Filmart: Wes Anderson to Make Theatrical Debut in China with 'Isle of Dogs' (Exclusive)

Isle of Dogs - Berlin International Film Festival - Publicity-H 2018
Courtesy of Berlin International Film Festival

Beijing-based Joy Pictures will serve as the official local marketing partner on the Chinese release of the Fox Searchlight film, with support from Global Road Entertainment.

Wes Anderson's much anticipated stop-motion animation Isle of Dogs is heading to China.

The Fox Searchlight film has secured a release date of April 20 in the Middle Kingdom. It will be the first Anderson movie to be distributed theatrically in China. The film is being brought into the country as an official revenue-sharing import by China Film Group.

The news was confirmed to THR at Hong Kong's Filmart by Chinese film company Joy Pictures, which has partnered with Fox as the official local marketing partner on the title. Growing international mini studio Global Road Entertainment has linked up with Joy Pictures on the release and will support the film with its own local marketing resources. 

A spokesperson in 20th Century Fox's Beijing office declined to comment. Global Road couldn't immediately be reached. 

Starring much of Anderson's usual ensemble — Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, Edward Norton, Jeff Goldblum, Bryan Cranston, Scarlett Johansson, Greta Gerwig, Frances McDormand, and others (including Yoko Ono) — Isle of Dogs is set in a dystopian future Japan where dogs have been quarantined to an island made of trash because of the outbreak of a "canine flu." When a Japanese boy named Atari (voiced by newcomer Koyu Rankin) ventures to the island to find his lost dog, Spots, the exiled hounds unite to help Atari evade the Japanese authorities.

The film made its world premiere at the Berlin Film Festival in February, where it was warmly embraced by critics. Isle of Dogs will open in North America on Friday, March 23.