The first look at Wes Anderson’s upcoming feature film “The French Dispatch” has arrived courtesy of The New Yorker, which has debuted a handful of photos from the project with captions that introduce the star-studded ensemble cast. “The French Dispatch” is Anderson’s return to live action after “Isle of Dogs.” Anderson’s last live-action effort, “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” is considered one of his best films to date and picked up nine Oscar nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director. For “The French Dispatch,” Anderson has reunited with the likes of Bill Murray, Bob Balaban, Jeff Goldblum, Tilda Swinton, Lea Seydoux and Owen Wilson, while welcoming Timothee Chalamet, Elisabeth Moss, and Benicio del Toro into his world for the first time.
Searchlight’s official synopsis for “The French Dispatch” reads: “The film is a love letter to journalists set in an outpost of an American newspaper in a fictional 20th Century French city and brings to life a collection of stories published in ‘The French Dispatch’ magazine.” Searchlight was also behind the releases of “The Grand Budapest Hotel” ($172 million worldwide) and “Isle of Dogs” ($64 million worldwide). “The French Dispatch” boasts regular Anderson collaborators like cinematographer Robert Yeoman, composer Alexandre Desplat, and editor Andrew Weisblum.
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The New Yorker’s first look reveals some of the characters at the center of Anderson’s latest story: Bill Murray stars as French Dispatch editor Arthur Howitzer Jr. and members of his staff include Moss, Wilson, Swinton, Fisher Stevens, and Griffin Dunne. Jeffrey Wright is playing Roebuck Wright, a journalist inspired by James Baldwin and A. J. Liebling, while Del Toro is an imprisoned artist named Moses Rosenthaler and Seydoux is his muse Simone. Chalamet is playing a student revolutionary named Zeffirelli.
Variety reported last month “The French Dispatch” carries a $25 million production budget, which puts it at the same cost of “Grand Budapest Hotel.” The $25 million budget makes it one of Anderson’s priciest live-action films, although it’s nowhere near the $50 million spent on “The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou.” With the film confirmed to be skipping the Berlin International Film Festival (that’s where “Grand Budapest” and “Isle of Dogs” had their world premieres), it’s likely “French Dispatch” debuts at the Cannes Film Festival in May. Anderson’s “Moonrise Kingdom” opened Cannes in 2012.
Searchlight will release “The French Dispatch” in theaters July 24. Check out some first look photos below, and visit The New Yorker for a complete batch of images.
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