Thanks to multiple coronavirus delays, the anticipation is high for Wes Anderson’s latest film, The French Dispatch, and no small amount of that anticipation revolves around a scene featuring Timothée Chalamet in a bathtub, teased in the film’s first trailer back in February last year.
Luckily for us, Searchlight Pictures has now shared a preview of the scene in question, ahead of the film’s October release date. In the clip, Chalamet plays the young revolutionary Zeffirelli, who is found in the bath by the experienced journalist Lucinda Krementz (played by Nomadland’s Frances McDormand).
Although Zeffirelli admits that he’s uncomfortable about the encounter — “I feel shy about my new muscles,” he says — he proceeds to ask the writer for advice on his manifesto, running naked across the room to hand it over. “It’s a little damp,” Krementz replies.
As explained by Anderson himself, the scene “comes from the second story in the three main stories of this movie, which is called ‘Revisions to a Manifesto’... Mrs. McDormand is Lucinda Krementz, an American journalist who lives in France, and Monsieur Chalamet is called Zeffirelli. He’s a student and Krementz is covering the student protests that have sort of erupted.”
These protests, he adds (via Vanity Fair), began “with the insistence of the students that male students be allowed to visit the girls’ dormitory… It’s then grown into a much bigger protest that is ongoing.”
During the newly-released scene, Krementz is having dinner with friends, who are also the parents of Zeffirelli, a leader of the protests. “The end of the dinner is interrupted by a riot in the street where tear gas gets into the apartment, so she has gone into the bathroom to rinse her eyes and is unaware — unknown to the parents, and all of them — that Zeffirelli has actually snuck back home and is taking a bath.”
Across its three storylines, The French Dispatch also stars Saoirse Ronan, Tilda Swinton, Willem Dafoe, Jason Schwartzman, Léa Seydoux, Kate Winslet, Elisabeth Moss, Christoph Waltz, Benicio Del Toro, Adrien Brody, Rupert Friend, and more.
Earlier this week (July 12), the film premiered at Cannes Film Festival, receiving a nine minute standing ovation (during which Tilda Swinton found time to prank Timothée Chalamet). The film is set to hit cinemas on October 22.
Wes Anderson, meanwhile, already has his sights set on his next project. All we know about the as-yet-untitled film so far is that it stars Tilda Swinton, and will be filmed (at least partially) in Chinchón, Spain, where Western-esque sets have been under construction.
For now, you can watch the new clip from The French Dispatch below.