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.
On the eve of his first novel's publication San Francisco writer Amir (Khalid Abdalla) is called back to the Middle East for a chance to make childhood wrongs right. An extended flashback set in late-'70s Kabul Afghanistan introduces young Amir (Zekeria Ebrahimi) the bookish son of a forceful respected businessman (Homayoun Ershadi) who despairs over his son's tendency to let his loyal friend/servant Hassan (Ahmad Khan Mahmidzada) fight his battles for him. On the fateful day of the citywide kite-fighting tournament Amir's inability to stand up to bullies has heartbreaking consequences for both him and Hassan. Soon after Amir and his father flee the invading communists eventually ending up in California. Time passes but Amir's guilt doesn't fade--so when a long-lost family friend offers him the chance to redeem himself he returns to the city of his birth to face many difficult truths. One of the best things The Kite Runner has going for it is its cast of virtual unknowns; since none of them are familiar faces to American audiences it's much easier to become wholly absorbed in their story. Abdalla is earnest and solemn as grown-up Amir. Both haunted by and determined to forget about his terrible betrayal he's often hesitant and unsure of himself (except when he meets the woman who will become his wife and courts her in a series of charming scenes). More charismatic is Ershadi who imbues Amir's father with the perfect mix of honor ferocity and sentiment. And top honors go to the boys who play young Amir and Hassan. Making their screen debut (along with co-star Elham Ehsas who's coldly menacing as bully Assef) Ebrahimi and Mahmidzada are natural genuine performers who make their characters' complicated friendship both believable and heart-wrenching. With a resume that includes the tragic (Monster's Ball) the sentimental (Finding Neverland) and the surreal (Stranger Than Fiction) it's clear that Marc Forster isn't wedded to any particular style or genre. Which is fitting since The Kite Runner is so many things at once: a coming-of-age story a sweet romance a gripping war drama. Forster does a good job of balancing the story's many needs staying faithful to Khaled Hosseini's novel while also streamlining it to keep things moving. As in the book the movie's glimpses of a (relatively) liberal prosperous '70s Afghanistan are particularly compelling; audiences who only think of the country in the context of the ultra-conservative Taliban rule (and subsequent U.S. occupation) will be entranced. Later when Amir returns home to find fear despair and dusty emptiness it's impossible not to mourn right along with him.