Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Whither Ghostbusters 3?

In my remembrance of the late Harold Ramis on Monday, I mentioned that I'd rather his passing mean a final end to the long-rumored third Ghostbusters, that's been on the development track for about as long as I can remember. While the intention had always been for Ramis, along with original GBs Dan Aykroyd and Bill Murray to appear in the film, the nature and extent of that involvement was always in question, and as Ernie Hudson (aka Winston Zeddemore, far too often the forgotten Ghostbuster) told TMZ yesterday, "There can’t be another Ghostbusters without Harold...That was always my fear, was that something would happen before we all got together."

I think that was a lot of people's fear, but as it happens, the absence of Egon Spengler isn't quite enough for home studio Sony to slow development on Ghostbusters 3 (which, to be fair, hasn't exactly been blazing through the development pipeline anyway). Indeed, most reports have said all along that the goal was for (all or some of) the original stars to hand off the ghost-hunting gear to a
new generation of comic actors, who would presumably carry the brand forward through however many sequels. And just to put in perspective how far back this all goes, I can remember when Aykroyd talked up Chris Farley, Will Smith, and even Conan O'Brien as potential 'busters.

Per a new piece over at The Hollywood Reporter, Ghostbusters helmer Ivan Reitman is still hard at work on the project, with some tweaking now mooted to account for Ramis's absence. As far as I know, the current script by writers Lee Eisenberg & Gene Stupnitsky is the same one Bill Murray supposedly sent back to Ramis and Aykroyd in a shredded pile, so there may also be some work to do if they still want him to board the ship. Now, taking as a given that Sony is bound and determined to exploit what they perceive as a very valuable IP, and they'll be doing something with it whether we like or not, what would you rather see, a "passing the torch" Ghostbusters sequel that gives way to a new group, or a reboot/restart with the iconic original roles getting recast?

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