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When we heard the Open Road Panel at San Diego Comic-Con was a can’t miss event, we started racking our brains to figure out why. Did Open Road somehow mysteriously acquire Marvel right out from under Disney’s nose? No. Were they the real ones to snag all of Warner Bros. edgier DC Comics properties? Nope, not that. As it turns out, it was Bill Murray, which if you ask us is just as good as any Batman v Iron Man v Star Wars announcement.
This was Murray's first time at Comic-Con, so he had to arrive in style. The star of Rock the Kasbah, the film he's out promoting, strutted his stuff down the aisles to the song "Smoke on the Water" by Deep Purple. Walking up onto the stage, host Josh Horowitz introduced Murray to his adoring public as his character in the film, Richie Lanz. Richie is described as a flailing, burning down rock 'n' roll band promoter. So, as expected, there was a lot of hippie-dippie talk of peace and sunshine and hydrating. As he said, "If you wanna stay at the party, you gotta hydrate."
Murray was joined by Rock the Kasbah writer Mitch Glazer, and the two presented a trailer for the film and gabbed about their time together on set. To the enjoyment of everyone in attendance, Murray did not break character for quite some time. "We start the morning off with bagels and tequila," he said. "But then water!" Glazer recalled that Murray played someone called Jerry Aldini, a fake name given by his character in the movie Meatballs. Well, Lanze "is Aldini three or four years later," he said. "It hasn't gone well." Here's a clip from Meatballs to give you an idea of what he's talking about.
Funnier still, Glazer shared a story about how he was essentially haunted by Murray. The writer is married to Kelly Lynch, who starred in Road House with Patrick Swayze. For quite some time, every time the film played on TV -- as he recollected, it played every 45 minutes or so on TNT at one point -- Murray would call him up on the phone and go, "Swayze is doing your wife." He even got some of his brothers to call Glazer and do the same thing. It's nice to know that even now Murray is still is famously goofy self. But don't bash Miley Cyrus in front of him or he might devolve into Angry Murray. "Miley Cyrus is really fucking good," he said.
Before Horowitz opened up the panel to questions from the audience, he had one more thing to ask Murray. It's been reported that the actor was once up for the part of Han Solo in the original Star Wars films. He wondered if (1) those rumors were true, and (2) now that there's going to be a Han Solo prequel film, whether or not he's vying for a part in that. While Murray said he can't be sure if he was ever up for the part originally, he's doing a lot of pilates in the hopes of getting the young Solo part.