You may have thought the sad passing of Harold Ramis last month would have been a final nail in the years-long development of Ghostbusters 3. Ironically, it appears the untimely death of one of the original ‘Busters may actually have spurred the production back on track.
Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters 2 director Ivan Reitman now says he won’t direct the new film — but Sony Pictures is pushing to get the film in front of the cameras early next year.
In an interview with Deadline and later picked up by several outlets, including Crave film site Cinema Blend, Reitman offers one of the most candid explanations yet for the 25-year wait for the third installment. Reitman contractually has first dibs on a new Ghostbusters, but told Deadline he reevaluated his involvement after Ramis’ death.
“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 [Pascal] 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.”
Reitman also said the current script focuses on a new concept for the series, with only “minor roles” for surviving Ghostbusters Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson and Bill Murray, whose decades of foot-dragging and reluctance were among the primary reasons Ghostbusters 3 didn’t happen sooner.
As Hudson himself pointed out last month, Ghostbusters won’t be Ghostbusters without Egon Spangler, so a movie centered around a team of new young spirit-chasers went from a likely scenario to the only one left, realistically. That doesn’t change the sting that years of development hell has forever robbed us of seeing all four original Ghostbusters back on the big screen one last time, even if only for a few minutes.