It has been just over a day since news broke that the great comedy writer/director/performer Harold Ramis had died and despite all the numerous tributes to him that spread across television and online, I am still not sure that I am have entirely wrapped my head around it. And I have to admit, although I am a bit ashamed to, that I felt a twinge of regret with maybe some anger towards Bill Murray and his continual reluctance towards participating in a Ghostbusters III robbing us of two more hours of Ramis in perhaps his most famous comic persona, paranormal scientist-turned-paranormal eliminator Egon Spengler.
But according to a new story from the Hollywood Reporter, it sounds as if the original ghostbusting trio of Ramis, Dan Aykroyd and Bill Murray weren’t to have as a big a role in the planned film as previously supposed. Speaking to an insider, the Reporter states that the trio “were poised to appear briefly in the third outing to set up a baton-passing to a trio of newcomers” before quoting their source as saying –
There will be some repercussions… He was always great to bounce something off of, and that will certainly be missed. But it won’t affect the script.
Ivan Reitman, who directed the original two Ghostbusters films is reportedly meeting with Sony executives to see how they can continue forward with the project which has been in active development. In the least, there will be some minor rewriting of the screenplay that has been turned in by Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky. But if the decision is made to continue forward with Ghostbusters 3 it is looking very likely that it won’t get in front of cameras before the end of this year.
But what is interesting to note is the Reporter‘s assumption that Murray was going to be back, despite his litany of denials over the years. Were they inadvertently reporting something that they didn’t realize they were were reporting or was it just some poorly worded writing? I suspect that as it draws closer to the April release of Reitman’s latest film, Draft Day, we’ll hear more.