Following the death of Harold Ramis, director Ivan Reitman has decided to step aside from helming the long-gestating Ghostbusters 3. However that’s not the end of the project, as Reitman is staying onboard as a producer, with Sony hoping to shoot the film in early 2015.
Sony chief Amy Pascal is now searching for a new director who can take the franchise in a fresh direction that will completely reboot the film series.
Sony has previously considered moving forward with Reitman, with a movie that focussed more on a new generation than the old, however Ivan stayed onboard (partly because contracts signed by him and the cast in the 1980s gave him and the cast vetoes. However without Ramis he’s decided things should change.
Even so it’s still hoped Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver and Ernie Hudson will be back.
Reitman told Deadline, “There has been all kinds of stuff, unofficially written about Ghostbusters. 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.”
As for the various different Ghostbusters 3 scripts that have been floating around, he says, “The first was done by Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky, and me, Harold and Dan helped them on it. 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 Aykroyd 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. 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.”
As for who will take over, “I’m not going to say how many Ghostbusters 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. 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.”