The French Dispatch of the Liberty, Kansas Evening Sun is an 2021 American comedy-drama anthology film, written, directed, and produced by Wes Anderson from a story he conceived with Roman Coppola, Hugo Guinness, and Jason Schwartzman. The film stars an ensemble cast featuring Benicio del Toro, Adrien Brody, Tilda Swinton, Léa Seydoux, Frances McDormand, Timothée Chalamet, Lyna Khoudri, Jeffrey Wright, Mathieu Amalric, Stephen Park, Bill Murray, and Owen Wilson. Additional cast members in The French Dispatch include Liev Schreiber, Edward Norton, Willem Dafoe, Saoirse Ronan, Elisabeth Moss, Jason Schwartzman, and Anjelica Huston. Its plot follows three different storylines, as the French foreign bureau of a fictional Kansas newspaper creates its final issue.
The film is scheduled to be theatrically released in the United States by Searchlight Pictures on October 22, 2021.
The film has been described as "a love letter to journalists set at an outpost of an American newspaper in 20th-century Paris and centers on three storylines."
- Bill Murray as Arthur Howitzer Jr., the editor of the French Dispatch, based on Harold Ross, the co-founder of The New Yorker
- Owen Wilson as Herbsaint Sazerac, a travel writer and staff-member of the French Dispatch, based on Joseph Mitchell, a writer for The New Yorker
- Elisabeth Moss as Alumna, a copy editor of the French Dispatch staff
- Jason Schwartzman as Hermes Jones, a cartoonist and member of the French Dispatch staff
- Fisher Stevens as French Dispatch staff member
- Griffin Dunne as French Dispatch staff member
- Wally Wolodarsky as French Dispatch staff member
- Anjelica Bette Fellini as Proofreader
- Anjelica Huston as The Narrator
- Jarvis Cocker as the voice of Tip-Top, a French pop singer
The Concrete Masterpiece – by J.K.L. Berensen
- Tilda Swinton as J.K.L. Berensen, a writer and a staff-member of the French Dispatch
- Benicio del Toro as Moses Rosenthaler, an incarcerated artist
- Tony Revolori as young Moses Rosenthaler
- Adrien Brody as Julien Cadazio, an art dealer, based on Lord Duveen
- Léa Seydoux as Simone, a prison guard and Rosenthaler's muse
- Lois Smith as Upshur "Maw" Clampette, an art collector
- Henry Winkler as Uncle Joe, an uncle and business partner to Cadazio
- Bob Balaban as Uncle Nick, an uncle and business partner to Cadazio
- Denis Menochet as a prison guard
Revisions to a Manifesto – by Lucinda Krementz
- Frances McDormand as Lucinda Krementz, a journalist profiling the student revolutionaries
- Timothée Chalamet as Zeffirelli, a student revolutionary; boyfriend of Juliette
- Lyna Khoudri as Juliette, a student revolutionary; girlfriend of Zeffirelli
- Alex Lawther as Morisot, a student revolutionary
- Mohamed Belhadjine as Mitch Mitch, a student revolutionary
- Nicolas Avinée as Vittel, a student revolutionary
- Lily Taleb as Smart Girl, a student revolutionary
- Cécile de France as Mrs. B
- Guillaume Gallienne as Mr. B
- Christoph Waltz as Paul Duval, an art collector
The Private Dining Room of the Police Commissioner – by Roebuck Wright
- Jeffrey Wright as Roebuck Wright, a food journalist based on an amalgamation of James Baldwin and A.J. Liebling.
- Mathieu Amalric as The Commissaire, a policeman with a kidnapped son
- Stephen Park as Lt. Nescaffier, a chef and police officer who solves a kidnapping
- Winston Ait Hellal as Gigi, the Commissaire's kidnapped son.
- Liev Schreiber as Talk Show Host
- Edward Norton as The Chauffeur, a kidnapper
- Willem Dafoe as Albert the Abacus, a prisoner and underworld accountant
- Saoirse Ronan as Principal Showgirl, a member of the kidnapping gang
- Rupert Friend as Drill-Sergeant
- Hippolyte Girardot as Chou-fleur
Additionally, Benjamin Lavernhe, Vincent Macaigne, and Félix Moati have been cast in undisclosed roles.
In August 2018, it was announced Wes Anderson would write and direct an untitled musical film set in France, post World War II.
In November 2018, it was announced Jeremy Dawson would produce the film, with Tilda Swinton and Mathieu Amalric starring in the film. Dawson also confirmed the film is not a musical. Additionally, Natalie Portman, Brad Pitt, and Léa Seydoux were rumored for roles in the film. In December 2018, it was announced Anderson would write and direct the film, with Frances McDormand, Bill Murray, Benicio del Toro, and Jeffrey Wright; Seydoux was confirmed to star in the film alongside Swinton and Amalric, with Steven Rales producing under his Indian Paintbrush banner and Fox Searchlight Pictures distributing.
Later that month, Lois Smith and Saoirse Ronan joined the cast. In January 2019, Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody, Henry Winkler, Willem Dafoe, Bob Balaban, Steve Park, Denis Ménochet, Lyna Khoudri, Alex Lawther, Vincent Macaigne, Vincent Lacoste, Félix Moati, Benjamin Lavernhe, Guillaume Gallienne, and Cécile de France were cast. Robert Yeoman will serve as the film's cinematographer. In February 2019, it was announced Wally Wolodarsky, Fisher Stevens, Griffin Dunne, and Jason Schwartzman had joined the cast of the film. In April 2019, Christoph Waltz, Rupert Friend, and Elisabeth Moss were cast.
Initially, Kate Winslet was also part of the cast, but had to exit the project to prepare for her next role in Ammonite.
Principal photography began in November 2018, in the city of Angoulême (South-West France) and wrapped in March 2019. Murray and Ronan, who have small roles in the film, recorded their scenes over the course of two days.
In September 2019, Searchlight Pictures acquired distribution rights to the film. It was set to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival on May 12, 2020, and get a wide release on July 24, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival was cancelled and the film was pulled from the schedule on April 3, 2020. The film was rescheduled for release on October 16, 2020, before being pulled from the schedule again on July 23, 2020.
The French Dispatch had its world premiere at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival. The film will be screened at film festivals in the Hamptons, London, Mill Valley, Montclair, New York, San Diego, and Zürich. There was a surprise screening at Telluride. It is scheduled to be released in theaters on October 22, 2021.
- The French Dispatch on IMDb