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While many people would die to have Bill Murray show up at their front door this December for caroling, everyone will just have to make do with the esteemed actor belting out Christmas hits on their televisions instead. (Though it is still entirely possible he’ll inexplicably arrive at someone’s house this holiday season.) Murray has announced he’s going to star in a Christmas special for which he will put his golden pipes to work. I’m guessing “Slimer the Green-Nosed Spectre” won’t be on his karaoke list.
For this project, Murray will be reteaming with Lost in Translation director Sophia Coppola, who will be spearheading the special. As you can imagine from an announcement coming from Murray, there aren’t many details that have been finalized; but then, formulating a plan around “Bill Murray sings ‘Silent Night’” just feels pointless. Here’s how the actor summed it up to Variety.
It’s not going to be live. We’re going to do it like a little movie. It won’t have a format, but it’s going to have music. It will have texture. It will have threads through it that are writing. There will be prose. It will have a patina style and wit to it. It will be nice.
Variety specials used to be a regular thing on TV, especially during the holiday, but that hasn’t really been the case for a while now. Leave it to someone as enigmatic as Bill Murray to attempt to revitalize the format, and power to Coppola for stepping outside of her comfort zone to put this thing together. Though she’s written some TV in the distant past, this will be her first small screen directorial effort.
“Not sure when it will air,” Coppola told Variety, “but my motivation is to hear him singing my song requests.” Considering the vast array of songs that qualify as Christmas tunes – from part of the Chipmunks catalog to “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” – it will be extremely interesting to see how off-kilter this program will get. We all remember how Murray gets around Christmas time.
Murray recently showcased his vocal talents in Theodore Melfi’s comedy St. Vincent, for which The Weinstein Company paid for the rights to use Bob Dylan’s “Shelter from the Storm.” He’ll also be seen in the musically oriented comedy Rock the Kasbah from Barry Levinson. It’s not clear whether the HBO miniseries Olive Kitteridge will feature any melodic sequences, nor the animated films B.O.O.: Bureau of Otherworldly Operations or The Jungle Book. But the good thing about being a human is you can always pretend that Bill Murray is singing to you.
Be on the lookout for a network pickup and a premiere date for this special coming down your chimney at any point.