In an interview with Aintitcool for his new movie Draft Day, director Ivan Reitman spoke very honestly about Ghostbusters 3, where it’s currently at and how involved everyone – cough, Murray, cough – really is.
On the death of Harold Ramis, who played Egon spengler in the first two movies, Reitman said: “I hung in there until Harold’s death, and then I realized maybe this is the opportunity. It happened in combination with [Draft Day], which I’m so proud of; it was so satisfying to do something more serious and had a dramatic flow to it. It made more sense for someone of my age. I remember coming back and thinking about [Ghostbusters 3] for weeks even prior to Harold’s death, and then that just pushed me over the edge. So I went to Sony and I said, “Look, I’m not comfortable directing this sequel now.”
He says that the project was ongoing for sometime and he always felt off about working on it, but still wanted it to happen: “My expectation for the longest time – because we’ve been working on it for almost four years now, really actively on a regular basis with two sets of writing teams – was that I wanted to direct it and it was going to be good. We have very good scripts that really honor the tradition of it. The original Ghostbusters are all in their sixties – the ones who are alive – and one of them is extraordinarily reticent and hasn’t read a screenplay, despite having said that he has.”
On the script, compared to the original movie, he said: “I only have a number of movies left in me, and I already did Ghostbusters. People will only be comparing it to that [first movie], and I’ll only be fighting against myself. It just felt too weird, especially with the loss of Harold, who just focused that moment in my own life and my own sense of mortality. So I backed off. But I’m going to be very involved in it. I’m going to produce it, and it’s going to be the second draft that Etan Coen wrote. It’s terrific, and it really lives up to the original in a way Ghostbusters II didn’t.”
Where will Ghostbusters III compare to the others? “I think the second Ghostbusters is two-thirds of a great movie, and I think the last act is ridiculous. I had no problem making it, but I knew we couldn’t do that again. We had to do something that has the kind of energy and scale and deliciousness of the first one. I think we’ve got stuff like that in this. Generally, people are always cynical about these things because at their heart they start as financial desires by a studio. But there are really good creative people behind this that are trying their best. It doesn’t mean it will be as great a movie as the first one. I hope strangely that it isn’t. (Laughs) And strangely I hope that it is.”
Hearing Reitman talk about the scripts and his honesty about the second movie (I totally agree with him; until the Statue Of Liberty appears, Ghostbusters II is pretty damn good) really makes me think that maybe, just maybe, we’re in for something special with Ghostbusters III… hey, a nerd can dream, right?