You’re going to watch the first trailer for Asteroid City, and you’re going to think, “Yup, that’s a Wes Anderson movie.” That’s because it couldn’t look more like a Wes Anderson movie, though the film does feature aliens, which puts the movie into science fiction, a genre the director hasn’t dabbled in before. Asteroid City also features a host of actors who are making their Anderson film debut (alongside many of his mainstays), like Tom Hanks and (kind of) Scarlett Johansson, so that’s something new as well.
See, that is 100% a Wes Anderson film and you probably already know if you’re going to enjoy it or not depending on whether or not you like Wes Anderson. The story, which Anderson wrote alongside Roman Coppola, follows a town in 1955 that is hosting a Junior Stargazer event that becomes something even bigger when it appears that aliens visit. Mixed up in all of this, in typical Anderson fashion, is a family in turmoil, a fading movie star, and a host of other characters framed directly in the middle of the screen. It all looks visually stunning, and the American Midwest fits incredibly nicely into Anderson’s visual style, lending an almost western vibe to the entire proceedings.
As the trailer suggests, the Asteroid City cast is absolutely absurd as it is starting to feel like starring in a Wes Anderson film is a contractual obligation for being famous in Hollywood. The full list includes Jason Schwartzman, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Hanks, Jeffrey Wright, Tilda Swinton, Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, Adrien Brody, Liev Schreiber, Hope Davis, Stephen Park, Rupert Friend, Maya Hawke, Steve Carell, Matt Dillon, Hong Chau, Willem Dafoe, Margot Robbie, Tony Revolori, Jake Ryan, and Jeff Goldblum. Of course, every Anderson film is stocked full of famous people so that’s no guarantee of success, but this definitely feels like one of his stronger outings.
Asteroid City will premiere in limited theaters on Friday, June 16 and then be released nationwide on Friday, June 23.