For years, years, Dan Aykroyd has been insisting that a third entry in the Ghostbusters franchise would be on the horizon, and for a while there back in 2008 it looked like it might happen. A script was actually written (which is a huge feat for a project that has languished in development for nearly two decades) and Ernie Hudson, Harold Ramis, and Sigourney Weaver seemed game. But then original director Ivan Reitman (who has directed absolutely nothing of merit since the original) looked into his old contract and discovered a clause that guaranteed him the directing gig or a hefty paycheck, and Bill Murray just couldn’t be bothered to give a damn. His career, unlike the other Ghostbusters, has been sailing along pretty nicely.
Things have been quiet for a while, but Dan Akyroyd recently appeared on Dennis Miller’s radio show claiming the film would shoot in the spring of 2012. Normally this wouldn’t be news, merely the raving of a desperate man, but the piece of info that came out of Aykroyd’s mouth next piqued my interest: “Yes, we will be doing the movie and hopefully with Mr. Murray.” That emphasis is mine, but the writing’s on the wall: There might be a Ghostbusters without Bill Murray involved at all.
This time last year, Murray did an interview with GQ where he trashed the concept of a third Ghostbusters, and it’s no secret that he’s been the lone hold out. For years screenwriters have tried to craft a script that would get his attention and draw him to signing on, but to no avail. If Aykroyd and company have given up, that’s major news.
Aykroyd went on the explain the general concept of the third film, which involves passing the proton packs to a more youthful, sexy, popular set of comedic actors.
“What we have to remember is that ‘Ghostbusters’ is bigger than any one component.” Aykroyd said. “Although Billy was absolutely the lead and contributive to it in a massive way, as was the director and Harold [Ramis], myself and Sigourney [Weaver]. The concept is much bigger than an individual role and the promise of ‘Ghostbusters 3? is that we get to hand the equipment and the franchise down to new blood.”
That’s been the pitch from the beginning, and if Murray’s hold-out stance is no longer a concern, we may actually see a third Ghostbusters after all.
God help us.