The spring of 2012 approaches and with it the promise, after months of seeding with rumors and watering with anguished tears and vodka, that Ghostbusters 3 will finally take root, sprouting a whole new branch of the franchise that you can then jab into your eye. And as it’s been at least a few months since Dan Aykroyd has insisted that Ghostbusters 3 is happening and offered a dismaying glimpse into his cavalier attitude about it, Dan Aykroyd dropped by Empire to do just that, answering a few questions about the project—and, as always, creating a dozen more.
First up, some good news: Aykroyd says he is committed to luring Rick Moranis out of retirement for the project, saying that the finished script “would definitely have Moranis as a major component” before adding, “None of us would want to do the movie without having him as a participant." Indeed, a Ghostbusters movie without a key player such as Rick Moranis would be a total sham, and only serve to illustrate what a crassly motivated, hollow endeavor reviving the franchise has become. So thank goodness he won’t be doing that!
Because really, there will be plenty of that going on already, as Aykroyd is now also saying that the problem of continued holdout Bill Murray could be solved by simply having Peter Venkman played by “a different actor, a la Jack Ryan”—referring, of course, to how Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan franchise was passed from actor to actor without any noticeable box office damage or fan outcry, and to the way that Peter Venkman is similarly defined by his mission and not totally and indelibly shaped by Bill Murray’s unique personality. This strategy, at last, could address the complaints of Ghostbusters fans who felt that all of Bill Murray’s wisecracking was getting in the way of the serious business of ghost-busting.
Anyway, as with all “Dan Aykroyd says something about Ghostbusters 3” news, this remains purely hypothetical—much like Aykroyd’s response to the rare, non-Aykroyd-generated rumor that Murray recently shredded the Ghostbusters 3 script and returned it with a note reading, “No one wants to pay money to see fat, old men chasing ghosts.” That is definitely not true, Aykroyd swears, saying, “Bill Murray is not capable of such behavior. This is simply something that would not be in his nature. We have a deep, private personal relationship that transcends business. We communicate frequently and his position on the involvement in Ghostbusters 3 has been made clear and I respect that. But Bill has too much positive estimation of my writing skills to shred the work.” Just not quite enough to participate in it, endorse it, or even publicly acknowledge it—which is why Aykroyd will have to find a new deep, private, personal relationship with some other actor, one that definitely doesn’t transcend business.
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