In 1992 a relatively unknown Wes Anderson shot the 13-minute short film, “Bottle Rocket.” Co-written by Anderson and Owen Wilson, the quirky black and white film, set to a snazzy Jazz score, showed brothers Owen and Luke Wilson as thieves in training.
The short was shown at the 1994 Sundance Film Festival and received critical praise. Two years later, Anderson took this piece and created a full feature of the same name, again starring the Wilson brothers.
The film followed Anthony (Luke), recently released from a mental hospital after having a nervous breakdown, who joins his friend Dignan (Owen), as they hatch a scheme for a yet-unspecified crime spree that involves one of their former boss’.
The 1996 film generated great buzz and launched the careers of Anderson and the Wilsons.
From there, the filmmaker went on to direct the modestly successful “Rushmore” (1998), with Jason Schwartzman and Bill Murray. The film made a decent $17 million at the box office. Next came his hit “The Royal Tenenbaums” (2001), the feature made a sizable amount of $52 million and gave Anderson and Owen their first Oscar nomination for Best Writing, Screenplay.
While he did have his hits and misses such as “The Life Aquatic” and “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” (in regards to box office numbers and their budgets), his greatest feat would be the 2014 Oscar-winner, “The Grand Budapest Hotel.” Praised by critics and nominated for the Best Picture Award, the adventure, crime comedy took home four Academy Awards and re-cemented Anderson as the creative artist known for his narrative style and distinctive visual.
Relive his first directing gig with the full “Bottle Rocket” short: