Bill Murray Teams with Aziz Ansari to Star in an Untitled Feature for Searchlight Pictures

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Bill Murray has teamed with Aziz Ansari to star in an untitled feature for Searchlight Pictures, on which Ansari is making his directorial debut. The project is based on Atul Gawande's non-fiction book Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End.

What’s Happening:

  • Ansari, known for co-creating the Netflix comedy-drama series Master of None, is running quadruple duty on this project. On top of helming, he wrote the script, will play a role in the movie and is producing with Youree Henley.
  • The project is based on the Atul Gawande non-fiction book Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End. The New York Times Review of Books described it as a “moving and clear-eyed look at aging and death in our society, and at the harms we do in turning it into a medical problem, rather than a human one.” The Boston Globe called it a “masterful exploration of aging, death and the medical profession’s mishandling of both.”
  • Details on Ansari’s take or Murray’s character details were not revealed, but Searchlight hopes to capitalize on both talent’s abilities to straddle the comedy-drama line.
  • Ansari has won two Emmy Awards for outstanding writing for a comedy for his series, Master of None. He also made his directorial debut on the Netflix show, directing 11 episodes over the course of three seasons, earning an Emmy nomination for outstanding directing. He also directed Nightclub Comedian, which will stream on Netflix later this year.
  • Murray, who earned an Oscar nomination for Sofia Coppola’s 2003 movie, Lost in Translation, recently starred in Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch and popped up in Jason Reitman’s Ghostbusters: Afterlife. He is making his Marvel Studios debut with Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.

What They’re Saying:

  • Searchlight Presidents David Greenbaum and Matthew Greenfield:
    • “Aziz Ansari is an incredible talent and, with this script, he brings a singular combination of insightful humor and pathos,”
    • “We’re thrilled to be partnering with him on his feature directorial debut, which is long overdue, and, of course, working with the genius Bill Murray once again.”