Anderson: Indie auteur rules his ‘Kingdom’

Comedy Impact Report 2012: Film - Wes Anderson

After opening this year’s Cannes Film Festival, Wes Anderson’s “Moonrise Kingdom” went on to become a surprise breakout success, earning $64 million worldwide.

Like his top-grossing film, the $71 million-earning “The Royal Tenenbaums,” “Kingdom” presents a surreal, meticulously stylized story.

Anderson is fond of working with the same troupe of actors, including Bill Murray and Jason Schwartzman. But when it came to casting “Kingdom’s” pre-teen leads, Anderson tapped unknown 12-year-old thesps Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward.

The indie auteur also took a gamble by casting several supporting parts against type: Bruce Willis plays a gloomy, ineffectual local lawman, while Edward Norton and Harvey Keitel appear as Khaki Scout officers. The stars, more often seen in dramas, added to the film’s comedic tone, especially Norton and Keitel who sported adult Scout uniforms, complete with short pants and knee socks.

Next up for Anderson is “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” for which he is recruiting unexpected collaborators, including Ralph Fiennes, Jude Law and Saoirse Ronan. Murray and Schwartzman are also expected to be part of the production, which is skedded to start early next year in Germany.

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