Bill Murray Reveals How He Lost ‘Toni Erdmann’ Remake Role To Jack Nicholson

Bill Murray blames his own disorganization for losing out on the lead role in the English-language remake of “Toni Erdmann”.

The original German-language comedy about the relationship between a father who loves practical jokes and his hard-working daughter has been nominated for a number of high-profile awards this season, including an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign-Language Film.  Murray was one of the many names floated around when the remake was first announced.  Jeff Bridges, Al Pacino, Larry David and Nathan Lane were all names discussed to play the lead role of the trickster, who dons a wig and fake teeth for most, assuming the elaborate alter-ego Toni Erdmann and posing as the life coach of his daughter’s CEO.

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Earlier in February, an English-language remake was announced with Jack Nicholson in the titular role of the jokester dad, with Kristen Wiig as the workaholic daughter. Now, Murray tells CNBC in a new interview how Nicholson, 79, came out of retirement to nab the role over him.

“Kristen Wiig, who I think is so wonderful, sent me something and said, ‘Would you look at this thing?'” he says, referring to the two-hour-and-45-minute comedy that premiered at Cannes in May. “And I’m just not very organized. For a while, I lost it, and then I found it … but I didn’t get around to watching this thing that she wanted me to watch.”

Murray, 66, adds that when he finally reconnected with Wiig, it was too late.

“She said, ‘Well, Jack Nicholson took the job,'” he says.

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Nicholson has been absent from the big screen for nearly seven years.  His last role was in the 2010 comedy “How Do You Know”.

While he may not have “Toni Erdmann” ahead of him, Murray will once again re-team with director Wes Anderson for the stop-motion-animated “Isle Of Dogs”, due in theatres next year.

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