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Ghostbusters 3
SELECTED NEWS ARCHIVE

This page contains selected pieces of Ghostbusters 3 news. It does NOT contain every single bit of Ghostbusters 3 "news" that's ever been published because most of the "news" isn't news at all. Most of it is rumors or mistruths, or one item that completely contridicts another. I've decided to only archive pieces of news that I feel are worth archiving. The stuff that, when you look back on it, shows the progress, or non-progress as the case may be, of the project. Anything pre-1990 will be covered on the 1990 tab, since there's very little to warrant its own tab.

You might also be interested in reading excerpts from the 1st Draft (March 10, 1999) of Dan Aykroyd's "Ghostbusters 3: Hellbent" script that have been posted online by a fan who's managed to obtain a copy of the script. Sadly, that isn't me.

June 1989 [either Sat. June 3rd or 10th]:
Ghostbusters II Cast Press Conference

Entertainment Tonight showed a brief clip from this press conference in New York, during which Dan Aykroyd was asked about the possibility of a third film.

Dan Aykroyd: You got the limits of the universe, inner and outer, man. You can do all kinds of things. I sound like Dennis Hopper. [everyone laughs] That's what it provides. With the hardware we got, the characters we have, there's no limit, there's no end to it. That's the way I feel. Some of the boys feel differently.


(SKIP TO 14:06) (watch on YouTube)


August 1993:
Interview David Sheff conducted with Dan Aykroyd, that appeared in the American edition of Playboy magazine:

Playboy: Will you continue to make sequels -- whether based on the Blues Brothers, Ghostbusters, Coneheads or others?

Aykroyd: As long as there is something new to do with them and it's enjoyable. It's kind of nice to have built-in franchises. The one I don't think we'll necessarily further exploit is Ghostbusters. It looks like that's about had its run.

Playboy: Because Ghostbusters II did poorly?

Aykroyd: Yeah. It opened and Batman opened the next weekend and wiped us out that summer. Although we made a good movie, it just wasn't as commercially successful as everybody thought it would be. If I could get that team together, it would be a real dream, because I think there's a great story to be told. But it won't be for a while.


February 7-12, 1994 [unsure of exact date]:
WWOR Channel 9 News:

Play Video

Pat Collins: Raise your hands if you want another Ghostbusters movie. Dan says it could happen.

Dan Aykroyd: Ah, it might happen. I've got a story in mind that I'm thinking about. So, we'll see, we'll see. It's certainly something I always wanted to do. It's just getting the other players together.


December 18, 1995:
America Online internet chat with Dan Aykroyd:

Question: Will you be doing another Ghostbuster movie?

Dan Aykroyd: Have script, will travel, but not with all of the original players.


February 10, 1998:
Hollywood Online:
"Dan Aykroyd Turns From "Blues Brothers" to "Ghostbusters""
by Joey Berlin

Audio Transcript: We got a treatment. Harold and I have a treatment that we really like, and it's just a matter of writing it now. We're, probably, gonna try to do that this Summer. Billy doesn't want to do it, and neither does Ivan Reitman, but the concept is still strong and I think Harold and I can pull it off if we have the time. It's basically that... The concept is that life is... There's a positive image of life and a negative image of life, and that Hell is not some distant place far, far away from this dimension or realm. Hell is right next door. It's like one of those Daguerreotype photos, you know. You know, those old tintype photos. You turn them one way and they look positive, and you just flick them another way, very slightly, and they look negative. That's our concept, is that, you know, given the right technology, you could flip the switch and all of a sudden the positive that we see in this room suddenly becomes negative, and that Hell is right next door. It's kinda neat, and we're gonna set it in New York, and sort of do a Hades version of New York.

[article text below]

With "Blues Brothers 2000" under his belt, Aykroyd may turn his attention to reviving "Ghostbusters." The biggest comedy hit of 1984, it was sequelized five years later in another huge hit, "Ghostbusters II." "Harold (Ramis) and I have a treatment that we really like," reports Aykroyd. "It's just a matter of writing it now. We're going to try to do it this summer."

Among the hurdles facing "Ghostbusters III" is the fact that Bill Murray and director Ivan Reitman do not want to return.

"The concept is still strong and I think that Harold and I can pull it off, if we have the time," responds Aykroyd. "The concept is that there's a positive image of life and there's a negative image of life. Hell is not some distant place, far away from this dimension or realm. Hell is right next door. It's like those old tintype photos where you turn them one way and they look positive, then you just flick them slightly and they look negative. That's our concept. Given the right technology you could flip the switch and all of a sudden the positive that we see in this room suddenly becomes negative. It's kind of neat.

"We're going to set it in New York and do a Hades version of New York, very close to life in the city as we perceive it now. You look down at the river and there's a ferry of Wall Street commuters, except they're being shoved off with pitchforks into the river which is now boiling blood. Flick it back and it's just the Brooklyn Bridge and just a normal traffic jam. Carrying that through, I think we can have a lot of fun."


April 21, 1998:
GIST internet chat with Ernie Hudson that I participated in:

Paul_Rudoff: I'm sure I speak for everyone when I ask, Are you going to be involved in the Ghostbusters 3 film? Has Dan Aykroyd spoken to you about it?

Ernie Hudson: No I haven't spoken to Dan Aykroyd. The script has to worthy of the 1st ghostbusters and the part has to be more involved in the storyline.


April 23, 1998:
UniversalStudios.com internet chat with Ernie Hudson:

Usffreak asks: Are you going to be in the next Ghostbusters film?

ErnieHudson says: You know, I've been hearing rumors about a third Ghostbusters film. I talked to Danny Akyroyd and Harold Ramis, who wrote the first two, and they've been wanting to do it for some time. I know the studio's been wanting to. I know Bill Murray's been really reluctant, and Ivan Reitman has been reluctant. They haven't really wanted to do it. So, assuming there's gonna be a third one, and assuming I'll be asked, I'd like to be a part of it if, of course, the script is good, as it should be. I mean, I think the script is very important, because you just don't want to do a movie, just to be doing a movie.

(the text above is a transcription of the audio, and is not condensed like the official chat transcript is)


August 14, 1998:
The Sci-Fi Channel's "Sci-Fi Entertainment" news magazine program:

Play Video
Watch on Spook Central Facebook

Ghostbusters 3 is now much more than an apparition, as Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis have begun working on the screenplay. The director of the original film, Ivan Reitman, has met with the ghostbusting duo and may executive produce the third installment.

(Thanks to Justin Whipkey for first spotting this news brief.)


January 14, 1999:
Scott Patrick, on the Encore cable channel, mentioning Ghostbusters 3 in his introduction to the channel's airing of Ghostbusters on this date:

Dan Aykroyd says he's currently working on Ghostbusters 3. Now, sadly, there were plans to have the late Chris Farley join the team.


January 27, 1999:
Cinescape:
"Ramis Debunks 'GB3' Rumors"

Harold Ramis is dismissing any rumors regarding a Ghostbusters 3 happening any time in the near future. While talking to columnists Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith, the actor-writer-director pointed out one major reason that the original Ghostbusters cast will not likely be re-assembled saying, "Harder than getting the script would be for Columbia to figure out a way to pay us all."

However; Ramis confirmed previous reports that Dan Aykroyd had been writing a sequel, in fact two versions so far. Ramis adds that "it's more of a hobby with" Aykroyd than anything solid actually happening on a possible third GB film.

However; there is a ray of hope as Ramis reveals that if there ever is a third film, any original cast members "would just be around as mentors to a new, young cast."


February 19, 1999:
Entertainment Weekly Online:
"Who You Gonna Cast? -- Will the Ghostbusters bust again? Harold Ramis tells EW Online" -- by Josh Wolk

To provide some insight into the validity of Internet rumors touting a possible "Ghostbusters III," EW Online sat down with Harold Ramis, who cowrote the first two movies in the series and played the bespectacled spirit-slammer Dr. Egon Spengler. "Dan (Akroyd) and I talk about it on a regular basis, and he's done some writing," Ramis says. "The studio would love to make a deal, but they're not sure who to make the deal with, since Bill (Murray) is very elusive, and (original director) Ivan Reitman is kind of standing on the side. The dream plan is that Danny and I would produce it, I would direct it, and we would recruit some newer, younger, popular Ghostbusters to star."

Jumping back in front of the camera isn't a top priority for Ramis, who is concentrating on directing. (His new comedy, "Analyze This," with Robert De Niro and Billy Crystal, opens March 5.) In fact, he says fans who remember him from on-screen turns in "Stripes" and "SCTV" may be in for a shock. "I did some of that stuff 20 years ago, and shall we say... my body has changed a little," Ramis admits, patting a stomach that has swelled since leaving the "Stripes" boot camp. "I was in a supermarket with my wife, and somebody said to her, 'Is that Harold Ramis?' and my wife said, 'Yes, it is.' And the woman said, 'What happened to him?'"


March 4, 1999:
Daily Sci-Fi:
"Movies: Bustin' Out"

Ghostbusters Ray, Venkman, and Spengler move aside for grungy replacements?

Good thing or bad thing? Back in the 80s, Ghostbusters, a little movie about klutzy paranormal investigators making good and saving New York from the menace of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man was a huge hit, earning hundreds of millions, spawning a pretty good cartoon, a sequel, and lots of knockoffs. Although the sequel wasn't nearly as good, there's been talk of a third Ghostbusters movie in the works for years, and while the project was thought dead some time ago, Harold Ramis (one of the original Ghostbusters and a famous director to boot) has revealed that it's still very much alive, and casting's in progress.

Instead of the third movie concentrating on Harold Ramis, Dan Aykroyd, and Bill Murray (the original Ghostbusters), these guys are only playing smaller supporting roles. According to Aykroyd's script, they'll reprise their roles, except now it's the early 21st century, and they're retired. Hell gets filled up, and all other damned souls begin to roam the earth, unleashing a poltergeist plague. So, they come out of retirement like ancient Jedi masters (but klutzy ones) and train "Hollywood's hottest young stars" in the use of unlicensed nuclear reactors. After all, Ramis remarks, ""We thought we might be in it just passing the torch to some younger, slimmer guys."

