The poster for Wes Anderson's The French Dispatch has dropped, and it's truly a thing of beauty. In a sea of lacklustre, design-by-committee movie posters, this masterpiece by illustrator Javi Aznarez is a very welcome breath of fresh air.
The movie (full title: The French Dispatch Of The Liberty, Kansas Evening Sun) marks Anderson's return to live action, following 2018's Isle of Dogs. The story is focused on American journalists working in a French town – hence the magazine-cover stylings seen in the poster. The trailer also dropped today; scroll down to watch it.
Anderson is known for his highly distinctive aesthetic, showcased through back-catalogue movies such as The Grand Budapest Hotel and Moonrise Kingdom. It's meticulous, often symmetrical, and highly detailed. Combine that with a subject matter that lends itself to design magic, and it's no real surprise this poster is such a winner.
A struggle we see – sometimes quite visibly – in movies with lots of big-name stars, is how to show off all the actors within the poster design. Often we end up with an awkward collage of faces with no clear focal point and no real concept to speak of (this 2017 article asking are movies in a design crisis? sums it up nicely).
The poster for The French Dispatch, manages it effortlessly, however. The frankly ridiculous lineup of superstar actors includes Tilda Swinton, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody, Léa Seydoux, Timothée Chalamet and Benicio Del Toro. Aznarez gives all these stars, and more, their own dedicated space to shine, along with tantalising details hinting at their character.
Owen Wilson wears a beret, Timothée Chalamet takes a bath, Léa Seydoux does something involving a gun. What can it all mean?! What can we glean about the story from these details? There's plenty to unpick here. Check out the trailer below.
The French Dispatch will arrive in UK cinemas on 24 July.