‘On the Rocks’: Sofia Coppola Unveils New Details About Her Big Bill Murray Reunion

The "Lost in Translation" director talks for the first time about her new project, backed by A24 and Apple.
Bill Murray and Sofia Coppola
Bill Murray and Sofia Coppola
Marion Curtis/Starpix/Shutterstock

On the Rocks” is likely one of the year’s most anticipated films for many indie movie lovers as it marks the long-awaited reunion between “Lost in Translation” Oscar winner Sofia Coppola and actor Bill Murray. While the two worked together on the 2015 Netflix special “A Very Murray Christmas,” the upcoming comedy-drama “On the Rocks” will be their first theatrical release together in the 17 years since “Lost in Translation,” which won Coppola the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay and nabbed nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor for Murray. Coppola took part in an online discussion with 92Y and Annette Insdorf this week and pulled back the curtain on the film’s storyline.

“This is Bill Murray and Rashida Jones. Yes, they play father and daughter, and she’s married to Marlon Wayans, a successful businessman who is traveling a lot and has a beautiful assistant,” Coppola said. [Rashida’s character] has suspicions. The dad, who’s kind of a sophisticated playboy, gets her paranoid because he’s seeing men through his point of view. It’s sort of the clash between the two generations and her being a young woman and he’s a gentleman of another generation.”

Coppola continued, “It’s kind of the clash of how they look at relationships and also how your relationship with your parent affects your relationships in your life. We finished a little while ago. It’s the two of them as a father and daughter sort of on a little adventure to spy on her husband. It’s a lot of them talking about life and men and women over martinis in New York.”

“On the Rocks” was the first movie announced by A24 under its new partnership with Apple TV+. Coppola last worked with A24 during the release of “The Bling Ring.” It’s unclear for how long or if A24 will release “On the Rocks” in theaters before it begins streaming exclusively on Apple TV+, although it stands to reason a director like Coppola would push for some kind of theatrical engagement. During the 92Y discussion, Coppola said she’s not as anti-streaming as some of her filmmaking contemporaries but she’s still trying to figure out the relationship between streaming and traditional cinema.

“I think it’s interesting now that you can, you know, when before your movie it had to be 90 minutes at least, you know, and now I feel like what I appreciate about streaming is that you can have an idea that’s shorter or longer,” Coppola said. “You can do something in three parts and so in that way I think it’s interesting because you’re so open to, you know, trying different things. I think in that way it’s exciting, but at the same point I don’t really see it as..it’s not so much cinema [in its traditional sense], to me it’s a different thing. But I think it’s interesting.”

A24 and Apple TV+ have not announced a release date for “On the Rocks.” The film is Coppola’s first movie since “The Beguiled” nabbed her the Best Director prize at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival.

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