Columbia Pictures wants a third Ghostbusters film, but are reportedly starting to cool on the idea that Ivan Reitman, who directed the first two comedies in the 1980s, should be the one behind the cameras for this third installment. From a studio standpoint, that doesn’t seem to unreasonable as Reitman’s last film was 2006’s unfunny My Super Ex-Girlfriend and who hasn’t had a strong hit since 1993’s Dave.
However, based on the deal made when the first Ghostbusters film was produced, Reitman and stars Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray and Harold Ramis all have a vote on any further potential Ghostbusters film and just one of them could scotch any attempted project. It’s this situation that has kept a potential third film from happening over the years.
I think you can do the math here. If Columbia tries to force Reitman out of the director’s chair and he doesn’t want to give it up, we have at best a stalemate that would delay the start of production on the sequel and at worst we are looking at the bullet that kills this attempt to get a Ghostbusters III made. And if Ghostbusters III doesn’t happen, the studio looses its last blockbuster off of its 2011 schedule.
Currently, Reitman is set to start production soon on the comedy Friends With Benefits (formerly known as Fuckbuddies when it made the 2008 Black List) for Paramount and perhaps Columbia was hoping that his duties there would preclude him from directing Ghostbusters III. However, Vulture is reporting from unnamed insiders that Reitman feels that he can handle both projects.
While we all sit and wait to see who may blink first, I think that Columbia should back down in this instance. It seems to me that working on Friends With Benefits before going in to production on Ghostbusters III might be a good way for Reitman to loosen up his directorial muscles. I certainly think that once he gets on set with Murray, Aykroyd and Ramis, the chemistry that made the first Ghostbusters film a smash will reassert itself. And perhaps that will be more of a certainty if Ramis gets a running start.