Wes Anderson's next picture, "Grand Budapest Hotel," is already gearing up…though he'd prefer not to talk about it. But over the course of the last few weeks and months, we've learned that's a Euro-flavored pic (more on that in a sec) that will feature Bill Murray, Jude Law, Ralph Fiennes and Jason Schwartzman with some/all of Edward Norton, Jeff Goldblum, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe and Owen Wilson among those all likely to take part. And that's it. Well, a few more details about the movie have been squeezed out of the secretive helmer.
While most of his pictures largely exist within their own non-specific setting (particiularly "The Royal Tenenbaums"), "Moonrise Kingdom" marked the first time one of his films specifically targeted a certain era, and it seems he's going to do that again, and will draw back the calendar even further. "Uuuuum…it's a…as you might gather from the title, a hotel figures prominently in it," Anderson cagily told the LA Times. "And it mostly takes place about 85 years ago." That essentially places the picture at the tail end of the 1920s before the Great Depression. But that's not all.
Anderson will also be drawing on a specific era of filmmaking as well in terms of the tone he's looking to achieve. Saying it's "inspired partly by Hollywood Europe, and also by some European writers around that time" — such as fare by Ernst Lubitsch and Billy Wilder — Anderson reveals a few movies that are inspiring him. "Yes, like 'To Be or Not to Be,' the Lubitsch with Carole Lombard, that Europe which is not made in Europe at all," Anderson said about the kind of world he's trying to capture. "Or 'Shop Around the Corner' [which takes place in Budapest, fyi]. Or did you ever see 'Love Me Tonight,' the one Rouben Mamoulian made with Maurice Chevalier? I'm not a big musical fan, but it's a wonderful one."
If you haven't seen any Lubitsch or Wilder, you need to stop reading now and get on that, but Anderson aiming for that kind of witty, charming and sophisticated tenor is certainly exciting (and one could argue that presence can be felt in his past pictures as well). "So I think we've got a little bit of that feel, that Europe on the Hollywood back lot, even though we're actually going to Europe to do it," Anderson added. "It's got some of that kind of thing in it. The Lubitsch ones are always good to aim for."
He confirms that shooting will take place in Germany and it seems to be gearing up soon. Until then, it probably wouldn't be a bad idea to track down those films and see what he's been spinning in his own DVD player as he mounts this one.