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Wes Anderson’s ‘The French Dispatch’ Adds Lois Smith (EXCLUSIVE)

Lois Smith has joined the cast of Wes Anderson’s “The French Dispatch,” Variety has learned.

It continues a late-career resurgence for the 88-year-old stage and screen actress. Smith was nominated for a Gotham and Independent Spirit Award for her work in last year’s “Marjorie Prime,” a role that garnered her some of the best reviews of her career. She also appeared in the Oscar-nominated “Lady Bird.”

Smith will play an unspecified supporting role and joins an ensemble that includes Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, Frances McDormand, Benicio del Toro, Jeffrey Wright, and her “Lady Bird” co-star Timothee Chalamet. Filming is reportedly already underway.

The French Dispatch” is set in Paris during the 1950s and follows a group of journalists at an American newspaper bureau. Anderson will write and direct the movie, which is his first live-action film since 2014’s “The Grand Budapest Hotel.” Scott Rudin will produce the movie. No distribution deal has been announced, but Fox Searchlight, the indie studio that has released several Anderson pics, is expected to nab the project. Anderson recently directed the stop-motion animated “Isle of Dogs,” which opened last spring.

Smith’s credits include “True Blood,” “The Nice Guys,” and “Five Easy Pieces.” She made her feature film debut opposite James Dean in 1955’s “East of Eden.” Smith is represented by AKA and Cornerstone.

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