Reitman Steps Down From Ghostbusters III

By Dr. Know on March 19th, 2014

Not that this should come as a huge surprise – especially when you consider the fact Harold Ramis has died – but Ivan Reitman is vacating the director’s chair on Ghostbusters III and will serve as producer only. Sony has been trying to get this off the ground forever and this is yet another road block for the production. Bill Murray’s refusal to participate and Harold Ramis’ untimely passing preceding this, of course.

As for Reitman’s reasons, he offered the following when talking to Deadline:  “There has been all kinds of stuff, unofficially written about Ghostbusters,” Reitman told Deadline. “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 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 also confirmed the Bill Murray problems, one that encompassed not one but two scripts.

“The first was done by Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky, and me, Harold and Dan helped them on it,” Reitman said. “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.

“It’s a version of Ghostbusters that has the originals in a very minor role,” he said. “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.”

Personally, I think Sony should cut their development losses and leave well enough alone. This is one deep well not worth going back to, and it will never be remotely the same without Bill Murray, Harold Ramis and Ivan Reitman…not to mention the heart of the Ghostbusters, the supremely talented and way-underrated Dan Aykroyd. Nevertheless, Sony still thinks doing this movie is a good idea.

What say you?