Could this actually be happening this time? Depite probably knowing better, Sony is moving forward with Ghostbusters III after all, and is eyeing an early 2015 start date for production. One thing that it won’t have on board this time is Ivan Reitman, who directed the original Ghostbusters thirty years ago as well as its sequel in 1989. Speaking with Deadline, Reitman said he just didn’t feel right continuing with the recent death of his friend, Harold Ramis, who played Egon Spengler. “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 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.”
This is a good news/bad news kind of scenario. The good news is that Reitman seems to know and understand that proceeding on a straightforward Ghostbusters III without the late Harold Ramis or the reportedly uncooperative Bill Murray is really kind of pointless. It’s pretty much time for what’s left of the original players to all move on in anything but an advisory/cameo type capacity. The original Ghostbusters was lightning in a bottle, one of the best comedies ever made, and one they couldn’t even come close to topping when they went for round two a few years later. So what’s the good news? Well, this will be less a Ghostbusters III and more a Ghostbusters reboot, a brand extension, and a way to keep those Ghostbusters logo t-shirts selling at Target. Which means if it sucks, it won’t be as embarrassing as seeing geriatric Dan Aykroyd and Ernie Hudson running around New York with heavy proton packs on their backs. And if by some miracle it’s good? You’ve saved a series where, as Dr. Venkman pointed out in the original movie, “The franchise rights alone will make us wealthy beyond your wildest dreams.” That revival hasn’t happened yet, but you know Sony really wants it to.