Bill Murray To Star In Aziz Ansari Film Directorial Debut

bill murray
BIll Murray at TIFF

Bill Murray is set to star in Aziz Ansari’s film directorial debut with Searchlight. The as-yet-untitled dramedy is based on the 2014 non-fiction bestseller by surgeon Atul Gawande, Being Mortal: Medicine And What Matters In The End. Ansari (Parks and Recreation, Master of None) will star alongside Murray (Lost in Translation, Zombieland, Stripes) and will also direct and produce the film.

Being Mortal Tops Book Of The Year; Multiple Bestsellers’ Lists

Being Mortal was named a Best Book of the Year by The New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, and NPR.

In Being Mortal, Gawande tackles the most difficult challenge facing his profession: Life comes with the inescapable realities of aging and, ultimately, death. How do we do them better?

Through gripping stories based on his own patients and startling research, Gawande pulls back the veil on medicine, revealing the suffering experienced as we age. Long-term care workers devoted to ensure their residents’ safety, battle daily over the food the residents are permitted to eat and the choices they are permitted to make. Physicians, rather than deal with the discomfort of discussing patients’ anxieties surrounding death, too often fall back on false hopes and treatments that end up shortening lives instead of improving them.

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Ansari wrote the script for the as-yet-untitled film, to be co-produced along with Youree Henley. Cameron Chidsey and Taylor Friedman will oversee the project on Searchlight’s behalf.

The film, based on Gawande’s book, is slated for theatrical release next year.

Searchlight Presidents David Greenbaum and Matthew Greenfield released a joint statement announcing the film, calling Ansari an “incredible talent” add added that through his script, he brings “a singular combination of insightful humor and pathos.”

Searchlight: “The Genius, Bill Murray”

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Greenbaum and Greenfield’s statement also applauded their opportunity to work with “the genius, Bill Murray, once again,” adding they were “thrilled” to do so.

Ansari is a multi-award-winning stand-up comic writer, actor, director and producer best known for the Netflix series Master of None. This won’t be the first time Ansari has directed—he previously directed on Master of None and his comedy special Night Club for Netflix—but this is the comedian’s first time directing a feature film.

Bill Murray earned an Oscar nomination in 2004 for his role starring opposite Scarlett Johansson in Sofia Coppola’s cinematic Lost in Translation. More recently, Murray starred in Wes Anderson’s critically acclaimed The French Dispatch. Murray is also known for his work in Jason Reitman’s Ghostbusters: Afterlife alongside Dan Aykroyd and Ernie Hudson and Coppola’s On the Rocks. Additional credits for the Saturday Night Live veteran alum include Stripes, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Monuments Men, Tootsie, and Caddyshack.

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