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Bill Murray Would Have Been In ‘Iron Man’ If He Had Just Answered His Phone

Iron Man Bill Murray
Marvel Studios/Andrew Walker, Getty Images

Does anybody have a list of the movies Bill Murray could have been in if the notoriously hard-to-reach actor had only checked his messages? Apparently we can add one more mega-movie franchise to that healthy roster of missed opportunities, because Murray confirms that he could have been in ‘Iron Man,’ only Robert Downey Jr. couldn’t get a hold of him.

Murray was speaking with Esquire about his infamous reputation for being inaccessible when it comes to professional acting gigs. The reporter brings up that they profiled Downey, Jr. for their May issue who said, “We wanted Bill to consider a role in ‘Iron Man,’ but nobody could find him.”

Murray explains:

I’m not trying to be coy. It’s just practical for me. When the phone started ringing too many times, I had to take it back to what I can handle. I take my chances on a job or a person as opposed to a situation. I don’t like to have a situation placed over my head. … To the degree that I can get the things that want to control me out of the way, then there’s less stuff in my field of vision. Then I can work.

Who would Murray have played? He’s not wired to play a manipulative villain, so I think the role of Obadiah Stane that ultimately went to Jeff Bridges is out. Our best guess? Downey and Jon Favreau probably wanted Murray to consider the voice role of JARVIS, Tony Stark’s computerized man servant that eventually was voiced by Paul Bettany. It would have been an easy paycheck for Murray. He just doesn’t need it.

You know who obviously has a hotline to Murray, though? Wes Anderson. Every time he’s ready to make a movie, Murray seems to be on set. Their latest collaboration, ‘Moonrise Kingdom,’ opens in limited release on Friday, May 25. But Murray’s involvement in a Marvel movie is just another pipe dream that could have been.

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