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Is Wes Anderson Scouting a Cruise Ship for His Next Movie?

May 2, 2014 at 12:29 PM | by | ()

This year marks the 10th Anniversary of Cunard's Queen Mary 2, a modern cruise ship of classic style, from a company that's been in the business of ocean travel for 174 years. For such a momentous occasion, Cunard is peppering the year's sailings with special events and visits by honored guests, including Wes Anderson, Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman and Roman Coppola.

With the filmmakers and actors onboard, passengers will have the opportunity to participate in multiple film screenings, plus a Q&A session in the ship's Royal Court Theatre. Book ASAP; this is all happening soon, on the June 13 eastbound transatlantic crossing from New York to Southampton, England. Prices for the sailing start from $1,298 per person, which covers almost everything for 7 days at sea.

To tell the truth, we're quite hopeful that Anderson is using the trip for a secret, secondary purpose of location scouting for his next film. After all, he is already a fan of Cunard's transatlantic crossings, having sailed on one of the Queen Elizabeth 2's final voyages several years ago.

Consider the settings for a few of Anderson's past films; the action mostly plays out inside of a hotel (Grand Budapest Hotel), a train (Darjeeling Limited), a submarine (The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou), an island (Moonrise Kingdom), a family estate (The Royal Tenenbaums), and a private school (Rushmore).

A ship is the next logical environment to explore, and seeing as how he rescued an abandoned German department store to create the Grand Budapest Hotel, we think we have just the ship for Wes: the S.S. United States, a prime piece of America's nautical history, now docked and forever awaiting promised restoration in Philadelphia. She may be a rusting hulk in a pier near an IKEA, but the 1950s and '60s saw her as the sleek symbol of glamorous travel between the Old and New Worlds, not to mention that she's still is the holder of the Blue Riband, the trophy for fastest passenger liner to cross the Atlantic.

Now, about the characters. Would an ocean liner's voyage be an ideal place to find the large variety of eccentric and stylized personalities, thematically dressed and posturing for society, such as exhibited in Anderson films? You bet, although a Panama or Suez Canal crossing would perhaps be more up his alley than a transatlantic. We may have even already outlined some potential characters for Wes, having interviewed actual professions onboard Cunard's Queen Victoria: the gentleman dance host, the saucier, the literal Anchorman, the medical officer, the Acupuncturist, and the Cocktails Manager.

Finally, remember that Wes loves to inject his capers with comments on isolation, the oddities of interpersonal bonds, and upper class problems. These are all themes that go hand-in-hand with ship travel, no movie magic necessary.

Above: the S.S. United States, currently docked and rusting in Philadelphia

[Photos: Jaunted, Wikimedia]

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