Bill Murray has appeared in every single film of Wes Anderson’s since 1998’s Rushmore. That’s a mighty long partnership, which is why fans were a little surprised when Bill Murray wasn’t listed as part of the cast for Wes Anderson’s upcoming Asteroid City.
Some have believed that Bill Murray’s absence from Asteroid City was the result of a complaint made against the actor on the set of Aziz Ansari’s Being Mortal this past April. However, the Wes Anderson movie started shooting last September before the complaint was made. According to Variety, Bill Murray was originally included in the cast of Asteroid City but contracted COVID-19 shortly before production began, and his role had to be recast. It’s believed that Steve Carell stepped in to replace him.
Written by Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola, Asteroid City is said to be a “poetic meditation on the meaning of life.” Set in a fictional American desert town circa 1955 and its Junior Stargazer convention, the film brings together students and parents from across the country for scholarly competition, rest and recreation, comedy, drama, romance and more. The stacked cast includes Jason Schwartzman, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Hanks, Jeffrey Wright, Tilda Swinton, Bryan Cranston, Ed Norton, Adrien Brody, Liev Schreiber, Hope Davis, Stephen Park, Rupert Friend, Maya Hawke, Steve Carell, Matt Dillon, Hong Chau, Willem Dafoe, Margot Robbie, Tony Revolori, Jake Ryan, Grace Edwards, Aristou Meehan, Sophia Lillis, Ethan Lee, Jeff Goldblum, Rita Wilson and many more.
As for the complaint that shut down Being Mortal, the specifics aren’t known. Murray has said the whole thing came out to a “difference of opinion” between him and a woman he was working with on set. “I did something I thought was funny and it wasn’t taken that way,” Murray said. The actor did seem hopeful that he and the unnamed woman could put this behind them. “As of now we are talking and we are trying to make peace with each other,” Murray said. “We are both professionals, we like each others’ work, we like each other I think and if we can’t really get along and trust each other there’s no point in going further working together or making the movie as well. It’s been quite an education for me.” Although Bill Murray won’t be seen in Asteroid City, he will turn up in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, which hits theaters on February 17, 2023.