Ghostbusters III is dead, real fans should rejoice
I do feel as though I've already written this article, saying that Ghostbusters III isn't happening and commenting on the fact that Bill Murray is once again holding out and saying no to the return to the franchise putting the entire film in doubt. What we'd expect now is for Dan Aykroyd to come out and kill the rumours, saying to anyone who would listen that the film is happening, that people are signed and so on.
Not so now, for it seems as though Aykroyd has accepted that Murray won't be returning and has admitted that the film is not going to happen right now and defended the ideas behind the sequel.
From the beginning I've been saying another film isn't a good idea, not because we wouldn't love a third Ghostbusters film, but because the idea was stock Hollywood and was about the money, not about the fans or the original franchise.
The main idea for the plot of Ghostbusters III was for the old team to be running their successful ghostbusting business and realising that they are just too old for it, finding a new team to take over, and handing the business to this new young team, a team which will be made up of the latest and hippest American comedians.
None of this says anything else other than starting a new franchise for the money, as well as bringing in a new team of comedians which also suggests the typical Hollywood comedy of the day. This doesn't sound like any of the Ghostbusters films we've seem so far.
It's a bad idea, I've always thought so, and while it might have appeared that Bill Murray saying no and holding out against the third film was a selfish attitude and going against the fans of the Ghostbuster series, over time the opinion has changed and more and more people have been siding with Murray, accepting that his decision is more in line with keeping the original Ghostbusters films as they were rather than selling out to the new Hollywood.
The media debate has gone back and forth with Murray saying little and Dan Aykroyd saying everything, convincing us that the project was moving forward and revealing that Ivan Reitman was ready to direct, the script was underway, and people were ready to sign.
"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."
I can't help but think that first section of the second comment is a little harsh as I wouldn't say that's the reason he's not doing the film and would like to think he's the only one holding out for the original memory of Ghostbusters and not wanting it to turn into a money-making franchise with new Hollywood comedy poured all over it, something that really doesn't work out most of the time.
Aykroyd says that wouldn't happen though:
"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."
Yet the writers on the project were Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky, writers of Year One and the American version of The Office, so at least one was good but it wasn't the film, and that didn't give a lot of hope for the script of Ghostbusters III.
Aykroyd is realistic about the chances but doesn't totally kill the project:
"It's a surety that Bill Murray will not do the movie, however there is still interest from the studio."
...and that could mean anything, doing it without Murray, a CG character, flashback references, perhaps even recasting the role.