More Like the Fantastic Mr. Fox Searchlight! (They’re Releasing Wes Anderson’s New Movie)
Yesterday, Wes Anderson broke his radio silence on his long-awaited followup to The Grand Budapest Hotel, a stop-motion animation project called Isle of Dogs. In a carefully framed short video, he said a piece about the upcoming film, joshed around with star Ed Norton, and unveiled the star-studded cast list including Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum, Bryan Cranston, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton, F. Murray Abraham, Harvey Keitel, Greta Gerwig, Frances McDormand and Yoko Ono along with Japanese actors Kunichi Nomura, Akira Ito, Akira Takayama and Koyu Rankin as well. All the parts are in place for another Anderson classic, except for the little matter of distribution, the process of actually bringing the film to theaters. Until now, that is.
After meeting with across-the-board praise for bringing The Grand Budapest Hotel to grateful moviegoers, Fox Searchlight (the boutique division of megastudio 20th Century Fox) has gotten back in the Anderson business, purchasing the distribution rights to Isle of Dogs with an eye on a 2018 release. The press release from Fox also includes the following one-sentence, bare-bones summary of the film’s plot:
“Set in Japan, Isle of Dogs follows a boy’s odyssey in search of his dog.”
There was also this, from Fox Searchlight Presidents Nancy Utley and Steve Gilula: “Wes Anderson is one of the most talented filmmakers of his, or any other, generation. His ability to write smart and unconventional screenplays and then translate them into unique experiences on screen makes him not only a unique voice in film, but one who can truly bridge the gap between independent films and cross-over hits. We are thrilled to be going on a journey into the newest world from the distinctive imagination of Wes Anderson.” It’s weird — studios always talk up their talent after purchasing a new property, that’s just good business, but in this instance it all feels kind of true.