Ghostbusters 3 just lost another one of its people of influence. Deadline reports that Ivan Reitman has stepped away from the project as its director, and will instead produce. It comes as no surprise, but the tragic death of star and friend Harold Ramis was the deciding factor for Reitman. For those unaware, Reitman was one of the key collaboratives to the franchise, having directed the first two Ghostbuster films. Now, you would think with Reitman’s departure, Ramis’ passing and the disinterest of Bill Murray, production would be nullified. Nope, Ghostbusters 3 soldiers on. The search for a new director begins.Sony Pictures’ Amy Pascal had this to say in regards to Reitman’s sudden but expected decision to only produce:
We totally understood. 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.
In a detailed interview with Deadline, Reitman discussed the recent history of development, Bill Murray’s involvement or lack there of, and where they’re at now:
The first [script] was done by Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky, and me, Harold [Ramis] and Dan [Aykroyd] 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 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 went onto discuss the logistics of the film:
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.
Hearing Reitman talk about G3 pushes the right buttons to me as a fan. I get excited hearing original creatives talk about it. Still, my desire for more things Ghostbusters does not outweigh my fear of a terrible movie. The more challenges the project faces, the less interest I have in seeing it come to fruition. Ghostbusters 1, and to a lesser extent it’s sequel, was magic in a bottle. Those films are absolutely nothing without the interactions between the 4 main actors. I suppose if they could find a cast that plays off each other well, follow the basic outline the script calls for, a film could grow from that. But it’s probably for the best that the universe try to bust this and throw it in a containment field where it belongs.
Head on over to Deadline to read the rest of Reitman’s revealing interview.