By Edward Davis | The Playlist December 26, 2012 at 11:48AM
Wes Anderson's next picture, "The Grand Budapest Hotel," was supposed to star Johnny Depp, but that plan fell through. Nevertheless, it has an outstanding cast featuring Ralph Fiennes, Jude Law, Saoirse Ronan, Jeff Goldblum and regular W.A. collaborators Bill Murray, Owen Wilson and Jason Schwartzman. Other names rumored early on were past collaborators Edward Norton who starred in "Moonrise Kingdom," Adrien Brody who was one of the brothers in "The Darjeeling Limited" and Willem Dafoe who played the second-in-command in "The Life Aquatic" (the latter two also did voice work in "Fantastic Mr. Fox").
In a recent interview with THR, Anderson confirmed Norton, Brody and Dafoe, and also added to the list "Moonrise Kingdom" cast mates Tilda Swinton and Harvey Keitel, plus F. Murray Abraham ("Amadeus") and French actor Mathieu Amalric (the villain of "Quantum Of Solace"). All and all, that's a stellar cast. Who needs Johnny Depp when you have this troupe, right?
There aren't a lot of story details so far, but "The Grand Budapest Hotel" centers around the trials and tribulations of Mr. Gustave (Fiennes) who serves as the hotel's perfectly composed concierge. Anderson has said the movie is a "Euro movie," there's a mind-reader character in the script, it takes place 85 years ago, and is inspired by the films of Ernst Lubitsch and Billy Wilder. If you're unfamiliar with either of those directors, you should rectify that soon -- here's two retrospectives and primers on both filmmakers to help you get started.
Evidently, "The Grand Budapest Hotel" was conceived of with an old friend, but it will be the first feature-length screenplay that Anderson has penned that won't feature a co-authoring credit. Past screenwriting collaborators include Owen Wilson, Noah Baumbach, Roman Coppola and Jason Schwartzman. "The Grand Budapest Hotel" has no release date yet, and unless they're fast-tracking it for some reason, we would expect a 2014 bow.