While it brings back shuddering memories of "Xtreme Ghostbusters," it's probably the best way to bring back the franchise up to date. Bill Murray's hair's turned white, Harold Ramis is verging on Reuben-esque, and Aykroyd...well, let's not talk about Aykroyd. Still, who really wants to see Leonardo diCaprio crossing streams with James van der Beek?


March 10, 1999:
Selections from the "Ghostbusters 3: Hellbent" Script by Dan Aykroyd (1st Draft, March 10, 1999)
(provided by Chris Stewart of Proton Charging)

This version of the movie is now unlikely to be released. Elements will likely remain, but the main plot likely will not. Be sure to also check out Stax's July 30, 2002 IGN FilmForce review of the script, the text of which is on this page on the "2000's" tab.

Cover (posted by Tristan Jones to Twtter)
Pages 17-28, 8 and 7, 27-32

Chris also wrote a review of the script and leaked this very tiny excerpt about what the new ghostbusting vehicle would have been:

--------------------------------

But regardless of what the current script has in mind (and what the reality of pre-production will end up using), back in 1999, Dan Aykroyd had an idea.

And he called it the Ecto-12.

From the first draft, GB3: Hellbent script;
EXT. 59th STREET BRIDGE – NIGHT

A 1989 converted Cadillac, ECTO-12, weaves in and out of traffic.
And, as with most movie scripts, that is all. A name and a year, and even the year is more thought than most scripts would include, but obviously, being a gearhead, Dan had some ideas. The only trouble is, he never expanded on it anywhere else.


July 21, 1999:
Toronto Sun:
"All Things Being Sequel" by Jim Slotek

Dan Aykroyd shows up in town next week to help pals Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas with Home Brew, the sequel to their Bob and Doug McKenzie movie Strange Brew. So what are the odds he'll go from Bob & Doug 2 to the long-talked-about Ghostbusters 3? A lot higher, one assumes, now that the Web site www.ghostbusters3.com has been duly registered. Go to it and it takes you to the Sony Pictures Web site. These days, that sort of circumstantial evidence is a fairly strong indicator of a studio's early interest in a movie. The reason? There've been too many cases of mischievous civilians registering the movie's name.com as soon as they read about it, and holding the Web site title for ransom (as happened with David Cronenberg's eXistenZ). So securing a Web site is now one of the first things on a movie's to-do list.


July 30, 1999:
Sony's Ghostbusters.com Ivan Reitman Interview:

Q: Is there going to be a GHOSTBUSTERS 3? If so, what have you heard about it and what role shall you take on the project? Do you also know of a release date or shooting dates for the film?

A: We have talked about doing "Ghostbusters 3", but nothing is set. If we were to go ahead with the project, I would probably produce the film, not direct it.


November 12, 1999:
Dan Aykroyd on the television show "Access Hollywood":

Play Video
Original tape was defective, so sorry for the poor quality.
Watch on Spook Central Facebook

Blues Brother Dan Aykroyd has got a new film with Kirk Douglas. It's called "Diamonds," but when I sat down with the star, I found out his old movie gem, "Ghostbusters" is the one that has got him taking aim at Hollywood.

Dan Aykroyd: Doesn't look good right now, I'm sorry to say that.

It's Dan Aykroyd's spirited battle with Sony Pictures over Ghostbusters part three.

Nancy O'Dell: How could they not possibly want to do it?

Dan Aykroyd: Because they're trying to get bargains, they're trying to get the next Blair Witch. But, you know, sometimes you have to seed for the big harvest to come in.

Aykroyd insists it would cost 120 million dollars to make a Ghostbusters sequel. This, for a mega successful franchise that has brought in a reported 1.5 billion dollars worldwide. The original was just released on DVD.

Dan Aykroyd: You're talking about billion dollar releases. Spend 120, make 500. They don't see it that way.

Nancy O'Dell: Kinda angry that they're not gonna make it?

Dan Aykroyd: No, I'm not angry at all. I'm just resigned. I'm passionate and I'm sorry I have to leave the lot because I like it there.

Aykroyd revealed he's so incensed, he's ending his 10 year business relationship with the studio, even vacating his office on the lot. And frustrating him further, that a sequel won't even be produced by a rival Hollywood studio. Sony owns the rights and he says they're not selling.

Dan Aykroyd: It's Ghostbusters 3, the new guys, it's a whole new plot. It's not like we're gonna saddle the audience with me, and Harold, and Billy again. We're gonna make a whole new movie with a whole new plot, and whole new characters.

September 11, 2000:
Ain't It Cool News
Does GHOSTBUSTERS 3 Have A Ghost Of A Chance?

Hey folks, Harry here... Well, shucks... For all of those hanging on to hopes about seeing a third GHOSTBUSTERS film... well, it looks like it is as dead as a dead thing what can't move at all. And from the looks of it, it is all Bill Murray's fault!!! SO... At least you now know who to direct angry frustrated thoughts at.

At a press conference for his latest film, Denys Arcand's "Stardom", here at the TIFF [Toronto International Film Festival], Dan Aykroyd was asked what was happening with Ghostbusters 3. Bluntly, he said "it's dead". He described it as "a combination of not getting the right story, and the business side of things.". He also stated the primary reason was that Bill Murray didn't want to be involved, and that they all pretty much agreed there wouldn't be much point in doing it without him. He also said that it was a relief when they finally made the decision and he was happy just working as an actor. To my eye though, those statements seemed a tad contrived.


January 18, 2001:
Cinescape
No 'Ghostbusters 3'?

There's a glimmer of hope that the moribund Ghostbusters 3 project might actually happen, though it may also be fading quickly. While talking to Eon Magazine, director/producer Ivan Reitman spoke of the potential project, saying, "Danny [Aykroyd] wrote a very good script [for a third film]. We have not been able to lick the combination of the creative end and the deal problems of making that film so far. So it's always sort of getting side tracked, unfortunately. I wouldn't say it's necessarily dead, but, you know. We're all getting older."


June 26, 2001:
Cinescape
Ghostbusters III News From Dan Aykroyd Aykroyd lays the franchise to rest
By Christopher Allan Smith, with Scott Collura reporting

In an interview at THE CURSE OF THE JADE SCORPION press junket, our intrepid correspondent Scott Collura nabbed these last few words on the prospects for a GHOSTBUSTERS 3 from franchise creator/writer Dan Aykroyd.

QUESTION: Once and for all, as of today, final word on GHOSTBUSTERS III?

Aykroyd: You know, in life, one has to be able to let go of things, and I've been able to let go of that and it's been a tremendous liberation for me. For years I was consumed with trying to get that movie made and I wrote a script which is the best devil script or Hell script that has come out of Hollywood. I mean I know that it, I know it's really good.

QUESTION: You don't sound like you let go.

AYKROYD: (laughs) No, I have though, I really have. Now I can call Ivan [Reitman] and Harold [Ramis] and Billy [Murray] and say let's work on something else. But no, it will never happen.

QUESTION: How come?

AYKROYD: It's a rights issue actually. Essentially, it's not something that Billy wants to do again and for some reason, he feels that it's really a vehicle that should remain with the two first movies and he has one fifth of the rights and so he's locking off his rights and saying, "I think we should just leave that period of our time alone and I don't think we should re-visit that." And he's got the power to do that and so we'll move on and do something else. It's tremendously liberating. You know, sometimes in life, your goals and dreams, they have to change by nature of just the way life is and circumstance. And so it was tremendously liberating for me to go to the set of BEDAZZLED and say to Harold, "Harold, we're not going to do this. I'm letting it go. I'm not going to persevere anymore. When I come to you next time it will be a whole new project." And I went to each one of them and I said that, "I'm never going to call you about this movie again." So now we talk about other things.

QUESTION: Were there hard feelings at all?

AYKROYD: No, no, not really. No.

QUESTION: GHOSTBUSTERS is still a great movie.

AYKROYD: Yeah, yeah, the two of them were... they're good companion pieces. Now we have to look at new things.


July 30, 2002:
IGN FilmForce
The Stax Report: Script Review of Ghostbusters 3: Hellbent!
Stax looks at Dan Aykroyd's script for the unproduced sequel.
By Stax

Stax here with my reaction to the screenplay for Ghostbusters 3: Hellbent! This 122-page first draft dated March 10, 1999 is by actor Dan Aykroyd, based on a story by Aykroyd and co-star Harold Ramis. Sadly, this highly anticipated sequel appears quite dead now. The many reasons why this Columbia Pictures-based project likely won't get off the ground are cited below.

Dan Aykroyd last addressed Ghostbusters 3 back in November 1999, several months after this draft is dated. The original Ghostbuster advised Access Hollywood that GB3 "doesn't look like it's going to happen for the same reason they aren't going to make Men in Black 2." (And we all know what happened with that project now, don't we?) "The cost is too excessive for the studio to see it to be economically feasible," said Akyroyd. "It is a shame too because everyone wants to do it. Even Bill Murray said he would work a few days on it. I did finish a script. Harold Ramis liked parts of it. [Series director] Ivan Reitman liked parts of it too. There is definitely an interest from all of the original parties involved to make it. However, the studio just does not want to take the risk. In my opinion, the successes of the other two give the impression that there is a good chance of profit for a third sequel. So unfortunately, it looks like its just not going to happen based on the studio's feelings, not from anyone else."

Harold Ramis told Entertainment Weekly back in February 1999 that the "dream plan is that Danny and I would produce it, I would direct it, and we would recruit some newer, younger, popular Ghostbusters to star." Cinescape Online reported in 1998 that the "film is rumored to follow Raymond Stantz (Aykroyd) and Egon Spengler (Ramis) as they cope with Peter Venkman's (Bill Murray) departure with Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver), plus their attempt to stay employed while fighting a new otherworldly entity, possibly Hades, the Greek god of the underworld."

Having now read this March 1999 draft, I can confirm that the sequel does adhere to that general plot line (at least in this draft). Without revealing too many spoilers, Ghostbusters 3: Hellbent suggests that hell (portrayed as a stygian mirror image of The Big Apple dubbed "Manhellton") has grown overcrowded and congested. As a result, hell is literally evicting people back into the world of the living in order to alleviate their congestion problem.

