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The French Dispatch staff members sitting attentively

Every trailer for a Wes Anderson movie feels like opening a surprise gift from an old friend. You never know what’s inside beforehand, and there’s usually a lot of anticipation before tearing the packaging and untying the bows. The first look at his latest film, The French Dispatch, is no exception, as it’s just as wild and exciting as you’d hope, and with some new tricks on display in the world of Andersonian chaos.

Brace yourself, and take a look below.

The overall framing device of the film fully titled The French Dispatch of The Liberty, Kansas Evening Sun is a special issue of that very publication. Focusing on three of their best stories in the past decade, the staff of The French Dispatch work tirelessly to put together these different but complimentary stories of uprising, high art, and cuisine into an easy to sell package.

Right from the start, The French Dispatch feels like a Wes Anderson film. From the presence of recurring cast members like Tilda Swinton, Frances McDormand, Adrian Brody, and, of course, Bill Murray, the patter that’s shown on screen is just as comforting as knowing that these folks are on the screen once again.

But the new and exciting angles that present themselves in The French Dispatch are quite exciting as well. With what looks like an anthology approach to the storytelling, these three stories are invoking different designs, aspect ratios, and tales of various disciplines. Which is also a great opportunity to bring new actors into the Wes Anderson fold.

Through stories titled “The Concrete Masterpiece,” “Revisions to a Manifesto,” and “The Private Dining Hall of the Police Commissioner,” we’ll see Elizabeth Moss, Léa Seydoux, Benicio del Toro, Jeffrey Wright, and Timothée Chalamet mix it up with the Wes Anderson Repertory Company, which also includes the returns of Owen Wilson, Willem Dafoe, Edward Norton, and Jason Schwartzman.

All that’s missing is an appearance by Jeff Goldblum, and while his name and likeness aren’t specifically invoked in this trailer, it’s hard to think he wouldn’t be present in some capacity for the comic madness of The French Dispatch.

The greatest impression this trailer leaves is the fact that Wes Anderson is still in an experimental mood, in terms of his visual output. Much like The Grand Budapest Hotel, there’s a hint of aspect ratios being played with, and a transition between color and black and white footage that makes The French Dispatch look as playful and chaotic as it sounds.

Since those are two things Anderson does really well, it looks like this new film is going to be a crowd pleasing return to form, as well as a good opportunity to bring those unfamiliar with his particular charms to the table. Though seeing as this film is somehow being released in the middle of blockbuster season, with Christopher Nolan’s Tenet, Jason Reitman’s Ghostbusters: Afterlife, and the Sony/Marvel film Morbius all surrounding it, consider us curious as to how that whimsy will play in the midst of such high budget traffic.

The French Dispatch of The Liberty, Kansas Evening Sun goes to print on July 24, 2020, as this film is clearly not afraid of any ghosts. But if you thought July was busy, wait until you see the rest of the calendar, thanks to our 2020 release schedule. No one’s playing around on the film market this year, and it shows.

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