A few hours ago, one of the more surprising bits of film talk hitting social media was a photo of an IMDb listing for Wes Anderson’s new film “The French Dispatch” which suggested the movie would clock in at around four hours.
Specifically it stated the film would be a two-parter with a 117 minute first half and a 124 minute second half, while a ‘director’s cut’ version clocked in at 325 minutes. That raised some eyebrows, but was soon rendered false when people realised those runtimes are the exact same as those for Lars von Trier’s “Nymphomaniac” – suggesting a listing error on IMDB’s part.
At the same time, Variety (via The Playlist) published a report on the film which indicates the movie boasts a $25 million budget, was shot over the span of six months, and is to premiere at one of the major European festivals this Spring/Summer ahead of a debut later this year. In addition, a new official synopsis has been released:
“The French Dispatch is the European edition of the Liberty, Kansas Evening Sun – a factual, weekly report on the subjects of world politics, the arts (high and low), fashion, fancy cuisine/fine drink, and diverse stories of human-interest set in faraway quartiers. On the death of the Editor-in-Chief, the editorial staff decides to publish a last, memorial edition highlighting the three best stories which appeared over the ten-year existence of the magazine. The stories involve an artist sentenced to life imprisonment for a double homicide; student riots, and a kidnapping resolved by a chef.”
This would match reports of the film being an anthology of sorts (ala “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs”) with that synopsis suggesting three ‘short’ films within a fourth one as a framing device. Said short films could also be done in different styles (eg. one animated).
Frances McDormand, Timothee Chalamet, Benicio Del Toro, Jeffrey Wright, Adrien Brody, Lea Seydoux, Tilda Swinton, Mathieu Amalric, Stephen Park, Elisabeth Moss, Saoirse Ronan, Owen Wilson, Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz, Jason Schwartzman, Henry Winkler, Bill Murray and more co-star in the film which will almost certainly debut at Cannes in May.
Fox Searchlight has yet to announce any U.S.release plans.