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Trailer watch: Bill Murray, Zooey Daschanel and Bruce Willis team up for Rock the Kasbah

We celebrate some classic Murray moments as new trailer stars the great man as a burned-out rock band manager headed to Afghanistan

Rock the Kasbah, new Bill Murray movie, issues official trailer

Murray in 2014 comedy St Vincent

Time spent in the cinematic presence of Bill Murray is seldom time wasted, unless you're watching The Razor's Edge; the human incarnation of the word 'rumpled' brings a tint of priceless jade to even the most sentimental tosh. His new movie Rock the Kasbah places the great man at the heart of the story as aged rock manager Richie Lanz, who takes his last remaining client (Zooey Deschanel) on a US tour to Afghanistan.

When she thinks better of the whole deal and quits, Richie finds himself stranded in Kabul without money or passport. Then he finds a local girl with a golden voice. On the basis of the trailer, Rock the Kasbah is clearly exploiting to the full Murray's genius for being endearingly dissolute …

A lot of the players on this one have met before: screenwriter Mitch Glazer produced Lost in Translation, the film which boosted Murray's reputation as an actor with more than comedy to offer, although Glazer also wrote the 1988 Murray vehicle Scrooged; Murray and Willis appeared together in Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom; Barry Levinson did uncredited script work on Tootsie, which featured Murray's breakout performance as Dustin Hoffman's flatmate Jeff ('That is one nutty hospital'). The film also stars Kate Hudson, who in films like Michael Winterbottom's The Killer Inside Me and Mira Nair's The Reluctant Fundamentalist has been working hard to break out of the rom-com ghetto that she once co-ruled with Matthew McConaughey.

Barry Levinson's record as a director is so chequered you could use it as concept artwork for a dream sequence in a movie about a demented chess genius. For every slice of edgy brilliance like Tin Men and Wag the Dog, there are bizarre duds like Sphere and Toys. In recent films like What Just Happened and The Humbling he's specialised in stories about once-powerful men dealing with age and weakness; perhaps Rock the Kasbah is the third part of a trilogy.

In the meantime, Bill Murray will be appearing as himself this December, in the Sofia Coppola-directed A Very Murray Christmas, for which we can't wait, but in the meantime here's a quick celebration of the man's strange genius:

1. Caddyshack: 'Gunga galunga.'

As assistant greenskeeper Carl Spackler, Murray delivered the chief reason why people still watch Caddyshack today. His account of how he once caddied for the Dalai Lama is a classic moment of early Murray.

2. Tootsie: 'You slut!'

Murray was way down the cast list, but he stole his every scene as Jeff, Dustin Hoffman's unflappable roommate. Here Jeff comes home to find Dorothy, Hoffman's character, struggling to preserve her virtue from lecherous co-star John van Horn.

3. Scrooged: 'See, and these guys are really looking!'

In this 1988 adaptation of A Christmas Carol, Murray gave one of his most exuberant performances as heartless TV mogul Frank, whose behaviour is not what would today be considered as best practice.

4. Groundhog Day: 'This is a man we're talking about, right?'

When Groundhog Day was first released, one reviewer commented that while it was fine, it was never going be selected for preservation by the Library of Congress. Fourteen years later, it was selected by preservation by the Library of Congress. In a film made of great moments, the scene where Phil first attempts to persuade Rita that he's boyfriend material is Murray at his most egotistically loathsome.

5. Zombieland: 'I like to get out and do stuff.'

Murray cameoed as himself in 2009's horror comedy Zombieland, doing exactly what Bill Murray would do in the event of a zombie apocalypse: disguise himself as a zombie so that he could be free to play golf. The reaction of Harrelson's character surely articulates how we all feel whenever we contemplate the phenomenon of Bill Murray.

Rock the Kasbah is released in the US on Fri 23 Oct; no UK release date as yet. A Very Murray Christmas is due for release in Dec 2015.


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