As Sony made clear weeks ago, not even the death of Harold Ramis would stop it from continuing the Ghostbusters franchise, and now it has to do it without Ivan Reitman in the director’s chair. Deadline reports that Ramis’ death inspired Reitman’s decision, who said, “With Harold no longer with us, I couldn’t see it.”
Reitman directed the original Ghostbusters and its 1989 sequel, and he’d been one of the primary architects of the troubled third installment. As such, he’s not stepping away from the film entirely, even though the universe seems to giving Sony as many signs as possible not to make the movie. He’ll remain on as a producer, describing the latest script—penned by Etan Cohen (writer of Idiocracy, Tropic Thunder, Men In Black 3, and director of the upcoming Get Hard)—as “very good, that the studio is very excited about.”
Getting the franchise-happy studio behind James Bond, Spider-Man, and The Men In Black probably isn’t too difficult, but Reitman did offer for the first time some insight on the long, torturous process of getting the movie made. The original script by Lee Eisenberg (Bad Teacher, The Office, Hello Ladies) and Gene Stupnitsky (same credits), with assists from Reitman, Ramis, and Dan Aykroyd, went in the garbage after it became clear Bill Murray wasn’t going to participate.
“[Murray] 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.”
The new script has the original Ghostbusters in “a very minor role,” and Reitman won’t specify how many new Ghostbusters will be in the third film. The studio, led by president Doug Belgrad, is currently working on a “short list” of potential directors and will begin shooting by next year. (Reitman would prefer this fall, but says it’s unlikely.)
Complain all you want, purists. It’s just turning into pink slime building beneath Sony’s lot in Culver City, California.