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Zen and the art of casting Bill Murray in your movie

“You know what the truth is? You don’t find Bill Murray,” filmmaker Theodore Melfi says. “Bill ­Murray finds you.”

This fateful lesson is one learned by many directors, though not all succeed in the quest to recruit the Ghostbusters and Rushmore star for their projects.

Melfi, a longtime commercial director making his feature writing and directing debutwas certain Murray would be perfect for the title role in St. Vincent, his indie comedy about a rotten, miserable old man who reluctantly discovers he’s not so rotten and miserable after all.

“He finds everything he’s supposed to be involved in by not chasing anything,” Melfi says. “If it’s supposed to happen, the person will hound him until it happens, or he’ll run into them at a bar or restaurant. He has a zen-like protocol in regard to what he does and doesn’t do.”

Here’s how the odd journey to St. Vincent played out, in three acts.

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Toronto Film Festival sets Sept. 5 as Bill Murray Day

Let Sept. 5 be henceforth known as Bill Murray Day. The Toronto International Film Festival will be celebrating Murray at the world premiere of his new film, St. Vincent, and the festival has invited the reclusive comedian to his own premiere and devoted an entire day to him. The festival will be leading up to the premiere by showing free screenings of three seminal Murray classics—Stripes, Groundhogs Day, and Ghostbusters—starting at 10 a.m. at the TIFF Lightbox.

Fans who view all three films will be able to win tickets to the world premiere of St. Vincent. The line for tickets starts at 8 a.m. ET on Sept. 5 at the TIFF Bell Lightbox box office.

Bill Murray will voice Baloo in Jon Favreau's 'The Jungle Book'

Bill Murray is heading to the jungle: The actor is set to voice the character of Baloo in Disney’s live-action The Jungle Book.

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Video: Bill Murray babysits for Melissa McCarthy in 'St. Vincent' trailer

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Bill Murray has hit bottom in the first trailer for St. Vincent. A hedonistic war vet, Murray’s Vincent is a cranky drunk who cavorts around with strippers and gets enraged at the slightest things. His bank account is overdrawn, he’s got an unexplained head wound, and a massive tree branch just fell on his car.

But Oliver (newcomer Jaeden Lieberher), the young boy who’s just moved in next door with his newly divorced mom (Melissa McCarthy), hardly notices all the vices and edges and starts to take to Vincent, and his mom agrees to let him look after Oliver for $11/hour. Predictably, Vincent’s idea of babysitting is unconventional at best.

Take a look after the jump. READ FULL STORY

'Ghostbusters' gets the call for theatrical re-release -- EXCLUSIVE

This weekend marks the 30th anniversary of Ghostbusters, which came, saw, and kicked Mr. Stay Puft’s ass in the summer of 1984. The hilarious, special-effects-laden adventure about Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and the late Harold Ramis’ trio of disgraced academics, who luck into the paranormal extermination racket just as supernatural creatures try to bring about the end of times, dominated the box office and had virtually every American humming Ray Parker Jr.’s theme song and asking the rhetorical question, “Who you gonna call?” READ FULL STORY

Why Ivan Reitman won't direct new 'Ghostbusters' movie: 'It wasn't really that hard'

Most things come with a “past due” date, and that includes directing jobs. For Ivan Reitman, the moment he decided to bow out of helming the long-gestating Ghostbusters III occurred when he returned from his friend Harold Ramis’ funeral, held in Chicago last month.

“It wasn’t that hard,” Reitman told EW of the decision. “When I came back from the funeral, I thought it would be better to turn the director’s chores over to someone else and let me produce it.” READ FULL STORY

Oscars 2014: Bill Murray pays touching tribute to Harold Ramis

Bill Murray, making a rare Oscar appearance less than a week after the death of Harold Ramis, made a poignant shout-out to his old friend while presenting the award for Best Cinematography. After announcing the nominees, Murray added, “Oh, we forgot one. Harold Ramis for Caddyshack, Ghostbusters, and Groundhog Day.”

The audience applauded warmly, Murray apologized — needlessly — for stealing the moment, and then the prize was awarded to Gravity‘s Emmanuel Lubezki, who won for the first time after six nominations.

Murray and Ramis knew each other before they were famous, coming up together in the Chicago comedy scene and then working together in New York. Ramis would co-write Animal House, and then join Murray behind the scenes of Meatballs, Caddyshack, and Stripes, the latter two which he directed. They co-starred in Ghostbusters, and then made Groundhog Day together in 1993. Ramis was never nominated for an Oscar, but his Groundhog Day script, which he co-wrote with Danny Rubin, won the BAFTA Award.

'Grand Budapest Hotel': Take a peek inside Wes Anderson's inn -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

Grand-Budapest-Hotel-02When Wes Anderson thinks “hotel,” he doesn’t think bed bugs and low-pressure showers. He thinks luxury, in the way the best hotels used to be run.

“In those days, it was the hotel’s job to take care of all of your needs — before you even knew you needed them,” says Bob Balaban, one of the many familiar faces gracing Anderson’s latest film, The Grand Budapest Hotel.

In the exclusive behind-the-scenes video below, see Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, Jude Law, Ralph Fiennes, Edward Norton, and many more Anderson first-timers and favorites talk about why they needed to inhabit this world: READ FULL STORY

Bill Murray on Harold Ramis: 'He earned his keep on this planet. God bless him.'

Harold Ramis met Bill Murray when the latter was still a teenager in the 1960s. Ramis, who was six years older, worked with Murray’s brother, Brian, at Second City in Chicago, and when he visited the Murray home in Wilmette, Ill., for the first time, Brian took him to meet Bill — at the golf course, aptly enough, where Bill ran the refreshment stand.

All three men would end up working together extensively, but it was Harold and Bill’s collaborations that defined big-screen comedy — beginning with Meatballs in 1979, running through Caddyshack, Stripes, and Ghostbusters, and culminating with Groundhog Day in 1993. The latter is widely considered both men’s best work, and though they had a falling out after that movie and never worked together again, many fans couldn’t help but think of Ramis and Murray together when they heard the sad news yesterday that Ramis had died at 69, after battling autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis for four years.

In a statement released to TIME by his lawyer, Murray said: “Harold Ramis and I together did the National Lampoon Show off Broadway, Meatballs, Stripes, Caddyshack, Ghostbusters, and Groundhog Day. He earned his keep on this planet. God bless him.”

Casting Net: Channing Tatum in talks for 'Bad Romance'; Plus, Michael Fassbender, Bill Murray, more

Magic Mike star Channing Tatum is in early talks to produce and star in Bad Romance for writer and director Jonathan Levine (50/50). No details about the plot were revealed. Tatum can be seen next in Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher, recently bumped to a 2014 release, and 22 Jump Street. He also voices the part of Superman in The Lego Movie. [THR]

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