The collaboration reunites the filmmaker with the studio that rolled out his 2012 coming-of-age story “Moonrise Kingdom,” which received an Oscar nomination for original screenplay. Searchlight has released Anderson’s last three movies: 2014’s “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” 2018’s “Isle of Dogs” and 2021’s “The French Dispatch.”
Universal Pictures, the parent company of Focus Features, will handle the new film’s international distribution.
In addition to directing, Anderson wrote the story with Roman Coppola. In the newly unveiled plot description, “Asteroid City” is described as a “poetic meditation on the meaning of life.” Set in a fictional American desert town circa 1955 and its Junior Stargazer convention, the film brings together students and parents from across the country for scholarly competition, rest and recreation, comedy, drama, romance, and more.
The star-studded cast features a mix of newcomers and familiar faces to Anderson’s cinematic universe, including Tom Hanks, Margot Robbie, Jason Schwartzman, Scarlett Johansson, Jeffrey Wright, Tilda Swinton, Bryan Cranston, Ed Norton, Adrien Brody, Liev Schreiber, Hope Davis, Stephen Park, Rupert Friend, Maya Hawke, Steve Carell, Matt Dillon, Hong Chau, Willem Dafoe, Tony Revolori, Jake Ryan, Grace Edwards, Aristou Meehan, Sophia Lillis, Ethan Lee, Jeff Goldblum and Rita Wilson.
“We are beyond thrilled to be the global home for ‘Asteroid City,’ bringing Focus back in business with Wes and his producing partners,” said Peter Kujawski, the chairman of Focus Features. “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.”
“Asteroid City” is produced by Anderson and longtime collaborators Steven Rales, founder of production company Indian Paintbrush, and Jeremy Dawson.
Anderson’s other popular works include “The Royal Tenenbaums,” “Fantastic Mr. Fox” and “The Darjeeling Unlimited.” He is represented by UTA and Jackoway Tyerman.