Trailer of “Asteroid City”: A Wes Anderson Film


Image Courtesy of World of Reel

By John Maggio

On March 29, the trailer for Wes Anderson’s newest film, Asteroid City, was released. Coming to theaters June 23, this will be his 11th film, starting with 1996’s Bottle Rocket and, most recently, 2021’s The French Dispatch. His other known works are 2009’s Fantastic Mr. Fox and 2014’s The Grand Budapest Hotel.

Major names in Hollywood, such as Tom Hanks and Steve Carell will be making this their Anderson movie debut. There will also be many names that are familiar with Anderson, such as Willem Dafoe, Tilda Swinton, and Jeff Goldblum.

Set in 1955, Asteroid City tells the story of the annual “Asteroid Day” on September 23 for “Junior Stargazers” in the fictional American desert town of Asteroid City, named after a meteorite landing in the area on September 23, 3007 B.C. Chaos comes to the small town when there is a nuclear explosion, followed by a UFO visiting, leading to a federal quarantining of the town.
This setting in a fictional American town is not unusual for Anderson, who often creates fictional countries, cities, and islands as settings for his movies. This includes settings such as the New England Island of New Penzance in 2012’s Moonrise Kingdom and the Eastern European nation of Zubrowka in 2014’s The Grand Budapest Hotel.

Given that the trailer depicts a UFO and multiple claims about an alien in the town, Anderson seems to be taking a stab at a sci-fi theme in this movie, a first for him.

A common theme in Anderson’s movies deals with divides and the eventual bonding between family members, and this film also seems to carry this concept. In the trailer, when discussing who he loves, Tom Hanks’s character, who is seemingly the father-in-law of Jason Schwartzman’s character, says, “I don’t know if that includes you, but it included my daughter and your four children.” Earlier in the trailer, Jason Schwartzman’s character tells Scarlett Johansson’s character that he is a widower.

The trailer is littered with the typical quirky style of Anderson, from the flat view of a truck in a gas station, the pastel colors of the wardrobe, and playful fonts of signs, posters, and credit sequence.

While this movie is filled with many Hollywood A-lists, very few of them are shown in the trailer, including Willem Dafoe, Margot Robbie, and Jeff Goldblum.

Wes Anderson has been nominated for 15 Academy Awards, 20 British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Film Awards, and 10 Golden Globes. Of those nominations, his movies have only won four Oscars, five  BAFTAs, and two Golden Globes. All wins were won by 2014’s The Grand Budapest Hotel, except for his first Golden Globe, won by 2001’s The Royal Tenenbaums.

Asteroid City will be the first of his two movies to be released this year, with the second being The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar. This movie is an adaptation of a 1997 children’s book by Roald Dahl, The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More. This will be the second of Anderson’s movies that’s an adaptation of a Dahl book, the first being the 2009 movie Fantastic Mr. Fox from Dahl’s 1970 book of the same name.

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