It may sometimes feel like Bill Murray has shifted his professional focus from acting to eccentric-being. In the time it takes a page to refresh, Murray can generate another wave of headlines for anything from crashing house parties in South Carolina to crashing bachelor parties and delivering boozy speeches. Murray’s become drunk with charismatic power, unrestrainedly showing up uninvited to functions of all sorts and receiving no pushback whatsoever because, yeah, he’s Bill goddamn Murray. As observant Jews leave a vacant seat for the spirit of Elijah at Passover seder, soon all birthday parties or karaoke nights will reserve an extra space in the event of an impromptu visit from Bill Murray.
But the man does still work, though he’s become somewhat more selective about his projects as he’s rolled into his sixties. He’s going to appear in the lady-staffed Ghostbusters reboot, and Murray will enter America’s living rooms this holiday season to croon some old-fashioned carols as part of an incredible-sounding Netflix Christmas special. But before any of that, Murray will take on his next major film role in the strange-but-true Rock the Kasbah. (Scope the new trailer embedded above.)
An October 23 release date means audiences will have to be patient for a couple more months, but the trailer provides more than enough of the classically Murrian deadpan to last us until then. Murray plays Richie Lanz, a washed up rock-n-roll talent manager who brings his last client, a fading punk played by Zooey Deschanel (frontwoman of She & Him, a group that is, by all accounts, the exact opposite of punk) on a USO tour in Afghanistan. During his time in the Middle East, he loses his passport and finds something even more valuable in a young Pashtun singer named Salima (Leem Lubany), who he then enters into Afghanistan’s equivalent of American Idol. For added fun, Danny McBride and Bruce Willis will show up. Also, Kate Hudson will be there. Also also, Salima will perform original songs by Yusuf Islam, the musician formerly known as Cat Stevens. So, y’know, a little something for everybody.
What’s your favorite Bill Murray performance/Cat Stevens song? Weigh in on one or both of these pressing matters below!