Disney has delayed the release of Wes Anderson‘s The French Dispatch, which moves from July 24 to October 16, putting right in the heart of awards season — if there is one this year.
The film features Anderson alums such as two-time Oscar winner Frances McDormand, Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody, Jason Schwartzman, Anjelica Huston, Edward Norton, Willem Dafoe, Bob Balaban, Tony Revolori and Saoirse Ronan.
The rest of the ensemble includes Timothée Chalamet, Jeffrey Wright, Elisabeth Moss, Liev Schreiber, Léa Seydoux, Rupert Friend, Fisher Stevens, Griffin Dunne, Mathieu Amalric and two-time Oscar winner Christoph Waltz.
The film has been described as a love letter to journalists, as it is set in an outpost of an American newspaper in a fictional French city that brings to life a collection of stories published in The French Dispatch Magazine.
The French Dispatch will now open against Universal’s horror sequel Halloween Kills, though it is aimed at a very different audience, making it a strong bit of counter-programming from Searchlight Pictures that weekend.
There had been speculation that The French Dispatch would debut at the Cannes Film Festival, and it still could in the unlikely event that Cannes goes forward later this summer, though a fall festival premiere now seems more likely. Of course, everything is up in the air, and there’s no guarantee that the Venice, Telluride and Toronto film festivals won’t be impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
October is six months from now, and a lot could change — or not change — in that time. The Academy could change its rules to allow streaming titles to compete, or it could scrap this year’s ceremony entirely and combine this year’s films with next year’s crop, which is how the Academy operated in its early years.
As a Wes Anderson diehard as well as a journalist, I can’t wait to see The French Dispatch, and I’m willing to wait as long as i have to in order to be able to watch it safely on the big screen.