Wes Anderson will officially return to the big screen on July 24, 2020. Searchlight, which picked up worldwide distribution rights to the filmmaker’s next film last September, announced the official release date today. The journalism-centric drama is Anderson’s 10th directorial effort. A brand new log line for the film describes it as “a collection of stories from the final issue of an American magazine published in a fictional 20th century French city.” A previous synopsis described it as a “love letter to journalists.”
The film’s cast includes Benicio Del Toro, Frances McDormand, Jeffrey Wright, Adrien Brody, Timothée Chalamet, Léa Seydoux, Tilda Swinton, Mathieu Amalric, Lyna Khoudri, Stephen Park, Owen Wilson, Lois Smith, and Bill Murray.”
The July release hints at a potential Cannes Film Festival debut for the star-studded film. While not his regular festival choice, Anderson is no stranger to Cannes. His delightful boy scout comedy “Moonrise Kingdom” opened the festival in 2012. Given the overwhelmingly Francophile content of the film, the Croisette would undoubtedly be the perfect place to premiere. His previous two films, “Isle of Dogs” and “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” both premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival. With the Berlinale just a few weeks away, it seems unlikely that “The French Dispatch” would head there as well.
The Searchlight acquisition was hardly a surprise, considering the studio was behind Anderson’s “The Darjeeling Limited,” “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” and “Isle of Dogs.” “Fantastic Mr. Fox” was distributed by Searchlight’s parent company 20th Century Fox. Now that Disney owns Searchlight, “The French Dispatch” will be Anderson’s first Disney film since “The Life Aquatic” release.
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“We are excited to dive back into the unmistakable and entirely original world of Wes Anderson,” Searchlight Pictures chairmen Steve Gilula and Nancy Utley in a statement at the time. “Our collaborations with Wes in the past have been exceptional, and we’re thrilled to be back working with him and the Indian Paintbrush team on ‘The French Dispatch.’”
Searchlight is heading into the Academy Awards with six nominations for Taika Waititi’s “Jojo Rabbit,” including a nod for Best Picture. “The French Dispatch” joins the studio’s 2020 slate alongside “Wendy,” “Antlers,” and “Downhill.”