A new Wes Anderson movie is arriving in theaters later this year titled “The French Dispatch,” but it will not be a four-hour epic as advertised this week on IMDb, which listed the film’s runtime at four hours and one minute. IMDb also stated the movie was made up of two parts, with part one being 1 hour and 57 minutes and part two being 2 hours and 4 minutes. Fox Searchlight says the IMDb information is incorrect and “The French Dispatch” will have a theatrical runtime closer to Anderson’s other live-action films (think just under two hours).
As for the budget, Variety reports “The French Dispatch” cost $25 million, which puts it at the same cost of Anderson’s “Grand Budapest Hotel.” The $25 million budget makes it one of Anderson’s priciest live-action films, although it’s nowhere near the $50 million spent on “The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou.” Variety also reports the film will debut at a major European film festival. Expect “French Dispatch” to pop up at either Berlin (where “Grand Budapest” and “Isle of Dogs” premiered) or Cannes (the “Moonrise Kingdom” premiere).
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.” 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.
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A bit more of the plot has seemingly been revealed on Amazon (via The Playlist) and Good Reads, which have Anderson’s “French Dispatch” script available for pre-order from Faber & Faber publishers. The release date for the script book is May 21, which lines up with “French Dispatch” premiering at Cannes earlier in the month. The story begins with the eponymous magazine’s editor-in-chief dying and the staff coming together to select three stories to publish in a memorial edition of the publication. The stories “involve an artist sentenced to life imprisonment for a double homicide; student riots, and a kidnapping resolved by a chef.”
IndieWire has reached out to Fox Searchlight for further comment.