A24 via Everett Collection
Bill Murray is about to ghost it up... again. The Ghostbuster veteran is set to join the cast of B.O.O.: Bureau of Otherworldly Operations, according to a tweet from DreamWorks Animation.
The animated supernatural flick will follow "two bumbling apparitions who find themselves in an extraordinary after-life adventure when they join the Bureau of Otherworldly Operations (B.O.O.) – the ghost world's elite counter-haunting unit – and ultimately must face off against the planet’s greatest haunter." Murray will voice a villainous ghost named Addison Drake (and we can only hope that he's the "greatest haunter" that the plot speaks of).
While the cast includes a star-powered line-up – Seth Rogen, Melissa McCarthy, Rashida Jones, Matt Bomer, and the recently announced Jennifer Coolidge and Octavia Spencer will all voice the comedy – the film didn't seem like it was going to be any different from various other star-packed animations... that is, until Murray signed on. The film's director Tony Leondis (Igor) said: "Bill Murray is the perfect actor to bring this character to life — or should I say 'after-life?'", and we couldn't agree more.
Adding Murray to any movie instantly ups its appeal and makes it standout from the crowd, mostly because Murray stands out from the crowd himself. From Zombieland to Charlie's Angels to Get Smart, Murray manages to turn movies that have the potential to be complete duds into movies that, well, feature Bill Murray, and that makes the film more attractive. He's like the spicy kick of herbs that a bland dish needs. Adding him into the mix almost makes you forget what's going on behind him. So when in doubt, make sure Murray is in your movie.
20th Century Fox will release B.O.O. on June 5, 2015.
Seth Rogen has always had a knack for playing slackers - as 'Cal' in The 40 Year Old Virgin, 'Ben' in Knocked Up, or 'Dale' in Pineapple Express - so it's only fitting that for the 28-year-old Canadian's next role he will go one step further to play a dead slacker.
Dreamworks Animation apparently also sees the potential for Rogen's instinctive gift for slacking, and has signed the actor as the lead in their upcoming 3D animated comedy Boo U, which centers on a ghost (Rogen) who is bad at his job (too much pot, if Rogen's other characters are any indication) and has to go back to ghost school (boo-niversity?) to refine his spookiness.
That sounds like a pretty solid premise for a Dreamworks film, even if it is somewhat derivative of Pixar's Monsters Inc. I'm likewise ambivalent about the merits of screenwriter Jon Vitti, who has worked on winners like The Simpsons and King of the Hill, but has also lent his talent to more dubious projects like Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel. Director Tony Leondis is even less a mixed bag: his only two credits are the Weinstein Company's forgettable 2008 animated comedy Igor (don't worry, I don't remember it either) and the direct-to-video sequel Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch. That's not particularly promising.
What is promising is the addition of Rogen himself, who has a fair amount of experience with voice work, having played a number of animated roles over the years, including the blob 'B.O.B.' in Monsters vs. Aliens, the martial-arts trained 'Mantis' in Kung Fu Panda, and 'Morton' in Horton Hears a Who.
In any case, now that we've heard about the development of Boo U, we can safely forget about it for a while: the 3D animated pic isn't expected to hit theaters until the summer of 2012. There's still plenty of time to find a new director, Dreamworks!
Yes Tim Burton has covered this milieu before in animated ‘toons like The Nightmare Before Christmas and Corpse Bride but there’s a certain hip-factor to this amusing flick set in the world of creepy science labs as an homage to the Frankenstein and Dracula films of the ‘30s. The film’s central character Igor (of course) is a frustrated assistant who is dying to become a scientist in his own right and knows he has the smarts for it. Finally when his very mean mad scientist dies just before the annual Evil Science Fair the humpbacked little guy gets his big moment--with the help of sidekicks Brain (in a jar--and not too brainy at that) and Scamper a bunny with a death wish after Igor saves him from the brink of becoming permanent road kill but makes him immortal. Igor unveils his piece de resistance a creation that unfortunately turns out to be less monster and more uh like Annie. She’s a gigantic aspiring actress named Eva who would rather belt out show tunes than do the things lab-created monsters are supposed to do. But there’s a lot more in store for this crazy quilt group of misfits as they uncover an evil plot that threatens the world of Malaria--unless they can use all their ingenuity to save the day. Blessed with a superior vocal cast Igor works in large part due to appealing characterizations. John Cusack brings fun and recognizable human frustration to the title role while his sidekicks are hilarious including Steve Buscemi’s nifty vocal calisthenics as the cynical rabbit and Sean Hayes as the sweet but dumb Brain relegated to life in a jar mislabeled “Brian ” the butt of a few too many jokes. The mad scientists are played to the hilt by a couple of perfectly cast English vets: John Cleese as Dr. Glickenstein and especially silly work from Eddie Izzard as Dr. Schadenfreude. Christian Slater is along for the ride as the latter’s own Igor while SNL vet Molly Shannon seems to be having a great time bringing the Broadway-bound Eva to life perfectly awful as she sings ditties like “Tomorrow” while dwarfing everyone else with her plus PLUS-sized frame. Listen also for former late night talk show rivals Jay Leno and Arsenio Hall in bit roles. Relative newcomer Tony Leondis has directed with an eye toward over-the-top humor and atmospheric surroundings making this animation entry always a pleasure to watch. He brings Chris McKenna’s smart sassy script to life in ways that won’t just appeal to kids but also their parents who may even find themselves laughing out loud a couple of times. In fact much of the dialogue is so referenced with pop culture tidbits that a lot of it will probably sail right over the young tykes heads. McKenna who cut his teeth as writer and producer of the sophisticated FOX series American Dad brings the wit with Igor. Even though iconic animation wizards like Tim Burton and Pixar (with Monsters Inc.) have been down this road before Igor feels fresh and original and that’s certainly no easy task.