No, Bill Murray Isn’t Making a ‘Groundhog Day’ Sequel But, Believe It or Not, One Already Exists
Bill Murray is a comedy legend. Since breaking out on Saturday Night Live in the late 1970s, the actor has starred in countless classic films. Caddyshack, Stripes, Ghostbusters, and Scrooged are just a few of his biggest hits. However, 1993’s Groundhog Day remains one of his most enduring movies.
In director Harold Ramis’ film, Murray plays sardonic TV weatherman Phil Connors who winds up reliving the same day over and over in a small town. Groundhog Day isn’t only a beloved comedy featuring one of Murray’s greatest performances, however. Over the years, it has become an influential force, even spawning a stage musical adaptation in 2016.
Yet, despite the widespread love for Groundhog Day, the film has never received a big-screen follow-up. But fans desperate for a sequel do have an option for how they can continue the story.
Bill Murray starred in a Jeep commercial during Super Bowl LIV
During Super Bowl LIV, Groundhog Day fans got an unexpected treat in the form of a new Jeep commercial. In the ad, Murray returns as Phil Connors, who finds himself once again stuck reliving the holiday in Punxsutawney, Penn. Discovering an unattended Jeep, Phil snatches the groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, and sets off on a never-ending series of adventures.
In addition to reusing Sonny & Cher’s “I Got You Babe,” the commercial also brings back two other stars of the film. Brian Doyle-Murray — Bill Murray’s real-life brother — returns as Buster Green, who’s responsible for the Groundhog Day festivities. Likewise, esteemed character actor Stephen Tobolowsky reprises his role as Ned Ryerson. Bing!
Alas, fans who thought the ad was a sign of things to come will be disappointed. No new Groundhog Day sequel is currently in the works. However, the original film already has a sequel out there for those interested in tracking what became of Phil Connors.
‘Groundhog Day’ continues as a virtual reality video game
In fall 2019, Sony Pictures Virtual Reality and Tequila Works released a VR video game called Groundhog Day: Like Father Like Son. Following the events of the film, players control Phil Connors Jr., son of Murray’s character. Just like his father, this Phil winds up trapped in an endless time loop back in the same town where it happened to his dad.
Along the way, he encounters a variety of settings and characters from the film. Players must explore the town and solve puzzles in the hopes of breaking Phil free. Featuring a similar sarcastic sense of humor to his father, Phil Jr. (voiced by Garrett Schweighauser) guides you through what’s happened in the decades since his father and mother, Rita — played in the film by Andie MacDowell — got together.
None of the stars from Groundhog Day reprise their roles here. And admittedly, a VR video game will probably only appeal to a fraction of the film’s fan base. That being said, it’s fascinating that the film led to a sequel at all, even in this form. So gamers who happen to love Murray’s film might want to give it a shot. Groundhog Day: Like Father Like Son is now available on Sony PlayStation VR, Oculus Rift, and HTC Vive.
Could Bill Murray make an actual ‘Groundhog Day’ sequel?
A Groundhog Day sequel isn’t coming anytime soon. And we wouldn’t count on the recent spate of related projects — the stage production, the video game, and now the Super Bowl ad — to inspire any genuine sequel efforts. Murray is notoriously hard to get ahold of and is particularly hesitant about sequels. Just look at how hard it’s been to get him to commit to returning to the Ghostbusters franchise.
Plus, Ramis’ death in 2014 means everyone involved in Groundhog Day is probably even less likely to entertain a sequel. Considering how much of a classic the movie is — and how terrible most comedy sequels tend to be — that’s probably for the best. At least now hardcore Groundhog Day fans know that all they have to do to revisit that world is slip on a VR headset.