Officials at the Berlin Film Festival have announced that their opening film for 2018 will be Wes Anderson‘s animated picture Isle of Dogs. The film will premiere there on Feb. 15 and will be released in theaters in April.
This will be Anderson’s second time opening the festival after 2012’s Grand Budapest Hotel that took home the competition’s Jury Prize. It will also be the first time for any animated film to open Berlinale. After his premiere at Berlin next February, it will mark Anderson’s fourth appearance after Grand Budapest, The Royal Tenenbaums, and The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.
Isle of Dogs is also Anderson’s return to stop motion animation after joining the medium with the well-received Fantastic Mr. Fox. His new project follows the 12-year-old Atari Kobayashi who is the ward for Magasaki City’s Mayor Kobayashi. By executive decree, the Mayor orders all canines to be expelled from the city to Trash Island, a large garbage dump. Atari sets out on a mission to find his guard dog Spots with the help of a newfound pack of mongrel dogs that he finds when he lands on their shores.
In typical Anderson fashion, he has assembled an incredibly large and star-studded voice cast for the film. Included are Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton, Frances McDormand, Bob Balaban, Jeff Goldblum, Bryan Cranston, Koyu Rankin, Liev Schreiber, Kunichi Nomura, Ken Watanabe, Akira Ito, Greta Gerwig, Akira Takayama, F. Murray Abraham, Yoko Ono, Courtney B. Vance, Yojiro Nota, Fisher Stevens, Mari Natsuki, Nijiro Murakami, Harvey Keitel, and Frank Wood.