Wes Anderson called the other day from his office in Paris to talk about his latest film, that magical tale of first love, “Moonrise Kingdom.” You can read Anderson’s thoughts on the movie here in a 13-image gallery we put together. But while we had him on the line, we couldn’t resist asking about the project he’s currently prepping.
“We’re getting ready to make a movie in Germany,” Anderson says. “ ‘Grand Budapest Hotel’ or ‘Grand Hotel Budapest.’ ”
Told that we’d heard it titled “Grand Budapest Hotel,” Anderson chuckled.
“ ‘Grand Budapest Hotel,’ yes. I keep getting thrown by the order of those words.”
Now that we’ve cleared that up, we ask Anderson what he can tell us about the film, which will feature an ensemble cast with the likes of Ralph Fiennes, Jude Law and Anderson regulars Bill Murray and Jason Schwartzman.
“Uuuuum ... it’s a ... as you might gather from the title, a hotel figures prominently in it,” says Anderson, who’s not exactly a chatterbox when it comes to talking about upcoming work. “And it mostly takes place about 85 years ago.” Good. (Long pause.) Please. Go on. “And it’s kind of European ... a bit inspired partly by Hollywood Europe, and also by some European writers around that time. Yeah. That’s a little bit about it. Kind of vague, but ...”
Now, when you say “Hollywood Europe,” do you mean the tone of movies by directors like Ernst Lubitsch and Billy Wilder?
“Yes, like ‘To Be or Not to Be,’ the Lubitsch with Carole Lombard, that Europe which is not made in Europe at all,” Anderson says, warming to the subject. “Or ‘Shop Around the Corner.’ Or did you ever see ‘Love Me Tonight,’ the one Rouben Mamoulian made with Maurice Chevalier? I’m not a big musical fan, but it’s a wonderful one.”
“So I think we’ve got a little bit of that feel, that Europe on the Hollywood back lot, even though we’re actually going to Europe to do it,” Anderson continues. “It’s got some of that kind of thing in it. The Lubitsch ones are always good to aim for.”