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Bill Murray has a reputation for being extremely picky when it comes to choosing scripts and projects that he wants to be a part of, so there must be something pretty special about the new Barry Levinson-directed comedy Rock The Kasbah. According to Deadline, the new film has gotten Murray sign on to star and will be looking to find international distribution at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Based on a script by Mitch Glazer, who previously worked with Murray on the absolutely awful film Passion Play, the new movie tells the story of a "burned-out music manager" who flies off to the Middle East when his last remaining client signs up for the USO tour. After a series of events, the protagonist finds himself alone, broke and stranded in Afghanistan without a passport - but his fortunes change when he meets a young girl with a beautiful voice. She has dreams of starring on the Afghanistan’s equivalent of American Idol, and the main character helps her get to Kabul so that she can compete.
Said Glazer in a statement about the new director and star being attached to the project, "Bill Murray and Barry Levinson are the perfect team to capture the lunacy, heartbreak and hope of this story. I’m ecstatic."
Murray may be picky when it comes to scripts, but don't confuse that for thinking that he only stars in great projects. As great as Murray's collaborations with Wes Anderson have been, the last few years of his career are peppered with some critically panned titles like Hyde Park on Hudson and A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III. Passion Play, however, was its own special kind of awful, and it's honestly surprising that Murray would be so quick to work from a Glazer script again. Remember, this was the film that Mickey Rourke trashed even before it was released:
That said, Murray does have some extremely promising stuff on the horizon. He'll next be seen as part of the all-star ensemble that George Clooney has brought together for his World War II dramedy The Monuments Men, and he's already completed his work on Anderson's next film, the Europe-set period piece Grand Budapest Hotel. He is currently in production on the Black List comedy St. Vincent de Van Nuys, which co-stars Chris O'Dowd, Naomi Watts and Megan McCarthy. You can get a brief look at Murray in Monuments Men in the trailer below: