The Times BFI London Film Festival has announced that this year’s Festival will open on Wednesday, October 14, 2009 with the world premiere of Wes Anderson’s “Fantastic Mr. Fox.” Anderson co-write the animated film with Noah Baumbach, and uses classic handmade stop motion techniques to tell the story of the best selling children’s book by British author Roald Dahl. The film’s impressive cast of voices includes George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, Wally Wolodarsky, Eric Anderson, Michael Gambon, Willem Dafoe, Owen Wilson, Jarvis Cocker and Helen McCrory.
“Wes Anderson’s boundless invention and meticulous film making craft find perfect expression in this imaginative and hugely enjoyable version of a much loved story,” Sandra Hebron, the Festival’s Artistic Director commented. “We are delighted to open our festival with ‘Fantastic Mr. Fox,’ and thrilled to host its world premiere.”
The film’s status as world premiere suggests that it will not be screening in Toronto or Venice, as had been speculated.
“‘Fantastic Mr. Fox’ is a British film — based on a Roald Dahl book, set in the UK, produced in the UK — and so I am especially pleased to have been invited to be the opening night movie of this year’s London Film Festival,” Wes Anderson said in a statement. “We had a wonderful experience at the LFF with my previous film, and I am eagerly looking forward to introducing ‘Fantastic Mr. Fox’ to the world in this wonderful venue.”
Anderson, George Clooney, Meryl Streep and Jason Schwartzman are expected to attend the opening night screening along with other members of the voice cast. The Times BFI London Film Festival runs from October 14-29, 2009. The full programme for the fest will be announced at the press launch on Wednesday, September 9, 2009.