Wes Anderson’s next film will reportedly be set in France, but he’s inventing an entirely new town to set it in. After a few months of rumors about Anderson’s next film (his first live-action since 2014’s The Grand Budapest Hotel), a French news source purports to have receipts about what to expect.
Charente Libre reports that the film will be a “musical comedy in the 1950s,” and that Anderson will be shooting in Angoulême, a quaint city of about 42,000 in western France. If you haven’t heard of it, that’s not a mistake. “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,” says the French newspaper’s source. The character would also let Anderson use the town as a setting for an entirely fictional city of his own imagination.
As for the cast, well, the source has only heard one intriguing detail: The film will star an actor or actress who has won an Oscar in the past five years. That’s an oddly specific time frame, but it does cut the possibilities to twenty people.
So who could it be? While one could easily imagine a quirky filmmaker like Anderson somehow making a musical in which no one actually has to sing, we’d bet that known singing abilities would come in handy. Anderson also likes to reuse many of his favorite players, which would give a bump in odds to anyone who has worked with the director before. Plus, there are the simple matters of scheduling (production is said to start in November, after originally being rumored to start in early 2019) and the tastes of both Anderson and the actors in question. Here, our best attempt at whittling it down:
LOL, Are You Kidding?: Leonardo DiCaprio
Likely Too Busy With Television Shows: Allison Janney (Moms), Patricia Arquette (Hulu’s just-announced The Act), and Viola Davis (How to Get Away With Murder), Sam Rockwell (FX’s musical series Fosse/Verdon)
Would Be Absolutely Bonkers, but We Can’t Exactly Find a Reason to Rule It Out: Matthew McConaughey, Casey Affleck, Jared Leto
Sure, but Would People Be Gossiping About It?: JK Simmons, Mark Rylance, Gary Oldman
Too Many Jokes About How She’d Be Playing the Role of Her Aunt Who Lived in Paris From La La Land: Emma Stone
Possible If Not Intriguing, but Can They Sing?: Mahershala Ali, Julianne Moore, Lupita N’yongo, Alicia Vikander
Can She Sing? Or, Honestly, at This Point, We Could See Her Trying Anything: Frances McDormand
Very Possible Realities:
1. Brie Larson. We know from her former stab at teen pop superstardom that Larson can sing. One would also assume that she’d be on the lookout for roles that keep her art house cinema credentials intact as the Captain Marvel phase of her career kicks off. While she’s busy filming legal drama Just Mercy at the moment, it’s possible that could wrap by November. One could also imagine that the project’s start date might have been moved up to accommodate the press tour needed for a major superhero movie to be released next March.
2. Cate Blanchett. She’s already worked with Anderson before in The Life Aquatic. It’s also of note that her first appearance on television ever was as a singer, and she was actually pretty good. Seems odd that it’s a skill she’s only sparingly used in her acting career. She also doesn’t have much else on her docket in the future that would get in the way of filming.
Now, on to more important matter, like wondering how Bill Murray is going to fit into all of this.