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Everything We Know About The French Dispatch, Wes Anderson’s Latest Film

The film's got an incredible line-up of talents including Timothée Chalamet, Tilda Swinton, Saoirse Ronan, Elisabeth Moss and more
Reading time 4 minutes
Image: Searchlight Pictures

Calling all Wes Anderson fans (in futura typeface, no less)! The first trailer for Wes Anderson’s new film, The French Dispatch, has been released, and we’re loving every second of it. It features the American filmmaker’s signature style, which remains arguably one of cinema’s greatest treats, the director's deadpan whimsy, a star-studded cast, as well as a cameo of Timothée Chalamet's moustache.

Here’s what we know about the film so far, which has been acquired for worldwide distribution by Fox Searchlight.

Image: Searchlight Pictures

It’s a “love letter to journalists”

The film is about the doings of a fictional weekly magazine, which was in fact inspired by The New Yorker. 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.”

Matter fact, Anderson has been an avid New Yorker devotee since a teenager, amassing a vast collection of bound volumes of the magazine, all the way back to the nineteen-fourties.

The film follows the plot of three stories published in the final instalment of The French Dispatch, which includes: an artist in life imprisonment for a double homicide, two revolutionary kids involved in student riots, and a kidnapping resolved by a chef.

Image: Searchlight Pictures

It’s got your favourite actors in berets

The auteur has built an incredible roster of actors that include both frequent collaborators and new entries, including Benicio Del Toro, Jeffrey Wright, Adrien Brody, Léa Seydoux, Tilda Swinton, Mathieu Amalric, Lyna Khoudri, Stephen Park, Owen WilsonBill Murray, Saoirse Ronan, Frances McDormand and Timothée Chalamet as they weave together three stories, under Anderson’s undoubtedly breathtaking rendition of a French city.

It costs $25 million

This puts it around the same cost as Anderson’s “Grand Budapest Hotel,” and one of Anderson’s priciest live-action films (the top being “The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou” at nearly $50 million).

The poster was drawn by Spanish artist Javi Aznarez, whose hands make a special cameo in the film

Javi Aznarez acts as the “hand” of the character of Hermès Jones (Jason Schwartzman), who plays as the in-house cover-illustrator for all issues of the magazine depicted in the film.

 

It features Timothée Chalamet in a bathtub

Chalamet is cast as Zeffirelli, a student revolutionary involved in the struggle based on France’s May ’68 strikes profiled by Frances McDormand, a reporter. In the trailer, he plays chess with William Dafoe and another, the reporter walks in on him in a bath.

The actor in a tiny moustache, in a bathtub, in a Wes Anderson film?! Somehow, nothing makes more sense than this.

 

Image: Searchlight Pictures

The film was shot on location in Angoulême, France.

Anderson toured around France in search of a city to film in before landing on Angoulême. “Angoulême has beautiful architecture. The old town is preserved with its stairs, bridges and different levels,” said Anderson to French publication Charente, and added that it was calm, ideal for making a film. Matter fact, Bill Murray liked it so much that he stayed in the town for a week for a day of shooting.

 

It’s set to be released in theaters July 24

And we can’t wait!

Check out the trailer and the rest of the film stills for a glimpse of Anderson's delightful world here:

Image: Searchlight Pictures
Image: Searchlight Pictures
Image: Searchlight Pictures
Image: Searchlight Pictures

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