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Wes Anderson's New Movie Moonrise Kingdom Starring Willis, Norton, and Murray Goes to Focus Features

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood May 2, 2011 at 11:47AM

Just in time to sell foreign rights at Cannes, Focus Features has acquired worldwide rights to Wes Anderson's 60s story Moonrise Kingdom, with a stellar cast already assembled.
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Thompson on Hollywood
Thompson on Hollywood

Just in time to sell foreign rights at Cannes, Focus Features has acquired worldwide rights to Wes Anderson's 60s story Moonrise Kingdom, with a stellar cast already assembled.

They are: Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton and Anderson regulars Bill Murray and Jason Schwartzman. Filming is already under way on Rhode Island on the project, which was written by Anderson and Roman Coppola; the duo also wrote Anderson's The Darjeeling Limited.

Here's the synopsis:


Set on an island off the coast of New England in the 1960s, Moonrise Kingdom follows a young boy and girl falling in love. When they are moved to run away together, various factions of the town mobilize to search for them and the town is turned upside down – which might not be such a bad thing. Bruce Willis plays the town sheriff; two-time Academy Award nominee Edward Norton is cast as a camp leader; Academy Award nominee Bill Murray and Academy Award winner Frances McDormand portray the young girl’s parents; the cast also includes Academy Award winner Tilda Swinton and Jason Schwartzman. The young boy and girl are played by Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward.

Indian Paintbrush, which executive-produced and co-financed Mr. Anderson’s Fantastic Mr. Fox and The Darjeeling Limited, which were both produced by Scott Rudin, is presenting the American Empirical Pictures production which is produced by Anderson, Rudin, Indian Paintbrush’s Steven Rales, and American Empirical’s Jeremy Dawson.

Indian Paintbrush is in pre-production on the romantic comedy Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, written for director Lorene Scafaria; Steve Carell and Keira Knightley are set to star. Now shooting is an untitled David Chase project starring James Gandolfini, and in post-production for the company is the Duplass brothers' Jeff Who Lives At Home, starring Jason Segel, Susan Sarandon, Ed Helms, and Judy Greer for release by Paramount Pictures, which partnered with Indian Paintbrush to buy Drake Doremus’ Sundance Grand Jury Prize-winning Like Crazy, a romance with rising stars Anton Yelchin and Jennifer Lawrence, who co-star in Jodie Foster's The Beaver.

This article is related to: Festivals, Genres, Studios, In Production, Cannes, Period, comedy, Universal/Focus Features


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.