Ranking alongside Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums as one of my three favourite Wes Anderson films, Moonrise Kingdom was the most joyful experience I had at the movies all of last year. To say that I am looking forward to Anderson’s follow-up film, The Grand Budapest Hotel, would be an understatement. Featuring an ensemble cast that would make Moonrise Kingdom’s look like the size of Michael Haneke’s Amour by comparison, Grand Budapest Hotel stars…get ready for it…Ralph Fiennes, Jude Law, Saoirse Ronan, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Adrien Brody, Tilda Swinton, Owen Wilson, Willem Dafoe, Harvey Keitel, Jeff Goldblum, Jason Schwartzman, Bob Balaban, Mathieu Amalric, and yes: even F. Murray Abraham, for crying out loud!
Much to my personal tastes, the movie’s apparent temperament will be that of Billy Wilder’s The Apartment and Ernst Lubitsch’s The Shop Around the Corner. Not much has been released yet in terms of plot details, but so far we know that Fiennes will play the lead role of the titular hotel’s ever-composed concierge, Mr. Gustave. The Grand Budapest Hotel marks Anderson’s eighth directorial feature, and is set to be released in theatres sometime in 2014. For a flavour of what’s to come, check out the film’s first collection of onset images and behind-the-scenes videos immediately below.