Judd Apatow’s ‘King of Staten Island’ to open SXSW film fest

Pete Davidson

FILE – This Jan. 28, 2019 file photo shows Pete Davidson during the 2019 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. Judd Apatow’s “King of Staten Island,” starring Davidson, will make its premiere as the opening night film at this year’s South by Southwest Film Festival. The festival runs March 13-22. (Photo by Danny Moloshok/Invision/AP, File)

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NEW YORK (AP) — Judd Apatow’s “The King of Staten Island,” starring Pete Davidson of “Saturday Night Live,” will make its premiere as the opening night film at this year’s South by Southwest Film Festival.

The Austin, Texas, festival on Wednesday announced that “The King of Staten Island” will kick off SXSW on March 13. The movie, Apatow’s first fiction film as director since 2015’s “Trainwreck,” is Davidson’s highest profile project yet.

Universal Pictures will release “The King of Staten Island” in June. Davidson co-wrote the film, a semi-autobiographical comedy about a young man living at home with his mother (Marisa Tomei) on New York’s Staten Island.

Also premiering at SXSW will be Spike Jonze’s “Beastie Boys Story,” which the filmmaker touts as a “live documentary experience.” Jonze shot the documentary last April over a handful of performances in Brooklyn in which Mike Diamond and Adam Horowitz tell a story about their group. Earlier Wednesday, Apple TV Plus announced that it had acquired the film with plans for a limited IMAX theatrical release in early April before it begins streaming later that month.

Other highlights in SXSW’s lineup include Michael Showalter’s “The Lovebirds,” with Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani; “Critical Thinking,” an inner-city chess drama from John Leguizamo; and RZA’s “Cut Throat City,” a heist drama set in New Orleans’ Lower 9th Ward following Hurricane Katrina.

The festival runs March 13-22.

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