Obviously, this isn't good for our world so the Ghostbusters must use their latest technology to literally go to hell and ask the devil why he's doing this and to see what they can do to make him stop. Naturally, the devil - portrayed here as a Donald Trump-like mogul named Siffler - has a secret agenda that leads to a grand conflict with our titular heroes. The Ghostbusters must once again save New York City from the evil forces of the afterlife.

There is indeed a younger crop of Ghostbusters (or, as the script abbreviates it, GBs) introduced that perform much of the otherworldly legwork here. This new crew includes: Franky, a body-pierced, tough New Jersey punker; Lovell, a dread-locked dude; Moira, a pretty but uptight gymnast and science grad; and Carla, a Latino beauty. There's also Nat, a prepubescent genius whose powerful brain has made his head abnormally large. Despite his youth, Nat serves as a supervisor for the new GBs. That's all we ever get to know about these characters (we don't even learn their last names!) and they're our guides throughout most of the story.

I'm not exactly asking for brilliantly delineated characterizations here but even the original team had their own distinct personalities, voices, and senses of humor. These young bucks are practically interchangeable. They all behave and sound alike, and get along relatively well. There's no real conflict between them nor is there a dominant personality as there was amongst the original GBs. These would be the script's worst mistakes if it weren't for the revelation that these young turks aren't especially funny or charming, either.

That's what shocked and disappointed me the most about this draft of Ghostbusters 3: it was more jargon than jokes. Bill Murray/Peter Venkman doesn't appear until the end and then it's only a cameo (he's portrayed in a way you've never seen before, which was the script's most memorable gag). There's also no sign of Sigourney Weaver's character Dana nor is there any mention of her kid Oscar (remember him?), who you'd think might be included among these new, younger GBs given his importance in the last film.

Ray (Aykroyd), Egon (Ramis), and Winston (Ernie Hudson, now referred to as "Dr. Zeddemore") have prominent supporting roles here. (Louis Tully and Janine have cameos.) The action is driven forward by the younger GBs. Whenever the original GBs are in a scene, my interest - and the story itself - picked up. I've never been a huge fan of TV series or films featuring "the next generation" of characters, with Star Trek being an arguable exception (although I still prefer the classic Trek).

You fall in love with some characters for very specific reasons and sometimes it's just impossible to see new actors take over those series/franchises. I think Ghostbusters might be such a case but if these new GBs had more personality, if they were developed further, perhaps I'd have accepted the transition. I just never cared about these new Ghostbusters, though.

The plot line about hell being overcrowded and needing to evict people was relatively amusing but isn't the whole "New York is Hell" sentiment rather tired now? And I don't even want to get into the post-9/11 issues that any film about New York City being endangered will likely face now. (Of course, I compartmentalized those issues given that this script predates the tragedies.) Rather than it being the wrong time for GB3 perhaps now might actually be the perfect time for it. After all, the Ghostbusters films offer pure escapism, politically correct villains, and a wish fulfillment/fantasy about being able to save The Big Apple from (excuse the phrase) phantom menaces. I just can't say that I liked the GB3 yarn that this draft offered.

As a huge fan of the original film, I'd much rather see a GB3 where the old gang must strap their backpacks on for one last mission (even without Murray, though he'd be sorely missed) rather than see pretenders to the throne get the bulk of screen time. That's just me, though. Obviously, the series' creators see the sequel differently so I must respect their ideas. I just wasn't as entertained by this draft as I wanted to be (and I really wanted to love this script). Given that there has been no development on this project for almost three years, however, my reservations about Ghostbusters 3 appear to be moot.


November 6, 2003:
Channel 4 (UK)
Dan Aykroyd: 'There Will Never Be A Ghostbusters 3'

Veteran movie comedian Dan Aykroyd has ruled out the possibility of a third Ghostbusters film - because co-star Bill Murray doesn't want to be involved.

Dan, 51, admits all the original team would like to make another installment but unless Bill changes his mind it won't happen.

He says, "Never. That will never happen. Unless Bill Murray agrees. Everyone else would love to do it, Columbia, Harold Ramis, myself, director Ivan Reitman.

"It's a five-way rights situation and Bill is locking up his piece of the rights because he feels that was work that he just wants preserved and he doesn't want it diluted.

"And as an artist I can respect that."


January 10, 2005:
Time magazine (Arts section)
The Many Faces of Bill
By Josh Tyrangiel

Excerpt from a much longer article:

Other friends of Murray's speak in similar tones, like jilted lovers angling for the chance to be jilted again. "Getting him to read the script for the [as yet unmade] second sequel to Ghostbusters - I don't think he's ever read it, actually," says Dan Aykroyd, one of Murray's fellow Ghostbusters and oldest friends. "He makes business so difficult that I just relate to him as a friend now. I have to."


August 1, 2005:
Internet Broadcasting Systems, Inc.
'Ghostbusters' DVDs Conjure Up Spirited Memories For Ramis
by Tim Lammers

Answering Another Call?

Considering the monstrous success of the first two "Ghostbusters" films, it shouldn't come as too big a surprise that a third film for the series was considered.

But, as the years have gone by, several cast and crewmembers careers have soared even higher into the stratosphere.

But if the stars align and the likes of Ramis, Aykroyd, Murray, Weaver and Reitman find the time to get together again (Ramis alone has two films on his director's plate -- the action comedy thriller "Ice Harvest" with Billy Bob Thornton and John Cusack, and an untitled project with Owen Wilson) could we see them all taking another plunge?

"Dan had a great idea for a third one and spec'd out a script," Ramis told me. "The idea was wonderful. It saw the Ghostbusters going to hell. I thought, 'That's perfect.' We actually talked about it, wrote a story for it and did another draft, but we could not make the deal. Everyone had gotten so big that to get Ivan, Bill, Dan and I all packaged together, there wasn't enough in it for the studio.

"Plus I'm not so sure Bill was wildly enthusiastic about putting the suit on again," Ramis mused. "Maybe he would be in it if he could play a ghost."


November 2005:
In Focus magazine
Ramis On 'Ice' (Uncut)
The Comic Mind Behind Animal House, Caddyshack, Stripes, Ghostbusters, Groundhog Day and Analyze This Fires Off A Laugh Noir
by M.E. Russell

GHOSTBUSTERS 3: GHOSTBUSTERS GO TO HELL

My editor is begging me to ask you three questions about "Ghostbusters 3."

The non-existent film?

Yes. He would like to know about the non-existent film. My understanding is that it would have sent Peter, Ray and Egon to Hell.

Yes. "Ghostbusters go to Hell" was Danny Aykroyd's concept for it.

What was your favorite scene from that script that we'll likely never see?

Well, we never really got down to an actual scenario. We had a story. Part of the fun of "Ghostbusters" was developing some kind of lamebrained scientific explanation for what was going on, and I take credit for this:

What Danny had originally conceived was sending us to a special-effects Hell -- a netherworld full of phenomenal visual environments and boiling pits and all that stuff.

He does tend to think big when he's writing these, doesn't he?

Oh, he's amazing. [laughs] But my thought was that what works so well about the first two is the mundane-ness of it all. So my notion was that Hell exists simultaneously, and in the same place as our consensus reality. But it's like a film shutter -- it's the darkness between the 24 frames. When we're blinking on, they're off -- so we blink alternately with this other reality, which is Hell.

So all the Ghostbusters would need to do [to go to Hell] is take themselves "out of phase" one beat. And we create a device to do it, and it's in a warehouse in Brooklyn. And when we step out of the chamber, it looks just like New York -- but it's Hell. Everything's gridlocked -- no cars are moving, no vehicles are moving, and all the drivers are swearing at each other in different foreign languages. No two people speak the same language. It's all the worst things about modern urban life, just magnified.

And Heaven was across the George Washington Bridge in New Jersey -- which was irony. The Ghostbusters had to make this journey from lower Manhattan to the George Washington Bridge.

It sort of makes me sad that I'm not gonna see that.

Yeah. There was a good structure -- because some of us were in Hell, while some of us were in the real world, tracking our journey through Hell. We had new Ghostbusters and old Ghostbusters.

I've read that you had a next-gen cast in mind. If you were casting those roles today, who would play the younger Ghostbusters?

Well, we had Chris Farley as one of them, Ben Stiller as one of them. It was a while ago.


November 17, 2005:
Ain't It Cool News: Quint chats with Harold Ramis about ICE HARVEST, GHOSTBUSTERS and much more!!!

QUINT: I know you're probably sick of it, but the AICN readers would kill me if I didn't bring up GHOSTBUSTERS 3. I know a few years ago it was getting hot and then just seemed to disappear. What's going on with it?

HAROLD RAMIS: Yeah, Danny and I actually played around for a while... Aykroyd had a great concept. He called me and said, "I got it. I got GHOSTBUSTERS 3." I said, "What is it?" He said, "Ghostbusters go to Hell! This is it!" (laughs)

QUINT: So is there a chance that it'll still happen?

HAROLD RAMIS: Well, the script was viable. Dan is the most imaginative person. He went off on a tangent 90% of the movie is a special effect set entirely in Hell, you know. I had a whole different take on it.

Really, it was the business that stopped it. I never thought that the public wanted to see the three of us kind of stuffed into our jumpsuits again. I thought we would introduce three new Ghostbusters, but maybe we'd be around as Senior Ghostbusters, running the company or something, but the real adventure would be... And this was so long ago, we were thinking Chris Rock, Chris Farley and Ben Stiller taking over. That would have worked

And we had the script all worked out. Danny and I had the story and Murray got really... Murray's so cantankerous, you know. Dan called him and said, "Would you be in the movie?" And he said, "I'll be in the movie... but only as a ghost."

QUINT: That would have been awesome!

HAROLD RAMIS: (laughs) It would have been interesting. So, we even created a story around that. In the end, it sounds greedy, but the deal couldn't be made. We as an entity... Me... well, I'm low man on that totem pole deal-wise, but Ivan, Bill, Danny and me couldn't make a deal with the studio. There wasn't enough left for the studio.

And I can't say my heart was really in it, you know... making the third one.


