Why we can't wait to see ''The Life Aquatic''
RELEASE DATE Dec. 10
WHY WE CAN'T WAIT We love Bill Murray enough to forgive him for ''Garfield.'' And we especially love it when he stars in the offbeat comedy-dramas of Wes Anderson (''Rushmore,'' ''The Royal Tenenbaums'').
THE PREMISE Murray (pictured, right with Owen Wilson) is a Cousteau-like oceanographer/filmmaker who's joined on his current expedition by a pilot (Wilson), a reporter (Cate Blanchett), his disgruntled wife (Anjelica Huston), a snooty rival (Jeff Goldblum), and a loyal shipmate (Willem Dafoe).
SOURCE An original screenplay by Anderson and Noah Baumbach (''Kicking and Screaming'')
THE BACK STORY After Anderson's quirky little landlocked movies, ''Aquatic'' marks his biggest scale feature to date, and its marine sequences his biggest logistical challenge. Still, the cast retained that close-knit feel, Dafoe says: ''It's a bonding experience to be puking with your costars over the side of a boat.''
BURNING QUESTION Can Murray land the Oscar he didn't get for ''Rushmore'' or ''Lost in Translation,'' or is he just fishing for compliments?
COME FOR More oddball humor and pathos from Anderson, Murray, and crew
STAY FOR The curious, imaginary sea-creatures dreamed up by animator Henry Selick (''The Nightmare Before Christmas,'' ''James and the Giant Peach'')