Mr. Fox at Venice, Jarvis on Fallon

Looks like Fantastic Mr. Fox will be playing out of competition at the 66th Venice Film Festival. The film will be screened alongside new films from Michael Moore, Steven Soderbergh, and the Coen Brothers, among a host of other films from around the world. Anderson was last at the festival holding the world premiere of The Darjeeling Limited, which played in competition and won the Little Golden Lion prize. The festival runs from September 2nd to the 12th. (Which would make this the world premiere of Fox, coming over a month before the London Film Festival.)


And here’s Fox composer and voice actor Jarvis Cocker on last night’s Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

Ain’t It Cool interviews Jason Schwartzman

From Ain’t It Cool:

Beaks: It was just announced that THE FANTASTIC MR. FOX is going to have its worldwide premiere at the London Film Festival. Have you seen the movie? And if so, can you give us an idea of what to expect from it? The pictures really have people freaking out. In a good way, I think.

Schwartzman: I’ve seen the film, and I’m proud to be a part of it. I think it looks really beautiful. Wes didn’t change his style of filmmaking and writing to suit the genre or the concept of the film. He brought it to him. It’s just the new Wes Anderson film, but with puppets instead of live actors. It’s stop-motion. It was really fun to be a part of it because Wes tried as hard as he could to not have all of the actors recording their voices separately in studios at various times. He really made an effort to get the actors together in groups, and literally act out the scenes with each other. To have overlapping [dialogue], and just weird exchanges. He’d have a gentleman with a boom mic running after us, following us doing it all. So, for example, the scenes in the movie where we dig? That’s actually all of us on the ground digging – like digging in the real dirt. And if we were eating, we’d go “Rawr!” and have real stuff in our mouths. I play George Clooney’s son, and there’s a scene where we’re talking to each other or having an emotional scene, and those scenes really are the two of us in a room acting and looking at each other – as opposed to being done separately and pieced together later. Of course, there are exceptions. Meryl Streep is in it, and I never got to act with her. But for the most part, most of my scenes were done with the actors I’m working with.

It’s really beautiful. I was thinking about this yesterday, and I think it will appeal to the kid in adults and the adults in children. It crosses at a certain point because the dialogue is really funny, so adults will love it. But they’ll also love it because maybe they loved the book. And, also, animation just does something to the brain where it makes you feel young. And I feel that kids will love it because it is animation, and they are young. But they’ll also just love the dialogue and the physical action. There’s a lot of physical humor in it that I feel Wes wouldn’t have been able to do with live actors due to the constraints of the universe and physics and gravity. (Laughs)

Continue reading “Ain’t It Cool interviews Jason Schwartzman”

Mr. Fox at film festivals

On Monday, The Playlist incorrectly reported that the opening of Fantastic Mr. Fox at the BFI London Film Festival in October was likely proof that the film had been rejected by the other major festivals (to their credit, they have revised the story printed below):

Good news and bad news. Wes Anderson’s “Fantastic Mr. Fox” will make its world premiere at the Times BFI London Film Festival which runs October 14 through 29 according to THR. Good for the film, but that means the film won’t premiere early at the Venice Film Festival or the Toronto International Film festival, both of which happen in September.

Variety already said that ‘Fantastic Mr. Fox had applied to the Venice Film Festival (and even then it seemed doubtful if the picture would get accepted) and this probably means it’s been turned down and if TIFF didn’t pick it up, well, this might be tacit understanding of its quality. Or maybe the picture’s just not ready yet? We’re not saying it’s bad, but it appears that Venice and therefore probably TIFF passed on the film, which sorta speaks for itself, especially since Venice pretty much loves Anderson and held the world premiere of “The Darjeeling Limited.”

This also likely means the film won’t screen at the New York Film Festival which typically ends by the time London will have even started so North American audiences won’t have a chance to see the film until it’s in theaters on November 13.

Our source at Fox tells us that the studio passed on both Venice and New York, even though the film was even offered opening night at the New York Film Festival! Fantastic Mr. Fox is a British film, inspired by a British author and made by British hands (not to mention that only world premieres can open the London FF). London calls!

