LOS ANGELES—Fans who attended a sneak preview Monday of critically acclaimed director Wes Anderson's newest project, The Darjeeling Limited, were surprised to learn that the film features a deadpan comedic tone, highly stylized production design, and a plot centering around unresolved family issues.

"What will he think of next?" audience member Michael Cauley said. "And who could have foreseen the elaborately crafted '60s-era aesthetic, melancholy subtext, and quirky nomenclature—to say nothing of the unexpected curveball of casting Owen Wilson, Jason Schwartzman, and Bill Murray?"

In a recent review, New York Times film critic A.O. Scott also expressed surprise at the film's cutting-edge soundtrack, which features a Rolling Stones song and three different tracks by the Kinks.