There has been years of speculation over what exactly is happening with Ghostbusters 3. All we knew for sure was that Ivan Reitman, dircector of the first two films, would be directing, and Dan Aykroyd was the driving force of getting the film made. Aykroyd was due to cameo in the film, along with Harold Ramis (who sadly passed away a short while ago), and everyone had been trying to get Bill Murray onboard too.
The original Ghostbusters were to “pass the baton” on to a new team of Ghostbusters, but the film has been met with all kinds of problems, most of them due to Murray refusing to take part. There have even been two scripts written in the hope of bringing him onboard. All the issues and speculation has mostly been fuelled by Internet sites hungry for information, but thankfully Ivan Reitman has finally opened up to Deadline to give the lowdown on what the hell is happening.
In the lengthy interview, Reitman confirms he is no longer directing but will instead produce. He also plans to help find a worthy director to take on such a challenge. He also confirms that shooting is expected to take place early next year, and once again there are script re-writes.
“There has been all kinds of stuff, unofficially written about Ghostbusters,” Reitman told Deadline. “I’ve been reading things online for about four years, speculation on who’s writing, what they’re writing, who’s in it, who we will use, and who’s directing. We’d decided not to comment up till now, I wasn’t sure what I was going to do, and it was never clear what Bill was going to do. A lot of things happened in the last few months, the most significant of which was the passing of Harold, who was a very good friend who was extraordinarily influential in my career. We did five movies together including both Ghostbusters.”
Reitman then went on to talk about the various scripts, and how he felt after attending Ramis’ funeral:
“The first was done by Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky, and me, Harold and Dan helped them on it,” Reitman said. “It was a really good script, but then it became clear that Bill really didn’t want to do another Ghostbusters and that it was literally impossible to find him to speak to for the year or two we tried to get it going. When Bill finally…well, he never actually said no, but he never said yes, so there was no way to make that film. We decided to start over again, and I started working with Etan Cohen, with Dan lending a helping hand. Harold got sick about three years ago, and we kept hoping he would get better. I kept pushing forward on the Etan Cohen and we now have a draft that is very good, that the studio is very excited about”
“It’s a version of Ghostbusters that has the originals in a very minor role,” he said. “When I came back from Harold’s funeral, it was really moving and it made me think about a lot of things. I’d just finished directing Draft Day, which I’m really happy with and proud of. Working on a film that is smaller and more dramatic was so much fun and satisfying. I just finally met with Amy and Doug Belgrad when I got back. I said I’d been thinking about it for weeks, that I’d rather just produce this Ghostbusters. I told them I thought I could help but let’s find a really good director and make it with him. So that’s what we’ve agreed will happen. I didn’t want all kinds of speculation about what happened with me, that is the real story”
Sony’s Pascal confirmed this. “We totally understood. He was thinking he might feel that way when Harold died, and then came back to us and confirmed it, that while he was excited to return and make the movie as producer, but did not feel he wanted to direct the movie. We are delighted to work with Ivan on this movie in that capacity. We love him, and he’s going to continue to play an important role. We’re very anxious to get the movie started.”
Reitman then spoke of how he couldn’t direct the new film after the death of Ramis, his close friend of many years:
“It was such an amazing time in my life 30 years ago, and I felt that way on the second film,” he said. “With Harold no longer with us I couldn’t see it.” Reitman said he’s proud of the way that the film has remained vibrant, even with all the fits and starts and obstacles for production. “It really seems to have resonated, and I think a lot of adults who saw it when they were younger have shown it to their kids and they seem to respond much the same way. Sony sees this as a huge worldwide opportunity, and it is eager to make the film”
Reitman said they are already working on a short list of directors they’ll go out to, and then it will be time to find the new cast. “I’m not going to say how manyGhostbusters there will be in the new cast, but we are determined to retain the spirit of the original film, and I am pleased that all of this seems to have happened organically,” he said. “I’m hoping we can get started by the fall, set in New York, but given the logistics and the stuff that happens, the beginning of 2015 seems more likely.”