This time around, Wes Anderson is going big. Fox Searchlight, the studio that released his previous films Fantastic Mr. Fox and The Darjeeling Limited, has snatched up the rights to distribute his newest and most ambitious work to date, The Grand Budapest Hotel.
According to ScreenDaily, the plot revolves around “a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel between the wars and his friendship with a young employee who becomes his trusted protégé,” and also “the theft and recovery of a priceless Renaissance painting, the battle for an enormous family fortune, and the slow and then sudden upheavals that transformed Europe during the first half of the 20th century.”
The absolutely packed ensemble cast is made up of Anderson alums like Edward Norton, Owen Wilson, Tilda Swinton, Adrien Brody, Harvey Keitel, Jason Schwartzman, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Bob Balaban, and, of course, Bill Murray. Actors Ralph Fiennes, Jude Law, Saoirse Ronan, Tom Wilkinson, Mathieu Amalric, F. Murray Abraham, and Tony Revolori round out the new additions to Anderson’s regular troupe.
Sounds like a winner, right? The studio definitely thinks so. The film just wrapped production in Germany and Searchlight is looking to schedule the release of the film for awards contention in late 2013 or early 2014.
It’s good to see Anderson experimenting with another period piece following Moonrise Kingdom, even if the historical timeframe in question will bring with it all of Anderson’s florid idiosyncrasies. Just imagining how extravagant and esoteric early twentieth century Europe will look through Anderson’s lens is intriguing, so we’ll see.
Whether or not this title will come to the Collection is still way too far off, but at least we’ve got over half of his filmography already covered with Bottle Rocket, Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic, and The Darjeeling Limited. Given Criterion’s track record with Anderson’s new releases we’ll have to wait at least a few years after The Grand Budapest Hotel is even released on home video to think about a lavish Criterion Blu-ray and DVD edition. That said, isn’t it about time Criterion called up Fantastic Mr. Fox to join its ranks?