February 1, 2007:
Dan Aykroyd on CISN Country 103.9

Mike McGuire at CISN Country 103.9 in Edmonton got to interview Dan Aykroyd today, who talked about GB3 as being in the talking stage, and the plan is for it to be CGI. The transcript below was done by Steven Hough.

One thing I have to ask, and I'm gonna break these out one by one, I know you talked about it on TV, but the Internet still buzzes about it all the time, I grew up with Dan Aykroyd as Dr. Raymond Stantz.

Uh-huh, yes yes.

I think you know what the question is going to be and unfortunately I think I know the answer too, but everyone is dying to know: Ghostbusters III - we've heard tons of rumors about it, does this thing exist?

Well, I wrote a script called Hellbent, uh, Ghostbusters go to Hell, basically its - the premise is that its Manhellton - that there's Manhattan and Manhelton. And if you can basically, build a phase - an interdimensional phase system, so that you can go from one dimension to another, we've succeeded in doing that, and we go to the Hell side of Manhattan. Which, downtown, Foley Square its all where the cops are, its they're all blue minotaurs. Uh the uh...Central Park is this huge deep mine with green demons there, surrounded by, you know, black onyx 1000 foot high apartment buildings with uh classic red devils, you know, very wealthy, and we go and visit like a Donald Trump like character who's Mr. Sifler, you know, Luke Sifler, LukeSifler, Luk-so its it and we meet the devil in it. Now it won't happen as a live action 'cause Billy will not come onto the live stage anymore for it, but he will voice his part, and we're looking to do it as a CGI animated project.

Really?

Yeah.

So Ghostbusters III...

It lives! It lives today!

Wow.

Last year, last year it didn't - this year it lives.

That is big news.

Yeah, that'd be good, because, you know, with that, with CGI animation and the way these uh, these cartoons are done, we can just do everything that I ever wrote in that script for much less money.

That is great news.


September 4, 2008:
Variety: Columbia calls up new 'Ghostbusters'
Eisenberg, Stupnitsky to write reunion film
by Michael Fleming

Columbia Pictures is getting serious about scaring up a new installment of its blockbuster "Ghostbusters" franchise.

The studio has set "The Office" co-exec producers Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky to write a script for a film designed to bring back together the original cast of Harold Ramis, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Ernie Hudson.

Studio would not comment on the development and has been mum on recent rumors that there was interest in making another installment of the franchise.

The scribes just wrote "Year One," a comedy that was directed by Ramis. Ramis with Aykroyd wrote the first two installments of the films. Ivan Reitman directed both the 1984 original and the sequel that was released in 1989. The close proximity between the writers and original Ghostbuster Ramis is evidence that the ghost chasers have sparked to the idea of returning.

"Ghostbusters" was Columbia's highest grossing film ever, until it was beaten by "Men in Black" and then "Spider-Man." An attempt to make a third installment of the franchise was stymied in the dealmaking stage. Sources said so much gross was pledged to the participants that it was next to impossible for the studio to make any money on a third installment.

No deals will be made with the original cast until the script is ready, but the gross percentage will certainly be an issue. Sony has a standing policy not to allow more than 25% of first dollar gross out the door.

The scribes, who are Emmy-nominated for their work on "The Office," just set up another picture at Columbia, selling their spec script "Bad Teacher" to the studio for Jimmy Miller to produce.


September 26, 2008:
Ain't It Cool News: Bill Murray commented on GHOSTBUSTERS 3 tonight at Fantastic Fest!

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here. Tonight's (September 25, 2008) closing night film at Fantastic Fest was CITY OF EMBER with director Gil Kenan in attendance and a surprise appearance by Bill Murray. I dug the movie (more on that later), but the reason you're reading this is due to a question Kraken asked during the Q&A.

I'm sure at some point the video of this will come out, but the non-line for line version of the question was how would Murray feel about strapping on the proton pack and kicking some ghost ass again?

I was very curious to hear Murray's answer. He's not as available to the press or public as Dan Aykroyd or Harold Ramis and he also seemed to be the least enthusiastic about a Ghostbusters sequel...

But tonight he said that he knew "some writers from THE OFFICE" were taking a stab at the script right now (which we already knew) and that he thinks that's a good start. He paused for a few seconds then said that he thinks enough time has passed and that "the wounds from GHOSTBUSTERS 2 are healed" and that he would definitely be into doing another GHOSTBUSTERS movie, stating that the first 40 minutes of the original film is some of the best stuff he's been associated with and the whole shoot was an amazing amount of fun.

He also went on to say that his enthusiasm for Ghostbusters was heightened after recording the voice of Peter Venkman for the video game over the summer. In fact, he said he found himself walking down the street singing the Ghostbusters theme song and then thought people walking around him were going to start yelling at him to "get over yourself, Bill," so he stopped... But the enthusiasm was there.

Play Video
View on YouTube

TRANSCRIPT:
Question: I heard about this a couple of weeks ago, and I wanted to know how Bill felt about the possibility of strapping on another proton pack and kicking some ghost ass.

Bill's Answer: Well, I think the wounds from Ghostbusters II have healed. [audience laughs] And, supposedly they've hired two guys from The Office to write a script. So, that could work. I think that's a good idea to get a fresh look at it. I always liked the characters; the characters are funny. And we did have a lot of fun making the movie. The first one was really a lot of fun to make. I think the first 45 minutes of Ghostbusters, or 40 minutes, are about as funny as the movie gets. We didn't have a lot of special effects then; it was just a couple. It was just the funny characters in that world, and I liked that movie because of that. I think the first movie had something like 60 plate shots, or something like that. The second one had hundreds. The specialist guys got their hands on the script early and it was just gone. It went away. The script went away. It was harder to wrangle because it was tied all around the effects, without the story coming first or the characters moving through it. You know, they're hard movies to write, and Dan really caught it with that first one; he really caught it the way it was set up. Well, the character's are fun to do. We did the video game this Summer and it was fun to do it again. I found myself walking down Fifth avenue singing the song. People were like, 'God, that guy's really full of himself.'


October 9, 2008:
MTV: Bill Murray Longs For A More Heated Presidential Race ... And A Girl Ghostbuster
by Shawn Adler, with reporting by Josh Horowitz

Play Video

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT (DIFFERS SLIGHTLY FROM PRINTED INTERVIEW)

MTV: As any Bill Murray fan worth their salt, I'm a big "Ghostbusters" fan. So the guys from "The Office," I guess, are writing a new one. Have you talked to them directly about this?

Murray: I don't even know who these guys are, but I know there's two guys from "The Office" that are writing a "Ghostbusters" script.

MTV: You don't know what their take is or anything like that?

Murray: No, I have no idea. But it's great, because I think a fresh look at it will be fine. I mean, I hope they go back to the original version. The first "Ghostbusters" was such a funny movie, and the first 45 minutes of it or so - there's only maybe one or two special effects. It's just these guys being funny, and the characters were really funny, and the situations were funny. I mean, Danny had a really fantastic idea, and, you know, he and Harold [Raimis], they wrote some funny scenes. They left room for improvisation, and we made a funny movie.

MTV: Do you like the idea of potentially passing on to a new crop of Ghostbusters? There's been talk like that, could be the kind of angle for a film like this.

Murray: Well, I think it'd be funny to have a girl Ghostbuster. We don't have a girl ghostbuster. I mean, they say like, "What if you passed it to Chris Rock?" And I'm like, "Well, I dunno. Is Chris Rock gonna save us?" [interviewer laughs] You know, I guess. He's funny. But, I don't know. They were talking about it for a long time...about someone.

MTV: You want Dana Barrett to have a proton pack - is that what you're saying?

Murray: No, no, no, no, no. I just think there's some funny girls I'd love to see be ghostbusters. And I think that Ghostbusters was so big, that there were girls that got involved in it and got dressed up as it for Halloween and so forth.


December 4, 2008:
MTV: Will Signourney Weaver Appear In The 'Ghostbusters' Sequel? She's Got Ideas
by Josh Horowitz

Should we not want another "Ghostbusters" film? I'm conflicted, are you? Well, how you and I feel is becoming an increasingly moot question because the development of the sequel has certainly gathered steam in the last few months. First it was announced that a pair of "Office" writers were scripting the third adventure. Then Bill Murray spoke with us and others about how intrigued he was about coming back to the franchise at long last. Hell, Murray even had an idea...adding a female Ghostbuster to the fray.

This afternoon I got chance to chat with Dana Barrett herself and yes, Ms. Sigourney Weaver is well aware of the chatter. "I've heard about it," she said, adding "I'm supposed to get in touch with Bill [Murray] next week."

Weaver called Murray's potential involvement "great" and said she's wondering if he thinks Dana ended up with Venkman. "Does he think we got married or something?" she laughed. Weaver wasn't sure if there was a place for her in the story but she did think someone deserves a spot. "I would hope that my little Oscar would be one of the Ghostbusters even if I'm not in it!"


February 20, 2009:
Boston Globe: Aykroyd hopes for GB3 production by Fall
As reported by Proton Charging

In Boston to promote a new House of Blues, Dan Aykroyd answered some online questions for the Boston Globe...

[Comment From Tom] Dan, I'm extremely excited for the HOB to be back in its birth-city!! I will be attending many shows. On a side note, and I'm sure you get these questions a lot, so I apologize in advance...Ghostbusters 3? I've heard that the writers of the Office are currently penning a script? How is this coming along, and should we look forward to this movie seeing the light of day? Thanks Dan!

Dan Aykroyd: Script is commenced early summer. Hope to be in production by late fall 2009


April 10, 2009:
Chud: Aykroyd Promises Sigourney Weaver For Ghostbusters 3
By Russ Fischer

As Dan Aykroyd explains it, there is as yet no script for Ghostbusters 3. There are writers, yes, and some (no doubt) very good intentions. Maybe even some good ideas. But no script. So anything you read, from the mentoring role of the original crew to the reappearance of Rick Moranis, is informed speculation at best.

But if you're going to run with informed speculation, Aykroyd is one of the better-placed sources.

While talking to me and a few other reporters about the upcoming Ghostbusters: The Video Game (which Aykroyd still says he considers the third movie, but also that it is now a lead-in to the third movie...confusing!) the man who was Ray Stantz said quite a bit about the third film...or he seemed to be saying something about it.

