Wes Anderson’s new film ‘The French Dispatch’: release date, plot details, cast and everything we know so far

An all-star cast has been assembled for Anderson's next ambitious film project

Each and every Wes Anderson film release is a major cinematic event. One of Hollywood’s most beloved auteurs, Anderson has been the mastermind behind such great films as The Royal Tenenbaums, Moonrise Kingdom and The Grand Budapest Hotel – and next up, The French Dispatch.

The follow-up to his weird and wonderful stop motion-animated adventure Isle of Dogs is set to arrive in the form of, full title, The French Dispatch Of The Liberty, Kansas Evening Sun. Anderson has written and directed the movie, which is cause for celebration indeed. Just wait until you learn about all the A-listers the filmmaker has assembled for The French Dispatch, too.

Details about Anderson’s next movie are emerging all the time, so we’ve rounded up all the important information that’s currently available on The French Dispatch to get you up to speed in time for its cinematic arrival.

When is The French Dispatch out in cinemas?


The French Dispatch was originally due out in cinemas on July 24, 2020 but was then delayed until October 16 of that year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Then, on July 24, 2020 the film’s release was postponed indefinitely as a result of the global health crisis.

The film premiered at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival on July 12 – you can read a roundup of initial reviews here.

It will then be released publicly on October 22.

Have there been any trailers for The French Dispatch yet?

Yes! Watch it here:

There’s also been a new clip featuring Frances McDormand and Timothée Chalamet, which was shared by Searchlight Pictures on July 13.


Check it out here:

Who is in The French Dispatch cast?

True to form, Anderson has assembled an all-star cast for his next movie. Right, it’s roll call time:

Benicio del Toro
Adrien Brody
Tilda Swinton
Léa Seydoux
Frances McDormand
Timothée Chalamet
Lyna Khoudri
Jeffrey Wright
Mathieu Amalric
Steve Park
Bill Murray
Owen Wilson

Do you want more? Good, because all this lot are due to make an appearance in the film, too: Saoirse Ronan, Cécile de France, Elisabeth Moss, Morgane Polanski, Willem Dafoe, Christoph Waltz, Tilda Swinton, Alex Lawther, Rupert Friend, Jason Schwartzman, Fisher Stevens, Henry Winkler and many, many more — you can find the full cast list (so far!) on The French Dispatch‘s growing the IMDB listing.

It’s going to be interesting to see how Anderson crams them all into a 108-minute film…

What is the plot of The French Dispatch?

A short synopsis for The French Dispatch reads: “The film is a love letter to journalists set in an outpost of an American newspaper in a fictional 20th Century French city and brings to life a collection of stories published in ‘The French Dispatch’ magazine.”

The film will reportedly be set in both 1950s Paris and the fictional commune of Ennui-sur-Blasé.

Discussing the film in a May 2020 interview with IndieWire, Alexandre Desplat, a regular composer for Anderson’s films, called it the most ambitious thing the director had ever done. “I saw the finished version of The French Dispatch quite a while ago, and it’s just amazing,” Desplat said.

“It’s so incredibly strong and different… the way that Wes is expanding his talents to another dimension with each film is just wow. This one is incredible. It’s beautiful. It’s fun, it’s mad, it’s everything.”

Going on to talk about the film’s ambition, Desplat says The French Dispatch‘s scope is “maybe even bigger than The Grand Budapest Hotel“.

“More stories, different locations, and so many ideas in every shot. So many! Wes’ brain is going so fast,” he said.

Discussing the film’s vibe and early 20th century setting, the composer added: “Though the film is not at all set in that time period, the vibe is very Dadaist.

“The movement started in Switzerland but it blossomed in France very quickly, and to go back to it meant that I had Claude Debussy, Erik Satie, and a great deal of music that I could refer to in order to make sure that we were in the zone of that Dadaist mood.”

Where was The French Dispatch filmed?

Decamping to south-west France between November 2018 and March 2019, Anderson filmed his latest movie in the little town of Angoulême.

According to Variety, The French Dispatch was the largest-scale Hollywood production to hit the area since Steven Spielberg shot scenes for Raiders Of The Lost Ark in nearby La Rochelle in the early 1980s.

Anderson’s new movie also reportedly had a budget of $25million (£18.9million) to play with.

Wes Anderson
Wes Anderson (Picture: Getty)

Speaking to NME in November 2019, The End of the F***ing World star Alex Lawther said that while the experience of filming a “teeny-tiny” part of the film was “amazing”, he feared that his part “might be on the cutting room floor”.

“They took over this little town in Angoulême in the south of France and it was one of the biggest productions I’ve ever been involved in,” Lawther recalled about working on The French Dispatch.

“Wes likes to keep the spirit of a short film. All of the actors would eat with him every evening and discuss how the day went. I was only there for two days, but I wish I could have been there bit longer.”

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