For an actor well-known for his comedic turns, Bill Murray sure tends to surround himself with the dead—and undead. The Groundhog Day star attended the opening night of Cannes Film Festival in support of its opening film, the Jim Jarmusch-directed zombie comedy The Dead Don’t Die. Murray plays Chief Cliff Robertson opposite such varied co-stars as Adam Driver, Tilda Swinton, Chloë Sevigny and Steve Buscemi. This isn’t even the first time Murray has appeared in a zom-com; the actor showed up for a memorable cameo in 2009’s Zombieland.
But the actor’s most famous struggles against the spooky can arguably be found in the ‘80s classic Ghostbusters. (And the middling 1989 sequel, but let’s just skim over that one.) So it’s unsurprising that Murray’s brief appearance in the controversial gender-swapped 2016 remake did little to satisfy fans of the original films directed by Ivan Reitman. When asked by IndieWire if he had any desire to pick up the proton pack once more for the forthcoming sequel directed by Reitman’s son Jason, scheduled for release in 2020, the comedian said he wasn’t against the idea, fondly recalling the relationships he formed with his co-stars (Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, Harold Ramis, Rick Moranis, Annie Potts) and acknowledging the films’ success.
“This franchise paid for my son’s college,” Murray told IndieWire. “We made this thing. We are the caretakers of it. It’s a great thing and it was a really fun movie to make. It’s a real movie with some really funny stuff in it.”
“I was in that movie just because they asked me, and I knew if I said no, I was saying I didn’t support that movie,” Murray added of the franchise’s Paul Feig-directed reboot. “I felt like, OK, I’m going to support them because I support them as people. So I did that one and I would do this next one.”
Not including the 2016 reboot, Murray has stayed away from the franchise for years, choosing instead to take more dramatic roles in films like Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation and a number of Wes Anderson’s famously idiosyncratic features. Murray has excelled in such films, but a true Ghostbusters comeback is just what fans of the franchise need. We’ll keep you updated if that happens.
The Dead Don’t Die opens June 14. You can read Murray’s full interview over at IndieWire.