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By Jeff Sneider
LOS ANGELES (TheWrap.com) - Bill Murray is set to star in "Rock the Kasbah," which Oscar winner Barry Levinson will direct from an original screenplay by Mitch Glazer.
Story follows a burned-out music manager who goes to Afghanistan on the USO tour with his last remaining client. When he finds himself abandoned, penniless and without his passport, he discovers a young girl with an extraordinary voice who stows away with him back to Kabul to compete on the popular television show "The Afghan Star," Afghanistan's equivalent of "American Idol."
QED CEO Bill Block will produce with Venture Forth president Jacob Pechenik and Shangri-La Entertainment's Steve Bing. QED will introduce the project to international distributors at the Toronto International Film Festival.
"We're thrilled to be joining with the virtuoso team of Barry and Bill to bring Mitch's thrilling and hilarious story to a global audience," said Block. "At QED we're committed to working with globally recognized talent to package and market groundbreaking films with a strong commercial upside, and ‘Rock the Kasbah' is a perfect fit."
"'Rock the Kasbah' is poised to deliver an incredibly entertaining movie experience and is the perfect example of films we love," said Pechenik. "It brings together a strong creative voice with top talent and is sure to spark dialogue amongst a worldwide audience."
"Bill Murray and Barry Levinson are the perfect team to capture the lunacy, heartbreak and hope of this story. I'm ecstatic," added Glazer.
QED's slate at Toronto also includes John Turturro's "Fading Gigolo," Andrew Renzi's "Franny," the comedy "Are We Officially Dating?" and two films from director David Ayer — "Sabotage" with Arnold Schwarzenegger and "Fury" with Brad Pitt.
Levinson is repped by ICM Partners, manager Elaine Goldsmith Thomas and attorney Barry Hirsch. Glazer is repped by WME and attorney Melanie Cook.