The huge Ghostbusters casting announcement made yesterday that revealed our new ‘busters set a lot of the original movie’s fandom into a tailspin. But while many are already writing off a movie that doesn’t even exist yet, the director of the original movie, Ivan Reitman, has expressed his feelings over the reboot and maybe it will ease their bellyaching.
In an interview with IGN, Reitman explained the sad reason why he couldn’t direct another Ghostbusters movie even if he wanted to:
“Between Billy Murray’s reluctance in doing another one – and especially when I returned from Harold Ramis’s funeral – I realized that actually, I may be able to talk Bill into doing another one, but I certainly can’t talk Harold into it.”
Ramis, who played Egon Spengler, co-wrote the original Ghostbusters movies with Dan Aykroyd. It’s easy to see why Reitman didn’t want to have the same involvement that he had before without such an important player being there. But that doesn’t mean Reitman thinks the franchise should necessarily end. In fact, he says quite the opposite:
“But I felt it needed fresh eyes as a director and somebody with new ideas. I had already done two of them and I love the franchise, so I would continue as a producer but give somebody else the opportunity to bring their own ideas to this wonderful franchise.”
He continues, giving the thumbs up to Paul Feig’s decision to cast all women:
“He’s a really terrific director of comedy. He’s done particularly well with actors who are female and his idea of doing this where the Ghostbusters are women was actually a terrific way to look at this afresh and not say ‘Oh well that person’s not as good as Bill’ and ‘That person’s not as good as Danny.’ It would cut down on those kind of comparisons and you could just deal with the idea, which I really believe in.”
This is probably one of the best endorsements that this movie could receive, especially his point about how it will save Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones, and Kate McKinnon from being the next Egon, Venkman, Ray, and Winston. With the exception of Winston (a part that was originally offered to Eddie Murphy), all those characters were written to fit the performers. In other words, there could never and will never be another Peter Venkman because that was always and forever Bill Murray (Amen). So the parts being played by the new cast will be completely different people who happen to share an interest in busting ghosts and maybe ordering Chinese food with the petty cash.
So, there you have it — Ivan Reitman is totally on board with this. Maybe it will take another original Ghostbuster to convince the detractors, but Reitman said he might still be able to talk Murray into it. I’m ready to believe you, Ivan Reitman.