“Yes, we will be doing the movie and hopefully with Mr. Murray. That is our hope. We have an excellent script. What we have to remember is that Ghostbusters is bigger than any one component, although Billy was absolutely the lead and contributive [sic] to it in a massive way, as was the director and Harold [Ramis], myself and Sigourney [Weaver]. The concept is much larger than any individual role and the promise of Ghostbusters 3 is that we get to hand the equipment and the franchise down to new blood. My character, Ray, is now blind in one eye and can’t drive the cadillac,” he says, “He’s got a bad knee and can’t carry the packs… Egon is too large to get into the harness. We need young blood and that’s the promise. We’re gonna hand it to a new generation. I like this guy Matthew Gray Gubler from the ‘Criminal Minds’ show. But there’s going to be a casting. We’re going to see everyone that wants to do it. We’re going to need… three guys and a young woman.”
Those are the words of Dan Aykroyd — original Ghostbuster, original “Saturday Night Live” cast member, Elwood Blues — discussing the likelihood of a new Ghostbusters film on the Dennis Miller Show. (Sidebar: Dennis Miller still has a Dennis Miller Show?)
One could chalk this up to yet another non-starter in the ongoing, not-delightfully maddening, story of the supposed Ghostbusters 3 that has been percolating since… Well, since the credits rolled on Ghostbusters 2 in 1989. In the interim, the characters have continued as a both a Saturday morning cartoon and a video game, but the story of a third movie persists like the reputation of “The Big Bang Theory” as a good show.
But normally the lone hold-up for the project is that Bill Murray won’t commit to making it, unlike every other prominent member of the cast, for which I give Mr. Murray nothing but credit. However, now we have Dan Aykroyd publicly stating that he is bound and determined to make this movie, literally, with or without Bill Murray. Which, I would fucking hope, means with or without Peter Venkman, as well. Not that either one would make the best Ghostbusters movie, but if Murray doesn’t participate, it would be impossible to replace him as that character. With all due respect to Mr. Aykroyd and the rest of the cast (especially Ernie Hudson, who I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and is the personification of radass), Bill Murray/Peter Venkman is the Ghostbusters. Without him, it will leave a gaping hole, and ring false for audiences who remember the originals.
Still, by setting a start-of-production-date as Summer 2012, Aykroyd is now putting all the pressure on himself to get it done. Or, at least, he’s removing a significant barrier. It’s entirely possible this is just a bluff that Bill Murray will most definitely call, but if so, then the Man Who Be Ray Stanz Again only has himself to blame. I personally think either outcome is ridiculous, unless the outcome is no Ghostbusters 3 and the end of the story. Something tells me I’ll be unhappy regardless. For what it’s worth, it is now listed as “announced” for 2012 on the IMDB.
That said, I’ve always thought a new Vacation movie that follows either/or the families of the adult Rusty/Audrey (the Griswold kids, duh-doy) could be a lot of fun, especially if Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo have cameos as the grandparents. And maybe I think that simply because the series already went off the rails. But, according to Collider, that’s exactly what producer David Dobkin told them was the basic premise of a reboot of the series. I was more picturing a single movie, but baby steps. But that’s not really the movie that Chevy Chase described recently when they talked to him (and even more so than Aykroyd, it’s a lengthy statement):
“Actually I think it went back to Warners. I think New Line sold it to Warners. I don’t know what’s gonna happen with that. It’s the same thing with Fletch, I think they had Fletch and then they sold that to Warners too. So we’ll see. I mean look, I’m not gonna do Fletch unless I’m Fletch, if they start writing something for a kid who’s Fletch and I’m just helping out, “Bye.” I mean, there’s no reason why, at my age, I can’t still be Fletch. I’ve always been getting this impression that they’d like me to be mentoring a younger Fletch type thing. No, what am I James Coburn on a Western? No. Nothing against James Coburn, he’s great. Is he alive? Yeah I think he is. I think he’s very much alive. And Vacation, actually Beverly D’Angelo and I have been working on our own script, which is pretty dang funny. I’ve written an idea that would be basically like a “Swiss Family Griswold.” There’s a cruise, there’s a fire on the ship, we think the whole ship’s on fire and we jump—it’s just a little fire—and we end up on an island where we meet Randy somewhere who’s been left there from an old Survivor series. I like that idea. It’s hard to sell these things to the Warners people. It depends on who’s there and what their mood is and what they think people are gonna like.”
Randy Quaid reprising Uncle Eddie as lost “Survivor” castaway? Abandoning a cruise ship because of a fire-induced comedy of errors? Whether that’s Rusty’s story or not, it sounds god damned atrocious. Vegas Vacation reads like a subtle masterpiece compared to that zaniness. As for the new Fletch, well, that will never happen as long as he demands to be the lead. Not that he can’t still play the character, just that isn’t likely to get butts in seats, and being a diva about it certainly isn’t going to sway anyone. Not that Fletch 3 needs to be made anymore than anything else I’ve written about today. Come on, Chevy, some of us love your return to comedy on “Community,” don’t start Piercing all over the place now.
In summation: There’s a reason Bill Murray is regarded as a living legend by both fans and the industry, while Dan Aykroyd and Chevy Chase are… not. Much of that reason can be found in the above blathering.
Rob Payne also writes the indie comic The Unstoppable Force, co-hosts the podcast We’re Not Fanboys, and occasionally twits about both @RobOfWar on the Twitter. In full disclosure, he gave a copy of his comic book to Ernie Hudson at a convention last year, just as a gift because he’s a fan… and he blatantly
stole from paid homage to Ghostbusters 2.