Wednesday, March 19, 2014

GHOSTBUSTERS 3 to Film in 2015 Without Ivan Reitman

Who you gonna call?  Not Ivan Reitman, it seems.

Last night, Deadline reported that Sony Pictures is looking at early 2015 for production to begin in New York on the long, long, long-awaited Ghostbusters 3.  However, following the recent death of Harold Ramis, writer and co-star of the previous Ghostbusters movies as Dr. Egon Spengler, Reitman has decided that he won't return to direct the third installment and will only serve as a producer.

"There has been all kinds of stuff, unofficially written about Ghostbusters," said Reitman.  "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 [Murray] 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 commented on the various attempts to persuade Bill Murray to reprise his role of Dr. Peter Venkman, which involved two scripts.  "The first was done by Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky, and me, Harold and Dan [Aykroyd] helped them on it," remarked Reitman.  "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."

Reitman added, "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."

The producers are working on a short list of directors they'll approach, then they will focus on deciding the new cast.  "I’m not going to say how many Ghostbusters there will be in the new cast," said Reitman, "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."

Sony Pictures co-chairman Amy Pascal confirmed Reitman's decision to not direct.  "We totally understood," she said.  "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."

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