Bill Murray will ditch his lackadaisical comedic schtick to play the 32nd President of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt (aka FDR) in next year’s historical drama Hyde Park on Hudson, to be directed by Roger Michell (Notting Hill, Changing Lanes, Morning Glory).
In a role that already reeks of Oscar bait, Murray will star alongside Laura Linney. Set in 1939, the film was adapted by Richard Nelson from his own play and focuses on FDR’s love affair with distant cousin Margaret Suckley. FDR, who suffered permanent paralysis from the waist down after contracting polio in the early 20s, presents the teddy bear faced Murray some big shoes to fill.
Earlier this month, interviewed by USA Today, Michell touched on how Murray prepared for the role (which has previously been brought to the screen by a number of actors including Jason Robards, Jon Voight and Kenneth Branagh) and commended his performance, saying:
“We put Bill in touch with people who have polio and with a physiotherapist, who made calipers and taught him how to walk with them. He captured the voice of the man, the tilt of his chin, that trademark cigarette holder and his way of spreading confidence.”
Here’s a look at some more of the film’s recently released production stills.