Aykroyd made the admission in an interview with the London Telegraph when asked about the status of the long in development Ghostbusters 3 sequel –
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.
I have to say that I am saddened, but not surprised, by this news. Aykroyd has been trying to get this project moving for sometime, having overseen a script written by The Office and Bad Teacher scribes Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky. With studio Columbia, director Ivan Reitman and co-stars Harold Ramis and Ernie Hudson all behind the project, Murray has become the lone hold out even though it looked for a time that he might consider doing it.
But Aykroyd isn’t upset with his former Saturday Night Live colleague. In fact he expresses empathy with his decision.
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.
But Aykroyd also states that just because Murray won’t be a part f the film doesn’t mean that Ghostbusters 3 is officially a dead project just yet. He has hinted recently that they could recast Murray and suggests that there is some thought on how to continue without Murray.
We’re not going to do a movie that exploits the franchise. The script has to be perfect. I’m the cheerleader, but I’m only one voice in the matter. It’s a surety that Bill Murray will not do the movie, however there is still interest from the studio.
But the question remains, is there interest in the public for a non-Murray Ghostbusters film?