The Times (U.K.) on Mr. Fox at BFI London Film Festival


(Dahl inside of his garden writing hut)

Great story from The Times today:

After a decade brewing in the mind of one of Hollywood’s most idiosyncratic directors, the long-awaited adaptation of Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr Fox — with 30 sets based on the author’s own home and village — will open The Times BFI London Film Festival in the autumn.

The stop-motion animation of Dahl’s children’s book stars George Clooney, who voices the ingenious Mr Fox, and Meryl Streep as Mrs Fox. Michael Gambon supplies the voice of the malevolent farmers, and the pop singer Jarvis Cocker plays a musically inclined farmhand. It will premiere at the 53rd film festival on October 14.

Continue reading “The Times (U.K.) on Mr. Fox at BFI London Film Festival”

British creativity and Fantastic Mr. Fox

The Guardian is running a piece on Tuesday about the importance of creative industries to Britain’s future. It includes an interesting little tidbit relating to Fantastic Mr. Fox:

Animation graduates from the University for the Creative Arts (UCA) recently helped to complete the new Fantastic Mr Fox film. Despite starring the voices of Hollywood, it was made almost entirely by British hands in London.

I even found this old announcement at the university’s website. Very cool.

Fantastic Mr. Fox to open BFI London Film Festival, 14-29 October


The fox is clearly out of the bag on this one, but we chose to respect BFI’s wishes to hold this story until midnight BST on Tuesday. Please excuse the delay.

Fantastic Mr. Fox will open The Times BFI London Film Festival in October. The film opens on October 23 in the U.K. and November 13 in the US. It is exciting to see that Wes has embraced his adaptation of Roald Dahl’s 1970 children’s book as a British film.

From the newswire:

London – Monday 27 July: The Times BFI London Film Festival is proud to announce that this year’s Festival will open on Wednesday 14 October with the world premiere of FANTASTIC MR. FOX, from visionary director Wes Anderson (THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS, THE DARJEELING LIMITED).

Anderson’s first animated film, which he co-wrote with Noah Baumbach, uses classic handmade stop motion techniques to tell the story of the best selling children’s book by British author Roald Dahl (author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and James and the Giant Peach). The film features the voices of George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Jason Schwartzman, Bill MurrayWally Wolodarsky, Eric Anderson, Michael Gambon, Willem Dafoe, Owen Wilson, Jarvis Cocker and Helen McCrory. It is produced by Wes Anderson, Scott Rudin and Allison Abbate.

Wes Anderson, George Clooney, Meryl Streep and Jason Schwartzman are expected to attend the opening night screening along with other members of the voice cast.

Mr and Mrs Fox (Clooney and Streep) live an idyllic home life with their son Ash (Jason Schwartzman) and visiting young nephew Kristopherson (Eric Anderson).  But after 12 years, the bucolic existence proves too much for Mr Fox’s wild animal instincts.  Soon he slips back into his old ways as a sneaky chicken thief and in doing so, endangers not only his beloved family, but the whole animal community.  Trapped underground and with not enough food to go around, the animals band together to fight against the evil farmers Boggis, Bunce and Bean, who are determined to capture the audacious, fantastic Mr Fox at any cost.

The film was shot at London’s Three Mills Studios and Twentieth Century Fox will release the film in the UK on 23 October 2009.

Sandra Hebron, the Festival’s Artistic Director comments: “Wes Anderson’s boundless invention and meticulous film making craft find perfect expression in this imaginative and hugely enjoyable version of a much loved story. We are delighted to open our festival with FANTASTIC MR. FOX, and thrilled to host its world premiere.”

On having the film’s world premiere at the Festival, director Wes Anderson adds: “FANTASTIC MR. FOX is a British film — based on a Roald Dahl book, set in the UK, produced in the UK — and so I am especially pleased to have been invited to be the opening night movie of this year’s London Film Festival. We had a wonderful experience at the LFF with my previous film, and I am eagerly looking forward to introducing FANTASTIC MR. FOX to the world in this wonderful venue.”

The full programme for The Times BFI 53rd London Film Festival will be announced at the Press Launch on Wednesday 9 September.

The Festival runs from 14-29 October 2009