Bill Murray Will Contract Polio for ‘Hyde Park on Hudson’

Back when he was blowing up gophers and busting ghosts there probably weren’t too many people who though Bill Murray’s career trajectory was taking him on a path to portray Franklin Delano Roosevelt in a historical drama. But here we are, in a world where a script for a third Ghostbusters movie exists, but Bill Murray refuses to read it and instead is looking to star in an adaptation of a British radio play called Hyde Park on Hudson. If you had told twelve year old me that not only would this be the case, but that I would be in agreement with Murray’s decision, he would probably be very angry right now. But, despite how much it might disappoint that little guy, I have to say I’m really intrigued to see how Murray will do playing FDR.

Hyde Park on Hudson is a telling of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth’s weekend visit to Roosevelt’s upscale New York home in 1939. As the weekend unfolds, details of Roosevelt’s personal life are put on display, including a rumored affair with his cousin Daisy. This being ’39, the year before World War II started, nobody really knew much about the president’s personal life at the time. There was real stuff on people’s minds. Rumors of his too close for comfort relationship never came out until much later, and still haven’t been fully explored. I think if anybody has the chops to be a shameful, incestuous version of FDR and still make the man a sympathetic protagonist, then Bill Murray is that guy. One look at his puppy dog face and I won’t care who he’s diddling. The play’s original author Richard Nelson has also penned the screenplay, and the film is set to be directed by Notting Hill’s Roger Michell. You know, as long as he can wrangle Murray and actually make this thing happen. [Variety]

Weaned on the genre films of the 80s. Reared by the independent movement of the 90s. Earned a BA for writing stuff in the 00s. Reviews current releases at

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