Joining the ranks of so many offbeat leading men before him—Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzman, and the Wilson brothers, among others—Timothée Chalamet is reportedly set to star in Wes Anderson’s next film, The French Dispatch, which began filming in the southwestern French city of Angoulême last week, according to IndieWire. Rounding out the confirmed cast are Murray, of course, as well as Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, Benicio del Toro, and Jeffrey Wright. Brad Pitt, Natalie Portman, and Léa Seydoux, all of whom have collaborated with Anderson before, are also rumored to have joined the project, but are still unconfirmed.
Though The French Dispatch, written by Anderson and his first film set in France, was previously reported to be a “musical comedy in the 1950s,” a source close to the production told IndieWire that, in fact, it’s “a love letter to journalists set at an outpost of an American newspaper in 20th-century Paris.” The movie will focus on three storylines, and, unfortunately for those eager to find out if Chalamet is as gifted a singer as he is an actor, is not a musical at all. It’s expected to make its debut at the Cannes film festival, Anderson’s preferred venue for unveiling his masterpieces.
While the previous reports of the film’s style were a tad off the mark, it seems that other aspects of those reports, which arose after Anderson toured Angoulême in July while scouting locations, could be correct. “When he came in July, he asked if Angoulême had already been the subject of a full-fledged film. He really wants to make a character in his film, that’s why he was looking for a French city with unevenness, stairs, and preserved architecture,” a source told the local newspaper Charente Libre in September, when Anderson visited the city yet again. That source also hinted that the film would star an actor who’s won an Oscar in the past five years, with which McDormand’s casting tracks.
Chalamet’s involvement in the film has yet to be confirmed, but it would certainly make sense for the Oscar nominee, who has made a habit of working with directors with distinct styles and points of view, including Greta Gerwig and Luca Guadagnino. Earlier this year, when interviewed by Harry Styles for i-D magazine, he spoke about his desire to work with lauded auteurs and hinted at a very Anderson-sounding next project. “It’s always been about trying to work with great directors for me. I’m working with Greta Gerwig now. Then I’m doing something with one of my favorite directors ever; a really beloved American art house director,” he said.
Additionally, per IndieWire, while attending a recent party in honor of his latest film, Beautiful Boy, Chalamet was asked whether he’d been cast in The French Dispatch. He reportedly responded by throwing his hands in the air and laughing, which, though not an outright confirmation, is still basically a confirmation.