The lead-in was a question about Sigourney Weaver declining to participate in the game, and Alyssa Milano's sorta-replacement character.

"...and when we do the Ghostbusters 3 movie, hopefully, Sigourney will be in, I know. We'll make that happen." That 'hopefully' was in reference to making the movie, I believe, not to Weaver's role in it. He followed up with, "but there'll be a whole new generation that has to be trained. And that whole new generation will be led by an individual that you'll all love when you hear who it is, but I'm not going to tell you now. There will be lots of cadets, boys and girls, who'll be learning how to use the cyclotron, the accelerators, and the new stuff. The nuon splitter, the inter-planary interceptor, all these great tools they're going to have to flip from dimension to dimension. Anyway. Game number two, maybe."

I didn't get a chance to ask follow-up questions, so I'm not sure where the line between movie and game(s) really is. (I'm also not certain about the spelling of those last two devices mentioned.)

Does this mean that the third movie will have a whole bunch of young Ghostbusters? And will they hop between dimensions? And Sigourney Weaver will definitely be a part of it? Or is half of that stuff in a theoretical video game? He did say that screenwriters Eisenberg and Stupnitsky had been influenced by events in this upcoming game, and that some game elements are in their current story outline, for whatever that's worth. The easy assumption is that the individual leading the new crew is Oscar, the son of Weaver's character Dana Barrett, but we were strictly limited on questions and I was unable to bug Aykroyd about it.

Aykroyd also mentioned having a pair of science fiction scripts that he figures won't get made as movies. But the new structure of games leading to movies gives him hope. The scripts "would make great games, and it would be impossible to make them as movies. But maybe, if the games are good enough, they can become movies."

You might doubt some of Aykroyd's sanity after all this, but know one thing: he still understands the second Ghostbusters movie is mostly crap, based on the following: "I respect Sigourney's view towards protecting the quality of the first movie, and the good things that were in the second movie." So there's that.


May 19 2009:
Los Angeles Times: Dan Aykroyd says 'Ghostbusters 3' may start filming in winter
by Geoff Boucher
May 19 2009, 03:57 PM PT

I just visited with Dan Aykroyd over at the House of Blues on the Sunset Strip for an interview for an upcoming feature in the Los Angeles Times (you'll be able to find it here on the Hero Complex as well). We talked about a wide range of topics, but I didn't want to wait on this update about the third "Ghostbusters" film, which is moving forward after so many years.

Aykroyd said Sigourney Weaver is on board now, as are the original squad of ectoplasmic specialists -- Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Harold Ramis and Ernie Hudson. Murray's presence was the pivot point in making a third film happen. He holds a one-fifth controlling interest in the property rights and has been seen as the most reluctant to return to the paranormal comedy. Aykroyd said that is true but that it's more nuanced than the public portrayal of the situation.

"I don't put not making the third movie on Billy. We can't do that. I've been very busy. Harold's been busy, Ivan's been busy. And a third script really didn't coalesce properly. And Billy, you can't blame an artist for not wanting to do the same thing again. He did two of them, for God's sake. Although I'm the biggest cheerleader as the originator of the concept but I've never begrudged Billy not doing a third movie. I never said he held it up or that he refused. Hey, listen, he's an artist. You can't force somebody into it. I'm sorry he never read my third draft because I thought it was pretty good but, look, now we're at a point that there's a story that he can accept and that's going to work, and I think we're going to be in production fairly soon. We could be in production by winter."

The script is by Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky, the writing team behind the upcoming Jack Black/Michael Cera movie "Year One" (directed by Ramis), and Aykroyd is enthused about its premise of a new generation of Ghostbusters taking over the duties of the aging team. Aykroyd said he wishes Ivan Reitman would return to direct the third film in the series but that he's "too busy as a mega-producer" to take it on; his second choice is Ramis, who, of course, co-wrote the first two "Ghostbusters" films with Aykroyd and has numerous directing credits, most notably "Groundhog Day" and "Analyze This." "He has a lot of things going on, but it would be wonderful to see him do it."

Aykroyd says he believes the movie will move forward but that he has also learned that "at any second everything could blow up." The details of story are still in play, but Aykroyd said he's hoping for a five-member "new generation" team with several female members. "I'd like it to be a passing-of-the-torch movie. Let's revisit the old characters briefly and happily and have them there as family but let's pass it on to a new generation."

Who does Aykroyd think would be good in the jumpsuits? Aykroyd mentioned two names, Alyssa Milano (who is a voice in the upcoming "Ghostbusters" video game) and Eliza Dushku. "I think they're amazing," he said. "And I'm excited about the whole idea of getting this done."


May 31, 2009:
Los Angeles Times: Seeing 'Ghosts'
Dan Aykroyd is itching to suit up for a third 'Ghostbusters' film and he's in high spirits since the cast's reuniting for a Wii game.
by Geoff Boucher
(Published online on May 31 2009, and in print on June 1, 2009)

Dan Aykroyd has waited two decades for the "Ghostbusters" film franchise to come back from Hollywood's great beyond and now it's so close he can feel it in his bones.

"I'm just waiting for that magic phone call," Aykroyd said with a wistful smile. "One day, the producer calls you and says, 'We have a production number,' and that's the real green light. And it's coming soon, I hope....We could be in production by winter."

No Hollywood moneymaking franchise every really gives up the ghost (just ask that dusted-off archaeologist Indiana Jones), but 25 years have passed since the first "Ghostbusters" film and 20 since its lone sequel, and there's reason to wonder whether the franchise's quaint paranormal high jinks would even appeal to a "Harry Potter" generation accustomed to more sophisticated spookery.

Still, Aykroyd and Columbia Pictures are true believers when it comes to the franchise's 21st century afterlife, and one of the main reasons is the upcoming "Ghostbusters: The Video Game," a fact that says a lot about the changing physics of the modern entertainment marketplace.

On June 16, Atari will release the much-anticipated "Ghostbusters" title, which has taken on a mythical aura for gamers after years of delays, a budget north of $12 million and the number of times the property changed hands before landing at troubled Atari. Despite all that, there is intense consumer interest in the game (especially since the maneuvers required to "trap" ghosts lend themselves to some novel game play), and it brought together the core of the original cast for voice work -- two facts that have restarted the dormant "Ghostbusters" film machinery.

Ivan Reitman, producer and director of the two films, said the video game essentially hit the restart button on the franchise.

"The game itself, and the quick acceptance and intense interest in it, reminded all the creative participants that we have something special here," he said last week. "I think the game, along with the anniversary of the first movie and the Blu-ray release of the two movies [on June 16], all of it reminded us that it's kind of silly that we're not being more active about it."

"Ghostbusters" as a property is controlled by a five-way partnership: Columbia Pictures, Reitman and three of the stars -- Bill Murray, Aykroyd and Harold Ramis. Each has a veto on a new project. Now, for the first time, all five think a third movie should be made. There's some agreement on a plot that involves the original stars, joined by a "new generation" of paranormal investigators.

Within the next month, a script is due from "The Office" writing tandem of Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky, the same scribes behind the upcoming Ramis-directed comedy "Year One." It's not clear whether Reitman would direct or whether Ramis, the director of "Groundhog Day" and "Caddyshack," would step in.

"We're going to read the script and, really, nothing has happened or will happen until then," Reitman said. "It's just talk until then."

Perhaps, but Aykroyd, who co-wrote the two movies with Ramis, is already under the spell of the venture. Sitting on an outdoor balcony recently at the Sunset Strip House of Blues (a chain he co-founded), the 56-year-old "Saturday Night Live" alumnus couldn't disguise his excitement.

"I'd like it to be a passing-of-the-torch movie," he said. "Let's revisit the old characters briefly and happily and have them there as family, but let's pass it on to a new generation."

Then, with his familiar deadpan delivery, he added that the creaky stars of the original movie just can't sling their proton packs the way they used to.

"We've all got hip replacements, shoulder stitches, Harold's eyesight is failing, I can't drive anymore...."

For years, "Ghostbusters" stood as the most successful franchise in Columbia's long history (Sam Raimi's "Spider-Man" films now hold that title), with the first film pulling in $292 million worldwide and the sequel adding $215 million. In 2008, a reader poll by Entertainment Weekly ranked "Ghostbusters" as the best comedy of the previous 25 years, and the movies have been perennial strong performers on home video.

Reitman sees the franchise as an inspiration to many of the special-effects comedies that have followed, such as "Men in Black," "Beetle Juice" and this summer's "Land of the Lost," all of which blend daffy characters with intense effects and real jeopardy.

"I call them genre-benders, taking special effects and putting them together with comedy and making them work legitimately," Reitman said.

"It was a jolting thing when 'Ghostbusters' hit. In the opening sequence at the library...at the first screening, half of the people screamed like crazy and then they laughed. They were pumped. They realized they were in for a unique ride."

But is that magic still there? Aykroyd pointed to last year's "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" as an example of how a 1980s brand can be updated successfully (and, he noted, the alien skulls "reminded me of the Coneheads"). The fedora revival got decidedly mixed reviews, but it also pulled in a robust $787 million worldwide. Aykroyd has revisited other past glories (some fans may remember the 1993 film "Coneheads"; most would like to forget "Blues Brothers 2000"), but Murray has been far more standoffish.

As Reitman put it: "I think he's always been the most careful about employment. I think he's the most enigmatic of us and the most hard to reach among us."

The fact that Murray lent his voice to the video game project was a major turning point, considering he had been frosty to the franchise after the 1989 sequel left a sour taste in his mouth. ("He actually showed up and did it," Aykroyd said of the voice work, "so that's a miracle.")

Murray could not be reached for comment for this article, but at a news conference last year in New York for the film "City of Ember," he expressed a newfound cheer about the franchise that solidified his stardom in the 1980s.

"The wounds of 'Ghostbusters II' are healed," the wry Murray said. He added: "We did a sequel, and it was sort of rather unsatisfying for me, because the first one to me was the goods. It was the real thing. And the sequel...the special-effects guys got it and got their hands on it. And it was just not the same movie. There were a few great scenes in it, but it wasn't the same movie."

