Commenting on the Critics with Simon Columb…
Fans of the Ghostbusters films will be happy to know that (a) they are moving ahead with a sequel but (b) Bill Murray won’t be in it. The Telegraph covered the story from an interview Aykroyd gave to Metro…
The new writer is Etan Cohen, who co-wrote Men in Black III and Tropic Thunder. The cast of four ghost-hunters will also include a woman.
Aykroyd confirmed that Bill Murray, who played mordant parapsychologist Dr Peter Venkman alongside Aykroyd, will not be appearing.
“It’s sad,” he said, adding that “Ghostbusters 3 can be a successful movie without Bill. My preference would be to have him involved but at this point he doesn’t seem to be coming and we have to move on. It’s time to make the third one.
Read the full article here.
With the release of The Bourne Legacy next weekend – a film which does not feature a character named Jason Bourne – you have to ask yourself whether the production of films without their lead characters is wise. Can I imagine Ghostbusters without Bill Murray? Did any of us imagine a Jason-Bourne film without Matt Damon? I think The Bourne Legacy might just work – I know I’ll watch it opening weekend. But with Ghostbusters, I think it’s a different story…
I think Aykroyd needs to call time on this farce. As I understand, Bill Murray and Aykroyd are friends, so anything is possible despite Murray’s ‘refusal’. Maybe a small cameo at the very least – but the whole discussion about “passing the film’s onto a new generation” seems redundant. Too often old-school series make the one-last hurrah only for the new series to come to a dismal end. Michael Hasselhoff appeared in a cameo when ‘passing the torch’ to a younger generation for a new series of Knight Rider. Shia Le Beouf missed grabbing the hat of Indy in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Clearly Steven Spielberg didn’t want to pass on Indy’s mantle just yet – but the hint was there.
Not to mention how, culturally, certain films only have that special significance because of the time period they were released within. Talk about the eighties, you think about Wham!, shoulder-pads and Ghostbusters. Why on earth, in 2014 (!!!) do we need to revisit these guys?
And even if Bill Murray was in the film – wouldn’t that be the worst depiction of Venkman that would ever exist? I remember his eccentric and flirtatious behaviour – well-suited for the younger man Murray was in 1984. Even 1989 was fine because it was still within the eighties. But now? Imagine the grey-haired character from Moonrise Kingdom all suited-and-booted-up as Venkman. What a sad state of affairs that would be. Critics would leap all over it and mock the old guys getting back together for the pay-check.
If they want to cash in on the series, fine. But Harold Ramis, Dan Aykroyd and Ernie Hudson all coming back to Bust Ghosts again? Seems a little late in the day for that.
I have a feeling that Etan Cohen (I’m sorry, but does anyone think this might be a pen-name for Ethan Coen, when he wants to write A-list blockbusters like Men in Black 3 rather than the latest Oscar-nominated Coen movie?) will write up the following dynamic – as they always do:
The Ghostbusters are retiring. They are not what they once were. Maybe they’ll even throw in how Peter Venkman was killed on a mission in the 90s (alongside the actual script that would’ve suited the early-90s). But then a new threat will come about and they need to hire a bunch of new recruits. Montage of funny recruiting sequences – maybe a couple of cameos (Daniel Radcliffe? Robert Pattinson?) – but ultimately choosing three unknown actors (who don’t cost much) to run the show. A fourth character will appear as ‘not good enough’ but – through the course of the film – will prove himself/herself. Themes of ‘teaching the old dogs new tricks’ (“I call it the iGhostcatcher!” says nerdy recruit) and acceptance of the inevitable. At the end of the film, if they pay Murray enough, he will cameo and then get killed off, ensuring he doesn’t return. But the new recruits are handed the keys to the building and the three remaining Ghostbusters walk into the sunset.
Critics will destroy it. New audiences won’t really get the references as they probably haven’t seen the first two. Only late-twenty-somethings (I’m 28 and I was born the year the first Ghostbusters was released) through to nostalgic thirty, and forty, something men will watch the film earning a little bit of money for the studio. But not enough to warrant a fourth. It will be packaged as a trilogy and we’ll all laugh about how weird the third installment was – and how the first one is the best one. Maybe a strike-though logo should be placed on top of the strike-through logo that already exists.