After The King’s Speech won the Oscar for Best Picture and got multiple theatrical releases, it was always just a matter of time before Hollywood tried to capitalize on its success by releasing a whole slate of King George VI movies. So here we are, getting the release of the trailer for the first of these films, Hyde Park on Hudson. It’s not quite as exciting as the inevitable news that King George will be joining The Avengers in the summer of 2014, but for now it will have to do.
Seriously though, all joking about King George showing up on the cover of “Tiger Beat” aside, everyone is actually looking forward to Hyde Park on Hudson for one reason: the chance to see Bill Murray play Franklin Roosevelt. So, how does he do? From what we can tell from this first look at the film, it seems like he does wonderfully. He’s not quite doing an F.D.R. impression, but he’s not just being Bill Murray either. Most importantly, it seems as if Murray’s version of Roosevelt is a charismatic troublemaker ‐ something of a Woody Woodpecker archetype ‐ who’s not just being portrayed as a historical figure and a powerful man, but instead as a multi-faceted individual with his own quirks, hang-ups, and small pleasures. Quite simply, it appears as if getting the chance to watch Murray live in the skin of this character for a couple of hours is going to be a terribly entertaining experience.
And it looks like Hyde Park on Hudson has even more going on than just a chance for the Cult of Murray to continue worship. There’s tons of period production on display, hints of a developing romance, quite a bit of comedy-of-manners humor, and even some dramatic heft regarding a watershed historical moment. That’s a lot of promising stuff to pack into one movie. No wonder Murray wanted to do this instead of Ghostbusters 3.
Hyde Park on Hudson will open on December 7th. [Yahoo! Movies]