With production kicking off in Rhode Island, the next live-action feature from the auteur writer/director Wes Anderson, has picked up a distributor. Moonrise Kingdom features a stellar cast of Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, and Jason Schwartzman.

There was even a hint of long-time collaborator Owen Wilson joining, but there is no mention in the press release. However, newcomers Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward have joined the film as a young boy and girl falling love who run away together and search commences for them in a 1960s New England coastal town.

By the expected 2012 release, this will mark the first live-action film for Anderson in five years. He last directed the animation Fantastic Mr. Fox in 2009, and The Darjeeling Limited before that, both distributed by Fox Searchlight. Moonrise Kingdom will mark his first Focus Features distributed fealm. While I haven’t outright adored any of his films, his unique style is always a refreshing time at the cinema. Check out the full press release below.






NEW YORK, May 2, 2011 – Focus Features has acquired worldwide distribution rights to Moonrise Kingdom, the new feature from two-time Academy Award nominee Wes Anderson. Indian Paintbrush is presenting the American Empirical Pictures production, which Mr. Anderson is directing from an original screenplay that he wrote with Roman Coppola. Filming has begun, and Focus Features International (FFI) will commence international sales on the title at this month’s Cannes International Film Festival. Focus CEO James Schamus made the announcement today.
Moonrise Kingdom is being produced by Mr. Anderson, Scott Rudin, Indian Paintbrush’s Steven Rales, and American Empirical’s Jeremy Dawson. Previously, Indian Paintbrush executive-produced and co-financed Mr. Anderson’s Fantastic Mr. Fox and The Darjeeling Limited, both also produced by Mr. Rudin.

Set on an island off the coast of New England in the 1960s, Moonrise Kingdom follows a young boy and girl falling in love. When they are moved to run away together, various factions of the town mobilize to search for them and the town is turned upside down – which might not be such a bad thing. Bruce Willis plays the town sheriff; two-time Academy Award nominee Edward Norton is cast as a camp leader; Academy Award nominee Bill Murray and Academy Award winner Frances McDormand portray the young girl’s parents; the cast also includes Academy Award winner Tilda Swinton and Jason Schwartzman. The young boy and girl are played by Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward.

Mr. Schamus commented, “One of the world’s most distinctive filmmakers, Wes crafts witty and emotionally affecting pictures. The stellar cast will bring his and Roman’s fanciful script to life, and audiences will enjoy their trip back in time to this Kingdom. Everyone at Focus is pleased to be working with Wes and partnering with Indian Paintbrush.”

Indian Paintbrush, a film development/production/finance company, is in pre-production on the romantic comedy Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, written and to be directed by Lorene Scafaria with Steve Carell and Keira Knightley starring. Currently in production is the Untitled David Chase Project with James Gandolfini, Brad Garrett, Bella Heathcote, and Jack Huston starring for the writer/director. Indian Paintbrush is in post-production on Jeff Who Lives At Home, written and directed by Jay and Mark Duplass, starring Jason Segel, Susan Sarandon, Ed Helms, and Judy Greer, which will be released by Paramount Pictures. Recently, Indian Paintbrush and Paramount acquired Drake Doremus’ Like Crazy, which took home the Grand Jury Prize for Drama as well as a Special Grand Jury Prize for star Felicity Jones at the Sundance Film Festival; the love story also stars Anton Yelchin and Academy Award nominee Jennifer Lawrence.

Focus Features and Focus Features International (www.focusfeatures.com) comprise a singular global company. This worldwide studio makes original and daring films that challenge the mainstream to embrace and enjoy voices and visions from around the world that deliver global commercial success. The company operates as Focus Features in North America, and as Focus Features International (FFI) in the rest of the world.

In addition to Moonrise Kingdom, current and upcoming Focus releases include Cary Joji Fukunaga’s acclaimed romantic drama Jane Eyre, starring Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender; Joe Wright’s sleeper hit thriller Hanna, starring Saoirse Ronan, Eric Bana, and Cate Blanchett; Mike Mills’ comedy/drama Beginners, starring Ewan McGregor and Academy Award nominee Christopher Plummer; John Madden’s espionage thriller The Debt, starring Helen Mirren, Sam Worthington, and Jessica Chastain; writer/director Dee Rees’ contemporary drama Pariah, which world-premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival; the untitled father/son drama from writer/director Paul Weitz starring two-time Academy Award winner Robert De Niro and Paul Dano; and Lone Scherfig’s romance One Day, based on the bestselling novel, starring Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess.

Focus Features and Focus Features International are part of NBCUniversal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. NBCUniversal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment television networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, and world-renowned theme parks. Comcast Corporation owns a controlling 51% interest in NBCUniversal, with GE holding a 49% stake.

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