Keke Palmer: ‘Being Mortal’ needs rewriting after Bill Murray scandal

The actress said the film, which had production on hold in April, would need some serious retooling to see the light of day, but added that “if anyone could figure it out, it would be Aziz”.

With each passing day, the likelihood that Aziz Ansari’s directorial debut, Being Mortal, will complete production and reach audiences seems less and less.

Production was halted in April following complaints from Bill Murray of unspecified inappropriate behavior on set, with Searchlight Pictures using the hiatus to conduct an investigation. Murray soon apologized for his “insensitive” behavior but declined to provide details about the alleged incident.

However, a new report from Puck this week claimed Murray’s behavior may have been worse than previously speculated.

“This much younger woman, Murray felt, had been flirting with him,” the report said. “In a moment when the two were in close proximity to a bed that was part of the production, Murray began kissing her body and straddling her. It was perhaps an unclear piece of physical comedy, but one that was unheralded. She couldn’t move because he outweighed her, she claimed. He then kissed her on the mouth, despite both Murray and the woman wearing masks due to Covid protocols.”

The news makes it all but impossible for such a high-profile production to proceed with Murray in the cast, and the report also hinted that Disney (which owns Searchlight) doesn’t necessarily want to devote more resources to a film that’s causing a PR headache has become . It is possible that the film will remain unfinished and end up as a Hollywood what-if story, but some of the cast are still hoping it will be completed.

In a new interview with Variety, Keke Palmer, who stars in the film, explained that the film would need some serious changes to complete (although she wasn’t directly citing the allegations against Murray).

“[Ansari] It would probably need a major rewrite, but I know what we got was gold,” she said. “Obviously we got cut off at a certain point but I have to say I’m pretty devastated. It’s an amazing film. If there’s a way to complete it, to save it, I would want to do it.”

Although rewriting and completing the film would be a daunting task, Palmer still has faith in her director.

“If anyone could figure it out, it would be Aziz,” she said.

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Lindsay Lowe

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