Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Ghostbusters 3...Finally?

For years, fans of the movie Ghostbusters were hoping for a third movie to form a trilogy. Rumors were out there that Harold Ramis and/or Dan Akroyd had written scripts for the third movie, but there were always roadblocks in the way.

One of the biggest roadblocks was Bill Murray himself. While publicly pointing to his business filming schedule (the man is still constantly working to this day), rumors swirled around Hollywood that he rejected scripts because of particular demands he had. Murray would say to various reporters that he would be open to being in Ghostbusters 3, but only if his fan favorite character Peter Venkman were to be already dead and in the movie as a ghost.

It even got to the point where Dan Akroyd in 2013, was prepared to move forward with a script that didn't include Peter Venkman at all. He was quoted as saying:

"Ghostbusters 3 can be a successful movie without Bill. My preference would be to have him involved but at this point he doesn’t seem to be coming and we have to move on. It’s time to make the third one.”

Unfortunately on February 24, 2014, actor/writer/director, Harold Ramis passed away from vasculitis. Ramis was not only Egon Spengler from Ghostbusters, but Dan Akroyd's partner in writing the first two movies and various drafts for the third movie. When Ramis passed, after his funeral, director Ivan Reitman announced that he would no longer be attached to the third installment of Ghostbusters. The heart of the movie was ripped away.

Akroyd bowed out of the script process as well. Etan Cohen of Paradise Thunder fame is the last writer to have been rumored to be in charge of the screenplay. While a good writer in his own, Dan Akroyd and Harold Ramis, along with Ivan Reitman were the gatekeepers of this project.

It was stated by Akroyd that the new movie will feature a new set of Ghostbusters employees with cameos by the himself and Ernie Hudson. Billy Murray is still holding out for a script that he approves of before guaranteeing his presence in the film.

Reitman will still be involved, but only in the capacity of finding a new director to direct the third movie and possibly more. With a new generation of Ghostbusters, a handoff could be done ala Star Trek Generations, which could also mean a new generation of cartoons and merchandise.

This could be a moneymaker for Sony Pictures, but it feels almost superficial in a way. When the first movie was released in the '80's, a new line of characters that people young and old could enjoy together were created. The movies felt like they were made to entertain, despite bringing in a lot of revenue from various sources (TV, movies, merch). While fans may be relieved that a third movie will be finally made, it doesn't have that same feeling that the first two had.