The director’s newest movie will be a “poetic meditation on the meaning of life”. Set in a fictional American desert town around 1955, it will tell the story of the town’s Junior Stargazer convention and the students and parents it brings together.
The 71-year-old actor has starred in many of Anderson’s past films, including The Grand Budapest Hotel, Fantastic Mr Fox, and more, so his absence from the recent cast announcement on Wednesday (20 July) didn’t go unnoticed.
Speculations had been circulating that Murray had been possibly sidelined after inappropriate behaviour complaints in April were made against him on set of Aziz Ansari’s directorial debut, Being Mortal.
However, a source close to Anderson’s production told Variety that they were forced to recast his role after Murray contracted Covid shortly before filming began last September.
It’s understood that Steve Carrell took over the Groundhog Day actor’s role.
In addition to Carrell, the film will feature actors Jason Schwartzman, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Hanks, Jeffrey Wright, Tilda Swinton, Bryan Cranston, Ed Norton, Adrien Brody, Liev Schreiber, Hope Davis, Stephen Park, Rupert Friend, and Maya Hawke.
The romantic dramedy – expected to release later this year – follows Anderson’s last film, The French Dispatch, which had its world premiere at Cannes Film Festival in 2021.
You can read The Independent’s five-star review here.