Stellar premiere of Wes Anderson's 'Asteroid City' lights up Cannes

Stellar premiere of Wes Anderson’s ‘Asteroid City’ lights up Cannes

The Cannes Film Festival is used to stars, but when it comes to sheer celebrity power, you can’t match a Wes Anderson film.

And so it was Tuesday night with the world premiere of Anderson’s latest work, City of Asteroidswhich features a huge cast of A-listers: Tom Hanks, Steve Carell, Scarlett Johansson, Hong Chau, Margot Robbie, Jason Schwartzman, Tilda Swinton, Bryan Cranston, Jeffrey Wright, Adrien Brody and more.

Hanks and wife Rita Wilson, Carell, Johansson, Schwartzman, Cranston, Wright, Brody, Matt Dillon, Steve Park, Maya Hawke and Hope Davis were among those in attendance at Cannes, where Anderson and his cast arrived en masse in buses instead of the usual limousines.

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Not all of them, however, made it to Cannes, which was a blessing in disguise as the famed red-carpeted staircase would have barely contained them all. But those who made the trip delivered more star power than any other film showing here this year.

The stars were a gift to the paparazzi at the festival, as well as the crowds of movie fans who had been waiting hours for a chance to scream and snap selfies.

The screening itself was delayed by 20 minutes as Cannes had to round up the film’s huge cast. Cranston entered carrying the train of Rita Wilson’s gown as the audience at the screening gave the cast a standing ovation before the film began.

City of Asteroids elicited a warm if muted response from the gala audience, though there was some whooping and cheering as festival cameras panned the vast cast. The crowd stood by, applauding a gracious five-minute standing ovation. Anderson kept her post-screening comments brief: “We’re so happy to be here tonight. Thanks to our wonderful cast. Thank you.”

City of Asteroids is set in 1955 and focuses on a group of students and parents from all over the country who gather in a small fictional desert town (population 87) in the American Southwest for the annual Junior Stargazers convention held in the a huge meteorite crater. Little do these astronomy geeks realize they are about to witness a world-changing event.

Anderson is a regular at Cannes. He was here two years ago with The French Expedition and in 2012 with Kingdom of the moonriseboth in competition (as is City of Asteroids). So far he has always returned from the Croisette empty handed. But maybe the third time is the charm.

After its premiere in Cannes, City of Asteroids will be released in the US in select theaters on June 16 and will go nationwide on June 23 through Focus.