Say what you want about Bill Murray, but the actor knows how to keep us on our toes. The Academy Award nominee and legendary funny man may not be ready for a return to the Ghostbusters franchise, but the enigmatic actor is preparing to take a role in an indie historical drama.
The film, Hyde Park on the Hudson, is an adaptation of a radio play about King George VI’s visit to America in 1939. The visit was notable, because it was the first time a British monarch had ever visited the United States.
According to Vulture, Murray is slated to play President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who hosted King George VI at his upstate New York cottage during the trip. The film will focus primarily on FDR’s “quasi-incestuous love affair” with his distant cousin Margaret Suckley.
For those not up on British history (or recent film history) King George VI is also the famous monarch from this year’s Academy Award winning The King’s Speech. Interestingly, a recent Deadline report revealed that Film4, the production company behind the film, actually passed on The King’s Speech because they had Hyde Park on the Hudson in the works. Hopefully that decision will pay off for them.
Then again, why wouldn’t it? There’s no word yet on who will be playing the other parts in the film, but Bill Murray has shown tremendous dramatic chops in several noteworthy independent films. South African director Roger Mitchell (Morning Glory) will direct the film, which stars shooting in July.
Bill Murray has a reputation for being difficult on set and somewhat aloof when it comes to the Hollywood system, but I’d like to think that he’s just willful. With few exceptions, Murray makes every movie he’s in better. He is passionate about what he does, and I’m sure that he’ll play an excellent FDR.
At this point, I think we should be happy to see the 60-year-old actor taking on as many interesting roles as possible, rather than pining for him to relive the “glory days.” If he pops up in a funny cameo (a la Zombieland), then we all win.