Searchlight Pictures has suspended production on “Being Mortal,” which was set to be the directorial feature debut of actor and comedian Aziz Ansari. Ansari was also set to star in the film, alongside Bill Murray and Seth Rogen.
Variety has confirmed that the studio has sent out a letter to the “Being Mortal” cast and crew, informing them that production has been suspended. Searchlight cites a recent complaint that, after investigating, led to the decision “that production cannot continue at this time.”
“We are truly grateful to all of you for everything you’ve put into this project. Our hope is to resume production and [we] are working with Aziz and [producer Youree Henley] to figure out that timing,” the letter reads. “Production will be in touch with you to share details on the wrap, and we will let you know as soon as we have more information to share.”
An individual familiar with the production says the complaint was not directed toward Ansari. The “Master of None” star was described by the source as working exhaustively with producing partner Henley to both address the complaint and keep production moving forward.
It’s not clear when filming might resume. A rep for Ansari did not immediately return a request for comment.
Deadline was first to report news, stating that the formal suspension came three days after production was first halted. The original report also states that the suspension is not related to COVID-19.
“Being Mortal” is based on Atul Gawande’s nonfiction book “Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End.” Principal photography began at the end of March and the film had reportedly completed half of its scheduled production before halting. “Being Mortal” was slated to release in 2023.
Read the full letter to the film’s cast and crew below:
Dear Being Mortal Cast and Crew,
We know you are all concerned about the recent delays in production and want to give you an update.
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.
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.
Production will be in touch with you to share details on the wrap, and we will let you know as soon as we have more information to share.