Watch: Asteroid City trailer
The romantic comedy-drama boasts an all-star cast led by Tom Hanks, Scarlett Johansson and Margot Robbie.
Here's everything you need to know about the film.
How to watch Asteroid City
It's the 11th film of Anderson's illustrious career so far, and his first since 2021's The French Dispatch, an ode to journalism set in 1970s France.
Asteroid City plot
Set in a tiny American desert town in the 1955, Wes Anderson's latest movie is described as a "poetic meditation on the meaning of life".
The film is told in an anthology format, like The French Dispatch, and follows three overlapping stories as the town hosts a space convention. But the arrival of an alien forces the government to quarantine Asteroid City, throwing the characters' lives into chaos.
Like most Anderson films, complicated family dynamics are at the heart of Asteroid City. The lead character is widowed dad-of-four Augie Steenbeck (Jason Schwartzman), who gets stranded in the remote town with his four children.
He urges his wealthy father-in-law Stanley (Tom Hanks) to help look after the kids, and grows close to famous actress Midge Campbell (Scarlett Johansson), who is also stuck in town with her teenage daughter (Grace Edwards).
Asteroid City cast and crew
Other familiar faces include Stranger Things' Maya Hawke, Sleepless in Seattle's Rita Wilson, and Hong Chau, fresh from her Oscar-nominated role in The Whale.
Many of the director's past collaborators are back for Asteroid City, including Jason Schwartzman, Edward Norton, Tilda Swinton, Bryan Cranston, Willem Dafoe, Adrien Brody and Jeff Goldblum.
However, Bill Murray, who has appeared in nine Anderson films, was forced to drop out after testing positive for Covid, so was replaced by The Office star Carrell.
Keep an eye out for Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker, who makes a brief cameo as a cowboy. The Britpop musician wrote a song for the film with ex-bandmate Richard Hawley. There are also cameos from Matt Dillon, Rupert Friend and Seu Jorge.
Anderson co-wrote the story with Roman Coppola, a trusted collaborator who also worked on The French Dispatch, Isle of Dogs, Moonrise Kingdom and The Darjeeling Limited.
The director admitted the script was inspired by the Covid lockdown, telling AFP: "This movie is certainly informed by the most bizarre viral moment in recent history. Writing it during this pandemic, in the middle of the most locked-down lockdown, we were not sure we would ever go out again."
He shot the film in the Spanish town of Chinchón, near Madrid, between August and October last year. Leaked photos from the desert-like set sparked speculation that the film would be a western, but these rumours were put to bed when it was confirmed as a comedy-drama.
Asteroid City reviews
Asteroid City received a largely positive reception from critics, earning it an impressive 75% score on Rotten Tomatoes from 340 reviews.
Many critics once again commended the American auteur's immaculate visual style and offbeat dialogue, with some calling it his best film since 2014's The Grand Budapest Hotel. However, others accused the director of prioritising style over substance. Read the full reviews below:
Yahoo UK: Wes Anderson's whimsical tale is more style than plot (3-min read)
The Guardian: Wes Anderson’s 1950s sci-fi is an exhilarating triumph of pure style (3-min read)
The Independent: Wes Anderson’s enrapturing cosmic comedy is an offbeat Close Encounters (3-min read)
The Telegraph: Gen-Z whimsy-seekers beware – this is Wes Anderson’s oddest film yet (4 min read)
Evening Standard: Wes Anderson has rekindled the old magic with this tasty treat (3-min read)
Asteroid City trailer
The full-length trailer for Asteroid City was released in March, transporting viewers to Anderson's pastel-hued desert town. Watch it below.
Asteroid City is available to buy on digital now, and will come to DVD and Blu-ray from 25 September.