Tom Hanks and Wes Anderson is a match made in heaven, but for one reason or another, it’s also a pairing that moviegoers have never gotten to see on the big screen. Well, that all changes this summer when ASTEROID CITY brings together the multi Academy Award®-winning actor and prolific filmmaker for a science-fiction comedy like no other.
Before we travel to that fictional American desert town with its mysterious history and connection with extraterrestrial visitors, we should probably go back and look at Hanks and Anderson’s respective careers to see what led them to this quirky comedy set in the middle of nowhere as we wonder why, just why, these two have never worked together before.
Welcome To Asteroid City
There are some of us who have been following ASTEROID CITY ever since the mysterious project with a cast just as stacked as OPPENHEIMER was first announced a few years ago, but there are just as many who probably don’t know anything about Wes Anderson’s 11th movie. So, for those who fall into the latter camp, here are a few things to know about it.
The upcoming movie is set in the fictional town of Asteroid City, a desert community that is the location of a Junior Stargazer convention. This event brings young minds and their parents, as well as scores of scientists, scholars, and journalists, deep into the American west. During one of those conventions, the residents and human guests are visited by a UFO, bringing with it even more intrigue to this secluded town.
The movie will serve as the first time Tom Hanks and Wes Anderson have worked together, but other members of the ASTEROID CITY cast are staples of the director’s various other movies. This includes the likes of Jason Scwartzman, Scarlett Johansson, Jeffrey Wright, Tilda Swinton, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Edward Norton, and a couple dozen other A-listers.
Tom Hanks’ Work With Film Auteurs
Though Tom Hanks is most associated with directors like Steven Spielberg, Robert Zemeckis, and Ron Howard, the beloved actor has made his fair share of movies with some of Hollywood’s most well-known and unique film auteurs, a list that will include Wes Anderson in a few short weeks.
Looking at Hanks’ extensive body of work, which includes award-winning dramas from Spielberg and Zemeckis, along with more conventional roles, the actor has a surprisingly large list of appearances in films helmed by the likes of the Coen Brothers, the Wachowskis, and Baz Luhrmann. While it is true that Hanks’ roles in movies like THE LADYKILLERS, CLOUD ATLAS, and ELVIS can be seen as outliers of his on-screen performances, these are movies where the actor was able to help bring to life the respective filmmaker’s vision in tremendous fashion.
Judging by the footage we’ve seen from ASTEROID CITY, it doesn’t appear that Hanks will be pulling off over-the-top characters like Professor G.H. Dorr, Colonel Tom Parker, or the various examples from the Wachowskis’ science fiction epic. However, it will be interesting to see what Hanks does under the direction of Wes Anderson and his distinct style.
Wes Anderson’s Distinct Style
Though you could argue that the Coen Brothers, the Wachowskis, and Baz Luhrmann all have their own unique styles that immediately tell the audience what kind of movie they’re watching, none come close to holding a candle to Wes Anderson. Over the course of the past quarter-century, Anderson has developed and refined a distinct style of visual storytelling that sets his films apart from his contemporaries, and everyone who came before him, for that matter.
Be it Anderson’s obsession with symmetrical shots, the deadpan delivery of dialogue by his characters, the liberal use of title cards to establish chapters or acts, the soundtracks, or even the way in which he uses more old-fashioned aspect ratios, there are a lot of tropes at play throughout each of Anderson’s movies. This is truer for his later work, but some of these characteristics can be spotted as far back as his directorial debut with BOTTLE ROCKET.
As mentioned earlier, Anderson also has a roster of actors he likes to use in his movies. There are ASTEROID CITY cast members like Jason Schwartzman, Adrien Brody, Tilda Swinton, and Willem Dafoe, as well as others like Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Owen Wilson, and Luke Wilson, who have all appeared in several of the director’s most famous offerings over the years.
It will be interesting to see how Tom Hanks and Wes Anderson play together in their first big-screen collaboration, and hopefully this is the beginning of a new partnership between the two icons of cinema. The only way to find out is by watching ASTEROID CITY when it comes to AMC Theatres nationwide in a few weeks.
AMC Asteroid City Sweepstakes
See ASTEROID CITY June 15th-18th and receive a Free mystery gift from the world of the movie. While supplies last only at select locations.