stars: Tom Sturridge, Gwendoline Christie, Jenna Coleman

Morpheus (Sturridge) – the King of Dreams – is one of a family of powerful immortal beings known as the Endless. After he is trapped for more than a century following an occult ritual, he escapes from imprisonment to find his power and his realm of Dreaming not what they once were. As sinister forces wreak havoc on the mortal plane in the present day, Morpheus has to criss-cross worlds to find what had been stolen from him, restore his abilities and mend all the cosmic, and rather human, mistakes he has made.

Tom Sturridge: Life is but a Dream

Relatively unknown theatre star has two notable streaming series roles in 2022, including the lead role in a Neil Gaiman adaptation that could be his breakthrough.

At 36, you wouldn’t describe Tom Sturridge as a newcomer. The London-born actor was a former child actor and has more than 25 years of acting experience. 

One of his first roles was in a television adaptation of Gulliver’s Travels (1996), where he played Ted Danson’s son.

He has since appeared in several TV series and films, including Being Julia (2004), The Boat That Rocked (2009), On the Road (2012), Far from the Madding Crowd (2015), Mary Shelley (2017) and Velvet Buzzsaw (2019).

However, it’s the stage where he has excelled and earned recognition. Sturridge has twice been nominated for the Tony Award, for the plays Orphans (2013) and Sea Wall/A Life (2020), and has received multiple other nominations since 2009.

While Sturridge has had some notable big-screen roles, he hasn’t quite had a major leading role nor a breakthrough performance just yet. 

This could be about to change, ironically, thanks to two streaming series in 2022. Sturridge has a supporting role opposite Alicia Vikander as her character’s ex-boyfriend in the series Irma Vep, and will next be seen as Morpheus, also known as Dream, in The Sandman.

This much-anticipated adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s most famous work has Sturridge in the main role, as a cosmic being who rules the Dreaming world and also plays a pivotal part in maintaining order in the Waking world. 

According to Gaiman himself, Sturridge was one of the early favourites to land the role and he was eventually cast after no one else, among the nearly 2,000 candidates to play Morpheus, could match what he could offer. 

If audiences agree, Sturridge could soon become much more well-known and celebrated, in both dreams and waking life.


Out in cinemas 18 August (available at Shaw Theatres)

Stars: Daniel Kaluuya, Keke Palmer, Steven Yeun

After their father is killed in mysterious circumstances, siblings OJ (Kaluuya) and Em (Palmer) inherit a ranch and the family business of training horses for Hollywood productions. They soon realise that their father’s death was no accident and start to believe that they are being watched by an otherworldly presence. To uncover the truth, they bring in a tech salesman, a cinematographer and a former child actor and carnival owner named Jupe (Yeun). What they find together is both spectacular and terrifying.

SAFRA members enjoy daily discounted movie tickets at Shaw Theatres from $7.50 (U.P. Up to $14.50). For more info, go to www.safra.sg/promotions/shaw-theatres

Kisaragi Station

Out in cinemas 18 August (Available at Shaw Theatres)

Stars: Yuri Tsunematsu, Eriko Sato, Serizawa Tateto

Urban legend has it that there is a train station that cannot be found on any map in Japan. Since 2004, an apocryphal tale has been circulating of a girl who posted her experiences at this phantom station online. University student Haruna (Tsunematsu) decides to do her thesis on this legend, and goes in search of a high school teacher, Junko (Sato), who is rumoured to be that girl who had posted about the station. Once they meet, Haruna surmises that the station can only be reached by entering another world.

Three Thousand Years Of Longing

Out in cinemas 1 September (Available at Shaw Theatres)

Stars: Tilda Swinton, Idris Elba, Alyla Browne

“So what would you wish for? What is your heart’s desire?” A lonely professor named Alithea (Swinton) gets asked these questions after she travels to Turkey and visits a bazaar. There, she picks up a trinket, a little glass bottle, that she brushes clean. Unbelievably, out of the bottle comes a Djinn (Elba), and she is offered three magical wishes to use as she pleases. Instead of making a wish right away, she makes a request, and asks the Djinn to regale her with stories of wishes, desires and unfortunate endings.

House Of The Dragon

Out 22 August, HBO Go

Stars: Paddy Considine, Matt Smith, Olivia Cooke

This prequel to Game of Thrones brings us back to Westeros, to recount the story of House Targaryen. Set 200 years before the adventures of siblings Viserys and Daenerys Targaryen, this instalment chronicles the key players and political intrigue that surround the fall of House Targaryen, after a war of succession breaks out over who shall rule the Seven Kingdoms following King Viserys I Targaryen (Considine). While his brother Prince Daemon (Smith) is the presumptive heir, others have their eyes on the Iron Throne.

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power

Out 2 September, Prime Video

Stars: Morfydd Clark, Robert Aramayo, Benjamin Walker

Thousands of years before the events of the films of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy series, the Second Age of Middle-Earth begins as a time of relative peace. However, all across the realm, something evil lurks in the darkness. As Elves and Men ally against common enemies, the former led by the lady warrior Galadriel (Clark), and Hobbits and Dwarves begin to notice harbingers of doom, a sinister stranger arrives and sets off a series of events that could lead to conflict and the forging of the Rings of Power.

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