Bill Murray signed on for Garfield film by mistake

Actor Bill Murray signed on to star in 2004 family film Garfield: The Movie without properly reading the script, after mistaking little-known screenwriter Joel Cohen for his Oscar-winning namesake, Joel Coen. The Lost in Translation star made the confession during a question and answer session with fans on on Friday (17Jan14), admitting the simple name mix-up left him attached to a film he was not a fan of.
The discussion was prompted by one fan who asked Murray if there would be a third film in the live-action film franchise, about the sarcastic ginger comic strip cat, to which he responded, “I don’t think so.”
He then went on to explain how he ended up voicing Garfield, stating, “I had looked at the screenplay and it said ‘Joel Cohen’ on it. And I wasn’t thinking clearly, but it was spelled Cohen, not Coen. I love the Coen brothers movies. I think that Joel Coen is a wonderful comedic mind. So I didn’t really bother to finish the script, I thought, ‘He’s great, I’ll do it.'”
Murray didn’t realise his mistake until he began recording the role and was stunned by the quality of the writing: “There was just this long, two-minute silence. I probably cursed a little, and I said, ‘I can fix this, but I can’t fix this today. Or this week. Who wrote this stuff?'”
It was only then that he found out one of the people in the recording studio was the “misspelled Joel Cohen”, not the man behind the critically-acclaimed hits Fargo, The Big Lebowski and No Country for Old Men.
Despite Murray’s concerns, the movie proved a success at the box office, grossing more than $200 million (£125 million) worldwide.
His contract tied him to a sequel, which followed in 2006, but Garfield 2 went straight to DVD.