Wes Anderson may not hate dogs as much as we originally thought. Though the delightfully twee filmmaker has a history of punishing pooches on screen, his next project has been confirmed to be a stop-motion animated feature film centering on a dog. Though we have known about this for a little while now, Indiewire first broke the news on Friday, and it has been spreading across the internet like wildfire. However, we have learned even more details about the forthcoming film from Jeff Goldblum, of all people.
As many Los Angeles residents know, America’s sweetheart Jeff Goldblum performs a weekly jazz show with his band, The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra. During these shows, Goldblum hams it up with the crowd, answering questions and joking around with the audience in between playing classic jazz standards. During a recent performance attended by members of the Nerdist editorial staff, Goldblum was asked when he would next be collaborating with Wes Anderson.
In his signature cadence, Goldblum happily revealed to the crowd of one hundred-plus people that he would, in fact, be starring in Anderson’s stop-motion animated dog flick. What’s more, he will be starring alongside Bob Balaban, Edward Norton, and Bryan Cranston, and they will be playing a pack of dogs.
Goldblum also mentioned that the film would be “Japanese-inspired,” but did not give any further details as to what that might entail. The film is still in pre-production so some things may still be subject to change, but this Page Six report of Cranston, Norton, Anderson, and Bill Murray dining together at Cookshop in New York adds further credence to Goldblum’s words.
At last year’s Lisbon and Estoril Film Festival, Anderson revealed that he was working on a film influenced by Italian filmmaker Vittorio De Sica’s The Gold of Naples. The film, which Anderson presented at the festival, is divided into a series of narrative vignettes. According to Indiewire’s report, though, this project is entirely separate from the stop-motion animated dog film and is still in development.
Though he has filmed several animated commercials in the interceding years, this marks Anderson’s first return to stop-motion animated feature films since 2009’s Fantastic Mr. Fox. As Slashfilm reports, during a 2009 interview with Nashville Scene, Anderson expressed doubts over whether or not he would return to the world of animation:
“With live action, you have an immediacy. With an animated film, you can’t predict accidents and surprises. With a movie like this, when it’s actually being animated, as carefully as you prepare the shot and all the details, frame by frame, every animator comes up with a different interpretation. Their personalities, interests and strengths come through. You never quite know what it’s going to be. The feeling of being in control but nervous and excited about the unknown is the same.“
Based on how much I enjoyed Fantastic Mr. Fox, I am glad that he is taking the plunge into the swirling eddy of uncertainty that is stop-motion animation. Now, if we can just get Bill Murray on board, we’ll really be cooking with gas.
What do you think of this cast? Who else would you like to see in the film? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.
Images: Fox Searchlight
Dan Casey is the senior editor of Nerdist and the author of 100 Things Avengers Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die. You can follow him on Twitter (@Osteoferocious).