Aziz Ansari will direct and star in Bill Murray’s film

Aziz Ansari, Bill Murray

Aziz Ansari, Bill Murray
Photo: J.B. Lacroix (Getty Images), Hawkins Cliff (Getty Images)

A more low-key Aziz Ansari quietly returned to the stage last month with his latest Netflix stand-special, Nightclub comedian, and he’s apparently eager to keep the momentum going. While lukewarm reviews earned special reviews, Ansari is already taking the next step: starring in and directing a Bill Murray movie.

By DeadlineAnsari Sets Up His Directorial Debut, A Non-Fiction Book Adaptation ‌To be mortal: medicine and what matters in the end by surgeon Atul Gawande. Ansari will star in the film alongside Murray, the elusive comedian, who infamously has no manager and shows up at weddings to steal drinks. The 2014 New York Times best-selling book approaches medicine from a quality-of-life perspective, examining aging, nursing homes and palliative care. Sounds perfect for a hilarious Aziz Ansari-Bill Murray buddy comedy.

Like Ansari, Murray has spent 2021 working. Last year, he almost gave way under the weight of his proton pack in Ghostbusters in the afterlife. Luckily the ghost catcher backpack didn’t bother his back too much because Murray gave The French Dispatch her beautiful spine, though she was too good for Oscar voters.

During Ansari’s time in the woods, he remained mostly silent about tthe sexual misconduct accusation published and removed by Babe.net in 2018. Fans didn’t know what to make of Ansari after that. For his part, he said the experience gave him “perspective” and made him “a better person”. He promised “to be more thoughtful, aware and willing to go the extra mile and make sure someone else is comfortable in that moment”. However, since then, he has plunged into “cancellation” myopia, addressing the issue on stage but never setting the record straight.

Although this is Ansari’s first gig as a director, it’s not his first time behind the camera. He directed many episodes of his Netflix series, master of nothing, including extension Bike thieves riff in season two. More recently, he has received accolades from The audiovisual club for Master Of None Presents: Moments In Love. Reviewer Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya pointed to Ansari’s direction specifically for the success of the five-episode season. She wrote:

Throughout the series, the no-frills camerawork, use of long, simple shots without cutaways, and attention to detail in the set and props make every scene intensely intimate. […] The props look like much more than decor, and the house looks like a character itself. The physical details may be simple, but they’re meaningful, and they’re paired with detailed character work.


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