Bill Murray and Aziz Ansari film Being Mortal suspended by Searchlight mid-production

Searchlight Pictures has suspended the production of Aziz Ansari’s movie Being Mortal. The suspension came a result of a recent complaint, which the Disney-backed studio confirmed means “production cannot continue at this time.”

The film is due to be the directorial feature debut of Ansari, who also wrote the script and is set to appear in the movie. Other confirmed cast members include Seth Rogen, Keke Palmer, and Bill Murray. 

Per Deadline (opens in new tab), production had been paused on the film for three days before Searchlight shared an update with the cast and crew that it was being suspended. In a letter sent to those working on the film, the studio stated this was after an investigation over a recent complaint. The nature of the complaint has not been disclosed but sources close to the production confirmed it was not made against Ansari.

The letter read: “Late last week, we were made aware of a complaint, and we immediately looked into it. After reviewing the circumstances, it has been decided that production cannot continue at this time.”

The statement continued: “We are truly grateful to all of you for everything you’ve put into this project. Our hope is to resume production and are working with Aziz and Youree to figure out that timing.”

Ansari and his producing partner Youree Henley are currently thought to be working with Searchlight on what comes next for the movie. It is also believed that production was halfway through filming when it paused. 

The movie is an adaptation of the book Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by surgeon Atul Gawande. The non-fiction book is a collection of reflections and stories about end-of-life care from Gawande’s own experiences. 

The film was due to be released in 2023. Total Film has contacted Searchlight Pictures for comment on the reports.

Check out our list of upcoming movies due to be released in 2022 and beyond.

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