Yankee Racers: Fantastic Mr. Fox

From stretch:

Darjeeling was a lot lower budget, and I feel like Fox didn’t expect huge numbers from it.

It appears with Mr Fox, that they’re going to carefully place the release date. I think this bodes well, and I think Wes’s meticulous attention to detail will translate well to clay (or whatever they use — models). I really hope Mr Fox can be upper echelon stop motion — approaching Nightmare Before Christmas status.

Certainly, Wes has accumulated more fans with each film, so all those people will be interested. What do you think Mr Fox needs to be? Light? Detailed? Epic? Rated G?

Join the discussion.

Mr. Fox pushed back… one week

Fox has moved the release date of Fantastic Mr. Fox from November 6 to November 13, 2009, according to Box Office Mojo.

According to Cinematical, the move might be to give the film some financial room:

According to Box Office Mojo, the studio has moved The Tooth Fairy back from November 13th to next January (because where else are you going to stick a Dwayne-Johnson-as-hockey-player-as-tooth-fairy outing?), and Wes Anderson’s The Fantastic Mr. Fox has moved back a week from 11/6 to 11/13 as their choice contender for the family dollar. This now places it right after Disney and Robert Zemeckis’ A Christmas Carol (really, the first week of November?) and just before Warners’ Cats & Dogs sequel (really, the second movie of Cats & Dogs?).

I’m not sure how much Johnson’s recent Race to Witch Mountain cost, but I can’t help but think that he’d like to outperform that film’s good-not-great $60-ish million gross, and January could be just the grounds to do that in. (Paul Blart: Mall Cop opened within a week of the proposed new date and has raked in… almost $144 million? Yep, over $140 million.) Mr. Fox, on the other hand, is a mainstream proving ground for the ever-quirky Anderson, and with a voice cast that includes George Clooney, Cate Blanchett, Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, and Anjelica Huston, let’s hope it has reason to top the $28 million gross of that last animated adaptation of a Roald Dahl book, 1996’s James and the Giant Peach.

Adapted from Loraxaeon’s Yankee Racers post.

Fantastic Mr. Fox rumors

The Dutch Hollywood.blog has made several startling claims, namely that Meryl Streep has replaced Cate Blanchett as Mrs. Fox.  It also seems to suggest (from the poor translation, Dutch speakers: please help me!) that Owen Wilson, Michael Gambon, Willem Dafoe, Adrien Brody, Jarvis Cocker, and Wes himself all have voice roles in the film.

These are unsubstantiated rumors. Can anyone confirm or deny them?

Updated March 31 (8:30 p.m.)

Reader drbenway raises a possible explanation in his comment:

Well…  I would bet a very small amount of money that they’re assuming Anderson does voice work in the film because of the fact that he read some lines in the rough cut they recently screened.

Updated April 1 (7:30 a.m.)

Dutch-speaker John adds (edited slightly):

I’m Dutch, (so excuse my english ; ) and this is what it basically says. From the screening it was clear that Meryl Streep does the voice of Mrs. Fox instead of… Cate Blanchett. Fantastic Mr. Fox is a mixture of Wes Anderson (of course), Wallace And Gromit, and Watership Down. The three farmers are done by Bill Murray (Badger), Jason Schwartzman (Ash), and Owen Wilson (Coach Skip). Other voices are Michael Gambon (Franklin Bean), Willem Dafoe (Rat), Pulp singer Jarvis Cocker (Petey)… Wes Anderson (Weasel)!! and Adrien Brody (Rickity). The logo earlier post on this site, which I don’t believe… was ‘real.’ It was printed on a presentation folder that 20th Century Fox handed out in Showest.

Earlier, our good pal Loraxaeon suggested the same, that the logo was from the early promotional material and not from the title frame. We agree. Thanks for the translation, John!

New York Magazine: “Is Wes Anderson Changing the Ending of Fantastic Mr. Fox?”

The New York Magazine entertainment blog, on the heels of The Playlist, wonders if Wes has changed the ending to Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr. Fox. For one thing, we should consider the source: an anonymous message board post (see the post in question here).  And, a correction: these observations are not from the Sunday screening in New Jersey but an earlier one (check the date on the message!).

Wes Anderson’s hugely anticipated stop-motion film adaptation of Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr. Fox screened for a New Jersey test audience yesterday. How was it? “Very good,” says an anonymous message-board critic with a devil-may-care attitude about signed nondisclosure agreements. There is something slightly troubling, though. From the review:

“The plot itself doesn’t deviate from the book that much. At the moment they’ve changed the ending slightly from the book, but from the feedback we gave in the discussion at the end, it wasn’t particularly popular (although I personally thought it was quite good), so they may do something completely different with it.”

What could Anderson have possibly changed? And what makes his new ending so odious? Did he shoehorn in an Anderson-esque scene in which the three farmers are all simultaneously reunited with their fathers? Is there an egregious use of sixties Britpop? We’re getting worried!

Going to see Mr. Fox this afternooon?

If you are going to a screening of Fantastic Mr. Fox today in the New York area, we would love to hear your spoiler-free feedback.

E-mail edwardappleby @ yankeeracers.org!

