Comedian Aziz Ansari’s directorial debut is not off to a hot start, with The Walt Disney Company’s Searchlight Pictures holding off on production of his film Being Mortal. Sources told Deadline, that the suspension of the project is over complaints made about actor Bill Murray’s inappropriate behavior on set.
Ansari is confirmed to star in his film alongside Murray, Seth Rogen, and Keke Palmer. It is unclear whether Murray will stay with the project or if he will need to be replaced. Seeing as half of the filming is done, replacing and re-shooting Murray’s scenes would be a costly fix.
This is not the first time he’s been accused of inappropriate behavior; in 2000, Lucy Liu confronted Murray on the Charlie’s Angels set for “hurling insults” at her. This allegedly caused a rewrite of a scene without Murray’s knowledge.
Youree Henley, Ansari’s producing partner, is still negotiating with the studio to get production up and running again.
In the letter sent out by Searchlight, they wrote: “Late last week, we were made aware of a complaint, and we immediately looked into it. After reviewing the circumstances, it has been decided that production cannot continue at this time. We are truly grateful to all of you for everything you’ve put into this project.”
The film is based on the book by Atul Gawande, Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End. This non-fiction title goes in-depth on end-of-life and hospice care.