Dan Aykroyd finally admits that Bill Murray won't be in Ghostbusters 3 and that the movie may not happen
On a mountain of Crystal Head bottles, in the castles of England, Dan Aykroyd sits on a throne of self-importance, continuing his promotional tour for the UK launch of his vodka brand and talking about how awesome he is to the local press that only wants to know about that Ghostbusters sequel he’s been threatening for years now. First, though, be aware that Aykroyd doesn’t really need to make it: “I don’t want to work any more, really, in film,” Aykroyd said to The Telegraph of his extremely limited output in recent years, which he assures is by choice and not because of demand. “I will walk out the door for the paycheck I deserve… I’d have to be called up by triple-A superstars. I get offers all the time from filmmakers, but they are unknown quantities. I don’t go there and do experiments.” Indeed, this is why Aykroyd is so committed to doing his revival of the Ghostbusters franchise—a known quantity that is the furthest thing from an experiment, and one that will guarantee him the paycheck he deserves. Also, it’s a story that needs telling or something.
But of course, one of those triple-A superstars he would deign to work with—Bill Murray—doesn’t share Aykroyd’s beliefs about maintaining creative stasis, as Murray would choose experimenting with unknown filmmakers who are less famous over helping Aykroyd make his sequel, a position he’s made clear time and again and with increasing sarcasm. And now, for the first time in a long time, the message seems to have gotten through, and Aykroyd finally sounds about as positive about the chances for Ghostbusters 3 as the rest of the Internet:
I honestly don’t know. At this point it’s in suspended animation. The studio, the director Ivan Reitman and Harold Ramis feel there must be a way to do it, but Bill Murray will not do the movie. He doesn’t want to be involved. He’s got six kids, houses all over America. He golfs in these tournaments where they pay him to turn up and have a laugh. He’s into this life and living it. I know we’d have a lot of fun [but] I can’t be mad at him. He’s a friend first, a colleague second. We have a deep personal relationship that transcends business and he doesn’t want to know.
Of course, Aykroyd recently suggested a workaround for honoring the wishes of his deeply personal friend by simply replacing him—a strategy that worked so successfully in Blues Brothers 2000, in the sense that everyone just turned away in disgust instead of encasing Dan Aykroyd in concrete and dropping him to the bottom of the ocean, so he couldn't do any more damage to his own legacy.
Clearly hoping for that same sort of warm reception, Aykroyd avows, “We’re not going to do a movie that exploits the franchise,” but continues in the very same vodka-soaked breath, “It’s a surety that Bill Murray will not do the movie, however there is still interest from the studio”—refusing to believe that choosing the interest in making more money over the wishes of Ghostbusters’ most important creative voice would be, inherently, exploiting the franchise. But hey, at least Aykroyd is no longer swearing that the film will begin shooting this spring. At least, not today.