Bill Murray had to drop out of Wes Anderson’s Asteroid City just before its shoot in Spain got underway due to COVID-19, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.

Murray, among Wes Anderson’s longtime collaborators, was attached early to the film now in postproduction. But Murray being absent from Focus Features’ star-studded cast list for Asteroid City announced this week left the mystery of his absence in the air.

Now it’s been confirmed that Murray had to step away from the Asteroid City shoot and his character was recast after he came down with COVID-19.

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Many of Anderson’s other go-to thespians are in the movie, including Jason Schwartzman, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Hanks, Jeffrey Wright, Tilda Swinton, Bryan Cranston, Ed Norton, Adrien Brody, Liev Schreiber, Hope Davis and Stephen Park.

The ensemble cast also includes Rupert Friend, Maya Hawke, Steve Carell, Matt Dillon, Hong Chau, Willem Dafoe, Margot Robbie, Tony Revolori, Jake Ryan, Grace Edwards, Aristou Meehan, Sophia Lillis, Ethan Lee, Jeff Goldblum and Rita Wilson.

Focus Features picked up the worldwide releasing rights to Asteroid City. The film, written and directed by Anderson, reunites the auteur, Focus and Indian Paintbrush after their collaboration on the 2012 title Moonrise Kingdom.

Asteroid City is billed as a poetic meditation on the meaning of life; it tells the story of a fictional American desert town in and around 1955 and its Junior Stargazer convention, which brings together students and parents from across the country for scholarly competition, rest and recreation, comedy, drama, romance and more.

Focus and Universal International will handle worldwide distribution on Asteroid City, which is based on a story by Anderson and Roman Coppola. The film is produced by Anderson and Steven Rales, founder of Indian Paintbrush, which has financed Anderson’s movies, and Jeremy Dawson.

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