If you were one of those people who mysteriously fell asleep during Isle of Dogs, please don’t let that discourage you from seeing future Wes Anderson movies—because the next one looks like a doozy.
The first trailer for The French Dispatch—Anderson’s first live-action film since 2014’s Grand Budapest Hotel—dropped on Wednesday morning. And if you ever need a three-minute-long injection of Wesworld into your brain, it’ll do the trick—Bill Murray sassing kids, a boxy aspect ratio, sight gags, and Timothée Chalamet in a bathtub (er wait, that one’s new).
Before the preview, we only had The French Dispatch’s official synopsis to go from, which described the movie as “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.”
Now that we have a little more to work with, here’s everything you need to know about The French Dispatch.
Which of Anderson’s regulars will return for The French Dispatch, and what will it be about?
Anderson is known for bringing familiar faces from his past films into the fold—and The French Dispatch is no different. The film will see the return of Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, Adrien Brody, Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Willem Dafoe, Owen Wilson, and Jason Schwartzman. Of course, there will be new players this time around, too, including Timothée Chalamet, Kate Winslet, Benicio Del Toro, and Elizabeth Moss.
As for the plot, The French Dispatch follows the crusades of the fictional magazine, The French Dispatch (which is at least partially inspired by Anderson’s love of The New Yorker). Murray plays the editor, Arthur Howitzer Jr., and Swinton, Wilson, and McDormand round out his staff. And as the trailer shows, the rest of the film is divided into three parts, each one a dramatization of a story written by the magazine.
“The story is not easy to explain,” Anderson told the French publication Charente Libre about the film. “[It’s about an] American journalist based in France [who] creates his magazine. It is more a portrait of this man, of this journalist who fights to write what he wants to write. It’s not a movie about freedom of the press, but when you talk about reporters you also talk about what’s going on in the real world.”
The three parts are loosely based on real-life magazine features, including the story of an incarcerated artist (played by Del Toro) and art dealer (played by Brody), and profiles of student revolutionaries from the May ’68 occupations (played by Chalamet and Lyna Khoudri). According to Elizabeth Moss, who plays a small part in The French Dispatch, the movie will pay off on Anderson’s signature quirks.
“I went to France and did two days of shooting and it was like stepping into a Wes Anderson movie,” Moss told Indiewire about the experience. “Everyone looks like they’re in a Wes Anderson movie—and they usually are—and there’s Wes Anderson, and he looks like he’s in a Wes Anderson movie. It was like a weird dream. And everyone’s so nice. Somebody will be reading, and someone’s listening to music, and there’s people chatting and eating croissants. It’s the most civilized experience.”
When will the film be released?
Wes Anderson’s 10th feature film will hit theaters on July 24, 2020. It’ll open on the same weekend as Dwayne Johnson’s The Jungle Cruise, if you’re looking for a high-low double feature.