Wes Anderson took to YouTube on Monday, December 19, to announce the cast for his new film, Isle of Dogs. The title is a play on the phrase “I love dogs.” The movie is a stop-motion animated film that is going to be set in Japan. It will follow the story of a boy as he searches for his beloved dog, Rex.
The day after the announcement, the rights to the movie were purchased by Fox Searchlight Pictures and scheduled for a 2018 release. Distribution will be handled by Fox Searchlight Pictures and Indian Paintbrush. This will be Indian Paintbrush’s fifth collaboration with Anderson.
Fox Searchlight Pictures presidents Nancy Utley and Steve Gilula released a statement.
“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.”
The cast that Wes Anderson reveals in the video are the usual suspects that you expect to find in one of his movies. Returning as Wes Anderson regulars are Bill Murray, F. Murray Abraham, Harvey Keitel, and Edward Norton, who provides the voice of Rex. Other stars that are appearing include Scarlett Johansson, Bob Balaban, Tilda Swinton, Frances McDormand, Bryan Cranston, Jeff Goldblum, Akira Ito, Akira Takayama, Koyu Rankin, Courtney B. Vance, Liev Schreiber and Yoko Ono.
Wes Anderson is best known for his quirky and whimsically emotional movies that bring together an ensemble cast that interact in a series of curious events. His first movie was Bottle Rocket, released in 1996. This film, like three others, was co-written with Owen Wilson, who is best known for his roles in the comedies Zoolander, Shanghai Noon, and Night at the Museum.
Wes Anderson’s second movie, Rushmore, was responsible for bringing then 17-year old Jason Schwartzman to Hollywood and stardom. Prior to this movie, Schwartzman had no acting experience.
His last movie was Grand Budapest Hotel, released in 2014. Grand Budapest Hotel earned over $175 million worldwide. It was also nominated for nine Oscars including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay. It won in four categories: Best Original Score, Best Production Design, Best Costume Design, and Best Makeup and Hair.
The announcement video also revealed that the movie is helping to raise money for The Film Foundation. The Film Foundation is a non-profit organization started by Martin Scorsese in 1990 whose purpose is the preservation and protection of motion picture history. The foundation has been able to restore over 750 films, including classics such as Rashomon, The Red Shoes, and Il Gattopardo, just to name a few.
Better yet, if you donate to the fundraiser, you’ll be entered into a contest to win an invitation to the Isle of Dogs set in England. Additionally, you’ll get a role in the movie as one of the dogs. Twenty-five winners will receive a DVD that Wes Anderson will sign as well as a copy of The Wes Anderson Collection book. Fifty other winners will get a signed Criterion collection DVD.
This isn’t Anderson’s first foyer into the world of stop-motion animation. In 2009, he directed the film, Fantastic Mr. Fox, a stop-motion comedy based on the Roald Dahl children’s book of the same name. That film was nominated for two Academy Awards and the Golden Globe for Best Animated Feature, but ultimately lost in all categories to the Pixar movie, Up.
[Featured Image by Ernesto Ruscio/Getty Images]