Today in ‘huh, really?’ casting news: Bill Murray is going to portray president Franklin Delano Roosevelt in a film adaptation of the radio play, Hyde Park on Hudson, in which the president has an affair with his distant cousin during a visit by England’s royal family. Yes, really.
Directed by Roger Mitchell (Morning Glory, Notting Hill, Changing Lanes) and written by Roger Melson (adapting his own play), Hyde Park on Hudson is set in 1939, “features FDR and his distant cousin Margaret Stuckley (called Daisy in the play) as they have an illicit affair while King George VI and Queen Elizabeth are making their first visit to America,” according to /Film.
Wow—however, if you strip away the presidential title, this sounds like the type of character that Murray has been specializing in over the past decade: a just-past-middle-aged man locked in an affair or near-affair (Lost in Translation, Rushmore, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou). It could work.
/Film has the plot overview:
“No reigning British monarch had ever been to the United States before George VI’s visit in 1939, just on the cusp of a new world war. History was in the making when the King and Queen arrived at President Roosevelt’s upstate New York home, with a promise of politics, a picnic and hot dogs. But the private life of the President provided a whole new dimension to an epochal moment, at least in the memory of his lover.”
So—Bill Murray plays former president Franklin Delano Roosevelt in a film in which he has an affair with his cousin during a visit by the Royal Family? I can’t tell you how ready I am for this.
What do you think of the casting news?