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Asteroid City - What We Know So Far

Acclaimed writer-director Wes Anderson is currently working on his 11th feature film, following his 2021 anthology comedy film "The French Dispatch." The new film, titled "Asteroid City," will be distributed by Focus Features, which is the same studio that Anderson worked with on 2012's "Moonrise Kingdom, per Variety. Universal Pictures, which is the parent company of Focus Features, will distribute "Asteroid City" internationally. This marks a shift from Anderson's collaboration with Searchlight, which distributed the director's three most recent films.

Peter Kujawski, the chairman of Focus Features, said in a statement, "We are beyond thrilled to be the global home for 'Asteroid City,' bringing Focus back in business with Wes and his producing partners. 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."

Anderson will, of course, be directing and producing the new picture. But, as for the writing aspect of it, Anderson shares a story credit with frequent collaborator Roman Coppola. Coppola co-wrote 2007's "The Darjeeling Limited" and 2012's "Moonrise Kingdom" and shares a story credit on 2018's "Isle of Dogs" and 2021's "French Dispatch."

Who will be in Asteroid City?

It wouldn't be a Wes Anderson film without a large ensemble cast full of familiar faces — and "Asteroid City," with its star-studded cast, is no different. Naturally, the cast includes some of Anderson's go-to actors: Jason Schwartzman, Edward Norton, Jeffrey Wright, Tilda Swinton, Tony Revolori, Jeff Goldblum, Adrien Brody, and Willem Dafoe, as reported by Variety.

Two big-name actors who are have signed on for their first Anderson film include Tom Hanks, who was most recently seen in this year's "Elvis" biopic, and Margot Robbie, who was last seen in 2021's "The Suicide Squad." Further, "Breaking Bad" star Bryan Cranston, "Black Widow" actress Scarlett Johansson, and Steve Carell, whose recent projects include "The Morning Show" and "Space Force," have joined "Asteroid City" as well. Other familiar faces include "Stranger Things" actor Maya Hawke, "Ray Donovan" star Liev Schreiber and "Obi-Wan Kenobi" actor Rupert Friend. Meanwhile, "Girls" actress Rita Wilson will also be appearing alongside Hanks — her real-life husband.

The rest of the announced cast include Hope Davis ("Your Honor," "Love Life"), Stephen Park ("Warrior"), Matt Dillon ("High Desert"), Hong Chau ("Watchmen," "Big Little Lies"), Jake Ryan ("Chad"), Grace Edwards ("Modern Love"), Aristou Meehan ("The Contractor"), Sophia Lillis ("It," "I Am Not Okay With This") and Ethan Lee ("Mr. Robinson").

What will Asteroid City be about?

So far, not a ton of plot details about "Asteroid City" have been released. However, we do have the official synopsis. Per an official release from Focus Features (via The A.V. Club), the synopsis is as follows: "'Asteroid City' is a poetic meditation on the meaning of life. It tells the story of a fictional American desert town circa 1955 and its Junior Stargazer convention, which brings together students and parents from across the country for scholarly competition, rest/recreation, comedy, drama, romance, and more."

Based on the synopsis, as well as the large cast, we can likely expect there to be several intertwining storylines within "Asteroid City." Maybe we'll get a young love storyline amongst the students competing or maybe we'll see some of the parent characters becoming more wrapped up in the competition than their kids. Seeing as the film is set in 1955, we can also likely expect the era to play into the storylines, such as through themes of race or gender.

We'll likely find out more details about the plot as we get closer to the film's release date, but, unfortunately, the release date for "Asteroid City" has yet to be announced.

What will Asteroid City be rated?

Moviegoers who are already interested in checking out "Asteroid City" — whether they be ardent fans of Wes Anderson or those just intrigued by the plot of a small-town school competition — may be wondering what rating the film will receive. Well, we can look to Anderson's other films to gauge our best bet.

Out of Anderson's 10 previous films, the vast majority of them have been rated R: "Bottle Rocket," "Rushmore," "The Royal Tenenbaums," "The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou," "The Darjeeling Limited," "The Grand Budapest Hotel," and "The French Dispatch." That leaves just three films that have received more family-friendly ratings — "Fantastic Mr. Fox" is rated PG, while "Moonrise Kingdom" and "Isle of Dogs" are rated PG-13.

It makes sense that Anderson's two stop-motion films, "Fantastic Mr. Fox" and "Isle of Dogs," would have lesser ratings, as both films, while still containing more mature themes, are more palatable to family audiences. Meanwhile, "Moonrise Kingdom" is Anderson's only film that has two children as the protagonists, thus it makes sense that a story following 12-year-olds would be less mature and more family-oriented than his many films focusing on adult protagonists. From what we know of "Asteroid City," there are a few younger actors, but the large ensemble seems to consist mostly of adults. So, it seems fair to assume that "Asteroid City" is more likely to be rated R than PG-13. Of course, once we learn more details regarding the plot, we'll be able to make an even more accurate guess about the rating.