All you need to know about The French Dispatch, Wes Anderson's latest movie
Film director Wes Anderson, well-known for his quirky aesthetics, detail-oriented visuals and productions such as The Royal Tenenbaums and Moonrise Kingdom, releases on October 22nd his newest movie: The French Dispatch.
The French Dispatch was originally meant to screen at the 2020 Cannes Film Festival, followed by a worldwide release on April 2020. Neither of those things were possible due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in March of 2020.
Wes Anderson’s latest film finally had its world premiere last July at the 74th Cannes Film Festival, a year and a half later after the original date. The French Dispatch should hit movie theaters around the globe throughout this month.
The French Dispatch focuses on a group of American journalists living in Ennui-sur-Blasé, a fictional city based on 1960s Paris. The New Yorker serves as the inspiration for the magazine this ragtag team of reporters work for and provides the title of the movie.
Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Jeffrey Wright and Frances McDormand play some of the journalists that are inspired by real-life staff members of The New Yorker. The stories these reporters work on make up the core of Wes Anderon’s newest film.
Two of the main storylines of the movie are based on real-life journalistic works from the 1960's with all its vogue: One is about an artist doing time in jail who partners in prison with an art dealer, the other follows a student rebellion inspired on the May 68 protests in Paris.
The visuals seen in The French Dispatch in posters and the magazine covers are also inspired on the style of illustrations that is usually associated with The New Yorker.
The cast of The French Dispatch is rounded up by an all-star ensemble, including familiar faces from Wes Anderson’s previous works. These include Adrien Brody, Timothée Chalamet, Benicio del Toro, Léa Seydoux, Willem Dafoe, Edward Norton, Tilda Swinton and Christoph Waltz.
Tilda Swinton and Edward Norton have been in three Wes Anderson movies each, a number tied by Adrien Brody and Willem Dafoe. However, Owen Wilson and Bill Murray surpass them starring in seven and eight films, respectively. Pictured is Wilson in Bottle Rocket, Anderson's first feature-length production.
Bill Murray and Owen Wilson have worked together under Wes Anderon’s lead on four occasions: The Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic, The Darjeeling Express and The Grand Hotel Budapest.
Several of Wes Anderson’s recurring actors have commented in many occasions that despite the hard work that his movies demand they keep coming back because it’s such a pleasure to work with him.
To get that European vibe, The French Dispatch was shot in Angoulême, a city in the French region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine, between November 2018 and March 2019.
The French Dispatch also includes lots of references and homages to French and European cinema. From the neighborhoods straight out of a Jacques Tati movie to the names of some of the characters, such as Zeffirelli, the young poet played Timothée Chalamet who is namesake of Italian film director Franco Zeffirelli.
The French Dispatch is not Wes Anderson’s first movie set in a fictionalized version of Europe. 2014’s The Grand Budapest Hotel was set in an imaginary Central European country. Ralph Fiennes starred as a 1930s grand hotel concierge.
Spain is the next stop for Wes Anderson. The director has been seen shooting his new movie around Madrid with some of his favorite actors. Some cast members returning from The French Dispatch are Bill Murray, Adrien Brody, Tilda Swinton and Jeffrey Wright. Murray recently revealed that the movie is titled Asteroid City and is set in the Arizona desert.