Wes Anderson is riding high. His latest, THe Grand Budapest Hotel, not only won massive critical acclaim, but also landed the title of the highest domestic indie film of 2014. So what will the man behind Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums and Moonrise Kingdom do next? It's looking like a return to animation, but with an unexpected inspiration.
The Playlist reveals that Wes Anderson is in the works at developing a stop-motion animated effort, which would be his second following The Fantastic Mr. Fox. While Anderson isn't yet unveiling a potential title for the picture, he has confessed that its structure will be inspired by Italian neorealist and filmmaker Vittorio De Sica. More specifically, this unnamed animated film will mimic the structure of De Sica's 1954 dramedy The Gold of Naples.
For those unfamiliar with The Gold of Naples, it is a film that pays tribute to its titular Italian city by presenting six vignettes of different characters who live within its walls, including a professor, a prostitute, a pizza seller, and a clown who falls in with a gangster. At a Q&A at the Lisbon and Estoril Film Festival, Wes Anderson suggested he'd similarly present a series of stop-motion vignettes, each tying into a common theme. What that central theme is, however, remains a mystery for now. Still, this concept seems a natural progression for Anderson, whose films often contain chapters, a plethora of characters, and the occasional companion-piece short film.
he Playlist goes on to posit that Anderson's unnamed stop motion picture could well be the same project he teased while doing press for Grand Budapest Hotel last spring. At the time, he told the site that he was working with Roman Coppola, who collaborated on both Moonrise Kingdom and The Darjeeling Limited with the director. And he offered, "I'm trying to think of a good tease. I think the thing is well, it's a thing where maybe there’s ‘many things happening at once.’ That could be my tease."
As anyone who is even a casual fan of Wes Anderson knows, once you're part of his crew, you're there for life. The director likes to surround himself with willing collaborators who are easy to work with, and has done a remarkable job of putting together an ensemble of players to call on that any fimmaker would envy. And no shock that he's calling upon some of his regulars for his next film.
Jeff Goldblum ("The Life Aquatic With Zissou," "The Grand Budapest Hotel") spilled the beans that he'll be joining Bob Balaban ("Moonrise Kingdom, "The Grand Budapest Hotel"), Edward Norton ("Moonrise Kingdom," "The Grand Budapest Hotel"), and Bryan Cranston (newcomer to Wes Anderson's world) in the director's next movie.
As we reported last week, Anderson is returning to the world of stop-motion animation, which he first employed on "Fantastic Mr. Fox," for a new movie that will feature dogs as the lead characters. There are no other plot details, though Goldblum does say he and the other actors will play a pack of dogs and it will be "Japanese-inspired," whatever that means.
Pre-production is already underway, so fingers crossed for a 2016 release.
As "A Very Murray Christmas" rings in the holidays on Netflix, Bill Murray is spending his weekend at the Marrakech International Film Festival, where he's being feted and receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award. The actor's career is far from over, and during today's press conference, he revealed that he'll once again be collaborating with a longtime pal.
Wes Anderson is currently putting together his next effort, a stop-motion animated movie about dogs that we already know will feature the voices of the director's regulars Jeff Goldblum ("The Life Aquatic With Zissou," "The Grand Budapest Hotel"), Bob Balaban ("Moonrise Kingdom, "The Grand Budapest Hotel") and Edward Norton ("Moonrise Kingdom," "The Grand Budapest Hotel"), along with newcomer Bryan Cranston. Murray confirmed that he'll be getting in on the fun, too.
"....I'm playing a dog. He's doing another, like a stop motion animated kind of comedy sort of like 'Fantastic Mr. Fox,' " Murray said. Though he didn't spill any plot details, he added, "And it's a Japanese story and I'm playing a dog. I'm very excited."
The Japanese element is perhaps the most curious thing about Anderson's effort, as Goldblum has previously said the movie is, "Japanese-inspired." Indeed, the influence of Yasujiro Ozu on the films of Wes Anderson has not been overlooked by cinephiles.
No word yet on what stage of production the movie the movie is at, or when we might see it, but it seems things are steadily moving along.