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
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: