In desperate need of some twee whimsy? Because Wes Anderson’s new movie is on the way and the first trailer has crash landed on Earth (you can watch it above).
Set in the fictional desert town of the title, “Asteroid City” is set in 1955 and centers around the Junior Stargazers Convention, in which youthful astronomers gaze heavenward. A widower (Anderson regular Jason Schwartzman) gets stranded in the town with his kids when his car breaks down and becomes trapped with a bunch of other, perfectly Andersonian oddballs when the borders of the town are closed following a potential close encounter. (If we see the alien, we’d bet the farm that it will be rendered in stop-motion animation.)
Joining Schwartzman are other returning Anderson players including Scarlett Johansson, Bryan Cranston, Tilda Swinton, Edward Norton, Adrien Brody, Rupert Friend, Willem Dafoe, Tony Revolori, Jeff Goldblum, Fisher Stevens and Jarvis Cocker, alongside inaugural Anderson collaborators including Tom Hanks, Hope Davis, Maya Hawke, Rita Wilson, Margot Robbie, Matt Dillon, Hong Chau and Steve Carell (who replaced Bill Murray when he got COVID-19). Yes, everyone you’ve ever loved is in this movie.
The trailer is pretty much what you’d expect – perfectly composed shots, frantic whip pans, an appreciation for the artificiality of a Western set (but also seemingly filmed in the actual desert) and humor so dry it could start a brush fire. Basically, everything that we’ve come to expect in a Wes Anderson movie, with some additional, unexpected embroidery.
Anderson’s last film was 2021’s delightful anthology film “The French Dispatch.” And there’s a chance “Asteroid City” could be the first of two Anderson movies released in 2023; he’s also got an adaptation of the Roald Dahl collection “The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar,” starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Ralph Fiennes, Dev Patel and Ben Kingsley, that could also arrive this year on Netflix. That’s right. This could be the Anderson-iest year on record.
It’s expected that “Asteroid City” will premiere at this year’s Cannes Film Festival in May and be in limited release on June 16th before going wide on June 23rd.