Fantastic Mr. Fox screening?

Guy on imdb claims he has screening tickets to see Fantastic Mr. Fox (out this November) this Sunday.

I don’t trust information from the imdb message boards, but has anyone heard anything about this? Comment, e-mail, or tweet (@rushmoreacademy) me.

I will report back to the team.

On the trail of Mr. Fox

wesfoxThis intelligence report is a community effort. Comment, tweet (@rushmoreacademy), or e-mail additions and corrections. I will add them to the post. Discuss the Fox over at the Yankee Racers forum!

Released by Fox Animation Studios (originally Revolution Studios)

Release date: November 6, 2009

Directed by Wes Anderson
Novel by Roald Dahl
Screenplay by Wes Anderson and Noah Baumbach

Animation by Mark Gustafson (originally Henry Selick)

Music by
Alexandre Desplat, composer (The Queen, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button)
Jarvis Cocker

Cinematograpy by Tristan Oliver (Wallace and Gromit, Chicken Run)

George Clooney as Mr. Fox
Cate Blanchett as Mrs. Fox
Bill Murray as the Badger
Jason Schwartzman
Anjelica Huston
Meryl Streep

Continue reading “On the trail of Mr. Fox”

Bill Murray talks the Fox

From ComingSoon.net:

Q: What is your role in Wes Anderson’s upcoming animated “Fantastic Mr. Fox”?

Murray: I’ll be playing the badger.

Q: What is your badger voice?

Murray: Unfortunately, my badger… I worked really, really hard on a Wisconsin accent, ’cause I thought that would be an appropriate badger voice. And for the first couple scenes I did this Wisconsin badger voice that I thought was so funny. I did the first couple scenes and then Wes goes, “Nah, I don’t think so. I would think it’s kind of a Savile Row badger.” Who here has seen a badger walkin’ down Savile Row? Anybody? (Laughter) Yeah. That’s what I said. But these are these new directors. You know, you just gotta give ’em their… you know, let ’em hang themselves. I’ve seen some pictures of it. I think it’s old-fashioned ’cause it’s taking ’em a very long time to get it done, but they’re very excited (complete interview).

Other articles of interest:

“Nico: the return of the rock’n’roll star” from The Independent (U.K.)

“After divorce, Bill Murray looks for renewal” from Associated Press

“Why is Wes Anderson the greatest man to walk the Earth?”

Nice post by Justin over at Tengumaster Chronicles:

Hi everyone,

So I’m late. In more than one way, actually. First and foremost, if you’ve been checking my movie log (and I know you have), then you will notice that I just recently saw The Darjeeling Limited. Forgive me, I know I have sinned, but it was earnest- I was at school, away from limited release theaters, when it came out and by the time I returned for Christmas it was out of theaters. When the DVD came out, they were all gone in the Blockbuster in San Diego, so I finally saw it while at home for spring break. Anyways- amazing movie. Every time Wes Anderson makes a film, it becomes impossible to rank it among the others. This film was absolutely amazing, but was it better than Rushmore or The Royal Tenenbaums? It’s hard to say, really, they are all just so great. His visual style as well as his use of deadpan humor, minimalist dialog and a number of common themes tie his films together, and sitting next to each other on a shelf, they certainly feel related. I will not go on and on about the movies, as Rushmore Academy (The net’s biggest and best Anderson fan site) has done that well enough. I will say though, that each of his movies has certainly impacted me personally, and the way I look at family, friendship and the human condition. The idiosyncrasies of his characters and the perfection and detail of his sets, wardrobes, and soundtracks certainly convey his own little beautiful world, utterly separate from our own, but it would be hard to call his work fantasy. In the case of his most recent work, I felt so connected to all three of the Whitman brothers, in different ways. I certainly feel that my obsessive compulsive nature can be similar to Francis, but I definitely feel that my attachment to women is conveyed in Jack. Strangely enough, as hard as it is to say (as always with Anderson), my favorite of the three is probably Adrien Brody as Peter. I am in total anticipation for 2009’s The Fantastic Mr. Fox (I loved Roald Dahl as a child.) It is a shame that this film, along with his previous four, didn’t win the oscar.

Thanks, Justin!

Wes talks shop, and Mr. Fox

Rotten Tomatoes
November 22, 2007

Wes Anderson burst onto the American Indie scene in 1996 with his first feature film Bottle Rocket which also introduced the world to Luke and Owen Wilson. Cementing his reputation as the Godfather of Quirk with films like Rushmore, The Life Aquatic and The Royal Tenenbaums, Anderson returns to screens this year with The Darjeeling Limited, about a trio of brothers who take a train journey through India and discover more about themselves and each other than perhaps they’d ever hoped for. He talks to Rotten Tomatoes.

Where did the idea for the film come from originally?

Wes Anderson: Initially I had two ideas; one that I wanted to make a movie in India and the second one was that I had this idea about a movie with three brothers on a train together. I mixed them together and they became The Darjeeling Limited.

The other main idea I think was that I thought I’d like to write with Roman Coppola and Jason Schwartzman and I think the movie we wound up making is really the combination of all three of our points of view mixed together.

Continue reading “Wes talks shop, and Mr. Fox”