For those of you wondering what is going on with Ghostbusters 3, Dan Aykroyd gives us an update on the film in an interview with Esquire. The last major thing we heard is that the movie was going to move forward without Bill Murray as Dr. Peter Venkman, which is really sad. I'd rather them not even make the movie. The movie has been slowly chugging forward for years, and when asked about the delays he said,
I'm as deeply inside Ghostbusters 3 as anyone involved in the project — that includes the executives at Sony, who have to go to sleep at night and have to decide to do it. Ivan Reitman, the director, who travels from Santa Barbara to L.A., and has for the last three years, working with writers to put it together. [The Office writers] Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg, who worked on one of the drafts.
Aykroyd is definitely one of the main guys trying to keep the movie moving forward and spends a lot of time trying to get it to where it needs to be before it starts shooting and it looks like they finally have a script he's excited about moving forward with.
I read every draft that's been turned in. When Gene and Lee, and Etan [Cohen, writer of Men in Black 3, hired last summer], and Ivan — when they've turned in drafts, I hand drafts right back. And at this point, we have a script that we like. And I'm hoping for it.
That would have to be the one written by Etan Cohen. It didn't look like Murray waited around for the latest script to say no either. All of the lead actors had to give their blessing on the project if they ever wanted to get a third film made, and according to Aykroyd, since Murray has passed on the sequel several times over the years, his vote doesn't really count. When asked about Murray's stake in the franchise he said,
I'm not sure Billy does anymore, since he abrogated his rights by sort of, by saying, two years ago he said, "I don't want to be involved," and the picture company I think had some clause in there that if he actually passed on the third of fourth offer, he no longer has a view of the franchise. So, that's for the lawyers to decide. Of course, I'd love to have Billy call me tomorrow and say, "Let's go to work and start writing."
At this point it's safe to say that that's not going to happen. The movie still has yet to be officially greenlit, and when asked about when he might expect that to happen he said,
Now, this would add quite a bump to Sony's bottom line, quite a bump. If they make this movie, in its current shape, they would be looking at a pretty hefty, nine-figure return. And so I'm hoping they get on to move it, but if they don't, I have multiple trains. I've got tracks six, seven, and nine, and that's four. I'll be moving on to other things, as will Ivan, by the way. We can't wait forever. And now's the time to tell the picture company, and I'd say this quite publically, it's time now to sit down and make this movie, or you will lose your main principals, and you won't be able to make it without us, because we have rights, and now is time to make the movie.
Things take an interesting turn in the conversation when they start talking about the plot of the film. What we previously heard was this...
My character, Ray, is now blind in one eye and can't drive the Cadillac. He's got a bad knee and can't carry the packs... 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.
Near the end of the interview he's asked about an old plot that's been referred to as "Man-hell-ttan" in which the Ghostbusters go to hell. It's here that he reveals that he envisioned that for a fifth film in the franchise,
Man-hell-ttan, and the Ghostbusters in hell, would be so solid, but we gotta get maybe one or two made before that. But, oh, wow... I wrote that with Tom Davis, my writing partner, recently deceased, who wrote Coneheads with me and stuff on Saturday Night Live. There's classic Tom Davis lines and funny stuff in there, really it's probably the most humorous of all the Ghostbusters scripts that have generated in that last little while. But we'll put the humor into this next one. It's gotta be funny, or it's not worth doing.
It would be pretty cool if they actually got to a fifth film, but it all depends on if they are able to get a third one made, and if it's even going to be any good! As for the fourth film he says that Cohen's script would lead into that, and reveals his role would be more limited at that point as an actor, as the torch will have been passed to a younger generation. He would still stay on as a writer and producer though.
I'm a huge Ghostbusters fan, I love the franchise, and I'm sad that Murray has decided not to be invloved. But, since they are still going to move forward with it, I hope they have a great and funny story to tell. Would you be interested in seeing a fourth and fifth Ghostbusters movie?