Why Was Bill Murray Replaced in ‘Charlie’s Angels’?

Actor Bill Murray is known for many notable franchises, from Ghostbusters to Zombieland. However, he didn’t appear in the sequel for one major action sequelCharlie’s Angels: Full Throttle. So why was Bill Murray replaced in Charlie’s Angels 2, and did it have to do with a member of the original Charlie’s Angels cast?

Bill Murray starred in ‘Charlie’s Angels’

Bill Murray kneeling while holding a message
Bill Murray plays Bosley in Columbia Pictures’ action-comedy, ‘Charlie’s Angels.’ | Columbia Pictures/Newsmakers

Charlie’s Angels debuted in late 2000. The film starred Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz, and Lucy Liu as Dylan, Natalie, and Alex, three private investigations known as “Angels.” They work for the unseen boss, Charlie, and communicate with him via his assistant, Bosley (Murray).

Though it received mixed reviews, the original Charlie’s Angels cast brought a lot of star power at that time. Coupled with a fun premise based on an existing IP (the 1970s TV series of the same name), and Sony had itself a hit. Charlie’s Angels earned an impressive $264 million at the box office.

He didn’t appear in ‘Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle’

Given its financial success (and the draw of action-movie franchises), Sony’s Columbia Pictures ordered a second film. Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle debuted in 2003, bringing back director McG as well as stars Barrymore, Diaz, and Liu. Joining the original Charlie’s Angels cast were Demi Moore as a former Angel and Bernie Mac as the new Bosley.

The film explains Mac’s presence by saying he’s the original Bosley’s adoptive brother. Aside from a quick line about him having only been working for a few days and the Angels chastising him for not going with the flow like the old Bosley, Murray’s character barely warranted a mention in the sequel.

Murray fought with a member of the original ‘Charlie’s Angels’ cast

Bill Murray holding Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu in publicity portrait for the film 'Charlie's Angels', 2000.
Bill Murray holding Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu in publicity portrait for the film ‘Charlie’s Angels’, 2000. | Columbia Pictures/Getty Images

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On-set feuds aren’t uncommon in Hollywood. Following Charlie’s Angels’ release, reports surfaced that Murray argued with Liu during filming. “We began rehearsing this scene and I said, ‘Lucy, how can you want to say these lines? These are so crazy,” Murray told Contact Music.

“She got furious with me because she thought it was a personal assault, but the reality is she hated these lines as much as I did,” the actor continued. “But for 15 or 20 minutes there, we went to our separate corners and threw hand-grenades and sky rockets at each other.”

Why was Bill Murray replaced in ‘Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle’?

Apparently, Murray and Liu made up after their argument. “We made peace and I got to know her better from that day, and I feel very warmly for her now,” he explained. However, there was someone else involved from the first film who he refused to work with again: McG.

After the director claimed that Murray head-butted him on set, the actor denied this allegation. “That’s bulls—! That’s complete crap!” he told the Times of London (via EW). But he didn’t mince words regarding his feelings for the director. “He deserves to die!” Murray said, adding, “he should be pierced with a lance, not head-butted.”