Bill Murray has quietly become a modern-day Greta Garbo, his stubborn elusiveness making him all the more intriguing and desirable, and also, he’s begun wearing a lot of turbans and speaking in a husky Swedish accent. Yet despite his seemingly lukewarm feelings about ever committing to a non-Wes Anderson movie again, people continue to build projects around him, and then they release stories about it to the press as though it’s a done deal—such as Ghostbusters 3, where Murray’s ongoing refusal to so much as read the script has become its own “Bartleby The Scrivener”-like philosophical stance. You can now add to that list of things he may or may not do, depending on if he feels like it, Focus Features’ upcoming Hyde Park On The Hudson, a historical drama which has gotten a lot of buzz today thanks to Vulture’s report that Murray has agreed to play Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
The film, to be directed by Roger Michell (Notting Hill, Morning Glory), recounts the semi-incestuous affair between FDR and his distant cousin, Margaret “Daisy” Stuckley, and takes place over a single weekend in 1939, during the British King and Queen’s visit to his New York cottage. And true, Murray’s casting would be an inspired choice, as FDR is easily the most dryly hilarious president of all time, as witnessed in his series of “Fireside Chat” skits where he sarcastically pretended to care about America. Or, all kidding aside, Murray would likely be in subdued, crying-on-the-inside mode here, and could probably bring some wit and gravitas to a premise that could easily topple over into standard rom-com sap. In other words, it could be great—but of course, no one ever seems to know whether Murray’s really doing something until he shows up to work, or he says once again, “I would prefer not to.” Ah Bill Murray! Ah humanity!