There was something of a dustup last week in Hollywood when it was announced that the next Bill Murray film, Being Mortal, had suspended production somewhat out of nowhere. It was quickly revealed that this move by the studio was in response to Murray and another cast member coming at odds with the former accused of inappropriate behavior on the set. While it wasn’t exactly clear when or if the movie would be able to start back up at some point (with or without Murray), the actor did appear recently to discuss some of what happened and why the studio went in this direction.
While appearing at a Berkshire Hathaway shareholders event televised on CNBC (via Deadline and Comicbook.com), Bill Murray was asked about why Being Mortal was shut down and whether he could shine any light on the events. Murray opens up to some degree saying there was a “difference of opinion” with a woman he was working with on the set. He admits that he did something he thought would be “funny” but that “it wasn’t taken that way.” He then lets on that the studio (Searchlight Pictures) wanted to investigate the incident and in doing so needed to halt production. You can check out what Bill Murray has to say about this below. His comments are at the beginning of the interview.
Bill Murray goes on to say that he’s talking to those involved, including the female cast member saying that it’s their relationship that is the “real issue”. Murray, for his part, does seem to feel bad about what happened here, such as it were, and reflects later about how clearly misperceived what he was doing and that he didn’t think there were negative intentions. But he does seem to admit that he recognizes, at least after the fact, that whatever happened on set was because of something he did. In that way, it does appear like Bill Murray is owning the action and trying to make right by the coworker. This is all from one interview mind you, but there’s clearly not a part where he feels slighted here.
Being Mortal was set to star Aziz Ansari, Seth Rogen, Bill Murray, and Keke Palmer. It is based on the book of the same name by Atul Gawande. Ansari handled adapting the script and was set to be in the director’s chair as well. For what it’s worth Keke Palmer posted a cryptic Instagram post that seemed to suggest she had come into conflict with someone on set. The studio hasn’t yet said how they will move forward with the movie after this pause. I suppose there’s some chance Bill Murray is able to jump back in, though that is looking unlikely.
Bill Murray has a couple of movies in post-production right now, due out sometime this year. There will be Asteroid City, yet another Wes Anderson film where he’s joined by Margot Robbie, Jeffrey Wright, Tom Hanks, Rupert Friend, Scarlett Johansson, Bryan Cranston, and many more. And of course, he’s set to make his Marvel Cinematic Universe debut in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.