We’ve been chronicling for a while now Dan Aykroyd’s attempts to get a third Ghostbusters film made. Over the last few years, he has overseen some changes in writers on the project as well as franchise co-star Bill Murray’s “Maybe I will, maybe I won’t” tap dance over his return for a threequel. And in a new interview with Esquire, Aykroyd sounds as if he has done all he could to get the project’s script the best that it can be and that now the ball is in Sony’s court but that the window of opportunity may be closing.
At this point, I think we’re closer than we ever have been. And because of the ever-shifting sands and nature of the motion-picture business, I will just say that hopefully, at some point, it will be morphing into what is known in the business as a [Aykroyd mimes air quotes] “production number XP39789.” Then I will begin to rent cars, get hotel rooms, and bill for writing. But that point hasn’t come. All my work has been gratis to this point, as Ivan’s has, and I’m hoping that I can get that production number set up in L.A. and help everyone bring the movie to fruition, as the originator and creator of the concept. If it does not happen, the life of Dan Aykroyd and his family and friends will be quite full without Ghostbusters 3.
In the interview, Aykroyd also addresses some of the obstacles that have blocked the progress of the film, most notable the need for Murray to approve of any sequel script before things could move forward.
I have one-fifth of the voice, along with the partners and the other owner of the property, the picture company, and Ivan, Billy [Murray], and myself, and Harold [Ramis]. We all have to sign off on it unanimously — uh, I’m not sure Billy does anymore, since he abrogated his rights by sort of, by saying, two years ago he said, “I don’t want to be involved,” and the picture company I think had some clause in there that if he actually passed on the third of fourth offer, he no longer has a view of the franchise. So, that’s for the lawyers to decide. Of course, I’d love to have Billy call me tomorrow and say, “Let’s go to work and start writing.”
Also of interest to fans, and I would assume the studio who would probably love for the film to be just the start of a rejuvenated franchise, Aykroyd states that the screenplay they have now leads “organically” to potential sequels, including one that would revisit his previously abandoned Ghostbusters In Hell story idea.
Man-hell-ttan, and the Ghostbusters in hell, would be so solid, but we gotta get maybe one or two made before that. But, oh, wow… I wrote that with Tom Davis, my writing partner, recently deceased, who wrote Coneheads with me and stuff on Saturday Night Live. There’s classic Tom Davis lines and funny stuff in there, really it’s probably the most humorous of all the Ghostbusters scripts that have generated in that last little while. But we’ll put the humor into this next one. It’s gotta be funny, or it’s not worth doing. It can be scary, it can be Ghostbusters, it can be the new franchise, the new people, but if it’s not funny …
Head over to the Esquire site to read the whole interview.