Todd Gilchrist editor Wes Anderson’s “Asteroid City” is a nesting doll of a film—a television broadcast of a documentary about a play, assembled with the same precision and detail as Anderson’s “The Royal Tenenbaums,” “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and “The French Dispatch” among others.
Thematically, the connective tissue between its layers of reality, like many of those earlier films, is the notion and processing of loss.
But Anderson, who co-wrote the movie with longtime collaborator Roman Coppola, says one of his longtime leading men inspired him to assemble its pieces in the first place. “The movie ends up being about grief, but it evolved into that,” Anderson tells Variety. “Roman Coppola and I started this one with the idea that we wanted to build something around a role for Jason Schwartzman.” He and Schwartzman, one of Coppola’s cousins, have worked together since he cast the then-young actor as precocious, ambitious protagonist Max Fischer in his 1998 film “Rushmore.” Anderson says that some of his ideas for “Asteroid City” began percolating during the making of “The Darjeeling Limited,” “Fantastic Mr.
Fox” and “Moonrise Kingdom.” “I had long had this idea of doing a story that was about something like the Actor’s Studio, and a story of doing a kind of American desert ’50s movie,” he says. “We mixed these things together and built it around Jason.” A fruitful collaboration with Scarlett Johansson on “Isle of Dogs” prompted Anderson to consider her as his co-star and fellow anchor for a rich troupe featuring other veterans of his productions such as Jeffrey Wright, Tilda Swinton, Edward Norton and Adrien Brody, as well as newcomers like Bryan Cranston, Steve Carell and Margot Robbie. “I may have had a better.Read more on variety.com