Bill Murray’s absence in Wes Anderson’s ‘Asteroid City’ explained

Another Wes Anderson film, another star-studded cast. However, keen-eyed fans might notice something unusual about Anderson’s latest offering, “Asteroid City”: Bill Murray, a familiar face in Anderson’s past nine films, is oddly missing from the lineup. Murray contracted COVID-19 just days before he was due to join the crew on set in Spain. Want to know the full story? The New Yorker has the scoop.

In “Asteroid City,” Murray was initially slated to play a motel manager in the eponymous desert town. This role was ultimately played by Steve Carell, a last-minute casting choice made due to the constraints of the ensemble’s packed schedule. Despite his absence from the film, Murray graced the set, offering words of encouragement to his fellow actors and prompting Anderson to devise a new role for him – Jock Larkings, the head of the fictional Larkings Corporation.

Anderson and his team went so far as to design a costume for Murray’s character. Still, unfortunately, the character did not make it into the final cut of the film. Instead, Anderson, Murray, and actor Jason Schwartzman filmed a short promo in the style of a trailer, featuring Murray’s character cut from the film. Making the situation even more entertaining, Murray actually plays two characters in the film – both Jock Larkings and Tab Whitney, the actor portraying Larkings.

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You’re probably wondering if you can still catch a glimpse of Murray’s performance. Thankfully, The New Yorker exclusively hosts the promo on their website. This intriguing glimpse has been described by Anderson as a fitting representation of the film. So there you have it – in a roundabout way, Bill Murray still made his way into “Asteroid City.” If you’re looking for a dose of pop culture drama, catch “Asteroid City” in theaters now. Lastly, don’t miss the official trailer for an exclusive glimpse into the film.

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