Aykroyd says Ghostbusters III continues
Despite the concern over the production to date and Bill Murray calling the quality of the film Year One, written by the writers of the Ghostbusters III script, it seems that Dan Aykroyd is still pushing forward with the film and is keen to see it get made, in fact he's been out defending it again.
What's good about what he's been saying is that he's not attacking what Murray said, and neither is he totally defending the writers either, but he is saying that their first draft is delivered and that Harold Ramis and he will take the script forwards.
While I like the attitude that Dan Aykroyd is keeping in these quotes, what I'm not so sold on is what he's saying, there are a couple of things I've picked out from the comments that just don't quite feel right for me and seem to focused on the business side of it all and not the audience, but comments can be misinterpreted, we hear that all the time in media, so maybe he just really does have good intentions and he's being politically astute when talking about the first draft from Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg.
”He was talking about the writers from Year One, and I think he was reacting to the box-office success and the general public view of the film, which in my view was a very serviceable comedy, and in the end I think they’ll make their money back. I think he was concerned that the writing on Ghostbusters III by these guys would not be up to standard, but I can tell you firsthand, I’m working on the script now and those two—Stupnitsky and Eisenberg, [writer-producers of The Office]—wrote Bill the comic role of a lifetime, and the new Ghostbusters and the old are all well represented in it…we have a strong first draft that Harold [Ramis] and I will take back, and I’m very excited about working on it.”
Now what gets me here is “serviceable comedy” and “I think they'll make their money back”. Are those the aims of the comedy? Is that what a comedy film wants to do in this day and age and what Ghostbusters III should do? Well those are quite low heights to aim for – let's make it serviceable and so it at least makes the money back.
Call me crazy but I'd like it to be funny, connect with the audience and more specifically with the fans of the Ghostbuster films and characters. Now that would work.
Then he's called up on the idea of making a sequel to such a well loved comedy with examples of a new Bill and Ted or a True Lies sequel:
”Look, Hollywood is in love with any kind of nostalgia that can prove itself to be commercial. But it has to evolve. Now [in Ghostbusters III] my character’s eyesight is shot, I got a bad knee, a bad hip—I can’t drive that caddy anymore or lift that Psychotron Accelerator anymore, it’s too heavy. We need young legs, new minds—new Ghostbusters; so I’m in essence passing the torch to the new regime, and you know what? That’s totally okay with me.”
Mmmm...“nostalgia that can prove itself to be commercial”. Again I feel myself recoiling from that statement that feels void of heart and emotion, which a comedy should be. Again, it's all about the business here and not really about the comedy aspect or keeping in touch with the original audience.
Sure it's okay with him to do it this way, but is it okay with the audience? Who cares, as long as it's “serviceable” and makes the money back. No. Not for me. They may be old but they have to be the focus of the film throughout, it may have to pass onto a new franchise and set of actors, but do it during this film and at the end of their adventure, not at the beginning. Follow Lethal Weapon's example and let them scrape through with a “we're too old for this...” comment when we see the younger team being recruited.
For me I can't stand the thought of going in, seeing them old and hand over in the first twenty minutes to allow the film to be hijacked by the young crew. Do a proper farewell. Oh, and make it more than “serviceable”, make it funny.