Update, July 16: Variety reports Bill Murray is joining the cast of Anderson’s new movie opposite Tilda Swinton. The movie will mark Murray’s 10th collaboration with Wes Anderson after “The French Dispatch,” “Isle of Dogs,” “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” “Moonrise Kingdom,” “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” “The Darjeeling Limited,” “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou,” “The Royal Tenenbaums,” and “Rushmore.”
Earlier, June 30: It’s looking to be a big year for filmmaker Wes Anderson, whose “The French Dispatch” is finally set to open in theaters October 22 from Searchlight Pictures after a July world premiere in competition at the Cannes Film Festival. Now comes confirmation from Variety that Anderson will begin filming his untitled next movie before “French Dispatch” opens. Anderson’s 11th feature film begins shooting in Spain this September with Tilda Swinton starring. The film will mark the fifth collaboration between Anderson and Swinton following “The French Dispatch,” “Isle of Dogs,” “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and “Moonrise Kingdom.”
As reported by Variety: “Though the film is shooting in Spain, ‘it’s not about Spain,’ Swinton hinted. Meanwhile, speaking to Variety from England, Anderson said he’s ‘not ready to share any details’ about the new film. The project is believed to have originally planned to shoot in Rome, but moved to Spain earlier this year. Sets resembling a desert landscape have been going up in Chinchón, a small town located southeast of Madrid, over the last two months, as reported by Spanish outlet El Pais. However, the film isn’t believed to necessarily be a western.”
The original El Pais report claimed Anderson was shooting the film in Madrid. Francisco Javier Martínez, the mayor of Chinchón, said in another report that Wes choosing to film here was “very important to this city.” The mayor even invited Anderson to shoot in the local cinema if he so chooses.
As for the upcoming “French Dispatch,” the movie will mark Anderson’s return to the Cannes Film Festival for the first time since his Oscar-nominated “Moonrise Kingdom” opened Cannes 2012. For a festival that loves big movie stars, “The French Dispatch” is a no-brainer as its red carpet could boast stars Swinton, Bill Murray, Timothee Chalamet, Lea Seydoux, Benicio del Toro, Elisabeth Moss, Owen Wilson, and Frances McDormand (depending on who wants to make the trip in the pandemic).
The official synopsis for “The French Dispatch” calls the movie a “love letter to journalists set at an outpost of an American newspaper in 20th Century Paris.” Anderson shot the movie in France. Because Anderson often has two-year gaps in between his theatrical releases and “French Dispatch” was originally scheduled to open in July 2020, it makes sense he’d be gearing up for production this year for a potential 2022 release.
“The story is not easy to explain,” Anderson said of his Cannes premiere. “[It’s about an] American journalist based in France [who] creates his magazine. It is more a portrait of this man, of this journalist who fights to write what he wants to write. It’s not a movie about freedom of the press, but when you talk about reporters you also talk about what’s going on in the real world.”