While the rest of the movie-loving world was freaking out about release dates for Star Wars: Episode IX and Indiana Jones 5 and roughly 800 other new Disney movies (give or take), Fox Searchlight threw Wes Anderson fans a long-awaited bone. The studio has set an official release date and revealed the first teaser poster for Anderson’s new film Isle of Dogs, a stop-motion animated project featuring a totally bonkers voice cast and, judging by the poster, some truly lovely animation.

Fox Searchlight will release Isle of Dogs on April 20, 2018, and if you’re like me (JK, you probably don’t have a Royal Tenenbaums tattoo), then this news is every bit as exciting as a new Star War — though maybe a little bittersweet. By the time Isle of Dogs arrives, four years will have passed since Anderson’s last new film, The Grand Budapest Hotel, hit theaters. But if this teaser poster is any indication (it is, it is), then it’s well worth the wait:

Fox Searchlight
Fox Searchlight

First of all, that cast! The roster for Isle of Dogs includes Anderson regulars and vets like Bill Murray (obviously), Jeff Goldblum, Tilda Swinton, Edward Norton and Bob Balaban, along with Anderson newbies like Greta Gerwig (honestly I’m surprised it took them this long to work together) and Bryan Cranston. In addition to the incorporation of Japanese text on the poster, you’ll notice several Japanese actors among the cast, including Kunichi Nomura and Akira Ito — the film is, of course, set in Japan, and although it shouldn’t be the sort of thing we have to praise a filmmaker for, it’s nice to see an American director utilizing native actors for a film that takes place in their country, especially in light of recent controversies.

The other most notable part of the poster is, obviously, the actual sneak peek at the film, which looks beautiful. Isle of Dogs is Anderson’s second film using stop-motion animation, but don’t expect this one to have much (if anything) in common with Fantastic Mr. Fox beyond format. During a career retrospective at ARTE Cinema (via The Film Stage), Anderson revealed that the film is inspired by a couple of things: The films of Akira Kurosawa and those old Rankin-Bass stop-motion Christmas TV specials.

That’s definitely a wild combo, and I can’t wait to see how those influences pay off in Isle of Dogs, which — one more time for the cheap seats — hits theaters on April 20, 2018.

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