Despite the public perception, Aykroyd said he's not mad at Murray for holding up a third chapter in the franchise.

"I don't put not making the third movie on Billy ... you can't blame an artist for not wanting to do the same thing again. He did two of them, for God's sake. Although I'm the biggest cheerleader, as the originator of the concept, I've never begrudged Billy not doing a third movie."

Murray also had positive things to say last year about the new screenwriting duo, but it's of course possible that he might read the new script and decide to pass on this entire cinematic séance. Aykroyd hopes not; he's already doing some cast daydreaming -- he'd like to see Alyssa Milano (who lends her voice to a character in the video game) and Eliza Dushku of "Dollhouse" as the first female Ghostbusters. "I think they're amazing," he said. "And I'm excited about the whole idea of getting this done."

You could almost hear Ray Parker Jr. singing the familiar theme song as Aykroyd smiled and said: "I'm just waiting for that phone call."


June 4, 2009:
Sci-Fi Wire: Director Ivan Reitman on why the time is finally right for Ghostbusters 3
By Fred Topel
June 4, 2009 at 1:25 PM

Ivan Reitman, who directed Ghostbusters, told a Los Angeles audience that the time finally feels right to seriously develop the long-awaited, often-rumored Ghostbusters 3. Reitman introduced an anniversary screening of the original film in support of the upcoming Blu-ray release.

"We're going to get a screenplay in a short time," Reitman said Wednesday night. "We're going to see how it is. There's something in the zeitgeist of the world right now that it feels appropriate. There are some very talented people writing the screenplay. All of our fingers are crossed."

Before his introductory remarks, Reitman spoke to a group of reporters about the Blu-ray, the Ghostbusters video game and the new sequel. The following Q&A features edited excerpts of that interview. Ghostbusters arrives on Blu-ray June 16.

What finally made a Ghostbusters 3 a real possibility?

Reitman: I actually think the combination of both the Blu-ray release and the new game sort of awakened the thirst of at least the creators of the movie to start to rethink it more seriously, the possibility of a sequel. It's something that's been sort of dormant in our minds, really, for the last 10 years or so, and there have been two things that sort of told us, "Wow, people still seem to be really interested in this story, and the characters in this story." More importantly, it sort of reawakened the joy of working on this film in both iterations.

Did the new sequels to Indiana Jones, Rocky, Rambo and Die Hard more legitimize the idea of revisiting Ghostbusters?

Reitman: No, for me, that actually makes me much more wary, frankly, but it's never been about the other movies. There have been a ton of sequels almost to all these sort of historical big movies over the years. We've never really done it. Now it's been 25 years since the first one. It's not like we'd be taking advantage of the power of the movie.

Would the new story be about passing the torch to a younger generation of comedians?

Reitman: Yeah, I think that is part of the story that we're working on right now. We'll see how it turns out. One of the reasons there's not Ghostbusters 18 right now is that we're basically this family that all have an equal voice in something. The studio is one of five equal voices. The studio would have liked to have made a bunch of them, and we've been really quite selective. Frankly, any of us can kill it.

And Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg now have a voice with the new script?

Reitman: Except for an outline, I have yet to read anything, so I think they're going to hand something in in the next month or two.

What are your hopes and fears for a new Ghostbusters?

Reitman: The most important thing [is] we don't want it to be certainly a disappointment to the people who have sort of taken this very much to their hearts. I feel the responsibility as the producer and director of the original in a very legitimate and real way. It was hard enough to do that sequel, but I think the time is kind of right. I just sort of felt it lately and said that to Columbia, so we've started this journey. The most important thing is that the script is good. I think we can find actors who can join the original group of actors to make something special of it.


June 5, 2009:
Crave Online: Ivan Reitman on Ghostbusters 3
The director talks about all aspects of the Ghostbusters franchise.
by Fred Topel

Ivan Reitman introduced a screening of the Blu Ray release of Ghostbusters. A first look at the HD transfer showed a perfectly clean and clear print of the film that will certainly be worth analyzing in detail on your home HDTV. We caught up with Reitman on classic Ghostbusters memories, the new video game and of course the new possibilities of a Ghostbusters 3.

Crave Online: How real is the possibility of a Ghostbusters 3 now?

Ivan Reitman: Ghostbusters 3 is never definite. We're not being coy when we say this. We have sort of this very complicated arrangement. A lot of people have a say in what's going to happen.

Crave Online: Would you still direct it?

Ivan Reitman: Certainly as producer and director of the original movie, I'm going to have that opportunity. The only way I could direct it is if I felt that I could find something wonderfully new to do and to live up to the tradition of the first one. So don't write that I'm going to direct the next one. I'm not sure and I'm not even sure that there is going to be a next one but I think there's certainly a great interest in doing it.

Crave Online: What's changed to even make this a real possibility?

Ivan Reitman: You know, I took a lot of crap when we finally did the sequel. I certainly don't think the sequel is as good as the original and it almost never is except in really rare occasions, but I remember making the sequel and thinking, "Wow, this is really hard because we don't have the surprise in our pockets that we had." When we were making the original, I kept thinking, "Wow, this is going to be great. People have no idea what we're doing and we're going to come out and it's going to be a magical experience." It turned out to be that. With the sequel, I kept thinking, "Oh my God, we're going to get killed. There's no way to recapture the magic of the first one." We had sort of let a little bit too much time go by from the first to the second, so on the cycle of people's interests, we were in the wrong part of the cycle. I'd like to think now we're back to a greater interest to it.

Crave Online: Are you a Blu Ray fan?

Ivan Reitman: Yeah, I'm an early adopter. I have a collection of over 4000 laserdiscs and then all of a sudden this thing called DVDs came out so I'm used to this.

Crave Online: What makes Ghostbusters such a favorite still 25 years later?

Ivan Reitman: I think there's something about the combination of the actors are very, very special. They're unique talents with an extraordinary voice individually that seem to combine beautifully as a piece of music. I think that in combination with Dan Aykroyd's unique, crazy vision of this idea and the sort of mixture of genres of real good comedy with really kind of a legitimate, scary, science fiction story. It was the first time anyone sort of tried to do that. Mel Brooks had done it in a humorous way a little bit before me but I really took it seriously. I was always kind of a horror, science fiction fan. So I thought if I was going to do it even as a comedy, I wanted to legitimize it so that people who were fans of the genre would really appreciate it as well.

Crave Online: With the game showcasing 3D animation, would you consider a 3D version?

Ivan Reitman: It's possible. I just saw Up which is a lovely movie and really works and the 3D is done in such a subtle way, it actually works fabulously in it. Yeah, it's a possibility but don't start writing that we're doing it in 3D.

Crave Online: Were there other scripts over the years you'd shot down?

Ivan Reitman: Yes. Not a lot because it's always been a closed shop. There'd be people who spec scripts that we didn't even look at because we just didn't want to get into all the legal issues that you could imagine would come from that.

Crave Online: Ghostbusters II does get short shrift. Where's that Blu Ray?

Ivan Reitman: I'm sure there will be one by the way. It's only a matter of time. The problem with Ghostbusters II is that it came out a week before the first Batman came out. That was such a startling new [vision]. It was the hot movie of that year. There's something about when movies are released that really affect our viewpoint of a particular movie at the time. We waited a little bit too long to do the sequel for the very reasons that we've waited so long to talk about a third one, so I think it's affected things. It affected certainly the viewpoint of that movie. I'm actually very happy with the film. I think there's some really nice things in it, some very funny things in it. It's not the first one. It never can be the first one but it's kind of a very interesting companion movie. I've been hearing a lot over the years, particularly lately, how on reviewing the film, it seems to be holding up kind of nicely.

Crave Online: The DVD of II had no extras. Do you have behind the scenes or deleted scenes for a Blu Ray?

Ivan Reitman: A lot of times things disappear but I think we were more careful to archive the material from the second one. I do think Sony is planning a Blu Ray version of that movie as its popularity has certainly held on. It was actually quite a successful movie in itself so I think it probably is going to come and if it does, they'll certainly look through everything to give us as much background stuff as there is.

Crave Online: What are your favorite Blu Rays?

Ivan Reitman: I thought the Third Man disc was really amazing. I just looked at it the other day. I have about 150 of them. I have a little theater in my home. I have a projection television so Blu Ray really helps projection television when you're up on a fairly large scale.

Crave Online: How does it feel to arrive at this theater and see guys in Ghostbusters uniforms?

Ivan Reitman: I was really excited, guys. Three of these guys just drove in all the way from Salt Lake City apparently. I'm a little tired, I'm usually asleep by this time so just showing up at a movie theater in the town that I live and seeing a dozen guys with the full regalia really was thrilling. It did remind me of the first day of shooting of the first Ghostbusters and I was on Madison Avenue at 61st. We'd been working on the designs. The pre-production on that movie was very, very short. It was really kind of a magical, very creative process. Bill Murray literally had just arrived in town 24 hours before we started shooting and I'd never seen him in an outfit. I'd seen some stuff in the costumer's place just to see what it looked like and suddenly, I just turn around, I'm getting ready for the first shot and it's one of the montage shots from the first movie as they start to get busy and the Ghostbusters song really kicks in for the first time, I look up and here comes the three guys with all their crap on. It's the first time I had ever seen that image and it's right in New York, right on a real street, right on a famous street, right with shoppers all turning around like who the hell are these guys and what are they doing and what is that symbol. We shot it and I got this wonderful shiver of recognition of oh, I think we're doing something special. That's what I thought and it's kind of nice 25 years later to just sort of see that and get the same kind of lovely feeling in my spine.

Crave Online: What do you think of the game?

Ivan Reitman: I'm not a big gamer. My kids are pretty good gamers but I think the technology hit my own generation oddly so I didn't get into it in the same kind of way. It seemed appropriate and I think this group was just persistent enough to get the actors involved, the real actors involved and I think that was very important. It just caught this sort of growing wave of interest in Ghostbusters itself. And it's fortuitous that it all happened.

Crave Online: Are you excited that games can look like movies?

