Wes Anderson's next movie, Asteroid City, will feature an all-star ensemble cast headlined by Tom Hanks, Scarlett Johansson, and Bryan Cranston. Maya Hawke, who plays Robin Buckley on Netflix's Stranger Things, also has a role in the upcoming movie. Asteroid City will be released by Universal's Focus Features label, his first with the studio since 2012's Moonrise Kingdom, Focus announced Wednesday. The movie is expected to open next year.
The new movie is described as a "poetic meditation on the meaning of life" set in a fictional American desert town in 1955. Asteroid City is centered around a Junior Stargazer convention, which brings students and parents from across the country to the small town for "scholarly competition, rest/recreation, comedy, drama, romance, and more." Anderson wrote the story with Roman Coppola, his collaborator on The Darjeeling Limited, Moonrise Kingdom, Isle of Dogs, and The French Dispatch.
"We are beyond thrilled to be the global home for Asteroid City, bringing Focus back in business with Wes and his producing partners," Focus Features chairman Peter Kujawski said. "Wes is a generational talent whose films delight audiences around the world; and we're sure that the combination of his incredibly emotional story and vision combined with the insanely talented group of actors he has assembled, will mean that Asteroid City will be no different."
The Asteroid City cast includes many Anderson regulars and new faces. Jason Schwartzman, Jeffrey Wright, Tilda Swinton, Ed Norton, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Tony Revolori, and Jeff Goldblum have all worked with the filmmaker before. Hanks, Rita Wilson, Cranston, Liev Schreiber, Johansson, Hope Davis, Stephen Park, Rupert Friend, Hawke, Margot Robbie, Jake Ryan, Grace Edwards, Aristou Meehan, Sophia Lillis, Hong Chau, and Ethan Lee also star.
Anderson has been nominated for seven Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay for The Grand Budapest Hotel. He's also earned nominations for his Moonrise Kingdom and The Royal Tenenbaums screenplays. His stop-motion animation films Fantastic Mr. Fox and Isle of Dogs were both nominated for Best Animated Feature Film.
Anderson's most recent films have been released by Searchlight, the former 20th Century Fox label. His 2021 film The French Dispatch was caught in the middle of Disney's Fox acquisition and was unceremoniously dumped into theaters for a brief run before it hit streaming. While Anderson's films aren't known for being blockbusters, The French Dispatch grossed just $16 million domestically. It did far better in foreign markets though, grossing $30.2 million outside North America. Anderson is already prepping his next film, The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar, which stars Benedict Cumberbatch in the title role and is based on a Roald Dahl story. It will be Anderson's first film for Netflix.