Movie Flashback: 11 Years Ago Today Audiences Met a Family Weirder Than Theirs
12.14.12 by Chris
Anybody interested in grabbing a couple of burgers and hittin' the cemetery?
The holidays are a time for family gatherings... unless your family is the Tenenbaums. Filmmaker Wes Anderson introduced audiences to The Royal Tenenbaums 11 years ago today.
Starring Gene Hackman, Anjelica Houstin, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Stiller, Luke Wilson, Owen Wilson, Danny Glover, and Bill Murray, The Royal Tenenbaums will make most feel a bit better about their own families.
The story centers on a family full of former child prodigies reuniting after the patriarch of the family, Hackman, announces he has a terminal illness.
Royal Tenenbaums was released three years after his indie hit Rushmore and remains Anderson's most successful movie to date, earning $71 million worldwide on a $21 million production budget.
Anderson is said to have written the part of Royal Tenenbaum with Hackman in mind but the actor said he was hesitant to accept the role because he felt it somewhat reflected his own relationship with his family. He reportedly asked his family for permission before taking the role. Luckily for him they did, because the role earned him a Golden Globe
This year, Anderson's latest movie, Moonrise Kingdom, was nominated for Best Picture (Musical or Comedy).
Fun fact: The movie was almost responsible for Arrested Development not getting made. Creator Mitchell Hurwitz said after seeing The Royal Tenenbaums he was dissuaded from pursuing the TV show (which was in development at the time) because he felt the movie's narration and tone about a dysfunctional family were too similar.
I had developed an idea that was fairly similar, and was kind of a rip-off of a J.D. Salinger short story–it took place in New York with this intellectual family. Then The Royal Tenenbaums came out, and I thought, "Well, that's it, I can't do that anymore."
Luckily, he changed his mind.
Where to watch it: The Royal Tenenbaums is available on DVD and Blu-ray and streaming on Amazon, iTunes, and Vudu.