Younger readers who grew up with him as a kind of sad-eyed oracle may not know this, but Bill Murray once had something of a reputation as a comic actor. He’d sing, he’d yell, he’d move his face into expressions outside of “twinkle-eyed wisdom” and “wistful, sardonic loss.” It was a strange period in the dramatic actor’s life, and one that he appears to be revisiting in the trailer for Rock The Kasbah, his new movie with Wag The Dog director Barry Levinson.
Murray plays rock manager Richie Lanz, who ends up lost and penniless in Afghanistan after his last remaining client (Zooey Deschanel) ditches him during a tour. Forced to rely on his wits, he makes his way across the country while cracking wise, making friends, and singing an impromptu cover of “Smoke On The Water,” just like good old Nick the Lounge Singer would have done. Along the way, he meets up with other famous people, like Kate Hudson, Bruce Willis, and Danny McBride, who all seem pleasantly bemused to see Murray acting so far outside his contemporary comfort zone.