Ivan Reitman: Yeah. I mean, look, my friend Bob Zemeckis told me that he doesn't ever want to work with actors but he's in fact working with actors all the time which this sort of motion capture. He had some goofy name for it but it sort of feels like rotoscope still to me from the old days. I think you're still relying on the performance, both the vocal performance and even the physicality of a real human being for that. So yes, it allows you to do unique things, but for me the magic is in the skill of the performer. So for me to get to work with Bill Murray, nothing could be more exciting. To try to harness that kind of skill and allow people to see what he can do both with his brain and with his body is the most exciting thing a person can do in a creative process. Yeah, technology is all fine and good however it's done, whether it's animated films or the kind of special effects that now are within our ability to use, but what counts is story. Finally, are we involved in the story or not? That trumps everything.

Crave Online: Whether it's Ghosbusters 3 or something else, do you look for the same inspiration in any project you'd direct?

Ivan Reitman: It's really tough to find something like Ghostbusters again. The one time I sort of traveled into the area, it was not a very happy experience. I normally just try to tell a good story, nothing to do with genre, nothing to do with trying to imitate myself. I think that's kind of dangerous. Over the years, I've been lucky, I've worked with great writers and great actors and been able to tell some pretty good stories.


September 30, 2009:
MovieWeb: EXCLUSIVE: Harold Ramis Talks Ghostbusters 3
by Paulington James Christensen III

This summer, movie blogs were buzzing with excitement when it was announced that Columbia Pictures was moving ahead on its long anticipated Ghostbusters 3 sequel. After Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg signed onto write the screenplay, all four Ghostbusters announced that they would be returning as well. While promoting the release of his upcoming DVD Year One, which hits stores on October 6th, director Harold Ramis, perhaps best known as Dr. Egon Spengler, was kind enough to talk with us about once again slipping into that Ghostbusters uniform. Here is what he had to say:

This summer it was announced that Ghostbusters 3 was definitely a go, and the Internet was buzzing with excitement. You directed a number of The Office episodes, which Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg wrote. Did that have anything to do with getting the ball rolling on this long gestating sequel?

Harold Ramis: Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg also co-wrote Year One, and the studio was really impressed with their work. They also worked on another film that the studio just bought. They are good at what they do. Gene has been a protégé of mine since college, and Lee was a waiter I met at Martha's Vineyard. They both started as interns and production assistants at Sony. I virtually read everything they had written up until they got their jobs on The Office. It has been a nice relationship. The studio didn't only think they were good, but they thought there was a convenient link to Ghostbusters 3 through me.

Why do you feel, at this date and time, it's so important to revisit Ghostbusters? Is it purely financial, or do you truly feel you can push these characters in a new and exciting direction that we haven't seen before?

Harold Ramis: It's Dan Aykroyd. He has been keeping this idea alive. This is his original concept, and he's wanted to do this for a while. He even wrote a spec script years ago. The twenty-fifth anniversary came, we had the new Blu-ray, and the videogame release, and people still seem so very excited about this movie. The response from the game was tremendous. Everywhere I went, people were asking about it. I thought, why not? Why can't there be a Ghostbusters 3? I have to remind people that they didn't like Ghostbusters 2 very much. But they still seem to want a third one. Finally, Murray said yes. I thought, "Well, we have a good script. Why not?" Ivan Reitman said yes. It can be done. It can happen.

Can you share anything about Dr. Egon's life in 2012? Is he having a hard time dealing with the effects of the Mayan Calendar? Has he found love? Does he have a kid?

Harold Ramis: I had two initial first instincts. One was that Egon had become a shaved head Buddhist monk. That is not going to happen. The thing that I pitched for my character is that he's been living in Geneva, and he works for the Institute of Imaginary Science. The work we are doing doesn't require any conceptual, intellectual, special, or mathematical models for what we are doing. Even we don't know what we are doing. It's that theoretical.

The film is listed as coming out in 2012. Is it going to deal with the Mayan calendar and the end of the world?

Harold Ramis: That is pure speculation. We are not going to do that.

Who would you like to see as the new Ghostbusters? Are you eyeing any potential new talent?

Harold Ramis: Every young actor will be mentioned. No one is signed or has been approached.

The end of the first one is so legendary, how hard is it to top that, or are you even concerned about that?

Harold Ramis: I think we are just going to try and make a good movie. The intention of a sequel is not to give an audience more of what they didn't get enough of the first time. It's to give the audience something that is new. We want them to feel that they are having a new experience of some kind. That becomes a tightrope. Yeah, we definitely are introducing new Ghostbusters. That much is for sure. And there will be inter-dimensional creatures visiting New York. And we will deal with it. That's all I am allowed to say at this point.
February 12, 2010:
Sci-Fi Wire: Will Bill Murray be a spook in Ghostbusters III?
By Scott Huver
Feb. 12, 2010 at 2:49 PM

Ivan Reitman ain't afraid of no sequels! But the legendary Ghostbusters director-producer admits it took the unexpected success of a video game tie-in and a bit of not-so-subtle maneuvering by the studio to resurrect the once-huge comedy franchise from the dead - and he addresses Bill Murray's professed desire to play a more ethereal version of Dr. Peter Venkman in Ghostbusters III.

"Certainly Sony has been all over us for about two decades now, trying to get this going," Reitman told us at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. "We have this sort of very interesting deal in which we really control the forward progress of the movie. [Sony] did a very interesting thing: They actually hired these two writers on their own, without consulting us, and basically said, 'We're going to start.'"

Reitman said screenwriters Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky - best known for their work on NBC's The Office and the film Year One - are "very good writers, fortunately, and they wrote a first draft that was pretty good, considering that they didn't really talk to us that much. And I've since then been working with them for the last four or five months, just trying to get more of the kind of spirit of the film into it."

Reitman added: "There seems to be a lot of enthusiasm from everybody" about the return of original stars Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and Sigourney Weaver. "We'll see. It's still not a reality. There are no deals. There's no real finished script."

Murray was long assumed to be the lone holdout from the original cast, sliming plans for sequels for years. But the actor recently suggested that he'd return to the role under one condition: that he gets to play a ghost.

"We're well aware of his interest," Reitman said with a chuckle when asked whether Murray's Venkman will be going ectoplasmic. "I've had some wonderful conversations with him - and that's all I'll say.

"It was really such a special part of my life, and such a turning point, really, in my career," recalled Reitman. "I love working with those men. I've worked with Bill Murray five times and Dan Aykroyd a few times and Harold Ramis five or six times, and Sigourney Weaver I worked with three times. So the fact that they put out this video game that turned out to be one of the biggest video games of the year sort of reminded us how much resonance the story still seems to have."


April 28, 2010:
Coming Soon: Bill Murray on the Ghostbusters 3 "Nightmare"
by Perri Nemiroff

For almost two years now, there's been talk about Sony doing a Ghostbusters 3, having hired writers and even picked a release date of summer 2011, but things started sounding shaky earlier this year when rumors started surfacing that the studio may no longer want to have Ivan Reitman direct it.

Then in March, Bill Murray, who had long been balking at doing a third movie, appeared on the "Late Show with David Letterman" and claimed that the thought of a third movie is his "nightmare" and is just "crazy talk."

At the press day for Aaron Schneider's Get Low, ComingSoon.net asked about the statements Murray made on the Letterman show to which we got an equally enigmatic answer:

"You know, it's really the studio starts this stuff," he told us. "They start saying 'Ghostbusters.' They want to do (it) and it's really the world of sequels and bringing these things back again, and then some wiseacre said, 'Hey, we got a couple of new writers who are gonna write something.' And I thought, 'Oh, well, maybe there'll be some writers' and there was always this joke, sort of a half-true, half-joke thing like, 'Well, I'll do it if you kill me off in the first reel.' That was my joke, you know? So supposedly someone was writing a script where I actually got killed in the first reel and became a ghost, which I thought, 'Well, that's kind of clever anyway.' But then these guys that were supposedly the writers that were going to do it, they wrote a film that came out and people saw the film [presumably that was Harold Ramis' last movie Year One] and went... 'We're not going to do it after all, are we?' So it's just a kind of a dreamy thing. They want to create a new generation of Ghostbusters, you know? They'd just like us to pass the torch."

When asked to clarify whether making the movie really would be a "nightmare," Bill Murray told us this: "Well, it's true, but we made a great movie and then we made another one, you know? So we went to the well twice and it's almost impossible to do the second movie as well. Only horror movies get better as they go along because they have more money to spend for more crazy effects. I actually thought the other day -- it's just become so irritating -- but I actually heard people like, young people that really [heard] of the movie when they were kids and I thought, 'You know, maybe I should just do it. Maybe it'd be fun to do.' Because the guys are funny and I miss [Rick] Moranis and Annie [Potts] and Danny. Those people are some people that were really, you know, I miss them. I think that's really a big part of it."

So yeah, basically we're pretty much where we were before, not really knowing if this is a movie that may actually happen or how involved Murray will be, although his last few thoughts certainly makes it seem like the actor may be warming up to reuniting with some of his old cast mates. Hopefully, a decision will be made on this soon before the idea cools off anymore than it has in the past few months.


August 2010:
GQ Magazine (August 2010 issue): Bill Murray Is Ready To See You Now
Interview by Dan Fierman

GQ: Is the third Ghostbusters movie happening? What's the story with that?

Bill Murray: It's all a bunch of crock. It's a crock. There was a story - and I gotta be careful here, I don't want to hurt someone's feelings. When I hurt someone's feelings, I really want to hurt them. [laughs] Harold Ramis said, Oh, I've got these guys, they write on The Office, and they're really funny. They're going to write the next Ghostbusters. And they had just written this movie that he had directed.

Year One.

Year One. Well, I never went to see Year One, but people who did, including other Ghostbusters, said it was one of the worst things they had ever seen in their lives. So that dream just vaporized. That was gone. But it's the studio that really wants this thing. It's a franchise. It's a franchise, and they made a whole lot of money on Ghostbusters.

Oh, sure, I remember. The soundtrack. The lunchboxes. The action figures.

