Bill Murray will be teaming up with Rain Man and Good Morning, Vietnam director Barry Levinson for Rock the Kasbah, a comedy from Scrooged writer Mitch Glazer’s screenplay.
The film is to be introduced to buyers at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), and is being billed by QED International as “the story of a burned-out music manager who goes to Afghanistan on the USO tour with his last remaining client. When he finds himself abandoned, penniless and without his passport, he discovers a young girl with an extraordinary voice, who stows away with him back to Kabul to compete on the popular television show The Afghan Star, Afghanistan’s equivalent of American Idol.”
The film will be produced by QED’s Bill Block, Venture Forth’s Jacob Pechenik and Shangri-La Entertainment’s Steve Bing, and Block goes on to say that “(Murray and Levinson are) the perfect team to capture the lunacy, heartbreak and hope of this story.” It sounds like we have another great chance to see Bill Murray floundering in a foreign environment (Lost in Translation), in a film that could potentially be very powerful in what are currently very turbulent times in the Middle East.
An aside: anyone who likes the sound of the movie should check out Havana Marking’s fascinating 2008 documentary Afghan Star, which centres around select contestants on the eponymous talent show.
Barry Levinson was due to direct Black Mass, a crime drama starring Johnny Depp, but the actor backed out the role and the project collapsed into a Deppless void. QED are also selling a few other projects at TIFF, including Fading Gigolo, starring John Turturro and Woody Allen; Fanny, starring Richard Gere; Are We Officially Dating? starring Zac Efron; and two David Ayer movies, Sabotage and Fury.
No word on a release date for Rock the Kasbah as of yet, but you can see Bill Murray in upcoming films The Monuments Men, and Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel.