Cast and plot details have been revealed for Wes Anderson's next film, along with the movie's actual title: The French Dispatch. However, it seems the film is not a musical, despite previous reports to the contrary.
While Anderson took a trip to the world of tomorrow with this year's stop-motion animated Isle of Dogs (a movie set in semi-futuristic dystopian Japan), his last two live-action films (Moonrise Kingdom and Grand Budapest Hotel) were both period pieces. That's once again the case with the live-action French Dispatch, which is set in post-WWII 20th Century Paris - the same city where Anderson lives in real-life - and does indeed include a recent Oscar-winner among its cast members, as was originally reported back in September.
According to IndieWire, French Dispatch is (essentially) a love letter to journalists that takes place at the Parisian outpost of an American newspaper in the latter half of the 20th Century. The film's cast includes (of course) Bill Murray, as well as Tilda Swinton and Frances McDormand. Swinton and McDormand previously shared the screen with Murray in Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom; however, it was McDormand who only just took home her second Best Actress Oscar earlier this year for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.
IndieWire further reports that French Dispatch's ensemble includes Anderson movie newcomers Benicio del Toro (Sicario: Day of the Soldado), Jeffrey Wright (Westworld), and current awards season contender Timothée Chalamet (Beautiful Boy). Among those rumored to have supporting roles here are Natalie Portman, Brad Pitt, and Léa Seydoux, all three of whom have collaborated with Anderson in the past. Portman also costarred in Anderson's short "Hotel Chevalier" (a prologue to his film The Darjeeling Limited), whereas Seydoux played a small role in Grand Budapest Hotel, and Pitt appeared in an Anderson-directed SoftBank commercial back in 2008 (a commercial set at a French seaside town and inspired by Jacques Tati's Les Vacances de Monsieur Hulot, fittingly enough).
In light of recent events like the murder of Jamal Khashoggi and U.S. president Donald Trump and his administration's ongoing verbal attacks against the press, more and more filmmakers have come to the defense of journalists through their art. While The French Dispatch sounds like a very different beast than recent true story-based journalism dramas like the Best Picture Oscar-winning Spotlight and The Post, it may yet prove to be a similarly impassioned defense of the free press - albeit, though the lens of the typically whimsical and offbeat cinema of Wes Anderson.
We will let you know when The French Dispatch gets an official release date.