Right. And it's still one of the biggest movies of all time. And ever since that story broke, everywhere I go people are like, "So are you gonna make that movie?" I was down in Austin at South by Southwest, and you go at it hard down there - fun but, man, you need to sleep for days afterwards. Anyhow, I got into it one night with a bunch of younger people who were like, Oh, I love Peter Venkman! I grew up with Peter Venkman! We got to talking, and the more we talked about it, the more I thought, Oh Christ, I should just do this thing.

A generation awaits, for sure. You weren't even supposed to play that role, right?

Yeah. Originally it was Belushi. Like a lot of my movies. [beat] God, John died, what was it, twenty-five years ago?

It was '82, right?

Yeah, I think it was '82. I dunno. That part of life is getting fuzzy.

I read that you wanted to play a ghost in the movie. That's kind of brilliant.

Well, I hadn't wanted to do the movie. They kept asking, and I kept saying no. So once upon a time I said, just joking: "If you kill me off in the first reel, then fine, I'll do it." And then supposedly they came up with an idea where they kill me off and I was a ghost in the movie. Kinda clever, really.

But has the Zombieland cameo stolen that gag?

[genuinely confused] But that was a zombie. Not a ghost.

[...]

Everyone says Danny [Aykroyd] is the nicest guy on the planet.

Danny is...Canadian. [laughs] No, he's the only one I see much of. He's great. And I owe him. Back when I wanted to make The Razor's Edge, he sent me the first twenty-nine pages of Ghostbusters to read. And you know, they were great, even better than what we filmed, so I said, "Okay, okay, gotta do it." And Danny said, [pitch-perfect, like crazily eerily perfect Aykroyd impression] "Uummm, okay. Where should we, uh, er, do it?" And I said, "Well, I'm trying to get this movie made over at Columbia [Pictures]." And he said, "All right, well, you tell 'em that they do your movie there and they'll have the GBs." We had a caterer for Razor's Edge in forty-five minutes. Hell of a guy.


January 25, 2011:
The Day: Conn College grad has 'The Office' behind him and movies ahead
By Kristina Dorsey

[Lee Eisenberg, who is co-writing the Ghostbusters 3 script with Gene Stupnitsky, along with Harold Ramis and Dan Aykroyd, returned to his alma matter, Connecticut College, to kick of a series of lectures. While talking with local paper, The Day, Eisenberg had a few things to say about Ghostbusters 3.]

We've been working really closely with Ivan Reitman for a couple years on it. Dan Aykroyd has been really involved. Harold Ramis has been very involved - we're sharing a story credit on it with him. Then we reworked the script. I mean, that script went through a lot of rewrites, and it kept getting, we think at least, tighter and funnier. It took a little bit to really understand the tone of a movie like 'Ghostbusters.' It's really scary when you're writing characters you grew up on. ... The last thing you want to do is disappoint.

Right now, we have a script we haven't worked on probably in a couple of months, and we're waiting for Bill Murray to read it. People seem excited about it, and the studio seems high on it. ... We're very proud of it. We worked really hard on it, and I think it'd be a really fun movie.


February 22, 2011:
Bill Murray on The Howard Stern Show


[ScreenRant did most of the text transcription, though I did corrections. Audio file provided by Edward Hartman III.]

Howard Stern: Is it true that there is a Ghostbusters 3 and you're the problem; you will not sign off on this? Do you know about this?

Bill Murray: Yeah, I guess I'm the problem. Before I was an asset, [but] now I'm a problem. There's a script somewhere over there... over there there's a script, and I haven't read it yet. But there...

Howard: Why haven't you read it? Because you think that it's a bullshit idea? That, in other words, Ghostbusters had its time and you did a remarkable job with that and now you've moved on?

Bill: There's a little bit of that. I only made one sequel and it was Ghostbusters II and it didn't end up the way it was presented. About five years after we did the first one, the clever agents got us all together in a room and... we really are funny together, I mean they are funny people - Harold [Ramis] and Danny [Aykroyd] and myself, and with Ivan [Reitman] and maybe one or two other people. We were just really blindingly funny for about an hour or so and the agents, there was just foam coming off of them. And, so, they had this pitch and Danny and Harold had already concocted some story ideas... and it was a story, it was a good story. I think I'd even already read one or two [scripts for Ghostbusters II] that Danny had rolled out before that, but this one was a good one. I said, "Ok, we could do that one." It was just kind of fun to have all of us together... I mean, there's some really... Moranis, Rick Moranis and Annie Potts - these people are just sterling people to begin with.

Howard: So how do you go back and really make another? Does Ivan want to make that film [Ghostbusters 3]?

Bill: Yeah, Ivan wants to make it and he's a... I owe him a, you know. He's puzzled that I haven't gotten to this one.

Howard: How long has it been sitting on your desk, this script for Ghostbusters [3]?

Bill: Well, it may not be on the desk - it's over there somewhere. How long?

Howard: Yeah?

Bill: I don't know.

Robin Quivers: So you have no interest?

Bill: Well, I'll get to it. I gotta get to it. I feel badly. I got a message... and I think people are - I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings - it's not the foremost thing in my mind right now, so I don't think about it. But, you know, the studio gets excited about it every ten years or so, it seems like. Because what they'd really like to do is recreate the franchise. I remember once upon a time it was gonna be - and the new Ghostbusters will be Chris Rock, Chris Farley and, you know, Chris Crane... or Kris Kringle... or someone [laughs]. They had it together.

Howard: Is that a threat to you? In other words, did they try to threaten you by saying we're gonna put together new Ghostbusters and therefore you guys will have to go do it?

Bill: It's not a threat. It's sort of businesslike. They'd like to keep it going. I mean, it's still an amazing... There are still kids today that watch this movie and love it. It's still very popular. They still sell a lot of toys and everything.


June 14, 2011:
Proton Charging: Licensing International Expo – Sony targeting 2013 for third film.

The Licensing International Expo starts today and Sony, as always, is there. However, unlike previous years, that presented the Ghostbusters license in general terms, Sony is pushing Ghostbusters not only in terms of products for fanboys, but in terms of the long-gestating third film, which they are now talking about as a 2013 release.

This is semi-official. Sony Consumer Products has to deal as if the movie is coming and has to talk about it with a date in mind, but this is not the same as there being a greenlit date necessarily. Still, it's a good sign that Ghostbusters continues to be an important property with Sony.

The date was mentioned in Sony's full-page ad in the tradeshow's magazine, being handed out at the show.
"Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) has a licensing program targeting the Ghostbusters core fan base for the relaunch of the movie franchise in 2013. The programme continues to add partners who recognise the strength and longevity of the brand."


August 25, 2011:
Dan Aykroyd on The Dennis Miller Radio Show


Dan Aykroyd: Ah, yes, we will be doing the movie, and hopefully with Mr. Murray. That is our hope. We have an excellent script. And, uh, what we have to remember is that Ghostbusters is kind of bigger than any one component. Although Billy was absolutely the lead and was contributive to it in a massive way, as was the director, and Harold, myself, and all of us, Sigourney. You know, the concept is much bigger than each individual role. And the promise of Ghostbusters 3 is that we get to hand the equipment and the franchise down to new blood, because my character, Ray, is now blind in one eye, can't drive the Cadillac, [Dennis laughs] has a bad hip, bad knee, can't pick up the pack. Harold is too big to get... You know, Egon is too large to get into the harness. We need young blood and that's the promise. We're gonna hand it to a new generation. So we'll absolutely be in production in the Spring, I hope.

Dennis Miller: Have you been eyeballing any young kids out there in the paranormal frontage? Maybe a Sam Worthington? Who do you see as the worthy aire?

Dan Aykroyd: I like this guy Matthew Gray Gubler from the Criminal Minds show.

Dennis Miller: He'd be great.

Dan Aykroyd: But it's gonna be a casting, we're gonna have. We're gonna see everyone that wants to do it. We need three women... and one woman and a man...

Dennis Miller: Zoe Saldana.

Dan Aykroyd: I mean, three guys and a woman. Three guys and a young woman. Yeah.


February 28, 2012:
The Telegraph: Dan Aykroyd: a comedy legend's spiritual side
by Chrissy Iley

One film Aykroyd desperately wants to make is Ghostbusters 3. He's been trying to get the gang back together since 1999, when he wrote a first draft of the script. A more recent version, by the writers of the US Office but overseen by Aykroyd, has received a favourable response from the studio, Columbia, and all the original cast bar one: Bill Murray. His cantankerous friend's refusal to have anything to do with the sequel - which is designed to pass the overalls and backpacks to a new generation of buster - has long been a source of frustration to Aykroyd. Proposed release dates have been and gone, with Murray intermittently popping up to dismiss talk of a new film as "a bunch of crock", or "a horrible rumour". Late last year it was even reported that Murray sent a script back to Aykroyd shredded, and with a note reading "No one wants to pay money to see fat, old men chasing ghosts". Aykroyd vehemently denied this, but he does admit defeat on the Murray situation.

Will the film ever materialise?

"I honestly don't know. At this point it's in suspended animation. The studio, the director Ivan Reitman and Harold Ramis feel there must be a way to do it, but Bill Murray will not do the movie. He doesn't want to be involved. He's got six kids, houses all over America. He golfs in these tournaments where they pay him to turn up and have a laugh. He's into this life and living it. I know we'd have a lot of fun [but] I can't be mad at him. He's a friend first, a colleague second. We have a deep personal relationship that transcends business and he doesn't want to know."

He's recently begun to consider recasting Murray's role with another actor. Or perhaps, I suggest, his character could come back as a ghost in CGI so the actor doesn't need to give up the golfing? It's obviously something that has crossed Aykroyd's mind, but he wonders if Murray would give his approval even to that.

"We're not going to do a movie that exploits the franchise. The script has to be perfect. I'm the cheerleader, but I'm only one voice in the matter. It's a surety that Bill Murray will not do the movie, however there is still interest from the studio." Aykroyd looks pained. It only seems fair to return to a subject that brings him nothing but joy: alcohol.

Before starting Crystal Head, Aykroyd was one of Canada's biggest importers of tequila. And it's when discussing this stuff that Aykroyd reveals a hint of the wild man who rode shotgun with Belushi. Contrary to popular belief, he says, tequila is "a happy alcohol". So it doesn't make you crazy? He smiles wistfully. "That could be happiness for some people."