More information about the abrupt cancellation of an upcoming Bill Murray movie is coming out and it is not great. Deadline is reporting that the Searchlight film Being Mortal has halted production after reports of alleged inappropriate behavior from the 71-year-old actor. Searchlight Pictures (which is a subsidiary of 20th Century Fox, now part of the Walt Disney Company) currently has no comment on the situation and it is currently unknown if there are any concrete findings from an investigation. This is not the first time the legendary comedian and film star has been accused of unprofessional behavior during the production, but it will have to be seen if it has a more lasting effect on his career in the current heightened atmosphere.
Bill Murray was set to star in Being Mortal along with comedians Aziz Ansari and Seth Rogen. Ansari was also set to write, direct, and produce with partner Youree Henley. The project is based on the non-fiction book nonfiction book Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande. Reportedly, principal filming had begun on the film in March and was abruptly shut down. This would be the first pairing of the three actors, all of whom have had enormous success in the world of comedy. Early reports indicated that the film production had been shut down by an unspecified complaint, and that crew members had been informed by a mass letter. At the time, the obvious suspicion was that it was related to some Covid-19 matter; innumerable film and TV productions have been delayed or canceled in the last several years because of the ongoing pandemic. However, it seems that it was allegedly due to Bill Murray in some way.
The star of Groundhog Day and Rushmore first came to public prominence as a cast member of Saturday Night Live (after the departure of original member Chevy Chase). Bill Murray quickly transitioned to feature films like Meatballs and Stripes, and eventually became a superstar with hits like Ghostbusters. In the 1980s and 90s, his career had ups (1991’s What About Bob?) and severe downs (1996’s Larger than Life), until he eventually remade himself as a dramatic character actor with Sofia Coppola’s 2003 film Lost in Translation. Since then, he has become a revered elder statesman of comedy and a frequent collaborator of acclaimed filmmaker Wes Anderson.
During the filming of the 2000 film Charlie’s Angels, Bill Murray allegedly engaged in confrontational and offensive behavior toward co-star Lucy Liu. The latter actor has opened up about the experience in recent years, while also stating that they had made amends. He had also been accused of infidelity, addiction, and abuse by his late former spouse Jennifer Butler during their 2008 divorce. It is unknown what effect the current reported allegations against Bill Murray will have on the production of Being Mortal. He is set to star in the upcoming MCU movie Ant-Man & Wasp: Quantumania and Wes Anderson’s Asteroid City. We will update with new information as it comes.