Aziz Ansari is jumping from TV to the silver screen. The actor and Master of None co-creator is making his directorial debut with an as-yet untitled Searchlight Pictures, and he’s tapped Bill Murray to star in the lead role.
Update – March 24th: Seth Rogen has joined the film’s cast alongside Bill Murray.
Ansari will have lots on his plate for this project: In addition to directing, he’s writing the script, co-producing alongside Youree Henley, and acting in it. The project is based on American surgeon and New Yorker contributor Atul Gawande’s Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End, a 2014 nonfiction book about aging, end-of-life care, and striving for wellbeing over survival.
Though not much is known right now about the film’s plot, Searchlight is banking on both Ansari and Murray’s background in comedy to help sell this examination of mortality.
“Aziz Ansari is an incredible talent and, with this script, he brings a singular combination of insightful humor and pathos,” Searchlight Presidents David Greenbaum and Matthew Greenfield wrote in a statement. “We’re thrilled to be partnering with him on his feature directorial debut, which is long overdue, and, of course, working with the genius Bill Murray once again.”
Also on Murray’s docket for the foreseeable future are undisclosed roles in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania and — gasp — another Wes Anderson film, following his recent appearance in The French Dispatch. Ansari recently wrapped up a short run of stand-up shows, and also has a new Netflix special out called Nightclub Comedian.