Aziz Ansari (Master of None, Parks and Recreation) is making his feature directorial debut with an untitled dramedy for Searchlight, based on the 2014 non-fiction book Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by surgeon Atul Gawande, in which he’ll star alongside Oscar nominee Bill Murray (The French Dispatch, Lost in Translation), Deadline has confirmed.
Gawande’s #1 New York Times bestseller tackles the hardest challenge of his profession: how medicine can not only improve life but also the process of its ending. Details with regard to the film’s plot and the characters to be played by Ansari and Murray have not been disclosed.
Ansari wrote the script and will produce alongside Youree Henley, with Taylor Friedman and Cameron Chidsey overseeing the project for Searchlight. The film is slated for theatrical release in 2023.
“Aziz Ansari is an incredible talent and, with this script, he brings a singular combination of insightful humor and pathos,” said Searchlight Presidents David Greenbaum and Matthew Greenfield in a joint statement. “We’re thrilled to be partnering with him on his feature directorial debut which is long overdue, and of course working with the genius Bill Murray once again.”
Ansari is a two-time Emmy-winning stand-up comic, actor, writer, director and producer known for creating the Netflix series Master of None. He previously directed on that acclaimed drama, also helming his most recent comedy special, Aziz Ansari: Nightclub Comedian, for Netflix.
Murray earned his Oscar nomination in 2004 for his turn opposite Scarlett Johansson in Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation. He recently starred in Wes Anderson’s critically acclaimed anthology film The French Dispatch, as well as Jason Reitman’s Ghostbusters: Afterlife and Coppola’s On the Rocks. Additional credits include Anderson’s Isle of Dogs, The Grand Budapest Hotel and Moonrise Kingdom.
Ansari is represemted by WME, 3 Arts Entertainment, Ocean Avenue and Yorn, Levine, Barnes; Murray by David Nochimson at Nochimson Law; and Gawande by WME and Tina Bennett.