Bill Murray is in a weird professional place: His film Being Mortal is on hold because of his behavior on-set. He won’t be in the latest Wes Anderson movie. And he’s the subject of headlines like “Bill Murray Faces Avalanche of New Accusations.” But thanks to the new trailer for Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, we know he still has a place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The trailer features Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) and Evangeline Lilly (The Wasp) descending into the Quantum Realm, where they meet the MCU’s new Thanos-level villain, Kang (Jonathan Majors). But they also encounter a seemingly friendly face, once he removes his sunglasses: Bill Murray.
For all the claims that cancel culture has run amok in Hollywood, and that anyone can lose their livelihood for stepping slightly out of line, it’s worth noting that Disney, one of the largest corporations in the world, doesn’t drop people just because they’re trending the wrong way on Twitter. See also: Letitia Wright, who will star in next month’s hotly anticipated Black Panther: Wakanda Forever despite outrage last year over reported anti-vax views. (She denied being anti-vax.) More pointedly: Evangeline Lilly will be back as The Wasp in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania despite people in some circles being upset by her opposition to vaccine mandates.
It’s always hard to tell where the line is when someone is accused of misconduct or abhorrent views — particularly when not everyone shares the same standard of “abhorrent.” Kanye West is the latest star to have clearly gone too far. His recent antisemitic remarks led CAA to drop him as a client.
For years, Bill Murray was one of our most universally loved actors — seen as a lovable curmudgeon with a refreshing lack of interest in Hollywood fakery. But in 2021, actress Lucy Liu told The Los Angeles Times that Murray repeatedly insulted her on the set of their 2000 film Charlie’s Angels.
His reputation took a bigger hit in April when Being Mortal shut down because of his conduct. A report in Puck earlier this month reported that Murray paid a $100,000 settlement to a woman whom he kissed and straddled on set. The report said she was “horrified” by his behavior, which she interpreted as sexual, and filed a complaint.
Murray has not commented on the specifics, but did tell CNBC back in April, when the issue first arose: “I had a difference of opinion with a woman I’m working with. I did something I thought was funny and it wasn’t taken that way. The movie studio wanted to do the right thing, so they wanted to check it all out and investigate it and so they stopped the production.” He added, “we like each other’s work — we like each other, I think. If we can’t get along and trust each other, there’s no point in going further working together or making a movie… It’s been quite an education for me.”
In June, MovieMaker exclusively reported that Murray would not appear in Asteroid City, the latest film from Wes Anderson — despite Murray’s consecutive appearances in the last nine Anderson films, and appearing in an early interview connected to Asteroid City. No reason was provided for his Asteroid City absence.
Since then, Murray has been the subject of several negative stories, collected in a Deadline piece that referenced everything from the Being Mortal situation to Rob Schneider saying Murray hated the early ’90s Saturday Night Live cast. Geena Davis has said that he yelled at her on the set of their 1990 film Quick Change, that he kept pressuring her after she repeatedly turned down his attempts to use a massage machine on her back, and that she was uncomfortable when he kept trying to pull down the spaghetti strap on her dress when they appeared together on The Arsenio Hall Show.
But if the Ant Man and the Wasp: Quantumania trailer appearance is any indication, Murray will keep getting roles in major productions. He’s never responded to our requests for comment, of course, because he hasn’t had a manager or publicist for years.
Main image: Bill Murray in the Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania trailer.