We all want our own magical Bill Murray encounter, but there is no way to bait the trap. Bill Murray only shows up when you least expect him to, but when he does show up you’ve got a story that you, your children, and you children’s children will be able to dine out on for decades because it probably involves slow motion kickball on a rooftop or laser tag karaoke in your dreams, since Bill Murray is able to commit hi-jinks in our sleep-space like a whimsical Freddy Krueger.
All of that is about to change this Christmas, though, when Murray sneaks into our homes like the Grinch in the third act to give us all the best present of all.
Murray revealed exclusively to Variety that he intends to star in a Christmas special for TV that will be directed by his “Lost in Translation” collaborator Sofia Coppola, where he’ll be performing classic carols.
Like most things involving Bill Murray, the details haven’t been ironed out yet. “It’s not going to be live,” Murray says. “We’re going to do it like a little movie. It won’t have a format, but it’s going to have music. It will have texture. It will have threads through it that are writing. There will be prose.”
He added, “It will have a patina style and wit to it. It will be nice.”
I like the sound of that, but he could have said anything and I would have been down with this idea because Murray is, as you well know, infallible in the eyes of the masses. When he goes to the ATM with films like Garfield and its sequel, we shrug and laugh because he thought it was a Coen brother. When other celebrities wander into people’s events, it’s a scandal. When Bill Murray does it, we just assume that he’s playing through or that he had a hankering for wedding cake.
As odd as this special sounds, it doesn’t seem like the start of some kind of break from reality. Is it a bit of a left-turn when you judge it against the projects that he’s taken on recently like St. Vincent? Yes, but Murray has always seemed like the type to sit back and wait for something interesting to find him and it seems like this has and it kind of fits. Who doesn’t already have Scrooged on in heavy rotation during the holidays? That speech from Frank Cross and the sing-a-long at the end? We know that Bill Murray has the pipes to pull this off and we know that Bill Murray is Christmas, we’ve just forgotten that last part. We’ve also forgotten about the magic of splashy Christmas specials with all of their hokey charm. Maybe Bill Murray will remind us of both of those things all at once.