Bill Murray Almost Got Jack Nicholson’s Role in ‘Toni Erdmann’ Remake

Bill Murray says if he weren’t so disorganized, he probably would have gotten the part in the Toni Erdmann remake, which currently has Jack Nicholson and Kristen Wiig attached.

In a recent interview with CNBC, Murray disclosed that Wiig had actually sent him the movie Toni Erdmann to watch, but apparently, Murray had misplaced it, and by the time he had found the movie, Jack Nicholson had already snagged the part.

“I’m in trouble with myself, because that Kristen Wiig, who I think is so wonderful, sent me something and said, ‘Would you look at this thing?’ And I’m just not very organized…For awhile, I lost it, and then I found it and I’m actually traveling with it. But I didn’t get around to watching this thing she wanted to watch, and she said, ‘Well, Jack Nicholson took the job.”

Bill Murray then jokingly added that Nicholson is “a poacher” and that his chances of being part of the Toni Erdmann reboot was slim.

“You know that guy’s a poacher. He’ll take anything. So I think I’m out of that one.”

Fans that were hoping to see Kristen Wiig and Bill Murray reunite on the big screen after Murray’s cameo in 2016’s Ghostbusters will, unfortunately, be disappointed. Instead, Wiig will be starring as the daughter in Paramount’s remake of the German drama-comedy Toni Erdmann against Jack Nicholson.

Kristen Wiig will play opposite Jack Nicholson in the reboot of “Toni Erdmann.” [Image by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images]

Toni Erdmann, a nearly three-hour long movie about the fraught relationship between a workaholic daughter and her lonely prankster father, has been nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards this year. It was also nominated for Best Foreign Film at the Golden Globes. The American remake of Toni Erdmann will be produced by Wiig, Will Ferrell, and Adam McKay, director of The Big Short and Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues. Maren Ade, the writer and director of the original German feature, is also attached to the project as an executive producer.

According to Variety, Nicholson, who will play the mischievous father striving to bond with his daughter in Toni Erdmann‘s remake, is actually responsible for the movie getting a remake in the first place. Variety reports that Nicholson was such a big fan of Toni Erdmann that he approached Brad Grey at Paramount with the idea of securing the rights to the film.

Nicholson’s involvement in the film also marks the actor’s return to the big screen after a long hiatus. Nicholson’s last acting role was in 2010’s How Do You Know, a romance-drama that starred Reese Witherspoon, Paul Rudd, and Owen Wilson. And according to Deadline, Nicholson was set to star in the 2014 comedy St. Vincent, a film which he had helped develop, before he dropped out. In an interesting twist of fate, Nicholson recommended Bill Murray to play the lead in St. Vincent instead.

Jack Nicholson at the premiere of his 2010 movie “How Do You Know.” [Image by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]

This isn’t the first or even second time that the two actors, Murray and Nicholson, have crossed paths in their acting roles. Splitsider points out that among the roles that Bill Murray had lost or forfeited, one was the role of Daryl Van Horne in the 1987 movie The Witches of Eastwick. Murray had been attached to the film, but later decided against it, and the role eventually went to Jack Nicholson.

Another example of a Bill Murray/Jack Nicholson “what-if” acting scenario is the story about how Murray was actually in talks to star in James L. Brooks’s How Do You Know before he reportedly lost interest and dropped out, according to Digital Spy. Nicholson ended up playing the character instead and thus re-teamed with Brooks, whom he had worked with previously on As Good as It Gets and Terms of Endearment.

[Featured Image by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images]

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