Well, this is quite the bombshell. Just weeks after Bill Murray trashed the idea of a third Ghostbusters film on The Late Show with David Letterman, dismissing the long-awaited project as “crazy talk,” Vulture is reporting that Columbia Pictures is now trying to oust 63-year-old series director Ivan Reitman in favor of someone younger. However, in accordance with his old contract, Reitman has exceptional creative control over the franchise, which includes director approval. Therefore, Reitman can’t force the studio to keep him on as director, but he can pretty much ensure that Ghostbusters 3 won’t get made without him.
Reitman—along with principal ‘busters Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis—have a deal stipulating that if any one of them disapproves of any aspect of the third film, they can kill the project. If Reitman isn’t on board, there’s really no way this film can happen. If you’re in any way looking forward to Ghostbusters 3, this is very bad news.
The Office writers Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky are turning in a second draft of the script in May. The film—if it goes into production—will feature the four original Ghostbusters training a team of younger recruits. If it’s successful, Ghostbusters 3 could spawn more films starring the new team. If not, we’ll always have Ghostbusters: The Video Game, which is basically a continuation of the film series.
Vulture dug up a fascinating quote from a 1989 Los Angeles Times interview, in which Reitman explains why no Ghostbusters sequel will ever work as well as the 1984 original.
“Ghostbusters 2 wasn’t as fun to make as the first one,” he said. “In comedy, the element of surprise is everything. And I think once that element of surprise is gone, once people know there’s going to be ghosts, there’s going to be big ghosts, and they’re expecting something big at the end, a lot of the tools that are at your disposal are gone.”