Bill Murray is finally ready to talk about all those “Bill Murray Stories.”
But in standard Bill Murray fashion, he’s not going to reveal his past and musings in a conventional way.
The enigmatic and beloved Caddyshack and Ghostbusters actor is partnering with viral photo site and streaming company The Chive to enter the NFT space with a line of blockchain collectibles that will tell verified Murray tales.
Each token in the Official Bill Murray NFT 1000 will have a unique graphic of Murray and accompanying text of a brief anecdote about the actor that he has either personally revealed to the company or has verified from previously published material.
As Chive Media Group co-founder John Resig tells it: “I asked Bill’s thoughts about all the Bill Murray stories swirling about. Bill gave a surprisingly candid answer, ‘I like them just fine, I was even present for a few.’ Bill leaned in with that mischievous twinkle in his eye, ‘But there are more stories out there, better stories.’ I asked Billy why he hadn’t decided to tell them, to fill in the missing pieces of the mythology? ‘The timing has never been right, nor has the storytelling vehicle. I don’t want to film a documentary or write an autobiography. Social media is for the birds. Still, I wish most people would understand how much I like fresh eggs, laid daily.’” (That last bit is a reference to one of the Murray stories in the collection).
A sample Bill Murray story posted Tuesday was about Murray’s phone: “It appears to be an eight-year-old Blackberry Classic. He’s nicknamed the relic, ‘Bill Urry’ Why? The ‘M’ key doesn’t work. If you’ve received a text from Bill in the last five years, the M’s are omitted. Considering Bill prefers texting to talking, that’s a lot of missing M’s.” (Note the image below is not the NFT.)
The project represents a potentially savvy entry into the crowded NFT marketplace as each token isn’t merely a celebrity image, but also has a narrative attached by one of Hollywood’s most secretive icons.
The Hollywood Reporter toured The Chive’s offices Wednesday and got a peek at some of the Murray NFTs in progress. In addition to documenting some of his encounters with fans and fellow celebrities, the tales ranged from professional topics (such as discussing a role he turned down), to philosophical Murray-isms, to his uncommon pastimes and quirks. Together, they form an impressionistic summation of a celebrity who’s always been difficult to precisely define and pin down. Some of the actor’s most publicized tales will remain unaddressed, however, to preserve some air of mystery.
Murray’s unique way of operating within the world of, well, everything, has grown to be the stuff of Hollywood legend. A 2018 documentary, The Bill Murray Stories: Life Lessons Learned From a Mythical Man (in which Murray did not participate), attempted to capture some of the anecdotes that surround the actor. A few of the Murray NFTs will give the actor’s versions of tales in the film.
Many more details about the NFT and its accompanying stories — including the NFT hero image by artist David Grizzle — will be released in the coming weeks. Resig says proceeds for the first token up for auction will go entirely to charity and that Official Bill Murray NFT 1000 will be one of the first projects to debut on Coinbase’s upcoming NFT marketplace. Murray was represented by David Nochimson on the deal.
The Chive launched in 2008 as a photo blog with a frat house vibe and penchant for media pranks. Over the years, it’s become known for driving its fan community toward charitable endeavors and its popular direct-to-business streaming channel Chive TV. The company has long partnered with Murray, including sponsoring an annual charity golf tournament with the actor (The Murray Bros. Caddyshack Charity Golf Tournament). In 2019, The Chive launched a streaming platform, Atmosphere, which has 67 channels, including Chive TV.
Last year, The Chive launched a blockchain technology company called Project Venkman (a play on the Murray’s iconic Ghostbusters character), which is seeding the NFT project and has raised $4.6 million in seed funding. Murray has also come on board as a partner in the company.