Deadline is reporting this week that Sony will start shooting Ghostbusters 3 in early 2015. I know, I know, Ghostbusters 3 has already missed more tentative deadlines than the US adopting the metric system. But unlike pretty much every other Ghostbusters 3 rumor of the last five years, this one sounds reasonably credible because it didn’t come from some wacky thing Dan Aykroyd said in an interview.
Ghostbusters 3 had been an intractable problem because of rights issues, the number of cooks in the kitchen, and Bill Murray refusing to read the script despite the studio going to ridiculous measures to get it to him. But a few things have changed since then, notably the death of Harold Ramis. Which in turn has led Ivan Reitman to step aside as director, as he told Deadline.
“A lot of things happened in the last few months, the most significant of which was the passing of Harold. [...]
“The first [Ghostbusters 3 script] was done by Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky, and me, Harold and Dan helped them on it,” Reitman said. “It was a really good script, but then it became clear that Bill really didn’t want to do another Ghostbusters and that it was literally impossible to find him to speak to for the year or two we tried to get it going. When Bill finally…well, he never actually said no, but he never said yes, so there was no way to make that film. We decided to start over again, and I started working with Etan Cohen, with Dan lending a helping hand. Harold got sick about three years ago, and we kept hoping he would get better. I kept pushing forward on the Etan Cohen and we now have a draft that is very good, that the studio is very excited about.
“It’s a version of Ghostbusters that has the originals in a very minor role,” he said. “When I came back from Harold’s funeral, it was really moving and it made me think about a lot of things. I’d just finished directing Draft Day, which I’m really happy with and proud of. Working on a film that is smaller and more dramatic was so much fun and satisfying. I just finally met with Amy and Doug Belgrad when I got back. I said I’d been thinking about it for weeks, that I’d rather just produce this Ghostbusters.”
Sony’s Amy Pascal confirms. So, it sounds like the world’s finally getting that Ghostbusters sequel it thinks it wants. But it’s going to be from a new director, with a new cast, and with only a dusting of the originals.
Now, I’m not going to sit here and tell you not to be excited about the idea of a Ghostbusters sequel, but let’s not ignore the fact that the only reason we’re getting one now is that the director was forced to consider his own mortality and realized he didn’t want to devote a big chunk of his remaining days on Earth to directing a Ghostbusters sequel. Others might take that as a sign to let sleeping dogs lie, but Sony, God bless them, was like “Sweet! Push this dude aside and let’s go make some money!”