The movies of Wes Anderson always come with something of a buzz around them, and the director's new movie The French Dispatch finally has a release date of October 22, 2021. Searchlight Pictures announced that the movie, which stars an ensemble cast led by Anderson favorite Bill Murray, will also receive its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in July and feature at the New York Film Festival in the Fall before going on general release. A new poster was released with the announcement.
The French Dispatch has been described as a "love letter to journalists set in an outpost of an American newspaper in a fictional 20th century French city and brings to life the stories published in The French Dispatch Magazine." Starring alongside Murray are a selection of other Wes Anderson veterans such as Owen Wilson, Tilda Swinton and Frances McDormand, as well as Jeff Goldblum, Elizabeth Moss, Jeffrey Wright and Timothee Chalamet among others, while long term Anderson collaborator Robert Yeoman shot the movie, and other usual suspects include composer Alexandre Desplat and editor Andrew Weisblum. If anyone ever wanted to find the phrase "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" in human form, then Anderson is certainly the lead contender.
Wes Anderson spoke about the movie in a GQ Magazine interview last year, discussing everything from his choice to use black and white cinematography, to his choice of Call Me By Your Name Academy Award nominee Timothee Chalamet as the film's student revolutionary lead.
"I had seen Timmy in 'Lady Bird' and 'Call Me by Your Name' and I never had the inconvenience of ever thinking of anybody else for this role even for a second," Anderson told the magazine. "I knew he was exactly right, and plus: He speaks French and looks like he might actually have walked right out of an Éric Rohmer movie. Some time around 1985. A slow train from Paris, a backpack, a beach for 10 days in bad weather. He's not any kind of type - but the New Wave would have had a happy place for him."
The movie was shot in Angouleme, France, because they were able to accommodate the unprecedented number of sets that the film required. Production designer Adam Stockhausen said in an interview last year that he actually couldn't say for certain how many different sets they ended up building for the movie, with the numbers being huge. He also said in a statement that another draw to Angouleme was an abandoned factory just outside of the town, which they were able to convert into their own makeshift studio for the run of the production.
"So we took this place over and turned the entire thing DIY style into a movie studio, and we took over the different rooms of it and we made one of them a prop storage and another one became a carpentry mill and another one became the sculpture room, and another one became set dressing, and the three biggest ones became our stages."
The French Dispatch will be Wes Anderson's tenth movie as writer and director, and his first movie release since 2018's Isle of Dogs.