Sunday, July 12, 2009

Egon On

I had the pleasure of meeting actor/director Harold Ramis, best known perhaps as Egon Spengler of the Ghostbusters, around ten years ago when he did an "Actor's Studio" type Q & A at Chicago's Columbia College, the film school where I was doing my undergrad. Just a charming and down to earth guy, Ramis had by then long been established as a reliable on-camera second banana and a solid comedic writer and helmer, with Groundog Day and Analyze This under his directorial belt.

Even then though, in the midst of promoting the then-upcoming Bedazzled remake, the one topic that kept coming up was Ghostbusters. Not whether there would be another one, but when. Although Ramis freely offered up plenty of behind-the-scenes anecdotes on the making of the '84 classic and its '89 sequel, back then he was a lot more reticent about discussing further installments for the '80s juggernaut than he is now, as is evident in the above clip.

I dearly love the Ghostbusters franchise, both the films and the long-running cartoon show (which holds up a lot better than I would have thought), but my one concern as I've watched properties resurrected to underwhelming results is that as more time passes (and we're at twenty-plus years now), it gets tougher to compete with your own legend. To his credit, Ramis is cognizant of and candid about this danger, and that makes me feel a lot more sanguine about a hypothetical Ghostbusters III.

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