To the Edge of Pointlessness: Ghostbusters 3

ghostbustersDo fans actually sit down and say, “God, wouldn’t it be great if there was another Ghostbusters movie?” History has it that the original 1985 film made $238.6 million on its original release. The 1989 sequel made $112.4 million, suggesting fan enthusiasm had waned over the five years. No doubting the affection in which the first film is held: Rotten Tomatoes has it at 93% positive. Ghostbusters 2? A rating of 53% percent makes it an even blech.

This doesn’t reckon with the Ghostbusters zealot, who presumably has the tattoo, the home-made Proton pack, and the complete animated series on DVD. But now they’re bored. They crave more Venkman and Gozer. And, as MTV reminds us, the combination of an unproven wave of 1980s remakes (Beverly Hills Cop we can kinda understand, but Arthur? Seriously?) and the popularity of the supernatural demonstrated by Twilight, makes Ghostbusters ripe for exhumation. We already know No. 3 is in the works. Now GB vet Harold Ramis provides MTV with the details. How pretty is it?

“We’re all going to be in it in different kinds of roles,” Ramis said. “We’re going to be the sage mentors. There are going to be young Ghostbusters.”

Ah, so Ghostbusters 3 is really an attempt to pass on the mantle to a gang of Dead End Kids. Ramis says that Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd will be returning, although there is no mention of poor fourth ‘buster Ernie Hudson. He’s currently propping up Dragonball Evolution. Something tells us he’ll be happy to sign on, though. Nor does Ramis moot the possibility of Sigourney Weaver coming back. (She sat out doing voice duties on the videogame). That’s a shame, as reprising her possessed vamp in middle age is actually one of the few things that would get the hairs on Squally’s arms a-tingling.

Bill Murray is definitely “in.” Getting him 100% through the door, however, is taking some time.

“I haven’t talked to him about it,” Ramis said. “I want to talk to him about it eventually. I think we just need a script, because he’s the thorniest of the group.”

Wait, although all three are definitely returning, Murray isn’t so sure? That’s not exactly the same as “We’ll show them how they do it downtown.” Is it?

“Bill Murray is just waiting for the truckload of money to arrive to get him out of his office,” Ramis joked.

Nice to know everyone is in it for the love of the franchise. Ramis and Aykroyd have turned over scriptwriting duties to Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky, who both wrote Ramis’ current film The Year One. Judd Apatow‘s role as producer has led many to speculate that the “new” Ghostbusters will include Seth Rogen and Paul Rudd. To which it could be asked, is there any comedy these guys aren’t in nowadays?

Yet even the young guns are a little wary of sliming the ’80s touchstone, 21st century-style.

“Someone asked Seth [Rogen], and he said, ‘What?’ ” Ramis recalled. “He said, ‘That’d have to be one great f—ing script for anyone to touch that.’ He’s right about that.”

That personal touch will also extend to the direction. Ramis says neither he nor original Ghostbusters helmer Ivan Reitman are interested in doing it.

“[W]e’re all hoping someone else will do it,” the 64-year-old Ramis said. “It’s a lot of work!”

Let’s review: even the younger garde think the script needs to be somewhere north of Chinatown on the quality scale. Bill Murray won’t emerge from his study until the suitcase of money shows up. The movie is being written by two neophytes rewriting stoning jokes from Monty Python’s Life of Brian. And neither of the co-creators are interested in picking up a pen or a camera. For all the complaints about the film, even Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull had Steven Spielberg in the director’s chair and, for better or for worse, the fingerprints of George Lucas all over the story.

Is this something you want to see? What makes you optimistic for the film? Are they taking the right approach? Who ya gonna call?

UPDATE: According to Entertainment Weekly, Judd Apatow is NOT producing Ghostbusters 3.

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